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02-15-2011, 11:48 AM   #1
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Can someone recommend a Prime for Hawaii Trip

Hello Everyone,

Not sure this is the correct place to post this as I am both a newbie to Pentax and SLR's in general. I just got a new K-R with the 18-55/300mm kit and I am already hooked on shopping for lenses as that is one of the reason I got into this hobby with Pentax. I bought this camera a couple months before my trip to Maui this spring so I could learn a bit of photography before I went. Anyhow after shooting for a couple weeks with my kit I realize I would really like a Prime lens to take with me to Hawaii to capture some great portraits/landscapes that they have to offer there as well as maybe a few shots of wildlife as we usually do a day sail to see some whales and such. Can you experts recommend a lens or a couple of lenses that may be good for this application? Obviously I am bringing the kit in my bag with those two lenses, so this would be in addition to my already great kit. I see that many of you use the FA 50mm which does have autofocus for a new guy like me but to tell you the truth I know nothing about the lens itself. Some help is greatly appreciated. Great forum

02-15-2011, 11:53 AM   #2
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Those zoom lenses you have will be pretty good for landscaping / wildlife.

I think something like the 50 would be a good addition for portraits.

Maybe also look at the DA 70, which is longer, better for portraits IMHO and a cracking lens. More expensive though.
02-15-2011, 11:54 AM   #3
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if you're on a smaller budget, definitely consider the DA 35mm f2.4 or a used DA 40mm f2.8. Each can be had for under $300. I personally prefer the 40mm because it is so small and sharp and AF is blazing fast. You can just keep that in your pocket the whole day. If you have the extra money, a DA 15mm f4 would make some pretty spectacular scenic shots.
02-15-2011, 12:05 PM   #4
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Thanks everyone for being so quick. I would probably be open to some manual lenses if you think that may work better for me to get "the" shot.

02-15-2011, 12:06 PM   #5
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I recently went to Hawaii and I used exclusively the DA 55-300. It worked really well for the most part. Really good pics.

I wish I had something a little wider that would have been nice to have (like the da 40)

One thing to keep in mind is that you probably don't want to be changing lenses too much on the beach because of the ocean spray and salt that could get in the camera.

But, Hawaii is beautiful and the scenery is amazing. I got by with the da 50-300 pretty easily. I found myself needing the zoom capability a lot.

Anyhow, have fun
02-15-2011, 12:11 PM   #6
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Thanks Trevor, yeah I find that when I do my Golf photography here in TX that I use the Zoom a lot more that I would think, and since there is so much expanse in Hawaii I guess getting up close is important. I would just like one wide lens really to capture the "view" as I see it so that people can get an idea of what it looks like to my eye. Plus I plan on doing some walking around with the camera a lot so I am not sure that 300mm would be the best for that.
02-15-2011, 02:49 PM   #7
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On my most recent trip, my zooms were a 16-45mm and a 70-210mm, and they were pretty good. I'd been there before, and felt like I didn't need to bring anything longer. My longer lenses were either good but huge or not that good but smaller. I would have definitely brought the 55-300 if I owned it.

I brought several primes but did not use them all. Time is against you on vacation. You can't always take an extra minute to change lenses, move to a different spot for ideal framing, shoot, try a different aperture... Sometimes you can only point and shoot and move on. But when you have time, primes are great. I used the FA 35mm f2.0 the most, a Sigma Super-wide II 24mm f2.8 second, and the F 50mm f1.7 a distant third. I did not use my Sigma fisheye at all. I brought a flash and didn't use it enough to justify bringing it. I think I brought a 105mm f2.8 Takumar but never used it.

I'd suggest the DA-L 35mm f2.4 because it's cheap and useful, nearly the same as my FA 35. With a big budget, I'd agree with other suggestions for a DA 15/4 and a DA 70/2.4. I took a lot of photos at 16mm and a 15mm prime would be great to supplement your kit lens.
02-15-2011, 03:45 PM   #8
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If you want something cheap, then go for a f 50mm 1.7

02-15-2011, 03:55 PM   #9
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If you must have only one prime, I would say the 15. You have the other focal lengths covered at least, but nothing wide. I would recommend the 12-24 if you wanted a non-prime wide lens. I always recommend it for travel.
02-15-2011, 04:21 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
If you must have only one prime, I would say the 15. You have the other focal lengths covered at least, but nothing wide.
Maybe the 12-24, but the 15 isn't *that* much wider than the kit lens...

It's higher quality, sure, but the 15 is not exactly an all-purpose focal length.

The 12-24 makes a lot more sense. I like the idea of the F 50 1.7, though, for lower light.
02-15-2011, 04:50 PM   #11
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<- from hawaii

If you want to take pictures of scenery and landscapes, the kit lens will be fine. You won't need a fast lens or anything since its almost always sunny in Hawaii. Your telephoto zoom lens will be perfect for whales and wildlife.

One thing you may really want if it interests you is a macro lens, as you'll find a ton of exotic plants, flowers, and bugs and whatnot. Perhaps a 15mm for the wider angle perspective over your 18mm kit.

To be honest, if you go to hawaii with those 2 kit lenses, you definitely be happy. I doubt you'll wish you had brought another lens.
02-15-2011, 04:51 PM   #12
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Hi, I m from Hawaii and i find myself using my camera mostly on Landscape and macro with my k-x. I have the same set of lens u got and it will be plenty sufficient for the trip.
DA 15 and DA 35 mentioned above will have their use for your trip, if you looking for a prime.
But if u wanna try something new, A M28 with a reverse ring would be pretty interesting to try. It offers decent quality landscape picture. And when u flip it, it would do some extreme macro.

-Don't forget the CPL filter, u need it here to beat the vog out of the sky
02-15-2011, 04:58 PM   #13

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When I was in Hawaii last time I probably got the most use out of my DA 35 2.8. Great to have the macro capability but super for general POV shooting.

02-15-2011, 04:58 PM   #14
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i think you should considered DA14/2,8.. its wide enough to take a landscape.. and make also quiet stunning result ...the problem just the size of filter thread (77)....little bit annoying to me all seem little bit ekspensive for the accesories
02-15-2011, 05:23 PM   #15
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It depends on what you would most like to use the prime lens for.

You mentioned portraits, landscapes, and wildlife as possibilities. This covers a wide range of possibilities, but - generally speaking - most people enjoy a wider lens for landscapes and a mid range tele for portraits. Your kit lenses will cover all of these *adequately* (especially the wildlife with the 300mm) but there are some things your kit lenses cannot do.

1) They are not "fast" (meaning larger aperture, F 2.8 and below). Faster lenses are good for low light and for creating depth of field (isolating the subject with focus, while the rest of the shot is out of focus) and for quality of "bokeh" (look it up if you don't know, I don't want to create a definition war).

2) They will not shoot true macro (high magnification shots).

IMO, I would not get a wide angle such as the DA 15mm at this point, see how you like the results from the 18-55 first.

Other options include:

The DA 35mm Macro
The DA 40mm
A fast 50mm (FA 50, or a legacy manual focus)
The DA 70mm

I personally do not shoot a lot of landscape at 70mm, but the DA 70 would be one of the better, if not the best, portrait lenses. But I would recommend waiting on this until you know you like shooting with that focal length.

However, IMO the 50mm are fine for portraits and much cheaper (although they are too long for many other applications (such as landscape) for me on a crop sensor, which you have in your camera). I would stay away from manual focus unless you want to "dive right in". Playing around with depth of field and manual focus would not have been fun for me on my first trip with an SLR (although it is great fun now). But the FA 50 could be a great choice (it is the "fastest" of the bunch, providing excellent ability to shoot in low light and DOF).

The DA 40mm is a unique and awesome lens. I use it for landscape and portraits quite frequently. Great bokeh, "fast" enough for me at 2.8 and as small and light as they come. I would highly consider the DA 40mm.

Finally, the DA 35mm is another awesome lens. It has true 1:1 macro which provides unique shots. It is pricier than the DA 40mm though, so unless you think you are going to enjoy macro and shoot it a lot I would wait on this one (it is one of the most versatile lenses though, I have a hard time choosing between the DA 40mm and the DA 35mm as my favorite lens of all time). Also, it has slower autofocus than the DA 40mm, which can be problematic when shooting fast moving objects (such as children).

So, in short, my vote would be for the DA 40mm (unless you are VERY portrait heavy-- DA 70mm, or think you would love macro-- DA 35mm, or think you will be taking photos in REALLY low light often, -- FA 50mm-- as the DA 40 is fine for me in most low light applications).

Hope that helps...

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