Category Archives: Pentax

Love DSLRs. But I chose mirrorless because I love film gear more.

A valid response to this blog title is “What?” Allow me to explain. Or try to anyway.

These are interesting times. A lot of virtual ink is spilled debating between mirrorless or DSLR. Most points made miss the point for me really. Sure, I chose mirrorless. But my choice has nothing to do with a dislike for DSLRs. I love DSLRs. But I love film cameras more.

But, but… Battery life… OVF over EVF… Native lens selection… AF speed… Dual card slots… So on and so forth. Meh. Gladly put up with all of this. (And most of these concerns are being eliminated by the most recent wave of mirrorless cameras. An A7iii will be in my future and it may go down as the industry tipping point.) But once again film tech is what changed my mind.

Why? Continue reading Love DSLRs. But I chose mirrorless because I love film gear more.

My love/kind of unfortunate (Never hate) relationship with Fuji Provia 100F slide film

Not that long ago I tried slide film for the first time. Specifically Fujifilm Provia 100F in 35mm strength. And wow. Everything I heard and saw was true. Beautiful colors and amazing detail.

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Wilson then showed me a roll he shot on his Pentax 645. To which I internally responded, “Yes, more of that, please. And thank you.” So a roll of 120 film it is. What to use? First up slide film has only a few downsides:

Continue reading My love/kind of unfortunate (Never hate) relationship with Fuji Provia 100F slide film

This Old Camera: Pentax 645N. A Practical Impractical Camera

I have dabbled with a few medium format film cameras in recent years. Wonderful devices, but practical is not a word that jumps to mind. They kind of make no sense admittedly. If you want to use film 35mm cameras should do the job. Plenty of sharp lenses on 35mm. Plenty of great 35mm cameras. Nikon F-something, Leica M-anything, Contax G or T then number and on and on. But if you are looking for those things many like in pictures without even knowing why, like DOF, focus fall off and detail, it is hard to beat medium format film. Why not digital medium format? Go check out the prices of even years old, used medium format digital cameras at the big sites and come back. Start out with the son of Pentax 645N, the 645D, not even the more recent 645Z. I’ll wait…

You back? I know, right? Ok. As I was saying medium format film cameras.

Continue reading This Old Camera: Pentax 645N. A Practical Impractical Camera

This Old Camera: Medium Format Corner – Pentax 645

Having just received my first lens for this camera today so not one roll of film developed I may be putting the cart before the horse, but I am so impressed with this camera already I figured I would proceed…

For family reasons I wanted to obtain 3 medium format cameras. It relates to kids and is kind of mushy so I will leave that there. Having had one medium format film camera fall in my lap and another call to me from beneath a glass enclosure at the local camera shop the only question was “What to get?”. While I like to claim brand ambivalence…

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it is hard to ignore the fact that I have Pentax leanings.

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Continue reading This Old Camera: Medium Format Corner – Pentax 645

3rd time a charm. Revisiting the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8

A lens so nice I bought it… thrice? Anyhoo…

I love a bargain. My father is the tech/geek inspiration, but my mother’s battle cry is “Never pay retail!”

Round 1:

A while back I had a Nikon D3300 that I really liked. Would still have it if the upgrade path were not so prohibitively (for me) expensive lens and body wise. My favorite lens for it was the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8. More about that version here and below is a sample photo of a nightmare fuel mutant hummingbird lobster moth thing captured in my backyard with it.

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Round 2: Continue reading 3rd time a charm. Revisiting the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8

A Mighty Mitakon: Return to Speedmaster (85mm f/1.2)

Full disclosure. I like:

  • Odd lenses.
  • Manual focus lenses.
  • Metal lenses built like handheld medieval weaponry.
  • Good value.

This explains my collection of old timey film lenses…

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…and my appreciation of Mitakons. First up was the Mitakon Speedmaster “Dark Knight” which was great on the Sony A7 I once had…

  • Random Neural Firing Afterthought Sidebar: I really, I mean really liked the “Dark Knight”. It was great fun and while I wish they made more mount variations I surmised from the short flange to internal lens bits (technical, I know) distance that it was never intended to accommodate a DSLR’s mirror box so this 85mm Mitakon was likely going to be my only option. Interestingly Mitakon makes this 85mm in more mounts than they usually seem to do (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, and Sony FE full frame). While not f/0.95, f/1.2 is nothing to sneeze at and while 50mm is my favorite practical focal length, 85mm is my favorite if I have room to back up. Actually bought this lens before I had originally intended since it seemed that the last to be released Pentax variants were drying up at retail sites with only Adorama having any available when I purchased this one. But as of this writing they are now backordered on all, but the Nikon mount. All mounts seem available at their own site, but at a higher cost. Amazon does not even list a Pentax version.  B&H charges the full price and also does not list a Pentax variant. Just now noticed that they call this lens ‘The Dream’? Preferred Dark Knight, as a Batman head, but OK. And we are back in 3, 2, 1…

…and then the twice bought Mitakon Creator 85mm f/2.0 which I still have. Continue reading A Mighty Mitakon: Return to Speedmaster (85mm f/1.2)