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02-28-2011, 04:08 PM   #1
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** ONE ** lens for indoors. Help...

Inevitably,

as probably some before me (and a few after me to make the same mistake) I just must ask... (*)

"If you were to choose only ** ONE ** lens for indoor photography without flash, which would it be?"

I am looking for as fast as possible, yet not a bank-robbery type of price, lens. Max USD 1k.

I am thinking:

1) the (legendary?) FA 31,
2) the (plasticky) FA 50 1.4 or
3) the (huge) Sigma 50 1.4.

I am definitely NOT thinking the DA 55 (too expensive for its IQ and too long focal length to be comfortable indoors).

Purpose: indoors and outdoors people events (friends/ family). Maybe travel.

I already have the DA 35 macro and DA 70. Love both of them, but they're too slow for hand shooting in dim light (no flash). (or maybe my hands shake too much??)

Will be truly grateful for your insights - those truly based on experience.

Rgds,
maciek

(*) Have researched the forum a bit, but found no direct answer to my silly question

02-28-2011, 04:14 PM   #2
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I would go for option number 1, the FA31. Or, if you want to save some money, a used copy of the FA35/2. I have used both quite a bit as my primary indoor, no flash lens and actually like them about equally for that purpose. The IQ of the 31 edges out the 35, but the 35 is cheaper, lighter and has slightly faster AF (I think).
02-28-2011, 04:40 PM   #3
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if it were me, none of the above, but a 16-50F2.8


even the 31 is not really wide eough indoors, and with todays bodies and high ISO , an F2.8 is pretty good
02-28-2011, 04:45 PM   #4
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No contest, the FA 31 without a doubt. Much more usable focal length for indoors, and IQ second to none. I've had mine for a week and managed to take about 500 photos, mainly indoors.

I can say the IQ is all it's cracked up to be; sharp where is should be sharp, gorgeous rendering, and beautiful smooth OOF areas.

Is it worth $1k? I think so, every cent. Is DA35 or FA35 better value? Probably for most people, but for the number of years and photos I think I'll get from the FA31 I think the extra is worth it (for me).

02-28-2011, 04:45 PM   #5
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Original Poster
Thanks!

The thing is, that I am much more after speed than length, or width of field for that matter (referring to 31 being too long vs. 16-50).

m

Last edited by maciek_w; 02-28-2011 at 04:47 PM. Reason: typos... :)
02-28-2011, 04:54 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
if it were me, none of the above, but a 16-50F2.8


even the 31 is not really wide eough indoors, and with todays bodies and high ISO , an F2.8 is pretty good
This.

Another option would be the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 if you aren't so concerned with SDM and WR.

However I believe the sigma 50mm 1.4 is pretty sharp wide open (unlike the FA 50). Another option is the DA* 55, good portrait lens that one.

Another: FA 35 f2?
02-28-2011, 04:58 PM   #7
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I just noticed you alrready have the DA35 f2.8. Hmmmm. Unless you like macro I don't think you'll have much use for the 35 if you buy a 31. If you need speed though get the 31 and consider selling the 35 macro for a 15.

A 15/31/70 is a very nice prime combination.

By the way, I think you have LBA. Be careful.

Last edited by twitch; 02-28-2011 at 05:14 PM.
02-28-2011, 05:00 PM   #8
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If you are after speed you may also want to consider the Sigma 30/1.4. It is generally highly regarded.

02-28-2011, 05:34 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
If you are after speed you may also want to consider the Sigma 30/1.4. It is generally highly regarded.
Yes it is, I love mine.
02-28-2011, 05:49 PM   #10
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You list only primes in the original post but for indoor shots in a wide range of situations, and with only ONE lens then I think a zoom would be better. Pentax DA16*50 f/2.8 or Sigma 17-50 f/2.8. Wide enough for shots in the house and still long enough for family shots outside.
02-28-2011, 06:05 PM   #11
hcc
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+1 with the FA31mm f1.8 Ltd.

A fantastic lens, and not just for outdoor.

Highly Recommended by Welcome to Photozone!
Pentax SMC-FA 31mm f/1.8 AL Limited - Review / Test Report

The highest score in the In-depth reviews of this Forums:
Pentax Lens Reviews | Pentax in-depth reviews | PentaxForums.com

Why go elsewhere?
02-28-2011, 06:10 PM   #12
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Because you said "events" I'd say the DA 16-50 2.8.

The 31mm is great indoors, but you might find it won't be wide enough to fit everyone in a shot.

Good luck with your purchase

Alf
02-28-2011, 06:37 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
Why go elsewhere?
Because it costs an arm and a leg?
It is jolly good, no doubt, but if doesn't have to be one of the best AF lenses in the world then one can save a quite some money or buy two excellent lenses rather than one.

Last edited by Class A; 02-28-2011 at 06:44 PM.
02-28-2011, 06:40 PM   #14
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FA31mm f1.8.. You Know you want to go there. 50mm I've always thought was too tight for 'room' photography.

02-28-2011, 08:16 PM   #15
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Since you already have the DA35 and the DA70 and you're more concerned with speed than focal length, my suggestion is the Sigma 50/1.4.

Personally, I think the Sigma is a little big and 50mm is a little long for indoors. But it is a very nice lens.
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