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05-17-2010, 07:25 AM   #16
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Well, giving it some more thought, and reading the suggestions on here I think I'm really looking for two things and need to separate them to make a decision. I'd love a DA 15 or 21, but they'd be redundant for me right now, so I need to think about the fast 30mm range.

I think I might just keep an eye out for some of the used manual 28mm f2 lenses that are out there, or learn to live with the feel of sigma's 30mm f1.4. I guess its really coming down to how much am I willing to pay to get that 1-2 stops faster than my DA35.

05-17-2010, 01:15 PM   #17
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QuoteQuote:
or learn to live with the feel of sigma's 30mm f1.4.
A friend uses it on his Olympus camera, and loves it. It's visibly soft wide open, but sharp enough when closed down. And it has good colours.
05-17-2010, 03:50 PM   #18
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Assuming you want these lenses for digital, many you mentioned are not "kinda wide to wide". Normal is 28mm so the 35mm lenses are actually moving into tele territory. For wide you need 24mm and less.

Since you say you don't mind manual everything here's a complete list of rectilinear lenses I know of in this area. I have indicated if the lens is manual focus only and also the mount if it is not KA. You have 25 choices.

Tamron AF 14/2.8 Aspherical IF SP
Sigma 14/3.5 AF
Sigma 14/2.8 EX ASP HSM
Pentax 14/2.8 DA SMC ED IF
Pentax 15/3.5 SMC-M [MF K]
Pentax DA 15/4 Limited
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 17/3.5 [MF]
Tokina 17/3.5 [MF K]
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 18/3.5 ZK [MF K]
Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 20/2.8 [MF M42]
Voigtlander 20/3.5 SL Color-Skopar [MF]
Sigma 20/1.8 EX DG Aspherical RF
Pentax 20/2.8 SMC P-A [MF]
Pentax 20/2.8 SMC P-FA
S-M-C/Super Takumar 20/4.5 [MF M42]
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 21/2.8 ZK [MF K]
Pentax 21/3.2 SMC P-DA Limited
Sigma 24/1.8 EX DG Aspherical Macro
Pentax FA* 24/2 AL IF
Vivitar 24/2.0 [MF]
Vivitar 24/2.8 [MF]
Pentax 24/2.8 A [MF]
Pentax 24/2.0 FA
S-M-C/Super Takumar 24/3.5 [MF M42]
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 25mm f/2.8 ZK [MF K]

That's a lot of options! But if you want metering through a KA mount it reduces a bit. This filter also has the side effect of eliminating the over-priced Zeiss lenses. And the Taks have counterparts with better IQ in later Pentax series. I further simplify by removing models that have faster or obviously better counterparts (eg. the Pentax 14/2.8 is better than the others). This leaves us with these 10:

Pentax 14/2.8 DA SMC ED IF
Pentax DA 15/4 Limited
Voigtlander 20/3.5 SL Color-Skopar [MF]
Sigma 20/1.8 EX DG Aspherical RF
Pentax 20/2.8 SMC P-A [MF]
Pentax 20/2.8 SMC P-FA
Pentax 21/3.2 SMC P-DA Limited
Sigma 24/1.8 EX DG Aspherical Macro
Pentax FA* 24/2 AL IF
Vivitar 24/2.0 [MF]

Choosing these by largest aperture is unwise, since many need to be stopped down for decent performance. In fact, this makes the zooms in the wide range look rather good, which is why I ended up with the DA12-24mm, usable wide open. But I also have the Vivitar 24/2.0 (Komine build) for when a prime is more fitting.
05-17-2010, 03:58 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by mills Quote
I'd love a DA 15 or 21, but they'd be redundant for me right now, so I need to think about the fast 30mm range.
Er, crap. Wish I had read that before my last post! Oh well, hope it helps someone!

But it makes the answer easy. Just buy the FA31. Or, if broke, buy a manual focus Vivitar 28/2 in KA mount.

05-17-2010, 07:36 PM   #20
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Thanks for taking the time to write out that big reply. Your last post does sum it up though... Its a matter of deciding whether or not the FA31 is worth putting the money into. Being a bit of a novice I kinda stray toward the vivitar option, but I know that I probably wouldn't regret having a nicer lense in the long run.
05-17-2010, 08:17 PM   #21
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Of all the FA Limiteds I skipped the FA31, since I am happy with my manual Vivitar lenses. The 31 measures tests as 32mm, which is a bit long for me. I prefer from 24-28mm as a "normal" on APS-C.
05-18-2010, 12:33 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Of all the FA Limiteds I skipped the FA31, since I am happy with my manual Vivitar lenses. The 31 measures tests as 32mm, which is a bit long for me. I prefer from 24-28mm as a "normal" on APS-C.
I already had the FA 35/2, which is a very sharp lens in a very compact form factor. But then I got the FA 31mm, which is not quite as sharp as the humble 35mm, BUT it produces images, which are simply much nicer. The colour rendering is more, what you'ld expect from a top of the line Pentax lens and the mechanical built is a joy.

For wider views I use the FA 24/2, which I also love or the old 15/3.5 (which, by the way, is also available with the A contacts), which is big, heavy, but just stunningly good.

Ben
06-11-2010, 06:47 PM   #23
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Because I know you were all anxiously waiting to see what happened...

I got a vivitar 28mm f2 in the mail yesterday. Really excited, and then... it didn't fit on the camera. A quick google showed me a flange that needed modification, so out came the dremel tool.

Anyway, enough rambling... got it on the camera, focus confirmation works (wasn't expecting that necessarily), and I'm having fun playing with it. Gonna take it for a quick walk outside tonight to see what I think.

Thanks for the suggestions though, it feels pretty solid and I'm happy!

06-12-2010, 05:09 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by mills Quote
Anyway, enough rambling... got it on the camera, focus confirmation works (wasn't expecting that necessarily), and I'm having fun playing with it.
Yeah, confirmation can be hit and miss. I've got some lenses (can't remember which) where it does not work... and I have no idea why.
06-12-2010, 09:18 AM   #25
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If you're still considering the Sigma, Amazon is running a promotion today where you can get select Sigma lenses at 10% off by entering "SIGMADAD" in the promotions box at checkout. The only really desirable ones for Pentax are the 30 and the 10-20 (variable aperture version). If the other 10-20 was available I'd be snapping it up as it would be $585. They may show the 100-300 in there, too, but I believe that it is not actually available. Seems like I read that somewhere on here.

BTW, I love my EX30. I don't know if I've ever manually focused that one as its AF is just so good (fast and accurate even though we Pentaxians are left out on the HSM), so I haven't noticed a less than desirable mechanical feel. In fact, for my use it seems very well-built and on par with the DA*'s. Anyway, with the discount it would be $395 with free shipping. Food for thought!
06-12-2010, 10:41 AM   #26
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Yeah, I don't know if I'm just being nitpicky, or looked at a bad copy. I REALLY wanted to like that lense, but it just felt grind-y on manual and noisey on auto. I might have to try another one someday because I have an irrational desire to like/want that lens and have to keep telling myself that the full stop faster isn't that big a difference. The vivitar was cheap enough that owning both isn't insane, so we'll see.
Thanks for the heads up about the sale... amazon wouldn't ship one to Canada though, so no dice.
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