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11-09-2010, 12:10 AM   #1
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New lenses, which ones?

I'm a beginner and a little confused, so I need some advices before to spend a lot of money in lenses.

I own a K7 with the 18-55wr and the 55-300.

I've already decided for the Pentax DA 10-17mm F3-5-4.5 ED (IF) Fish-Eye, I guess it's the best fish-eye in the market for a Pentax.

For low light condition and indoor I was thinking about the Pentax FA 50mm F1.4 but I don't know if for that price (around $360) there's something better. Should I consider also the DA 35mm F2.4 AL?

Two more lenses for now should be enough but just for future reference which macro lens do you recommend? Here I don't have any idea!

The 18-55wr that I have is not bad in my opinion but sometimes I feel like I need something wider ... any other suggestion?

Thanks for reading,

Daniele







Last edited by Daniele; 11-09-2010 at 01:45 AM. Reason: Typo
11-09-2010, 01:30 AM - 1 Like   #2
axl
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So far you are set up nicely.
For the low ligh? Well 50 is quite good although some say tad soft wide open. I only shot it once so can't really say. From personal experience I would recommend F/FA50/1.7. Great lens and plenty sharp even wiode open. Very fasr to AF and with good high ISO the half stop difference won't show so badly. What I would recommend though is to check what focal length you use indoors (I suppose that's where most of low light will be) and consider other lenses such as Sigma 30/1.4, FA35/2 or so... 50 is tad longer. It makes nice short portrait length but isn't everybody's cup of tea...

As far as macro goes: they are all good. DFA (WR or not) are the smallest. Sigma 105 is biggest and heaviest. Opticaly there is very little noticable difference so it's a tough call here. Depends on the need of WR, size and weight considerations and budget.

Wide angle? 10-20 early version gets my vote.

Good luck
11-09-2010, 04:01 AM   #3
hcc
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I agree with axl that a 50 mm lens with large aperture (f 1.4) would be a good choice. If you are willing to use MF, I would recommend two well-regarded lenses:
- Carl Zeiss 50mm 1.4
- Voigtlander Nokton 58 mm f1.4

I have the latter and I can recommend it highly. It is very well considered by most Pentaxians, altough Voigtlander discontinued its K-mount. You can still find a few Voigtlander Nokton 58mm and it woud be a very good investment in an excellent lens.

Hope tha the comment will help.
11-09-2010, 04:36 AM   #4
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Welcome Daniele,
If you're keen on an AF prime lens, then the FA 50/1.4 is never a bad choice - perhaps not as good as those that are twice its price (like the FA 43 ltd) but then again, what do you expect?
If you're happy with manual focus, then the previous suggestions are excellent.

Macro is also a good investment for those close ups you want. Manual focus would do just fine for that purpose - so saving you a good amount. But again, if AF is what you want, the Tamron 90 is a good choice.

Ultra wide angle lenses are expensive - cheapest zoom and of good quality is the Sigma 10-20 or the Tamron 10-24. Otherwise you could consider a prime like the DA 14 if you can find one, or the little DA 15 ltd.

All the best in your decision.

11-09-2010, 04:37 AM   #5
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I suggest that you check out your 18-55 set to 50mm in environments where you intend to use the 50mm. It might well be that you can not get everything in the photo that you want.
In that case you're better off with FA31/1.8, DA35/2.4 or FA43/1.9 or a A28/2.

Further a fisheye lens serves a very specific type of photos. If you want one, you want one, but else a 12-24 would possibly be a better proposal.
11-09-2010, 05:37 AM   #6
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I think a wide prime is a must, there are things you simply cannot shoot without one.

A macro can be nice IF you like macro photogrpahy.

Your fisheye will cover the wider angle that the WR kit isn't giving you.

for me, your next step should be a fast prime (f2,4 or faster). Then look a your pictures taken with your current lenses and find out which focal lengths are used most often. This should help you decide around which focal lengths to concentrate your next purchases.

For the record, I own th WR kit and love it when the weather is challenging. But I much prefer to use my Sigma 17-70 as a general walkaround lens. It's better in all situations (except when it's raining :P)
11-09-2010, 06:36 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Daniele Quote
I'm a beginner and a little confused, so I need some advices before to spend a lot of money in lenses.

I own a K7 with the 18-55wr and the 55-300.

I've already decided for the Pentax DA 10-17mm F3-5-4.5 ED (IF) Fish-Eye, I guess it's the best fish-eye in the market for a Pentax.

For low light condition and indoor I was thinking about the Pentax FA 50mm F1.4 but I don't know if for that price (around $360) there's something better. Should I consider also the DA 35mm F2.4 AL?

Two more lenses for now should be enough but just for future reference which macro lens do you recommend? Here I don't have any idea!

The 18-55wr that I have is not bad in my opinion but sometimes I feel like I need something wider ... any other suggestion?

Thanks for reading,

Daniele




Your kit and the planned addition of the 10-17 fisheye will cover quite a lot of photographic territory. You can take a lot of shots with what you have, before you hit limits on your equipment.

Your question, however, goes much further. I believe everyone should plan out their lens kit to some detail, and systematically work to the ultimate kit (for them)

I used to suggest covering with zooms, from 10-12mm through 200mm, with a plan to go longer (300-500mm) especially if wildlife or sports was an interest. I also suggested that you would ultimately want much of the core range of 10-200 at F2.8, and then fill the rest in with special interest lenses. I felt that although you may wish a specific macro, that also one zoom should be macro capable for use when you did not carry the macro lens.

This got some criticism, so last week, I launched a poll

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/120286-lens-kit-design-poll.html

This showed what the average forum member thought the kit should cover.

There are some errors in the poll, for example I shouold have had a specific 10-12mm lower limit because people who felt 12mm was enough are grouped in with those who felt 16mm was wide enough, and this confuses the results, a little .

But overall, the biggest things I see is that many people feel that there is a need for the base kit to go beyond 200mm, and that F2.8 is not as important as I personally thought.

Have a close look at the results, and consider your lenses carefully.

My basic advise, would be to expand your range first before looking to upgrade within the range, unless you find some specific needs (or wants)
11-09-2010, 06:58 AM   #8
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IMHO a 50 mm lens has somewhat narrow FOV for general indoor use, the new 35mm 2.4 would be better for that sort of thing. As mentioned you can see the FOVs produced by different focal lengths for yourself with the kit zoom. As for the macros, the current Tamron (90mm), Pentax (100mm) and Sigma (105mm) offerings are all highly respected.

11-09-2010, 09:56 AM   #9
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Hmm, just a thought.

The DA 35 LTD macro is very highly regarded, 1/2 stop slower than the DA 35 2.4, and is a macro when you need it.

What kind of macro shots are you planning on doing? A 100mm macro is much better with insects and the like because you can stand further back, however, the 35 macro would be just fine for most other applications and would double as a walk-around. The 35 macro would be less expensive than buying 2 primes.

If you want to do some low light and don't want to spend the coin on a 50mm 1.4 right away, consider an old K 55 1.8. They are great little lenses, and about 50 bucks. You hae to be comfortable with manual focus and manual exposure, though. The 50mm 1.7 is also very inexpensive, and the A version works with auto exposure. I highly recommend the K 55 though, despite it's trade offs. It's a great portrait lens when you have time to work (i.e., not shooting children, animals, or strangers ).

K55:
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Last edited by paperbag846; 11-09-2010 at 10:06 AM.
11-09-2010, 08:10 PM   #10
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I love my FA 50 lens. The posters who say it has a small FOV are right - it is not a wide angle. I used it at a (dark) Hawaiian luau and a wedding this year and pulled some very usable photos out under pretty poor lighting conditions. I'd definitely recommend it.

For wide angle the 10-17 is a good choice. I had one and sold it. I didn't use the 180 degrees FOV and was tired of PP to straighten things out. Granted, I don't think I'm much of a fish-eye kinda guy, but it wasn't what I wanted for a high FOV lens. I purchased the DA 12-24 and love that lens. It is much more usable for my purposes than the 10-17 was (landscape). When I want to get super wide, I simply stitch a couple images together and call it good.
11-09-2010, 08:42 PM   #11
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I'm going to second the suggestion for the DA35mm Limited (you Know you want to go to the Limited side). Unless you want to use your lenses on a film camera that is. I'm also going to go against the flow of the crowd here.... I've owned 4 copies FA50 f1.4 lenses over the last 4 years, and hated every one. Not that they didn't produce good results but for a Room where I Wanted a fast lens, it just wasn't wide enough. That, and I didn't care for the build feel of the FA prime lenses. It Is soft wide open, all 4 copies, 2 were made in Japan, and 2 were Assembled in Vietnam (made no difference). If you want a fast 50 for portraits, get a Pentax A 50mm f1:1.4 or f1:1.7. Both are stellar lenses and won't break your bank.

Re your choice for DA10-17mm, I believe (if I'm not mistaken) it is only Fisheye at the 10mm end. I'm not really a fisheye fan so I went with the DA 12-24. Both are great lenses and I can only report on my satisfaction with the 12-24.

11-14-2010, 02:47 AM   #12
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Thanks so much for all yours answers!!!
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