Saturday, April 25, 2015

Pentax 135mm f3.5 Super Takumar M42 Lens

Recently I am taking more and more photos with the lens wide open.  The lens of choice for me at the moment is the Canon 85mm f1.8 USM.  A lovely lens that can produce very smooth great back ground blur.  So what will happen with a 135mm lens?  This is where the Pentax comes in.  It was purchased on eBay for a very reasonable sum and since I already has a M42 to EOS adapter, I was good to go.



Lens and hood

Side by side with Canon 85mm f1.8

So what will happen with a 135mm lens?  This is where the Pentax comes in.  It was purchased on eBay for a very reasonable sum and since I already has a M42 to EOS adapter, I was good to go.

I am not expecting the Pentax 135mm lens to be as sharp as the Canon 85mm.  Can the 135mm f3.5 create lovely out of focus blur?  Here are a couple of test images using the Pentax 135mm lens against the Canon 85mm f1.8.

Canon 85mm f1.8 @ f1.8

Pentax Super Takumar 135mm f3.5 @ f3.5

The Canon 85mm f1.8 can achieve much smoother back ground blur than Pentax135mm f3.5.  Also the minimum focus distance is longer with the Pentax.  I couldn't get a tighter crop with it.

Here are the 100% crop in the centre for both of them.

Canon 85mm f1.8 100% crop

Pentax Super Takumar 135mm f3.5 100% crop

Sharpness is not bad for an old lens, but back ground blur is clearly not as smooth but very useful.  The contrast is higher for the Canon lens as well.  For an old lens, the Pentac did really well.  I am quite impressed.  Of course manual focusing is not for everyone.  This is just a quick look.  A more detailed comparison will follow later on.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Shooting Portrait - A New Style

I got into shooting people via the Strobist website and since then my images are always shot with lighting.  I started with speedlites and moved onto portable studio light.  Currently my portable light of choice is the Strobeam DL4, a 400Ws battery powered system.  When I have access to power, I also use a Godox DE300 head.  I love the control I have when I have access to lighting, like overpowering the sun and control the ambient light level or how I can create shadow and highlights and shape my subject.  The downside of course is you have to carry the lighting system and the modifiers with you and the time required to set up the lights.  Quite often it requires assistant when doing shoots.  Shooting natural light never appeal to me due to the lack of control.

I have decided to try something new and different.  That is to shoot natural light and lens wide open.  The key is to find the right light direction at each location.  Also, to dodge and burn the images to create depth.  It simulates what lighting does.  Here are a few images shot using this method.

Model: Chainsaw Charlie

Model: Chainsaw Charlie

Model: Zara Rose

Model: Michelle Murray

Model: Michelle Murray

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Jessica Xavier Collection Shoot

I shot Jessica Xavier's graduation collection recently.  The style of the shoot was to be a little quirky; similar to her collection.  One of my favorite photographer is Tim Walker and wants to emulate his style; without his production budget.  Light was very simple and it consists of a single Godox DE300 head with a 43" octa box with grid on a boom arm.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and I love the results we achieved.  Enough talking, here are the images from the shoot.

All image:
Hair and makeup: Retrocrow
Designer: Jessica Xavier
Styling: Jessica Xavier
Model: Paige Davies, Gabriela Georgieva
Photographer: Yat Tang