K-5ii does Kumbh Mela - DA40 gets fixed in India - DA 15 as low light lens !?

Started Feb 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Brian Thomas
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K-5ii does Kumbh Mela - DA40 gets fixed in India - DA 15 as low light lens !?
Feb 25, 2013

2 days before I had to leave Kolkata to face the naked sadhus and their 70 million devotees my DA 40 broke into 2 pieces while in my camera bag! It had started not focusing consistently a little earlier. It wasn't dropped.

I thought, and the DA 40 was my low light lens! I know how some of you (maybe all of you) will snigger at that admission. Nonetheless, it is sharp across the frame at f2.8. Now, I was looking at the DA 21 f3.2 and not sharp across the frame as my low light lens for events that start at 4AM like the naked sadhu procession seen above.

3 points about this:

:: 1.  First of all, I did manage to use the DA 21 both as a portrait lens and to shoot stoned and naked sadhus in action at 4AM (as seen above) -- although I did have to find the still points of the melee.

:: 2.  I thought why not just use the DA 15 f4.0 as my low light lens. And that worked amazingly well. Here is a shot I took just before the dawn (how I love to use the DA 15 when I'm in the middle of a crowd):

:: 3.  When I was shopping for a new SD card in Kolkata the day before I had to leave for the Mela I saw a repair shop and for some crazy reason I asked them if they could fix my DA 40. One of the screws was missing and they believed a seal was missing. I didn't think I could have lost a seal as it fell apart in my bag. They said they could fix it. I said I need it by noon tomorrow (it was 3PM) they said, "No problem." And they fixed it, sort of. Sometimes the lens gets stuck and I have to twist the focus wheel. Then it works:

So, my Pentax came through. See the results all this week on my photo blog.

See Kumbh Mela, the mini-series, each morning of this last week of February on my photo blog. Kumbh Mela attracts 70 million people every 12 years. It is the most important event on the Hindu calendar and the world's largest human gathering. I slept the night before each of the 2 largest bathing days in front of the tents of naked sadhus and was able to photograph the pre-dawn, pre-procession rally you see images from above and much else.

Others must have been published their photos here already -- mine took this long because I spent 2 weeks at the Mela I've been polishing and organizing since then my anecdotes as well as my photos. This is a look at the spiritual as well as the photographic. Share the adventure, visit:

my Pentax photo blog of India & Kumbh Mea

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