March 15, 2010

Assignment Monday

A few months ago I got a hankering to do some macro shots, but I didn't want to put a lot of money into a new lens that I'd use only occasionally because I have an eye on a pricey $10,000 camera - it hasn't even been released in the States yet. Expensive tastes. Anyway. I did some poking around and discovered that there are some very cheap workarounds called extension tubes. They range from $10 to $100 or so; I ordered the cheapest one for $10 - free shipping too - and eagerly waited for it. It was shipped alll the way from China.

When I finally got it, two weeks later, I tried it on my camera didn't work! CRAP! I was pissed and confused. Kinda like how you'd feel if someone pissed on you.

Reading up on the extension tubes, I discovered that I needed an old fashioned lens with an aperture ring. Some of Pentax's newer lens don't have one because the camera's on-board computer can control that. And none of my lens have an aperture ring. At first, I was a little mad about that. What if the world ended and I wanted to be able to take pictures? But then I realized...I wouldn't have any way to charge up the batteries. Or download the pictures. My brain can be a strange place sometimes.

Back to the drawing board. I hit the ever-informative internet and found out that ALL of Pentax's lens are backward compatible up until a certain date - sometimes in early 70s, I believe. None of the other major camera producers can lay claim to this - they all change the mount system every few years. Hallelujah! I'm so glad I went with Pentax when I was first looking into professional cameras.

But I digress. Backward compatibility meant, in short, I could order an old manual lens very cheaply. I found and bought a nice 50mm f2.8 lens off Ebay for around $12. I actually got lucky with that buy - other similar lens were selling for around $40 or so. After waiting over a month (the seller took forever to put it in the mail), it finally arrived yesterday.


Here's an image I took without the tube...
With the tube - the macro shot
Both pictures are of a pack of "gels" - translucent colored cellophane that's used to tint the flash.

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