DFA* 85, FA 31, & DFA 150-450 for Landscape

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manual_focus Senior Member • Posts: 1,439
DFA* 85, FA 31, & DFA 150-450 for Landscape

. Toured the North Carolina section of the Blue Ridge Parkway as the websites said this was the week. They were wrong (1-2 weeks early). Still, it gave me some practice shooting landscapes with the K1.

I used the new DFA* 85mm f/1.4 for the first time and was pleasantly surprised. Easily handholdable even at 1/40 sec. You could tell in the LCD panel it was capturing a lot of detail. A good match between the lens and all those pixels of the K1.

I generally don't use the DFA 150-450mm due to its enormous size and weight. I did use it mostly on a tripod but found it was quite useable handheld. The images that it captures speak for themselves.

The smc FA 31mm Limited was diminutive in relation to the other monster lenses but did not take a CPL that well. Shooting fall colors almost demands using a circular polarizing filter (CPL). I use Breakthrough Photography CPL filters and the 58mm was a tight fit within the integrated lens hood. Snug enough that I did not need to screw the filter to the lens. I simply rotated the filter and it would stay set.

I loved having the K1 and the two large lenses all weather resistant as it rained a bit as I was waiting for the light.

These are large lenses and I had even more. It demands some thought for how one manages all that camera equipment. It is not something that one is going to go far with but still, it takes up a lot of space in a car. With these three lenses I was never wanting for another focal length/FOV.  Not something you would backpack.

Clouds were stacking up along the mountain ridges such that most of the day the light was flat. Sunlight would peak out and be gone within seconds. With sunlight the fall colors would jump out especially with a CPL and the sun behind you. While most leaves were full of chlorophyll, there was one area that had color. You have to deal with the hand you're dealt.

Shooting broad vistas of leaves is a real test of lens/camera due to the huge amount of detail that is being captured. An excellent test of the dynamic range, color rendition and resolution of both the lens and camera sensor. I'm posting full size jpgs so you can judge for yourself how they performed.


DFA* 85mm f/1.4. Hominy Overlook.

DFA* 85mm f/1.4 Notice the cars on the overlook. Sharp.

FA 31mm f/1.8 Limited. Good view of how leaf color changes as function of elevation.

FA 31mm f/1.8 Limited. Hominy Overlook. Who said it was peak fall colors?

DFA 150-450mm f/4.5-5.6. Looking Glass Rock from Cherry Gap overlook. The light was constantly changing and never really did what I was hoping for. (Tripod)

DFA 150-450mm f/4.5-5.6. Unnamed overlook. The light was gone in seconds. (Handheld)

DFA 150-450mm f/4.5-5.6. Unnamed overlook. (Handheld) Loved how the  sunlight was streaming down from above.

Pentax FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6 Pentax FA* 85mm F1.4 ED SDM AW Pentax K-1 Pentax smc FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited
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