Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Pentax Thread lens 'Sun'

Came across this on a site which has banned me ....
"I came across an old zoom lens I used to use. It’s a “sun” brand, and fits a pentax (thread-mount) camera, and is 85—210 size. Do you know if there is any use for something like this now?"

It could be rubbish and only useful as a paper-weight as one snooty person suggested ... on the other hand if it is a 'Thread Pentax' that means to me that it has a'M42' thread and adaptors to EOS an MFT are available ... I have both and my legacy lens are all M42 Pentax.

I do not know the 'sun' brand an it ould be AOK maybe not but if cheap enough worth a try.
Sun lenses ....
The reviewer suggests it is a good quality lens
It appears to be a constant f/4 like my Tokina.
A couple of shots when I got my APS-C and fittied the lens to it. Shot in A mode the camera picks the shutter speed but I had to focus.

Trolley Derby shooyting from side of road ...

Saturday, March 26, 2016

A silly error on my part

I am kicking myself in the proverbial as I unfortunately remember my error in reading a specification review in 'Dpreview' that the camera that newbie had bought had a GN of 9.4m .... and I took m to mean metres when it was metric to difference between the 'imperial' system of working in feet and metric using metres. The results are the same which ever system you use so long as you do not mix measures LOL.

So if you convert 9.4metres to feet you end up with roughly 28 and the GN is always specified when using 100 ISO.

Up the camera's ISO to 400 and we have 56 ... which was the GN I used for most of my work, except in a DIY modification I cut out one of the two capacitors my flash had and halved the output for a GN40 and a recycling time half of normal. That was when I was shooting in competition with two or three other 'togs' as we shot people arriving at a show. After awhile one of them came over and wanted to know what 'super fast' flash I had which looked like his but shot twice as fast ... LOL

I had a switch so I could revert to full GN56 at the flick of a switch [ DPDT ] and seconds to fill up the second capacitor. Using GN56 I had to wait a wee while for it to recharge between shots but at GN40 it was topping up faster than I was shooting LOL Note I am using LOL instead of a smiley as it comes out as a square :-(

Thursday, March 24, 2016

An Abuse of Power

Over the past few weeks I have suffered from an abuse of power by the moderator of a site which has ended in me being banned …. Forever 
This current dispute is because I challenged the wide spread condemnation of the ‘on-board’ camera flash as useless. Camera makers have been including this feature in most cameras since digital began so I cannot but think somebody is not wrong here 
But because I questioned the statement and said it was a load of rubbish I have been banned without any tolerance to explain why I think the onboard is useful. I regularly use my on-board when there is insufficient light on my subjects.
The on-board is usually condemned on the grounds that it is too weak to be of any use and its position close to the taking lens is dis-approved of. Because of the recent fashion to bounce light off celings and walls much of the output is ‘wasted’ by not being directed at the subject being photographed, hence the need for more power than the average on-board has. Then there is the problem with shooting colour that a flash close to the camera results in ‘red-eye’ so these days it is better if subjects are looking at the camera to have the flash some distance from the camera or else use the camera’s ‘red-eye’ avoidance feature which with a series of weak flashes gets the pupil to close.
But if you are taking ‘candids’ it is reasonable to shoot when people are not looking directly at the camera.
Years ago I earnt my living shooting candids and in those days flash guns were quite weak compared today and I regularly worked with a Guide Number of 56. The GN is divided by the distance in feet from the flash to the subject and the answer is the aperture to use.
So for single people or pairs taken from five feet this resulted in my using f/11 while a standing couple with camera held vertically was 10ft and f/5.6 … this was with film rated at 100 ISO. Occasionally one would take a group of people standing at 15ft and one used f/4.
That was with a 50mm lens which with an APS-C camera equals about a 35mm lens today, or 25mm if shooting Micro Four Thirds.
Today I must admit being completely confused by the variable involved in using a zoom lens with zoom-able flash and the automatic coupling flash the camera so I leave it to the camera to sort it out and find they do this very well. I am too old to bother about learning the new ways when I have an intelligent camera to work it out for me.
The thread I was contributing to was a newbie to digital asking for help though based on some unspecified experience with film. So had I been not cut off at the gate I would have suggested he use the on-board in preference to getting a modern flash and the inevitable fumbling that working with new gear often results in.
I am reminded of my boss those many years ago taking me to the pub to celebrate my birthday and having got me to drink a couple of whiskies with him gave me an assignment.
I did not normally drink anything so was quite plonked …. so setting my camera to f/8 I took everything at about 7ft rather than try to change things for each shot. It was a business reception with everybody drinking so my state didn’t matter and of course the photos came out good as gold 
There is a lot to be said for the KISS principle for situations were one is not sure of oneself.