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Old Nov 22, 2009, 12:35 PM   #1
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Default An Unfair Comparison

Last night I went out to shoot the sunset using Camelback Mountain as a a background prop primary with the 12-24 on the K20. However, I brought along my new acquisition the FA 31 f1.8 Limited to try out. So the K20 with the 12-24 was setup on the tripod with the L bracket and the wired remote with the 2 second mirror lockup at ISO 100 and set at f8 with the distance so as to get everything nice and sharp.

The 31 on the otherhand as a last moment bring it along was on the K100 for the first time - as I had been playing around with it on the K20. As the sun went down, I felt I had to move the ISO to 400, so I could get what ever I was going to get at dusk. Shot the 31 handheld - and especially the stitched panorama shots were just eyeballed. Plus, I was futzing with the lens in and out of automatic mode - so it was a learning experience...

I'll leave it to you to figure out what was what....

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Old Nov 22, 2009, 12:36 PM   #2
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... and some more
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 12:37 PM   #3
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... and another
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 6:10 PM   #4
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The first and last are outstanding - the middle one has wonderful color but a bit of camera shake, I think. In any case, they are all really good. Still can't believe how lucky you were with the 31 deal.
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 7:03 PM   #5
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Hi Harriet, The last 2 were stitched from up to 4 single images using the 31 on the K100 and were all handheld. Tonight, I am going to swap and put the 31 on the K20 with the tripod and everything.

I really still can not believe how all of this turned out. I was looking at the images and the 31 even with the shake and all, had wonderful additional definition - and the colors the lenses have are really wonderful. I have been going for the big overall perspective, however looking at the images this morning, there is just as much interest in the more subtle items, that I have tended to overlooked in the past.

I can tell you in all honesty, that the 31 was a total and absolute surprise. I was planning on doing a comparison at 20mm of the 12-24, 16-45 and the 21 to see what it showed.

I was running 6 seconds on the 12-24 @f8 ISO 100 and 1/8 of a second at ISO400 f??? on the 31. I do have to say that having a fast lens does have advantages, but 50 has been to narrow for me in the past.

The first image should be good, as it had all of the advantages. The last 2 were just plain dumb luck, since I had not figured everything out on the 31's aperture yet - somewhat of making it up as I went along. Tonight I want to try to put everything together and see how it goes. Its going to be an absolutely clear cloudless sunset....

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Old Nov 22, 2009, 8:02 PM   #6
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i've been thinking about the 31 - i want to build up a nice set of fast primes i've got a 24mm f2.8, 50mm f1.4 ,90mm f2.8, so would like something int he mid 30's - 31 just seems a little short the 35mm macro looks like a great lens but for a standard lens the autofocus is too slow i think since its got no focus limiter

anyway nice images - cant wait to see the fa31 mounted on the tripod - hope the weather obliges again =)
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Old Nov 23, 2009, 6:49 AM   #7
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Great to see that great little lens in such capable hands. Hope you continue to enjoy it (and we get to enjoy the results)!
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Old Nov 24, 2009, 9:28 PM   #8
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Very Nicely Done!!!
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Old Nov 26, 2009, 1:48 PM   #9
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Well, I am finding that the better the lens, the more care and skill one needs. Here is the first panorama that I have put together that is not garbage (because of my own failings - not the lens nor camera), that is even presentable. Focusing on the 31 is critical, and is not as forgiving as any of my other lenses. This is off the K20 with the FA31/1.8 Ltd at f2.8, ISO 100 and at 0.4 sec across all 8 images. On a tripod, in portrait, 2 second mirror up with a wired remote. Everything is untouched, just converted to jpg for stitching.

Not happy with the sky, but it was dark and I am probably pushing the light levels here. The lens does vignette at f1.8 hence my going to f2.8 to try to get out of the envelope. I also got a late start, so missed the actual sunset, and this was just catching whatever was available. Also, I see I am probably only using about a 10% overlap.

My previous attempts did not get the focusing right and had a couple of other operator problems. Also, I am using Autostitch, and probably pushing it to its limit due to the darkness of the subject matter.
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Old Nov 26, 2009, 10:31 PM   #10
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It would be hard to get the light values to all match up in such a situation - a very difficult situation. But I really like it.

When you say the focus is critical (well, it is with any lens that has a small DOF) - is it that the lens isn't focusing properly? I find that my FA 77 Ltd is more accurate with its focus than my DA*50-135 (which has always backfocused a bit, not enough to really pin down when shooting charts but enough that it shows up occasionally and is most noticeable when I'm shooting comparison shots and being extra-careful about what I'm focusing on).
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