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02-07-2011, 04:15 PM - 1 Like   #16
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The reason these "which lens(es) should I buy" questions are always so tough to answer is because even for those of us shooting for a long time, we ask ourselves the same exact question.

We "want" and "need" everything, but we're not rich enough to make it happen.

02-07-2011, 04:19 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
DA 12-24 (or the DA15 if you don't like zooms)
FA43 (or DA40 or DA35 macro if budget is tight)
FA77 (or DA70 if budget is tight)

That's not a bad trio
+1 for the 12-24. It is a really useful range, wider than a prime, excellent IQ, and straight lines (no fisheye). You will get a lot of use from it.
02-07-2011, 06:18 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by v5planet Quote
This will sort of depend on how you use your lenses. You've expressed interest in:

environmental portraiture (indoors and outdoors)
shallow DOF/bokeh heavy photography

To me, none of these things scream out for an ultra-wide angle lens. You may want to get one eventually, but maybe this isn't really what you need right now?

Here's a good question to think about before you plunge into multi hundred dollar purchases: what focal lengths do you find yourself using on your kits lens for each of those three interests? Look at some of your environmental portrait photos - what focal length are using in your favorites? What about in your favorite closeups? I realize you only have the kit lens, and thus a limited focal range to play around with right now, but you CAN get a general sense of what your preferences are by looking at whether you perform your favorite work towards the wide or long end of the spectrum.

A lot of people will tell you a short telephoto between 50 and 100mm makes a good portrait lens, and it would, but you didn't say straight up portraiture; rather you said environmental portraiture, which seeks to place the subject in the context of his/her circumstances. This can be accomplished in many different ways depending on your style and preferences, but I would think general that something longer than 50mm, i.e a classic "portrait lens", may not be the best fit, especially since you want to be able to use it INDOORS, where things are more cramped.

Shallow DOF/bokeh: what are the subjects of this photography? If you're thinking small objects/macro range, you don't need a SUPER fast lens, you just need something that can focus pretty close. Bigger things, like people, etc.? You'll probably want a faster lens, or something with a longer focal length. The wider the aperture, the more dramatic the bokeh, and the longer the lens, the easier it often is to isolate a subject in a narrow depth of field.

Anyway, think about what focal lengths you think work best for the type of photography YOU like to do and then it'll be easier for people to give you recommendations that aren't just a checklist of 'good lenses over a good range of focal lengths.'
This is an excellent analysis of the situation. If you really want to buy a new lens soon, I think the 35/2.8 is a good bet. It's a useful all-round lens and adds excellent macro functionality to your tools. It also gives you a good benchmark for judging the relative resolution of other lenses (see below).

I second the idea of working with your kit lens to learn which focal lengths suit your way of seeing. After all, it's what works for you that counts, not others' preconceptions about how certain things should be shot.

You might also find it interesting to compare the performance of the kit lens at various apertures with that of the 35/2.8. If you have a good example you may find that the kit lens is not nearly as bad some think. If that is the case, you could make your second new lens purchase a 50ish prime or a short telephoto zoom.

Good luck!
02-07-2011, 10:31 PM   #19
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A growth path

I totally misunderstood the opening post Thought that that would be the start kit and expansion would come later Hell, a nice kit to start with

Get the K5 with the kit lens (for WR) and the DA35/2.4 (not the limited). Add the DFA100WR for light tele and macro (although your description of macro actually describes close up).

This will fit in your budget and gives you enough flexibility. DA35/2.4 for general purpose, 18-55 to fall back on for wide angle and you have a full WR kit from 18mm to 100mm as well if that's important

Next add a wide angle (either prime or zoom); DA12-24 or 3rd party alternative, DA15Ltd or DA21Ltd. Your main kit will then be this lens + 35mm + 100mm and the WR kit will stay the same.

Next determine if you can live with the gap between 35mm and 100mm. If you can't live with the gap, add DA70Ltd or FA77Ltd.

And the last step will be to replace the 35mm with the FA31Ltd if you feel that need.

A note on fisheye:
A fisheye is a highly specialised lens; the effect of it might not be what you want for day-to-day shooting. A normal wideangle zoom is more.

02-14-2011, 05:17 PM   #20
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Thank you everyone for helping me out! I was going back and forth between DA35 and FA31 to start with, and decided on the 31. My camera and lens came today, so we shall see! After some time with this lens, i'll look into adding a wide angle lens and the 70 or 77!
02-14-2011, 09:10 PM   #21
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Nice starter kit; enjoy it.

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