My current 35mm bodies are a Minolta X-700 that my dad gifted me, and a Minolta 7000 that my grandpa gave me. I do love those cameras, especially with the attached sentimental value. However, the convenience of being able to shoot digital and 35mm film through the same great Pentax lenses was too much of a temptation to resist. Enter the Pentax SF1n.
Big Performance on a Small Budget
The Autochinon 50mm f/1.9 lens has been one of my favorite impulse buys ever. Early in my photography career, I went to a local pawn shop on a whim just to see if they had any vintage camera gear. Lo and behold, they happened to have a small case hidden away in a corner with a handful of old film lenses inside. I looked through them a bit, not knowing what lens mount they were, what the brand names meant, or if they were any good. At this point in time I had a basic mechanical knowledge of how lenses worked, and the Autochinon 50mm in the case seemed to fully function. $8.00 later, I had myself a new lens to play with!
The Bokeh Life Trend
Lately it seems like the buzz word of the internet for photographers and videographers is bokeh. If you're unfamiliar with the term, it's a Japanese term used to describe the out of focus areas of an image and its qualities. Bokeh has become a hot topic in nearly every camera related video and article on the web. Everyone is out to bokeh their lives, constantly chasing after that ultimate creamy goodness in the background of their photos. My question is: Do we really need it that badly?
The Pentax SMCP-FA 80-320mm f/4.5-5.6
Been looking for an inexpensive telephoto zoom lens to get you buy until you can afford the excellent Pentax D FA 70-200mm f/2.8? I was too, and that's what brings us here. Currently there are a few good options for a budget telephoto lens in the Pentax K-mount. There are a few other Pentax options from the film era, like the well regarded manual focus Pentax 70-210 f/4 lens. Tamron makes a 70-200mm f/2.8 option that seems to offer great image quality, but has a used price that is typically around $500. There's also the older 70-300mm options from Sigma and Tamron, all of which are inexpensive but give up a bit in the image quality department.
I wanted a lens with autofocus and the ability to adjust my aperture settings in camera if need be. This narrowed the search a little. I wanted to lose the least amount of image quality, and of course I wanted to spend the least amount of money. After much research and shopping, I found a used Pentax SMCP-FA 80-320mm lens for sale at $80. I decided to give it a shot.
Learn the Light
In part two of the "Shooting in Bad Light" blogs, I wanted to touch on some of the benefits of shooting during those less desirable times of day. There are certain situations where shooting in the hours between around 10:00am to about 4:00pm can actually be beneficial. In the quest to becoming a better photographer, understanding light and how to use it is one of the most difficult and most important tasks we face. If we learn the strengths and weaknesses of different types of light, we can make good photos any time of day.
Bad Light, Really?
Well yes, sort of. During a few recent outings I had the opportunity to really drive one of my personal theories about shooting whenever you can home. The first of these outings was a casual solo trip out to my local lake to see if a sunset may pan out and to get some much needed shutter therapy.
(The second outing will be covered in a part two installation on Friday!)
I arrived a few hours before sunset to give myself time to work out some composition ideas, shoot a few snapshots, and work out what my goals for the evening would be. The light was dull, flat, and frankly quite boring when I arrived. I grabbed a few snaps thinking maybe I could at least use one or two for stock photos and an excuse to practice shooting and editing mid-day shots.
Kodak Portra 400 has long been a staple in the film photographers bag. It is one of the best known and most widely used color negative films in the modern world, and has been a hit since its 1998 introduction. The film was updated in 2010 touting increased sharpness, finer grain, and easier scanning capabilities. Portra 400 is well loved due to its amazing exposure latitude, natural color palette, and it's versatility. The look of well shot Portra is instantly recognizable.
In my quest to continue growing as a photographer, I recently decided that the next step I needed to take was learning to use artificial light proficiently. I wanted something extraordinarily versatile for my first flash or strobe unit. It had to be something I could use for everything from portraits to products. I had decided that this unit would absolutely need to be battery powered and portable in order to inspire new ideas and unlock new venues for my photography. Enter the Flashpoint eVolv 200 (aka the Godox AD200).