BLOG by soutophotography.com

BLOG by soutophotography.com

Katarina Souto Mera

...it's all about pictures...

My little girls

Random photosPosted by Katarina Souto Mera Thu, February 28, 2013 12:01:42

I just love when I can capture my two girls together, playing, interacting or just being together. And it is very tough. I learnt how to shoot them alone, but get them on picture together it is not two times, but three times more difficult. And the "sessions" are only about 5 min long before they loose patience with me. :) So those photographs I capture of them both together are even more special for me.

Katarina Souto

  • Comments(0)//blog.soutophotography.com/#post46

2013....

NewsPosted by Katarina Souto Mera Tue, January 08, 2013 13:43:28

OK, it's been like a century since I wrote or posted something on this blog. That's partly due to my laziness to kick myself to actually write something and partly to the dreadful process of uploading something to this blog.

But, …it is a new year and with that come plenty of new year's resolutions. And since it has been a couple of years that I did not take any resolutions (why to bother if you don't do it anyways), I thought that this year, maybe, it is a good time to change the habit and to set some goals for this year - and that is to post something on this boring blog and finally update or even redo my website www.soutophotography.com. That's it. Make it viewable on smartphones and tablets and update it with recent photos. Those you can see of course on my facebook page if you follow me.

So, it is on the paper, let's do it!

Happy new year!

Katarina Souto Mera

  • Comments(0)//blog.soutophotography.com/#post45

50ties shoot out on film

ReviewsPosted by Katarina Souto Mera Mon, April 18, 2011 12:06:05

Comparison shots on film from 6 prime lenses ranging from 43-58mm.

Pentax 43/1.9 Ltd,
Pentax M 50/1,7
Pentacon 50/1.8,
CZ Jena Flektogon 50/4,
Cosina 55/1.2,
Helios 44M 58/2

I owe a couple of lenses in the 50mm range and I was curious to see the differences between them. Each lens has its own characteristic which translate into unique rendering of out-of-focus areas know as bokeh.

Lenses in the test

SMC Pentax FA 43/1.9 Limited - Pentax limited autofocus lens, great IQ, very sharp even wide open, 3D subject rendering, slightly wider angle than the rest of the lenses in the test,
SMC Pentax M 50/1.7 - manual focus lens, also very sharp with pleasant bokeh, however this is the least used lens from the whole lot (that's why I forgot about including it in the first and second test shoots)
Pentacon auto 50/1.8 MC - M42 screw lens, smooth manual focus, very sharp wide open (the rest of the apertures I could not test as the lens is broken), focuses to very close distances (30 cm)
CZ Jena Flektogon 50/4 MC - medium format lens, smooth manual focus, not very fast (f4) but sharp, I normally use it with Pentacon6-PentaxK tilt adapter so I can place focus where I want
Cosina 55/1.2 MC - manual focus lens, very very fast (f1.2) with a special bokeh rendering - not very smooth, rather on the busy side but very interesting and surprising
Helios 44M 58/2 - Russian M42 manual focus lens, the longest one of the lot, creates swirly bokeh, (cons of my copy - very stiff focusing ring, and no MC coating even that on the front it says 44M-7 MC, it is not, I got fooled, but that’s another story..)

First shoot (purple flower from above)

Shot on Fuji Superia 200 with Pentax MZ-S, all the lenses wide open.
Shooting from above at the closest possible focus of the lens. Of course foreground/in-focus/background ratio changes, so the comparison of the bokeh in this shoot is not that much comparable. However we can see, what we can do with each lens and what the result will be.

SMC Pentax FA 43/1.9 Limited - as already said, very sharp and wider than the rest, bokeh more on the busy side, 45 cm the closest focus distance

Pentacon auto 50/1.8 MC - very sharp as well, but as this lens is able to focus very close up to 30cm, the in-focus plane is drastically reduced, bokeh more interesting

CZ Jena Flektogon 50/4 MC - very sharp, closest focus 50cm, nice pleasing bokeh

Cosina 55/1.2 MC - as this lens is really fast, the focus plane is very thin which makes focusing a real challenge, but this lens has very interesting bokeh which sometimes looks more like a painting than a photograph

Helios 44M 58/2 - quite sharp in the centre but not very much at corners which I don’t mind at all, very prone to flare due to missing MC coating (the lens is from 1976, so no wonder J) but can be creatively used, and this lens, as its bigger brother Helios 40, creates beautiful swirly bokeh

Second shoot (purple flower from side)

As well shot on Fuji Superia 200 with Pentax MZ-S, all the lenses wide open.
Shooting from the side at the closest possible focus of the lens. Background is about 1,5m behind the flowers. That means that the foreground/in-focus/background ratio does not change that much, so this example better demonstrates the differences in bokeh rendering of each lens.

SMC Pentax FA 43/1.9 Limited

Pentacon auto 50/1.8 MC

CZ Jena Flektogon 50/4 MC

Cosina 55/1.2 MC

Helios 44M 58/2

Third shoot (stroll in the wood)

Fuji Superia 200 with Pentax MZ-S, all the lenses wide open.
Shooting with each lens from the same distance about 2-3m which demonstrates the different scope of each lens and differences in bokeh rendering.
I added a “new” lens in the test SMC Pentax M 50/1.7

SMC Pentax FA 43/1.9 Limited

SMC Pentax M 50/1.7

Pentacon auto 50/1.8 MC

CZ Jena Flektogon 50/4 MC

Cosina 55/1.2 MC

Helios 44M 58/2

Fourth shoot (portrait)

Fuji Superia 200 with Pentax MZ-S, all the lenses wide open.
Shooting with each lens from the same distance about 1-2m which demonstrates the different scope of each lens and differences in bokeh rendering. Shooting into sun reveal the flare resistance. Thanks to my sister for being a patient model.

SMC Pentax FA 43/1.9 Limited

SMC Pentax M 50/1.7

Pentacon auto 50/1.8 MC

CZ Jena Flektogon 50/4 MC

Cosina 55/1.2 MC

Helios 44M 58/2

Katarina Souto Mera

PS: to view bigger images, please visit my facebook page "50ties shoot out on film" album

  • Comments(2)//blog.soutophotography.com/#post44

Windmills of Kinderdijk, the Netherlands

Travel photographyPosted by Katarina Souto Mera Wed, March 23, 2011 13:29:37

The windmills of Kinderdijk were built around 1738-1740 to drain the polder which is under sea level. There are 8 stone brick windmills built in 1738, 8 thatched windmills built in 1740, 2 stone windmills built in 1760 and there is one windmill built in 1521 that burnt down in 1997, but it was restored and put in operation in spring 2000.

Tatched windmills, Kinderdijk, the Netherlands (shot with Pentax MZ-S with Helios 44M-7 58mm/f2 on Lomography Redscale XR 50-200 film)

The windmills have been operational till the Second World War and since then the function of the windmills has been taken over by the pumping station which is one of the largest in the world. But in an emergency, the windmills can still be used to drain the polder.

The oldest windmill from 1521, Kinderdijk, the Netherlands (shot with Pentax MZ-S with Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 50/4 attached through a tilt adapter on Lomography Redscale XR 50-200 film)

This is the largest concentration of old windmills in the Netherlands and since 1997 is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Tatched windmill, Kinderdijk, the Netherlands (shot with Pentax MZ-S with Helios 44M-7 58mm/f2 on Lomography Redscale XR 50-200 film)

Brick windmill, Kinderdijk, the Netherlands (shot with Pentax MZ-S with SMC Pentax FA 20/2,8 on Lomography Redscale XR 50-200 film)

All of the mills are inhabited except one that is accessible to public.

Windmill, Kinderdijk, the Netherlands (shot with Pentax MZ-S with with Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 50/4 attached through a tilt adapter on Lomography Redscale XR 50-200 film)

To see more of these beautiful windmills please follow my facebook page.

Katarina Souto Mera

  • Comments(1)//blog.soutophotography.com/#post40

Antonio and Luciana

Wedding photographyPosted by Katarina Souto Mera Thu, January 06, 2011 09:23:50

Just a couple of pics from the wedding of my uncle I had pleasure to attend as a guest and not as a photographer. However I brought my camera with me to photograph mostly my little girl but I also managed to have a couple of minutes with bride and groom to steal some photos of them. Enjoy!

Katarina Souto Mera

(photos de mariage, Bruxelles, Belgique)

  • Comments(0)//blog.soutophotography.com/#post39

Helios 40-2 85/f1.5 portrait lens (II. part)

ReviewsPosted by Katarina Souto Mera Tue, January 04, 2011 11:18:10

So in the first part of the review of this beautiful les we saw its specifications and what it can do. Now in this second part we will see the transformation from M42 mount to Pentax K and of course some more photographs produced with this lens.

Converting Helios 40-2 from M42 screw mount to Pentax K

Helios 40-2 is native M42 screw mount so you need an M42-Pentax K adapter to put it on a Pentax camera. Had some problems first when putting it on - the adapter comes with a little spring that keeps it safely in the mount. So when you put the adapter on the lens and mount in on the camera, it will not come off like a normal Pentax lens with a push of the button. No, no. The adapter stays there and you have to unscrew the lens and remove the adapter from the camera mount with a tool.

Mount adapter M42 to Pentax K

I was lucky my lens is Helios 40-2 which has rotating tripod socket, had the silver edition Helios 40, the lens would have had to be on my camera permanently as the knob to loose the socket and the socket itself are colliding with the built-in flash housing and it would be impossible to unscrew the lens. So I had to loose the socket and unscrew the lens and take out the adapter every time I wanted to change lenses. Very impractical. Took me about 3 min every time. Impossible to do it in the field or on assignment.

So what I did is I removed little spring on the adapter and screw it very tightly on the lens. Now I transformed my Helios 40-2 from M42 into permanent Pentax K mount, which I could put on my camera and take it off as fast as any other lens with native K mount. Cool.

One thing still bothered me though. If you check carefully your lens and camera, there is little pin on the camera a little hole in the lens that secure the lens from falling off. Well, there was no hole in the back of my Helios. Well, it did hold somehow, but I had to be very careful when carrying my Pentax MZ-S with Helios 40-2 on. I had the biggest problem when focusing from far distance to close, especially when coming really close like around 1m and less. The manual focus ring is quite tight and even tighter at that spot, so I had to pay attention not to unmount the lens at the same time. Quite bothering. So I nicely asked my dear husband, if he could drill me a tiny hole into my lens. He did a great job and I now have a Helios 40-2 in Pentax K mount. Yay! smiley

Helios 40-2 85/1.5 with mounted M42/Pentax K adapter and a freshly drilled hole

Portrait of my dear husband (Pentax MZ-S with Helios 40-2 85/1.5 on Kodak Portra 400NC)

Portrait of my little girl (Pentax MZ-S with Helios 40-2 85/1.5 on Kodak Portra 400NC)

Leaf on spider web (Pentax MZ-S with Helios 40-2 85/1.5 on Kodak Portra 800)

Katarina Souto Mera

  • Comments(1)//blog.soutophotography.com/#post38

Helios 40-2 85/f1.5 portrait lens (I. part)

ReviewsPosted by Katarina Souto Mera Tue, November 09, 2010 09:35:08

Helios 40-2 85/f1.5

Helios 40-2 85/f1.5 is Russian portrait lens for old M42 screw mount SRL cameras. There are apparently four different editions of this lens. There is Helios 40, Helios 40"B", Helios 40-2 and Helios 40-2 export. I have the last version of them - Helios 40-2, which differs from Helios 40-2 in roman inscription on the lens instead of Russian.

Helios 40-2 85/1.5 wide open

Helios 40-2 85/f1.5 Specifications:

Focal length in 85mm
Lens fitting: M42
Apertures: 1.5 - 22
Angle of view: 28°
Focusing range: 0.8m to Infinity
Mount type: screw mount M42
Filter thread: 67mm
Weight: 1,185g

Picture quality

This lens is really amazing, very well built, hefty, optics are great, sharp even wide open and it creats beautiful swirly bokeh. And that beautiful bokeh is the reason I got this lens so I could create portrait images out of ordinary.

Have to say that there are two other lenses in my bag that have that swirl in the bokeh, but it is not so pronounced as with Helios 40-2. It is my beloved SMC Pentax FA 77/1,8 Limited and SMC Pentax FA* 200/2,8 IF&ED. Here are some photographs for comparison.

Pentax MZ-S with SMC Pentax FA 77/1,8 Limited on Kodak Portra 400NC

Pentax MZ-S with SMC Pentax FA* 200/2,8 IF&ED on Fuji PRO 400H

Pentax MZ-S with Helios 40-2 on Kodak Portra 400NC (converted to B&W in post)

Focusing Helios 40-2

It takes some getting used to manual focusing after being spoiled by autofocus, and one has to check very carefully the focus point because at f1,5 the depth of field is really shallow.

What is quite unusual about this lens it its two aperture rings where one sets the aperture value and the other serves for actual closing of aperture blades. The closing is smooth with no clicks between the apertures values. Uncommon is also its physical positions on the lens - it is kind of switched with the focus ring. I am used to set the apertures on the ring closer to the camera body and focus with the outer ring, but on this lens the focusing ring is the one close to the camera body and the aperture on is on the other end.

(to be continued in part II)

Katarina Souto Mera

  • Comments(0)//blog.soutophotography.com/#post37

Wedding Petra & Milan

Sneak peekPosted by Katarina Souto Mera Wed, September 15, 2010 14:52:34

Recently I had a pleasure to photograph (as a second shooter) a wedding of my little cousin in Kosice, Slovakia.

Working in tandem with the photographer Marek Mačák gave me the comfort shooting things I wanted or spotted during the ceremony concentrating on little details otherwise overlooked when getting the must-have-shots.

Lovely bride and funny groom made a beautifull couple great to work with and the natural wood around the venue made a perfect backdrop for the photoshoot. We got beautiful shots of both of them separately and together. I just regret that the timetable of the day did not permit us to continue shooting and getting even more beautiful photographs.

As always I had my beloved Pentax MZ-S with whole array of lenses - Limiteds, Rotator, Lensbaby, Cosina, 200mm*, my friend 540FGZ flash and reflector, I took also Diana F with instant back which I ended up not using though.. maybe next time :).. Took whole bunch of films - my favorite Portra NC 160, 400 and 800, FujiPRO400H and Lomography RedscaleXR 50-200. All beautifull.

For more photographs check out my FACEBOOK PAGE album WEDDING Petra & Milan. For the moment there are only 8 pics but many more to come. Stay tuned :)

Katarina Souto Mera

  • Comments(0)//blog.soutophotography.com/#post36

Bye-bye summer

Random photosPosted by Katarina Souto Mera Fri, September 10, 2010 15:30:51

...long sunny days, warm evenings, neverending walks in the fields... all of it is gone... but still alive in my memories...

Katarina Souto Mera

  • Comments(0)//blog.soutophotography.com/#post35

Bubbles

Random photosPosted by Katarina Souto Mera Tue, August 10, 2010 14:11:32

...baby & bubbles...

...and bubbles & baby...

Katarina Souto Mera

  • Comments(0)//blog.soutophotography.com/#post34
Next »