I’d resisted switching to digital for years, fully-convinced that digital could never come close to the color and detail of Velvia 50 shot with a Medium Format camera. Though my opinion hasn’t exactly changed, the images to come out of my K-5 IIs recently are aesthetically pleasing, at least to me, and many of the shots would not have been possible with the vintage cameras and slow speed slide film that drew my into photography w few years ago.
It should be noted that I chose Pentax over any other digital camera system for the simple fact that they were designed to allow for easier manual control, including useable distance scales on the Limited Series lenses. Though nowhere near as easy to use on a much larger medium format lens, I’ve found the scale on my 70mm Limited is reasonably precise for determining and controlling depth-of-field.
Initially impressed with the technology, then disappointed with the process when compared to shooting film, I’m now looking forward to a long summer with my new camera system.
The image above was taken at PropMD in Eden Prairie, MN. Even with truly horrid overhead lighting, I was able to get brilliant colors thanks to RAW. I trust Velvia 50 to record a maximum of 5 stops, whereas the K-5 IIs easily achieves twice this, even with all shadows and highlight compensation OFF.
Roads often have perfect lines for framing a scene and drawing the viewer in, but it’s risky to set up a tripod and take the time to focus and frame while watching for traffic. With a quick look to the right and left as a snow storm rolled in, I was able to cross the road and stop for just a moment to capture this scene from the driver seat before heading further west into the storm.
Never would I risk using my 25-year-old Pentax 67 in the rain or snow. But the K-5 IIs is weather sealed. If I can take it, so can my camera.
Conclusion… When I got into photography in 2008, it was Galvin Rowell’s images of the Sierra’s, captured with Velvia 50 and GND’s, that first inspired me. I’ve come to realize now that I don’t need film or a 40 mega pixel camera. All I need is time to explore and a camera I can use.