Frogfish

Status: Member
Join Date: 10th September 2010
Last Login: 1st July 2014 - 11:51
Real Name: Kevin
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Topic / Forum Comment
SMC A50mm f1.2 vs FA 43mm f1.9 limited
Posted in Lenses for Pentax Cameras
I had both lenses but got much more use out of the fantastic 43. Personally I preferred the rendering of the Cosina 55/1.2 (esp. the OOF highlights) to the A 50/1.2 and I sold the Pentax and kept the Cosina. All are superb lenses though.
portrait lenses?
Posted in Lenses for Pentax Cameras
A browse on eBay will reveal a mass of choice. You could also consider a screw thread lens with a K adapter. Then the wonderful Super or SMC Takumar 105mm f/2.8 could also be considered. +1 This is an excellent lens and I sold the Carl Zeiss equivalent to keep the SMC Tak which is just better all round, sharper and with more contrast.
Sigma Receives TIPA Awards
Posted in Lenses for Pentax Cameras
The Pentax 31mm is a traditionally made, metal and glass lens of the highest manufacturing standards, with exceptional performance. I doubt that a Sigma lens will be better, but it will of course also depend on how we define "better"! I know which I would prefer to have on my camera. Compact size is not the only Pentax advantage - construction quality, flare resistance, optical performance, consistent colour balance with other SMC lenses....John. You don't always have to leap to the defence of Pentax, the 31mm especially hardly needs it. However you intimate but saying 'not the only advantage' that the 31mm is better than the Sigma in all those areas you list. The Sigma 35mm already has stellar reviews and proven performance and is considered better than anything produced by Canon/Nikon and every other 35mm out there. It's not a lens you want to pick a fight with - especially regarding optical performance where the Sigma has blown everything else away ! Some people will want a superb, small and light lens - others will want the very best lens they can get for their money. This is a heavy-weight contest that I doubt the 31mm can win in pure technical terms, and why should it when you think about the when the 31mm was designed and how much has gone into the Sigma design in 2012/13.
Bess the Springer Spaniel and the '77 Ltd
Posted in Your Photos
Gorgeous ... and you're torturing me since I've just sold my 77 Ltd (so sad to see it go).
Sigma Receives TIPA Awards
Posted in Lenses for Pentax Cameras
The Sigma 35/1.4 has already being lauded as the best 35mm lens you can buy for Nikon / Canon .... everybody is raving about it on the forums. So if it is now in PK mount you really should look no further for the best AF 35mm out there ! That said maybe the 31mm is better for your particular photography - Quote from 'Frogfish'. As a matter of interest (once I've amassed a small fortune...in years to come!) :wink: , which one would be a better buy on balance (leaving cost and weather-proofing out of the equation) and why? Regards, JCInteresting question JC. The 35mm has sharp corners, virtually no distortion, great on CA/PF. super fast AF and is incredibly sharp (Google it - lots of tests results out for it already). Whether it renders like the 31mm is another question. Probably the 35mm will shade the venerable 31mm in some areas but a lot may come down to personal preference .. and of course these are both full frame lenses so when used on (for example) a K5ii then you have trimmed borders and corners off already for even better performance but at the cost of width.
Super telephoto zoom recommendation.
Posted in Lenses for Pentax Cameras
What's your problem? I'm in my 70's and use my 50-500 on a tripod, on a monopod, and handheld. NO PROBLEM. CHEERS VicTwo thumbs up Vic ! If you want reach in Pentax (without paying a fortune for exotic lenses) then the 50-500 is as good as it gets and the weight really isn't an issue on a monopod (if you are shooting wildlife then you need to put up with a certain degree of weight/discomfort, it's all part and parcel of the genre) carried over your shoulder when walking. You'll get better results on a mono than handheld too. I'd definitely add one of those GBP100 gimbals you can get off EBay - far far better than a ball head. Use a strap too (a Black Rapid copy works great) as redundancy (it's saved my gear more than once).
Sigma Receives TIPA Awards
Posted in Lenses for Pentax Cameras
The Sigma 35/1.4 has already being lauded as the best 35mm lens you can buy for Nikon / Canon .... everybody is raving about it on the forums. So if it is now in PK mount you really should look no further for the best AF 35mm out there ! That said maybe the 31mm is better for your particular photography ;) I haven't used the 35mm but I bought the also superb 50/1.4 straight off the bat knowing how good the 30/1.4 is in PK mount (not for landcapes). Sigma have some stunning lenses now (120-300/2.8, 85/1.4, 50/1.4, 35/1.4 and upcoming 135/1.8) so it doesn't surprise me at all to see them starting to win awards. They deserve it as they are blowing the camera manufacturers own lenses away with this latest generation. Huge kudos to the son who took over the company and is the driving force behind this.
Newby with a question about lenses for wildlife
Posted in Lenses for Pentax Cameras
If you are starting out in wildlife/bird photography (these lenses are fine to get you started and until you know that this long tele game is for you) and don't have a high budget then you have a few options : Old Pentax K or M42 (with adaptor) 300mm prime. These can be had for some low prices and some are very sharp but do display a lot of Purple Fringing so avoid high contrast / backlit situations. Tamron 500MM mirror - learning curve is very steep and you really really need to keep this very steady (better on a monopod). Not for newbies IMHO, despite those great pics from JonSchick above. Those are not easy to achieve ! Pentax 55-300 / Tamron 70-300 / Pentax 80-320 : The 55-300 is a clear winner here. The 80-320 has a lot of PF and is very soft at the long end. In all cases best sharpness is achieved by stopping down (ca. f8 ) and shooting at ca. 270mm not fully extended at 300/320mm where all these lenses are softer than shooting at 250-270mm and cropping. I have had all of the above lenses and IMHO I'd go for the Pentax 55-300 if you can stretch that far, if not the Tamron 70-300 is a good substitute. If you are confident with your MF handling then take a 300mm prime over the 500mm mirror. If you want to take my experience with long teles though (and this is a large part of my photography) start with the very best you can reasonably afford (the 55-300 in this scenario) because you will lose money as you move up the IQ ranks continually buying better lenses !
Worlds great lens makers
Posted in Lenses for Pentax Cameras
Interesting link Mike, thanks for posting it ! Of course it would be more interesting to see the writer thoughts about the best lenses listed by mm because those at 15-25mm would likely be different to those at 30-50mm, and again to those above 100mm, and how many even made lenses in the 300-800mm category ? A very widely used focal length for almost all wildlife/birding togs. In that scenario, like them or hate them, it is impossible to leave Canon/Nikon off the list I enjoyed some of the comments better than the article (my favourites posted here so everyone doesn't have to go through the whole list if they don't want to) ! When you're as big as Canon and Nikon you must appeal to the mean and the median. Your entire revenue and marketing machine depends on the norm. So there is merit in looking at smaller brands, such as the Pentax DA primes which are warm, sharp, compact, and phenomenally resistant to flare. Poking a hornetís nest? Hereís a blog you might find of interest: http://www.addicted2light.com/2012/12/08/battle-of-the-50s-contax-60-vs-minolta-vs-olympus-vs-pentax-takumars/ I wonder how many of those who find your listing of Pentax inconceivable have used, or even held, one of their best lenses. Pentax fourth? I used to think you were cool, Mike. Though if there's a list for the Craziest Lens Makers, I fully expect Pentax to top it. That's a good list of best lens makers at 35mm.
Adobe to discontinue standalone CS products
Posted in General Photographic Chat
Not a good idea but for software manufacturers it's bite the bullet time since many competitors are doing it. If I can be permitted to mix up my metaphors .. are you a wolf or a sheep ? Many companies have time limits built into their software that can be renewed annually (I used to run golf leagues and my handicapping software was in this format, at US$100 p.a.) but personally I'd never go that route again. Too damn expensive, I ended up paying US$1,000 for a piece of very basic software but once I had years and hundreds of players logged I was locked in. As for copying, come on, this isn't brain surgery. Everything manufacturers have come up with so far has been cracked .. easily. Games manufacturers can and do often make more money than a Hollywood film. Still the greed of companies such as Sony & Microsoft hasn't found a way to stop copying despite now being on the 3rd iteration of their machines. I am currently playing Tomb Raider (2012/13 version) which I bought for 60p .. had it been a reasonable price for the original (10-15 GBP) then I would have bought the original, but not 30-40 GBP for a game I play once then almost never take out of it's wrapping again. DVDs are the same, 50-90p each, if they were a fiver each then I'd buy an original (but buy less films / games and think harder about which ones I'd buy). Think of how much profit margin there is on those products - even allowing for development costs - if each person in that chain is making 10p each per disk and then how much manufacturing costs must be (and believe me these copies are really well packaged too) ! Outside of China the prices are horrendous when you consider most of them are made here for, all intensive purposes free or shall we say a maximum of 10p per disk and 10p for the literature that accompanies it (and many manufacturers are making that downloadable now too). Of course many people don't have access to copies but between those that do, those that can't afford the software and those that don't, won't or can't access software in the cloud ... that's a hell of a lot of lost clients.
FS: Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 II EX DC APO HSM
Posted in Classified Adverts
The Sigma 50-150 a great lens. Very sharp, good AF, f2.8 and an absolute workhorse for me for 2 years. You'll love it.
Pentax Lens Price Increase
Posted in Lenses for Pentax Cameras
Sigma have also just announced an APS-C 18-35/1.8 - wow ! Yup! very exciting. :) Many of us are not happy it's not being released in Pentax K-mount. The same for the new Oh that's a pity. Surely the numbers are there for a simple mount change if they can make it fit the extremes of Canon and Nikon. I really wonder what Sigma have against Pentax of late.
Pentax Lens Price Increase
Posted in Lenses for Pentax Cameras
I don't think it's competing with Canon / Nikon lenses Pentax have to worry about as much as 3rd party lens producers. Sigma have come out with some stunning lenses over the past couple of years, lenses that have received rave reviews from test sites and users alike (the 35/1.4 is now considered the best 35mm out there bar none) and Tamron too e.g. their new 70-200 is incredibly sharp, AF is very fast and the lens supposedly only just lags a tad in some areas behind those of CaNikon, but at a much lower price point. Sigma have also just announced an APS-C 18-35/1.8 - wow ! I would think all camera manufacturers are watching those two very closely at the moment.
travel insurance for me and my K5
Posted in General Photographic Chat
traveling to Patagonia in a fortnight and want to get travel insurance for myself and my k5 and lenses (oh yeh.....and my wife). Any thoughts or experiences with good companies not too heavy on the pocket that are reliable?I've just insured myself, my wife and US$20,000 worth of camera gear for 6 weeks in NZ for NZ$534 with AA NZ, yes the same AA car breakdown group as in the UK, (you can insure for any country and it doesn't matter where you are resident). This was their top level of cover to cover full repayment for all losses, flights, baggage, delays, missed flights (due to connections), medical expenses and repatriation etc. If you require less, or have less equipment, or a shorter trip, then I'd imagine it could be much cheaper. You will need to itemise any equipment over (I think it was) NZ$1,500 per item. The level of cover is very impressive and even covered all of our car hire accident excesses and also damage up to NZ$6,000, saving us NZ$25 a day in limiting excess to zero in the event of an accident - so paying for all of the insurance ! http://www.aa.co.nz/insurance/travel-insurance/ I compared this to around another 10 different companies (including the famous 'Nomads' - a great travellers insurance service) and although the basic cover was often good by the time you have listed your gear it can get very expensive and with fewer benefits and less cover than this policy.
Royal Mail ban on lithium batteries?!
Posted in General Photographic Chat
I've taken a few flights recently and in all of them if they spotted the batteries in my hold luggage (via their scanner when you check-in) then they ask you to open the bags and remove the batteries and then place them in your hand luggage. This was in China of course.
FS: Pentax F 28-80 / 3.5-4.5 macro
Posted in Classified Adverts
Sold to PU Poster.
Elements in teleconverters...
Posted in Lenses for Pentax Cameras
I've used the Vivitar x2 macro TC and it did a splendid job with virtually no noticeable IQ degradation.
SDM failure? help.
Posted in Lenses for Pentax Cameras
Incidentally my 60-250 was the one of the first failures on that particular lens, fixed under warranty but the lens packed up after being laid up for a few months...the jeweller's screwdriver in the screw drive worked a treat.This happened to me this weekend, 60-250mm wouldn't focus, it seemed to be jammed you could heear the SDM trying to focus, you couldn't manual focus focus ring would turn but lens focus indicator didn't move. When I got the lens home I turned the screw drive and it freed it and lens is OK now. I don't know whether the cold weather has something to do with this happening my DA*300mm did same thing in sub-zero temperatures. I don't think it's a SDM problem more a focus jamming problem.Sorry to say but that is identical to the second SDM failure I had with my DA*300, it will fail again - I've just got the 300 back today after it spent nearly one month in Japan !
Grips. Essential or not?
Posted in Pentax Digital SLRs
I have never used a grip on any camera, never felt inclined to and never felt I've missed out so a firm no from me+1 Bought a grip, used it twice, now it's collecting dust.
FS: Pentax F 28-80 / 3.5-4.5 macro
Posted in Classified Adverts
OMG - I had totally forgotten I have this lens in the UK (with my daughter). She found it already packaged and ready to go when she moved home last weekend. So. Any decent offer (over £20 + Shipping & PayPal Fees) will secure this as currently it is a total waste of a decent lens !
wedding photographer fail
Posted in General Photographic Chat
Recession leads another business into liquidation. PhilipHa ha - excellent.
Who is a pro photographer?
Posted in General Photographic Chat
I do 6-10 paid events a year, mostly sporting but some social. That doesn't indicate any level of proficiency at all ;)
Digital photo frames- novelty or good?
Posted in General Digital Photography chat
My parents have one (81 and 75 yrs old) and since they have zero technical ability, and computers and tablets remain as alien as hieroglyphics, they are delighted with the one I bought them as they can use it to show their friends photos they took, on something larger than the 1.5' screen on the back of their ancient P&S, just by popping the SD card in it ! iPad - iTunes on your PC and a folder on the PC for pics to be transfered to the iPad. just add pics to the iPad as required via iTunes. Thee are even apps to sort files (pics into new folders if you so desire).
Two Door Cinema Club Gig
Posted in Your Photos
The man has spoken (Cabstar) :D Had it been me every shot would have been with flash though (it seems like both the club and band permitted it) as the conditions look really really tough and although not as natural your shots would have been clean and sharp and knowing that you could have turned your attention to composition and distractions without the worry of your camera settings and perpetual chimping (if you are like me).
Why do Pentax lag with autofocus?
Posted in Pentax Digital SLRs
Neil, don't feel too bad about missing shots of birds flying straight at you .. there are very few cameras (mostly all top pro models such as 1Dx or D3s/D4 that have the best AF motors around) that can get a high % of those shots in focus .... they are very difficult for the AF motor in consumer/prosumer cameras and probably burst mode (or if you know the direction the bird will take in advance then pre-focusing in MF & burst-mode) is your best chance. You are spot on re. cross focus points being arge on the K5 series, this is a perpetual gripe amongst some users, it has it's pros and cons but for very small/tiny objects it's definitely not a pro ! If the dragonfly is hovering and you are almost in focus use MF to get it sharp (of course you must have re-mapped your AF to the AF-S button to do this otherwise subsequently depressing the shutter button will set off the AF again) !