Tag: 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.

Better pictures of the Bay Wonder Mare

So the Mare in the Post-Apocalyptic Equine Wear(™ to

) is actually quite pretty out of her fly mask and grazing muzzle. I’ve had Isis since she was a baby. Her grandmother was my Mom’s first Arabian mare. There is a lot of history in her bloodlines, history I was part of.


I have almost lost her several times. The worst time was when she had colic surgery due to a strangulating lipoma, a benign fatty tumor suspended by a stalk in her abdomen and had wrapped around 60% of her small intestines. No one had been optimistic after her colic surgery. Five or six days in intensive care, a secondary colic, no motility in her small intestines until five days after surgery, and a history of laminitis. The odds had not been in her favor.

That is one of the reasons she earned the nickname of the Miracle Mare.

A few weeks ago that was really brought home when another mare I know died from tortion colic caused by a lipoma. Within a few weeks, I had two vets tell me that Isis had been very lucky — most horses don’t survive a lipoma because of the sudden onset and little time to get to an equine hospital.

Isis collage 1

Ever hear an Arabian snort? When they are excited, Arabians flag their tail (carry it almost straight up) and make snorting noises. In this video, you can see Isis prancing around and snorting.

(The full size video is also available (64 MB AVI file).)

She now has arthritis. We’re working on treatment for that. Hopefully we’ll have it managed by July…

Company Soccer Team

bg-portrait134.jpgI went to the company soccer team game last night and took pictures. Most of the guys in my engineering group are playing (about half of them are European). Figured I’d go and cheer them on. The game was late: started at 9:30 and went until 10:30 or so. They did very well — actually won the game. (Go team!)

I used the opportunity to see how my camera did with sports photography. The large plexiglass walls around the indoor soccer area made things harder — lots of reflections from where I was standing in the bleachers.