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Old Apr 6, 2010, 9:16 AM   #21
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I just bought the vivitar 2TC and the extension rings (from the pictures) for about $25,-
And I believe I had a real good bargain with the smc 50mm 1.7 I bought it for about $40,- but I also got:
a Pentax ME
Panagor Autotelezoom f = 80-200mm;1 : 3, 8
Cullmann DC 25 Flash
Silgor automatic extension tube 24 mm
a 300mm Beroflex 8, 1 : 5.6, 62
Another medium range lens
And some filters and cases with it

Are the just mentioned products useful at all for my pentax k-x?

Can't wait to try out some macro



Carlo
Wow !, did you blow the budget. Sounds as if you got several bargains, it will certainly keep you busy ringing the changes trying out your bunch of goodies always assuming they fit the camera. The one thing to be cautious with in your list is the flash, don't even think of trying it mounted on the camera,
until you've checked out this page, some of the older flash units can be lethal to a modern DSLR ... http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html

The macro combo should be good, use it in aperture priority mode AV. If your shooting in natural light stop down the aperture to increase your depth of field DOF, which can be very thin in macro mode, you'll need to balance the speed so that you're shooting not less than 1/100 sec since the effect of combining the 50mm + TC @ 2X is effectively a 100mm lens ( a good rule of thumb to work with is never shoot at a speed less than the 1 divided by the lens focal length, in this case 1/100 sec). Hope this helps.

Looking forward to some results now you've made the plunge, don't be disappointed with your early macro results, none of us get 100% success, 1 in 3 or less is more like the norm. Have fun Carlo ... Jack
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Old Apr 6, 2010, 9:30 AM   #22
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Carlo,
I don't see your Culman flash model in the list, you can check it manually with a meter, scroll down this page for a how to ...

http://www.botzilla.com/photo/g1strobe.html
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Old Apr 6, 2010, 11:20 AM   #23
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Hey Jack, thanks for the tip. I've already been reading whether the flash would be compatible with my pentax however there's is not a lot of info on that particular cullman flash. Maybe I'll measure it manually but I still find it a little scary to use
I'll try to play with the f/stop and shutter speed and hopefully get some average shots
I heard that the smc 50mm 1.7 has a sweet spot at f4, is that correct?

Since it's my birthday 16th of April I probably ask for a tripod to increase the quality of the shots somewhat. I'm thinking of the gorillapod slr zoom... since it can be used as a table tripod.. and can be used in some odd situations/place.

Are there any other tips for doing macro photography... or photography at all for that matter
I'm just new to slr's so I'm very eager to learn and improve my pictures.

Kindest regards,

Carlo
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Old Apr 6, 2010, 1:26 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by JC de Jonge View Post
Hey Jack, thanks for the tip. I've already been reading whether the flash would be compatible with my pentax however there's is not a lot of info on that particular cullman flash. Maybe I'll measure it manually but I still find it a little scary to use
I'll try to play with the f/stop and shutter speed and hopefully get some average shots
I heard that the smc 50mm 1.7 has a sweet spot at f4, is that correct?

Since it's my birthday 16th of April I probably ask for a tripod to increase the quality of the shots somewhat. I'm thinking of the gorillapod slr zoom... since it can be used as a table tripod.. and can be used in some odd situations/place.

Are there any other tips for doing macro photography... or photography at all for that matter
I'm just new to slr's so I'm very eager to learn and improve my pictures.

Kindest regards,

Carlo
Carlo,
There are probably dozens of useful tips, but when asked point-blank, nothing immediately springs to mind, best thing is to ask questions as you encounter any problem, there is a very large wealth of knowledge on this board, and members don't mind passing on their experience. Remember the only dumb questions are the ones you don't ask.

For macro tips take a look at Lord Vs advice ...

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...d.php?t=807056

Just try googling "Lord V macros", you're sure to find some very impressive work.

I'm not familiar with the gorillapod you mention, table top tripods can be a problem, a lot of them just can't cope with the weight of an SLR + lens, so that's something to consider. I'm not a lover of tripods they're somewhat cumbersome to carry, but there are situations where they're a must. an expensive item, cheap ones don't do the job.

The 50/1.7 is sweet through most of it's range, even wide open it's sharp, and improves rapidly as you stop down. In general most lenses perform best around f8-f11.

Looks like the only way to find out about the flash is to measure it manually, although there may be someone who as knowledge of that particular model.

OK got to go, family demanding attention. Enjoy ... Jack

Last edited by jachol; Apr 6, 2010 at 1:28 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old Apr 6, 2010, 2:20 PM   #25
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A very nice haul. I have no idea what the older lenses will be like, but the 300 mm f5.6 might be interesting if it's sharp. All of it (minus the flash) will be worth playing around with. And you end up with another extension tube - you'll be able to do lots of macro.

One of the reasons why I like the f1.7 over the M 1.4 is that it's sharper wide open. If you are going to be shooting macro with it you won't be using it wide open - at regular distances there's not much dof at f1.7 and when you add an extension tube it becomes miniscule, basically impractical. Use as small an aperture you can get away with.

Let us know how the other lenses work out - you may easily find a gem in the lot. Well done!

P.S. From what I've read, the gorillapod is pretty decent. I have a light-weight tabletop tripod that is useable only if I line up the camera/lens with one of the legs. That provides just enough stability to keep it from toppling over. You might want to check out tripod heads, also. And yes, a good tripod - the one that will last a long time and do the job right - is expensive. Cheap ones end up costing you more in the long run - when you discover the cheapy isn't steady enough, when the slightly more expensive one breaks, when you find the next one, a sturdy but heavy one, gathering dust because it's too heavy to carry far, then you'll realize you'd save money by buying a good one in the beginning.

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Old Apr 6, 2010, 2:57 PM   #26
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I've been looking at some 50mm 1.7 pictures and I must say they look very nice. Very sharp and very nice colors. I'm so excited to try things out... and I will surely post some results soon
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Old Apr 8, 2010, 10:43 AM   #27
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Just got back from work and my goodies were waiting at my neighbor
I've been playing with them for about 30 minutes... but I must say.... this is so much fun
I've been trying out different things.. like 50mm with teleconverter, 50mm with extension rings, 300mm with extension rings, normal lens with reversed 50mm..

Here's a sample picture of a part of the crumpler logo from my camera bag.. don't ask me where I focussed exactly I just played around

BTW are there any good tips for cleaning old lensens... the ones I bought seem to be in reasonable good state however there's some dust/dirt on either the front or rear lens or both. And are there good methods to test the quality of a lens?

Carlo
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Old Apr 8, 2010, 1:13 PM   #28
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BTW are there any good tips for cleaning old lensens... the ones I bought seem to be in reasonable good state however there's some dust/dirt on either the front or rear lens or both. And are there good methods to test the quality of a lens?

Carlo
Carlo,
A lens/sensor blower is a good start take your pick of something like these ...

http://photography.shop.ebay.co.uk/?...wer&_sacat=625

Soft camel hair lens cleaning brushes are useful too, I also use micro cellular lens cloths obtained from an optician, sold for cleaning spectacles, all should be used gently of course.
Only way I know to test lens quality is to use it, and assess it's performance from results. ... Jack.
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Old Apr 8, 2010, 2:25 PM   #29
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Make sure the aperture blades are working right - set the aperture ring to f22 (or something small), then operate the lever to open and close the blades - they should operate quickly (snap) and smoothly. If they are slow there could be oil on the blades, which makes the lens just about impossible to stop down right.
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Old Apr 8, 2010, 4:09 PM   #30
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I do have some lcd cleaning cloths.. I think I can use those also. When the aperture is set to 22 the blades open up very smooth en fast, though I don't have experience, I believe that should be ok. Also I don't see any scratches whatsoever so that's nice. However I do believe there is some dust within the lens...that isn't really harmful is it?

Thanks again for your replies
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