A couple weeks ago, I was driving through the desert of western Arizona. The clouds were quickly changing and various degrees of light and shade were trading places upon the landscape. I wish I could have set up a tripod for time-lapse video, but by the time I walked to this spot, all the good stuff was gone in about a minute.
The first camera I ever purchased was a beloved entry level Pentax K1000. It served its purpose very well, and before too long I upgraded in the Pentax line. It only took a couple years until I discovered that I needed to be using a large format camera for the type of photography I was doing. After about a decade of that, I found that there were times a downsizing was ok, and for that I had a Pentax 6×7 camera. When the time came to go digital, I resisted, but then eventually caved in where it made sense to get a Pentax DSLR, so I could continue using some of the lenses I still owned.
At the time, Pentax had not developed full frame sensor cameras, so the only thing I needed was a wider lens for the smaller sensor. That Tamron lens had some nice results, but after a couple years I noticed there were focus inconsistencies. I was still using film around then, happier with those results overall.
Annoyed with the lens issues, I thought it was time to believe the rhetoric that only Nikon and Canon made real cameras. I purchased a Canon camera that produced horrible results, so I returned it. Then I bought an entry level Nikon. It came with a kit lens, but I thought at some point I would go full frame, so I also bought an extreme wide angle zoom capable of covering the larger sensor. The focus was great, but the files seemed to be noisy, even at 100 ISO. I started to take both the Nikon and Pentax out together and compare them side-by-side. To my surprise the results from the Pentax were nicer than the Nikon, using the older Pentax lenses. I soon sold off the Nikon. So much for the hype.
After a couple more years, Pentax finally got with the program and had a full frame sensor. They never had ultra wide zooms when I used film, so that was the only addition to shoot with that camera. Although I was happy with the results, the lens is one of those that has no filter threads. I wanted to use ND filters where the light was too much for the situation, and that wasn’t an option. When I sold off the Nikon, I still had the wide zoom. I had tried a couple times to sell it, only to get some lame offers.
Pentax and Nikon mounts are very similar, but mount in opposite directions. It is possible to insert a Nikon lens into a Pentax body, but not to the point where it locks. I have carefully taken a couple photos with this combination, but there is no aperture control. The reverse situation of a Pentax lens on a Nikon body does not mount at all.
Early last year I was looking at my unused Nikon lens and decided it either had to go or become useful. I was intrigued by the direction of digital cameras towards mirrorless, but didn’t want to invest in a whole line of lenses. When I saw that Nikon had made an adapter for its DSLR lenses, they got my attention. The real game changer came from someone else, however. Due to the narrowness of the camera body on the mirrorless, there is room for an adapter now. Thank you, Fotodiox!
So I haven’t really figured out what to call my hybrid system. Is it Niktax? Or Penton? The Nikon body is even small enough to fit inside an old Pentax lens pouch. Eventually I will probably replace the Pentax lenses with Nikon equivalents, but I’ve been using manual lenses most of my life and have no problem operating that way.
I was going through my media storage the other day, and came across this shot from a trip to New Orleans a couple years ago. I never got around to putting this one out, so here it is finally. It must have been quite a sign when it worked, and this was definitely the more preserved side of the sign. Only a few neon tubes remain and the paint has long since faded, but from top to bottom it reads, “Union Foreign American Parts”. Sounds like an identity crisis, or they were just trying to appeal to everyone.
I always liked this photo in color, and never really thought of it in black and white until I was playing around with some files last week. Some effects can be achieved in Photoshop, and sometimes you just have to wait for the right moment to press the shutter. I’m sure I’ve talked about it before. I call it Mother Nature’s dodge and burn. A storm was clearing over the Superstition Mountains just as it was getting late in the day. Shafts of light were sliding around here and there, then a large opening in the clouds allowed for the Saguaro cactus forest to be illuminated while the cliffs above were waiting their turn.