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02-21-2011, 01:51 PM   #31
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I recommend the 12-24 as well. I'm (not really) surprised how often I recommend it - always for travel.

02-21-2011, 02:20 PM   #32
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Well another week down and a couple of hundred more photos with the 12-24 has made me think my DA15 & DA21 are actually a little sharper than this zoom (I've only been using it at f/5.6 and wider though).
02-21-2011, 02:44 PM   #33
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One more thumbs up for the DA12-24. Good color and contrast, reminds me of the SMCA lenses rendering.
02-21-2011, 02:53 PM   #34
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IMO any good quality lens would do, from 10-200 mm. But get yourself some decent primes......

02-21-2011, 06:24 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by crimson_penguin Quote
I currently have a (half) broken K20D, a Vivitar MF 100mm f2.8 1:1 macro, Tamron 28-75mm f2.8, and a Tokina 28mm f2.8 (which is very impressive for the $25 I got it for here - but obviously not a top quality lens). I almost exclusively use the Vivitar, because it's so very sharp and good quality.

I plan on upgrading to the K5, due to my K20D being broken (basically, it still takes pictures, but I can't go to the menu, it's reset to all the defaults, and I can't use the front or back dials for their normal functions in any shooting mode). I was going to wait for the price to come down some more, and I had no plans to get more lenses, but two things happened recently... First, I'm planning to drive across Canada in May, and second, I just got some unexpected money. I don't want to get into the "oo, I could buy this, and this, and this!" mindset, but on the other hand, I think it'd be quite a missed opportunity if I were to drive across the country without a working camera, and a good landscape lens or two!

I haven't done much landscape photography before, but of the lenses I have, I'm only REALLY happy with the Vivitar, and I think 100mm is pretty clearly NOT a good landscape focal length. So finally the point of this post: what should I get? I was thinking of the DA* 16-50mm at first, but I'm not sure if I trust the IQ of any zoom, even if it is a DA*, plus the possible SDM issues. So what I was thinking was the DA 15mm F4 Limited, and either the DA 35mm f2.8 Limited Macro, or the DA 40mm f2.8 limited. Obviously I'm used to using a prime, and this'll be mainly landscapes which aren't going anywhere, and I'll have a tripod as well.

Thoughts? I don't want to spend "much more than" $1,000 Canadian (not including the K5; I know it'll cost more than that itself).

Hi. Looked at your route. You're not exactly driving across Canada. There is a lot of Canada east of Ottawa. It is a great drive, though.

You may want to rethink your assumptions about "landscape" lenses. You'll be going through a lot of big prairie and mountain country where the ability to compress perspective and isolate detail can be very useful. Your Vivitar macro is a good start.

A zoom with a reach of at least 200mm would be a wise purchase. If you want to do it on the cheap, go for an MF 135 and/or 200. There are very good Pentax ones for little money.

Of course, you should also have something wider than 28mm. Something around 15 or 20mm is a good bet. Most Pentax zooms are good, but it wouln't hurt to go for a really good prime because, as well as being useful in itself, you will then have a benchmark for evaluating future lens acquisitions.
02-21-2011, 09:35 PM   #36
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sigma 8-16
distagon 25
fa31 or K30
any SMC 50 f2.8

should money matter:

sigma 8-16
sigma 24 macro [manual or autofocus]
K35 f3.5
A50 f2
02-21-2011, 09:45 PM   #37
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True, I'm not quite driving across all of Canada - though I'm going with a friend, and she's coming from Nova Scotia, so she pretty much is!

I think I've been convinced again by that gigantic thread, that I'd prefer the 15mm to the 12-24. And John and Rense seem to agree (with getting primes in general). I mean, I either get 2 or 3 primes, or I get a zoom and maybe a prime. Because bottom line, I don't want to spend a HUGE amount, but I would rather get fewer lenses that I'll be really happy with, than more lenses I'll be less happy with, and end up not using much.

I do of course know that old glass can be really good, and had for cheaper than new (my Vivitar is from '88), but it seems to me the DA glass probably mostly makes up for that price gap, by being crop-only. Really good glass doesn't go down in price a whole lot (unless it's in a pre-A mount, I guess).
02-22-2011, 12:06 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by crimson_penguin Quote
I do of course know that old glass can be really good, and had for cheaper than new (my Vivitar is from '88), but it seems to me the DA glass probably mostly makes up for that price gap
Again: AF isn't required for most landscapes, unless they're moving around a lot, like along the San Andreas Fault, where you're not going. In the ultrawide range, a very few new AF zooms and primes are about the only options. Otherwise, old manual primes are great and affordable, and often small and light.

Selecting from my collection, a cheap+sharp manual 'scape kit might include: Tokina 21/3.8; Vivitar 28/2 CF/WA; Super Takumar 35/3.5 and 55/1.8; Noflexar 105/3.5 on bellows; Jupiter-11 135/4; Tele-Takumar 200/5.6. Those all cost me under US$200 together, shipped.

Or I might replace the Tak55, Noflexar, and Jupiter with the brutally sharp and heavy Schneider Betavaron 50-125/4-5.6 enlarger zoom on 30mm extension, although it would be more flexible on a 28-70mm helicoid if such could be found.

But hay, it's only money.

02-22-2011, 01:06 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by crimson_penguin Quote
Wait, since when do I have a 17-50? I have a 28-75, and that's the widest I have right now. The "for the coin" part at the end there makes me very dubious. Not that I WANT to spend a lot on lenses, but I am very picky about quality and if it's good value but not quite up to my standards... well, what's the point if I don't use it? Also, don't take this the wrong way - I don't blame my bad photos on my lenses not being good enough, it's just that the only lens I have that I'm really happy with the IQ of is my 100mm. And I take my best photos with it, as well as plenty of bad ones.
I have the 17-50 & 28-75, but the 17-50 does most of my landscape work, since I find 24mm just about perfect on crop sensor for this purpose. I think anything wider than this is of little use for landscapes. You could get a lot of landscaping out of your 28-75, with great results. Picky or not, these Tamrons satisfy.
02-22-2011, 01:32 AM   #40
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well i just got a da 35mm f2.4 lens and found that this lens is a really good lens the IQ is great it is wide enough for landscape and portrait shoots. so thinking of this would lead me to think if you have the money go for the 35mm f2.8 limited macro, and anouther reason i say this is because you have a 100mm macro that kind of lens gives a better crisper focus not like the general lens..
02-22-2011, 09:01 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Again: AF isn't required for most landscapes, unless they're moving around a lot, like along the San Andreas Fault, where you're not going. In the ultrawide range, a very few new AF zooms and primes are about the only options. Otherwise, old manual primes are great and affordable, and often small and light.

Selecting from my collection, a cheap+sharp manual 'scape kit might include: Tokina 21/3.8; Vivitar 28/2 CF/WA; Super Takumar 35/3.5 and 55/1.8; Noflexar 105/3.5 on bellows; Jupiter-11 135/4; Tele-Takumar 200/5.6. Those all cost me under US$200 together, shipped.

Or I might replace the Tak55, Noflexar, and Jupiter with the brutally sharp and heavy Schneider Betavaron 50-125/4-5.6 enlarger zoom on 30mm extension, although it would be more flexible on a 28-70mm helicoid if such could be found.

But hay, it's only money.
Well, if you were offering all those lenses for $200 shipped, I would certainly go for it! But the bigger thing for me isn't lack of AF, it's lack of "A". Back before I got my Vivitar, I used an old falling apart Tamron (I think) 28-70 (I think) lens with $20 extension tubes from eBay, and I got some decent photos, but it was very tedious and annoying to do stop down metering, and I'd really rather not be doing that again.

QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
I have the 17-50 & 28-75, but the 17-50 does most of my landscape work, since I find 24mm just about perfect on crop sensor for this purpose. I think anything wider than this is of little use for landscapes. You could get a lot of landscaping out of your 28-75, with great results. Picky or not, these Tamrons satisfy.
Well I have the 28-75, and I haven't been satisfied... However, I've realized recently that probably I would be pretty happy with it in "most" situations, the main thing I've been displeased with it about is its performance at f2.8, and at 28mm. I've got that Tokina 28mm f2.8, which I got for about 1/18th the price ($25 vs. $450), and as far as I can tell it's overall MUCH better quality at 28mm f2.8. Now, I should try using it more and just stopping it down and not using it at its FL extremes, but... I wonder what the point is in paying all that for constant f2.8 when it looks like utter crap whenever you use it. I'm thinking of trying to sell it for $300 and buy a prime I'll really like instead.

Speaking of stuff... does anyone think it's worth waiting another month to get a K5? Will it go down in price, or will more used ones be on the market by then?

@lguckert79: Yeah, I really like the idea of the 35mm macro - I think I would use it for macro, as well as a super sharp, small/light walk around lens. And it would probably work well for a lot of landscapes too.
02-23-2011, 12:48 AM   #42
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QuoteQuote:
Crimson Penguin: Well I have the 28-75, and I haven't been satisfied... However, I've realized recently that probably I would be pretty happy with it in "most" situations, the main thing I've been displeased with it about is its performance at f2.8, and at 28mm. I've got that Tokina 28mm f2.8, which I got for about 1/18th the price ($25 vs. $450), and as far as I can tell it's overall MUCH better quality at 28mm f2.8. Now, I should try using it more and just stopping it down and not using it at its FL extremes, but... I wonder what the point is in paying all that for constant f2.8 when it looks like utter crap whenever you use it. I'm thinking of trying to sell it for $300 and buy a prime I'll really like instead.
You are the first person I met who was unhappy with the 28-75 wide open. You should be delighted with the lens wide-open. There may be something wrong with your copy. Can you show us an exampe of "looking like crap"? Thanks

JT
02-23-2011, 06:51 AM   #43
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You know, I'm pretty sure there is something wrong with my copy, and it's probably too late to do anything about it. I don't have it with my here, but I found a couple examples of it:



If you look at the EXIF, they're both 75mm, f2.8, ISO 800, 1/125s. I realize these are not ideal testing conditions, and it honestly is hard to believe that isn't just out of focus and/or motion blur. However, that same evening I went out with my 100mm and took some pictures with the same settings, and they were only very slightly motion blurry, and were in focus (I was manual focusing with both).

2 years ago the lens rolled out of my camera bag onto cement, and got some minor dents on the plastic (the back cap, tiny one on the aperture ring, and I think the lens hood). I don't THINK this was the cause though, because I know I didn't like it before that as well. Perhaps it made it worse though.

EDIT: I just searched for older photos, and found that wide open photos from before that are nowhere near as bad. They're not as good as my Vivitar of course, but they're not too bad. I got the lens around 4 years ago I think, from B&H. This suggests it's my fault, so even if it were still under warranty it probably isn't covered... any ideas on how much it would cost to fix?

EDIT2: Here's some photos before the drop, and all the photos from after. I think it's very clear it's shifted, and I feel silly for not realizing this earlier...

Last edited by crimson_penguin; 02-23-2011 at 08:27 AM.
02-23-2011, 08:43 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by crimson_penguin Quote
You know, I'm pretty sure there is something wrong with my copy, and it's probably too late to do anything about it. I don't have it with my here, but I found a couple examples of it:



If you look at the EXIF, they're both 75mm, f2.8, ISO 800, 1/125s. I realize these are not ideal testing conditions, and it honestly is hard to believe that isn't just out of focus and/or motion blur. However, that same evening I went out with my 100mm and took some pictures with the same settings, and they were only very slightly motion blurry, and were in focus (I was manual focusing with both).

2 years ago the lens rolled out of my camera bag onto cement, and got some minor dents on the plastic (the back cap, tiny one on the aperture ring, and I think the lens hood). I don't THINK this was the cause though, because I know I didn't like it before that as well. Perhaps it made it worse though.

EDIT: I just searched for older photos, and found that wide open photos from before that are nowhere near as bad. They're not as good as my Vivitar of course, but they're not too bad. I got the lens around 4 years ago I think, from B&H. This suggests it's my fault, so even if it were still under warranty it probably isn't covered... any ideas on how much it would cost to fix?

EDIT2: Here's some photos before the drop, and all the photos from after. I think it's very clear it's shifted, and I feel silly for not realizing this earlier...
that is some nasty sample. looks like motion blur or decentering. you might had gotten a lemon.
02-23-2011, 09:53 AM   #45
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Look at the before pictures though, they look fine to me. Again, not my macro, but decent at least.
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