Category: Photography

Lens on ebay

Before I knew of the machine problems today, I had decided to bit on a Voigtlander Nokton SLR II 58mm f1.4 Pentax KA mount lens. Found one on eBay with an excellent price.

Just as well I didn’t win the auction. The funds that would have paid for that lens are computerized…

Kills me though. The lens went for almost half price.

Lenses and RAW editors

My boss just purchased a K100D Super, the same Pentax DSLR model that I have. We have been chatting about lenses and RAW editors. Here is a list of my lenses:

  • SMC Pentax-DA 1:3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL (autofocus, kit lens)
  • Takumar 1:2.5 135mm Asahi Optical serial #5571462
  • Super-Takumar 1:4/150mm Asahi Optical (M42 screw mount) serial #4089969
  • SMC Pentax-A 1:2 50mm serial #3759657
  • Kalimar MC Auto Zoom 1:4.0 80-200mm serial #K9564679
  • Tamron 70-210m 1:4-5.6 158A134937
  • Kalimar MC 50mm 1:1.7 coated serial #1053122
  • Tamron 70-300 f4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 (autofocus)

I found basic reviews of most of my lenses at Photozone’s lens survey. Amazing how many variations there are on some lenses. There are several entries for the Tamron 70-300. The quality of the lens varies depending up the letters after the lens. The DI Ld that I have seems to be a little better than others.

Dealing with RAW files

Even though I have Adobe Photoshop CS4, I’ve been using a great little photo editor called Lighzone, by Light Crafts. It will do some batch processing, cropping, and image retouching where you can get as nitty gritty or as “Wizard-like” as you want. The software costs about $99 and runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Good stuff.

Other RAW image editors that read Pentax’s PEF RAW file format include:

FastStone image viewer will also read and convert PEF files. It has a free home edition and is only available for Windows.

DSLR and lenses

I have a Pentax Digital Single Reflex Lens (DSLR) K100D Super camera body and a set of lenses. Remember that old film camera you used that had exchangeable lenses? This is the same idea, same weight, same satisfying “click” sound as the shutter releases. Instead of using film, the camera has a digital sensor that captures the picture. DSLRs are both a blessing and a curse: they offer much more flexibility and control, but then you have to lug around a kit whenever you want to use the camera. (I actually have two cameras: a point-and-shoot Nikon L18 and the Pentax camera kit.)

Two local camera shops, Peace Camera and Southeastern Camera, both offer used Pentax equipment. I’ve been able to buy used lenses at a fraction of what they might have cost new. Most of these lenses are older and do not have auto focus capabilities. (Learned about a nifty feature where the Pentax displays a light when the image is in focus. Very useful for folks with estigmatism like me.)

I have several lenses that overlap their ranges, which means the duplicates could be sold. Two of my friends, Nantonos in France and Tom in Tennessee, have been helping me take test images to be able to compare the sharpness and color of the lenses.

I will post the test pictures here, along with a list of the lenses. It’s a fun learning experience.