Friday, September 9, 2016

Kalimar 50mm f1.7 Lens - First Impression

Stopped in a pawn shop downtown Phoenix to see what they had for vintage lenses.   I saw this unfamiliar brand - Kalimar 50mm f1.7 for around $30.  It had a Pentax K Mount, for which I had an adapter to mount to my NX1.  Then I noticed the lens was made in China.  Although I prefer lenses made in Japan, being Chinese made actually heightened my curiosity as to whether the lens has some type of artistic quality for my digital film projects.  So I picked it up enthusiastically. 

The bottom line: Excellent color, sharpness when it counts and attractive bokeh.  I'll have to try it with video next!


Before I get onto the photos, here are a few 'specs' for the techies:

Pentax K (PK) to Samsung (NX) mount adapter: KECAY Mount Adapter 18011

Mounting the lens went without a hitch.  Switched to 'Manual" mode and I'm ready to get my first shots.

Note: All photographs are presented 'as photographed' (not edited or enhanced, but each image was resized for web posting from their original 23.6MB JPEG setting).  Additionally, all photographs were handheld camera.

Photograph 1: Spider

Soft background with nice color.  The spider is the focus point for the eye, while the web provides subtle intricacy.

f4   1/50sec   EV+0.3  ISO100  Focus Metering: Center Weighted Average

Photograph 2: Cactus Garden

This photograph was taken just at sunset - no direct light - yet the cactus seems vibrant in some visually attractive way.

f4   1/40sec   EV+0.3  ISO200       Focus Metering: Center Weighted Average

Photograph 3: Mt. Wrightson View

I used a circular-polarizer for this shot.

This photograph shows a nice interplay of light and shadow in the foreground and good detail in the distant mountains.  The camera kept warning me that the bright white on the building at mid-range was blown-out; but it doesn't look too bad.  I tried closing the aperture 1-stop to reduce the blow-out, but it darkened the foreground shadow too much. 

f5.6   1/250sec   EV-0.3  ISO100       Focus Metering: Center Weighted Average

Photograph 4: Unfocused Cactus

Lately I have been enjoying certain out-of-focus images and this cactus shot is no exception.  Can't explain!

                        f4   1/60sec   EV 0    ISO200       Focus Metering: Center Weighted Average

Photograph 5: 

I took this photo for color and depth of field.   The sun was low in the sky about 1/2-hour before sunset.  By manually focusing on the sign at close range, the mountains appear soft in the distance.

                          f4   1/60sec   EV 0    ISO200       Focus Metering: Center Weighted Average

Photograph 6: Light and Shadow

The photograph below sold me on the Kalimar 50mm lens.  The image is sharp.  Nice light and stripe shadows.  The texture on both the Agave on the left and the Hedgehog cactus on the right is gorgeous!  
                     f5,6   1/400sec   EV 0  ISO100  Focus Metering: Center Weighted Average

Photographs: 7 & 8 

Flowers are a good way to see how a lens works with primary colors standing out in the 'greenscape'.  The color in these two photographs seems a little over-saturated. But I love the bokeh and how my eye seems to hunt to find areas of focus, yet wanting to dissolve into the background.

                       f4   1/125sec   EV +0.3    ISO100       Focus Metering: Center Weighted Average

                       f4   1/125sec   EV +0.3    ISO100       Focus Metering: Center Weighted Average

Photograph 9: Palm Row

I was testing a circular polarizer with this image.

f5.6   1/250 sec   EV 0.0    ISO100   Focus Metering: Center Weighted Average

1 comment:

  1. Very nice.. I diffidently will consider the lens Kalimar 50mm f1.7 Great find, my friend!