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08-28-2011, 09:17 AM - 1 Like   #1
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My Lenses... and why I have them

Well this is a thread I wish I had before I started purchasing my lenses. I realized that my previous lens purchases was not what I needed and I am now trying to re-build my lens kit.

These are the lenses I have now.

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro
Why do I have this lens?:
I use to have the Sigma 17-70mm and thought that I really enjoyed the focal length, plus the IQ was very nice. the Macro function was also something I used a lot. I purchased the 24-70 to replace the 17-70.
I have now realized that I made a big mistake. looking back at my previous photos I mostly used either 17-20 or 50-70.
So I have ended up not using my 24-70mm lens at all. This lens although great in IQ will not make the cut for me, due to size and not usable focal length ( for me anyways, other people might find this extremely useful, portraits or wedding photography perhaps )

Pentax DA*50-135mm F2.8
Why do I have this lens?:
I needed a nice zoom lens for a dance event and I tried this lens out, It was fantastic so I kept it. Before I purchased this lens I also tried the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 out but decided that IQ and size/weight was much nicer on the 50-135.
Picture quality is amazing. This lens is on my K5 all the time due to my issues with my other lens above. I am not sure I would have bought this lens if I had started from scratch, however after using it I would have a very hard time giving it up. The size is also really nice as it is easy to carry it with you.

Just bought these lenses, (still waiting for them)

Pentax 15mm F4 Limited
Why do I have this lens?:
Since I found myself shooting a lot around 17mm before I am trying this one out, Instead of using a zoom I am now going to use Primes, again looking back at the pictures I took with the 17-70mm lens I always stayed at the same focal lengths. I have no idea if i made the correct choice going from I zoom to primes, only time will tell.

Pentax 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro
Why do I have this lens?:
Same as above I guess My thought are that I needed a macro lens and also something in-between the 15mm and the 50-135mm that I am probably keeping.

Pentax DA*60-250mm F4
Why do I have this lens?:
I am trying this lens out to see if it will better fit my needs, I will either keep the 50-135mm or the 60-250mm lens.
The reason for trying this lens out is that I often find the 135mm a little bit short.


I would love to get other peoples thoughts about this also as I wish I would have had someone to talk to about this before I started. There are many different needs and thoughts, none of them are wrong, however if you read what other people are thinking you might find that you think the same way, and therefore this might help you in your decisions.

Cheers,


Last edited by Silverstierna; 08-28-2011 at 09:30 AM.
08-28-2011, 09:20 AM   #2
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Nice thread

While I'd take a 70-200 over the 50-135, I can see how some might prefer the latter for the size!
08-28-2011, 09:29 AM   #3
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I'd better not try to compile a similar list. Not with ~220 lenses (current count; will fluctuate). Even listing the raison d'etres of my most-carried lenses would get tedious. Don't tempt me...
08-28-2011, 09:33 AM   #4
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RioRico,

If you would imagine you started out from scratch, what lenses would you start with? and why? I think that is also the advice alot of people are after.

08-28-2011, 10:40 AM   #5
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Varies depending on what you are shooting. I have three different bags depending. One is all M42 primes which I use for landscape, nature, waterfalls and when I am just having fun. The second consists of: DA*16-50, DA 55-300, F 35-135, S-M-C Takumar 100mm macro and A 50mm, this is my carry always kit and rarely leaves the car. The third bag has my 300mm and 500mm lenses as well as tele-converters and sandbags for long range stuff.
08-28-2011, 12:24 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Silverstierna Quote
If you would imagine you started out from scratch, what lenses would you start with? and why? I think that is also the advice alot of people are after.
And I can't answer that abstractly, with lenses I hear are great but haven't tried, like Ltd's -- because I haven't tried them. So my recommendations are necessarily limited to what I've used, that aren't too obscure, and that fit distinct niches. Those are:

* GP zooms: Tamron 10-24, DA18-250 -- these just make my basic walkaround kit
* Specialized zooms: DA10-17 FE, F35-70, FA100-300 -- excellent in their ranges
* Fast Fiftys: FA50/1.4 (my gotta-get-the-shot lens) and K50/1.2 (just superb)
* Fast wide-normal: Vivitar-Kiron 24/2, Vivitar-Komine 28/2 CFWA -- natural FOVs
* Manual macros: MacroTakumar 50/4(1x); Vivitar-Komine 90/2.8 -- great clarity
* Misc Takumars: 35/3.5, 55/1.8, 105/2.8, 135/2.5, 200/5.6 -- all superbly sharp
* Misc Russians: Zenitar 16/2.8; Helios-44 58/2; Jupiter-9 85/2 -- individual stars
* Misc M42 zooms: Sears-Tokina 55-135/3.5; Vivitar Series1 70-210/3.5 -- brilliant

The others I use a great deal are either obscure, or have modified mounts and aren't good for starting out unless one is handy with a Dremel. For that matter, many that I mention above are screwmount and probably aren't beginner's glass either. Such is life.

Last edited by RioRico; 08-29-2011 at 05:48 PM.
08-28-2011, 02:50 PM   #7
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Out of Silverstierna's list I only have the DA 50-135, which is a lens I love dearly, but don't use all the time. I'm with Rio Rico in loving the challenge of using the old manual focus lenses. With the 50-135 I can point and shoot, with the MF lenses I have to stop and think. Often that's the difference between getting a picture or an image.

I will never part with the 50-135 and I would argue all day long that it's a classic lens in every sense of the word, but it's a lens I can't use all the time. Probably just a personal thing.
08-28-2011, 03:13 PM   #8
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usually the partner with 50-135 is 16-50..so this combo is to simulate the usual full-frame 24-70 and 70-200 combo. this is a good combo and pentax has its advantage. that is size and weight.

the sigma 17-70 is also fine..but if u use 17-70 I would go with 60-250 over 50-135. u can treat sigma 17-70 as a constant f4...so u have a constant f4 cross pretty huge focal range. with k5's high ISO ability, we can now being pretty confident with f4.. this is a very good choice too.


Last edited by liukaitc; 08-28-2011 at 03:29 PM.
08-28-2011, 03:46 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lloydy Quote
Out of Silverstierna's list I only have the DA 50-135, which is a lens I love dearly, but don't use all the time. I'm with Rio Rico in loving the challenge of using the old manual focus lenses. With the 50-135 I can point and shoot, with the MF lenses I have to stop and think. Often that's the difference between getting a picture or an image.

I will never part with the 50-135 and I would argue all day long that it's a classic lens in every sense of the word, but it's a lens I can't use all the time. Probably just a personal thing.

Thanks for the input, I currently use the 50-135mm all the time since i departed with my other lenses to afford my new ones... I also find the same thing with the DA 50-135, great lens but not all the time.
I am not quite there yet with MF lenses but I am hoping that the 15mm and 35mm will make me shoot in just that way, having to stop and think.

Great pictures in those links also by the way, thank you
08-28-2011, 03:53 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by liukaitc Quote
usually the partner with 50-135 is 16-50..so this combo is to simulate the usual full-frame 24-70 and 70-200 combo. this is a good combo and pentax has its advantage. that is size and weight.

the sigma 17-70 is also fine..but if u use 17-70 I would go with 60-250 over 50-135. u can treat sigma 17-70 as a constant f4...so u have a constant f4 cross pretty huge focal range. with k5's high ISO ability, we can now being pretty confident with f4.. this is a very good choice too.

Unfortunatly all I have now is the DA 50-135, the other ones are sold off. I have had pretty bad luck with third party lenses, both in quality and focus issues, 2 Sigmas and 1 Tamron. I was looking at the zooms for the short end but the somewhat disapointing reviews of the 16-50mm made me go with the 15mm+35mm macro option instead. But like I said I have not used either one yet so.... we will see.

Good thought about the 17-70 + 60-250 though, My father has the 17-70mm now so I will suggest that to him, thanks
08-29-2011, 01:55 AM   #11
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My lenses and why I have them.

I'm an impulsive buyer that doesn't want to bother selling $50 lenses internationally. Someday I'll trim the collection of near duplicates (when I'm back in the states). And I'll probably upgrade to a few AF lenses but I mostly take static landscapes so MF isn't an issue.

Long-term I see my lens lineup something like this
A big mix of old, mostly slow MF primes (20mm-200mm) for backpacking - my gear can take a beating on these trips and speed and AF aren't big benefits - I have these and it's fun to throw on a different lens whenever you feel like
DA15 (there really isn't a cheap manual option), a 24-35 AF prime (DA35ltd, F/FA28/2.8, FA24, other?), FA50/1.4 and a 90-105 MF macro - this is a USD1500-2000 investment so it's not going to happen anytime soon (possibly the DA15)
2 stop (ND 52mm), 3 stop ND (49mm) and 9/10 stop ND (49mm) and 2 good POL (49 and 52mm) - all of them are high quality filters and for the most part can be used on all of my lenses (some exceptions but I have near duplicates so it isn't a big deal)

I also would like a few general purpose zooms but these would require a whole different filter set and I'm not looking cheap here so this is very long term
Tamron 28-75/2.8 or similar
tamron/sigma/pentax WA zoom
a high IQ telephoto zoom - this is so far in the future that I haven't even started thinking about what I want
a nice set of square filters similar to my round 49/52 set

Last edited by abacus07; 08-29-2011 at 02:05 AM.
08-29-2011, 03:51 AM   #12
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nice thread! don't normally post much here besides marketplace but thought i'd contribute here since it is useful in deciding lens purchases

da 21
wide enough for most situations for me (street photography) and also travel pictures (especially people posing in landmarks), lightweight + discreet, probably wouldn't give this up (been tempted by the 15 a few times though! will see how long i can last)

da 40
small size, was my first pancake, decided to go for this as i wanted something light weight to walk around with + faster than the kit lens

da 70
occasional portraits - lightweight, discrete, haven't used as often as i liked but i wanted this to finish my light three prime set up kit (which may change given my recent acquisition of the fa31)

tamron 70-200
wanted more length and wanted f2.8 for wildlife + nature around my area and just love this lens to death! read a lot of reviews of sigma v tamron (the sigma os version wasnt available back then) and chose IQ over AF speed (i dont find it too slow anyway - regardless, you just have to know how to avoid situations when it hunts)

tamron 90 - best value modern macro out there with AF, really chose this one as it was the cheapest at the time (they are all excellent from what ive read), used for flowers/bugs

tamron 17-50
wanted a walkaround zoom (although i am a prime guy), have had too many complaints from my other half about me stopping to change lenses when we're on the run (im sure many of you can relate to me too) only recently purchased used off here on pf for the reason of convenience when travelling with my other half which worked on a recent trip


fa 31
arrived on my desk today, to honest i really purchased this out of LBA + curiousity in having faster glass, also looking at my recent trip with the tamron i shot at around 30-35mm most of the time so that was my quantification to go for it (lame excuse)
08-29-2011, 06:38 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I'd better not try to compile a similar list.

I'm in the same boat, I figure if I spent one day each only using a single lens from my collection It would take four years to cover all of them. I would only do that If I was studying my masters in photography - and as we all know a certain quadrupedal animal is going to fly sooner...
08-29-2011, 07:41 AM - 1 Like   #14
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I got the DA * 16-50 and 50-135 because I wanted weather sealed zooms that could serve as walk around lenses. I have tried the Tamron 70-200 as well as the Sigma 70-200 (non OS) and felt they were too big. Primes have sort of fluctuated over time. Currently I use the DA *55 and D FA 100mm WR the most, followed by the Sigma 30 mm f1.4.

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.
08-29-2011, 02:13 PM   #15
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I'll chime in...

Nice thread guys,
I'll chime in...

I went through "many" lenses (many being relative in company of RioRico or digitalis ) but I settled on following:

FA*24:
I was looking for wide or wide ish lens since the beginning. 18mm seemed not enough on kit lens, so I got 10-20/4-5.6. Ended up with many empty shots and a lot of cropping. Later I mastered the wide FOV but the speed wasn't my cup of tea. So the search begun. Tried Sigma 24/2.8 AF, and SMC 24/2.8. Sold them both and kept the Sigma 10-20 for various reasons. Then I got chance to try both Sigma 24/1.8 and FA*24 at the same shop. Walked out with the FA*, sold 10-20 2 months down the line and never looked back.
24 is wide enough for 95% of my photographic needs and f2 is fast enough for 99% of my needs with 24mm. Excellent, very natural FOV. Good size, good sharpness, fantastic colours and fantastic contrast. Very fast AF.

DA*55:
Went through similar process as with 24. Started with DA40 (neither long enough, nor fast enough), then got F50/1.7 (much closer to ideal), K55/1.8 (right FOV, excellent IQ but no automation), K50/1.2 (only touch short, terrific IQ, and f1.2 is just superb) and 43ltd (bought as AF complement to my K50 and K55). For short period I tried A50/1.7, FA50/1.4, K50/1.4 and A50/1.4. After all of these I decided to pull the trigger on DA*. It's the right FOV, fantastic IQ (with slight reservation to OOF wide open in certain situations), good AF, WR, SDM, great hood, good size.... there is a lot to like about this lens and it does seem to be the best compromise between all of the previous 50ish lenses I tried.
In daily use I find it perfect companion to my 24mm. Very good portrait lens and gave me tons of unforgettable pictures in 4 months of my baby's life

FA100/2.8 macro:
I don't really use it but for what I wanted it's the best lens, although I still may end up selling it.
I don't do macro but use this as fast medium tele lens. It has focus limiter, fast AF, good MF and excellent IQ. My 77 was probably better lens but to keep 700 on the shelf to use it once a month wasn't worth it. And FA100 is very good substitute...

FA31ltd:
IQ wise probably the best lens I own but the FOV is simply not for me. But my Mrs absolutely loves it so I'm "not allowed" to sell it
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