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11-13-2010, 07:35 AM   #1
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Primes - am I being silly? **update**

Hi everyone, I have yet another query about lenses :-) As I mentioned in a previous thread, I'm currently considering leaving Olympus 4/3 due to lack of commitment to the format, and looking into a return to Pentax.

I shoot pretty much anything but lately I've noticed a shift toward mainly travel, landscape, street and surfing photography. Please check out my flickr stream to get an idea of what I'm into...

Initially I was looking at a fairly standard top-end kit of:

K-5
DA* 16-50/f2.8
DA* 50-135/f2.8
DA* 200/f2.8 or 300/f4

However, I've been pondering and I'm getting more and more intrigued with the idea of shifting to a prime-only kit. I know the quality of Pentax Limited primes (I used to own the 35mm/f2.8 Macro in a previous life) and I've been somewhat seduced by articles on ToP, Luminous Landscape and other's about the concept of 'seeing' with primes. This was particularly interesting. I suppose I'm getting somewhat bored of the 'ease' of shooting with zooms. I like to shoot the world as I see it and I think primes are the best way to do that... The work of Emmanuel Smague has been particularly inspirational in this sense. As I travel more I'm also becoming frustrated at the bulk of my current kit (E-3, ZD 12-60/f2.8-4 and ZD 50-200/f2.8-3.5)

However, while I've shot with primes a lot on film (I have the K24/f2.8, M35/f2 and M50/f1.4) and really enjoy them I've never not had a zoom to fall back on. I guess I'm still paranoid about missing The Shot, if I don't have the versatility of a zoom... Although exactly what The Shot is I'm not sure...

So, what do people think? Is there anyone out there that shoots prime-only? Has anyone done it and come back to zooms? Any thoughts and opinions would be great...

For what it's worth, this is the kit I've been considering. (it would cost about the same as the one listed above, so price isn't a factor...)

K-5
DA 15/f4 Ltd
DA 21/f3.2 Ltd
DA 35/f2.8 Ltd
DA 70/f2.4 Ltd
DA* 200/f2.8

What I already own in K-mount:

LX
K24/f2.8
M35/f2
M50/f1.4

Cheers, Nick Clark


Last edited by nickthetasmaniac; 11-30-2010 at 08:05 AM.
11-13-2010, 07:39 AM   #2
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Makes sense to me. I shifted from zoom to prime a few years back and only occasionaly get the "wrong lens on the camera feeling. My kit

Da 14mm/f2.8) - love the low light capabilities, and short focaldistance

DA 40mm /2.8 -

FA 77mm / 1.8

Tamron 90/2.8 macro

DA 300mm/f4

hey - when did I acquire all that glass.... yikes...
11-13-2010, 08:02 AM   #3
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Zoom/prime - I see the arguments being proffered both ways, and sorry that I can't add to that; however, I did notice that your prime option deletes the WR, in case that is a factor. Your target subjects suggests that WR might be desirable sometimes. Regarding bulk, how big is your current kit? I'm thinking the zoom options you mention would be somewhat larger. I have noticed that some members here like to pair primes with the k-x/k-r for the smallest size possible, but it appears you've not considered the k-x/k-r for the body. Just a thought. From the reports and photos I've seen all of your lens options would appear to be stellar.
11-13-2010, 08:13 AM   #4
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Looks like a great kit - one thing though. If you are into surfing, ensure that you won't find the 200mm prime (being your only sealed lens) limiting on the sandy beaches. You might want to consider the 50-135 DA* which could double as a portrait /sports lens, and replace the DA 70 2.4.

If you don' want all your primes in the wide end, consider:

DA (15 OR 21), 35, and 70.
DA* 50-135, 200.

Minimal duplication, but you have the luxury of carrying around a very tiny pancake for portraits, and only reaching for the DA* when you expect a serious day of shooting.


11-13-2010, 08:39 AM   #5
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Posts: 149
Speaking from the minority I am sure... Please allow me to contribute the following...

Zooms Suck

Thank you.

A20/2.8
FA 31 LTD
FA 43 LTD
FA 77 LTD
K 135/2.5
11-13-2010, 08:47 AM   #6
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If I was going just primes, my kit would look like:
Pentax DA 15/4 Ltd
Pentax FA 31/1.8 ltd
Pentax DA* 55/1.4
Pentax FA* 85/1.4
Pentax A* 135/1.8
Pentax FA* 300/4.5

If I needed macro, I'd add the Tamron 90mm macro, and the Sigma 180mm macro.

And the Pentax 1.7x AFA adapter just in case I needed some length I couldn't get.
11-13-2010, 09:02 AM   #7
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I'd say:


K-5
DA 15/f4 Ltd
DA 21/f3.2 Ltd
DA* 50-135/f2.8
DA* 200/f2.8

There's a bit of a hole between 21mm and 50mm but you could always crop on the 21mm to get fill in the empty space.
11-13-2010, 09:09 AM   #8
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I only use primes. I bought a 28-105mm zoom about 10 years ago and tried it for awhile, but eventually I switched back to primes only. The zoom was too slow and the optics not as good as prime equivalents.

Phil.

11-13-2010, 09:20 AM   #9
Ira
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Nick...

SWEET PRIME LINE-UP!

But I would squeeze a fast 50 1.4 in there somehow, and wait on the longer stuff like the 200.

I don't think I would mind a zoom for the really long lengths. I have the 200 4 Super-Multi-Coated Takumar (M42) and other longer primes, but at these lengths, I can't see a decent zoom being a step down at all.

And when shooting critters and birds in the wild, there's a big difference between 200 and 300, and the convenience of a zoom in that situation would offset any perceived IQ issues.

They're just stupid birds anyway.
11-13-2010, 09:27 AM   #10
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My prime kit looks pretty much the same as yours. I went for a 60-250 zoom rather than the 200/2.8 because I wanted something that was autofocus and reasonably good between 70 and 700, where there are no AF primes.
If Pentax comes out with a 105ish and 150ish mm primes I'll likely sell the zoom in favour of them.
11-13-2010, 10:37 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by nickthetasmaniac Quote
Hi everyone, I have yet another query about lenses :-) As I mentioned in a previous thread, I'm currently considering leaving Olympus 4/3 due to lack of commitment to the format, and looking into a return to Pentax.

I shoot pretty much anything but lately I've noticed a shift toward mainly travel, landscape, street and surfing photography. Please check out my flickr stream to get an idea of what I'm into...

Initially I was looking at a fairly standard top-end kit of:

K-5
DA* 16-50/f2.8
DA* 50-135/f2.8
DA* 200/f2.8 or 300/f4

However, I've been pondering and I'm getting more and more intrigued with the idea of shifting to a prime-only kit. I know the quality of Pentax Limited primes (I used to own the 35mm/f2.8 Macro in a previous life) and I've been somewhat seduced by articles on ToP, Luminous Landscape and other's about the concept of 'seeing' with primes. This was particularly interesting. I suppose I'm getting somewhat bored of the 'ease' of shooting with zooms. I like to shoot the world as I see it and I think primes are the best way to do that... The work of Emmanuel Smague has been particularly inspirational in this sense. As I travel more I'm also becoming frustrated at the bulk of my current kit (E-3, ZD 12-60/f2.8-4 and ZD 50-200/f2.8-3.5)

However, while I've shot with primes a lot on film (I have the K24/f2.8, M35/f2 and M50/f1.4) and really enjoy them I've never not had a zoom to fall back on. I guess I'm still paranoid about missing The Shot, if I don't have the versatility of a zoom... Although exactly what The Shot is I'm not sure...

So, what do people think? Is there anyone out there that shoots prime-only? Has anyone done it and come back to zooms? Any thoughts and opinions would be great...

For what it's worth, this is the kit I've been considering. (it would cost about the same as the one listed above, so price isn't a factor...)

K-5
DA 15/f4 Ltd
DA 21/f3.2 Ltd
DA 35/f2.8 Ltd
DA 70/f2.4 Ltd
DA* 200/f2.8

Cheers, Nick Clark

Hi Nick, my selection would be;

K-5
DA15
DA21
DAL35/2.4
DA70
DA*200
+ a K-7 as a second body.

just choose the appropriate lens depending on the setting and you won't have much trouble. personally, the 35mm would be the most versatile focal length among the lenses. just stick up the 200mm if you need to shoot something from afar.
11-13-2010, 10:42 AM   #12
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My own kit includes :
DA15
DA21
FA31
FA43
DA70
DA*200
DA*300
I also have a 12-24 zoom but honestly I seldom use it; and I had a 16-50 but since I have the limited I was seldom using it so I sold it. When I don't want to take my kit, I often goes with the K7 + DA21 + DA70 in my pocket
Regards
Regards
11-13-2010, 10:42 AM   #13
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another lens combo option would be;

DA15
DA18-135
and DA70
11-13-2010, 11:50 AM   #14
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You don't have to stick to such modest apertures. I love my DA14/2.8 and FA35 f2. Consider DFA50/2.8, it is packed with unbelievable sharpness and contrast.
11-14-2010, 11:12 AM   #15
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Join Date: Dec 2008
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Posts: 1,078
Original Poster
Thanks for your replies everyone! I'll try and respond to you all

**Firstly though, I'll just reiterate that I already own mint copies of the K24/f2.8, M35/f2 and M50/f1.4, so the need for a fast-fifty as some of you suggested isn't pressing at the moment**

QuoteOriginally posted by GlennG Quote
I did notice that your prime option deletes the WR, in case that is a factor. Your target subjects suggests that WR might be desirable sometimes.
This is probably the main issue I've been agonising over. Particularly when shooting landscape in Tasmania, the weather can be pretty awful, and my last two bodies (K20D and E-3) have both been sealed, as have my main lenses. I've been tossing up whether the compactness of the K-5 - Limited lens would make it easier to simply put it away when the rain gets too strong. Another alternative would be to buy the K-5 body as a kit with either the 18-55 WR or more likely the 18-135 WR, for those times when I must have a sealed kit...

QuoteQuote:
Regarding bulk, how big is your current kit? I'm thinking the zoom options you mention would be somewhat larger. I have noticed that some members here like to pair primes with the k-x/k-r for the smallest size possible, but it appears you've not considered the k-x/k-r for the body.
My Olympus kit consists of an E-3 body (bout the same size as a D300, so a fair bit bigger than a K-5), Zuiko Digital 12-60/f2.8-4 (bit bigger than a DA* 16-50) and a Zuiko Digital 50-200/f2.8-3.5 (almost identical to a DA* 60-250). For whatever reason I'm really just not interested in a K-x/K-r. I've used a friends K-x quite a lot and while nice, it's just not for me...

QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Looks like a great kit - one thing though. If you are into surfing, ensure that you won't find the 200mm prime (being your only sealed lens) limiting on the sandy beaches. You might want to consider the 50-135 DA* which could double as a portrait /sports lens, and replace the DA 70 2.4.
As a bodyboarder I shoot almost solely reef breaks, not much sand at all to contend with I used to own the DA* 50-135 and while it's a great lens, I found it a bit intrusive for portraits... A lot of subjects get put-off when a big zoom is pointed their way.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Nick...

SWEET PRIME LINE-UP!

But I would squeeze a fast 50 1.4 in there somehow, and wait on the longer stuff like the 200.
I've got a nice M50/f1.4 already that I use on my LX. I've also used it quite a bit on my Dad's K-7, and while it's not AF and could be sharper out wide, it does the job when I really need it (not often)



QuoteQuote:
I don't think I would mind a zoom for the really long lengths. I have the 200 4 Super-Multi-Coated Takumar (M42) and other longer primes, but at these lengths, I can't see a decent zoom being a step down at all.
I have seriously been considering the DA* 60-250/f4 instead of the DA* 200/f2.8 for tele work. The versatility would be handy when you can't 'use your feet to zoom' (difficult when you're shooting a reef 300m off-shore...) and as it wouldn't be part of my general walk-around kit, the size wouldn't be such an issue. The price premium though is...

QuoteOriginally posted by elho_cid Quote
You don't have to stick to such modest apertures. I love my DA14/2.8 and FA35 f2.
I'm unsure about the DA 14/f2.8. It's quite large and personally I think I'd prefer the 15mm focal length for a prime, 14mm is getting a bit too wide, I feel like it may become a bit too specialised.

In terms of a 'normal' lens (between 30-35mm) I'm a bit stumped. I owned the 35mm Limited Macro and loved it. But then the new DAL 35/f2.4 looks like great quality for the price, as do second-hand FA 35/f2's. But then there's the 31/f1.8 Limited which is, well, I mean it's 31/f1.8 Limited. Hmmm...
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