17 May 2009


The spring is advancing more every day. Now all trees except the realy old ones have leaves, and more and more flowers for every day. Still very few butterflies.

Took out my most valuable glass one morning this week, the legendary SMC Pentax-A* 135mm f1.8, to try it out with a dedicated SMC Pentax-A 2x-S converter. What can an excellent lens with a very good converter do. Usually converters are dissapoing since the result is always a step worse than the worst component, weather this is the lens or the converter. So a mediocre converter on a mediocre lens is really bad, and a good converter on a good lens is only mediocre. But what does excellent and very good combine into?

First I shot some Lilac flowers, plum and apple blossoms playing with the thin DOF testing the bokeh. Contrast came out better than with any converter+lens combo I have ever tried and the bokeh was usually smoth as well. Only on one of the Lilac shots did I get a bit of aperture blade reflexes. The resulting lens almost gives me a 300mm f3.5 (almost), which I belive is also by far a better option for birds than my old Tokina 400mm, even if I have to do some cropping.

I got some decent shots on a black bird while it was eating earth worms. Jummy! But his shy wife watched me with suspicion in her eyes from the bushes, and the curious tree sparrow (antenna sparrow?) watched us from the neighbours roof. These birds we have in the gardens in Sweden are not that colorfull and exotic, but they are fun to watch just for their behaviour.

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