Asahi Pentax Super-Takumar 55mm F1.8

Fuji X-Pro1 Ver. 3.00

Fuji’s newest firmware for X-Pro1 and XF lenses is here and I downloaded it and tested shortly the new focus peaking feature. I used my Asahi Pentax Super-Takumar 55mm F1.8 lens for the test.

Few words about Fuji’s focus peaking implementation. You can now select focus peaking from the MF assist menu. It is possible to choose from high or low level of focus peaking but the color will always be a white one. From the same menu you can also choose the standard MF assist (which means magnification only without focus peaking). There is much faster way to change between focus peaking and standard MF assist though. If you apply a long push to the selection wheel on the back side of the camera you can nicely change back and worth between these two options. Shorter push will get you in a magnified view. You can scroll between 3x and 10x magnification by this same wheel and now it is working in both directions which I find a good thing.

My first impression of focus peaking was that I may start to use this feature. You read it right. I may. I didn’t find much difference between low and high setting of focus peaking. Maybe the high setting was little bit clearer. I feel that high setting could be even more prominent. White color of the focus peaking is problematic with certain subjects and that’s why I would really like to see some additional color options (e.g. red) in the future FWs. I found that for me it was easiest to use focus peaking with 3x magnification. Not too wobbly with the 55mm (83mm equiv.) focal length and I was able to see the focus peaking clearly.

As I have two manual-only focus lenses (55mm and 135mm) I am very happy to have the focus peaking feature. There are few points which should be improved but this certainly is already making manual focusing more pleasurable than before ver. 3.00.

Back to DSLR?

Here by the beautiful lake my thoughts are wandering around. In fact so much that I've been going through some DSLR option for myself! I have now the fantastic Ricoh GR which is so easy to take with me everywhere and it also has many cool features like TAv mode and snap focus system. Then I have of course my Fuji X-Pro1 which I also love – time to time. X-Pro1 produces wonderful shots if everything goes well. Focus is still hunting quite much in many instances. The only AF lens I have for it is Fujinon 35/1.4 R which of course is a fantastic piece of glass. The two other lenses I have for it are manual focus ones. I can decently focus by them but I've been graving for image stabilization so many times. It is quite a wobbly experience to use longer focal length MF lenses, like 135mm I have.

The GR comes for Pentax Ricoh group and I have thinking to get Pentax K-5 IIs for my DSLR to replace the X-Pro1. K-5 IIs has the TAv mode I love, nice in-body IS to stabilize the longer lenses, some nice MF focus aids, and of course nice set of physical buttons for adjustments. It is weather-sealed and still small in size. IIs variant is without antialiasing filter which is also nice feature. The K-5 IIs body is about 1200 euros and I would be able to purchase one in July. I would also buy an adapter for M42 screw mount lenses then and first test K-5 IIs with my manual focus Super-Takumars (which are Asahi Pentax lenses). Pentax has a very nice collection of prime lenses, e.g 77/1.8 which I would like to buy soon after selling my Fuji.

But. I am not sure yet about this. I mean not 100% sure. Only 95% sure.

It would be very nice to hear your opinions on this, dear readers.

Three recent shots and why I like them

Decided to pick three shots I photographed lately and tell few words about them. There will be some emotional and technical aspects included.

This is a shot of our oldest dog, border terrier Herkko. He is the best dog in the world and that's why the perfect subject for photography. Nowadays he is sleeping on the couch quite a much like in this shot. I tested here my new Ricoh GR camera and its fantastic high contrast in-camera B&W preset. I tweaked the preset little bit and I find this tweaking possibility very nice feature to have. Sharpness of the paw area is fantastic as is the bokeh even if his head is next to the paw (this was shot at f/2.8). I really love the subtle grain which ISO 1600 offers here. The overall looks is quite rough but I really like it.

The above shot was taken in a cloudy day and I was really surprised how nicely Ricoh GR managed the exposure. The colors are spot on here. It is just a rusty grain mill but somehow it got new life in this shot. For this I mean that I have passed it many times but now it has a different meaning to me. Quite difficult to explain actually but I know many of you readers may know what I mean. The GR is a compact camera with a big heart and soul. That I can say.

Third shot is about APS (Advanced Photo System) film cartridge I found from a box when I was going through my things. Then I realized that my Fuji X-Pro1 (well, the GR too) has an APS-C sized sensor. So, I saw a duel here. Film-age APS vs. digital-age APS. It was a concept to me which I wanted to shoot. For this shot I used a 50 year old lens, Asahi Pentax Super-Takumar 55mm F 1.8 wide open. I just love how it renders and how beautiful bokeh it produces. And it is so fantastic to focus manually, so smooth. The above shot is a JPEG B&W from the camera. Have to say that the X-Trans sensor makes some beautiful JPEGs.

I love this hobby.

Fantastic weather lately

A lonely barn, originally uploaded by Jonne Naarala.

We have had very summerish weather and temperature for about a week now. It is so wonderful to have some warmness and lots of light after a long winter.

This shot was taken with Asahi Pentax Super-Takumar 55mm F1.8 lens at F16. I think the lens performs nicely for a lens from 1960’s.

Oldies goldies

Not songs this time but lenses. I got yesterday Asahi Pentax Super-Takumar 55mm F 1.8 and Super-Takumar 135mm F3.5 lenses (M42 screw mount) to use with my Fuji X-Pro1. The lenses are from 1960's and they still are in a very good condition. Metal and glass only, smooth focus rings and tactile aperture rings. Just fantastic feeling. With that kind of manual focus lenses it is so easy to focus manually (no AF, of course!) because the movement of focus ring is just right and precise. Of course I have to practice more to get more tack sharp keepers but I was happy when I was using them first time. I was happy. No frustration whatsoever.

I will write my impressions of them later on when I'm having more experience of them.

Below are one shot of the lenses and one of the first shots taken with the 55mm lens.