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01-12-2011, 07:47 AM   #1
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Buying a K5 - which DA ltd lenses should I pick?

Hi everyone, firstly I'm new here, I'm looking for lenses advice for now but I'm looking forward to contributing more to the forums when I get my K5.

Currently I'm trying to decide between the DA limiteds, I'll probably be looking to buy two, one wider and one longer lol

currently my thoughts on the lenses are:

15mm - love the WA and size, pity its f4 though and not sure how often I'd use the 22.5mm equiv, though will be useful for taking self portraits of myself and friends.

21mm - seems a more standard focal length than the 15mm, faster and nearly half the size and weight too

35mm macro - seems very versatile and love the macro aspect, IQ seems brilliant too - seems perfect for my uses, but what are everyones thoughts on the bokeh?

40mm - makes me reconsider wanting the 35mm because its cheaper, smaller, lighter and has better sharpness in the corners too, only down side 60mm equiv seems weird, too long in some caes and too wide in others, though I should be able to get used to it...

70mm - I'm not really into potraiture and dont really shoot at this focal length at all, though I really love the bokeh and colour from this lens. main selling point to me is the weight! about 150g (off the top of my head).

I'm ideally looking for the smallest package possible, shoot a lot of lowlight, I do street photography, candids, family snaps, and sometimes photos of objects, the odd travel land/cityscape. Finally I'm a bokeh-holic

Thanks in advance for any thoughts, currently thinking to buy one from 15mm or 21mm and one from 35mm and 40mm, or just one from the 35mm and 40mm

I'll need to make up my mind by the 15th to take advantage of a pentax uk cashback offer.

*Update* after reading everyones comments I'm very interested in the 35mm for the macro ability, whats everyones thoughts on its non-macro bokeh and has anyone else had lowlight focus issues with it? (I presume using the AF assist lamp would help this?)


Last edited by vincechu; 01-12-2011 at 09:36 AM.
01-12-2011, 08:07 AM   #2
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I chose the 15, 35 and 70 for my K-7. But could just as well have gone for the 21, 40, 70 combo.

The 15 is for mind control the 35 for macro and all-round walkabout and the 70 for portraits or when you need a bit more distance. However, sound like 21, 40, 70 would suite you better and be more compact to boot.
01-12-2011, 08:23 AM   #3
arv
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DA 35mm macro is good for daylight, but AF work in low light is annoying (at least on my K-x).
01-12-2011, 08:24 AM   #4
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15 and 40.

01-12-2011, 08:54 AM   #5
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21 and 40. Nice, small and cover useful general range.

15 (wide landscape), 35 (macro) and 70 (portraits) good if you want those specialist needs.

G
01-12-2011, 09:19 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone, it does seem like the 21mm and 40mm will suit me more, but the macro aspect of the 35mm ltd, is very attractive, especially as i do take photos of flowers and objects. the 35mm although larger seems a more versatile option than the 40mm.

What are all the lenses like in lowlight and focusing in lowlight? has anyone else had bad experiences focusing the 35mm in lowlight?

Any experience with the 35mm bokeh for candids/portraits?
01-12-2011, 09:22 AM   #7
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I would pick the DA 15 and 35 if you want walk around lenses. The 70 is great if you like longer lenses or portraiture (love mine), but doesn't sound like the focal length fits your shooting style. The great thing about the 35 is the macro ability. You will be amazed at how many times you want a close up photo of something (food shots, detail shots) and the DA 40 just doesn't get you quite close enough to cut it. You can see by the 15mm thread the kind o f shots you can get with that lens.
01-12-2011, 09:23 AM   #8
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21-35-70. It's basically what I use. Well, my 35 is the FA35/2, and my "70" is the FA77/1.8, but close enough

01-12-2011, 09:45 AM   #9
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Focusing with the 35 is no problem usually. It is only if it misses and wanders of into the macro region that it can be a bit slow as it has to turn so many times. However, that's why you have quick shift
01-12-2011, 10:15 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by vincechu Quote
Hi everyone, firstly I'm new here, I'm looking for lenses advice for now but I'm looking forward to contributing more to the forums when I get my K5.

Currently I'm trying to decide between the DA limiteds, I'll probably be looking to buy two, one wider and one longer lol

currently my thoughts on the lenses are:

15mm - love the WA and size, pity its f4 though and not sure how often I'd use the 22.5mm equiv, though will be useful for taking self portraits of myself and friends.

21mm - seems a more standard focal length than the 15mm, faster and nearly half the size and weight too

35mm macro - seems very versatile and love the macro aspect, IQ seems brilliant too - seems perfect for my uses, but what are everyones thoughts on the bokeh?

40mm - makes me reconsider wanting the 35mm because its cheaper, smaller, lighter and has better sharpness in the corners too, only down side 60mm equiv seems weird, too long in some caes and too wide in others, though I should be able to get used to it...

70mm - I'm not really into potraiture and dont really shoot at this focal length at all, though I really love the bokeh and colour from this lens. main selling point to me is the weight! about 150g (off the top of my head).

I'm ideally looking for the smallest package possible, shoot a lot of lowlight, I do street photography, candids, family snaps, and sometimes photos of objects, the odd travel land/cityscape. Finally I'm a bokeh-holic

Thanks in advance for any thoughts, currently thinking to buy one from 15mm or 21mm and one from 35mm and 40mm, or just one from the 35mm and 40mm

I'll need to make up my mind by the 15th to take advantage of a pentax uk cashback offer.

*Update* after reading everyones comments I'm very interested in the 35mm for the macro ability, whats everyones thoughts on its non-macro bokeh and has anyone else had lowlight focus issues with it? (I presume using the AF assist lamp would help this?)
The 15 Limited is the best lens I've ever owned, and that includes some Zeiss glass, but it is a landscape lens, not good for portraits.
The 35 Limited is the most versatile lens on the market. Extremely sharp--too sharp for portraits, and the bokeh is not good. It focuses fast in all light situations, at least in comparison to other lenses.
I shoot all primes and have a bunch of Limiteds. Each one has it's strong points, but if I had to restrict myself to only one, it would be the 35 macro.
01-12-2011, 10:40 AM   #11
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You can do portraits* with the DA15 …

ISO 800, F4, 1/60s

… and the DA35 works for portraits* too and the bokeh is not a problem usually …

ISO 1600, F2.8, 1/6s

… but if you want creamy bokeh then get the DA70

ISO 200, F2.4, 1/640s

*) OK, not really a portrait but close
01-12-2011, 01:35 PM   #12
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DA 70 is the best lens optically of all I have tried (15, 40, 70). I have heard similar sentiments from those who have tried more. DOF is thin wide open, bokeh is creamy, and the lens is damn sharp, high contrast, and punchy colours.

DA 40 is a killer lens for the money, and about the fastest autofocus lens I have ever tried. It's a beautiful lens that is a great focal length IMHO... a little tighter than normal, but still very good indoors. The optical design of the DA 40 lets in more light than your typical f2.8 lens too, so it's not that bad in low light. It's very similar to the DA 70 as far as colour and contrast go. The bokeh is not as smooth (due to the focal length, mostly), and the DOF control is only ok, but as far are usefulness goes, f2.8 is where you want to be most of the time with a faster lens anyhow, and the DA 40 is killer wide open (as opposed to most lenses, which really need to be stopped down to look good).

As for the DA 15 vs. the DA 21... I went with the DA 15. Why? It's a damn sharp lens, even wide open, which takes really well to cropping. You can easily emulate the DA 21, but you lose about 60% of your MP. Often times you will be cropping to lengths more like 18-20, so with your 16MP camera you will still have between 8-10 MP, which is good for a fair sized print.

Not as good as the DA 21, obviously, but if you like wide, you can have your cake and eat it too.

I'm personally shooting for the 15-40-70. If I could only have 2, I would likely go for the 40 and the 70, and buy the 12-24 zoom for wide. As good as the DA 21 is, it does not wow me like the 15, 40, and 70.

Consider the 12-24... it's cheaper than buying both the 15 and 21, more flexible, and pretty much just as good optically. The only real problem is the size penalty.

If you can only afford 2 lenses, your best bet is going to likely be the 21 -70 if you want something on the wide side.

As for the 35... well I have mixed feelings about it for the non-macro shooter. The bokeh in normal-focus situations is rather distinct and you might or might not like it. The difference in price between it and the 40 is considerable, and you are essentially going from a super-fast AF to rather slow AF lens (which is true of all macro lenses.... due to their long focus throw). Overall, the 40 would be more useful to a non-macro shooter, but the DA 35 is king in terms of flexibility.

The da limiteds are fun . Congrats!
01-12-2011, 03:33 PM   #13
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I have the DA15, DA21, DA40 & DA70. My favourites are the DA70 & DA15. The DA70 for stunning sharpness and the ability to blur the background, the DA15 for excellent IQ & fun focal length.

If I go out with only 2 primes I take the DA70 & DA15. With only one I'd typcially take the DA21 or DA40. DA21 & DA40 are excellent and are both "safe" and more versatile options; with the DA15 and DA70 on your camera you are much more likely to miss shots, but I find the shots I do get are the more dramaic pictures.
01-12-2011, 04:01 PM   #14
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My lens bag : DA15, DA21, FA31, FA43, DA70 (+ longer lenses)
My favorites are DA15 and FA43
The most used is the DA21
all are excellent anyway
I would go for the FA43 vs the DA35, because it has something "special"
01-12-2011, 04:43 PM   #15
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I use the DA 35 quite a lot, regardless of situation. As for non-macro bokeh, I don't have a ton of shots that demonstrate it, but the transitions are quite smooth.

Here are a couple of shots taken at f2.8, outside of macro range.

bicycles

in the park
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