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08-29-2011, 02:15 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote

In the beginning, I bought a lot of lenses based on threads that were started, coolness factors, etc. What I have found is that focal length is the most important thing, followed by specific lens characteristics. If I don't use a lens a lot, I am best off selling it and thinking about a different focal length that I would use more.
+1 to this and big time!
I still sometimes put on my "long face" because I sold FA43 and FA77 but when I realize just how much I use DA*55 and how much I didn't use the other two I feel much better even though the DA* doesn't get as much recognition nor respect as the FA ltds... who cares, I use it and I use it a lot!

08-29-2011, 04:12 PM   #17
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Perhaps this should just be for the lenses that we use rather than all the lenses we have.

For me, it's gonna be short & sweet:
FA ltds - 'cause they're awesome - good for portraits of all descriptions and for portability/street photography
Tamron 70-200 - for the same reason Adam mentioned earlier - I prefer this focal range more for weddings/events
Tamron 28-75 - the wide-normal lens for weddings/events on the second body
DA 12-24 - fantastic landscape and architecture lens, wouldn't be without it on my travels
DA 55-300 - for when the 70-200 is too bulky and heavy (quite often)
FA 100 macro - goes without saying, and is one of my sharpest lenses... love it!
08-29-2011, 04:30 PM   #18
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DA12-24: my wide flexible option, useful for travel

DA15: my wide and small, use it a heap for architecture, landscapes, environment family shots

DA21: don't use much anymore since getting FA31, should sell

FA31: my default lens, perfect for people photos

DA40: don't use much anymore since getting FA31, should sell

DA70: my general purpose travel short tele, probably don't use it enough since I got FA77 to justify keeping, should sell

FA77: portrait and indoor concert lens

DA*50-135: portrait, small field sports

DA 55-300: sports

Sigma 17-70: never use, should sell

DA 18-55 WR: My shorter WR option
08-29-2011, 07:05 PM   #19
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I feel that any lens collection should be assembled based on goals.

I do some urban exploration - abandoned buildings and locations. For this I have the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6
I take a lot of photos of people and babies. For this I have the FA50 f/1.7, M50 f/1.4, A135 f/2.8 and Rokinon 85 f/1.4.
I take some photos of birds & wildlife. For this I have the M400 f/5.6 and a Sigma 70-300.
I discovered that I hate being without a general purpose, walk-around lens. For this I've had a Tamron 28-200, a Sigma 28-105, and now, the Tamron 24-135, which I'm sticking with.
I also have the kit lens: DA-L 18-55 f/3.5-5.6. I'm holding onto this lens until I get a WR version. It's a really good lens, and if I sold it, I would not get a price that is commensurate with its value.

Lenses I'm going to sell because I just don't use them enough:
The Sigma 28-105 f/2.8-4 I mentioned above. Very sharp stopped down, but so-so wide open, and I wanted a little more range.
A28 f/2.8. A nice lens, but not as useful to me as I thought it would be.
M200/4. A great lens. Sharp, good color, nice bokeh. I just don't use it.
Sears 50 f/1.7. Love this lens. It's sharp wide open, and very sharp stopped down. About as good as my FA50 f/1.7.

Lenses I'd love to have:

Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
DA 16-50 f/2.8
FA 77 Limited
DA 14 f/2.8
FA 80-200 (or is it 210?) f/2.8
K 50 f/1.2
K 85 f/1.8

I feel like I could go on and on.

08-29-2011, 07:58 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Designosophy Quote
I feel that any lens collection should be assembled based on goals.
Goals are nice. Goals come in all sizes. Goals shift as we learn more. (We gain good judgment from experience. We gain experience from making bad judgments.)

When I shifted from an advanced P&S to a dSLR, I asked myself: Where do I want to go? What will get me there? What can I afford? The immediate answers led me to the DA10-17, DA18-250, and FA50/1.4. Then macro stuff. Then faster glass at crucial focal lengths. Then glass with character (flaws). Then cheap glass, weird and/or unique and/or outstanding, such as enlarger-projector-copy lenses. And thus I now have ~220 lenses, including 50 Fifty's. And I'm still hunting for more Meyer, Enna, Steinheil, Russian, Zeiss etc glass. Besides those mentioned previously, my faves include:

* Lentar-Tokina 21/3.8
* Meyer Primagon 35/4.5
* CZJ Tessar 50/2.8 (12 iris blades)
* Sears-Tomioka 55/1.4
* Schneider Betavaron 50-125/4-5.6
* Nikkor 85/2 (modded for PK)
* Meyer Trioplan 100/2.8
* Enna Tele-Sandmar 100/4.5
* Alpa-Chinon 300/5.6
* Sakar 500/8 mirror

All these have proved their worth in specific circumstances. And I want MOAR!!!

Last edited by RioRico; 08-30-2011 at 02:44 PM.
08-30-2011, 05:57 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Goals are nice. Goals come in all sizes. Goals shift as we learn more. (We gain good judgment from experience. We gain experience from making bad judgments.)
Definitely. I have tons to learn.
08-30-2011, 06:26 AM   #22
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  • DA15 - For wideangle shots like buildings and landscape and for those different up close and personal photos.
  • FA*24 - Walkarond lens when i expect i need some more angle on my shots and family group shots.
  • FA43 - Portraits and walkaround option when i want to capture some street action and especially those faces....
  • DA70 - Purely portraits and when i need something longer...

my M 50mm 1.7 is for manual learning & pleasure.
08-30-2011, 07:09 AM   #23
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Reading the lists of lenses from this thread makes me drool :-)
However being a working stiff with mortgage, young kids, and a wife, it doesn't leave much in the wallet for discretionary spending at the end of the day !
I'll just concentrate on getting the DA70 to complete my "three-prime" kit. Already got the DA21 and F50/1.7 from forum members here, so hope to add the DA70 one day soon.

I think I should sell my film bodies & equipment, which currently are: Super Program, Mz-5, A50/1.7, A28-135/f4, Sigma 28-105/f2.8-4
Suggestions ?

08-30-2011, 08:27 AM   #24
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Original Poster
Great input from everyone!

I really enjoy reading all posts so far,

I originally was going to purchase the FA31, but I couldn't justify purchasing that one over the 15 ltd and the 35ltd ( almost same price ). I love the idea of having a manual lens for learning and for fun. I should pick one up as soon as possible ( I now have a severe case of LBA since I am still waiting for my new lenses....)

Thanks to everyone,
08-30-2011, 08:38 AM   #25
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Once you start buying manual lenses it's difficult to stop. Have fun.
08-30-2011, 08:48 AM   #26
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My lenses (that have not been sold) and why I have them (in order of acquisition):

1) DA 18-55 II - my first lens, when I didn't know better. Very useful to me as a beginner, because it taught me that zooming is not the same as moving yourself around. I still have it if my camera is going somewhere rowdy where damage is a possibility (or lens changing would be a risk).

2) SMC (K) 55/1.8 - my second prime, after I found the A 28mm f2.8 was not the low-light lens I had hoped it would be. At first I found it a little long, but I soon grew to appreciate the focal length and the depth-of-field control. The 18-55 might have taught me the basics of taking photos, but this lens taught me photography. If I could go back, I would have skipped the kit lens and bought the FA 50 1.4. I still have it because, while I think the FA 50 1.4 is a better match for my K20d, I actually find this lens to be a better match for my Program Plus. On vacation, I typically will carry just the Program Plus and this lens (a very small and lightweight package).

3) FA 50/1.4 This is pretty much my best lens and my best shots tend to come from it. It is infinitely flexible, fast autofocus, great picture quality, and small. It can be a little long indoors, but it is generally my go-to lens when I am not sure (I find it helps me compose a better image, generally). If I could only own 3 lenses, this would be one of them (or perhaps the DA* 55/1.4, which I can't afford).

4) DA 15/4 My lens for big things, tight spaces, and drama. Really killer. All the qualities I loved about the DA 40 + 70 (contrast, colour, sharpness) in a focal length where my only other alternatives are fairly bulky zooms. Not my most used lens, but if someone told me I could only own 3, this lens would be one of them.

5) Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80/2.8. A kit lens from an old medium format camera, mounted with adapters. Just like a good, old fashioned, kit lens (think 50 1.7), this is a great, easy to find, portrait length lens. Not my fav focal length (which is why I sold the rather expensive DA 70 and FA 77), but useful. This lens is just sharp enough wide open for a killer portrait with some interesting, slightly swirly bokeh. I think of it as my "wedding" or "glamour" lens. The colour I get from it reminds me of film processing from the 80s. Good, cheap, fun. I pull this out for an "effect" - the 50 is my go-to for general portraits.

6) F 70-210/4.0-5.6 A very sharp zoom. Nice way of covering the longer focal lengths that I hardly use for not much money. Mostly used for animals (although it is great for portraits at 135mm wide open). Sharp, good colour, fast autofocus, good flare resistance, HORRIBLE ERGONOMICS. I imagine the 55-300 is a better lens... but I hardly go over 135.

7) Vivitar Close Focus 28/2.8 Much better than I remember the A 28mm f2.8 being in 2 respects - better colour (more like what you see from the DA primes) and better flare resistance. My A 28mm f2.8 was a sharp little lens but it would flare uncontrollably and was pretty desaturated colours. Both lenses are sharp. This is a very handy focal length and it is a stop faster than the kit zoom I was using at 28mm for a while, but I would replace this with a cheap 28/2 or any new lens that Pentax decides to release (an FA 43 for digital, please). If I could only have 3 lenses, this would not be one of them, but it would be close. Would need to be a stop faster and autofocus.

So yeah - the top 3 are 15/4, 28.2.8, 50 1.4. Its not so much the lens.... its focal length, and aperture .
08-30-2011, 10:14 AM   #27
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I am new to the digital SLR world and am taking some time trying out several lens possibilities. I have spent the last 40+ years with film and many cameras in many formats: 35, 2 1/4, 4x5, 8x10. My digital experience has been limited to a couple of Canon point and shoots and my favorite camera is still a Leica M-6 w/ 24, 35, 50, & 90. Thought about buying an M-8 but just too much money.
I started out with two af lenses: a Tamron 70-300 F4.5-5.6 AF LD Macro and a Pentax-FA 20-35 F4 AL that I used on LX and MX bodies. The 20-35 is a great lens, compact etc, (I recommend it) but with a limited range that became more apparent when I got a Pentax 16-45. Great lens! Not sure how the new 16-50 could be much better except for the larger aperture. Then I found a Tamron SP AF 24-135 F3.5-5.6 AD Aspherical (IF) at a GREAT price. The Tamron pairs very nicely with the 16-45, in fact I find myself using the Tamron mostly since it fits with the classic 35/50/90/135/200 lens set I am most used to. The 16-45 , of course, is still great when I need to go wider. Next is to find a 10-24 and perhaps a dedicated macro prime (70, 90, 105?).
08-30-2011, 10:51 AM   #28
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aside from every-one (self included) in writing a justification for their own case of LBA, while I can;t disagre with the sentiment of Rio Rico that judgement is the culmination of experience (both good and bad) it does not need to be just your own experience.

As "Intelligent" (and I do use that term loosely) people, we are supposed to see the mistakes/experiences of others and apply them to our situation to avoid making similar mistakes ourselves. That is the one thing that is supposed to have elevated humans above all other forms of life.

The one area that is difficult to relate to is matching others experience to your own personal taste and style.

I for example always recommend an ultra wide lens usually zoom as part of a kit, where as others think 15-16mm is wide enough. There are two aspects to this, one is that not all people shoot the same subjects or like the same subjects, and the second is not all people belive that regardless of specific shooting preferences, you should not at least have the ability somewhere in your kit to go outside your comfort zone.

For that reason, I generally think almost every kit needs to cover from 10-12 mm at the wide end to 135-200mm at the long end, and if you like wildlife, or sports, some means to get to 400 or beyond.

How you do that is a personal decision, and it needs to be planned carefully, looking at shooting patterns etc.
08-30-2011, 12:00 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
For that reason, I generally think almost every kit needs to cover from 10-12 mm at the wide end to 135-200mm at the long end, and if you like wildlife, or sports, some means to get to 400 or beyond.
Are you talking about crop-factor cameras?
08-30-2011, 12:41 PM   #30
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In the realm of pentax DSLR discussions - yes, because that is all there is for pentax.

However, having said this, I am seriously considering the sigma 8-16 as an upgrade from my 10-20, and also note that I have a 13 (or is it 14) mm samyang full frame Manual focus lens which I have used on my PZ-1 with great success.

What I have found, and I used the samyang (mine is the vivitar version which claims 13mm FL but is the same lens) extensively over the past week on a trip to paris, with my digital cameras is there were many instances where it was simply not wide enough, specifically for exterior archetectural shots, given the narrow streets. My sigma 10-20, which I also took, was much better outside for tight spaces,

In fact, I used the sigma outside due to the extra FOV and ability to crop through zooming, and the samyang inside to take advantage of the extra 1+ stops in speed.

so i almost think now that i may revise my thinking to 8-10mm on ASP-C, or 12-15mm on film as the minimum focal length range

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