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Old Apr 22, 2010, 11:06 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Trojansoc View Post
"Dear, if I have the perfect lenses, the photos I take of you will just make your beauty jump out. " or try "When I'm shooting photos of a perfect subject, I just want the lenses to be up to the task of capturing that beauty." If neither of those lines work, BEG !
Whaha I will definitely try them.. but I'm afraid she isn't too sensitive about such words... she always knows what I'm up to and she's only 19... Guess I will have some tough coming years
Hopefully I can get her as excited about photography as I am so she'll get addicted too

But as many of you have said already, I should first get familiar with the lenses I currently own.. and create a decent set of skills and knowledge
Still I would love to have a bit more range in my set... for example yesterday I saw some lovely baby gooses with their mum and dad.. but I was too far away to get a nice close up... but it was so cute though.
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Old Apr 23, 2010, 11:34 PM   #12
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most used would be the f4 DA* 300mm, followed by the fisheye 10-17, then my old manual f1.7 50mm and seeing as I dont have a macro I make do with my Pentax 80-320 zoom on a 2x converter with the glass removed
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Old Apr 25, 2010, 3:19 AM   #13
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Jim - I really like your way of thinking ! (And I will use Paul's lines on my wife next time a complaint is aired - though I have mainly funded my purchases to date by selling some of the vast quantity of golf clubs I had and old cameras sitting in the closet)

Paul - you are very astute. New camera equals instant LBA. Though Harriet's words are surely true I'm afraid that I've found buying a new lens (on EBay or via the 'market' sections of forums) to be great fun, the delicious anticipation of waiting for the lens to arrive and then the 'child with a new toy at Xmas' delight when actually getting to attach it to the camera and pore over the photos taken with it ..... and checking out some of the fantastic shots with it by others. Learning how they achieved those shots has become a major part of my educational process.

Jan - Sales of unused golf gear (in the main) meant I have bought 8 lenses in the first 3 months of owning the camera (I bought 'body only' so I could get the lenses I really wanted). 2 or 3 of those will be sold, for one reason or another, to fund another 2 or 3 lenses (more than likely M42 lenses so not expensive) to complete (cough cough) what will be the perfect set for me ....... for now

What I have found so far is that I can not suffer a lens that isn't sharp, preferably sharp enough to cut yourself on ! And the bokeh has become very important too. I've found myself evaluating the OOF areas of shots almost as much as the subject. Looking at the shapes different numbers of aperture blades and their shape, make on different lenses.

I can see why Harriet has a different set-up depending on what type of photography she intends to do that day. They say that you tend to veer towards one style or branch of photography however I have found that I enjoy macro / street / nature / portraiture almost as much as each other - just depends on my mood and opportunity.

Paul - I also thought that because of my poor eyesight that MF lenses would be difficult for me but although there are situations where AF is infinitely preferable there are also those where I can take my time and gain much satisfaction from a successful MF lens shot. Currently I seem to be using MF about 50 - 60% of the time. Key to that has been the x2 right angle finder (though I admit that it is a new item and I may get bored with it eventually).
Now I am of a mind to buy a KatzEye split prism focus screen to aide me further in that regard - I believe Harriet has one ? Copious amounts of research seem to indicate that focus with the KatzEye really 'snaps into place' and is a great help to people with dubious eye-sight using MF lenses. I would love to hear more of anyone's experience with this aide if they have one.

Last edited by Frogfish; Apr 25, 2010 at 3:24 AM.
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Old Apr 25, 2010, 10:34 AM   #14
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Sorry, I never got around to buying a Katz-Eye or other split screen, I don't usually have much problem manually focusing my lenses - they are all either really sharp or fast or both.
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Old Apr 26, 2010, 4:50 AM   #15
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and you have good eyesight
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Old Apr 26, 2010, 10:51 AM   #16
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Not really - I wear contacts for distance and bifocals for mid-distance (computer work) and reading. Without the contacts I wear glasses that are bifocals that skip the mid-distance. My eyesight keeps getting worse when it comes to close-up stuff. Luckily that's not what is important when looking through the viewfinder, mainly distance vision. The dioper adjustment is set for my distant vision so I can shoot regardless of whether I'm wearing glasses or contacts.
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Old Apr 26, 2010, 11:42 AM   #17
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what is a 'KatzEye split prism focus screen' and a 'x2 right angle finder ' used for? Sorry for my ignorance.

Well I just got some more goodies, my most used lenses are:

(NOT IN ANY PARTICULAR ORDER!)


---Landscapes-
Pentax 18-55 AL II, (weather proof and surprisingly sharp for a kit lens. i love portrait style landscape shots with this lens)

Sigma 70-300 (mainly for distant mountain shots at the 70mm range to still get a You'd be surprised how wide the 70mm wide open is, though it requires some sharpening

Tamron 28-200 ( great walk around lens, works well with multi layered landscapes such as foreground grass/middle lake/mountain backdrop etc. kind of shots because I can get the right dialed in settings to even out the composition and still get wide enough/close enough in.

(as you can see I dont have a really good wide angle landscape lens or low light landscape lens. I probably would benefit highly from one.


---Macros-

For handheld insects, the Sigma 70-300mm seems to work well as I can be as close as a meter and as far out as a stones throw reach to still get ------decent magnification.

For very smooth smooth Bokah on flowers I really like the SMC 28mm 2.8. It isnt very sharp at 2.8 so i have to stop down once or twice, though it is good in difficult light.

I have a SMC 40-80mm Macro that I use quite a bit too. It isnt as wide of an angle as the 28mm 2.8 obviously and not as good in low light but can give me a much wider range for various macro shots ( though not very up close, I think about 1:4 at max) It does produce fine results.


Though I havent got around to trying this yet, I am thinking my extension tube + 55mm 1.8 lens might be a nice combo for macro shots as well. (ffrom what ive seen from others here, who inspired me to buy the tubes)


----For low light shots, the 55mm 1.8 is my goto lens.



-----For portrait shots, I really like the Sigma 135mm 2.8, vivitar 135mm 2.8 and the Focal 135mm 2.8. They both look about the same IQ, a tad soft at 2.8 but still excellent lenses and very sharp when stopped down a bit. Great low light lenses. I plan on selling two of these and just keepin one but would like to keep bthem a bit longer to compare closer.


tamron 28-200mm
I didnt buy this as a portrait lens, but for a AF, zoom lens it works well for portraits as the portrait shots are where this lens shines in its focal range. (70-150mm) It allows me to get good composition quickly with little movement so that I can focus on surrounding lighting and where the best spot for subject and me to stand. This is also a versatile lens, so I also use it as a walk around lens to capture architecture/landscapes and some wildlife if I come across and its in range. Great buy for 100 IMO



---Telephoto Lenses

Sigma 70-300mm, my main bird zoom lens
tamron 28-200mm
Soligor 75-260 ( Im liking this lens also even tho it covers similar range of my tamron


I've been trying to start using more prime lenses(For IQ) for wildlife shooting. Im new to prime telephoto lenses, so I'm still in process of learning how to perfect a technique.

But, my new toys are:

500mm F5.6 (cant remember brand, but its definitely not an A class lens)
rexatar auto 300mm f4
carl zeiss 200mm 2.8
soligar 300mm f 5.5
pentax 200 3.5

I really like the carl zeiss 200mm 2.8 the most but the other 200mm's I have are surprisingly nice as well.. Just about as good stopped down. Hard to tell whether I should keep the nice, expensive Carl Zeiss for myself or sell it and keep the very usable, inexpensive ones. Decisions decisions..

I know i have quite a bit of overlap, esp. with these prime lenses but its hard to buy a lens based on its numbers on paper, and for the prices paid I'd figure I'd give em hands on experience to narrow down keepers. I made the mistake of going against Mtngal's advice of not buying a crap ton of lenses at once, which seems obvious to me now but I was able to get all these lenses really cheap and I intend on reselling the ones I do not use. (which is going to be about 25 lenses) So I'll mostly likely make back more than I spent, luckily enough. Im getting really into macro shooting more and more and would like a dedicated macro but I think a WA lens will come next.

Last edited by NMRecording; Apr 26, 2010 at 11:47 AM.
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Old Apr 26, 2010, 12:10 PM   #18
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Interesting Harriet. I wear contacts for distance which means I need reading glasses when wearing them. So now when shooting I leave the right contact lens out and the dioper tweaked, so I spot my shot with the left then when I put my camera to my eye (or use Live View) I use my right eye to focus. Weird I know but it seems to work OK !
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Old Apr 26, 2010, 12:28 PM   #19
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Frogfish, please tell me if I am mis-using Live view. I see this as a gimmick and don't ever use it. Sliding the power switch over to live view is a gesture that is nearly impossible to NOT budge the camera so almost every shot with it used adds a blurred motion from the camera moving, even when tripod mounted. This seems like a moronic way of initiating live view, as its much easier to click the shutter button and delete it rather than firmly hold the camera in place with one hand and ever so slightly move the power switch over. If it was a button opposed to a spring loaded slider, it wouldnt result in the camera wanting to move so much.

Is this not how live view works? It seems 1000 times easier to snap the pic and decide if its garbage rather than use live view and hope you get a semi decent non blurred photo. I know it IS used for reference, but when Live view works the same way as taking a photograph, only requiring a harder to use method of snapping the image, it seems completely useless. no?
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Old Apr 26, 2010, 12:30 PM   #20
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NMR - ha ha that's lot of lenses in a short period of time, your case of LBA is FAR worse than mine. Rabid LBA in fact ! However I am of the same mind as you - if you can pick up a bargain and offload it for around the same if you don't find it a keeper then why not ?

KatzEye is a focusing screen: http://www.katzeyeoptics.com/

Right Angle Finder : is very useful as the eyepiece rotates so you don't have to bend your head when shooting vertically and also you can shoot with your head down (which helps in not alerting your subjects when you are shooting street). It magnifies the viewfinder up to x3.3 in some cases. Mine is a x2 which I think is plenty.

A few months ago I didn't know what these were either but I saw Harriet mention the KatzEye once and the RAF was purchased to aid focusing due to my poor eyesight (especially with macro).
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