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04-05-2011, 06:47 AM   #16
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So I went through a love affair last night spending hours researching the FA Ltds.

Then I placed an order on the FA 31mm, 43mm, 77mm and 15mm (replace the 12-24mm since I'll only use it for vast landscapes like top of the mountain over Tibetan plateau etc.)… I should be a site supporter soon!

I'm well aware that I'm in LBA Rookie Phase #1, but I happen to have no obligations and some hard-earned money that can be seriously invested into a hobby/a business. So FA Ltds it is. I'm reluctant to get the Macro because I'll only use it for a small amount of merchandise. The handicrafts aren't insanely small, so the 77mm should do with the details (saw some detailed shots of apple earphones and even bug bellies - that's about right).
I don't have a concrete idea of how much difference there exists between the 31mm and the 43mm, so I'm ordering both to try them out. If I end up keeping only one, I'm sure I'll have no trouble selling the other. If I end up loving both… Well I'll just have to deal with that later… Can't do anything anymore, it's in the hands of Adorama..

I didn't know a thing about Pentax film cameras, but a simple Google Shopping search showed me that the old Pentax MEs are being sold for less than $100? I hope to just snatch one of those to pair up with the FA Ltds when I start to experiment with film, so that played into the decision of buying the FAs as well. Aside from that, the weight of these things are godsend, and I really need them to be fast because I'm notorious with handshake. I've also had a lot of trouble taking crisp photos at night-time with the K7 and the kit lens, so hopefully FAs will help me with that.

Thank you all very much for the input. I can't help but to feel a bit silly but I do think I've done the right thing (given available resources and the fact that I've no obligations). This is one of the few things that I've ever wanted to do really well.

Thanks Marc, that does teach me something I was confused about!

sterretje, I got the 16-50 thinking that I'd keep it (update of IQ from the kit lens) while still look for a telephoto prime. But no... the more I compare it with the FAs the more I start to dislike the size and the weight... It plus the K7 = size of my head.

Rob thanks for the input on film, I may agree with you in a few years, but right now I'm a headstrong rookie who's eager to try out new things! When I do get my hands on some rolls and a filmcam, I'll be sure to come back to the forum to ask you for advice!

EDIT: thanks eddie... my thoughts exactly


Last edited by ardentartichoke; 04-05-2011 at 07:22 AM.
04-05-2011, 07:05 AM   #17
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Congrats! I haven't got the funds for that kind of shopping, but let us know how you do and post some pictures once you get them. Hopefully, that will soothe my envy (although not help in terms of wanting to scratch that FA limited itch...and the DA 15)
04-05-2011, 07:08 AM   #18
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Since no one said it, let me say it: you need to work out.
04-05-2011, 07:14 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by ardentartichoke Quote
So I went through a love affair last night spending hours researching the FA Ltds.

Then I placed an order on the FA 31mm, 43mm, 77mm and 15mm (replace the 12-24mm since I'll only use it for vast landscapes like top of the mountain over Tibetan plateau etc.)… I should be a site supporter soon!

I'm well aware that I'm in LBA Rookie Phase #1, but I happen to have no obligations and some hard-earned money that can be seriously invested into a hobby/a business. So FA Ltds it is. I'm reluctant to get the Macro because I'll only use it for a small amount of merchandise. The handicrafts aren't insanely small, so the 77mm should do with the details (saw some detailed shots of apple earphones and even bug bellies - that's about right).
I don't have a concrete idea of how much difference there exists between the 31mm and the 43mm, so I'm ordering both to try them out. If I end up keeping only one, I'm sure I'll have no trouble selling the other. If I end up loving both… Well I'll just have to deal with that later… Can't do anything anymore, it's in the hands of Adorama..

I didn't know a thing about Pentax film cameras, but a simple Google Shopping search showed me that the old Pentax MEs are being sold for less than $100? I hope to just snatch one of those to pair up with the FA Ltds when I start to experiment with film, so that played into the decision of buying the FAs as well. Aside from that, the weight of these things are godsend, and I really need them to be fast because I'm notorious with handshake. I've also had a lot of trouble taking crisp photos at night-time with the K7 and the kit lens, so hopefully FAs will help me with that.

Thank you all very much for the input. I can't help but to feel a bit silly but I do think I've done the right thing (given available resources and the fact that I've no obligations). This is one of the few things that I've ever wanted to do really well.

Thanks Marc, that does teach me something I was confused about!

sterretje, I got the 16-50 thinking that I'd keep it (update of IQ from the kit lens) while still look for a telephoto prime. But no... the more I compare it with the FAs the more I start to dislike the size and the weight... It plus the K7 = size of my head.

Rob thanks for the input on film, I may agree with you in a few years, but right now I'm a headstrong rookie who's eager to try out new things! When I do get my hands on some rolls and a filmcam, I'll be sure to come back to the forum to ask you for advice

EDIT: thanks eddie... my thoughts exactly

Given the kit you've assembled i would lean towards a different film body that is suited to those great FA ltds and look for an MZ-S they are pretty rare but absolutely amazing pieces. the *ist will make the transition easier as it looks and feels very similar to the early digitals like the *ist ds but it's not as good a camera as the MZ-S which id the last truly high end film camera Pentax made (it actually bears a strong resemblance to the K5/7) I use a few older bodies but all my primes are MF older ones so I'm not missing anything by using say an MX

04-05-2011, 07:21 AM   #20
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I have 40mm (find it a little long) and 21mm (wich I find a little wide) for street. So I would recommend FA31mm. But then again everyone takes different streetscenes.

For long you could think over the 100mm macro, since it will give you also macro oppertunity. Or look out for a FA*85mm.
04-05-2011, 10:07 AM   #21
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Wow...amazing purchase. Like most here, I do not have the funds to go out and buy all the FA Ltds in one fell swoop -- congrats!

One thing I will mention - although those are some of the best lenses ever, none of them are "macro." You mentioned you don't think you want to do macro now, but if you ever do, Pentax has a couple of nice choices.

I have the DA 35 Ltd Macro, and I love it. It is one of the most versatile lenses out there. However, your 31 or 43 will essentially cover this range so I will echo Ron's post and concur that you may want to look at the 100mm WR Macro at some point if you ever want 1:1 magnification.

As far as street shooting, I love the DA 21 and the DA 40. I would think the FA 31 (or perhaps FA 43) would do just fine at this task.
04-05-2011, 11:02 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by ardentartichoke Quote
So I went through a love affair last night spending hours researching the FA Ltds.

Then I placed an order on the FA 31mm, 43mm, 77mm and 15mm (replace the 12-24mm since I'll only use it for vast landscapes like top of the mountain over Tibetan plateau etc.)… I should be a site supporter soon!

I'm well aware that I'm in LBA Rookie Phase #1, but I happen to have no obligations and some hard-earned money that can be seriously invested into a hobby/a business. So FA Ltds it is. I'm reluctant to get the Macro because I'll only use it for a small amount of merchandise. The handicrafts aren't insanely small, so the 77mm should do with the details (saw some detailed shots of apple earphones and even bug bellies - that's about right).
I don't have a concrete idea of how much difference there exists between the 31mm and the 43mm, so I'm ordering both to try them out. If I end up keeping only one, I'm sure I'll have no trouble selling the other. If I end up loving both… Well I'll just have to deal with that later… Can't do anything anymore, it's in the hands of Adorama..

I didn't know a thing about Pentax film cameras, but a simple Google Shopping search showed me that the old Pentax MEs are being sold for less than $100? I hope to just snatch one of those to pair up with the FA Ltds when I start to experiment with film, so that played into the decision of buying the FAs as well. Aside from that, the weight of these things are godsend, and I really need them to be fast because I'm notorious with handshake. I've also had a lot of trouble taking crisp photos at night-time with the K7 and the kit lens, so hopefully FAs will help me with that.

Thank you all very much for the input. I can't help but to feel a bit silly but I do think I've done the right thing (given available resources and the fact that I've no obligations). This is one of the few things that I've ever wanted to do really well.

Thanks Marc, that does teach me something I was confused about!

sterretje, I got the 16-50 thinking that I'd keep it (update of IQ from the kit lens) while still look for a telephoto prime. But no... the more I compare it with the FAs the more I start to dislike the size and the weight... It plus the K7 = size of my head.

Rob thanks for the input on film, I may agree with you in a few years, but right now I'm a headstrong rookie who's eager to try out new things! When I do get my hands on some rolls and a filmcam, I'll be sure to come back to the forum to ask you for advice!

EDIT: thanks eddie... my thoughts exactly
Start out with the best, and you will never be sorry. Over time, you will discover for yourself which lenses are most useful, but all that you have chosen should find some purpose.

Next, you need to decide on shooting in jpeg or raw. Since you seem intent of the best possible IQ and will undoubtedly become interested in editing your photos, raw is the way to go. Then comes the choice of a raw conversion program. Most people here use Lightroom and with good reason. Personally, I prefer Capture One, because in my hands, it consistently produces better looking images. (I have done countless comparisons.) If you have not already gone through this process, download free trial versions and try them out for yourself.

Then comes Photoshop, but we won't go into that now.

Good luck, and have fun.

Rob
04-05-2011, 11:12 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
I have 40mm (find it a little long) and 21mm (wich I find a little wide) for street. So I would recommend FA31mm. But then again everyone takes different streetscenes.

For long you could think over the 100mm macro, since it will give you also macro oppertunity. Or look out for a FA*85mm.
I agree that 31mm is a good focal length for street shooting, but many people like wider, and some like longer. I am eager to try out my new 43 Limited on some crowded street or in a marketplace. The 21 Limited would fill a niche, although it is not as highly regarded as some of the other Limiteds. For now, the OP would be well advised to use what he has and not worry about what he might be missing.

Regarding the FA*85, it is not significantly longer than the 77 Limited. My next longest lens beyond the 77 is the DA*200, which I hardly ever use. Rarely do I feel the need for anything in between.

Rob

04-05-2011, 11:20 AM   #24
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If you find that none of your lenses focus closely enough to get you the shots you want of your crafts, you might look into the Raynox 150, which can attach to the front of another lens and make a quite serviceable macro. Attached to the front of the FA77, it would be about 1:2, meaning an object twice the size of the sensor (about two inches across) would be able to completely fill the field. With the Raynox, longer focal length does translate into higher magnification, because the Raynox forces you to work at a constant distant to subject (around six inches). The Raynox 150 attached to an old 135 prime gives you 1:1, meaning you can fill the frame with an object the size of the sensor (about one inch across).
04-05-2011, 11:24 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
I agree that 31mm is a good focal length for street shooting, but many people like wider, and some like longer. I am eager to try out my new 43 Limited on some crowded street or in a marketplace. The 21 Limited would fill a niche, although it is not as highly regarded as some of the other Limiteds. For now, the OP would be well advised to use what he has and not worry about what he might be missing.

Regarding the FA*85, it is not significantly longer than the 77 Limited. My next longest lens beyond the 77 is the DA*200, which I hardly ever use. Rarely do I feel the need for anything in between.

Rob
if you look at a classic kit it used to be 28/50/135 the 135 was the compromise between having an 85 and a 200.
My ideal kit would be an UWA (ie my DA14) a 24 a 28/31 a 43/50 and a 77 maybe a 200 for reach. budget would be the determining factor. Right now i'm using 14/21/28/50/100/135/200/300. the 135-300 rarely go out. For travel i would likely go 14/28/50/100, maybe the 200 depending on where i was going
YMMV
If I had a big budget and a wife who approved of the expense it would be 15/31/43/50/77 and possibly add in a 24. same thing for longer it would depend on the trip but probably a 200. the reason for the FA vs DA ltds for me is i would have a film camera in the bag as well

In my experience you need more lenses in the UWA-Portrait range because the changes in FOV are more apparent, once you hit the 77/85 range beyond that it takes big steps for apparent change
04-05-2011, 01:03 PM   #26
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Thanks everyone!
I'm going on a long-term trip to Asia this June, it's why I'm eager to get my hands on the new lenses so I can wrap my head around them beforehand. Otherwise I would've never gotten this many lenses in one go... I was exhibiting all signs of cardiac arrest last night pressing all those "place the order" buttons...

QuoteOriginally posted by metalmania Quote
Since no one said it, let me say it: you need to work out.
No way! I said it first!
I do yoga... Will try out some weight lifting now in case some humongous but brilliant lens comes out in a few years!

Thanks for the macro recommendations, I will keep them in mind if I find myself doing more macros. But Marc, the Raynox 150 sounds amazing and SO CHEAP! Definitely something I'm looking for after last night...

Eddie, thanks for the MZ-S recommendation. Once I oil up those FAs I will look into it. Are you doing both film and digital nowadays? Are there differences between those formats that beginners like me don't usually know about?

Some last questions before I steer too far away from the topic:
1. How did you guys start? I would go with the usual "just shoot shoot shoot" advice, but right now I want to improve quickly because of the upcoming trip.
When I began, I read through the K7 Magic Lantern guide, which really kickstarted my learning process, but I've yet to grasp some of the most useful functions due to some lack of general photography knowledge. I'm familiar with the general f stops/ISO/EV stuff (still need to practice lots more), but I'm looking for a bootcamp course with tips that will "fill in the gaps" for my foundation of knowledge in photography. Where (online/books etc.) do you guys recommend? The articles/threads on this forum seem to be either too specific or too brief.
2. I'm disappointed in K7's performance at high ISO/nighttime. Is that something the FAs will significantly help improve? Or should I keep my eye on a K5 until its price goes down? I'm quite happy with the K7 and am eager to work with it a bit more, so my immediately solution is not to switch but to look for remedies.
3. Rob I'm already shooting in RAW, have been using the Pentax's default editing program, find it ok (as I'm still working the basics) but not very userfriendly. Lightroom or Photoshop or Capture One or Aperture? I'd like to be very organized, and I'm quite vain when it comes to photo display (even if it's just for myself), so Lightroom seems like a good option? But what advantages do other programs have over Lightroom? I've briefly used some trial versions, haven't gotten much out of it, I think I need some pros to give me a hint on the good/bad stuff that I've not yet been able to spot.

Thank you thank you thank you. This is one of the best places on earth

EDIT: they've discontinued the K7! ahhh

Last edited by ardentartichoke; 04-05-2011 at 01:11 PM.
04-05-2011, 01:39 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by ardentartichoke Quote
1. How did you guys start? I would go with the usual "just shoot shoot shoot" advice, but right now I want to improve quickly because of the upcoming trip.
When I began, I read through the K7 Magic Lantern guide, which really kickstarted my learning process, but I've yet to grasp some of the most useful functions due to some lack of general photography knowledge. I'm familiar with the general f stops/ISO/EV stuff (still need to practice lots more), but I'm looking for a bootcamp course with tips that will "fill in the gaps" for my foundation of knowledge in photography. Where (online/books etc.) do you guys recommend? The articles/threads on this forum seem to be either too specific or too brief.
How did I start? In the cradle, almost. I just about grew up in my Dad's little darkroom. But I digress. I can't point to specific contemporary books or courses, although the Bryan Peterson guides seem highly regarded. My suggestion is to give yourself a Saturday or three at a local public library and read EVERYTHING on photography. The old Time-Life Library of Photography series is a great overview of principles.

And it's not just SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT, but SHOOT (3x) WITH A MANUAL -- get someplace comfortable with a notebook (paper), go through every page of your K7 manual, take notes on the features and possibilities, and SHOOT (3x) to explore all that you find there. One thing about film cameras -- the manuals are easier to memorize.

QuoteQuote:
Thank you thank you thank you. This is one of the best places on earth
Indeed.
04-05-2011, 02:56 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by ardentartichoke Quote
3. Rob I'm already shooting in RAW, have been using the Pentax's default editing program, find it ok (as I'm still working the basics) but not very userfriendly. Lightroom or Photoshop or Capture One or Aperture? I'd like to be very organized, and I'm quite vain when it comes to photo display (even if it's just for myself), so Lightroom seems like a good option? But what advantages do other programs have over Lightroom? I've briefly used some trial versions, haven't gotten much out of it, I think I need some pros to give me a hint on the good/bad stuff that I've not yet been able to spot.
You won't find many fans of the Pentax software on this forum. Lightroom is the popular choice, because of its feature set, its adjustment tools and its reasonably good raw conversions. Capture One, in my hands, produces much better looking images time after time. The interface is very elegant and the adjustment tools are fantastic. It does not have the file management capabilities of LR, but Phase One will give you a file management program, Expression Media 2, for free. Lightroom also has slightly superior noise reduction, but if you are using a K-5, noise will not be a big issue. I would suggest that you give C1 a trial and do head to head comparisons with Lightroom (and possibly other programs) to see which one you prefer.

I have not tested Aperture, but my understanding is that it is fairly comparable to LR. Some people prefer one interface over the other.

Rob
04-05-2011, 05:33 PM   #29
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I cant reply to everything from the phone nut yes i still shoot film
35mm 645 and 6x7 and am looking at large format eventually
First off on film your lenses will be used differently
The 31 will be widish angle the 43 is a true normal and the 77 a short portrait
The dfa100 if you get one would fill the fa77 spot on film and add macro
I shoot 35mm for bw images mostly or because i want the uniwue colour of some films (velvia as an example) its more challenging to shoot as you cant chimp and every shot costs money
Fir me it means ill slow down and think before shooting in a lot of cases which can be good
For learning though you will be way ahead on digital you get instant feedback and can develop technique without additional cost. So until you get the basic triumvarate of aperture iso speed down and how they impact pictures in various combinations digital is probably better as a learning tool
Film will let you refine these techniques and you move into how sensor/feame size affects images and apparent dof along with learning all sorts of other almost archaic stuff like filtering developing techniques differences in film emulsions and how they can make or break an image...... Its a lifelong learning curve imho and ive been shooting for 29 years with slrs as of easter this year (i bought my first slr a zenit easter 72)
Ill post some good links later if someone doesnt beat me to it
04-05-2011, 05:36 PM   #30
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Oh and crisp photos at night withvthe k7 and kit look at my single in february album
Trick is a tripod low iso and maybe modest hdr
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