Monthly #79 - A Standard Lens Photograph. Competition

Competition Details
Closing Date: 31/01/2019
Judge: JAK

Given the run on DFA 50mm F1.4's on Black Friday and at the January sale prices recently it appears quite a few succumbed and have now purchased one. Yet others are quite content to use what they have and were not tempted. So this month's competition is to use either that new 50mm lens or your 'oldie' 50mm standard lens.
Back in film days that would quite likely be the standard lens that was supplied with your camera and everything was simple then, but with digital it all changed. So for formats other than the K-1's 'full frame' (24x36mm) I'll accept either an image taken with a prime 50mm (or 55mm) standard lens or any lens giving the equivalent field of view (FOV) to a 50mm on full frame. For example a 35m lens on APS-C gives a FOV close to 50mm on full frame; as does a 75mm lens on a 645D/Z; and a 9mm on a Pentax Q or MX-1. If you only have zooms set the focal length to give its equivalent FOV to 50mm on full frame based on the above. Hope that doesn't sound too technical; if you're not sure please ask and I'm sure someone will explain!

Choose your subject matter to show off the potential of your lens. It's really the picture that matters, not the lens it was taken with.

Once you've uploaded your image please either edit the entry to show the lens used (it doesn't get picked up directly from the exif automatically so you have to add it in yourself, but most lenses are in the database.) If that fails just state it in the comments.

Just to point out (as usual) the image has to be shot on a Pentax or related camera this month, January 2019 (not before) and uploaded by midnight Thursday 31st January GMT when the competition closes. The prize for the winner is to set up and judge next month's competition.

So will the winning image come from that shiny new DFA or from a 50 year old M42 standard lens or something else? Good luck with your entry.
Competition Entries


Link Posted 20/01/2019 - 23:11
Will an image taken on a Ricoh GR set to 47mm eq crop be eligible?


Link Posted 29/01/2019 - 07:33
Will an image taken on a Ricoh GR set to 47mm eq crop be eligible?

Best regards, John


Link Posted 01/02/2019 - 15:02
So did the winning image come from that shiny new DFA or from a 50 year old M42 standard lens or something else?

Well me might never know as several entrants forgot to tell us. All I can say is not one entry admitted to having used it which I found surprising given all the discussion surrounding it in December. Before looking at the 15 photographs submitted I'll point out that these are my own personal views which will undoubtedly differ to what others think.

A number of the entries did not pick up on the request to say what lens had been used. As they told me all those years ago sat in the exam room, read the question - carefully! Another throwback to the past is some of the entries which didn't get placed lacked a clear subject; with a fixed focal length challenge like this one has to zoom with one's feet to find the best composition.

Winter water by Perspicador (lens used not stated)

This was taken on a horrible grey day when the lighting was flat which didn't do you any favours. I can't see anything really special in this one, it is more of a scene setting photo that might form the introduction to a set of images. I think I'd have hung on for day with better lighting when a similar image may have sprung into life and keep this one as a banker to enter later in case nothing further did come along (there's no special prize for being first in!) Just to point out that the lens used wasn't stated as requested in the brief.

First Signs of Spring {Witch hazel) by Johnwnjr (HD PENTAX-D FA 24-70mm F2.8ED SDM WR)

You have an interesting documentary photograph. Amazingly early for the blossom to appear, mind until the last few days I've still had flowers in full bloom from last summer. You managed to pick a sunny day to take it which helps! As to the content I feel that getting in closer to one of the buds might have given us something more interesting for the eye to settle on. I keep looking round it but really wish I could get in closer to see some detail. I managed to find that you used the DFA 24-70 set to 50mm from the image exif though you forgot to enter that as requested.

Liverpool clocks seen from Liverpool Central Library by newbiek50user (exif missing - is it Pentax SMC DA 50mm f/1.8 ?)

The picture certainly has some interest in that the two city clock towers are well placed in the image with them being more or less on the thirds so the composition is quite good. The lighting isn't helping giving somewhat low contrast. Solutions would be to come back to retake it on a brighter day or try using an HDR setting or in PP as it can help boost the contrast on days like this as well as its normal use for controlling high contrast scenes The photograph might be a little soft which detracts a bit, but with the exif info missing and without knowing the exposure details I can't really suggest what may have caused this.

Tele addict by davidwozhere (Pentax-A 50mm f1.7)

Was this originally destined for the Furry Animals comp?! Really good subject with nicely balanced lighting. I might have cropped a little off the right hand side up to the pillow putting the subject slightly off centre but it's fine as it is anyhow. Well done.

JC by steadfast (lens not stated)

A stunningly sharp low key portrait very well taken. The lighting suits the subject. No mention of the lens used.

Turning Back The Clock by noelm (Super-Takumar 1:1.8 55mm)

Some detailed old spotting records recorded here. Imagine having photos of all the locos recorded in the book too, it would be some archive. If you have some contemporary archive locomotive snapshots it might help to break up the 'squareness' of the included items. The soft-ish sepia look does suit the content.

Two oldies by Larseric (Jena Flektogon 2,8 / 35 mm)

Another of your really good, well presented classic style images. I like the clever, possibly subconscious, circular composition with the leaves and rose carefully placed to lead the eye round the other elements. A great still life!

Pennington Flash Fence by johnjm (Unlabelled 35mm MF lens)

A truly creative effort here so really well done for that. With a closer look I do find a slight issue with the processing though. The wooden fence has a very noticeable white outline for most of its perimeter, albeit it is momentarily interrupted on the left side of the highest section with what looks like a smudge. Very odd! FWIW you might have a dust bunny on the sensor that shows in the image just beyond where the lower fence rail ends.

Crust Lichen by coker (Reversed SMC Pentax-M, 50mm. f1.7 with extensions)

The hoops you went through to take this sound fantastic! I'm truly aghast it took all that to get the shot. Is the lichen underwater? It's hard to comprehend the scale of it, however given the amount of extension I'm taking it this is in extreme close up which would account for the need to stack the images. It's a fine photo of the Lichen.

Young Rhubarb by GlynM (smc PENTAX-D FA 50mm F2.8 MACRO)

Thanks for finding the time to take something to enter during what must be a stressful time. I do like rhubarb, but will you get the chance to eat it once you've moved? I digress.
Another stacked image, I read. I'm curious if this image stacking adds to the picture as I've never tried it myself. If I want more depth of field I just use a smaller aperture! My concern for image stacking would be having several layers of things in focus with the bits in-between slightly not in focus. I can't say I can see that has happened so the technique hasn't hampered the final image. If you hadn't said I'd never have guessed.
The low viewpoint has worked well and you've produced a good natural looking image of the crop to be. That's crop as in growing things rather than cutting off part of the picture. Well done.

The Old Normal by Abe_Normal (HD PENTAX-DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited)

Another, but different, multi-take image. What you've done you've made a very good job of it. Whether I like the multi-part technique or not is again something I need to think about. It's a bit like a puzzle picture where you have to work out what it is!

Hunstanton Wreck by Nigelk (smc PENTAX-DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited)

The late low winter sunshine has provided quite a moody atmosphere with the length of the boat direcly in line with the setting sun (which should be just before 4 O'clock, not 5 as reported in the exif as it was dark by then! Camera still on summer time perhaps?) All in all a really interesting capture.
I was curious to investigate the subject matter here and believe this to be the wreck of the FV Sheraton which was a steam trawler built in 1907. It played a role in both World Wars. In 1916 it was requisitioned by the Royal Navy for use as as a boom defence vessel. It was again requisitioned in 1940 by the Royal Navy as an auxiliary patrol vessel and mine-sweeper. In 1946 vessel was sold to the RAF and used as a target vessel but a year later it ran aground near Hunstanton Lighthouse where it has lain since.

Busker by paulb531 (PENTAX-DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited ?)

A really good capture of the busker but with the person sitting on the left looking disinterested detracts from it somewhat. I feel cropping that left side off would focus the attention on the busker. There are also various folk wandering around behind that lady on the left but I don't really want to see those either. Without the distractions it would be rather good.

Our Millie by MikeInDevon (SMC PENTAX-M 1:1.4 50 mm)

Using the 50mm on an APSC sensor has used it as a short telephoto. That's fine. The portrait isn't bad but it is said that the eyes are the single most important feature of any portrait, and with this they are missing as if in a dark void! I'd have been strongly tempted to selectively apply a shadow boost to those eyes. Otherwise it's a great photo and would have been a strong contender for a podium spot. I had a play with the image to see what detail was lurking in the shadows; the eye detail is certainly there, it just needs bringing out.

Winter Skies by drofmit (smc PENTAX-M 50mm F1.7)

This is rather pleasant. An interesting skyscape with a silhouetted landscape to sit it on. Very well seen and captured.

So to the results:
Pretty hard to compare technical photos against pictorial ones as they both have different merits.

1 Two oldies by Larseric (Jena Flektogon 2,8 / 35 mm)
2 Tele addict by davidwozhere (Pentax-A 50mm f1.7)
3= Winter Skies by drofmit (smc PENTAX-M 50mm F1.7)
3= Hunstanton Wreck by Nigelk (smc PENTAX-DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited)
HM Our Millie by MikeInDevon (SMC PENTAX-M 1:1.4 50 mm)
HM Young Rhubarb by Glyn (smc PENTAX-D FA 50mm F2.8 MACRO)
HM Crust Lichen by coker (Reversed SMC Pentax-M, 50mm. f1.7 with extensions)
HM JC by steadfast

Thanks too for the other interesting entries taken in the post Christmas time when sitting in front of the fire often seems preferable to gallivanting round taking photos.

As to the best lens. It seems the Pentax-M 50mm f1.7 took two spots in the results listed here but the Jena Flektogon the top one with the new DFA conspicuous by its total absence. And there was me thinking purchasers would want to show off what it could do.

So well done to Larseric and over to you for the February challenge.
John K


Link Posted 01/02/2019 - 18:56
Hi John,

Thanks for the HM, I'll have a go at Millie's 'eye', pushing the limit of my DxO and GIMP skills...

Great selection of eclectic images and congratulations to the winner, other podium placer's and HMs.

Interesting to see so many manual focus lenses used.



Link Posted 01/02/2019 - 20:15
Thanks for the interesting competition and the 3rd= placing.
And mighty congratulations to Larseric... that's a superb still life.
And also to David for the teleaddict and Nigel for the Huns'ton wreck... know of it, but never visited... long way from Swaffham!!
(actually I tended to go to Cley, Brancaster and the Burnhams.... equally far, but more peaceful)
And nice pictures from the HMs too.

I never use primes except for specific work... macro mainly... so my 50mm got a shock being used the right way round for the 1st time since the *istD came out....
but I think it will be used again during this year.... I was most impressed that I couldn't find any distortions or chromatic abberations in any of the assortment of pictures I took.
Winter Skies is uncropped, too.... rare also for me... I have always "shot to crop".
It has got me thinking....
Never be afraid to talk about your techniques...
"Give a thousand photographers...
the same camera, lens and scene...
and you'll always get a thousand different takes!!"


Link Posted 01/02/2019 - 20:58
Many thanks John for coming up with such a good and original competition subject that I think worked really well. I was also very impressed by your superb set of comments and judging.

Thanks also for the HM .

Congratulations to our winners and everyone else for such a good set of diverse and well crafted interpretations.



Link Posted 01/02/2019 - 23:04
I had "Two Oldies" down for winning the moment it appeared - super job, well done! Thank you for the 2nd place and well done to the joint 3rds. That was an inspired choice of topic, promptly and incisively judged so thank you JAK for setting and judging it.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link


Link Posted 02/02/2019 - 01:12
MikeInDevon wrote:
Interesting to see so many manual focus lenses used.

It certainly was and quite surprising. Maybe people with new lenses cherish them and those with old lenses actually use them! I really thought that owners of the new one would be keen to show what it can do.
John K
Last Edited by JAK on 02/02/2019 - 01:14


Link Posted 02/02/2019 - 09:29
JAK wrote:
MikeInDevon wrote:
Interesting to see so many manual focus lenses used.

It certainly was and quite surprising. Maybe people with new lenses cherish them and those with old lenses actually use them! I really thought that owners of the new one would be keen to show what it can do.

Perhaps, given what I observed from using the f1.7 the “right way round”.... they haven’t got anything to compete with.... the Two Oldies is a classic....... the other old lens pictures are cracking image quality, too.... even if the compositions gave you concern. Old glass doesn’t have all the lens groups and multi coatings... but, they knew how to create and assemble lenses to give quality results.
As I said, I took a whole load of different subjects... some deliberately chosen to have sharp lines at the edge.... on none of them can I find the colour aberration that some expensive lenses still have!
I am not sure how much the f1.7 would cost today as it came with the camera!
Never be afraid to talk about your techniques...
"Give a thousand photographers...
the same camera, lens and scene...
and you'll always get a thousand different takes!!"


Link Posted 02/02/2019 - 16:48
Thank you everybody for the kind words about my two oldies. I have never collected lenses more than what I needed for the daily work. The 35 mm Flektogon I bought for my first Pentax. It was a Spotmatic in 1965 and I have used only Pentax since then. 54 years.
Well, I suppose I have to choose a theme for the next month´s competition. So in, "As time goes by" would be something for everybody, I think.
If this is not the correct place to announce it, please excuse me and help me to fix it right!
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