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02-08-2011, 08:42 PM   #1
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Choice between 3 different products

Hi Everyone,
Great forum you guys have here, I've enjoyed reading everyones opinions and seeing their wonderful photos.

Anyway, at the moment I'm trying to decide what I want to add to my photography bag next, and its a 3-way toss up between some different products.

At the moment I own a Pentax k100D with a Fa50mm f/1.4, DA ltd15mm f/4 and a sigma 70-300mm zoom with Macro.

What i was thinking was either upgrading my body to a k-5, getting a 35mm f/2.8 ltd lens, or the DFA 100mm WR Macro lens.

Pros for the K-5 - much better focusing, better iso, higher megapixels etc, more settings to play around with (nope sure if this is a pro or con...)
Con for the k-5 - Expensive, I'm still happy with the photos the k100 takes...

Pros for the 35mm f/2.8 - this equals ~50mm lens on film, which is my favourite - I like the human eye like coverage, 1x macro
Cons - I already own a good lenses at 15mm and 50mm, is it too much to have primes in this range?

Pros for the 100mm - Weather resistant (will get a k-5 eventually), Macro, Much sharper than my sigma telephoto.
Con - I don't take many macros (maybe this will change if I have this lens?), The idea of a prime medium telephoto seems a bit restrictive as I prefer zooms in this range.

So - what would you go for in my situation and why? Anything else I havent considered? FA 43mm Ltd (close to the 50mm....) or FA77mm LTD?


02-08-2011, 09:29 PM   #2
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K5, easy
02-08-2011, 09:47 PM   #3
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I would almost always go with glass over a new body that's as expensive as it's ever going to be, unless you realllllly need the high ISO capabilities or are doing sport photography or the like. I have the 35 macro, and really enjoy the FOV and flexibility it provides. I also own a 50mm (pentax-f f/1.7) and love it, but use it very differently than I use the 35. So no, I don't think a 15, 35 and a 50 are "overkill". One other possibility - sell the 50 and get a DA 35 f2.4 and a DA 70 ltd. That would give you a slightly wider range all in primes, and possibly even put you money ahead over just adding the 35 ltd.

all just food for thought...
02-08-2011, 09:52 PM   #4
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The new 35 f2.4 for the focal length and price, and a Tamron 90 (or Pentax if you have to have Pentax) macro for... macro and even portraits. Together, less than $700. Two fun additions that might have more new "activity" than a new body. Get the K-5 next year after everything settles down.

02-08-2011, 10:18 PM   #5
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I have all 3 on your wish list and would readily recommend any of or all 3.

The K5. I'm sure your K100d is nice and gives you decent results but until you hold and use the K5 you won't really understand the difference. It isn't just about the features or high ISO (get a Kx for that if it's all that matters to you), it's the dynamic range of the K5. It easily blows away any of the Pentax dSLRs I've ever owned. That, to me, is the most impressive aspect of it. Is it worth the price? To me, Yes. To you, your decision. Eventually the price will drop and you may even see some factory refurbished units on the market shortly. Just make sure you get one produced after Dec 2010, typically with a SN of 39xxxxx+.

The DA35 f2.8 1:1 macro. Gorgeous lens. Expensive lens. My copy is sharp, wide open, all the way to infinity focus. I too like the field of view and enjoy the fact that it also does 1:1 macro. Would I put the lens on the camera Just as a Macro lens? Probably not but it's there if I want to use it.

The DFA100mm f2.8 WR Macro. Again, Gorgeous lens and again, Expensive lens. It will (as will the 35) easily blow away anything you've ever done with your sigma zoom. It also fares quite nicely as a mid range telephoto. If WR is important to you then by all means. However, less expensive options are available in the 100mm f2.8 range if all you want is a 100mm 1:1 macro.

As to which one? Can't make that choice for you. Decide what it is you cannot do right now with what you have and buy the item that fills that need. If I were making the choice for myself, I would get the K5.

02-08-2011, 10:42 PM   #6

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Depends on what you shoot and find important. The K5 will bring you theses :
1. Better dynamic range
2. Better resolution
3. Better AF (much, much faster)
4. 14bit RAW to make the difference in color and detail (if you so require)
5. More pixels for cropping and 'zooming in'
6. Better high ISO performance
7. On camera HDR if you care for it
8. Fun filters (again if that interests you)
9. Option to save the last taken image in another WB or color profile setting (great for many situations)
10. More controls
11. More fast access buttons to work fast

IMHO, the K100D is a little behind as DSLRs go. Not that it does not take good photos (I loved mine). Just that if the above points matter to you, then it may be time to upgrade.

For the DA35/2.8 macro, you may also want to consider the cheaper DA35/2.4. Cheap, very nice bokeh (best of the 35mm lot imho) and sharp. You'd still get the versatile 35mm focal length and as 35mm lenses already focus near up to ~35cm, you may not always need a 'macro'

The DA100/2.8 WR is a very nice lens for the price. It will do well for portraits and street/people photography if not for macros. It will never be as versatile a focal length as a 35mm or 50mm but it will do quite a bit from ~70cm to infinity.
02-08-2011, 11:19 PM   #7
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I upgraded from a K10D to a K-5 and I don't regret it. I had to send my K-5 back in to repair the sensor stain and I had to go back shooting my K10D.

Because of the K-5's high ISO, lightning fast AF, high dynamic range, and better exposure metering I have been able to shoot way more keepers than ever, in situations where I would most likely miss the shot with the K10D. I miss my K-5, very sad.

I would get the K-5 and pair that with the new DA35/2.4 as a kit because the 35mm FOV is awesome. You need a normal lense.
02-09-2011, 08:59 AM   #8
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In general prices of lenses go up and prices of cameras go down. So if you already know that a K5 is somewhere coming your way, I would now go for a lens and wait till the K5's price drops a bit.

The rest I will basically leave up to you. Because you like the 'normal' FOV and that's currently lacking in your set up, I would advise for that; the rest is pretty well covered.

As others said, consider the DA35/2.4 (not the Ltd) and 3rd party macro options as well. And to find out if you will really enjoy macro work, you might want to consider a Raynox macro adaptor to get your feet wet (not sure how well it works on your existing lenses).

Good luck in the decision.

02-09-2011, 09:10 AM   #9
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If you're happy with the photos from your K100 as you said I see no reason to upgrade the camera.

From your list of lenses I'd take a look at what you shoot. Are you looking for something wider (35 Ltd.) or something longer (77 Ltd. or D FA 100)? It's not too much to have 15, 35 and 50mm lenses, especially if you like the normal focal length.

If it were up to me it would be between the FA 77 and the DA 35 Ltd. You already have the 15, so you know how nice using a Limited lens is.
02-09-2011, 09:48 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pmastello Quote
Cons - I already own a good lenses at 15mm and 50mm, is it too much to have primes in this range?
Not at all... it's the most useful range that exists. You would be remiss to not own a lens in the 24-40mm range.

I have not tried the 35mm because, like you, I am not into shooting macro. The other suggestions are solid, though.

In fact, you might want to consider this..!

Sell the 50mm for about 300.

Buy the DA 40 used for about 300, or the DA L 35mm 2.4 for even less.

Use your lens money for something in the 70's (the DA 70 would be a nice addition), but you could go for something a little shorter (down to 55) or longer (up to 85). I personally think 70 is the sweet spot for a short tele on ASP-C. You could also go for the 77 if it's a palatable price for you... but I can personally recommend the 70.

Then you would have a wide, normal, and tele. Powerful trio. If you had the DA 15, 40, 70, you would also be someone to envy.

DO NOT follow my advice if you shoot the 50 below f2.8 very often. I hardly did, so I sold it off in favor of using a cheaper manual focus lens for those few times I need f2.

As for the DA 70 overlapping with your sigma... well, try it out. It's a very different lens for the sigma, and would be much preferable for any portrait or candid work of people. It's a beautiful lens.
02-09-2011, 09:58 AM   #11
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If you want to improve your pleasure or experience, go for a new lens (if you need) or another accesories (like a flash).

K5 is also attractive but as you said, still expensive, and I expect this to change in few months (I'm also with a k100d looking for an upgrade one of this day).
Price of lenses are much more stable (ie can can buy now).

edit: the main point is that you need to know (or guess) what you would like to do. If you are happy with what you have now, why looking for spending more money?
If you are not 100% happy, then you should know why and you may deduct what you need (equipment, photo lessons, whatever)
02-10-2011, 02:48 PM   #12
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Thanks for the input. You've given me some great advice and suggestions of other stuff I wasn't even thinking about. Especially the 35mm 2.4 and the DA 40mm.
Which one would you get out of those two?

But , realistically its probably going to be the K-5 though. The K100D takes some great photos, but it definitley has some areas for improvement. Focusing is terrible, if I look at the raw image there is heaps of bright dead pixels, and better resolution.

Anyone got an idea when we may see a price drop in the K-5 though?

02-10-2011, 07:29 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by pmastello Quote

Anyone got an idea when we may see a price drop in the K-5 though?

For you? Mid winter would probably be the earliest significant drop. It's already come down Some from initial release but I would expect it to hang where it is for a few more months.


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