Tagged: Pentax 35mm

Dual Personalities



We seem to have quite a few residences that look like these.  I have never seen this before.  Where I came from the association, city, and county ordinances didn’t allow this.

I used these pictures today since they represent my personal situation relative to cameras.  I’m still trying to make the most of my excellent Pentax DSLR and lenses.  That comes from my rational side that says to make the most of what you have.  But, the other side of me keeps desiring a small, light-weight, film size, quiet, rangefinder style camera with small lenses with effective focal lengths of 35, 50, and 75mm, and a good viewfinder.

After finding out that my Pentax 35mm f/2.4 lens back focuses, and after noticing the big increases in the price of Pentax lenses, I’m uncertain as to what I’m going to do.  These price increases are in addition to previous big increases for some lenses.  Most U.S. dealers also have many Pentax lenses on back order.  These changes might affect what I buy and what I photograph in the future (most of my projects are lens dependent).

I’m back to considering a prime 35mm f/1.8 lens for the Sony NEX-6 and using it for photography inside buildings, around people, on travel, and walking the streets; but that will depend upon how good the lens is and it looks like I will need to buy it to try it.  My biggest reluctance in doing this is that it increases my investment in the NEX system.  I like the NEX-6 camera but I find that it is lacking in quality lenses.  So far, from what I have read, the 35mm lens is supposed to be pretty good but they don’t have a good prime lens around 50mm … they have one but it has a poor reputation.

Because of this lens situation, along with my preference to use just one camera, I was considering using prime lenses on my K-5, but I’m uncertain about the situation with future Pentax equipment.  I was also considering replacing the NEX-6 with a Pentax K-30, but I have put that idea on hold.  In the meanwhile I have ordered a Sony 35mm lens to try with the NEX-6.

Now you know why I feel like those houses look.

Working through the Fog … Prime vs. Zoom Lenses

121225-073000_Plum Creek

I used my 55 – 300mm Pentax zoom lens set at 107.5mm, f/5.6, ISO = 400, and 1/200 sec. to take the above picture.  This was a clear case where I needed the zoom’s focal length to reach across the pond.  The conditions were also such that I didn’t want to be changing lenses while out in the field.  Conditions like this, along with the potential of seeing wildlife, have made this lens one of my favorites except for when it isn’t.

There are many situations when the 55 – 300mm f/4-5.8 zoom is not my preferred lens.  These are when I find it too heavy to carry long distances, when I desire greater image quality such as sharpness, when I desire a faster lens, and when I’m working among people who don’t like to be “shot with a cannon.”  For those times, I prefer to use a prime lens.  I will occasionally use my 18 – 55mm zoom lens, but not often.  I don’t like the quality of the images as well as those taken with a prime lens so I generally only use the 18 – 55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens during inclement weather since it is weather resistant as is my K-5 camera.

But, the decision process of which lens to use is sometimes foggy since I can’t see into the future.  My preference when going out to take pictures is to decide which lens I’ll need before I go and then put it on the camera and not take any other lenses.  I usually manage with my decision, but not always.  I have three prime lenses for the Pentax K-5 … the 21mm f/3.2 (on order), the 35mm f/2.4, and the 50mm f/1.8, which give me effective focal lengths of 31.5, 52.5, & 75mm.  A big difference between Pentax and Nikon or Canon is that Pentax decided to produce small light-weight primes rather than fast primes; therefore, the Pentax primes are lighter and create a more discreet camera-lens combination than its competitors.  I love the smaller, lighter size of the system when using primes, but I still have to decide which one to use.  I try to error on a slightly wider focal length than I think I’ll need since I can then crop-zoom to get the composition desired.

I’m going to change my setup in order to decrease the chances of having the wrong lens with me.  If I know that the odds are high that I might need different lenses, I’m going to start taking a camera bag with an extra lens or two in it.  I have mostly avoided this in the past since I didn’t want to carry any more weight than necessary.  Since my circumstances have changed … my back is doing better and the weight isn’t as much of a problem, and I’m not out in the field for long periods of time any more … I am going to take a bag and multiple lenses.  But, this also means that I need to get familiar with changing lenses while out in the field.  I’ll let you know how it works for me and tell you a little about my bag setup as well as different strap arrangements at some later date.  My desire is to work the kinks out and have my techniques perfected before spring so that I can concentrate on taking pictures.

BTW … if you aren’t using prime lenses, try them.  I really prefer the image quality, the lower weight, and greater ease of carrying a more discreet system.  I’m looking forward to my new 21mm prime lens and will use my primes more than my zooms if I take less wildlife pictures.