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11-20-2010, 09:53 AM   #31
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I've got the DA*s 16-50/50-135 as well as the DA Limiteds in 21/35/40/70

In my experience, the 50-135 has proven to be as capable as the DA Limiteds. The 16-50 is very good as well, but optically I have found it to be a step behind. Don't get me wrong - it still is an excellent lens - I started the thread showcasing photos taken with it. But the Limited are just that special.

And at the end of the day, the lenses are close enough in IQ that your decision should probably be based on other factors - size, need for weathersealing, shooting style, etc...

You get outstanding photos from any and all of them.

Good luck!

11-20-2010, 10:01 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by NeverSatisfied Quote
Wow Trevisthomas that was a big chunk of change you dropped all at once! Well I don't want to wander too far from the thread title but since you mentioned...DA*50-135, yes buy it buy it! IMO Pentax's best current zoom, you will not be disappointed!
My "light" kit without macro is DA 12-24, DA* 16-50 and DA* 50-135. It isn't particularly noted for being light weight, but it is quite compact and was a tight but usable fit in a LowePro 100 AW slingshot until I bought the Pentax hand strap. The body was just too big with both the grip and strap. As to quality, I have no grumbles with any of the three lenses, and I print large. My latest escapade was with the 12-24, printed on metallic by MPix at 20x30 inches in a standoff. The customer phoned me when the print arrived: "It's gorgeous!".

The quibbles with the 16-50 at the wide end can be easily removed if you pass the image through DxO on the way into your image collection. Example of four interior shots on Flickr here. By adding US$150 to the cost of my three DA lenses, I made the shorter two virtually flawless. The 50-135 truly needs no help at all, as you say, never sat, and I don't take the extra import time with DxO (two images a minute can take a while) for the invisible corrections it makes. For the two shortest zooms, it is magic.

For me, the subtle adjustments of focal length combined with moving my position outweigh the IQ gain from the primes. The difference between images taken at 16mm and at 18.7 mm with the foreground kept the same size on the sensor can be huge.
11-20-2010, 10:46 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
use the cap from an old film canister
I do this too and it works perfectly. The screw-in hood is best kept in storage, i would hate to drop it in tall grass or down a drain! The hood NEVER comes off of the camera, it protects the lens perfectly.
11-20-2010, 11:33 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
My latest escapade was with the 12-24, printed on metallic by MPix at 20x30 inches in a standoff. The customer phoned me when the print arrived: "It's gorgeous!".
Oh no. One more lens to consider. The 12-24 appears to be highly acclaimed in other threads. It certainly covers the 15 and the 21. It is not as large/heavy as the 16-50 but its not weather-proofed either.

I have never used something with 100 degrees FOV. Perhaps it will be fun and addictive.

11-20-2010, 12:04 PM   #35
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trevisthomas, I completely understand your decision
I bought into Pentax because of the Limiteds ... I bought the K20d with the kit lens and had a plan to buy some Limiteds after I get the hang of the camera
the problem was, one of the advantages of the Limiteds went away ... price
after the price increase, the Limiteds became expensive and this put a dampen on my plans ... I am a student with limited ( ) funds and the Pentax Limiteds became too expensive for my taste
I ended up buying just one (the DA 70). Although its a GREAT lens (it trully is), it wasn't for me ... it was either too short or too long and the kit lens was almost always too slow so I started to use my camera less and less
finally I decided to make a leap of faith and buy a DA* 16-50 (and sell the DA 70 to fund it). It will cover a lot of my needs for a fraction of a cost of a prime setup (and I will start shooting again)
will I buy a prime in the future? yes ... at least one so I get a (jacket) pocket-able DSLR (K5) ... probably a 43 Limited

one more thing ... for me, the best lens is the one that doesn't restricts you ... primes restrict you in a way because you have to change em (depending on your needs) .. the DA*16-50 is in terms of IQ inferior to the DA 15 / 21 / 35 ... its debatable how much, but it is .. but its one lens instead of 3 and covers a bigger range and therefore much more suitable for a larger number of situations ... just look at the number of photos in PPG ... 1571 for the DA* 16-50 against 370 (21) + 578 (35) + 262 (15) by the Limiteds ... the numbers should tell you something

so, my advice would be... start with a zoom and later, if you feel comfortable about a fixed focal length, buy some Limiteds (and sell the zoom if you want)

Last edited by dankoBanana; 11-20-2010 at 12:16 PM.
11-20-2010, 12:14 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
My latest escapade was with the 12-24, printed on metallic by MPix at 20x30 inches in a standoff. The customer phoned me when the print arrived: "It's gorgeous!".
QuoteOriginally posted by curiouspeter Quote
Oh no. One more lens to consider. The 12-24 appears to be highly acclaimed in other threads. It certainly covers the 15 and the 21. It is not as large/heavy as the 16-50 but its not weather-proofed either.

I have never used something with 100 degrees FOV. Perhaps it will be fun and addictive.
+1 on the MPix metallic prints!

Ref: the DA12-24, to be honest I don't really use the 16-50 much anymore since I got the 12-24. I have frequently used the 12-24 & 50-135 as my travel kit and have never been unhappy with only those two lenses. And although I do like the recently-acquired DA 15, I'd have to say (don't flame me!)...I think I like the colors and saturation from the 12-24 just a little bit better...

Boy the issue is really getting confused here, isn't it?
11-20-2010, 12:18 PM   #37
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I think the 12-24 is the lens of choice for a serious landscape photographer, while the DA 15 is more about the sex appeal of a ultra-wide in a small, portable package. I get the impression that the DA 15 is an ultrawide for people who want to do it every once and a while, while the 12-24 is for the wide angle junkies.

I think the points made about IQ vs. FL flexibility are very good. Point is, there are only DA zooms that will let you adjust between 85 and 90 mm when it would be most appropriate.

I get the impression that the primes, which being amazing as far as quality is concerned, are much more about fun and portability than the best results. I suppose thats why they differentiate between the DA limiteds and the DA* series.
11-20-2010, 12:21 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by curiouspeter Quote
Oh no. One more lens to consider. The 12-24 appears to be highly acclaimed in other threads. It certainly covers the 15 and the 21. It is not as large/heavy as the 16-50 but its not weather-proofed either.

I have never used something with 100 degrees FOV. Perhaps it will be fun and addictive.
It certainly can be addictive! I originally bought it in a kit with the K10 and D-BG2 because at times in the mountains 24mm did not allow me to back up enough to get it all in.

QuoteOriginally posted by NeverSatisfied Quote
+1 on the MPix metallic prints!

Ref: the DA12-24, to be honest I don't really use the 16-50 much anymore since I got the 12-24. I have frequently used the 12-24 & 50-135 as my travel kit and have never been unhappy with only those two lenses. And although I do like the recently-acquired DA 15, I'd have to say (don't flame me!)...I think I like the colors and saturation from the 12-24 just a little bit better...

Boy the issue is really getting confused here, isn't it?
Confusion reigns supreme! That was my first metallic print, and I agree with the customer that it's gorgeous!

11-20-2010, 01:45 PM   #39
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Hmm... the 12-24 is looking more attractive.

Is the front element exposed and prone to scratches? Do you guys use a UV filter?
11-20-2010, 03:00 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
Changing primes in the field sucks and can be fraught with risks. ...
I would just like to point out, in the most respectful way possible, that I think the above statement is a big fat steaming pile of horsepoo.
11-20-2010, 03:16 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I would just like to point out, in the most respectful way possible, that I think the above statement is a big fat steaming pile of horsepoo.
I agree, although you would not want to be swapping lenses in some of the weather conditions where the DA* line excels.
11-20-2010, 03:22 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Why would anyone eliminate the DA 40 hood? The size of the lens with hood was a main selling point for me. I use the cap from an old film canister. It pushes into the opening on the hood and is easily pulled out. I put the original cap in storage. I believe you could also use a 43mm pinch cap.
I wouldn't do it, but I've heard from those who have. The design protects the lens pretty well even if you forget and leave the quarter-size cap in a pocket.

The only DA Ltd hood I've ever eliminated is the DA70. It shortens the lens by about half and allowed my entire DALtd complement to fit in a very compact bag.
11-20-2010, 03:26 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
The only DA Ltd hood I've ever eliminated is the DA70. It shortens the lens by about half and allowed my entire DALtd complement to fit in a very compact bag.
Do you use another hood in it's place? How does it handle flare without the hood? I want to leave mine on to protect the element...but I am curious...
11-20-2010, 03:26 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I agree, although you would not want to be swapping lenses in some of the weather conditions where the DA* line excels.
Good point. Kind of pokes a hole in the idea of a set of WR or * DA Limiteds. Yes, a WR DA40 might be cool, but if the weather's bad you won't be swapping it for a WR DA15...
11-20-2010, 04:51 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Do you use another hood in it's place? How does it handle flare without the hood? I want to leave mine on to protect the element...but I am curious...
If space is not critical, I use the hood. It just so happens that all my DA Ltd primes plus my K-x plus my travel needs fit into a secure little PacSafe 100 bag, but only if I take the hood off he DA70 and replace it with a 49mm cap. I carried the hood in another pocket of the bag for use in adverse conditions, but I found that the lens did very well without the hood most of the time--very few problems with flare. I am also pretty good at using my hand as a hood.
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