Aug 8, 2006, 8:06 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
I would like to share with you my impressions from my short experience with SMC M F2 50mm lens.
Keep in mind that I am a newbie and I could only use it on two occasions, mainly in the street on cloudy days.
Hope this will be helpful for others like me on a LBA rash.
Camera body used: K100D with SR on.
1. The angle of view for a 50mm (equiv of 77mm) is kind of small for street photography
Find a 28mm f2.8 it will be much better. A-series of course.
2. Manual focus is not that bad but not a whole lot fun either.
The focus assist (or whatever is that called) helps but it takes time to get used to.
A 28mm has enough DOF to zone focus (f11 will give you lots of in focus images without actually focusing more than once)
3. Getting the right aperture/speed combination is challenging.
I tried the M mode with AE-L button quite a bit with not so good results. It will over/underexpose for anything slower
than F2.8. The lens diaphragm would stop-down to the barrel's setting (similar with the DOF button effect) but
the selected shutter speed is too slow most of the time.
Kjell suggests setting the camera on M andusing the DOF preview to stop down the lens and then set the exposure based on the exposure value in the viewfinder (lower right shows +or- and a number representing how many stops you are off, 0.0 is right on). This method takes longer but if the light is constant you only have to do it once. Hope this also works with the K100D.
4. Because of point 3., shooting in RAW would be required for fixing the exposure mishap
RAW is the only effective way to deal with some difficult lighting situations. I shoot about 90% jpeg but I use RAW when I do not trust the lighting or white balance.
5. The easiest setup for me was the Av mode and lens wide open. Somehow it sets the appropriate shutter speed.
Yes, but wide open is usually somewhat soft for these fast lenses. Great in very low light but unecessary in most other situations. Try the method above.
6. The aperture value does not make it in the Jpeg EXIF which makes the learning experience quite difficult
(reminds me of the old 35mm days).
7. When it exposes properly the image seems to be relatively sharp and free of artifacts.
Bottom line: M (K) lenses are not for sissies. I would stick with AF or manual focus with A setting lenses.
I agree completely, the A-series lenses are much nicer to use since they give you more exposure options. I seldom use my older lenses (M-series) because the F and FA lenses are so much easier.
It is possible I do something wrong or I got a crappy lens.
What are your thoughts?
Just read the bold print.