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Thursday, October 6, 2011

New Lens!

An aspect of photography that I wasn't aware of until the last few years was the wide range of variation between lenses, not just in their general characteristics such as wide angle versus telephoto or prime versus zoom but in the kinds of images they produce. For example, two 50mm lenses by different manufacturers will likely produce quite different images when it comes to color, sharpness, contrast and bokeh. Amongst the cognoscenti certain lenses, such as the Takumar 50mm F1.4, have become almost legendary for their image quality. Flickr has a group photo pool devoted to this lens with over 500 members although this lens hasn't been in production for about 40 years and you need a special adapter to use it with modern digital cameras. Those of you who read this blog regularly will know that I often shoot with old Minolta or Takumar lenses. As well as the differences in specifications of lenses, each lens has its own characteristics which can only be learned by experience with that lens. Photographers talk, for instance of a lens' "sweet spot" referring the aperture setting for that particular lens that produces the best image in terms of color, contrast, sharpness and bokeh. Some lenses are best nearly wide open and others need to be stopped down to produce their best images. I always figure to take two or three months to get to know a lens and learn its virtues and limitations. Consequently, I offer the above photos as examples of my first outing with a new telephoto zoom lens. It's a Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 SP Di USD XLD and so far at least, I like it, but I expect to take a few months before I really know what it can do.


Paul in Powell River said...

It's always nice to satisfy a touch of GAS!

Dean Lewis said...

Looks great to me. Must be at the full 300mm strength where focus is critical at such closeness.
As usual, these shots are impressive owing to the rich colours and their fidelity.

JoJo said...

WOW! That's an amazing lens. The detail on the peacock is incredible.

Rien said...

Excellent images. Coincidentally I just picked up an entire Pentax kit with 3 beautiful Takumar lenses in them. The engineering and design of these lenses is phenomenal: buttersmooth focusing, apertures work like new. Wonderful stuff. I've only just dabbled in photography with manual lenses on a DSLR - we're so pampered by all these features we've nearly forgotten the basics. How did our fathers get any picture right without being able to check the results right-away?