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Playing around with a stock 18-55 and a Sigma 70-300 ...
Now, with an SMC Takumar 105 and a CZJ Flektogon 35 too ...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Night walk with a Flektogon ...

... 50mm f/4, originally for a Pentacon Six, and now for my K10D, and Novalpha, on the Garonne edge in Toulouse ...

The Pont Neuf, with its colored spots:


The Pont Neuf and the Chateau D'eau on the right:


On the walls of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Toulouse:


Both shot at f/11, with a tripod, of course. The images are straight from the raw files, no need to push the contrast with such a lens, just sharpening + 1.

More views to come ...

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pentacon Six Zeiss Biometar 80 f/2.8 on Pentax ...

Having a Zeiss Biometar 80/2.8 available, i decided to try my Pentacon Six to Pentax-K adapter.


Here's the lens attached to the adapter:


Focusing is quite easy, since the barrel rotates of almost 360°, the counterpart is that it is quite slow. And, also, i would have preferred a preset diaphragm mechanism, easier to use on a DSLR. Nevertheless, the results, mostly taken between f/5.6 and f/8, seem to be quite promising. The pictures are straight from the raw images without PP, i just compensated a bit the exposure and set the sharpness to +1.



If interested in seeing more, the whole set is on my Flickr photostream.

More samples to be added, since i really like its color rendering and sharpness ...

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New lens on the block: Phoenix 100mm f/3.5 Macro

High quality lenses are usually expensive, and macro lenses make no exception to the rule: whether you look for a Pentax, Canon, Nikon, or whatever your brand is, a good macro lens costs several hundreds (no matter if you count in dollars or euros). This rule applies to third-party macro lenses, too, which are surely cheaper than the branded ones, but still cost a lot ...

In the whole offering, there are, nevertheless, some atypical macro lenses, even cheaper than their "normal" counterpart. The lens i'm talking about here is manufactured by Cosina, and it is available under various brand names, such as Phoenix, ProMaster, Vivitar (and probably Cosina, too) ...
In particular, mine is branded Phoenix, 100mm f/3.5 Macro.

A front view ...

... and compared to an FA-43 Limited

I bought it from a user of a nice forum where you can discuss mostly about Pentax gear for 60US$, which was about 40 euros since i bought it when the exchange rate was really favorable to EU countries (well, at least favorable for buyers, sellers may have a different advice ...). It came with both caps and the original pouch, but without the additional diopter to reach the 1:1 ratio.

My first impression was not really great, since i found that the lens had a plastic barrel when i first opened the parcel (99% of my lenses have a full metal barrel). Moreover, because of lack of free time (and sunny days), i wasn't unable to make a thorough test immediately ...
Nevertheless, i started looking for more informations about the brand, and found some good news and sample images.

A few days ago, finally the spring (and the sun) was back, so i decided to perform a quick "ground test" of the lens with my K10D in some of the public gardens of Toulouse.

My first set of pictures (directly from the SD card to the bin) was a bit disappointing: although i have been able to take pictures at 1/4" hands free with a 50mm, the Pentax SR really showed its limits with a focal length of 100mm and close focusing at less than 1/30" ...
The second set of pictures, with a bit more sun and faster shutter speeds, was a big surprise: the sharpness and the color saturation were there:




The real quality of the lens has indeed revealed with the third set of pictures, where i had the possibility to choice the f/stop i wanted to use without caring about the shutter speed:



Red Tulip - IMGP0272

Definitively, a good color saturation and sharpness, and a good contrast, not at the same level than my Tamron SP90/2.5, but at a much lower price. Now, i'm looking for a model to test it for portraits ...

The good news is that the lens is available brand new for about 100US$, which is a real bargain, IMHO ...

Now, since i discovered that the additional diopter is available through ProMaster for 20US$ (thanks to hin_man for noticing this) and that it works like a charm on other 49mm threaded lenses (idem), i'm seriusly thinking about a mail order ...

If you want to see more, the whole set of pictures is available on my Flickr photostream.

As a side note, all the pictures are jpegs straight from the raw files, without post-processing, only +1 on contrast and sharpness (i.e. the same settings you can get with a K10D body).

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