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View Poll Results: Which primes should I add to 15mm, 40mm and 50mm to fill the middle gap?
Pentax DA 21mm F3.2 and Sigma 30mm F1.4 416.67%
Pentax DA 21mm F3.2, Sigma 28mm F1.8 (macro) and the new DA 35mm F2.4 625.00%
Sigma 24mm F1.8 and DA 35mm F2.4 28.33%
Other ($800-1000 range, comment below) 1250.00%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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11-18-2010, 08:27 AM   #1
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Looking for thoughts: Prime setup for upcoming trip (poll)

My wife and I will be travelling to Italy over Christmas and New years for our 10(!) year anniversary this year, and I wanted to travel compact (relatively at least). I have/am selling my micro 4/3 gear at this time. I'd forgotten just how good the DR, low light and just overall performance of a proper dslr was, but the K5 has solidly jogged that memory!

So, onto the question. I currently have the DA 15mm, Pentax-M 40mm f2.8, two 50mm's (AF 50 1.7 and A 50 1.4), and the tamron 90mm f2.5 MF macro (will be taking the 15, 50 and whatever I buy from below). I am not looking for anything longer, but to fill in the gap between 15mm and 40mm. I really enjoyed the Panasonic 20mm on my e-pl1, but thought it was slightly too wide. I am thinking of purchasing the following to round out my primes:

A. Pentax DA 21mm F3.2 and Sigma 30mm F1.4

B. Pentax DA 21mm F3.2, Sigma 28mm F1.8 (macro) and the new DA 35mm F2.4

C. Sigma 24mm F1.8 and DA 35mm F2.4

The third option is a distant third I think, its really coming down to whether the 30mm is a worthy option over the 28mm from sigma (or vice versa?). Both will be slightly tighter than the Panasonic 20mm lens. I think the 21mm will be a good match to the 15mm in either case, and if I also bought the 35mm f2.4 I might just leave the 28mm at home for the trip (not a big deal).

Any thoughts on A Vs. B, or why I should choose C? Comments appreciated!

11-18-2010, 09:09 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by pxpaulx Quote
My wife and I will be travelling to Italy over Christmas and New years for our 10(!) year anniversary this year, and I wanted to travel compact (relatively at least). I have/am selling my micro 4/3 gear at this time. I'd forgotten just how good the DR, low light and just overall performance of a proper dslr was, but the K5 has solidly jogged that memory!

So, onto the question. I currently have the DA 15mm, Pentax-M 40mm f2.8, two 50mm's (AF 50 1.7 and A 50 1.4), and the tamron 90mm f2.5 MF macro (will be taking the 15, 50 and whatever I buy from below). I am not looking for anything longer, but to fill in the gap between 15mm and 40mm. I really enjoyed the Panasonic 20mm on my e-pl1, but thought it was slightly too wide. I am thinking of purchasing the following to round out my primes:

A. Pentax DA 21mm F3.2 and Sigma 30mm F1.4

B. Pentax DA 21mm F3.2, Sigma 28mm F1.8 (macro) and the new DA 35mm F2.4

C. Sigma 24mm F1.8 and DA 35mm F2.4

The third option is a distant third I think, its really coming down to whether the 30mm is a worthy option over the 28mm from sigma (or vice versa?). Both will be slightly tighter than the Panasonic 20mm lens. I think the 21mm will be a good match to the 15mm in either case, and if I also bought the 35mm f2.4 I might just leave the 28mm at home for the trip (not a big deal).

Any thoughts on A Vs. B, or why I should choose C? Comments appreciated!
I voted for the second one because I think it would give you more options while also keeping your lenses on the smaller side. On the other hand, if you want the f/1.4 that the Sigma 30 mm gives you, I think number 1 would be a good choice as well.
11-18-2010, 09:29 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Congrats on 10 years!

I voted "other" -- I think the DA 21 and DA 35 would suit you fine. I think the f/2.4 of the DA 35 would be plenty fast with a K-5 on the other end of it.

There is a definite gap in the Pentax lineup between 21 and 35 (reasonably priced options anyway), but I think the Sigmas are a bit big to bring on vacation -- might as well bring a zoom! I used to have the Sigma 30mm though and it was a great people lens. But for scenery and streets, the 15, 21 and 35 would suit you better!

Either way, have a great trip and don't annoy your wife too much switching lenses (I speak from experience!).
11-18-2010, 09:50 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by farfisa Quote
I voted "other" -- I think the DA 21 and DA 35 would suit you fine. I think the f/2.4 of the DA 35 would be plenty fast with a K-5 on the other end of it.
+1.

And I would not bother with the M40/2.8 with that setup. Tiny as it may be, it's just too close to the 35 to actually be useful, IMHO.

15, 21, 35 and 50 should give you more than enough options. For comparison's sake, my "travel kit" is DA21, FA35, FA77, with DA12-24 for really wide-angle shots. I can't recall ever feeling I had "missed a shot" because of a missing focal length.

11-18-2010, 11:51 AM   #5
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Great advise so far, thanks everyone. Perhaps I will go with the 21 and 35, and save my pennies for the 43mm limited at a later date. I've already been advised that picture taking should not be my number 1 priority, which is the reason for he compact setup!
11-18-2010, 12:00 PM   #6
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Buy the DA 21 and the DA 35 MACRO (both used, if you can ).

Then, sell the M 40, because you have replaced it with a far superior lens (THE MACRO!!!!).

Bring 15 - 21 - 35 - 50 1.4.
11-18-2010, 12:25 PM   #7
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Congrats on the milestone.
I too have the mind of going with superior IQ and build quality with AF right from the start, so trading in the M 40 for an FA 43 or DA 40 is my first suggestion.
Then to fill the gap, the 21 is a definite and the DA 35 macro gives you both a normal FOV and a macro! With that you could even do away with the fast fifty if you go for the FA 43.
Totally your call. Enjoy choosing.
11-18-2010, 07:36 PM   #8
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Two suggestions for the 35mm macro! I already have the tamron 90mm f2.5 and the Pentax F 50mm f2.8, I think I have the macro side of my lenses covered I do agree the 40mm M lens is more a novelty than anything else - I don't mind the stop down metering or the size, but I just don't use it often.

I realize the sigma lenses are larger, but I don't mind a little weight in the bag, so I think one would be alright. I was planning on taking the 18-55 WR just in case of inclement weather. The more I think about it I think I am just going to get the 30mm - looking at samples from it on pbase I keep being impressed (I am also not totally sold on the bokeh coming from the 21mm - subjective I know, but its not striking...not that you would generally use that for out-of-focus shots).

I think the 15-30-50 along with the 18-55 and perhaps the 10-17mm fisheye will be a relatively small travel kit. Anyone thing that would be too much? Any reason I should take my 50mm macro instead of the 50mm AF F1.7?

11-18-2010, 07:56 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pxpaulx Quote
Any reason I should take my 50mm macro instead of the 50mm AF F1.7?
It would be better to have the 50mm 1.7 for museums / lower light than the macro... especially when the 30mm won't let you get close enough. I just can't think of any good macro opportunities while traveling. Those three primes and the kit zoom would have you pretty well covered.

The reason I mentioned the 35mm macro was not because it was a macro, but rather, because it seems to be an overall killer lens... that also happens to do macro! I personally opted for the DA 40 over the macro 35 due to the price difference, but I have read a lot that has me believing that the DA 35 ltd is one of the best they make in the DA lineup.

EDIT: Proof the 35mm isn't just for macro https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/1176576-post655.html

Last edited by paperbag846; 11-18-2010 at 08:09 PM.
11-18-2010, 08:48 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pxpaulx Quote
I think the 15-30-50 along with the 18-55 and perhaps the 10-17mm fisheye will be a relatively small travel kit. Anyone thing that would be too much? Any reason I should take my 50mm macro instead of the 50mm AF F1.7?
That's just about where I am at for a long trip to Niagara Falls in June: 18-55WR for wet weather or mist from Niagara, and DA 15, 21 and 40 Ltds for everything else, especially the fabulous parkway that runs from Fort Erie to Niagara-on-the-Lake and goes right through the Falls area. I would leave the fisheye home... but that's just me.
11-18-2010, 09:06 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by snofox Quote
That's just about where I am at for a long trip to Niagara Falls in June: 18-55WR for wet weather or mist from Niagara, and DA 15, 21 and 40 Ltds for everything else, especially the fabulous parkway that runs from Fort Erie to Niagara-on-the-Lake and goes right through the Falls area. I would leave the fisheye home... but that's just me.
Yeah I'm not sold on taking the fisheye either, will have to do some test runs carrying it all around to see if it gets uncomfortable. I am going to be using a timbuk2 sling bag with inserts, foregoing the back pack (or rather, using it for other purposes) in favor of a smaller bag.
11-19-2010, 09:28 AM   #12
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If your budget is $800 to $1000 you could also go with the FA 31 LTD. Fill the gap between the 15 and the 31 at a later date.
11-19-2010, 10:53 AM   #13
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In Italy, whether you are in cities or in the country, you want wide. With your 15, I don't think you really need anything other than your 50 AF. But if you do, depending on your style, it's either the DA21 or the DA35 macro.

there are not that many macro opportunities that are unique to Italy, so it's not a macro trip. It's really a landscape/cityscape trip. And there's not a lot of room to step back most of the time. So I would vote for the 15, 21, 50, maybe your 90 for short tele. Keep the rest of your money and spend it on your trip.

My answer is made assuming you're a prime shooter. If you're not, get something like a 17-70 or 16-50, it can prove really useful.
11-19-2010, 12:05 PM   #14
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Advise from a native, very much appreciated! I really enjoy primes and zooms as well, but am trying to keep the amount of gear to a minimum for the trip, so will be going with just the primes. I'm 90% set on the 15-30-50 combo at this point, along with the 18-55 WR kit lens for wet weather. I think that will be nice and light and serve all my needs (comments still welcome though from others!). I am also going to take my ballhead on a compact novoflex tripod, as I think I'll have some opportunity for night shots (with the early winter sunsets).

Any other thoughts/suggestions, lenses aside, for the trip?
11-19-2010, 12:33 PM   #15
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Choose one, enjoy the rest of the money on the trip.

I.E. DAL 35/2.4
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