Video of Andrew Coyne at the McKercher Lecture Series at the College of Law. It’s a great lecture and one that you really need to watch.
What do you get for the teenaged boy on your Christmas list. The easy way out is cash and gift cards. We aren’t going to take the easy route out. We are doing this the hard way and come up with a list that any teenager would love.
$150 for a cutting edge tablet? I’m okay with that. The Asus MeMo tablet runs a 1.33 GHz Quad-Core Intel Atom processor, Android 4.4 KitKat, more than enough RAM to run the latest applications and 16 gb of storage for videos, music, and homework. It also has a .3 megapixel front facing camera and a 2 megapixel rear facing camera
We gave Mark my old Pentax K-x to him for his birthday and he loves it. The advantage of Pentax over other DSLR’s is build quality. The K-50 has over 80 water seals in it. This means that the teen you are shopping for can take it far more places and adventures than other DSLRs. The other advantage is the amazing price. At under $500 (with a 18-55mm lens) it is one of the least expensive DSLR’s out there right now.
The PENTAX K-50 is a mid-level DSLR with fast, advanced functionality, all wrapped up in bold colors. Featuring specifications of a top level DSLR, enjoy a 16 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, fast continuous shooting at six frames per second, high sensitivity shooting up to ISO 51200, 100% field of view, innovative in-body shake reduction, and an advanced auto focus module with four optional focusing screens, not to mention the PENTAX-original weather-sealing. Also enjoy full 1018p HD video capture, and eye-fi card compatibility for fast and easy image sharing.
At the end of the day, you aren’t buying your teen a DSLR for them, you are buying it for the family time you will spend together shooting it. This summer Mark, Oliver, Wendy, and I went for countless walks, hikes, and adventures together for no other reason than to shoot from photos and see what we could see…. together.
If you are wondering about available lens for Pentax, check out my guide to Pentax DSLR lens that I wrote this summer.
- You can purchase a Pentax K-50 DSLR at Amazon for $486 which is an amazing price for a DSLR.
There is a good choice that your teen has an iPod or phone that plays music already. The music is great but one overlooked thing is what do you play it on. Sennheisser headphones are a great bet. The Sennheiser HD201 Stereo Headphones prove to be a low priced alternative to high-end studio headphones.With great clarity, the Sennheiser HD201 headphones are the ideal entry into the world of powerful stereo sound. These excellent headphones also boast great attenuation of ambient noise and outstanding comfort at an affordable price.
- $25 at Amazon. $50-75 everywhere else.
Tursion is making tablets affordable for use by anyone, not just artists. This high-quality Tursion drawing tablet is priced just right, so everyone can enjoy the benefits of a graphic tablet. It includes several software utilities, such as PenSigner and PenMail, which allows you to use handwritten signatures, adding a personal touch to what is usually thought of as an impersonal medium. Easy to install and to use,
We gave one to Mark last year for his birthday and he has loved it. It works with almost any kind of Windows XP/Vista/7/8 software has allowed him expand is skills and talents as an artist.
Royal & Langnickel Sketching and Drawing Easel Set is a comprehensive 104 piece collection of artist materials ideal for the beginner, student, or artist. This set features a wide assortment of pencils, pastels, and paints fitted into a convertible, two-drawer chest that opens to reveal a third tray of product. The storage chest converts into a sturdy table-top easel. An outstanding collection of tools for your studio or an ideal gift for an artist or serious art student.
There is always going to be a debate between Windows Netbooks and Google Chromebooks. The Acer Aspire makes a compelling argument for the Windows Netbook. Check out these specs.
- 11.6″ HD Widescreen ComfyView™ LED-backlit Display: (1366 x 768) resolution; 16:9 aspect ratio
- Intel® Celeron® N2840 Dual-Core Processor 2.16GHz with Intel® Burst Technology up to 2.58GHz
- Windows 8.1 with Bing
- Intel® HD Graphics
- 2048MB DDR3L SDRAM Memory
- 32GB internal storage
- Digital Media Card Reader – Secure Digital™ (SD) Card
- 802.11b/g/n Wireless LAN
- Bluetooth® 4.0
- Acer Crystal Eye HD Webcam
- High Definition Audio Support
- Two Built-in stereo speakers
- 1- USB 2.0 Port
- 1- USB 3.0 Port
- 1- HDMI™ Port with HDCP Support
- 3-cell Lithium-Ion Battery (2640mAh)
- Up to 5-hours battery life
- 2.84 lbs.
Another cool part of these Aspire E-11’s is that they don’t have fans so they are completely silent.
You can also find all of the rest of the 2014 Christmas Gift Guides online here. There is a lot of great ideas for all of the important people in your life. Good luck with your shopping and have a great holiday season! Oh yeah, if I missed anything or you have any thoughts, let me know in the comments.
I don’t get this latest video from Tourism Saskatoon. Great production values but basically it is Kim Coates saying he likes to come home to Saskatoon and that he had a good experience at the University of Saskatchewan. He then had to move away to hone his craft.
Tell me again how this is supposed to attract people to Saskatoon, unless they are thinking of taking drama? I guess if the target is Kim Coates fans and we want them to know that he was from (and likes) Saskatoon, it is a good video but how big is that market? Even then, all you have is Kim Coates riding around town on his motorcycle.
Nice cameo by Murray Totland though.
There are several potential explanations for what’s going on here. The most likely is that some combination of increasingly infrequent summer snowstorms, wind-blown dust, microbial activity, and forest fire soot led to this year’s exceptionally dark ice. A more ominous possibility is that what we’re seeing is the start of a cascading feedback loop tied to global warming.
Box mentions this summer’s mysterious Siberian holes and offshore methane bubbles as evidence that the Arctic can quickly change in unpredictable ways.
This year, Greenland’s ice sheet was the darkest Box (or anyone else) has ever measured. Box gives the stunning stats: “In 2014 the ice sheet is precisely 5.6 percent darker, producing an additional absorption of energy equivalent with roughly twice the US annual electricity consumption.”
Perhaps coincidentally, 2014 will also be the year with the highest number of forest fires ever measured in Arctic.
Box ran these numbers exclusively for Slate, and what he found shocked him. Since comprehensive satellite measurements began in 2000, never before have Arctic wildfires been as powerful as this year. In fact, over the last two or three years, Box calculated that Arctic fires have been burning at a rate that’s double that of just a decade ago. Box felt this finding was so important that he didn’t want to wait for peer review, and instead decided to publish first on Slate. He’s planning on submitting these and other recent findings to a formal scientific journal later this year.
From the CBC
You aren’t going to believe what Saskatoon City Council is spending your money on now and with the incompetence they are doing it with.
Back when the city moved to their new governance model (the one they say is like all other cities but really isn’t), they created new committees as a part of that. Committee memberships are done in one of two ways. They are voted on or they are decided by seniority. There are many examples of both but when I hear seniority, I tend to think of the U.S. Senate and Congressional committees which are decided exclusively by seniority (the longer you are around, the wiser you become, or at least that is the hope).
You always hear Saskatoon politicians speak of the “made in Saskatoon” solution. Our solution was to draw names from a hat for one of City Council’s committees. It was done in executive committee so it was supposed to be confidential but instead of deciding on a committee by seniority or by merit (as decided by colleagues), names were put into a hat and drawn out. I first heard some rumours from other media and city sources soon after executive was done who didn’t think it was normal (it wasn’t). After confirming the rumour with some people from council (who were less then impressed that I knew), I tweeted it.
That upset some on council who were frustrated that council went down that course of action and others found out about it. As I said to more then one, “If you don’t want to look like a bunch of clowns, stop acting like a bunch of clowns”. From that the city solicitor was asked to draw up a memo/report to remind council that they were not supposed to be leaking confidential executive committee stuff. I assume that the term, “acting like a bunch of clowns” was not used in the report.
A couple of weeks later, I was to appear on the regular Saskatoon Afternoon with David Kirton roundtable with David and Bronwyn Eyre. Show topics are emailed to us by the producer Brittany Higgins. I like Brittany as she does a good job of politely refusing topics that I suggest that would take David, Bronwyn, myself and a panel of foreign affairs experts a week to talk about and instead sticks to her 5 minute topics which are way better radio. That day she sent us a link to Charles Hamilton’s article about the Mayor again mentioning that we should have a Twitter Wall in City Council.
I don’t know why the Mayor is always asking for a Twitter wall in City Council chambers. First of all Twitter is public already. All of the interesting posts can be found at #yxecc and can be read by anyone at anytime. Thirdly and I mean no offense to the Councillors that tweet, it’s pretty boring stuff. You will get the occasional link posted to a report or something but other than that, they may be reading comments but they aren’t making that many comments in council. Whatever it is that the Mayor wants, is already there, all they need to do is turn on a projector and go to the #yxecc link. I doubt very much I’ll get credit for this in Council Chambers.
So Bronwyn and I start talking about the Twitter wall and it wasn’t our best segment. On a good segment there is a sense of flow and cadence and it wasn’t there. I also called out some on the school board for tweeting during meetings which wasn’t expected and in the end I walked out of the CKOM studio and tweeted something like, “I wish the mayor would stop talking about this stupid Twitter wall”. If there is a topic that I never want to talk about again, it is the Twitter wall.
(This is a media roundtable gone wrong. You really haven’t had a fight on air until this or this happens)
Apparently at that exact time, the Mayor was in executive committee and was talking about the Twitter wall. So the conclusion was made by our wise political leadership that someone had to be leaking to me the contents of executive meetings to me. It never occurred to anyone to listen to David Kirton’s show or to read the mornings StarPhoenix or just ask me, “what’s up with that tweet?”
A simple subscription to Google News Alerts would have told city council the truth but they decided they needed a leak investigation to find out the source of the leaks. Or they could have asked me who told me. While my sources are confidential, I would have no problem telling them that the source for the Twitter wall leak was CHARLES HAMILTON, you know since we talked about it on air and it him that published the Mayor’s on the record comments made during an interview to The StarPhoenix.
Well council couldn’t let this stand and decided to hire a private investigator to investigate the leak. After rejecting some local retired cops, they rejected this guy for having too high of travel costs.
They rejected these guys because they couldn’t tell them apart.
They really wanted this group of guys but they couldn’t find them.
So they hired a retired RCMP officer with the ability to question councillors and examine phone, computer and email records to see if they have been the ones that have leaked The StarPhoenix to me. If they were serious (and I don’t think they are), they would have a conversation about the FOI requests that were filed in the lead up to the 2012 elections. Those FOI’s filed by The StarPhoenix and other media outlets covered @saskatoon.ca emails and there was a lot of embarrassing things said in those emails. Since then councillors rarely use @saskatoon.ca email for non constituent communications. Therefore they fall out of scope of the investigation. Also since there are some precedents of government provided phones being able to be FOI’d, some councillors use two phones or don’t have the city pay for their own phone. Thirdly, there is a thing called a manilla envelope and it works really well. Some are just left in my mailbox late at night or mailed to me with no return address.
I have heard the questions that have been asked, the good cop, bad cop routine, and even the follow up questions. I recently found out that I wasn’t supposed to find out about the investigation because that would compromise it (doh!) but that was after councillors phoned up to ask me if they had sent me anything they might have forgotten about. Quite the investigation. The ones that are calling for the investigation then go out and immediately undermine it.
Saskatoon City Council can’t even do a leak investigation properly (someone needs to do a Tumblr for things Saskatoon City Council can’t do properly).
Why is council doing this when most already know the truth? Here are the answers I have gotten so far.
- I need to be put in my place. I am unsure how investigating each other is putting me in my place. I have been accused (along with other media of making city councillors life more difficult before and apparently them attacking each other is supposed to change that. While I am disappointed that they are wasting time doing this, I am unsure how this is putting me in my place. I learn stuff and I write about it. I am not sure how that changes.
- This allows for frank discussions in Executive committee. This is close to the truth. Saskatoon City Council is the most secretive city council and city hall in Western Canada. No one else comes close. Executive Committee’s in camera proceedings are often used to hash out issues away from the public eye to avoid political backlash. With confidentiality clauses, no one can voice the opposing decisions. It’s also why media and people pack City Hall chambers from time to time to see a big issues passed without discussion. John Gormley used to talk about the Gang of Five, now there is a Gang of Eleven. By comparison, take a look at the Manning Foundation’s Council Tracker which looks at a much criticized Calgary City Council’s actions. Saskatoon City Council is so secretive we can’t even track how secretive they are.
- To weaken other councillors. I have heard from a few councillors, “I know who your source is and they will pay”. Umm, again… the source is the Mayor as told to Charles Hamilton? Is this a power play against His Worship, Hamilton, Brittany Higgins, maybe even David Kirton. I can’t keep track anymore. In other words it is an investigation using taxpayer dollars for political games. The truth js that some think that either Darren Hill, Zach Jeffries, or Pat Lorje are my sources. If they are right (and they are not), then those councillors are weakened going up for re-election. Pretty amazing work environment that they have going there.
- The weirdest explanation is that this will keep Darren Hill from running for the federal Liberals in Saskatoon West. Apparently he had so muh fun running under Ignatieff and getting 11% he wants to do it again (I could be wrong but I think I was being flippant there). Even with a 15% Liberal bump from Trudeau and the seat stays Conservative.
My favourite is the accusation that I am sort of a shadowy behind the scenes operative because I am never seen at political events. This one makes me angry but I can understand it. When you are a hammer, everything you see is a nail. When you are a politician, everything is political.
First of all, I am non partisan. I get attacked by liberals and conservatives (often at the same time). I have a bias toward a lot of policies but the politics of council make me bored and sad for the city. One of my most dearly held theological beliefs is best articulated by Stanley Hauerwas and Will Willimon in their book, Resident Aliens
When politics is brought to the attention of Jesus (Luke 20:20-26), the whole discussion is portrayed with such jocularity as to suggest that we are to take none of this with seriousness. When wanting to trap Jesus and hand him over to the police (Luke 20:20), they ask Jesus, “Should we pay taxes to Caesar or not?” (Note that was our question, not Jesus’.)
Jesus answers (Luke 20:24), “Who’s got a quarter?”
(Note that Jesus’ pockets are empty.)
When a coin is produced, Jesus asks, “Whose picture is on it?”
We answer, “George Washington.”
“Well, if he needs the stuff so badly as to put his picture on it, then give it to him, ” says Jesus. “But you be careful and don’t give to Caesar what belongs to God.”
Okay. We give up. Should we pay taxes to Caesar or not?
From this we learn that a primary biblical way or treating politics is as a joke. Certainly, politicians can make much mischief, but it would be a liturgical and ethical mistake to take them too seriously. Idolatry is as big a problem for democracies as for non-democracies.
If you ask me what I think about politics, I don’t take it very seriously. If someone, even a politician wants some advice, I give it to them. I guess it’s why I enjoy commenting on it. I love policy but the politics side is nothing more of a joke. I also like most people and I hate the partisan process. I like going out with people and sharing ideas. It’s gets brutal when partisan lines are drawn and it interferes with friendships.
I want our city, province, and country to be a better place but at the end of the day, I’ll give that advice to their opponent or anyone who reads this blog, my columns, listens to me on air or a podcast. Saskatoon is a weird place in that not only are we largely ignorant of best practices of other cities (even winter cities), when we find out about them, we reject them in favour of a “made in Saskatoon” solution. In other words most of what I suggest is ignored which is fine, even if it does seem to cost us more money as a city. The only piece of legislation I have ever tried to change was a flawed piece of affordable housing policy that myself and other housing providers opposed. That’s it. A public email sent to 10 councillors and the mayor. 10 of the replied. The mayor did not but the motion failed. That is what is important.
Provincially I once wrote a letter Premier Brad Wall about the problems of mental health and homeless. One of his hacks replied with a letter about about hip replacements waiting lists. I learned two things, writing the government is a HUGE waste of time and my lobbying powers aren’t exactly immense. I have some sway with Cam Broten. When I say “sway”, he doesn’t reply back with letters about hip replacement waiting lists. My big piece of advice to him is that is to never by a Rider jersey without a number because they look stupid. I also suggest going with a classic number like Ron Lancaster, George Reed, or Ray Elgaard so if the player you choose gets in trouble with the law, you don’t look like an idiot. There you go. That is my expertise in provincial politics. I hate blank Rider jerseys. That is my shadowy behind the scenes maneuvering. Rider jerseys and homeless issues.
As for why I am never seen, this is a bit more personal. Wendy has long struggled with depression and it is getting worse. She wrote about it here and this has been by far the most difficult year we have ever had as a family. Not only is her depression worse but it affects Mark in more significant ways as he grows older. There are many times that we have plans and either Wendy can’t go out in public or Mark has asked if I wanted to hang out with him and Oliver. The are other times when I come home after just cleaning the house and it is a disaster again. When there is chaos in Wendy’s mind, there is chaos in my world and it hard to keep up. So yeah, it means that I don’t go out a lot because I am trying to keep the family together. (why do you think I write about mental health issues as much as I do. It is largely over how hard it has been to get Wendy good help). It is this and Hauerwas’ writings (which is actually rooted in John Howard Yoder’s writings) that I will never run for political office. That and Mike Duffy has killed many options for fat bald guys from the media. (Full disclosure, I was a long time member of the Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan growing up and ran in 1995 for the Tories in Saskatoon. I was 21. My views, hairline, pant size, and opinions on politics have changed since then).
So after I help Wendy deal with her day, help the kids with their world, I sit down on a chair and I read, write, and research. No shadowy meetings. No late night phone calls. Nothing. Most of it is spent trying to figure out who we get through tomorrow and hoping it isn’t as bad as today was. I don’t drink. Urban planning, systems theory, and photography are my escape. The photography gets me out of the house and the books and looking at things through a different lens and experiencing the city in a whole new way.
Considering that I have said in many columns that politicians are psychopaths, plotting world takeovers with them isn’t really high on my to-do list.
Yes, politicians are more likely than people in the general population to be sociopaths. I think you would find no expert in the field of sociopathy/psychopathy/antisocial personality disorder who would dispute this… That a small minority of human beings literally have no conscience was and is a bitter pill for our society to swallow — but it does explain a great many things, shamelessly deceitful political behavior being one.
As an aside, if any world dominating villain offers me the Denver Broncos, I will accept them with more grace than Homer Simpson did.
I care about homeless issues, affordable housing, and challenging growing inequality in cities. The stuff I write about is what I care about. I don’t care if someone from the right or the left carries that stuff out, as long as it is done.
Maybe that is why I am so disgusted about this freaking leak investigation that isn’t a leak. It’s cheap political games that are a pain to deal with, cost us as the City of Saskatoon citizens, and is a sham right from the start. Plus by the fact that I know about it and councillors are actively undermining it, a city solicitor who doesn’t know realize this a game, and an investigator who doesn’t realize how the game is played, it is a massive waste of time and money at a time when the city has much more pressing concerns than finding out that I read The StarPhoenix (and apparently they don’t read Saskatoon’s paper of record). As I have written and said before, I don’t think we are hiring (or electing) the best and brightest at City Hall. Amateur hour shows it.
Leaks happen all of the time in Saskatoon, Regina, and Ottawa. By the time I have heard something, I know The StarPhoenix has heard it, Rawlco has heard it, and CBC has heard it. Even the television stations with constantly changing reporters hear the gossip because it goes right from counsellors to reporters. It always has, it always will. To stop all of us from finding out about what Council is up to, they have decided to do leak investigation.
My answer is the same as it always has been, if you don’t want to look like a bunch of clowns, stop acting like a bunch of clowns. We deserve more from our City Council than a bunch of silly political games but this is what passes for leadership in Saskatoon.
So in summary
- I follow a confirmed a leak about Saskatoon City Council behaving ridiculously and that embarrassed them.
- Saskatoon City Council is full of a bunch of gossips.
- I read The StarPhoenix and discuss it on the air.
- Sometimes Bronwyn Eyre wins those debates (okay many times) and I tweet about it.
- In summary, it would be cheaper for councillors to sign up for Google News Alerts then hiring private investigators. It would also be helpful to somewhat aware of what you say to reporters of The StarPhoenix.
- If council is going to authorize a sham investigation, telling me about it immediately undermines it.
Oh yeah, I emailed Mark Rhogstad at the City of Saskatoon to ask how much the leak investigation was costing us. He didn’t return my email.
Just watch this. It doesn’t matter whether you like sports or not, you just need to watch it. The bad news is that this kind of attitude goes beyond football, if you doubt me, read this sickening account of Floyd Mayweather that Deadspin published.
So if you are like me, you own a Pentax DSLR. You love your camera but the lens selection is paltry compared to Canon or Nikon and of course you hear photographers tells you that there isn’t the good glass to go with Pentax. Even many local camera shops don’t have a great section despite them selling a lot of Pentax K-3 and K-5 IIs cameras in the last year.
So what do you do? First of all you take a look around online and see what is there. If you are reading this page, there is a good chance that you are doing just that. To help you with your search, I have listed around 25 lenses that would all make great additions to any photographers bag.
If you have no idea which lens you want to purchase, ask your local camera shop for advice or check out this video from Pentax.
Ricoh has more about the available Pentax lenses here.
So the next time someone tells you there are not great lenses for the Pentax cameras, remind them of what is out there. There is some amazing and professional quality glass for your camera.
Each link on the post goes to Amazon.com which offers you some purchasing options and price for each lens. Since lens price is often moving, it’s easier to check them out there.
Normal Lenses: In photography and cinematography, a normal lens is a lens that reproduces a field of view that generally looks “natural” to a human observer under normal viewing conditions, as compared with lenses with longer or shorter focal lengths which produce an expanded or contracted field of view that distorts the perspective when viewed from a normal viewing distance.
This versatile Pentax 35mm DA L F2.4 AL Lens is considered a standard, normal focal length lens for the Pentax DSLRs it was designed for, but it’s a great lens to own, even if you only have one lens. This 35mm lens (equivalent to 52.5mm in 35mm format) is ideal for family photos, portraits, landscapes and a lot more. The fast f2.4 maximum aperture helps you get pictures even in low-light situations, and it provides high-resolution images with edge-to-edge sharpness. An aspherical lens element helps to compensate for spherical aberration to maximize image quality, and PENTAX Super Protect (SP) coating helps repel dust, water, and grease–making the lens easier to clean.
The 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Lens for Pentax DSLR Cameras from Sigma is the first entry into Sigma’s Art series of professional lenses, with an emphasis on artistic expression and the creative potential of the lens. With a bright f/1.4 maximum aperture, floating inner focusing system, and Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) you’ll have quick and accurate control over the artistic effects achieved by the lens’ high quality elements.
For wide angle photography, this 35mm lens and its circular 9-bladed f/1.4 aperture ensure excellent brightness and blurred background (bokeh) effects. The Super Multi-Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting and provides sharp and high contrast images even in backlit conditions.
The lens’ Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) and floating inner focusing system ensure that you experience quick, quiet and precise autofocusing whenever you need it. Adjust focus using either autofocus (AF), or full-time manual focus, without having to switch camera modes or change settings – just flick the switch from AF to MF.
For greater build quality and strength, all metallic parts and the new Thermally Stable Composite compound material (TSC), are housed internally. Its brass made bayonet mount has both high accuracy and durability, and a special treatment is applied to its surface giving it greater strength and making it highly resistant to long-term daily use.
The smc DA 50mm f/1.8 Lens from Pentax is a fast and inexpensive f/1.8 lens for cameras with a Pentax K mount. Mounted to a camera with an APS-C sensor, this lens gives an angle of view equivalent to a 76.5mm telephoto lens–ideal for portraits. The wide f/1.8 aperture makes this an essential lens for working in low light, and it also delivers beautiful bokeh (the out-of-focus portion of a photograph). This lightweight (4.3 oz) lens is very compact–just 1.5″ (3.8 cm) long.
A standard lens for Pentax autofocus cameras with a bright f/1.4 aperture. The SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 is an excellent choice for lowlight handheld photography, and effectively becomes a brilliant short telephoto portrait lens when used with your Pentax DSLR. The Pentax Super Multi Coating process provides the highest possible transmission of light.
Portrait Lenses: a prime lens with a relatively high aperture and usually a means for softening definition in taking portraits
The Pentax 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens is a compact and bright short-telephoto lens of the highest order, made exclusively for Pentax digital SLR cameras. In a stocky housing ready for harsh conditions, you’ll get a bright f/1.4 aperture-worlds away from the experience you’re used to with more common zooms-that opens up new creative doors to you as a photographer.
This lens was born to shoot between f/1.4 and f/2.8, and comes with a 9-bladed aperture diaphragm which shows up as perfectly round when you stay between f/1.4-2.8. Shoot dramatic portraits with bright point light sources behind the subject, and you’ll be dazzled with lovely diffuse, circular out-of-focus highlights that make everybody look better. Beyond portraits, this lens works well any time you would use a moderate telephoto focal length.
When you need a medium-telephoto standard lens for everything from portraiture to sports, the fast Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM Lens for Pentax Digital SLRs is a great solution. This large aperture beauty is designed with an SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass element and a glass mold element which yield first-class, sharp image captures with high contrast.
The 85mm f/1.4 has Sigma’s HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) which provides fast, accurate and quiet autofocusing. The exterior of this lens is EX-finished which translates to a superior build and optical quality, enhanced handling and appearance. It comes with a petal-type hood to block out extraneous light. A dedicated hood adapter for cameras with an APS-C size image sensor is also included to expand the length of the hood for blocking out extraneous light more effectively.
This fast f/1.4 lens is great for capturing fast moving images, allowing you to use faster shutter speeds, and is what you want when shooting under low lighting conditions. This highly efficient lens has a nine blade circular diaphragm for creating pleasant out-of-focus highlights (bokeh) which is a major asset to portrait and wedding photographers.
Short Telephoto Lenses
The Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Lens for Pentax is a wide-angle to normal-length zoom lens that features a fast, bright constant f/1.8 maximum aperture. It is specifically designed for use with APS-C-sized sensors and provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 27-52.5mm.
The lens integrates four aspherical elements into its construction as well as five Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass elements to help minimize various aberrations and distortions throughout the zoom range as well as provide greater image sharpness and clarity. A Super Multi-Layer Coating has also been applied to lens elements to reduce surface reflections, lens flare, and ghosting to produce images with higher contrast and color fidelity. The lens barrel design is constructed from a Thermally Stable Composite (TSC) material that is akin to metal in texture and resistance to temperature and environmental changes while also remaining lightweight and compact. An internal focusing and zooming mechanism also helps to maintain a compact and consistent overall length and non-rotating front ring also better enables the use of circular polarizing filters. For control of focus, a Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) is used to ensure fast, precise, and quiet focusing capabilities that are well suited to continuous shooting and movie recording.
This lens is part of Sigma’s Art line; deeming it well-suited to creative image making due to its large, constant f/1.8 maximum aperture and ability to produce aesthetic bokeh by way of a nine-blade circular diaphragm. The range of focal lengths it covers, from wide-angle to normal-length, is nicely situated for everyday and artistic shooting applications.
Pentax DA* 16-50mm f/2.8ED AL [IF] SDM Lens is a high-quality bright f/2.8 lens. This lens brings together advanced optical technologies, including aspherical elements, special optical-glass elements, and original lens coatings. It offers a versatile ultra-wide to medium-telephoto zoom range, and can be used as the ideal standard zoom lens in a wide variety of applications, including landscape, snapshot and portrait.
Walk Around Lens
I love a good walk around lens. There are times when I don’t know what I am going to expect when I go out with my camera . I could be shooting wide or long. The quality may not be as good as a prime but sometimes you need more versatility than you need sharpness or low light performance.
You may already have this lens. It’s offered in some kits as an alternative to the 18-55 lens. If you have the option of getting it, make sure you do as it is well worth the price. If it doesn’t come in a kit, you may want to consider picking it up. It’s got a decent range, is decently sharp, and is weather resistant. It offers a focal length that is equivalent (in 35mm format) from 27.5 to 207mm. This wide coverage is ideal for a variety of telephoto applications, including portraiture, sports and scenery.
The image circle in DA-series lenses is designed to perfectly match the 23.5mm x 15.7mm size of the CCD used in Pentax digital SLRs to optimize camera performance. This design also contributes to a drastic reduction in size, weight and production cost compared to 35mm-format counterparts with similar specifications.
Pentax DA (DA-Star) zoom lenses come equipped with the SDM System, which assures smoother, quieter auto-focusing operation by using a built-in supersonic motor. Like all Pentax lenses, this lens is treated with smc coating for maximum light transmission, sharp definition, and high contrast images.
The Tamron AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO is a high power zoom lens designed exclusively for digital SLR cameras using the more compact (APS-C) digital size image sensors. The focal length of this lens is equivalent to approx. 28-300mm in 35mm format.
Designed as an “all-in-one” lens, it will meet almost all photographic opportunities without changing lenses.
The 18-200mm zoom lens realizes an MFD (Minimum Focus Distance) of 1.5′ (45 cm) over the entire zoom range by the employment of a new optical/mechanical design configuration. Since the maximum magnification ratio at f=200mm is 1:3.7, you can enjoy close-up photography easily and conveniently.
The 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM from Sigma is an incredibly versatile lens that is a real jack-of-all-trades lens you can carry in any situation. With a focal length spanning from a wide-angle 18mm up to a 250 mm telephoto zoom, with macro capabilities to boot, Sigma’s 18-250mm could easily be your camera’s first all-in-one lens, or a great replacement for several smaller lenses that you’re looking to consolidate.
Sigma redesigned the optical and structural design of this lens in order to achieve a relatively compact size, at 4.0″ long, as well as a close minimum focusing distance of 13.8″ for macro photography. Their Thermally Stable Composite (TSC) construction maintains the structure of the lens, with little variation despite changing temperatures. The lens also incorporates a brass-made bayonet mount, to further reinforce the lenses durability and resistance to wear and tear over time.
The minimum focusing distance is the same throughout the focal length of the entire zoom range, and provides a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2.9. As an added benefit over fixed focal length macro lenses, the size and framing of subjects can quickly and easily be adjusted by rotating the zoom ring. For even further convenience, at each focusing distance on the side of the lens barrel, the maximum magnification ratio is also displayed.
For high image quality, you know you’ve got to have high quality glass, and Sigma has incorporated their Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass element into the 18-250mm. In addition to the SLD element, three aspherical lenses, including a double-sided aspherical lens, have been used in the lens’ construction–offering excellent correction of color aberration, for better clarity and quality of images throughout the zoom range.
A Super Multi-Layer Coating has also been employed to reduce flare and ghosting with this lens. This makes it resistant to strong incident light, such as backlight behind a subject, providing sharper, high contrast images even shooting into a light source. To prevent internal reflections from occurring, the included petal-type lens hood can be attached in order to block out extraneous light.
For a lens that offers a wide-angle to telephoto focal length, and the ability to zoom-in with macro photography, Sigma’s 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM made for Pentax cameras is more than a match. Whether you’re on a macro product shoot, a walk in the park, or have a wedding to go to, this lens will help you shoot high quality images in any situation.
The Pentax smc Pentax-DA 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 ED SDM Lens is an all-encompassing zoom lens, featuring a 15x zoom rangefrom a wide 18mm to a long 270mm (equivalent to 27.5-414mm in 35mm format). Benefitting the long reach of this lens, two extra-low dispersion elements have been incorporated into the lens construction to help reduce chromatic aberration and improve overall image clarity. A minimum focus distance of 1.6′ across the entire zoom range also makes this lens an effective tool for macro and close-up work.
Telephoto Lens: In photography and cinematography, a telephoto lens is a specific type of a long-focus lens in which the physical length of the lens is shorter than the focal length. This is achieved by incorporating a special lens group known as a telephoto group that extends the light path to create a long-focus lens in a much shorter overall design. The angle of view and other effects of long-focus lenses are the same for telephoto lenses of the same specified focal length. Long-focal-length lenses are often informally referred to as telephoto lenses although this is technically incorrect: a telephoto lens specifically incorporates the telephoto group.
Telephoto lenses are sometimes broken into the further sub-types of medium telephoto: lenses covering between a 30° and 10° field of view (85mm to 135mm in 35mm film format), and super telephoto: lenses covering between 8° through less than 1° field of view (over 300mm in 35mm film format).
The HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens from Pentax is a portrait-length to telephoto zoom lens that provides a 35mm-equivalent focal range of 84.5-460mm. This extensive zoom range is complemented by the inclusion of two extra-low dispersion glass elements, which work to minimize chromatic aberrations and enhance overall image sharpness and clarity. A high-grade multi-layer HD coating has been applied to lens elements to help minimize flare and ghosting for enhanced contrast and, additionally, an SP Protect coating has also been applied to the front lens element to effectively protect it from dirt, oil, and finger prints.
The Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM for Pentax is the second generation of large-aperture telephoto zoom lenses incorporating Sigma’s OS (Optical Stabilizer) anti-shake system. It offers the equivalent of shooting at shutter speeds 3 to 4 stops slower than without OS, thus allowing handheld telephoto zoom shooting even in poorly lit conditions. Its HSM ensures quiet and high speed AF as well as full-time manual focusing.
It features a large maximum aperture of f/2.8 that remains constant throughout the zoom range, making it incredibly valuable when shooting in low light situations such as weddings or other events. It is also great when shooting fast-moving subjects such as sports, when fast shutter speeds are needed to capture fleeting moments. The 70-200mm f/2.8 is fast and versatile and at a length of 7.8 (19.8cm) will be a tool that seldom sees the inside of your camera bag. The lens comes with a petal-type lens hood plus an adapter to extend its length for users with APS-c cameras.
The Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro Lens is a telephoto zoom lens that has a large maximum aperture of f/2.8 which remains constant throughout the zoom range. It also offers an excellent “close-focusing-distance” minimum of just 3.1′ (0.95 m) throughout its entire zoom range, with a maximum macro magnification ratio of 1:3.1 at f=200mm. When mounted on an APS-C sensor size digital SLR camera, it provides a focal length equivalent of 105-300mm.
The advantage that the Tamron has over the Sigma is cost. While it lacks image stabilization, your Pentax camera has that built into the body which means that you don’t need it. This lets you save the money and still get great performance in that distance.
This Sigma 50-500mm F/4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM Lens for Pentax covers a lot of ground. The 10x zoom can be used on everything from landscape and portrait photos to sports action and wildlife photography. It uses 4 Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass elements for optimum color correction and sharpness through the entire zoom range, and a Hyper-Sonic Motor (HSM) provides quiet and high-speed auto focusing. The Optical Stabilization (OS) system allows you to use the lens even off a tripod to capture sharp, clear photos.
This 50-500mm lens is designed for use with Pentax DSLR cameras–with an APS-C-sized sensor, the effective zoom range is approximately 75-750mm in 35mm equivalent.
While around $500 more than the Sigma 150 to 500, it is slightly sharper so keep that in mind when you are considering which one to get.
This Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM APO Lens for Pentax is for digital SLR cameras with a Pentax K lens mount. It is an ultra telephoto zoom lens ideal for nature, wildlife, or sports photography. This zoom range translates into an equivalent range of 225-750mm when used with digital SLR cameras with an APS size sensor.
The OS (Optical Stabilizer) system minimizes image blur caused by camera shake, and offers the equivalent of shooting at a shutter speed 3-4 stops faster. This allows handheld telephoto zoom shooting even in poorly lit conditions.
The use of the OS (Optical Stabilizer) system, HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor), APO apochromatic design, three elements of SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass, and multicoated optics all enable this lens to provide a high level of performance throughout its entire zoom range, as well as versatility. A rear focus system insures quick, convenient manual focus and a non-rotating front barrel.
The improved DG lens design corrects for various aberrations. This lens is specially coated to get the best color balance, while cutting down on ghosting caused by reflections from the digital image sensor. The lens provides the utmost correction against lateral chromatic aberration, which is a serious problem for digital SLR cameras.
The Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Lens is a high-quality telephoto lens that is designed for exclusive use with Pentax digital SLR cameras. It offers a focal length that is equivalent (in 35mm format) to 450mm. This wide coverage is ideal for a variety of telephoto applications, including portraiture, sports and scenery.
Pentax DA* (DA-Star) zoom lenses come equipped with the SDM System, which assures smoother, quieter auto-focusing operation by using a built-in supersonic motor. When mounted on the K10D digital SLR camera body, the focus mode is automatically switched to SDM-assisted auto-focusing. When mounted on older Pentax digital SLR camera bodies, the conventional autofocus mode using a camera-mounted motor is selected.
This Sigma 500mm f/4.5 EX DG APO lens is an Apochromatic ultra-telephoto lens with a fast f/4.5 maximum aperture, and it incorporates two ELD (Extraordinary Low Dispersion) glass elements to reduce chromatic aberration to a minimum. Internal focus enables responsive and fast autofocus speed.
The improved DG lens design corrects for various aberrations. This lens is specially coated to get the best color balance whilst cutting down on ghosting caused by reflections from the digital image sensor. The lens provides the utmost correction against lateral chromatic aberration which is a serious problem for digital SLR cameras.
By adding the optional Sigma APO teleconverter, you can use this lens as a 700mm f/6.3 MF ultra-telephoto lens with a 1.4x EX teleconverter, or as a 1000mm f/9 MF ultra-telephoto lens with a 2x teleconverter.
Optimized for DSLRs and compatible with film SLR cameras, the smc PENTAX-D FA 100mm f/2.8 WR Macro Lens is constructed with an aluminum housing and 6 weather seals (thus the WR designation) so you can shoot in almost any environment without risking internal damage to the lens. Optical elements are treated with the Pentax Super Protect multi-layer coating to lower surface reflection, reduce ultraviolet rays, and deliver clear, high-contrast images. Plus, the configurations of its optical elements produce crisp, sharp images with no flare and ghosting. It also features a “Quick Shift” focusing system which allows you to easily switch between manual and AF modes.
Achieving life-size (1:1) magnification, this macro lens is ideal for the close-up photography including, but not limited to, nature, technical, medical or product applications. It is also great for portraiture. Its 8 rounded diaphragm blade configuration assists in producing out-of-focus areas of your images with a pleasing look.
Wide Angle Lens: The terms “wide-angle” and “telephoto” are based on the different angles of view they provide when compared with a normal lens. A wide-angle lens captures a wider angle of view than a normal lens does. There is no single wide-angle lens, but rather a variety of lenses that give wider and wider angles of view, some of which are classified as super or ultra wide-angle lenses, and the widest of all – fish-eye lenses. Lenses considered to be wide-angle include the 35 mm, 28 mm and 24 mm varieties, with the 28 mm being the “standard” wide-angle lens. Super wide angle lenses then take over, and run from 20 mm to about 13 mm.
The Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC lens offers a super-wide zoom solution to digital cameras, and was exclusively designed to suit the characteristics of digital SLR cameras. The super wide-angle capability of this zoom lens (equivalent range of approx. 15-30mm when used with a Pentax digital SLR camera makes it a very powerful tool for both indoor and landscape photography.
Someone needs to do this during the PotashCorp Fireworks Festival in Saskatoon.