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65/365 Primes Nifty Fifty Almost Wide Open


64/365 Primes: 2x Teleconverter

This is kind of an extreem post. X2.

ISO 800  200mm  f/5.6  K3, 2X teleconverter = 600mm equivalent  f/11  Hand held.

As I was wrapping up I noticed this little fella (above) swimming past a fisherman.  I just did this hand held and was amazed I got not just one acceptble image, but several.

I wanted to expitiment with my old 2X teleconverter and the 200mm f/2.5 lens.  I'm not a fan of teleconverters but years ago I purchased one but had mixed results with an inferior lens.  So I decided to test the teleconverter with both a full frame camera and a 1.5 crop sensor body

Camera: Pentax K1 FF

Camera: Pentax K3 1.5 Crop

2X Teleconverter like this one (Mine is not the same)

Lens: SMC Pentax 200mm f/2.5 K-series

The image below is for perspective, shot on the K3 with my 24-70 at 39mm.

ISO 100  39mm   f/6.3  1/320th

Compare these two images of fishermen across the pond from me.

K1, ISO 100  200mm f/5.6  1/125th 2X Teleconverter equivalent FL 400mm and f/11 Tripod mounted.

K3, ISO 400  200mm  1/125th 2X Teleconverter equivalent FL 600mm and f/11 Resting upon tripod without tripod mount.

I need to get another mounting plate for my tripod head!  It is really difficult to nail focus at 600mm just resting on top of a tripod.  But as a snooping tool...the 200mm plus 2X plus crop sensor does get you some reach. 

K1, ISO 400  200 mm  f/2.5  1/400th 2X = 300mm FL f/4.5

K3, ISO 800  200mm  f/2.5  1/500th = 600mm FLE, f/4.5

The tree in the above two images is the same tree in the 2nd image shot with the 24-70.

It the 2X usefull? Yes. Can you make great images using it? Maybe but doubtful.  If you really need the reach and you use a tripod you can get usable images, but there is image degredation.  I read, after shooting these, that it is recommended to use fast lenses fairly wide open because with the 2 stop loss of light it gets hard to focus manually or auto focus if you stop down to much.

It would be fun to compare the K1 with the 200 mm and the K3 with the 200mm and the 2x. 200mm vs 600 EFL


63/365 Primes: Old School 200 for Portraits vs 77 Limited


I've long read arguments for using a focal length of between 85mm and about 105mm. But I read an article somewhere about doing headshots with a 200mm lens. Also outside this "normal" focal length for portraits is the 77 Limited.  But I heard people talk about it and I saw images that made me oo and ah.  So..

Set Up:

I wanted a FF body for this because the way it creates shallow depth of field is more pronounced.  We can do the whole circle of confusion discussion later or just search it out.

Camera: Pentax K1

Lens: SMC Pentax 200mm f/2.5 K-series

Lens: smc Pentax-FA 77mm f/1.8 Limited

Light: 7pm golden hour and a 30" or so round scrim.

Model for the project: Tasia Larkin

ISO 400   200mm   f/2.5   1/400th Tripod mounted.

ISO 400  77mm   f/1.8   1/125th Hand held.


Both lenses are nice but the 77 Limited is easier to use. It often does not need a tripod and with auto focus I nail focus more often.  The 200 f/2.5 is harder to use but it does obliviate the background and compress the subject.



61/365* Primes Temple Square at General Conference

I missed a day so this image is from April 1st. Taken after I had done a family portrait at 12:30pm on a very crowded plaza.  To the right there is a group of people from Korea that had just asked me to take their photos with their iPhones which I gladly obliged.  The others are picniking while waiting for the next session to begin.

Camera: Pentax K1

Lens: 31mm f/1.8 Limited.

ISO 100   31mm   f/4.5   1/1000th Hand held.



60/365 Primes 31 Limited and Toby


I was hired to photograph a young lady and her dog Toby and a nearby park. She was only in town for the day and I had limited openings. So, we shot at 9 am with a fairly clear and high sun.  Every other day this week has been overcast as well as the day following.

Set up:

Camera: Pentax K1

Lens: SMC Pentax FA 31mm f/1.8 Limited

Light: Partial shade and a Photogenics strobe with soft box on 1st photo. Full sun 2nd photo.

ISO 100   31mm   f/5.6   1/200th Hand held with strobe in a soft box.

Toby's eyes are so crisp! and the gras and mountains in the background have a nice out of focus blur but stay recognizable giving Megan and Toby all the attention. (note photo is un-retouched and it was windy)

ISO 100   31mm   f/2.2   1/4000 Direct sun, hand held.


I'm thrilled with the way the 31 Limited performed. at f/2.2 the bokeh got nice and smooth and really blurred out the background. Toby's eyes are crisp but his nose is out of focus.

IS I have no idea how "is" got there, nor why I cannot delete it.