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10-14-2010, 07:08 PM   #1
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3 prime set up

Hey everyone,

I really like my experience with primes, and I wanted some input into the next prime I should buy.

When I bought my A 28 2.8, I realized how much better IQ could be over the kit lens. I don't mind manual focus, but I think I want my next prime to be autofocus, and maybe ever WR.

Currently, I use the A 28mm 2.8 and the A 50 1.7 / K 55mm 1.8 interchangably (I use the A 50 when I need to work fast and use AV mode). So I'm thinking of going for a mid-tele next.

The 100 2.8 Macro WR looks really nice, and would add macro, tele, and WR to my kit (none of which I have). I do have a 80-200 zoom, but it's rather cheap and not really the IQ I'm used to.

However, there is also the DA70 / FA 77, which would fit the tele range.

Anyways, just wanted some oppinions as to what you would pick for a 3 prime set up.

28, 50/55, and X?

10-14-2010, 07:14 PM   #2
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X = DA Ltd 15mm
10-14-2010, 08:42 PM   #3
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If you've got the money for an FA 43mm Limited and/or the FA 77 Limited... by all means go for it. If your budget precludes that, or if lenses that fast aren't a must to you, I'd say go for the DA 15mm Limited and/or the DA 70mm Limited. But ultimately I would want both. Then you'd have a nice spread of 15-28-50-70. And if you ever decide to drop in the DA 21 and 40mm Limiteds later, it would still be a reasonably, progressively spaced set.

If you ever get tired of manual focus in the 28mm range, there's always the DA 35mm f/2.8 macro. A stunningly sharp lens by all accounts. Macro in that range will require you to really get close to your subject (meaning not many bugs). Instead, consider it a reasonably fast normal prime that allows you to get close to your subjects whenever you want or need.

Now, if macro is really important to you, the DA 100 WR is an excellent choice. But if you don't have a lot of interest in macro photography, this kind of lens can wait since you already have the 70-200. BTW, if you're not happy with that 70-200 zoom, Tamron's 70-200 f/2.8 zoom gets good reviews. $700 new, though. On a budget, Pentax's own DA 55-300 f/4-5.8 is a great lens. About $350 new for the metal-mount original but maybe you can find a nice used copy. I could also suggest Pentax's DA* 200mm f/2.8 prime... but it's $1000. You could buy an FA 31mm Limited for that kind of money.

Want to get crazy fun for cheap? The Samyang/Rokinon/Bower/Vivitar/Pro-Optic 8mm f/3.5 fisheye is about $250. Same lens under all of those names. Manual focus (but you don't need to focus much in that range) and there is a chip in Pentax-mount versions that allows metering and aperture priority. A specialty lens of course. But worth it for the money.

Last edited by Biro; 10-14-2010 at 08:53 PM.
10-14-2010, 08:44 PM   #4
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You talk about telephoto, so how much telephoto do you feel you need? You also touch on Macro, however is this something that you really need (want to invest in) or just want to try? How much of a gap in focal length do you feel comfortable with? How much do you want to spend or save to spend? When you use your 80-200 zoom, what focal ranges do you normally use or use most?

A bit of additional information will help...

10-14-2010, 08:50 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
28, 50/55, and X?
DA15 if X is meant to be wider than the other 2.

FA77 if X is longer, you have the budget, and you shoot people more than bugs/flowers
DA70 if X is longer, your budget doesn't stretch to the FA77, and you shoot people more than bugs/flowers
DFA100WR if X is longer, and you shoot people more bugs/flowers than people
10-14-2010, 09:03 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone.

With the 80-200, I usually sit at 100, or 200 (mostly when i'm trying to shoot animals running by), I don't see myself needed anything past 100 for any of the normal shooting I do.

Now I kind of like the 80-100 focal length for tight portraits. The 55 is a fine portrait lens, but sometimes I like to get really close. Marco is NOT that important to me, but I figured that if I bought a longer lens in that range, macro would be a nice plus .

The DA 15 would be very nice, but superwide is not that important to me. On the occasion I want to shoot that focal legnth, I pull out the kit, but honestly, I find the focal length a little unnatural and tend to like how longer lenses compress things. I'll eventually get the 15 (actually, for wide angle I was thinking of getting the 12-24), but for the mid tele I'm basically debating the 70, 77, and 100 macro. I figure that the 100mm would be nice because it's rather different from 55mm, compared to to 70/77. And if money was no object, I would get the 77, but the DFA 100 seems like a good deal compared to the 77.

If I had the 100mm WR, it would be my nature walk lens, with WR, a good reach, and macro, it seems it would be my go to for anything in large areas that won't necessarily get me get that close, and for tight portraits (or event photography).

In THEORY, the 100mm seems the most flexible option when compared to the 50/55, but I suppose I'm throwing this out there to people who have actually used these focal lengths.

And while the 80-200 will tide me over... it barely does. It's my worst lens by a long shot and shows it in my pictures. It's also a very dark lens. At f4.5 it is very dark, needs to be stopped down, and also seems darker than other lenses I have at f8. Hmm...
10-14-2010, 09:05 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
DA15 if X is meant to be wider than the other 2.

FA77 if X is longer, you have the budget, and you shoot people more than bugs/flowers
DA70 if X is longer, your budget doesn't stretch to the FA77, and you shoot people more than bugs/flowers
DFA100WR if X is longer, and you shoot people more bugs/flowers than people
So you are saying that the 100mm is not a great people lens? I shoot people more than anything else... second being architecture (which is why I would eventually want the 12-24).

I'll get the 77mm if I can (likely will, so I can use it with my film body and because I feel it would be a better investment than the DA 70), and those lengths are better portrait lenses?
10-14-2010, 09:15 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
So you are saying that the 100mm is not a great people lens? I shoot people more than anything else... second being architecture (which is why I would eventually want the 12-24).

I'll get the 77mm if I can (likely will, so I can use it with my film body and because I feel it would be a better investment than the DA 70), and those lengths are better portrait lenses?
Well FYI 100mm Macro WR is a DFA, so you can use that on your film body as well, no aperture ring though.

10-14-2010, 09:17 PM   #9
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DFA 100 WR is an excellent choice no doubt, and it's macro, so yes, versatile. But if you've never tried the FA 77 you'll not know of the kind of rendition that I've only seen in an FA ltd.

All depends on your preferred FL and whether you intend on macro work - the decision is much easier if that's the case.

All the best in choosing.
10-14-2010, 09:18 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
So you are saying that the 100mm is not a great people lens?
I don't own the DFA100, although I do own the DA70. The DA70 is 1/2 stop faster, smaller, lighter, cheaper(?), and faster focusing than the DFA100. Whether that is enough to offset the WR and macro capability is up to you.
10-14-2010, 09:19 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
DFA 100 WR is an excellent choice no doubt, and it's macro, so yes, versatile. But if you've never tried the FA 77 you'll not know of the kind of rendition that I've only seen in an FA ltd.

All depends on your preferred FL and whether you intend on macro work - the decision is much easier if that's the case.

All the best in choosing.
This is a long way off, but I like to dream .

So you would say that the FA 77 is better suited for portraits than the 100mm DFA? It renders people better?

If that is the case, I know I certainly would not be disappointed with something as nice as the FA77.
10-14-2010, 09:33 PM   #12
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Yes the 77LTD does render people better, it was designed for portrait work afterall.
Treat yourself to one, you wont be disapointed

I too own the A 28mm 2.8 but my 3 prime setup when im out and about is.

DA 15 LTD
A 50 F/1.7 (which will soon be replaced by a FA 43 LTD)
FA 77 LTD
10-14-2010, 09:38 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
So you are saying that the 100mm is not a great people lens? I shoot people more than anything else... second being architecture (which is why I would eventually want the 12-24).

I'll get the 77mm if I can (likely will, so I can use it with my film body and because I feel it would be a better investment than the DA 70), and those lengths are better portrait lenses?
as long as the people you are referring to involves head shots/ head and shoulder shots from 5ft - 15ft doing portraits, the 100mm is a great lens. if you are shooting candid and farther away from your subject over 20ft, doing full body w/ or w/o background (blurred or in-focus) portraits, the 100mm is a great lens. and you have the luxury of cropping it further because of the macro lens' great resolving power.

the only thing that you should worry about is if you are shooting something which requires a wider fov at close range.
10-14-2010, 10:15 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
the only thing that you should worry about is if you are shooting something which requires a wider fov at close range.
Thats when I go to the 50 or the 28.

I find the 28 great for close normal FOV work.

Sounds like I have some thinking to do. This lens is supposed to be a sort of candid/portrait lens. The speed difference between the two is not so important, it's the reach and rendering that is important.

While I'm not as concerned with sharpness as some, is the 100 macro sharper than the 77? I'm gonna bet that the macro is sharper, but the 77 has the bokeh to die for.

In that case, the 77 might win.
10-14-2010, 10:34 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Thats when I go to the 50 or the 28.

I find the 28 great for close normal FOV work.

Sounds like I have some thinking to do. This lens is supposed to be a sort of candid/portrait lens. The speed difference between the two is not so important, it's the reach and rendering that is important.

While I'm not as concerned with sharpness as some, is the 100 macro sharper than the 77? I'm gonna bet that the macro is sharper, but the 77 has the bokeh to die for.

In that case, the 77 might win.
this is quite tricky to say the least. I have the Sigma 70 which is a great lens. the focal length is very nice for something wider but struggles a bit with distant subjects. for indoors it's great for head shots and H&S shots. so a 77mm would be of little difference to it. I had tried the 77, which is a remarkable lens. wider fov as well for indoors. the 77mm is sharp and sort of a pseudo macro if I should say, but a macro is still a macro. 77 has great bokeh while the 100mm has very good bokeh. so it's a matter of what you need.

fwiw, I'm using a macro lens for portraits, namely the S1 90/2.5 which has an awesome bokeh. I find the longer focal length to be of luxury especially for outdoor candids. so it's not bad to have the best of both worlds.

but if you just contented with a shorter/mid tele for portraits, maybe you can add the Sigma 85 into the mix. although this would cost you about 3x the price of a macro 100mm.
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