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11-16-2010, 07:42 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by nickthetasmaniac Quote
I'm honestly not quite sure what you're talking about. The DA* 60-250/f4 SDM and Zuiko Digital 50-200/f2.8-3.5 SWD have basically identical physical dimensions, weigh almost exactly the same, have similar build quality and weather-sealing, cover more or less the same range, both cost about $1200USD, have similar focussing motors, and from my experience with the 50-200 and reviews I've read on the 60-250, give similar (re: outstanding) image quality.

Whoever told you the 50-200 has poor IQ when shot wide open was on drugs. I can attest that it is very sharp at 200mm and f3.5.

My point regarding size is simply that for the telephoto it isn't such an issue. I don't carry a lens this long in my walk-around kit, so it doesn't matter if it weighs a bit more...
If we get back on topic, you only take your sub 100mm lenses in your walk around kit, therefore any discussion about a tele-zoom is moot because it is sitting at home

In that case, whether you go with something line a single zoom in the 17-70 range or 3-4 primes ranging from 15-70 mm is entirely up to you.

My only observation are that
a) you may find you want wider than 15,
b) you will take more time when you have to either zoom with your feet, or change lenses or both
c) under certain weather conditions, including going outdoors to indoors etc, on the beach, in the rain and snow, etc.... you need to be much more careful changing lenses than with a zoom.

Aside from these points, it's totally up to you what you do. I shoot both, and understand the desire to shoot primes, but I also find uses for zooms

11-16-2010, 12:30 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by nickthetasmaniac Quote
I'm honestly not quite sure what you're talking about. The DA* 60-250/f4 SDM and Zuiko Digital 50-200/f2.8-3.5 SWD have basically identical physical dimensions, weigh almost exactly the same, have similar build quality and weather-sealing, cover more or less the same range, both cost about $1200USD, have similar focussing motors, and from my experience with the 50-200 and reviews I've read on the 60-250, give similar (re: outstanding) image quality.

Whoever told you the 50-200 has poor IQ when shot wide open was on drugs. I can attest that it is very sharp at 200mm and f3.5.

My point regarding size is simply that for the telephoto it isn't such an issue. I don't carry a lens this long in my walk-around kit, so it doesn't matter if it weighs a bit more...
Got it Nick. I made the mistake of assuming the comparison was between the DA 50-200 and DA* 60-250.
I was corrected in the very next post, and acknowledged it in the post after.

Lowell's suggestions apply - not much to add to that, as I do the same.
11-16-2010, 06:08 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Got it Nick. I made the mistake of assuming the comparison was between the DA 50-200 and DA* 60-250.
I was corrected in the very next post, and acknowledged it in the post after.
Ah right, I geddit. No worries then
11-30-2010, 08:00 AM   #34
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Well thanks for everyone's suggestions and feedback, I've had a further ponder about my current shooting style, how I'd like it to change, and the ever present issue of finances, and have come up with a system roadmap of sorts to built up a kit over about 6 months. For those interested this is how it goes...

To begin with:

K-5 + DA 18-135 WR kit new
DA 21mm f3.2 Ltd used
FA 31mm f1.8 Ltd used
FA 43mm f1.9 Ltd used

I have decided to get the 18-135 WR based on some positive reviews I've read (including the one here, thanks Adam and co.), and the desire to have a convenient, sealed zoom for those situations when absolute IQ isn't such a concern, and versatility is. Also, in Australia it doesn't add a great deal to the cost of a K-5 body alone...

Looking through my Aperture library and my current usage of the ZD 12-60, the three primes are the closest match for the majority of day to day photography I do. I generally don't go wider or longer unless I'm doing something rather specific. The prices for used 43mm Ltd's have dropped quite a bit lately, and the 31mm Ltd simply represents the best fast normal you can currently get for Pentax APS. If I don't get it now I'll crave it till I do...

This initial kit will be covered by what I should get for my Oly gear (at a fairly conservative estimate) and some savings I have.

Then I'll wait for my student bonus (Aus uni students will know what I mean; thanks Julia ) and get the following:

DA* 200mm f2.8 used
DA 15mm f4 Ltd used

By having the 18-135 I'm freed up a bit at the long end so I've decided to go with the 200/f2.8 rather than the 60-250/f4. Reasons being; it's lighter, faster, cheaper and has slightly better IQ. I'm comfortable with the reach, especially with the K-5's 16mp cropping ability.

Thoughts?

11-30-2010, 01:23 PM   #35
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I think you've thought it out well mate, and your choices are all top notch. I'm sure you'll be pleased with every one of your purchases. All the best in sourcing out all the gear.
12-02-2010, 07:49 AM   #36
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Sounds like you're decided on what to get, but I'll just pipe in quickly with my own thoughts.

Although price doesn't seem to be an object for you, sometimes we end up doing more with less. This is the same kind of viewpoint that you've applied to moving from zooms to primes — when we have more options, we often get lazy.

I'm not suggesting that you shoot with only a single lens, however, using a kit that pushes the focal lengths more to the extremes will force you to shoot more creatively within the those restrictions.

For example, 31mm and 43mm are quite similar, especially when you consider that you already have a 50 f/1.4 in your bag. Likewise, might not a super-wide 14mm or 15mm be more interesting than a 21mm?

Just my thoughts from a more conceptual point of view!
12-02-2010, 01:05 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by jayroop Quote
I'm not suggesting that you shoot with only a single lens, however, using a kit that pushes the focal lengths more to the extremes will force you to shoot more creatively within the those restrictions.

For example, 31mm and 43mm are quite similar, especially when you consider that you already have a 50 f/1.4 in your bag. Likewise, might not a super-wide 14mm or 15mm be more interesting than a 21mm?
I've been considering this and pondering starting off with the DA 15mm, FA 31mm and DA 70mm instead of what I mentioned above. But then I don't get the 35mm equivalent that's probably my favourite focal length... But then the 31mm would be a wide normal on APS so maybe it won't matter. And the 70mm is a bit longer than I'd like, but the 43mm is a bit short and the DA* 55mm a bit meh.

Argh, choices!

Maybe I should just get the K-5, FA 31mm Ltd and ban myself from photography forums for 12 months :-)
12-02-2010, 01:08 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by nickthetasmaniac Quote
Maybe I should just get the K-5, FA 31mm Ltd and ban myself from photography forums for 12 months :-)
Oh dear, I said that in jest but now the idea's been planted... Maybe I actually should..?

12-02-2010, 01:20 PM   #39
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Nick

I have looked at your list and also some, but not all of the comments.

I think you actually pose 2 questions here, one is about the range and the other is about zooms vs primes.

Unfortunately I don;t know much about surfing (on either side of the camera) but I think I can draw a parallel to other sports, where the distance to the photographer can change quite a bit. I would think that a fast zoom, for the tele shots would be more suitable than a prime, and might suggest a 70-200F2.8 or 100-300F4 as opposed to a DA200F2.8 or DA300F4.

For the short end, and your initial kit of 16-50 and 50-135 vs primes from 15-70 I have two comments.

the first, based upon my experience is that outside of some rare shots, when travelling and doing landscape, you rarely need above 70mm, and as a result, the 50-135 would not get a ton of use.

The second is that I am not sure 15mm is wide enough. You shot film with the 24mm for some time. did you ever find it not wide enough? I sure did, when I shot film. A 15mm has roughly the same field of view (16mm actually) and you will run into the same limits you did on film with 24mm. I went ultra wide with a zoom, since there were not a lot of primes at 10-12 mm (there still are not). I use a Sigma 10-20 but a pentax 12-24 would also do just fine.

So now you have a real dilema. It is up to you to decide on the widest lens you want/need. but if 14-15mm is OK, start there and work up to 70mm in logical steps, and use that for the travel and landscape. Leave the long lenses at home, you'll never need them. For surfing, you would take either the long prime or zoom of your choise, and a second shorter lens for walking around and candids on the beach.

Either option can work. Personally, I have both primes (K and M42) and zooms. I use primes when I am on my timetable, or for special events where I know exactly what focal length I need, and use zooms when I am on someone elses time table or am not sure what I need. SOmeone elses timetable usually means on vacation with family who "tolorate" my hobby, but do not necessairly allow me the time I might want to walk about getting the right shot with a prime.
12-02-2010, 01:36 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by nickthetasmaniac Quote
Maybe I should just get the K-5, FA 31mm Ltd and ban myself from photography forums for 12 months :-)
Easier said than done. If you haven't used an FA Limited yet, once you get the 31 you'll find yourself wanting/needing the 77. If you have the 31 and 77 then you'll have to complete the set with the 43.
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