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03-08-2011, 09:58 PM   #1
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The Pentax Fantasy LBA Game

I can't remember how many LBA threads I've seen posted here (and elsewhere). Most boil-down to which lens suits a particular style or fills a "gap" (however you want to define that) in someone's lens line-up. These discussions have often prompted me to re-evaluate my own lens line-up and wonder how it would be different, taking into consideration lens options that aren't currently in production.

So, just for fun, let's play the Pentax Fantasy LBA game. Here are the rules:
1) You may select a maximum of one lens from each K-mount Pentax lens series. So, no stock-piling FA Ltds, if that's your thing. In the interests of clarity, we'll consider the "series" to be the K, M, A, F, FA, FA*, FA Ltd, DA, DA* and DA Ltd. I'm stretching things a bit by separating the 3 FA and DA lines, but I think that's fair, as they were all designed to appeal to very different needs.
2) You must select a range of focal lengths that suit the different types of photography you enjoy, for whatever format (APS-C or full-frame) you prefer to shoot. For me, personally, I would want to cover the ultra-wide, wide-normal, normal, telephoto and long telephoto ranges. Zooms or primes are just fine - it's totally up to your personal preference.
3) Price and availability aren't constraints. This is a fantasy game, after all.
4) Have fun!

Here's my fantasy line-up:
DA 12-24mm F4 AL - Widest Pentax ultrawide on APS-C, sharp and distortion and CA are easily correctible in PP.
FA*24mm F2 AL - Fast wide-normal on APS-C, and a fast ultra-wide on full-frame (say for mounting on an old film body).
DA 35mm Ltd Macro - Reasonably fast, versatile, compact normal lens that can pull double-duty as a macro for close-up photography
K 50mm F1.2 - Ultra fast short-tele on APS-C, and a normal on full-frame with great bokeh and potential for awesome shallow DOF creativity.
FA 77mm F1.8 Ltd - Fast portrait lens on APS-C and full-frame with amazing sharpness and contrast between F4-8 and awesome bokeh.
M 100mm F4 Macro - Fantastic bokeh, only 1:2 maximum magnification and manual focus, but great working distance and image quality for butterflies, flowers and other macro subjects.
DA* 200mm F2.8 - Fast long telephoto on APS-C with good sharpness and bokeh and perfect ergonomics. Easily hand-holdable with fast AF for sports photography in low light (hockey, anyone?).
F 1.7x AF Teleconverter - adds reach and flexibility to the DA*200 above.

FWIW, I don't see myself actually getting this line-up - I have the Sigma 10-20 F4-5.6 and would miss the 10mm range and zoom flexibility for composition too much to consider the Pentax options available. I'm also not sure that I "need" the 50mm F1.2 or the teleconverter.

03-08-2011, 10:02 PM   #2
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Geez, I have no idea what you are talking about.





03-08-2011, 10:05 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by tranq78 Quote
Geez, I have no idea what you are talking about.
Ah, but you do. Looks like you've got a very well-diversified collection there. Well done. How close is it to your "fantasy" line-up?
03-08-2011, 11:07 PM   #4
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DA12-24 - ultrawide for landscape, cityscape, architectures, people/group shots.
FA31/1.8 LTD - walk-around lens.
A501/.2 - specialty lowlight portraits
FA*85/1.4 - telephoto portraits and landscape.
DFA 100/2.8 macro WR. - macro, close-ups and portraits
FA135/2.8 - candid, action photography.
DA*60-250/4 - general purpose lens and for animals and longer telephoto shots.

03-08-2011, 11:46 PM   #5
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After 3 years with dslr and Pentax experience I made up my own lens road map a couple of months ago (I just sold my DA 12-24mm, DA* 60-250mm and my DA* 55mm and DA 35 Ltd are for sale). Lenses in red color I already own. This list is modified since it's only one lens from each series/type of lens:

DA 15mm/f4 Ltd 15mm is wide enough for me and I prefer compact.
FA 31mm/f1.8 Ltd This is my focal lenght.
A 50mm/f1.2 Special Can't live without it.
DA* 50-135mm/f2.8 Crispy sharp and versatile.
DA* 200mm/f2.8 I count the DA* zoom and prime as different types

Last edited by x-country; 03-09-2011 at 12:28 AM. Reason: Comment
03-09-2011, 12:02 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hello_Photo Quote
F 1.7x AF Teleconverter - adds reach and flexibility to the DA*200 above.
I'm not sure but I don't think you can use Pentax TCAF 1.7x with DA*200, because it doesn't have SDM pins?


Anyway here's my list (as you can see I like small compact primes):

DA 15mm Ltd : Ultra-wide lens
FA* 24mm : Wide lens
A 50mm 1.2 : Normal lens
FA 77mm Ltd : Short-tele lens
D-FA 100mm macro WR : Macro lens
DA* 200mm : Tele lens

In reality, I don't have FA* 24mm but I have Kiron 28 F2 instead, no A 50mm 1.2 but Nikon 50mm 1.2 and no D-FA 100mm WR but instead I have the Samsung clone of D-FA 100mm macro. Also, I think I'm lacking a teleconverter..
03-09-2011, 12:22 AM   #7
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Base kit
FA31Ltd general purpose lens
DFA100WR light tele / macro

Special requirement additions
DA21Ltd (maybe DA15Ltd) for architecture type work
DA*60-250 for wildlife

I've never used anything above 300mm, but I can see myself sitting in a bird hide or near/at an airport with the following 2 lenses
FA*250-600
A*1200
03-09-2011, 12:30 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
I've never used anything above 300mm, but I can see myself sitting in a bird hide or near/at an airport with the following 2 lenses
FA*250-600
A*1200
I would definitely get the FA*250-600mm if I needed to go beyond 200mm. I like the zoom range.

03-09-2011, 12:45 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by x-country Quote
A 50mm/f1.2 Special Can't live without it.
I hate you!
03-09-2011, 01:00 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hello_Photo Quote
DA 12-24mm F4 AL - Widest Pentax ultrawide on APS-C, sharp and distortion and CA are easily correctible in PP.
FA*24mm F2 AL - Fast wide-normal on APS-C, and a fast ultra-wide on full-frame (say for mounting on an old film body).
DA 35mm Ltd Macro - Reasonably fast, versatile, compact normal lens that can pull double-duty as a macro for close-up photography
K 50mm F1.2 - Ultra fast short-tele on APS-C, and a normal on full-frame with great bokeh and potential for awesome shallow DOF creativity.
FA 77mm F1.8 Ltd - Fast portrait lens on APS-C and full-frame with amazing sharpness and contrast between F4-8 and awesome bokeh.
M 100mm F4 Macro - Fantastic bokeh, only 1:2 maximum magnification and manual focus, but great working distance and image quality for butterflies, flowers and other macro subjects.
DA* 200mm F2.8 - Fast long telephoto on APS-C with good sharpness and bokeh and perfect ergonomics. Easily hand-holdable with fast AF for sports photography in low light (hockey, anyone?).
F 1.7x AF Teleconverter - adds reach and flexibility to the DA*200 above.
Does it mean game over when one has all?
03-09-2011, 03:39 AM   #11
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My Fantasy Kit:

- SMC Pentax 1:2.8 8.4mm Bird's-Eye
- SMC Pentax 1:3.5 15mm (aspherical version)
- SMC Pentax 1:1.4 20mm
- SMC Pentax 1:2 28mm
- SMC Pentax-M 1:1.4 35mm
- SMC Pentax-A 1:1.2 50mm Special
- SMC Pentax-FA* 1:1.4 85mm
- SMC Pentax-A* 1:1.8 135mm
- SMC Pentax-FA* 1:4 200mm macro ED [IF]
- SMC Pentax-FA* 1:2.8 300mm
- SMC Pentax-F* 1:5.6 250-600mm ED [IF]
- SMC Pentax-A* 1:8 1200mm ED [IF]

For me the above kit is more than enough. And I actually already have a few of them (including the F* 250-600 :P)
03-09-2011, 06:54 AM   #12
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@Hello Photo: If it's LBA, do you want a list of the lenses we want to add to our collection, or do you want the list of lenses including those we already own?
03-09-2011, 07:30 AM   #13
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I'll just post both ways.
1 from each lens line dream kit lineup:

K ............ 2000mm/13.6 Reflex
M ........... 200mm F4
M* ......... 300mm/4
A ............ 50mm/1.2 Special
A* .......... 135mm/1.8
F ............ 50mm F2.8 Macro
F* .......... 250-500mm/5.6
FA .......... 20mm/2.8
FA J ........ 18-35mm F4-5.6
FA* ........ 85mm/1.4
FA Ltd .... 31mm/1.8
DA ......... 10-17mm/3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye
DA L ...... 55-300mm F4-5.8
DA* ........ 55mm/1.4
DA Ltd ... 15mm/4
DFA ....... 100mm/2.8 Macro WR

Admissibly though, some of these spots are just to fill in holes in the kit. The decision between the FA* 200 Macro and the FA* 85/1.4 was the hardest.


LBA hit list, won the lottery, or saved for 10 years additional lens lineup:

Affordable:
FA Ltd 77mm/1.8
DFA 50mm/2.8 Macro
DA Ltd 35mm/2.8 Macro
DA* 200mm/2.8

The not so affordable:
F*/FA* 250-600mm/5.6
FA* 200mm/4 Macro
FA* 300mm/2.8
K/M 2000mm Reflex
A* 400mm/2.8
A* 1200mm/8
03-09-2011, 08:36 AM   #14
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Like Clinton, I'm wondering if this is an wish + already own list or a pure wish list?

pure wish list
FA ltd 31mm
K 8.4mm f/2.8 fish eye
A* 200mm macro f4.0
FA * 300mm f/2.8
DA* 35mm macro f/2.8
DFA 100mm macro f/2.8 WR
DA ltd 21mm f/3.2

wish + already own list (already own in italics)

DA 12-24
FA 20mm f/2.8
FA 31mm ltd
DA* 35mm macro f/2.8
FA 43mm ltd
FA* 85mm f/1.4
K 135mm f2.5
DA* 300mm f3.5

NaCl(even if I hit the lotto, I don't think I would be able to find some of these)H2O
03-09-2011, 09:11 AM   #15
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A 50 f/1.2
K 200 f/2.5
DA LTD 70
DA 12-24
DA* 50-135
FA 31mm LTD
DFA 100mm Macro WR

...although in reality, I'm actually quite satisfied with what I have now (31mm LTD, Ultron, Nokton, 70mm Sigma macro, K135 2.5)...so maybe I should stop reading these kinds of threads.
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