Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Pentax SMC FA 24-90/3.5-4.5 IF AL mini review and samples


Along with good offer on Sigma 24-60/2.8 I chanced to come by Pentax FA 24-90/3.5-4.5... This would be my second attempt on this lens. The first one ended with mechanical defect that couldn't be repaired.

Handling and build

This sample is as close to pristine as it can probably get with the used lens of this mechanical quality and (lack of) sturdiness. This thing is outright flimsy. It screams plastic all over. Mount is metal though.

Everything else quite fine really. It has the right weight - not too heavy, not too light, and it is convenient to work with. The range is just right, being about 35-135 mm of EFOV.

AF is spot on, no correction necessary whatsoever. So, beside the plastic build, it is actually a rather piece of kit.

Image quality

The image quality is excellent. As far as I understand the line up of Pentax zoom lenses of the film era, this was the second in command after legendary FA* 28-70/2.8. The images this lens produces seem to support this claim. It is really quite excellent optically. For the zoom lens, of course.

The colors are excellent due to SMC coatings. Stop it down a bit and the sharpness is very good. Wide open it is a bit of a gamble, but I chanced to produce several pretty good images as well. Also, it yields itself very well to clarity adjustment in LightRoom.


So, if Pentax bothered to make it properly built from mechanical point of view, say like Sigma EX 24-60/2.8, then they would have had a definite winner here. But unfortunately, Pentax did not bother...

I am keeping this lens for outdoor shooting and if necessary to mount it on my daughter's K10D if she would need a zoom lens.

Sample images

The sample shots below were taken in Tel Aviv University Botanical Gardens...

PESO 2010 #35 - Modern times

Sunday, August 01, 2010

The longest photographic exposures in history

I am starting a new section of my blog. Naturally, I come by various interesting articles, photos, etc. Some of them are particularly fascinating. And so they will be mentioned here.

This is truly fascinating. It never occurred to me even to think of 3 years long exposure through the pinhole. It is somewhat similar (at least in my mind) to Hubble Deep Field observations but instead human life is being observed, not the starry sky.

Fascinating indeed.