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08-26-2011, 08:50 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
The Sigma 8-16 is a unique lens, not sure it's what you want so I'd do more research / get more opinions if I were you. Can't go wrong with the Sigma 10-20.
I've done a bit of reading here and there from multiple sources and the general consensus that seems to be arising is that the 8-16 is in general a better lens - sharper, better flare resistance, CA tolerance etc. I've never used anything lower than 11 so maybe this is a good time to finally have a dip in the deep end and let my creative mind run free!

Terrific photo's there, especially the landscapes! I remember my little GF1 20mm pancake being so versatile like that too. Terrific walk around lens and this is very reminiscent. After more thought a good focal range for a walkaround lens for me would be in the 30-40mm range, so yes, the sigma will definitely be considered. That ~30mm to me means its not too wide, and not too narrow. With the other lenses as a 'go to' in the scenarios I would buy them for -> landscape / portraits

Looked up youtube videos of the auto focus on the 50-135. They dont seem THAT slow?

08-26-2011, 09:33 AM   #32
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I use my 50-135mm on my K5 and I have never even thought about the AF being slow, and for the people that do think it is slow I am sure they would agree that it is worth it when you look at the quality of the pictures from it.
08-26-2011, 09:46 AM - 1 Like   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blitz_ Quote
Only $400AUD where I am as well! So the sigma for a solid all purpose-wall around lens? The focal length is right in the ball park I'm looking for if I go the Sigma 8-16 and Pentax 50-135, price as well. Hahaha you have too much money :P Stop making me jealous saying you keep buying lenses, makes me wish I had my apprenticeship finished and wrapped up.

At the moment its looking like a Sigma 8-16 + (maybe) Sigma 30 f1.4 + Pentax 50-135mm. GASP! Only one Pentax lens, maybe upsetting the purists?

in that case: Sigma 8-16mm + FA31mm + DA30mm = $2400! What would you choose? I've only JUST ordered the K5 and im already loving the whole experience more than I did with my Canon
I once started a thread that asked people to explain their "kit strategy" (the thread was lost in a past hacking incident here). It was really interesting to hear the thinking behind what photographers chose. I'll share my kit strategy thus far in case you might find it useful.

I started with zooms to cover all focal lengths, but later decided my style of shooting (nature and landscape, usually on a tripod) would be better served with primes because zooms can't really match the IQ of the best prime lenses. Others here have families and travel, so for them zooms are often their priority. Others still have both primes and zooms, and/or love collecting and trying lenses so much they are constantly buying and selling them (AKA LBA).

I think a kit strategy has to begin with a hard core assessment of what kind of photography you want to do, but even more importantly if you are going to settle down with a kit and practice photography, or if you will give a higher priority to the continuing thrill of acquiring new stuff. The latter choice isn't a bad thing, it can be great fun if one can afford it. But it is a different goal than having the top priority be to get serious about learning photography.

For myself I decided a few things after trying the zoom thing. I decided I wanted the best lenses for my most used focal lengths, and two zooms for walk-arounds. I haven't decided on the lower end zoom yet, but for the higher end the DA 55-300 zoom is one heck of a lens for the money (which I do own). Something I've realized too is that a prime in the "normal" range is a great walk-around lens, and so I might not even get a zoom for the lower end. When I don't have a zoom I just find ways to make do, which can be a good learning experience in itself.

For primes I have 7 focal lengths, all Voigtlanders plus one Zeiss, but if I had to I could live with three of the FL areas: 28, 55, and 85-90mm. All my primes are relatively compact and lightweight, which is another of my requirements (something the Voigtlanders are known for along with their superb IQ).

28mm for an APS-C camera is the "normal" lens . . . so if it were me I'd make sure to have a great lens in that range; fortunately there there are a couple of excellent choices in the Zeiss (manual focus) and the AF FA31. You mentioned the DA35 LTD I think . . . I had that lens, and it was sharp alright, but too sharp for my tastes, almost clinical. It wasn't very useful as a macro either because you had to be so close to a subject, and it was far enough from "normal" to not quite fit that FL need either. I had the great good fortune to live with the FA31 for a couple of weeks, and that is a fantastic lens worthy of occupying the important normal spot in your kit (see the Zeiss - FA31 shootout Frogfish linked you to above).

The next Fl I use often is around 55, and Voigtlander 58 gives a lot for one lens. It is fast (f1.4), and one of the best bokeh lenses around, but stop it down to f2.8 and it is also one of the sharpest lenses I've ever seen. It is great as a portrait lens, and short telephoto, probably my favorite (though the Zeiss 28 is quickly capturing my heart). For AF the DA 55mm has some good reviews.

If there is a sharper lens than the VL 58 it is the VL 90, that thing is like a razor, yet with beautiful color rendering. But there are other good choices in that range including several 85mm (don't overlook the Contax-Zeiss 85 option), and also at 100mm (macro can be had there too). The VL 90 comes with a little macro lens attachment which in my tests on this page worked very well.

The strategy behind those choices was that with three such lenses one can do landscape, portrait, walk around, tele, macro, bokeh, and close ups, plus have speed and lightweight top-IQ lenses for easy carry. IOW, part of my strategy was to find lenses that not just covered the focal lengths most used, but also to get other qualities/abilities lenses offer with the least number of lenses. If autofocus were more important to me, I would have had a little harder time hitting my favorite FLs; since IQ is most important to me, I might have sacrificed some ideal FLs and went with the FA series - 31, 43, and 77 plus one of the Pentax 100mm macros because with those lenses you have similar speed, IQ, compactness, bokeh, macro etc. abilities . . . if not all of my favorite focal lengths.

Since I don't have to live with just 3 lenses, I also have a wide angle lens (20mm) and a telephoto (180mm); if I did more animal shots I'd likely have a 300mm prime too, but now I make due with my 55-300. And if I did more wide angle I might have the DA15 or . . . Finally, I also have lenses, somewhat unnecessarily but nice to have, that cover the gaps between normal and the 55mm range, and between the 55mm area and the 90mm range (at 40mm and 75mm).

Anyway, what I've been trying to suggest is to take time to think about your needs; if compactness is important, or AF, and the level of IQ you want. If I were just starting out but know what I know now, I'd begin with a good but affordable zoom like the DA 55-300 (and/or your Sigma 10-22), and a first rate prime like the FA31. That way you can actually use the lenses (without breaking the bank) to see what FL you keep relying on (and what you feel you are missing), and you can assess just how important first rate IQ is to you, or if you can get by with zoom IQ.

Last edited by les3547; 08-26-2011 at 09:58 AM.
08-28-2011, 08:00 AM   #34
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Well first lens bought, though more of a last minute deal that I snapped up. Not sure if it's a deal or not, but purchased it because of the solid reviews and gallery examples. Was also in the focus range I was looking for. I purchased a SMC Pentax K 50mm F1.4! Picked it up for $160AUD which i'm relatively happy with. This will be my first ever manual lens so wish me luck...this is going to be a challenge and then some. Next one is a Pentax 100mm f4 macro..just because I can hahaha, never had a macro lens before so i'll give it a go, comes with extension tubes too. Hopefully it will be a winner


Last edited by Blitz_; 08-28-2011 at 08:07 AM.
08-28-2011, 09:13 AM - 1 Like   #35
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So you're going to turn yourself into a manual focus guru... Good choice! Remember that the K50 will only work, in M mode on your K5. Be sure to set the custom menu setting 'use aperture ring' to Permitted.

08-28-2011, 10:06 AM   #36
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I'm sure i'll have a host of auto focus lenses in the stable soon enough, but I look forward to giving these a dedicated effort! Ive always wanted to play with a proper macro lens and a manual prime, and now the time has come
08-28-2011, 10:21 AM   #37
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Are you getting the A, or the M version of the 100f4?

08-28-2011, 10:57 AM   #38
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EDIT: Its 2am and i'm quite tired, big FAIL..it's the M version.

I was pleased with alot of the feedback from numerous sources. This one is quite short, but a good flick through http://www.kenrockwell.com/pentax/35mm/lenses/100mm-f4-smc-m.htm#perf

08-29-2011, 03:27 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Silverstierna Quote
I use my 50-135mm on my K5 and I have never even thought about the AF being slow, and for the people that do think it is slow I am sure they would agree that it is worth it when you look at the quality of the pictures from it.
Whilst showing friends photos :

..... and this was a running cheetah (shows them empty space) - well it had just run out of shot

..... and this is the winning try at the Rugby world cup final (shows them picture of someones boots)

..... and this is the famous Chinese diver at the world diving world championships (shows picture of ripples in the water)


You get the picture (or not) if it's for shooting volatile sports then it's not even in the running !
08-29-2011, 07:00 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Whilst showing friends photos :

..... and this was a running cheetah (shows them empty space) - well it had just run out of shot

..... and this is the winning try at the Rugby world cup final (shows them picture of someones boots)

..... and this is the famous Chinese diver at the world diving world championships (shows picture of ripples in the water)


You get the picture (or not) if it's for shooting volatile sports then it's not even in the running !

Fair enough , although I havn't had this problem, I take pictures of my volatile kids running around, dancing, and doing sports.
What lens would you recommend then that performs better in the similar size and weight?
08-29-2011, 08:28 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Silverstierna Quote
Fair enough , although I havn't had this problem, I take pictures of my volatile kids running around, dancing, and doing sports.
What lens would you recommend then that performs better in the similar size and weight?
I was back-up shooter at the Shanghai Rugby Sevens yesterday and I used the Sigma 50-150/2.8 with HSM (which is much faster than the 50-135) and the DA*300 for the on-pitch action. Even the 50-150 couldn't keep up with the action at times but it was still noticeably faster than the DA*300 (which is no slouch). That is the lens I'd recommend.

However if you can go a little longer (and heavier !) then the Sigma 70-200/2.8 is very fast focusing and is renown as a great sports lens (the Tamron 70-200/2.8 also seemed very fast when I tried it out).

Full Disclosure ! I haven't tried the Sigma 70-200/2.8 but it is acknowledged as being slightly faster focusing than the Tamron version whilst general consensus has the Tamron edging the sharpness stakes.
08-29-2011, 10:23 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
I was back-up shooter at the Shanghai Rugby Sevens yesterday and I used the Sigma 50-150/2.8 with HSM (which is much faster than the 50-135) and the DA*300 for the on-pitch action. Even the 50-150 couldn't keep up with the action at times but it was still noticeably faster than the DA*300 (which is no slouch). That is the lens I'd recommend.

However if you can go a little longer (and heavier !) then the Sigma 70-200/2.8 is very fast focusing and is renown as a great sports lens (the Tamron 70-200/2.8 also seemed very fast when I tried it out).

Full Disclosure ! I haven't tried the Sigma 70-200/2.8 but it is acknowledged as being slightly faster focusing than the Tamron version whilst general consensus has the Tamron edging the sharpness stakes.
Definitely take that into consideration! I'm not a big sports or motorsport photographer, so speed isn't necessarily a key factor for a lens in that focal range. That's why i'm opting for a fast semi-wide prime for my even photo's
11-07-2011, 02:35 PM   #43
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Fantastic thread! I'm in the market for a seriously good camera and had been waiting for newer full-frames which are taking forever to come to market. After spending much time looking around for alternatives or go with a 4 year old Canon 5DMk3 (oops.. meant Mk2.. freudian slip), K5 has my attention for comparable still performance with best in class weather proofing, video capability, etc. I've never spent this much money on a camera system at one time but I'm taking the plunge as K5 is half the price of 5DMk2. Since Blitz's requirements are similar to mine this thread helps me a lot. Keep it up folks!
11-07-2011, 10:11 PM   #44
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Hey bro, ive taken the dive and never looked back. The layout takes some time getting used to, but there is less fiddling around than the Canon. My only qualm is the menu system - a little messy, that and not being able to view grid lines or AF points on your viewfinder (catz eyes might be a suitable solution?). I've gone with the Sigma 10-20mm (got it really cheap second hands, AMAZING performance), the Da21 (might sell as the sigma pretty much covers this range and im getting focus issues all the time) and a old manual focus 50mm f1.4 which i might hang onto for portraits and a bit of fun. If I offload the DA21 ill opt for the DA70 or the 50-135mm, you really do miss that tighter, flatter perspective that the longer focal lengths give you when you want to do portraits and have dreamy bokeh.
11-07-2011, 10:56 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blitz_ Quote
He guys, i've taken the dive and have decided to make the switch from Canon to Pentax, much to the dismay of friends and diehards of the aforementioned brand whom remark with classic quotes such as "Pen..what?" "Why..but why?!" and the predictable "Why the hell would you want to do that for? Canon is l33t brah!" I'm set on the Pentax K5, i'll never use video so it was a no brainer for me, as I had a play with on of my friends K5 and loved the layout and smaller size. I'm going to be doing a good mix of street / candid photography, landscape and night event photography, with a mix of portrait here and there. I do..ahh..topless waiting hahaha, so I'm lobbed with the task of doing the photography at the hens nights and birthday parties as well as being topless and entertaining the crowd...very daunting! So with all that mind i'd love to hear some recommendations on about 3 lenses that would start me off in the right direction. To give you some insight, on my 7D I owned the Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon L 24-105mm f4, and the much loved Tokina 11-16 (best out of the lot). After scouring through these forums for many hours reading comparisons, looking at lens club photos and such, its actually become harder! So many brilliant primes (which I love!). My budget is $3600 including the body, which I can get for $1200, leaving 2400 on lenses and maybe either a solid flash (recommendations?) and / or a lee filter set!

So far, ive had the following lenses in mind;

Pentax 31mm limited
Pentax 77mm limited
Sigma 10-22mm
Pentax 12-24mm
Pentax 35mm

Only one zoom! Hahaha well, i've never been a big zoom user, my brain is just hard wired to make do with primes and move my feet around to get the composition right! So what do you think guys? If I had to choose 3 to set me off, i'd pick the 31mm, 77mm and Pentax 12-24mm. Regarding the first two lenses, the 31 for walkabout street, 77 for portraits and then lastly the 12-24 for landscapes? Still leaves a little coin left over for a good flash. Any help would be greatly appreciated, cheers guys!
That's my current kit, but TBH I'm strongly considering selling my 31mm....It's no doubt a workhorse but the 24mm in 12-24mm is too close to 31mm and I ended up using the 12-24mm way more often. I'm thinking about selling it and replace it for 50-135mm or 60-250mm.
12-24mm is INSANELY sharp but quite prone to flare, I haven't tried the DA15 but I've seen some wonderful images from it.
The FA77mm is however a phenomenal range on APS-C for street photography, combined with my K-X no one would notice this tiny thing is a 115mm lens!!!

Last edited by Azzy; 11-07-2011 at 11:03 PM.
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