Tag Archives: Pentax

Strawberry Fields…

I still do not hate good old portra 160 for landscapes. :) Taken on Portra 160 with my Pentax Z1-P using my Sigma 24-70mm Developed and scanned by Valentines Camera house in fremantle. :)
I do love to shoot the strawberry fields when they are planted out. The great lines and colour…and who doesn’t love a good strawberry… also I still do not hate good old portra 160 film in 35mm for landscapes. 🙂 Taken on Portra 160 with my Pentax Z1-P using my Sigma 24-70mm Developed and scanned by Valentines Camera house in Fremantle.

 

 

A new love affaire with a long expired has been, of yester year!

As many of you will well know, if I am gonna do something… well lets just say I never do them in halves. haha. Thus explaining all my camera gear, music gear, film etc. etc. Well whilst collecting film oddities to try over the last few years, I also managed to squirrel away that desirable of desirables from our film emulsion yesteryear’s, some famed e6 film. In my collection I have some ektachrome, velvia, provia etc. etc. being expensive to have developed I had left it there for a little while and once I started home dev’ing e6 was the last of the things I intended to try.
(as usual click on images to see larger and sharper)

Fuji Sensia expired 2001, home dev, crappy canoscan 8400f, Yashica lynx
Fuji Sensia expired 2001, home dev, crappy canoscan 8400f, Yashica lynx

However a few weeks ago curiosity got the better of me, Continue reading A new love affaire with a long expired has been, of yester year!

My first newborn shoot, for two close friends.

This Saturday just passed, I had arranged a rare opportunity for myself. Two close friends of Lisa and I, two sisters in fact, had both given birth recently. I took it upon myself after they were home and settled to offer my services to provide them with a newborn shoot, so as to give them some images they could remember their little fellas at this stage for the rest of their lives.

We met at one of the girls places and I quickly went about setting up my two Yongnuo 560II’s and triggers, and my two Yongnuo 380 LED video lights. Once we had decided on the place to shoot and setup a table the two mums got their young fellas and I went about snapping. I shot on my Nex5n with my Minolta 85 f2, asahi super multicoated 50 f1.4 takumar and my asahi 105 f2.8 takumar. I am very happy with the results, and was very happy with how my portable lighting setup performed as I had to do very little post processing.

Here are just a few of my favorite shots from the day. There are many more, but I just thought I would share a few. I hope you enjoy. 🙂

(I should have taken better notes as I have lost track of which lenses I used on which shots, I apologize)
As per usual please click on images to view larger and sharper.

I know this shot was taken with my Minolta 85 f2, ISO 100, shutter 1/200

Continue reading My first newborn shoot, for two close friends.

Testing Rikenon (ricoh) 50mm f1.4 manual focus lens in k-mount on Pentax KX

Just acquired this lens recently.
Took it out for a quick test the day it arrived. It is interesting manual focusing without any focus aids, however these preliminary tests still came out alright I feel.
(as per usual please click on images to view larger and sharper.)

These were taken in the imediate visinity around my house. I am impressed by the initial sharpness of the lens on the KX. My reasonable focus accuracy and the overal rendering of the lens.

It seems to render colours quite naturally which is always a plus.

As said before, I am surprised at how accurate I can focus this lens with out the help of focus aids. I look forward to trying this on my K30 which does have focus peaking.

I find the sharpness quite pleasing. I think this could make a good portrait lens.

The depth of field is quite nice. These were all shot around f2-2.8 still nice OOF and good sharpness.

The lens seems to have a nice amount of 3d pop to it.

I’m quite happy with the viewfinder of the KX with composition of this lens, seems quite good. Of course will only be better on K30.

I am very impressed, I must say, with how nicely this lens draws on this 12mega pixel sensor of my Pentax KX. Very sharp and has a nice quality to it I feel. Over all my initial tests show great promise for this combo.

It’s time for an update. Protas V1.2 & 3/4

So, I felt it was about time our little sight had an upgrade in appearance…
…What do you guys think?

I’m still ironing out a few bugs so bare with us while I try to iron out said bugs.

I think the new layout is great and has a new spacious feel to it. haha
I think I can get used to this for a while.

I have also added more mobile functionality to the site. It should be much easier to view from Mobile phones now, as well as the all new Desktop site visual upgrade.
Please do let me know your thoughts.

This is just a quick update for now, but I do have a lot of great articles coming up for you.
For the Photography buffs, I have been playing with the all new Pentax K30 and the not so new but equally matched Sony Nex5n since I got these for my birthday just past. Great presents… if not a little quirky. I have also been having a play with a few HDR software packages with varying success.

However this Sony 16mp sensor that is in each is quite a nice performer.
I have been taking plenty of test shots so hope to have a review of each for you soon.
(As usual please click on images to see larger and sharper)

Lisa took this on my Pentax K30 using my Pentax SMC-F 35-135mm zoom lens
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I took this on Pentax K30 using my Pentax SMC-F 35-135mm zoom, this is actually a stitch of 17 images
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I took this on Sony Nex5n using my Meyer Gorlitz 29mm f2.8 manual focus lens
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I took this of my favourite beer shop using my Sony Nex5n using my Carl Zeiss Felktagon macro 35mm f2.8 manual focus lens
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I took this on Nex5n using my Miida 35mm f2.8 manual focus lens
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I have also started a new group here in Perth called: 1 Day in 1 Roll
The idea being that everyone who is interested joins our little Facebook group then goes out and shoots and entire roll of film on a date each month decided upon by the group.
The idea being we get a day in the life of Perth as shot by different photographers, using different gear on different films, whilst also supporting the local film developers.
Tomorrow Saturday the 27th is our first day out, I really look forward to seeing everyones shots.
If you feel you may be interested in this please join our little group here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/152975388180408/
…on a side note the leaderville camera markets are on again this Sunday. Any camera buff should check it out.

We also have lots of interviews coming up, namely Perth heavyweight Tusk will be up next. Along with some great reviews of some great new material being released by some great bands.

It’s all looking up here at PROTAS so make sure you keep checking back to see what is going on.
Till next time,
Have a good one my friends.

An Original Collaboration… A new adventure into video production!

I recently had a mate approach me to help him with a performance project for a Western Australian Performing Arts Academy assessment.
He was to produce the audio and he was to collaborate with a local visual artist of some kind to create the visuals to go with it.
He asked me if I would help him out.
He gave me some basic criteria of what he desired and off I went.

It is a layering of a couple of pieces of video I shot on my Sony Nex5 with my Asahi Takumar 50mm f1.4 manual focus lens and my Pentax KX with my Pentax SMC F 35-135 macro zoom lens. As well as stills shot on my Minolta X700 with my Minolta 50mm F1.4 manual lens and 50mm F2 lens on both Fuji pro 160s and Ilford XP2 400 B&W film along with B&W stills from the Nex5 with my Asahi Takumar 50mm f1.4. I also incorporated some simple effects I made in after effects and some transitions from my basic director compiling program.

The theme/story I was going for was nature overrunning urban decay and our retrospect from our future technological selves. I was trying to stick to the guidelines given to me…but the audio just kept giving me this alien kind of vibe. So I like to look at this as though you are viewing the decay of mankind and the reclamation of nature through some futuristic alien looking device. But that is just the feelings I got from this fun little project.

I am quite happy with the results as I am mainly a still shooter and only really dabble in playing with making video.

I like to see how other people perceive it too, so please give me your comments. Isn’t that the magic of art, perception?

I hope you enjoy. 😀

Pentax Monochrome?

With all this talk about the Leica Monochrome and the vintage B&W setting on the colour M9 and M8 it got me thinking can I do this type of thing on my digitals?
I was pretty sure I couldn’t with the Nex5, as it has a real high contrast black and white, so I did not try with that. However I knew that my Pentax KX had a large amount of options built in that I had never really delved into. I went through the menu to the colour profiles section. I flicked all the way through till I found B&W. I set it and was quite happy with the resulting redition, if not a touch cold for my taste. I then noticed a ‘tint’ setting with colder bring more the left want more aged or warmer to right. I gave it one click to the right and was pleasantly surprised by the change to a warmer more vintage B&W film look. Infact it even reminds me a little of that monochrome look. haha

I just thought I might share with you a quick few snap shots I took while messing around.
These were shot on my Pentax KX using my Pentax SMC F 35-135mm macro zoom.
(as usual click on images to see larger and sharper)

I thought I might share with you both the original B&W look and my tweaked aged look B&W.
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The great thing is that the Pentax let me shoot all these RAW!

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I shot these last 2 Jpeg to see if there was any difference to rendering in camera jpegs with this setting. I was actually impressed at how well it rendered these Jpegs.

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So I just thought I would like to point out to you all. While we are all dreaming and pining over that latest greatest new piece of kit. Get into your current cam and have a play, you might just be surprised what you find.

Till next time, keep well and happy shooting.  😀

Pentax KX initial test shots – 35-80mm and 18-55mm pentax auto zoom lenses.

While dropping off the films from our Kings Park day to be developed I spotted this Pentax KX marked down by 50%! I could not deny myself I had to have it. I posted about my initial thoughts on the Pentax KX here. Here is my entire gallery of my initial test shots upon returning home with the camera.

I hope you enjoy.

(Click to see larger and sharper)

Here is my lovely Pentax KX
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Sigma 70-210mm UCII auto zoom lens first test shots on Pentax KX

I acquired this Sigma UCII 70-210mm auto zoom lens for Pentax with a sigma 24-80mm and Pentax MZ-60 35mm film camera. As soon as I left I threw the lens on my Pentax KX digital body wanting to test the lens, here are my first test shots from that morning. These were shot in Leaderville, Perth and Lake Mongor.

(Click on images to see them larger and sharper)

 

 

 

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Tokina 353: Lens testing this old film auto zoom on my Pentax KX

I had the opportunity to acquire a Tokina 353 35-300 auto zoom in Pentax mount for $60 a couple of weeks ago. I did a bit of a Google before going to inspect the lens, however I found very little information about this lens online, and test shots were all but non-existent. I did however find a random thread which contained peoples opinions of the lens from their experience with it. The comments ranged from “this lens is excellent, really sharp!” through to “this lens is a coke bottle, worst lens ever made!”. So the lens could be either fantastic or reportedly one of the worst lenses ever made, how could I pass that up? I had to get it and give it a thorough review.

The next afternoon after work, I strapped it on the front of my Pentax Kx, put the dogs on their leashes and walked down the park to have a little test shoot. I first off just started just taking some random snaps around the park just to get a feel for the lens.

Iso 200, App. F8, Sh. Sp. 1/800, Focal length: 300mm

Iso 200, App. F10, Sh. Sp. 1/500, Focal length: 300mm

Iso 200, App. F4.5, Sh. Sp. 1/125, Focal length: 65mm

Iso 200, App. F7.1, Sh. Sp. 1/320, Focal length: 300mm

Iso 400, App. F11, Sh. Sp. 1/100, Focal length: 35mm

Iso 400, App. F7.1, Sh. Sp. 1/320, Focal length: 300mm

It actually performed better than I had anticipated from all the negative comments I had heard about this lens. I know I went into the test not expecting too much. So I know I was very critical about the lens seeming rather soft at first when checking my shots on the KX screen. Looking back they actually do not seem too bad, but I know when first reviewing my results I was neither impressed or un-impressed by this little known old lens.

So I did some crops to check how it was rendering detail. Now these are not comprehensive as I did not have the cam on a tripod so all shots were freehand and may effect the results a little as I may not have had the steadiest hands.

Iso 800, App. F10, Sh. Sp. 1/320, Focal length: 300mm

100% crop

Iso 400, App. F11, Sh.Sp. 1/400, Focal length: 210

100% crop

I was un-happy with these two tests as I feel I had maybe not been as steady as I could have been and I feel I had let the ISO change a little too much which could effect the 100% crop results too. So I set the Pentax to 200 ISO to rule that out and picked a fixed target to shoot a couple of 100% crops at a couple of different focal lengths to see how she performs through her range.

Iso 200, App. F8, Sh. Sp. 1/800, Focal length: 300mm

100% crop

Iso 200, App. F9, Sh. Sp. 1/800, Focal length: 125mm

100% crop

Iso 200, App. F10, Sh. Sp. 1/640, Focal length: 70mm

100% crop

Now I know this is not the full focal range of the lens, but I feel it is enough to give you an idea of how it is performing. I was actually reasonably impressed looking back at the results, as there is quite good detail in that 100% crop from the street lamp at 300mm.
I had a bit more of a shoot around the park before I went home to review the results.

Iso 400, App. F6.7, Sh. Sp. 1/400, Focal length: 300mm

Iso 200, App. F6.7, Sh. Sp. 1/500, Focal length: 300mm

Iso 400, App. F14, Sh. Sp. 1/500, Focal length: 300mm

Iso 400, App. F6.7, Sh. Sp. 1/400, Focal length: 300mm

Iso 200, App. F5, Sh. Sp. 1/200, Focal length: 35mm

Iso 200, App. F9, Sh. Sp. 1/25, Focal length: 125mm

Iso 200, App. F6.7, Sh. Sp. 1/25, Focal length: 300mm

This shot actually highlights something I noticed about this lens, it’s auto focus seems to be ever so slightly off. Not by much, but enough to get it to focus on the wrong thing when two small things are close together. I have a feeling this lens will resolve a lot better if I was to manually focus it myself.  After this I went home and while reviewing the shots I had a thought. This lens supposedly has VR or vibration reduction built into it since it was made for film cameras that did not have IBIS or in body image stabilisation. I remembered reading somewhere that if a lens has stabilisation and the camera body has stabilisation this can effect your photos as they will both be throwing each other out.
So the very the next afternoon I took the Tokina 353 out again, but this time with IBIS turned off in my Pentax KX. Again I started off just by taking some random snaps.

Iso 200, App. F5.6, Sh. Sp. 1/125, Focal length: 125mm

Iso 200, App. F7.1, Sh. Sp. 1/320, Focal length: 300mm

Iso 200, App. F6.7, Sh.Sp. 1/250, Focal length: 300mm

Iso 200, App. F4.5, Sh. Sp. 1/125, Focal length: 65mm

Iso 200, App.F6.7, Sh. Sp. 1/250, Focal length: 300mm

Iso 200, App. F6.7, Sh. Sp. 1/50, Focal length: 230mm

I of course decided to do some crops. However I shot a less static target today, more out of whim than anything else, though I wanted to test it’s detail in a situation where it’s max focal length would be used.

Iso 200, App. F6.7, Sh. Sp. 1/400, Focal length: 300mm

100% crop

Iso 200, App. F6.7, Sh. Sp. 1/400, Focal length: 300mm

100% crop

Iso 200, App. F6.7, Sh. Sp. 1/400, Focal length: 300mm

100% crop

Iso 200, App. F6.7, Sh. Sp. 1/500, Focal length: 300mm

I then continued having a bit more of a shoot, just wanting to make sure I felt I had enough material to compare with shake reduction on or off.

Iso 200, App. F8, Sh. Sp. 1/320, Focal length: 300mm

Iso 200, App. F7.1, Sh. Sp. 1/320, Focal length: 300mm

Iso 200, App. F6.3, Sh. Sp. 1/640, Focal length: 38mm

Iso 200, App. F5.6, Sh. Sp. 1/200, Focal length: 125mm

Iso 200, App. F7.1, Sh. Sp. 1/320, Focal length: 300mm

Iso 200, App. F6.3, Sh. Sp. 1/100, Focal length: 210mm

Iso 200, App. F6.3, Sh. Sp. 1/160, Focal length: 210mm

Iso 200, App. F5.6, Sh. Sp. 1/60, Focal length: 90mm

All in all after reviewing these test results I’m not entirely convinced that turning the Shake Reduction off gains you anything in this instance. I think the lens may have performed just as well in both tests, but I would very much like your opinions. Do you think you can see any differences I am missing? Please comment and let me know.

Overall though, I have to say this lens is not as bad as some of the reports I had read. It seems to be an average performer, but then again it covers such a large focal range from 35-300mm. I do not think this lens is any kind of stellar performer and would not be in the league for sharpness as a Tamron 70-300mm or the Sigma 50-300mm lenses. However both these lenses do not give you as much versatility in focal range and both will set you back at least $200aus brand new. So if you can pick this lens up for around $50-75 aus I think you will have a pretty neat little versatile lens for those times when versatility is paramount. I also do not think this lens is not without character. Being an older lens the images that come from it have a character about it and you also get that trade mark Tokina bokeh. Being slightly soft may actually lend this lens to being a decent portrait lens, It does seem to have some haloing, this is something I will have to test. The corner sharpness is not great, especially out at 300mm but again what do you expect from an old 90’s lens that is as versatile as this, without being huge. Although back around the wide end this lens is actually quite surprisingly sharp.

I think this lens has a place for those that are willing to make exceptions for what it is or work with it’s limitations/characteristics. I am happy to have this in my kit bag for those occasions when this lens may lend it’s unique character, odd as it may be sometimes, and I do not think it deserves it’s reputation as the worst lens ever made. I definitely think this lens will also shine more for you if you are prepared to take the time to shoot it manually.