After a long absence in this blog, I’m finally posting again. This one’s taken in Maniwaya Island in Marinduque. The sunset there was ok but the rays of light made it beautiful and the three ladies arranged in almost perfect symmetry provides good silhouette to the picture.
Some pictures of beautiful Nagsasa Cove. These were taken at sunset with the sky and hills reflecting on a small pool of water. Taken with Fuji XE1 and the 18-55 kit lens.
Salibungot Beach in Jomalig, Quezon is one of the finest beaches I’ve been in. The beach itself is wide with golden brown sand. I would have taken more pictures of this beach but when we arrived there, I was already tired and just wanted to go back to our camp.
I’ve had my Pentax K-01 (with twin lenses 18-55 and 55-200) for quite sometime (months). However, I’ve never used it extensively before (only test shots). I bought it more as a curiosity than a serious camera that I’d use.
When we went to Morong, Bataan for a weekend with the pawikans (sea turtles), I brought it so I can finally use it.
Judging by the image quality, the camera has a wonderful sensor (much better than my Canon DSLRs). Noise is mostly luminance noise rather than color noise (which is harder to get rid of and looks more unpleasant). The noise are specially not a problem when shooting and converting to black and white.
In regard to dynamic range, the camera also performs admirably. Shadows can be pushed without much noise showing (and any noise visible are mostly luminance noise once again).
My main concern with the camera is one of focus speed, accuracy and ergonomics. Since the camera uses contrast detection while its lenses use phase detection, speed is really slow, especially in bad light. Accuracy is ok I guess but I’ve not yet learned to use it properly. Changing focus is also not the fastest. My main gripe is on the placement of the shutter release button and off-on lever. The shutter release is very shallow and since it sits on top of the off-on lever, there are many times when my fingers would turn the lever to the off position.
As I said, the camera produces nice images but another problem that I have are LENSES. I have the 18-55 and 55-200 kit lenses but they are far from ideal. Slow and noisy to focus and made of mostly plastic. Also, I think the resolution that the lenses are capable of are quite low (compared to my decidedly better and much more expensive Canon lenses). It would have been better if Pentax lenses are cheap but they’re rather expensive. A Pentax lens would be double the price of another manufacturer’s lens with the same specification. This would have been mitigated if there are third party lenses available for K mount here (in the Philippines). Alas, Sigma, Tamron and Tokina lenses here are only available in Nikon and Canon mounts.
This Pentax K-01 is an expensive curiosity for me (though I bought when its value dropped by more than half). A curiosity that I’ll be able to use like half a dozen times a year. Do I have regrets buying this camera? A little. But I can make good use of it. I just hope I can use it more to justify the price I paid for it.
A photo I took in Morong, Bataan. This one was taken with a Pentax K01 and Pentax’s 18-55 kit lens.
Patar Beach is located in Bolinao, Pangasinan. I’ve come across the name and pictures of this beach several times in the internet. Last weekend, our group planned to go there.
We were supposed to meet up in Victory Liner Cubao at 7am and ride the 730 bus. Due to the fact that this is early (for me), I overslept and arrived there at past 730am. They have gone ahead and all I could do was take the bus to Alaminos and then take another bus from there to Bolinao. Eman met me in Alaminos with the cooler (as I brought with me fish and meat which might spoil). After travelling almost a whole day, I finally arrived in Patar Beach at around 4pm!
(7am is early for me. It’s not too early that I could just skip sleeping and not late enough for me to have my normal sleep).
I was surprised when we arrived in Patar Beach. I had images in my mind of a quite beachfront where it would just be us and some other groups) camping on the beach. But lo and behold! There are many people in the beach! There are even permanent stalls selling souvenirs. This means that Patar Beach is a famous beach in the area. I should have been tipped off by the numerous resorts around the area that this will not be a place for solitude.
Anyway, the beach is really nice. The water’s saltier and the waves stronger than in our beaches. Fortunately, the water’s also very clear and there are small fishes very near the beach (I saw a black and yellow clownfish!). The weather’s nice and hot so we had a good stay there. To take tranquil photos, we had to walk further away from the public beach to photograph rock formations and waves.
Gaspar Island is one of the three islands collectively known as “Tres Reyes” (Three Kings), the other two being Melchor and Baltazar (three kings who visited Jesus in Bethlehem). Of the three islands, Gaspar is the biggest and the only one with a community. All three islands are rocky (rock cliffs) and the community in the island lives in the only beach wide enough to accommodate houses.
As I said in my previous post, the island is beautiful – very clear waters and very good for snorkeling but not very good for taking pictures (unless underwater). The beach is fine but no particular foreground item to anchor a landscape photo. Here are the very few “good” pictures I took in the island.
A boatman. The photo was auto-exposed for the sea but in editing, I found that the clouds are more interesting, so I pulled back the highlights through a graduated filter and used Nik’s Color Efex for detail extraction. The result is one where visible vertical banding is obvious but a more interest photo without the clouds.
Three Kids Playing. These are kids from the community who are living in the island. Shot with the Canon 15-85 and not very very sharp. I had to dial up both clarity and contrast to make it better.
This is a stretch of sand jutting out to sea. The community living there are mostly fisherfolk, hence, the boats.
This is the beach where we camped. I’m not particularly fond of the picture as it has that almost-garish HDR look (through detail extractor, pull back of highlights, graduated filter) but I think it was a necessity considering that the clouds are the most interest part of the pictures.
As for the beach, it was made of mostly dead corals and seashells and a little painful to walk on barefooted.
For this trip, I brought the 7D and 15-85, 10-22 and 50mm 1.4. I did not bother changing lenses as I was not inspired by the landscape. Also, the Canon 15-85mm seems to be not as sharp as before. Pictures don’t seem to have the same amount of details as before. I’m not sure if the lens elements moved or the camera’s AF has misaligned or I’m seeing better pictures with the Olympus OM-D.
Anyway, Eman had better luck using his Nikon D5200 and Samyang 8mm fisheye (wonderful wonderful lens).
Our beach camp at night * The clear waters around the island.
Slow day this week. We went to Gaspar Island in Marinduque. The island has clear water and is perfect for snorkeling, except we didn’t bring any snorkling gear and the boat we hired doesn’t have life vest. Unfortunately for me, the island is photographically uninspiring. We were confined to a small area of the beach (as the island doesn’t have much beach to speak of – mostly rock faces that drop steeply to the sea).
So instead of the usual weekend getaway pictures, I’ll be posting some pictures taken with Samsung S3 and edited through Lightroom.
This first one was taken during my cigarette break. We were still in our old office and the smoking area is on the balcony of the 8th floor. The floor is tiled which provided a very strong pattern to the picture. The pattern is broken by the discarded coffee cup – broken in terms of color and shape. The breaking of the pattern and the punchy red color of the cup are the reasons why I love this picture. It looks good when printed, even at A4 size, it looks nice.
This one was probably taken during lunch hour or when I was in the pantry as I can’t remember anywhere where there would be a white table/counter top. A very simple photo of a can of Coke.
Now this one was taken last weekend. On our return trip (via boat) from Marinduque, the sun dropping to the horizon is magnificent. My Canon 7d is inside the camera bag, which is inside my very big backpack so taking it out to take photos is a huge effort. Good thing that the light is still good and the picture can be taken by the S3 at base ISO (80).
This was also taken last weekend on the boat. Picture taken at ISO 80 but the higher dynamic range meant that I had to pull the highlights (the sky in the background) and push the shadows (the life preserver and almost everything else). Hence, not as good or as clear as the previous one.
Finally, this one was taken during a visit to a house and lot that we thought we could buy (too expensive). The owner of the house was into orchids before she migrated to the US and there are pots on one side of the garden – abandoned but seemingly hopeful that they would be used once again. This was taken at ISO 640 so noise reduction had to be done. The noise reduction resulted in the surface of the pots looking smooth.
That’s it for now, I’ll just post some more pics tomorrow.
Personally for me, 24mm equivalent is too wide for general or walk around shooting. It is nice to have but to wide for everyday photos. Even 28mm equivalent (found in most kit lenses and in cellphones) is too wide for everyday. I’d prefer 35mm up for the usual stuff. 24mm equivalent view is too wide that it includes a lot of things in the pictures, most don’t add anything but distraction, especially for small-sensored cameras. Also, I find that 24mm FOV generates too much distortion (not barrel distortion but the normal distortion of wide view).
However, this field of view comes of much use for landscapes. I would prefer a much wider field of view for landscapes (such as 16mm equivalent) but 24mm is wide enough. The wide field of view shows a different perspective and emphasizes foreground or the distance between foreground and main subject. Such is the case for this photo which was taken at 12mm of the kit lens.
Burot Beach, floating boat on a calm sea during sunset.