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Old Aug 14, 2009, 9:24 AM   #1
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Default New Lenses, lots of imgs

Here are some pictures of 3 of my latest purchases. The 4th will have to wait a while, the DA*16-50 is boxed up for exchange as I got a bad copy of it. But here's some samples from the others I bought.

DA*200 - I can't quite get this camera off f2.8 to anything smaller. Its quite sharp wide open. I haven't tried it at anything larger than f8 yet (there's only so much time I have to play during the week).

Instead of the usual first coffee cup, I shot another common item found in an office. Love the bokeh with this lens - it's quite dreamy.

K-7, DA*200 at f2.8:

Lunch time, same combination and aperture:

Flowers, I always take lots of pictures of things that grow. I never get tired of pretty flowers, wild or domesticated. Same combination:

This last one is posted because I like the picture, not because I think it adds the discussion of the lens. It was taken in shade last evening. The couple of red grapes will probably be long gone when I get home this evening - the local robins are getting fat off of my grapes. I never get any, they strip the vine just as they get ripe.

Lunch time today offered an unusual (for me) topic for photography. I tried to play a bit of the photo-journalist and while I didn't do very well, I got a chance to really appreciate the DA*300. It is incredibly sharp, probably as sharp as the 77 Ltd. I can see where I might have trouble controlling it on occasion, it's quite heavy. Here are a few hand-held shots:

The marine layer didn't burn off, so lunch-time skies were very grey. There was police activity not far from my office.

K-7, DA*300, f5.6:

The press was out in force:

My camera is set for using MTF for the program line. It tends to keep the DA*300 at f5.6.

This is a very significant crop - it's still resized down but I was not close enough for this to fill the frame. I thought the air disturbance you can see clearly was really interesting - is that heat from the tarmac or ?

You might think of the DA*300 as a lens to be used for shooting distant objects. However, it does a pretty good job with stuff that's not so distant. It can focus a whole lot closer than the D*300!

This next picture wasn't taken with a new lens - this was taken with the DA 55-300. All the way home last night I could see the evidence of the change in wind pattern. For most of the week we've been upwind of the La Brea fire, but now we are downwind of it. Here's what the sun looked like, signficantly before sunset.

Now to the DA 10-17. I'll probably use this mostly at the wide end of the zoom. This picture is a K-7 in-camera HDR picture. I used the HDR 2 mode (the stronger one). It has some halo around the tree, but it's not bad. The HDR 1 version was better that way, but I did a poor job of camera placement and had too much of the rail the camera was sitting on in the frame.

K-7, in-camera HDR, DA 10-17:

For comparison - this is a Photomatix HDR, made from 5 bracketed shots:

All three of these lenses are going to be useful additions, I love them all. Unfortunately, my camera bag is now way too small so I'm going to have to figure out something else.

For those of you who own the DA*300 - how do you carry them? It doesn't fit in the Slingshot 200 very well, certainly not mounted on the K-7.

P.S. Zenfolio was upgrading software last night and this morning, not sure whether the last picture is going to show. If not, I'll re-upload it this evening and edit the post again.

Last edited by mtngal; Aug 14, 2009 at 9:34 AM.
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Old Aug 14, 2009, 10:55 AM   #2
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Beautiful array of lenses that you already seem to have mastered! Sorry to hear about the DA*16-50 being a bad copy. I must have gotten lucky since I have no complaints with mine. The DA*300 is pretty impressive in sharpness (living up to its reputation).

The DA 10-17 is a lot of fun...just watch out for purple fringing at the edges when bright light is present.

Sounds like you'll have plenty to keep you occupied over the next several months...so enjoy!
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Old Aug 14, 2009, 12:22 PM   #3
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Well, don't keep us in suspense... what was happening to get the news and law enforcement all in a thither?

Congrats on all the new lenses Harriet, I'm extremely jealous you know.

These are all great shots but, wow, the lens distortion in #2! ...oh wait... that brick wall is supposed to be that way.

Life's a breeze on a Goldwing...
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Old Aug 14, 2009, 2:46 PM   #4
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Hi Harriet,

Congrats on your purchase!!! Quite a haul of premium lenses!!!

Very nice start on all of these!!!

I guess 3 out of 4 isn't too bad in today's lens market -- at least you have lots of new lenses to play with while waiting for the replacement 16-50 -- takes a little of the disappointment away. . .

The DA*300 is IMO, the best of the @f4 *300s optically. I chose to stick with my FA*300/4.5, but I could see that the DA* was definitely an upgrade in optics though the differences weren't huge (it's pretty hard to fault the F/FA* 300's performance).

The DA*200 looks like a special lens. I've been sorely tempted, but it's not a FL that I use a lot and I've got 4 excellent/VG lenses that cover the FL and speed (A*200/2.8, Tokina 80-200/2.8 AT-X Pro, Tamron SP 80-200/2.8 Adaptall 2, Tamron SP 180/2.5) -- unfortunately 3 of the 4 are MF, but I guess I can limp along with what I've already got. . . and I'm always hoping in the back of my mind that I'll stumble upon a cheap FA*200/4 macro . . ..

The DA* 10-17 is a great specialty lens. I don't use it as much as I should, but I find it hard to leave at home -- luckily it's small, and the zoom makes it a lot more versatile than your normal FE. My tele trained eyes and brain still have a big problem getting used to standing less than 10' away from a big building and being able to fit the whole thing in the frame -- you'll have to be especially careful on your mountain hikes with this one!

I can understand why you chose to get the 16-50. With the 50-135 and your new DA* teles, you can cover a huge FL range with WR lenses, and I think that has to be a major advantage. Fingers crossed that the replacement will be a good one, but I don't think this will be a problem.

Looks like you'll be using the K-7's excellent AF more than ever -- It'll spoil ya! Keep the post coming. . .

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Old Aug 14, 2009, 3:05 PM   #5
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Hi Harriet,

Thanks for keeping the economy humming right along! Congratulations on the new lenses! You are going to need a small wheelbarrow to haul everything around - either that or a Rocky Mountain Canary (a mule). K7, the new lenses, and the prior tripod and head. A wonderful set of new toys to keep you busy posting wonderful shots posted here to keep us all entertained.

I like the images from the 10-17. Its a specialty lens alright, but it begs for being used and certainly provides a slightly different perspective. You just have to watch out that you don't have your toes in the picture.
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Old Aug 14, 2009, 3:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Goldwinger View Post
Well, don't keep us in suspense... what was happening to get the news and law enforcement all in a thither?
GW, It was an 8 hour standoff following a car chase with a mental patient who was off his meds and being tracked by Secret Service and LAPD cars for threatening to blow up the White House. There were fears he had explosives in his VW Beetle (there weren't) - there were FBI and LAPD swat teams evacuating nearby apartment buildings and a shut down of the Federal Building in whose parking lot this all took place. He was boxed in by an armored police vehicle and several squad cars whose occupants held the offender at gunpoint from behind their open doors, and police and press helicopters circling the area - the usual circus - they had a robot device approach the car and inject tear gas four times and pepper sprayed him once all to no avail - he wouldn't come out. They finally shot his window out with bean bags and tasered him. By then he was in pretty bad shape and the paramedics hauled him off to a hospital. Following that there was the obligate press conference with Secret Service and FBI agents and LAPD police. Not that it was all an overreaction or anything like that in this security conscious day and age - just another day in LA - never a dull moment.

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Old Aug 14, 2009, 4:38 PM   #7
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Jelpee - I don't think it's so much that you got lucky, as that I was unlucky. There's far more excellent copies of this lens out there than there are defective ones.

GW - penolta gave you the run-down on the police/press activity. My office is not far from the Federal building. It sure tied up traffic along the street that was closed. What amazed me was that while I was there taking pictures, I can't tell you how many people tried to turn into the road, even though it was obviously blocked off by police vehicles, with officers standing both in the road and along the sidewalk.

That second picture is one of my favorites - the girl is very sharp but the bench isn't that far in front of the brick wall. The OOF bricks give that picture a 3D effect, almost. It convinced me that the DA*200 is one of those special lenses that has that little bit extra. I knew it was a good lens when I tried it last week, but didn't quite realize that it had that undefinable something that makes a lens stand out from the rest. I'm now very glad I opted for it instead of one of the 70-200 f2.8 zooms. I have been seriously missing something around 180-200, and while the DA 55-300 handles that range competently, I wanted something more. My other two lenses that cover 200 (DA 50-200 and Kiron 80-200) are broken. If I had your lens line-up, Scott, I probably wouldn't get it either (though I'd still want it).

The weather sealing was the deciding factor with the DA*16-50. It'll be so nice to have this winter while snowshoeing. I thought long and hard before pushing the checkout button, but a combination of the rebate with the K-7 purchase along with the weather sealing made it really my only logical choice.

The fish-eye was a no-brainer. I got tired of envying all of the fish eye pictures posted here. Finally gave up so I can play with one too.
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Old Aug 14, 2009, 6:24 PM   #8
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Very nice shots and lenses I want to buy the DA 12-24 but seems like the price is through the roof now.
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Old Aug 14, 2009, 6:29 PM   #9
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Very impressive, Harriet. Congratulations. I hadn't seen the news today about the story. Never managed to get out of the building at lunch. And, had to come straight home.

Some day I'll be to the point of buying nice lenses like yours. In the meantime.......

But, I really, really like your samples here today. I think I really like the fisheye shots best. I know it's not a lens you'd use all the time, but they do such interesting things.

I've only taken one shot with mine so far. Might go out later if it cools down a little. But, definitely this weekend.

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Old Aug 14, 2009, 8:16 PM   #10
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I love the sample pics, especially the fisheye. I can tell, that lens is going to be a lot of fun. I'm envious of all your new lenses.

Your big news story reminds me of an incident in this area several years ago. I'm a member of a hazardous materials emergency response team and 5 or 6 years ago we were called to the federal building in Burlington Vermont because someone had sent an envelope containing white powder to the federal prosecutor's office. It turned out to be a powdered illegal drug, but it posed no danger if it came in contact with the skin, or if small amounts were breathed in. But here's the good part: the criminal who sent it moved far away from Vermont, but he put his return address on the envelope! Before we had even finished our work inside the building, FBI agents in Airzona had arrested the sender.
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