Joined on Nov 7, 2013

NilsBV's current gear

Canon PowerShot S100
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7
Pentax K-30
A truly pocketable camera with full manual controls. Can carry it in my jeans front pocket all day and not notice it's there. Great image quality for a camera with such a small sensor. Not a DSLR substitute but a terrific second camera.
An opportune purchase on eBay, which I am currently evaluating as a replacement for my NEX-6. Even though it has a smaller sensor the GX7 has actually got more heft than the NEX-6. Still less than my Pentax DSLR but noticeably more chunky than the Sony. The controls of the GX7 are more enjoyable than the Sony's and the menu system is just chalk & cheese - so much better on this Lumix.
After 12 months of shooting with the S100, upgrading to a DSLR hugely increased my enjoyment in photography. Love the 100% pentraprism viewfinder and twin command dials of the K30. It struggles focus tracking a running dog, but for landscapes, street, etc it's hard to beat at that sensor size. Currently out of action with a failed aperture actuator motor. Awaiting outcome of the insurance claim. I fear that repair will be uneconomical and it will be a write-off. A real shame because I actually prefer the feel (especially the grip) of the K-30 to the one on the K-50.
Pentax K-50
HD Pentax  DA 55-300mm F4.0-5.8 ED WR
HD Pentax DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
A great camera with terrific features and performance. Two minor quibbles: the grip on the K50 is not quite as deep and comfortable as on the K30. The grip on the K30 was slim and deep allowing my fingers to grasp it very securely, while the K50's grip is wider at the base and feels less secure. Also the K50 (mine at least) tends to underexpose, particularly with the 18-135mm; metering on the K30 was more predictable. This would be more of an issue if I shot JPEG rather than RAW.
This lens is gorgeous and tiny. It is a pleasure to look through the viewfinder with it mounted. Though I fear that the quality is no better than my Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5. Even though I bought it 2nd hand at a good price I don't think I can currently justify holding onto it given that it does not improve the IQ over my zoom.
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II ASPH Mega OIS
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-150mm F4-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS
Twice the size of the Panasonic 14-42mm but both wider and longer. Too soon to see what the image quality is like but the focal range is very convenient, a bit like the Sigma 17-70mm on my Pentax.
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200mm F4-5.6 OIS
Pentax smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6ED AL [IF] DC WR
Pentax smc DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited
This has mostly replaced my Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5 as my every day lens. Over most of the zoom range its aperture is just as fast, it is silent to focus, has greater range and WR. Pretty happy with the image quality.
Looks gorgeous, very solid, wonderfully sharp, deliciously sexy.
Pentax smc DA 40mm F2.8 Limited
Rokinon 8mm F3.5 Aspherical Fisheye
Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM
I've bought this mainly to experiment with photo stitching, because this would appear to be a good focal length to do that with. I find it a bit long as a normal walk-around lens, particularly for what I like to shoot.
A "new" 2nd hand acquisition, it is one that I am only just starting to play with.
I'm learning to love this lens for street photography in the CBD. It's a bit short for getting people shots without them noticing, but for buildings, street art, etc it is just brilliant. Those are occasions when "zooming with my feet" just isn't an option because it's not possible to back up further.
Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II
Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF)
This is a lens that I love. I have used it for everything from running dogs to rally cars to zoo animals to soccer. Many sports stadiums prohibit lenses longer than 200mm so the best possible quality 200mm is really a necessity for amateur sports shooters. This lens is quick to focus, silent, sharp. Bought 2nd hand on eBay it is definitely one of my favourite purchases.
Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5
Samsung Galaxy S4
I have only used this a couple of times and I am yet to master it. Sometimes it is wonderfully sharp but often the results are disappointing. At this stage I am inclined to think that the problem is with me rather than the lens. I'd love to be able to do some back-to-back comparisons with the Pentax DFA 100 WR to see how it compares.
I shoot exclusively RAW, so Lightroom is a must-have for me in being able to post process those files.
Why can't my K-30 have a sweep panorama like this has?
Other gear:
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements 11
  • Pentax FA 50mm F1.7
  • Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5

NilsBV's wish list

Sorted by most recently added.

Pentax K-1
Pentax D FA* 70-200mm F2.8ED DC AW
Pentax K-3 II
Added Feb 17, 2016
Which Pentax shooter doesn't lust after this one? Not sure whether I'd ever step up to the full frame though, given that it would require at least 2 new (and rather expensive) zoom lenses to go with it. Could I justify spending $7000 or $8000 on a FF upgrade? Probably not.
Added Jun 22, 2015
I love and frequently use my Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 and would love a weather sealed Pentax equivalent.
Added Apr 22, 2015
For a while I looked at this as my next main camera. Now I am probably leaning towards whatever its successor will be, to justify an upgrade from the K-50. Especially looking forward to the improved AF (especially AF tracking) and more reliable metering.

NilsBV's previous gear

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18
Sony SLT-A55
Sony SLT-A57
A fun camera before my dog managed to get hold of it and chewed it up.
I had this for about 6 months. Bought it 2nd hand off eBay, as a cheap camera to keep in the car. It served its purpose and I replaced it with a NEX-6. A great cheap, light, compact camera. Though I really missed a 2nd command dial on this camera.
Only had this one briefly. I purchased it on eBay bundled with 2 lenses and sold the 3 items unbundled for profit within a month. It was never my intention to hang onto it. I used it a couple of times and found it a reasonably enjoyable camera. Nice feel in the hand, responsive, decent viewfinder. Definitely bigger than the A55 or A37. Lack of a 2nd command dial is always a big downside for me though.
Sony SLT-A37
Sony Alpha NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH
Have had a couple of these, both just briefly. I bought one with the Sony 18-135 and sold them separately at a decent profit. Bought another with the 18-55, 55-300 and 50 f/1.8 and am about to sell those separately as well ... at a profit. Not a bad little camera along the way, though the low-resolution rear screen is a bit cheap & nasty. Nice grip though.
Picked this up 2nd hand on eBay, to replace my old A55 as my "always in the car" camera. It was handy for when I want something smaller & lighter than my Pentax DSLR, which the A55 didn't really offer. I sold the NEX-6 and replaced with a Panasonic GX7 as a lighter package for when I don't want to carry a DSLR. Keeping it in the car is no longer important and while the NEX-6 produced good images the GX7 is more enjoyable to use. Genuine twin-dial operation would have made this more fun to use.
Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake
Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG OS
Pentax smc DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR
Had this for a while as I bought it on eBay bundled with the 50mm f/1.8. Didn't use it much as I had the 16-50mm, though there was much less image distortion on the prime than on that kit zoom.
I picked this up as part of a bundle of 2nd hand lenses I bought. It replaced the cheap Sigma 100-300mm DL lens in my line-up but I never found myself using it. Not that much smaller and lighter than my Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8, but much heavier than my Pentax 50-200mm WR it was caught in no-man's land. Eventually replaced with the Pentax HD 55-300mm WR.
It wasn't a bad lens. Nice and light and certainly better than the Sony 18-55mm kit lens in both feel and optics. But after I bought the 18-135mm I found myself no longer using this and sold it.
Pentax smc DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED WR
Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS
Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS
I had this lens for a little while and used it as my "just I case" telephoto to carry around when I was not sure whether I needed a telephoto and didn't want to carry around something heavy. Buying the 18-135mm made this lens a little redundant as the 200mm long end didn't add that much. I then managed to pick up an inexpensive copy of the HD 55-300mm WR and the fate of this little lens was sealed. I did manage to shoot one of my best-selling Shutterstock images with this lens so I have fond memories of it.
I didn't use this lens much, since I mainly shot portraits with my Pentax DSLR. But it did come handy for White Night Melbourne when I carried it on the NEX-6 as a short fast telephoto, to supplement the Sigma 10-20mm that I carried on my Pentax. That turned out to be quite a useful combination and much lighter than carrying a 2nd DSLR body.
Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:1.8
Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM II
This lens is brilliantly light and compact and makes the NEX-6 very easy to carry around when I don't want to weighed down by an SLR. However the distortion, particularly at wide angle, is significant. But then, this is my choice when convenience outweighs image quality, and I'm ok with that.
I had this lens for a little while. I had come bundled with some other gear I bought. Loved its angle of view and snappy focus but couldn't justify locking up $400+ on a lens for my secondary system. m43 for me is a compact system to carry with me, not my primary system. Still it was a shame to see it go.
Light but feels cheap. Feels a lot cheaper than the Pentax 18 - 55 mm WR equivalent. Plastic mount, no hood, rubbish focus ring. Zoom is a bit sticky around the 40 mm mark.
Motorola Droid 2
Other gear:
  • Olympus XA-2
  • Pentax MZ-50