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YAN - yet another newbie

Discussion in 'Introductions...' started by gazdi, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. gazdi

    gazdi Member

    Morning all or whatever time of the day it is when you read it.
    I've been an amateur photographer for some ten years now with one big gap.
    In the technique, I restarted taking photos a couple of years ago with a bridge camera and recently changed to Pentax K20D. I use an old manual lens (Tokina 135/2.8) and am planning to extend this with a fast prime.
    I've always tried to use natural environment as opposed to a studio. Still, it was geometry that appears on most of my (non-tourist) shots.
    After realising this I started my first ever "photo-a-day" project hoping that the constant need of posting something new will push me out of my comfort zone and will make me start shooting people. Now that a third of my project is done I seem to finally start approaching random people on the street an this is good. The quality, however, is questionable.
    This is why I'm here. I think I need exposure and honest critiques and I also need to see the work of others and people's opinion on those. I need to see thousands of photos from the whole quality scale and form opinion about them to shape the way I look through the camera.

    In short, I'd like to get from here:

    to here:

    and then possibly a bit beyond.
  2. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Hello, Gazdi, and welcome to the AP forums!

    K20D - fine camera, I have one!

    Quite a choice of primes from Pentax, not to mention a few from Sigma and Tamron too. Any particular focal length you favour? I'm quite fond of the 40mm f/2.8 Ltd myself, lovely compact little thing, though I believe the 35mm f/2.4 DA AL is good value.

    Probably the best way to get critique round here is to post your pictures, one or two at a time, to the Appraisal Gallery.
  3. gazdi

    gazdi Member

    The 135mm I use now is often too much (especially with the 1.5 crop factor of the camera body) but not _that_ much. I've been playing with the kit 18-55 for some weeks to find out what I need and I found - sorry purists - then 50mm equivalent is too short for me. This is because I need to get close to the model who, in my case, is usually a stranger. Getting that close to a stranger is uncomfortable for both me and the model. So now I'm after a more classic portrait focal lenght, ~80mm. The lens I'm looking at is a Takumar 55/1.8 (and not the more hyped 50/1.4). Somehow I like how manual focus slows me down and makes me take a picture in a minute or more rather than a second. This gives me time to pay more attention to composition, loose elements, wait for the right moment, etc. So I'd stuck with manual lenses. Not to mention the price difference. :)
  4. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    One of the nice things about Pentax - most of the DSLRs are fully compatible with the old manual lenses, even the screw mount with the adapter. You even get full autoexposure with the PK-A lenses (with an A setting on the aperture ring), otherwise it's stop down metering with the green button. (Apologies if you knew all this.)

    Plenty of lenses to choose from, though prices have been edging upwards since more Pentax DSLR owners realised this compatibility.

    I think you can still get 3rd party replacement focussing screens for the K20D which include manual focus aids such as split wedge rangefinder and microprisms, which may be helpful for manual focus - the standard Pentax screen is optimised more for viewing brightness than ease of manual focus. It throws the calibration of the metering a bit, but to be honest, that was never the K20D's strongest point.
  5. gazdi

    gazdi Member

    One of the main reasons I bought a Pentax was the exceptional backward compatibility you mention. I'm using M42 lenses (well, the second one is on its way to my place), I focus wide open then set the aperture and trigger metering.
    It took a while to find out that only centre weighted metering works with these lenses so needs a bit of getting used to but hey, I'm after slow process here. Now where's that Adams book on the zone system? :)

    Replacement focusing screen is a great idea I haven't thought of. Thanks, I'll consider that.

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