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Thread: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

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    Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Well
    I've spent much too long anguishing about lens quality, pixel peeping and worrying. I've torture tested lenses, taken them back, taken back the replacements, wondered about selling the whole lot, and then fallen in love all over again.

    Recently I've kind of decided that it's the primes that really work, and the zooms just aren't really up to it. The 18-135 has taken a back seat - exacerbated by the excoriating photozone review . . . and the fact that some simple brick wall tests bore out their results.

    Today I thought I'd just go out and shoot with the 18-135 and try to get the BEST out of it, rather than fighting with it. Nothing cushy, just trying to make the best of it rather than the worst.

    The only torment I arranged was to bring the Leica X1, and to do some comparisons for landscape shots around f5.6 at the equivalent focal length - just to get that out of the way, the 18-135 on the K5, at f5.6 and 24mm is just as good as the X1 at f5.6 (independent 'couldn't care less' witness is my lovely wife - she thought the K5 shots looked slightly sharper). As one might expect, the dynamic range is quite a different issue.

    The conclusion I came to is that the 18-135 is really a fine walkabout lens - it's not wonderful at 135mm at the edges (but the centre's fine), the wider end really is quite good stopped down . . . actually, it's excellent. There's quite a large curvature of field, which generally speaking works to your benefit for landscape work (where the immediate foreground is likely to be close to you).

    Just to really get a measure of things, I also took some shots with the M9 with the 28 'cron. The difference was pretty obvious (but not the difference between a worthwhile shot and not).

    Caspar would probably call all this anguising p1ss1ng into the wind:


    and he might be right.











    Obviously, the primes are a better bet, but the conclusion I've come to is that this nicely made wide ranging zoom is a great lens - it clearly does have some shortcomings, but if you shoot with those in mind, then you really don't have to make too many compromises.

    The other conclusion I've come to is that if you really want to find the bad points in lenses - then you will be able to, they all have them. . . . Even if it's just that they're too expensive

    ps - for those wondering about 'rape' - the yellow crop is called oil seed rape in the UK - I guess it might be called canola in some places, but I'm not sure.
    Last edited by jonoslack; 1st May 2011 at 14:32. Reason: Clarifying Rape

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Yes, and US food manufacturers use tons of "canola" rape seed oil. It was originally used as a fuel and is not good for you. Try to avoid it in the foods you eat.

    http://www.hbci.com/~wenonah/new/canola.htm

    I have found some zooms to be quite good and very useful - the Canon 17-40L, 24-105L and 70-300 IS L are workhorses for me.

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    Yes, and US food manufacturers use tons of "canola" rape seed oil. It was originally used as a fuel and is not good for you. Try to avoid it in the foods you eat.

    http://www.hbci.com/~wenonah/new/canola.htm
    Hi Brad
    No idea what it's used for here - certainly not in any of the food I eat!
    Looks pretty though.

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    You are right on about the primes, as that is the road i went, with the 18-135 the only zoom, but i rarely use it. Most times its the 77 or the 43, even though i have the 31 hanging around waiting for a shot. It just feels like it makes you more aware of what you want in the shot if you have to zoom with your feet.
    Joe

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Hi there Jono,

    I just don't get it: I thought that the Pentax was really wonderful for its WR zooms and perhaps the odd macro or tele lens.
    At least that's the way I see it and the reason for having a K5 delivered to me shortly => Update: GOT IT !
    As for normal and wide primes, surely you (and I) have the right stuff already, right ?
    Therefore the Pentax to me is going to be my primary AWRWA system.

    Now I only need to find some AWR gear for myself.
    However, looking at the weather forecast, I'm not in a hurry yet ...

    And your 18-135 shots posted here are looking every bit the part !

    All the very best.
    Last edited by Knorp; 2nd May 2011 at 02:52. Reason: Got it !
    Bart ...

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Jono

    Where have you been?!

    Fantastic shots. I agree about the 18-135mm. OK, there are probably 'better' zooms out there and possibly for better value for money but I have been happy with most of my shots. I agree that the wide end is really very good, so much so that I wonder if I need to bother with a wide prime, given the relatively bad press that the 15mm and even 21mm sometimes gets.

    I have had some 'softness', especially taking shots of things a few feet away with the zoom in the middle of the range but then until recently the weather has been pretty dull, so maybe high ISO and low shutter speeds are to blame. I have recently calibrated it to +5 and it seems better, though perhaps is now softer at 135mm.

    That 43mm is really something special though!

    Lee

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Hi Jono,
    what I dont understand: the midrange zoom might be the most used lens of a system for many. How can a manufacturer not pay moire attention to get this lens (16-50) right???

    So where does the leave the K5-system?
    The smallest? but still nice built optical viewfinder DSLR with a nice walkaround (18-135) zoom in a weather sealed package.
    Also the option for nice and small primes (ltd.) - but i this case not weathersealed and kind of slow lenses.
    And two tele zooms which are pretty nice and pretty small (and pretty expensive) compared to other brands.
    Nice DR and colors from the camera.

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Quote Originally Posted by ecsh View Post
    You are right on about the primes, as that is the road i went, with the 18-135 the only zoom, but i rarely use it. Most times its the 77 or the 43, even though i have the 31 hanging around waiting for a shot. It just feels like it makes you more aware of what you want in the shot if you have to zoom with your feet.
    Joe
    HI Joe
    Fine - but as Bart says below, it makes no sense to me to do that - if I want to zoom with my feet, I can do that with the M9, and AF is unnecessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knorp View Post
    Hi there Jono,

    I just don't get it: I thought that the Pentax was really wonderful for its WR zooms and perhaps the odd macro or tele lens.
    At least that's the way I see it and the reason for having a K5 delivered to me shortly => Update: GOT IT !
    Congratulations - I'm sure you'll love it (just don't compare tooooo closely with an M9 with a 50 'lux!).

    Quote Originally Posted by Knorp View Post
    As for normal and wide primes, surely you (and I) have the right stuff already, right ?
    Therefore the Pentax to me is going to be my primary AWRWA system.

    Now I only need to find some AWR gear for myself.
    However, looking at the weather forecast, I'm not in a hurry yet ...

    And your 18-135 shots posted here are looking every bit the part !

    All the very best.
    Well, as you say, we have other routes to fine primes, but the real point of my post is that a lens is good for you - if it's good for what you use it for!

    In brick wall tests, the 16-50 did better than the 18-135, but in the 'real' world it didn't do nearly as well.

    I can identify the shortcomings that photozone shows in my copy of the 18-135, but in my use, the edges aren't so important at 135mm, but it is important to get sharp corners at 18mm (but not wide open). I was very surprised how it did in a comparison with the X1 at 24mm and f5.6.

    So, as you say, it's for A WR mid zoom, an occasional macro (mostly with the 35mm), and an occasional tele (and here, I'm wondering whether I need the 16-50, or whether I could do with the humble 55-300 - which seems to have good reports).

    Thank you for bringing me to my senses!

    all the best

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphie View Post
    Jono

    Where have you been?!
    Hi Lee
    I was working in Holland last week - and I've also been trying to rescue the garden from becoming completely overgrown!


    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphie View Post
    Fantastic shots. I agree about the 18-135mm. OK, there are probably 'better' zooms out there and possibly for better value for money but I have been happy with most of my shots. I agree that the wide end is really very good, so much so that I wonder if I need to bother with a wide prime, given the relatively bad press that the 15mm and even 21mm sometimes gets.
    I think you're probably right about the wide prime - as I said, I compared the 18-135 with the X1 and was not disappointed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphie View Post
    I have had some 'softness', especially taking shots of things a few feet away with the zoom in the middle of the range but then until recently the weather has been pretty dull, so maybe high ISO and low shutter speeds are to blame. I have recently calibrated it to +5 and it seems better, though perhaps is now softer at 135mm.
    It seems to me to do pretty well for what I want (I like it for close up too). My calibration attempts seem to make things worse in most cases. I know have a blanket +2, which seems to work really well!


    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphie View Post
    That 43mm is really something special though!

    Lee
    yes - but not for me (see discussion with Bart above) - in those circumstances I'd be bolting the 75 f2 on to the M9 - I don't need to duplicate that situation (although, I think that is what Ashwin is doing).

    all the best

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Hi Tom
    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    Hi Jono,
    what I dont understand: the midrange zoom might be the most used lens of a system for many. How can a manufacturer not pay moire attention to get this lens (16-50) right???
    Well, the lens won the AP lens of the year award in 2009 - lots of people love it, maybe, I've been unlucky (I had a similar debacle with the Nikon 17-55 a few years ago). Maybe it's just my use of it which finds the weak spot.

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    So where does the leave the K5-system?
    The smallest? but still nice built optical viewfinder DSLR with a nice walkaround (18-135) zoom in a weather sealed package.
    Also the option for nice and small primes (ltd.) - but i this case not weathersealed and kind of slow lenses.
    And two tele zooms which are pretty nice and pretty small (and pretty expensive) compared to other brands.
    Nice DR and colors from the camera.
    Well, that sounds like quite a lot to me! As I say, my experience with the 16-50 doesn't seem to be typical, and, to be honest, if I were shooting it for a wedding I don't think I'd have found any problems at all.

    all the best

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Well, the lens won the AP lens of the year award in 2009 - lots of people love it, maybe, I've been unlucky (I had a similar debacle with the Nikon 17-55 a few years ago). Maybe it's just my use of it which finds the weak spot.
    Change of brick wall perhaps, Jono ?


    On a serious note: against all odds I too opted for the DA*16-50 and its longer sibling the DA*50-135.
    And for the heck of it and because I like chrome: the FA77.
    That will do I suppose.

    Oh well, we'll see but I'll definitely not taking the brick wall route ...
    Promised !

    Kind regards.
    Bart ...

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    I ordered the 18-135 today and should receive it in two days. The Photozone review trashed the 18-135, but the photos that I am seeing on this site and others as well, tell me that the lens isn't that bad. In any event, the 18-135 was one of the lenses I originally wanted to get when I first got the K5. I'm finally getting one after trying out half a dozen other lenses. Hoping it will be a keeper!
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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Amuzing stuff, Jono. I just don't get on with the "normal zoom" thing. I'd much rather use a nice fast normal lens any time. I do find an ultrawide zoom and a medium to long zoom useful, the latter only once in a bit.

    But I like the rape photos. I have a panorama I took of rape fields taken near Loughboro in about 1999 or so hanging in my office. Made it by stitching three frames taken with a Contax Tix on Fuji F100 film. Wonder if I can find the negs anywhere ... I could do a better job of it now. ;-)

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Excellent green/blue/yellows, Jono. Some of them would make an excellent triptych.

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    ...In brick wall tests, the 16-50 did better than the 18-135, but in the 'real' world it didn't do nearly as well.
    ...
    This sounds as it could have to do something with slight focus problems as well.
    Specially the medium distances are the area where I still find the K5 AF unreliable and where I get many "ok-but not great shots".
    I dont know whats going on. They dont look really out of focus but they are very slightly out of focus. And they are only that little bit out of focus that you do not mention when taking the image.

    Yesterday I tried again to give the K5 a chance in the garden shooting some portraits with the 70/2.4.
    Out of 30 images most where ok, but only few were spot on.
    Besides the AF which seems not accurate also the metering is far worse than Nikon metering. Sorry-have to say it.
    I might do one final comparison between the Nikon and the Pentax and if that prooves what I see in dayly images the Pentax will be for sale.
    It feels good, I really like the damped sound, the small primes are nice but thats not enough IMO. Reliable metering, reliable AF is one of the reasons why I would use a DSLR.

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post

    Yesterday I tried again to give the K5 a chance in the garden shooting some portraits with the 70/2.4.
    Out of 30 images most where ok, but only few were spot on.
    What shutter speeds were you using?
    Have you calibrated the lens for fine AF adjustment?

    Lee

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Screw the lens worrying. I want to live where you live!

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphie View Post
    What shutter speeds were you using?
    Have you calibrated the lens for fine AF adjustment?

    Lee
    It is not shake, shutter times were short.
    I tried to calibrate the 70 - but I dont know if its really optimized.
    I somewhat feel that if I calibrate it at 1,5m distance that that doesnt necessarly mean it works great at al distances.
    My problem is that I do not see a consistent logical fault/problem, I just find that I get too many shots which are slightly out of focus and I am running out of energy to further expand analyses.
    Is it the focus point being (how much?) biggher than indicated in the viewfinder and me focusing on the wrong point? Is lens fine calibration? or is it just less accurate AF? (And if I assume right than a 16MP sensor in DX size compared to a 12MP sensor in ff -size means the AF of the first system needs to work more accurate plus the AF-sensor-size compared to the sensor size for DX is quite a bit larger...all this might effect the result as well)

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    It is not shake, shutter times were short.
    I tried to calibrate the 70 - but I dont know if its really optimized.
    I somewhat feel that if I calibrate it at 1,5m distance that that doesnt necessarly mean it works great at al distances.
    My problem is that I do not see a consistent logical fault/problem, I just find that I get too many shots which are slightly out of focus and I am running out of energy to further expand analyses.
    Is it the focus point being (how much?) biggher than indicated in the viewfinder and me focusing on the wrong point? Is lens fine calibration? or is it just less accurate AF? (And if I assume right than a 16MP sensor in DX size compared to a 12MP sensor in ff -size means the AF of the first system needs to work more accurate plus the AF-sensor-size compared to the sensor size for DX is quite a bit larger...all this might effect the result as well)
    Hi There Tom
    I must say, if I had an S2 and an M9 I don't think I'd have much time for the K5 either.
    Still - I'm not getting too many shots out of focus.
    Incidentally, the problem with the 16-50 really was different - I had one memorable portrait shot of a tree trunk at f5.6 taken from about 20 ft away looking straight at it - the middle was pin sharp, as was the top, the bottom was completely soft - very strange.

    Back to 'normal'. There is no question that the focus point is much bigger than it looks - (but the K5 isn't alone in this - it's also true of the D700). I've found that it does mean that on an angled subject the point of most contrast may not be the point in the middle.

    The other issue is that when you pixel peep your D700, you're looking at a larger part of the image (but of course you know to take this into account).

    I did lots of work fiddling with calibration for different lenses, but in the end I settled for +2 overall, and that does seem to do the trick most of the time.

    Do you find that it's mostly backfocus or frontfocus issues (or, indeed, that the subject is just blurred?).

    all the best

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    ...
    Do you find that it's mostly backfocus or frontfocus issues (or, indeed, that the subject is just blurred?).

    all the best
    Hi Jono,
    it seems to be most often front focus issues, and I feel it happens more often at medium to long distances (>2-3meters). Shorter distances (1-1,5meters) seem pretty good.

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Quote Originally Posted by mathomas View Post
    Screw the lens worrying. I want to live where you live!
    Hi there
    Well, it's very nice and rural, and it's gorgeous in the springtime, but it's really pretty flat around here, and the UK weather isn't the best in the world.

    The grass is certainly greener on this side of the hill, but the sea certainly isn't bluer! and the hills are nothing like as hilly

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Amuzing stuff, Jono. I just don't get on with the "normal zoom" thing. I'd much rather use a nice fast normal lens any time. I do find an ultrawide zoom and a medium to long zoom useful, the latter only once in a bit.

    But I like the rape photos. I have a panorama I took of rape fields taken near Loughboro in about 1999 or so hanging in my office. Made it by stitching three frames taken with a Contax Tix on Fuji F100 film. Wonder if I can find the negs anywhere ... I could do a better job of it now. ;-)
    HI Godfrey - Loughborough indeed!
    Rape is very photogenic, but one can have too much of it, and the smell's a bit of an acquired taste as well.

    I don't want to use zooms all the time, but when I just go out to exercise me and the dog it's sometimes nice to have one lens to cover all I need. The 18-135 does do that (as Jim has discovered), but it's more satisfying if one plays to it's strengths. Other days and it's nice to go out with just one lens (usually a 28 or a 50 on an M9).

    all the best

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi there
    Well, it's very nice and rural, and it's gorgeous in the springtime, but it's really pretty flat around here, and the UK weather isn't the best in the world.

    The grass is certainly greener on this side of the hill, but the sea certainly isn't bluer! and the hills are nothing like as hilly
    OK, I feel better now

    Nice shots of a beautiful countryside.

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Received my 18-135 from Amazon today. Very nice construction (as it should be for a $490 lens). Only took two photos so far, and focus seems to be good. Whether or not it ultimately gives me good IQ, I gotta say one thing -- this lens is QUIET! And it auto focuses FAST!

    Out of all the lenses I tried so far on the K5 (DA15, DA21, FA35, FA43, FA100, Tamron 17-50 and Sigma 17-50), this is THE fastest and quietest lens. Of course, out of those other seven lens, only the Sigma was a HSM/SDM/SSW/SSM/etc ... But the 18-135 still auto focuses faster and more quieter than the Siggy for sure!
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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Armanius

    I don't know why you bothered. It might be fast and quiet and expensive (not Leica expensive though) but don't you know it's a rubbish lens? The reviews say so ...

    BIG smilies :-)

    Lee

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Oh and you should have kept the 43mm Ltd.

    Lee

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    In retrospect, if I'd known that the greed Kepitalizts would raise the price by $200, I would have kept it!

    And yes, the 18-135 is rubbish! Photozone said so!!! Photozone does get it right most of the time though.
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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    I think the 43 was on sale at B&H again for $569 the other day.
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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Just received the Zeiss ZK 50 Makro from Popflash Photo. (They have more) Apparently Zeiss, after discontinuing the lens, did another run. (I won't say final but ...........who knows)

    I had the 50 Makro when I was shooting Nikon but primarily used the 100 makro on the full frame sensor. I liked the working distance of the 100 but figured that with the APC sensor of the K5 50 may be ideal.

    I just grabbed a couple of shots to see the lens performance so no judgements about artistic content please! LOL

    Enjoy

    Woody

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    I think the 43 was on sale at B&H again for $569 the other day.
    It's $749 today. Inflation!
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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    Just received the Zeiss ZK 50 Makro from Popflash Photo. (They have more) Apparently Zeiss, after discontinuing the lens, did another run. (I won't say final but ...........who knows)

    I had the 50 Makro when I was shooting Nikon but primarily used the 100 makro on the full frame sensor. I liked the working distance of the 100 but figured that with the APC sensor of the K5 50 may be ideal.

    I just grabbed a couple of shots to see the lens performance so no judgements about artistic content please! LOL

    Enjoy

    Woody
    Those two shots look great, particularly the second one.

    Oh no, more LBA coming ...
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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Quote Originally Posted by Armanius View Post
    It's $749 today. Inflation!
    Just checked. It's still $569.95 once you add it to the cart.
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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi There Tom
    I must say, if I had an S2 and an M9 I don't think I'd have much time for the K5 either.
    Still - I'm not getting too many shots out of focus.
    Incidentally, the problem with the 16-50 really was different - I had one memorable portrait shot of a tree trunk at f5.6 taken from about 20 ft away looking straight at it - the middle was pin sharp, as was the top, the bottom was completely soft - very strange.

    Back to 'normal'. There is no question that the focus point is much bigger than it looks - (but the K5 isn't alone in this - it's also true of the D700). I've found that it does mean that on an angled subject the point of most contrast may not be the point in the middle.

    The other issue is that when you pixel peep your D700, you're looking at a larger part of the image (but of course you know to take this into account).

    I did lots of work fiddling with calibration for different lenses, but in the end I settled for +2 overall, and that does seem to do the trick most of the time.

    Do you find that it's mostly backfocus or frontfocus issues (or, indeed, that the subject is just blurred?).

    all the best
    Hi Jono and good morning everybody,
    I did further test and my problem seems lens related.
    The 35macro for example seems to focus very reliable. Its the most consistent lens out of those I have.
    The 50-135 seems to also focus pretty good.

    At the same time I shot comparisons with Nikon (50-135 vs Nikon 70-200VR, 70da vs 105/2.0DC) and the Nikon shots were just 100% spot on.
    Also when you shoot it side by side there is quit a difference in viewfinder size. Of course there is also a big difference in lens size.
    While the sharpness and AF of the Nikon seem really faster and better, I now believe with the right lens and right fine calibration the K5 AF should work fine.
    The color in PS from the K5 raws I prefer over the Nikon - however with some work on profile the Nikon seems very similar (in PS I chose D2x mode 3 and reduced dynamic and saturation).
    Frankly, for me its a love hate relation with the K5 and I just cant get rid of it.
    I think I will also add the 18-135 because this looks like a real compact set when you dont want to carry a lot of gear.

    By the way I also shot some comparisons (for fun) between the M9+50lux-asph, S2 and 70/2.5 and K5+35/2.8
    - The IQ difference was much smaller than I would think, the color in LR was also quite similar (this was just nature shots, no skin) with the Pentax and the M9 (in evening sun light). The S2 seems overall a little cooler and to render the blue sky somewhat different as well
    - With the S2 (as expected) the sharpness is the highest/pops most which generates and intersting look the sharp subject popping out of the other areas
    - The Bokeh of the 50/1.4 at f1.7 seems slightly smoother than S-70/2.5!!

    It just showed me again how wonderfull and smooth the M9 with the right lens works.
    It also showed me that my sharpness-"problems" with the K5 are indeed AF and also lens related. (the 35/2.8 Macro rocks).
    I really think a good lens with good optics and very important a lens which focuses right makes much much more difference than the sensor in modern cameras.

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    I really think a good lens with good optics and very important a lens which focuses right makes much much more difference than the sensor in modern cameras.
    I could not agree more! Have seen this in all the systems I owned so far and always was (is) still true!

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    It just showed me again how wonderfull and smooth the M9 with the right lens works.
    It also showed me that my sharpness-"problems" with the K5 are indeed AF and also lens related. (the 35/2.8 Macro rocks).
    I really think a good lens with good optics and very important a lens which focuses right makes much much more difference than the sensor in modern cameras.
    HI Tom
    I think that everything is important - the weakest link is always going to be the limiting factor. I'd agree that the lenses/focusing are the weak link with the K5, just as the sensor is with the E5 - In the M9 I guess it's high ISO?

    Perhaps the sensor doesn't seem important to you because all your cameras have great sensors?

    For me, if I want maximum quality I'm always going to pick up the M9 (why wouldn't I). The K5 seems to be boiling down largely to two lenses: the 18-135 (because, despite it's obvious limitations, it simply works well with the shots I take) and the 35 macro (because it's a stonking lens!). I'd love it if the 15 was also a stonking lens, but it clearly isn't (at least, not if you want sharp corners).

    Let's face it, both of us have the K5 as a kind of compact/convenience substitute - perhaps you should grab yourself the 18-135, bear in mind it's reasonable limitations and see if it floats your boat ?- if it don't, then bung the whole kit, if it does, then it makes a nice companion to an M9, and it's great to just sling over your shoulder and use.

    all the best

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    Re: Zoom Lenses - platitudes, pontification, pragmatism, perseverance . . . and rape!

    Interestingly enough, there are threads in the DPR Nikon D7000 forum that talk about getting optimal sharpness ... one thread I saw suggested a shutter speed of at least 1/500th sec for landscape work, presumably to avoid the extra prominence of any camera shake on a higher pixel count sensor. That camera uses the same sensor as the K5.

    To my mind the only cameras that don't have any focus error issues (other than operator error) are those that use CDAF, such as micro 4/3rds.

    I have been through similar issues as Tom and seem to have spent an inordinate amount of time taking test pictures. And yet, those that do come out good are really very good. I can also quite easily ruin shots on my GH2 if the shutter speed is too low ... On the other hand I was out with it and the Panny 20mm lens at the weekend and the sharpness is astonishing ...

    I don't know, bloody cameras! And now there's that X100 to tease and tempt. One thing for sure though I am getting more exercise and both K5 and GH2 have rejuvenated my desire to get out and take pictures.

    Lee

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