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Pentax HD FA 50mm f/1.4 SDM Examples: White Mountains (Pentax K1 II)

See my Pentax K wishlist at B&H Photo.

These examples shot in the White Mountains of California late in the day to night. Some examples use pixel shift and some do not. Includes some astrophotography and dusk shots as well as daylight.

Pentax HD FA 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW Examples: White Mountains

Includes images up to full camera resolution.

Pixel shift mode on the Pentax K-1 Mark II can be a godsend for images like the one below, which required considerable contrast control. While it often has issues from subject motion and is thus inapplicable, when it works, it halves the noise level, which makes for ultra low noise even with aggressive contrast control where deep shadows are opened up. The noise is far superior to the Nikon D850 or Nikon Z7, including a freedom from hot pixels.

Ancient Bristlecone Pine just after sunset
f9 @ 3.0 sec pixel shift, ISO 100; 2018-11-25 16:54:38
PENTAX K-1 Mark II + Pentax HD FA 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW
ENV: White Mountain Road, altitude 10600 ft / 3231 m, 35°F / 1°C
RAW: LACA corrected, USM {8,50,0}

[low-res image for bot]

It can be a challenge to capture the rising earth shadow due to contrast. Here, the use of pixel shift provided the ultimate in detail along with ultra noise.

Earth shadow rising, view down Wyman Canyon
f6.3 @ 0.5 sec pixel shift, ISO 100; 2018-11-25 16:46:48
PENTAX K-1 Mark II + Pentax HD FA 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW
ENV: White Mountain Road, altitude 10300 ft / 3139 m, 30°F / -1°C
RAW: LACA corrected, USM {8,50,0}
Earth shadow rising, view down Wyman Canyon

[low-res image for bot]
Orange sunset light on ancient bristlecone pine stump
f13 @ 1/40 sec pixel shift, ISO 100; 2018-11-25 16:12:24
PENTAX K-1 Mark II + Pentax HD FA 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW
ENV: Whit Mountain Road, altitude 10650 ft / 3246 m, 38°F / 3°C
RAW: LACA corrected, USM {8,50,0}, diffraction mitigating sharpening

[low-res image for bot]
Extreme blue after sunset, looking south along the White Mountains
f2 @ 1/80 sec handheld, ISO 100; 2018-11-29 16:34:47
PENTAX K-1 Mark II + Pentax HD FA 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW
ENV: White Mountains, altitude 8000 ft / 2438 m, 25°F / -3°C
RAW: LACA corrected

[low-res image for bot]

Donald S writes:

I know that you are very busy and I value your blog for all of it’s first rate information!!! I hope that you have just a moment for a compliment. I now live in Indianapolis but grew up in SoCal and made many trips to Mammoth for skiing, fishing, etc.. Your excellent pictures bring back many memories of those trips. I especially like your recent one titled: “View from White Mountain Road to Deep Springs after fresh snowfall”. I’ve always been on the other side looking at the White Mountains, and they don’t look quite like that!

I hope you can continue your work. Many items are a little expensive for me now, but I like to know what is possible.

DIGLLOYD: the image is unusual in that I think hardly anyone would shoot it, and yet it captures two places closely related at once under wildly different conditions and ecosystems and with a rare quilt of snow covering it just right. The White Mountains look barren from a distance, but there is a lot there to see. Pity not more water though.

View from White Mountain Road to Deep Springs after fresh snowfall
f1.4 @ 1/5000 sec, ISO 100; 2018-11-29 14:05:36
PENTAX K-1 Mark II + Pentax HD FA 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW
ENV: White Mountain Road, altitude 8000 ft / 2438 m
RAW: Enhance Details

[low-res image for bot]

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