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Old Jan 31, 2015, 8:10 PM   #1
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Default Fun with old primes on the E-M1

One of the many reasons I bought the E-M1 was that it promised to be a killer body to reuse old manual 35mm primes with, and I've not been disappointed.

I've had an old Tamron 500mm F8 mirror on it occasionally via a Pentax-K to 4/3 adapter and love the focus peaking and magnify for fine focus, but recently I was given a mint Asahi Pentax-M 50mm F1.7 by a friend (you got to like those sorts of friends) and wow does the E-M1 work well with that. Or maybe it's the other way around...

It's my first use of a lens this fast, F2.8's are the fastest I'd used or owned before that. Right away I like this thing, and I realized it's probably a great portrait lens. I's a personal comment but I think it also looks and feel right on the E-M1 as well.

Since nobody in my house likes being photographed I cornered the cat in the back yard

The close up is a 100% crop, the main cat image was slightly cropped as well.
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Old Feb 1, 2015, 7:37 AM   #2
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nice shots MR. Sneezy, those pentax lenses sure have a reputation as being pretty good and I see nothing here to discredit that. Very smooth bokeh on the kitty shot and just a wonderful portrait render.
in my bag: e-m1, 7-14mm pro, 14-54mm mk ii, 50-200mm mk i, 70-300mm
in my pocket: e-pm2 lumix 12-32
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Old Feb 1, 2015, 10:47 AM   #3
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Not only does the lens look good attached to the M1, the images it rendered look top notch also. I agree that it would be a very good portrait lens with that shallow depth of field.
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Old Feb 1, 2015, 9:30 PM   #4
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Beautiful small lens, it is sharp and the bokeh creamy.
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Old Feb 3, 2015, 3:39 PM   #5
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Looks good! I think I enjoy shooting cats more than people.
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Old Feb 4, 2015, 2:17 AM   #6
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Shooting cats usually require herding cats first, that can be tricky
I was pleased with the depth of field available with the old Pentax lens, and the way even a very cluttered back yard could be made to disappear into the background.

Yet to try an Astro, that will show how sharp it is wide open, though the cat pic's seem to be quite sharp at F1.7.

I am planning to take the lens with me to a GoKart racing event next weekend where my brother in-law is driving (I used to race also). The racing finishes at twilight, so the F1.7 might be a good thing at that end of the day for panned action shots. If it does well I'll post a couple of images. The Oly 12-60mm and 50-200mm lenses always go with me too...
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Old Feb 15, 2015, 5:18 AM   #7
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Default Pentax F1.7 on the E-M1 under lights

The trip out to the kart racing circuit was good. I got to shoot a lot of frames with the 4/3 lenses and also the Pentax lens.
Most of the sharper images came during the day in good light, mostly with the Oly 50-200mm F2.8, it's just a great lens for action photography.

At twilight I changed to the Asahi Pentax F1.7 to see if the wider aperture was going to make shooting gokarts doing 90kph past me still possible. The track lighting was the dominant light source, the sun had just set.

The results were OK, images that were just usable for showing on a PC, maybe not so much for printing.

I realised afterwards that I did not set up the image stabiliser mode properly all day, so perhaps I could have got better shots. I was panning a lot of shots horizontally but left the IS setting on mode 1, not mode 2, which is the one for ignoring horizontal movements (IIRC). Maybe I should use Auto IS all the time instead ?

I shot mostly in Shutter priority mode, setting shutter speed to what I know is the least I can get away with when panning. Aperture wide open at F1.7 and let the Auto ISO sort out the final exposure. Maybe I should go to fixed ISO as well next time I try action shots in low light.

Top image - Pentax 50mm F1.7, ISO1250, 1/800th.
Lower image - Pentax 50mm F1.7, ISO2000, 1/500th.
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Last edited by mr.sneezy; Feb 15, 2015 at 5:29 AM.
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