Yosemite Valley in B&W with DA* 16-50

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by hin_man, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. I bought the DA* 16-50 used a while ago and I have not taken it out for shooting until recent weekends. At first I find it average to good but the wide pictures at 16mm doesn't impress me. The weight and size is well balanced but I prefer something lighter and smaller. My opinion changes towards the positive side once I engage it in wet and cold weather in Yosemite over the Martin Luther King holiday as the weather protection ease my mind in shooting and my confidence with the zoom helps me in the shooting. All the following are shot with my long lost buddy in K-5 and DA* 16-50 and I have a few with WR DFA 100mm f/2.8 macro to share later on.

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    I am surprised to see other talking about the negative on the flare handling of DA* 16-50 and I am bit bumped when I see the distracting flare on the back of my newly found friend Daniel P. who shot 8x10 with an Ebony. We had a short chat on his camera and the film he was using with x-ray type of 8x10 film sheet and he does his own film development. He told me the process in developing bigger film is way easier than those with the 135 or 645 films. We exchanged contact information and I tag the photo for him in Flickr and he asks about my Pentax and I did praise my Pentax and humbly admit some needed improvement over its AF especially in tracking and indoor. K-5 II(s) and K-3 after are perhaps better and much improved with AF. My K-5 is great in most cases but I struggle indoor quite often not able to obtain AF lock in dimly lit scenes while my other cameras have less a problem in AF-S in the dark or AF-C with tracking.



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    What do you all think? I love the DA* 16-50 performance in the shoot. The gripes are on its 16mm performance along with flare handling. I think I can get used to its heavier weight. I am also thinking of adding one lighter zoom with choices in Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.0, DA 16-85 or DA 18-135 as a compliment to the DA* zoom, or perhaps the DA 20-40. Any critiques to pictures and gear thoughts are very welcome.
     
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    It turns out that I only have two pictures uploaded that were shot with WR DFA 100mm f/2.8 macro. I can't wait to have more shooting opportunities on the 100mm f/2.8 macro. In the Yosemite Valley floor, the prime lens happen to be too long for the pictures that I am looking for. And I did wish the 16-50 to reach farther as in 16-85 range.
     
  3. The waterfall is amazing in Yosemite. It is my first Yosemite winter visit and I much prefer the winter view over the summer view when the magical landscape is crowded with people and I feel city urban life in queuing up with long traffic line coming in and out of Yosemite Village area.

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  4. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    That full valley shot is AMAZING! Sorry with as many lenses as I have I can't give you any recs on the ones you've listed.
     
  5. Thank you so much Douglas, I like this one:

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    MarcelRomviel likes this.
  6. As usual you do a great job both from the gear aspect and the conceptual and even practical viewpoints.
     
  7. And BTW, I must find time to look at your other 24,858 Photos on Flickr. 24,858 Photos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    That's astounding. Must be a Flickr record or close to it !
     
  8. Thank you Wayne. I finally found another rare among the few that I have taken with Pentax WR DF-A 100mm f/2.8 macro. I am proud and fond of this macro and sadly I have not put it into good use. While in the valley floor in Yosemite very close to the Yosemite fall, I couldn't move to a farther corner due to cold winter, icy snow and snow sinking deep in many corners.

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    I have been all wrong in life in gear chasing and somehow totally gets lost in the process and forget about enjoying the simple act of photo taking while traveling and exploring places in different seasons with family. It gets worse when work and family are not in synch with me on the needs of harmony and adventurous spirit to spice up life with enriched experiences with rich senses and deep feelings of our beloved environment.

    All the Full Frame and gear talk are just talk to me when I don't even have a chance to take a picture, let alone slow down to ponder and appreciate life that a picture and its vision dictates with an untold story in life. Life is an fxxking irony when you are in hurry and one forgets the goodness that life can bring if you care to slow down a bit. Be it wondering in the wild with a phone, rowing a canoe anticipating the next wave, or skiing down a black diamond hoping you don't crash with your beloved action camera shooting perhaps your last breath in life or your first breath into a new life full with energy you never anticipate in your past. Be brave, slow down and trust your instincts and all the gear talk will be nuisance and I will gain insight that a single site or url can never teach me in a life time of gear chasing and dreaming.

    Dream on if I actually take the path in the actual walk with exploration, admiration along the way, and sharing with others what I have experienced. Hallelujah to all of my Pentaxians friends out there taking pictures ..... And please forgive me in my occasional absence and off topic sharing ....
     
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    I am so blessed that my younger boy is a natural joker. Check out the first picture when I ask my wife to post and he was acting behind and hence my framing included him.


    All pictures that I have posted so far were made with K-5 and DA* 16-55. None were shot at 16mm in the wide end, I may be biased towards that negative grudge on its wide end performance. Overall, the zoom is great. It is on the heavier side but what fast zoom is not on the heavier side.
     
  10. Hin, Thank you for that eloquent and thoughtful explication of what you are doing and how it relates to your family, love of photography, and gear. Little did I know when I sent my original comment that such a philosophical reply was forthcoming. You are a gift to this forum and we are lucky to have you. Keep it up.
     
  11. @Wayne, hope you and others don't mind me sharing my thoughts along with photos. I am a person full of emotions and sometime I overreact in my saying hurting people without knowing it. This is Hin in the process of bettering myself in loving and caring whenever I have a moment to spare.

    It is all good and I like to vent out frustration along with my photos -- the best part of me is when I engage with friends in sharing not just photos but what I learn from failed tests in life.

    I like this picture of my stone cold beauty exploring the valley floor just flushed with fresh snow

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    Shot with non-pentax aps-c gear using a Zonlai Discover 25mm f/1.8 in Sony E mount, likely shot either wide open or f/2.0.


    I want to have a toast to my Pentax long lost friends. If you still visit this page sometime, please drop us a line so that we know that you are still here: Rose, Todd, Miserere (spelling), Peter, Matthew & Maria, Dave and his son, and perhaps many others that my aging mind that may have forgotten names such as Javier, Yvon, Justin, Laurentiu, Robin etc.
     
  13. Nice photos Hin and good commentary too.
    I have been shooting with my 16-50 more lately and I agree it's a good lens with some flaws. Flare is one as you mentioned but I don't mind the 16mm distortion and sharpness and use it wide quite a lot. I mostly shoot it stopped down a bit unless it is a 50mm portrait.
    It was our only option for a wide WR zoom when I bought mine. I'd strongly consider the 16-85 now if I was going to do it again mostly for size considerations.
    The 20-40 looks interesting too. On a small body like the K-S2 or even the K-5 it would be a great little package.
    The 15-30/2.8 is also a fine lens but it is huge. Not one to walk around with in most cases.
     
  14. @Matt, thanks for the comments. I should try using the DA* zoom more as sometime seeing other reviews from other users have an effect on using the gear. The worst is to lose confidence in the gear knowing its ability based on other people's opinion or bias. Thanks for thumbs up on 16-50 zoom. I like it overall especially in bad weather. When I use it with the flash for indoor, it works quite well. The lens hood can be a problem to use with the built in flash casting shadows in the wide end. It is difficult to remember to take off the hood when shooting with filled flash with the built in flash. I will definitely go on the lookout for 16-85 or your favorite 18-135, both are on my radar list of nice-to-add-on to compliment my Pentax system with a lighter zoom. I use lighter gear for both traveling and hiking.

    I am actually debating in getting only one thing among the few group of items in consideration:
    • Either a brand new Pentax K3 II or a used K3 in good condition
    • DA 16-85 and a better flash to replace my current AF540 flash. My AF540 works but with a loose bounce head. Revisit my broken Cactus C5 with one receiver no longer working.
    • A used DA 21 or a used DA 20-40 along with my flash need.

    And to pay for this, I am thinking of getting rid of my Sony A7 along with the Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 (Zeiss) and Sony FE 35mm f/2.8 (Zeiss) and its kit zoom. Yes, I am thinking of downsizing from full frame. Not that I don't like FF, but my time or Pentax FF release timing is way off and hence I get into full frame with Sony instead of Pentax. But I do like the Sony system as a whole; much lighter and compact and easier to adapt to other mounts. Best with Sony is the ability to adapt to Leica M and other rangefinder glasses that are small and compact like a pancake type of lenses. If one is a Caonon DSLR owner, the AF enabled adapters from Metabones and Sigma MC 11 and others are right on the money as most L glasses can be adapted with close-to-native lens support in later models of Sony A7 and A600x models.

    The most intriguing in Sony third party adapters is the TechArt Pro adapter that can turn a small leica M-mount from MF to AF with a built in motor. Think of Pentax AFA 1.7x TC that can turn a MF K or m42 mount to limited AF when the focusing point is near. And the techart is full time AF. Essentially I can convert any of my AF pentax gear with a Pentax M to K adapter and work with Techart Pro adapter to get AF in the models after A7 II, A7 RII or aps-c in A6300 and after.

    The Pentax 15-30 f/2.8 is one of the lens that is most intriguing; however, Pentax should price it closer to the Tamron 15-30, it is strange that Pentax don't price it competitively to gain advantage over Canon/Nikon. What are they thinking? And I sure hope Sigma and Samyang and other glass designers such as Laowa Venus are working on more gear to support Pentax pushing gear available in K-mount. And Tamron latest on primes and zooms would also be great to have for Pentax. Tokina has a FE 20mm f/2.0 and some outstanding landscape photographer rave about it in the review. Why can't Tokina, Tamron and Sigma plan thing for Pentax? Pentax is striving on K-3 and K-1, why can't the lens manufacturer get it. We the Pentaxians in heart can do our share to share our pictures with vision, focus and untold stories behind. We are not bunch of gear snob (except Hin), and I wish everyone can share pictures like Matt in both his personal and professional work.


    Okay, I talk too much again when I am supposed to head to gym and breakfast. Will continue in next feasible break.
     
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    Sony A7 with FE 35mm f/2.8 (zeiss) and Pentax K-5 and FA 31 f/1.8 limited


    Full frame is overrated in my usage. A lot of it comes from hype and I was overwhelmed in getting it initially. Now in retrospect, I should have waited for the second version as in A7 II.
     
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    I don't know how to thank this photographer. Without her presence, the picture won't have the effect that I vision. The kind act of exploring a beautiful scenery in Yosemite Valley with less crowd in the winter time.

    I missed my old friends in Photo.net. I especially miss M&M M2 photography as I am about to venture into having a try out in charging money for photo shoot. It has been a long time dream of mine but never taken any real action. I always shied away from asking for money. I need guidance as to how to go through the step 1 to step N in order to have a chance of staying alive in this mobile phone era. I will share more if someone is kind enough and comment. Will love to hear @Matt thoughts of going professional on a part time basis.
     
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    All were taken with Pentax K-5, FA 43 and a Tamron adaptall-2 135mm f/2.5


    Colorful Life
    Life can be as colorful as we want it to be.


    I've probably posted this before and I am never tired in posting this collage every once in a while. All these pictures were taken in a trip to Morro Bay area and we stayed in a little town with a beach and a beautiful pier; city name is Cayucos.


    In photography, I love mixing b&w in colored photos. B&W gives me the focus and attention while color balances it with vivid dreams. Some are processed with a tone that I visualize for the calm and quiet mood. I don't like to be trapped in crowds and I trade it any day not to visit San Francisco in a public holiday.


    Life is good and can be as colorful as we want it to be. It is God's intention that we see all colors and be a keeper and an artist for our environment. I think of conservation and painting in my pictures. Sometime the mix doesn't work at all and sometime, it is magical. Nothing in my life is planned well. I am so full of it in planning and hence I always run short on time and become sentimental on what would have happened if I planned differently.


    I love it when I fall right into God's hands and let Him runs the show -- it rarely happens but it happens in this picture that is totally unplanned and He made me an artist and environmentalist in capturing the essence of life filled with color in a tranquil scenes right after sunsets.
     
  18. Hin, being a part time pro is as far as I have taken my photography career so far. I think it has gone reasonably well and I no longer spend money I didn't make with photography on photo gear or photo-specific travel.
    Really the challenge is to find a client who believes in you to get yourself established. For me it was a local gallery that wanted to have some of my work hanging that was the catalyst. Once I was in the gallery and pieces started to sell (still not an everyday occurrence) that got my name out.
    From there I started shooting bike races and posting the photos on my own site for riders to buy. That got me better known and also brought be to the attention of some companies in the industry (bike and nutrition companies). I also got in with our city administration and they bought shots (at a pretty low rate) from time to time to use for marketing. I feel like I don't really need them at the rate they pay anymore so I haven't submitted in a while. If they ask I'll take the opportunity to try and renegotiate price.
    The work is still not exactly pouring in but it is enough to fund my operation plus to buy bikes and skis I use to get to and around locations. I also still enjoy it.
    I still have hope I might get a big break one day that will make me considering quitting my day job but I also realize that may never happen and I can accept that. My photo jobs are gradually getting bigger and for bigger clients so I feel like the direction is a positive one. If nothing else maybe when I retire from software it could be some supplemental income.
    So if there may be a market for your photos then by all means give it a try. I found it easier to sell existing shots than perform under pressure for a shoot, so that was how I started. Now I do shoots on a semi-regular basis and feel pretty comfortable doing them.
    I specialized in events I know and understand (bike/ski racing) so I can add more value than another photographer without my knowledge.
    I hope some of this info helps!
     
  19. @Matt, thanks for the comment, really useful and source of my inspiration and motivation.
     
  20. A well cared but used K-3 is coming next week to my household. I am always late to get Pentax body. I am sure my beloved K-5 won't feel threatened as I will use both in shooting and use my K-5 as a backup and lighter one. Next is to decide between repurchase of DA 21 or a used DA 20-40. I also want the 16-85, damn, I will be an happy hoarder again.
     
  21. Hin,
    I think you will be very happy with the 16-85. It will even save you from having to make the DA 21 or DA 20-40 decision. Welcome back into the LBA Club.
     

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