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12-07-2010, 03:47 PM   #1
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Starting on a DA Limited Collection

I've been threatening to begin collecting DA Limited primes for a while now. My recent purchase of the high-value DA 35mm f/2.4 has renewed my film-era enthusiasm for primes.

Now, eventually it would be great to have all of the DA Limiteds: 15, 21, 35, 40 and 70. But, given my current lens collection in my signature below, where you you start if you were me?

Since I have the DA 35, I can probably wait to get the DA 35 macro Limited for a while. I do all kinds of shooting. Landscapes, cityscapes, portraits, sports (auto racing) and nature.

BTW, your responses will be forwarded to my wife, who says she has no idea what to get me for Christmas. And, no, we can't swing the FA 31 Limited.

12-07-2010, 04:05 PM   #2
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I think you can safely skip the 15 and 21 for a long while now, because the DA 12-24 is just as good, really. You have the 35 and 40 covered a few times over.

The three suggestions I can think of would be the FA 43 (for speed), DA 70, or FA 77.

If the FA LTDs are too expensive, I can vouch for the DA 70 being a fantastic portrait lens, and it will certainly be easier to wield than the DA* 50-135.
12-07-2010, 04:14 PM   #3
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'Threatening' to get DA ltds?
Resistance is futile, you've tasted a DA prime, you'll now want the full main course.

Yep, agree with above - given the wife should be OK with spending the money for a little piece of glass and metal, the DA 70 sounds like the way to go.

Later on you may consider the 100 macro WR (a DFA limited lens in my mind) if you're interested in AF macro that'll double up as a mid-telephoto lens.
12-07-2010, 04:17 PM   #4
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If you are looking at lenses more as collectables than tools to use, I wouldn't buy the DA ltds as they are not collectable at all.

I'd suggest the FA* lenses (eg FA*85), they are far more collectable as the supply is fixed and the prices for the good ones are only going to increase.

12-07-2010, 05:29 PM   #5
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I'd look at either the 15 or the 70. Both are excellent lenses. The 15 is kinda sorta covered by your 12-24, but the 15 is a much nicer lens to use (though in actuality, not really that much better of a lens), the 70 is as good a lens as I have ever used.
12-07-2010, 05:54 PM   #6
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I'm with Wheatfield on the 15 or 70 suggestion. I guess it boils down to how often will you want a small 15/35 kit vs a small 35/70 kit to carry around.
12-07-2010, 06:25 PM   #7
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I think you need to come up with a plan and decide what your lens lineup wants to be in a year. And what purpose you hope to achieve by buying the limiteds. Are you looking for a fast and light kit? Or are you still going to be shooting with your excellent zooms (some of which cover ranges 2 or 3 times).

Ways to expand your current lineup or spend your Christmas money:
sigma 8-16 - a new focal length
an F1.4 lens for low light
a short telephoto - 70/77 already mentioned
a Macro lens
cool accessories - maybe a set of ND filters for slow shutter speeds
a 2nd body - K-x
a complete set of legacy primes to play with
12-07-2010, 06:33 PM   #8
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I've been using my DA 35mm macro as my go-to for just about everything (just works for me with the types of settings I photograph in). However, I just added the DA 70mm and it's been a perfect addition. I might have liked it a BIT further apart from the 35mm (like 80mm) but it really compliments the 35mm quite well. In my limited testing it is VERY sharp and the contrast is thumbs up as well. That's my recommendation.
The 15mm is naturally what I was planning on adding next, but I feel that I'd have much less use for that so I'm going to hold off.

12-07-2010, 07:04 PM   #9
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The DA 15 Limited and the DFA 100 macro. Both perform as if they had a polorizer built in.
Of course, the DFA 100 isn't a "Limited." It's actually in a class all by itself.
12-07-2010, 07:23 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Kruger Quote

Of course, the DFA 100 isn't a "Limited." It's actually in a class all by itself.
I have a feeling that's going to be a Merry Christmas to Wheatfield item.
12-07-2010, 08:20 PM   #11
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Yes, it seems like I have a few too many zooms covering the 16-135mm range. My first two Pentax lenses (bought with my K200D) were the DA* 16-50 and 50-135. I picked up the 16-45 on close-out (for well under $300) - only because of concern about possible SDM problems with my 16-50. I bought the 55-300 only because Pentax didn't offer something like a 135-400... and I needed something longer than 135. Plus it would cover the range of the 50-135 if the SDM acted up on that lens as well.

The size and weight of these lenses hasn't been a problem for me... but, as I said, working with the DA 35 f/2.4 has reminded me how pleasant it is to work with smallish primes. It is possible - though my no means certain yet - that I could eventually transition to working primarily with primes while keeping two or three zooms around for those "uncertain" situations. I could envision such a scenario if Pentax came out with a 135-400 to go with its new 18-135.

I think, right now, I might be leaning toward the DA 70 Limited or possibly the DFA 100 macro (good suggestion). Yes, the FA 43 and FA 77 are probably obtainable... but it would probably bug me to have them and not the FA 31. Plus, I am attracted to the small size of the DA Limiteds, especially since the high-ISO abilities of Pentax's latest DSLRs compensates somewhat for their slightly slower speed.
12-07-2010, 08:52 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
Plus, I am attracted to the small size of the DA Limiteds
One of the things I just adore about my DA 40.

I've played with the DA 70, and the hood (which is pretty much a perminant fixture... or should be anyways) about doubles it's size. I don't believe its significantly smaller than the FA 77.

Not suggesting you would like the FA or DA 70/77 better, but just letting you know that the sizes of them are very similar.

A suppose a better determinant would be this: how do you like your portraits? Do you like soft faces and creamy backgrounds, or stark details and watercolour/pastel backgrounds? The FA 77 will get you the former, the DA 70 or 100 will get you the latter.

Good suggestion on the DFA 100 WR btw, might be a very flexible and new addition to this man's rather extensive lens collection .
12-07-2010, 09:07 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I have a feeling that's going to be a Merry Christmas to Wheatfield item.
The longer I own this lens the more I turn to it and even try to make it work when other FLs make more sense. The macro is great, but I use my DA 35mm macro Limited much more. Where this lens really shines is at 100mm. Images are crisp and rich. The biggest surprise was portraits. I had it on one time when a friend asked me to take a picture of her and her son. The skin tones, shirt colors and bokeh were so good, it has become my favorite portrait lens.
12-07-2010, 10:31 PM   #14
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QuoteQuote:
Now, eventually it would be great to have all of the DA Limiteds: 15, 21, 35, 40 and 70. But, given my current lens collection in my signature below, where you you start if you were me?
I get the sense that for you, as for many, debating the relative merits of lenses has become an end in itself. It would be great to have a lot of things, but why do you actually need ANY of these lenses? What focal length do your zooms gravitate to?

Until you can say what lacks in your current set-up in terms of the photography you actually do, any money you spend will be fun short-term but ultimately pointless. I have spent hundreds of dollars (Singapore dollars and pounds sterling in my case) buying lenses I don't really need. It has been very instructive. I have learned about the technical performance of lenses. I can read reviews with a knowing expression on my face. Has this improved my photographs? Not much. The money would have been spent more productively on air tickets.

Benefit from my experience.

So. What are you trying to achieve? In my case I finally decided what the key issue is: lugging heavy zooms around all day in tropical heat is an unacceptable experience. That's why I have gone the DA Limited route. I dislike front-heavy cameras too. But I now also apply a rule: I don't buy a lens without selling a lens.

You have a perfectly serviceable set-up. What's actually wrong with it? When did you last print a photograph larger than A4? If so, what was wrong with it?

Hi fi nuts spend thousands of dollars chasing differentiation inaudible to 99% to the population, and probably also to themselves in a blind test. Do you realise how much some people spend on speaker cables, for god's sake? Is there a possibility that you, similarly, are enjoying the debate about lenses more than the real photographic benefits they produce?

Just asking.

End of late-night rant. Blame jetlag.

Tim
12-07-2010, 10:59 PM   #15
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No problem with your rant, Tim. Much of what you say is true. I posted a second time (I think the 11th entry in this string) explaining a bit of my motivation. You're right - my set-up is perfectly serviceable. I used nothing but primes in my film days. And after picking up the DA 35mm f/2.4, I was reminded just how pleasant it is to work with smallish primes. So ultimately, like you, I think size and weight has been bothering me a bit more than I realized.

Now, there is another dimension to my quest - although it is clearly secondary. This is, after all, a hobby. And many hobbies can involve collecting tools, devices or objects that interest, fascinate, amaze or delight you. This doesn't happen all that often to me... but, at least for me, the DA Limited primes are a case in point. But they may also serve a practical sense in eventually moving me away away from big, heavy zooms.
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