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08-31-2011, 03:56 AM   #1
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BIG or small? any opinions?

Ok,here it comes again.
I know at the end it's my decision but would love to know opinions of other Pentaxians...

So, at the moment I'm with gripped K-7 + FA*24, DA*55 and FA100/2.8. It's an excellent line up if you ask me and despite considering switching to Nikon for slight gain in AF and high ISO I pretty much decided sticking with Pentax.

Having 4 months old in house, there are some priorities for the equipment. Good natural light performance, good AF are the main ones. K-7 high ISO isn't the best so the f1.4. And f2 help a lot. But going anywhere, I often take 1 lens only and if I'm taking 2 it's pretty much the * duo all the time. FA100 is a terrific lens with excellent IQ and fantasticly fast AF but because it's the biggest and heaviest lens in my line up, I often leave it at home as the while set up os heavy...
So I was thinking 24+55+100 vs DA21+FA43+DA70?
I know I loose 1-1.3 stops on normal-wide end and gain half stop on long end. I loose WR option and I loose SDM (read quiet) option. I might gain marginally in AF speed with middle and long lenses but mainly I'll gain the option to take all 3 lenses out with me without breaking my back

But how would those 2 line ups compare? FA43 and DA*55 is very close call in IQ (I owned 43) so that's a toss of a coin but 21 vs 24 and 70 vs 100?!? No clue....
I mean looking at reviews and tests it seems the 21 is sharper than 24 but I'd loose speed and OOF advantage (I know it's not huge but 24/2 vs 21/3.2 is A difference IMO) and I trade less CAs for more distortion. Add that if I'd use the 21 in similar ways to 24 (which is main intention) I'd have push closer to achieve desired framing which would lead (together with bigger barrel distortion) to more perspective distortion and exagorating of features which is not ideal with people shots at all times.
70 vs 100 I'm awash, as I said 100 is excellent and from all I read so is 70 but I simply have no clue which would be better for my purpose (mid tele for natural light shots with fast AF, sharp and with good OOF).

Option 2 sell FA100 and get DFA or DFA WR (especially the WR is very tempting beacuse of WR and circular aperture blades) to save some bulk and weight..

Option 3 sell FA100 (and some accessories if needs be) and get some sort of 28-70/2.8 zoom (there is a well priced FA*28-70 at the moment within my reach, and Sigma 24-70 EX DG [older screw driven version] would probably answer a lot of calls, and there is cheap Tokina 28-70/2.8 available in area too [just not sure if it's not the not so good SV version])

Option 4 sell FA100 and get DA70 is not an option as I'm afraid 55 and 70 would be way too close

Option 5 sell 100 and get 77. I've been there and sold 77 as I didn't use much next to 55 which I feel more comfortable with.

In truth the whole point of getting FA100 was to have longer option next to 55. As I didn't use it too often, I couldn't justify keeping 77 collecting dust on shelf and from available options FA100 was the 2nd best lens in 70-135 range (after 77) I've tried and considerably cheaper than the ltd. The problem is it doesn't really get used outside of house (where it's f2.8 is limiting) because of it's weight and size so it's not really fit for the purpose I got it for...

So yes, any opinions?
All and every is very welcome...
TIA

P


Last edited by axl; 08-31-2011 at 04:24 AM.
08-31-2011, 04:26 AM   #2
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The DA70 is stella, there's no compromise on IQ with that one. FA*24 though? There's no way I'd sell a good copy of that lens, not for a DA21 that's for sure.
08-31-2011, 04:36 AM   #3
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I would be selling off the FA100 first since thats the most unused lens and the biggest/heavy.

If you think 77 is too close to 55 then 70 is going to be worse.

Maybe give the DFA100WR a try, its almost half the weight of the FA100.
08-31-2011, 05:12 AM   #4
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Hi

I think you first should decide whether you would carry a third lens when shooting outdoors. Even if it is a light lens, it will imply carrying something else and more changes between lens.

Have you considered 85 f1.4?, there are both MF and AF. Just a thought...It would be longer than your 55mm and big aperture would allow shooting indoors.

Alvaro


Last edited by alvarossorio; 08-31-2011 at 05:43 AM.
08-31-2011, 05:32 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
21 vs 24
Mark me, I love the DA21, it's probably the lens I think the most fondly of. But I wouldn't sell the 24 to get it. I might get it alongside the 24, though

QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
sell FA100 and get DFA or DFA WR (especially the WR is very tempting
I was about to suggest you do just that. The 100 WR is amazing optically, pretty fast in AF for non-macro work, and quite small (surprisingly so in fact). you'd get an almost fully WR kit.

My primes line-up is somewhere in-between yours. I have the DA21, F50 f1,7, and DFA 100 macro WR. To me that's a perfect setup. But my main lens for outdoors work is the Sigma 17-70. You might consider keeping your kit and getting a convenient zoom for when you want to travel light. But if you want to stick with primes, I'd say keep your two most used lenses, and get the 100 Wr in addition.

One other option could be to sell the 55 and get a smaller 50 f1,4 or f1,7. You'd loose a bit (a tad? ) in IQ but you would gain much regarding size and AF speed.
08-31-2011, 06:35 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by alvarossorio Quote
Hi

I think you first should decide whether you would carry a third lens when shooting outdoors. Even if it is a light lens, it will imply carrying something else and more changes between lens.

Have you considered 85 f1.4?, there are both MF and AF. Just a thought...It would be longer than your 55mm and big aperture would allow shooting indoors.

Alvaro
+1 for the above.

Further, if I were in your place, and having gone back and forth between lenses beyond the 55mm FL, I would just sell the 100. Sit tight. Get a REAL idea of what you are looking for (based on what you are "often" missing), and then get it.

You have used spectacular lenses, and if you are still unsure, just hold off on buying anything more. I'd rather have fewer lenses that I use frequently, then many lenses that I would use less often. Since I got my Ultron 40 and Nokton 58, I have not found use for my old M100. I could crop what I need without loosing detail. An that is on an *ist DS....

My 2 cents...
08-31-2011, 06:59 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by alvarossorio Quote
Hi

I think you first should decide whether you would carry a third lens when shooting outdoors. Even if it is a light lens, it will imply carrying something else and more changes between lens.

Have you considered 85 f1.4?, there are both MF and AF. Just a thought...It would be longer than your 55mm and big aperture would allow shooting indoors.

Alvaro
Yes, I have considered 85/1.4. I used to own M85/2 but traded it in for 77 which I later sold as I wasn't using it too much.
85 would be ideal numericaly to add to my line up but... Since I started to wear glasses (recently) my MF somewhat suffers and so I'd be looking at FA*85 or (with some reluctancy to 3rd party glass) Sigma 85. Now none of these are cheap nor are they really smaller/lighter than FA100....
08-31-2011, 07:02 AM   #8
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Hard decision indeed.
I often find myself in this same confused loop (smaller+lighter vs larger+faster)

In the end my decision was towards larger+faster.

FA*24 is larger, but not too bad to be unmanageable once I attached a smaller non-petal shaped 3rd party hood. The performance is good as you already know. I find that the FOV is just right and not too wide compared to my Sigma 10-20 at 20mm. Less distortion too.

FA43ltd. Small, fantastic performance. Certainly a wider 50mm replacement. I have a Revuenon 55 and a S.Tak55, and though these are really nice lenses, they lack a bit in versatility as they are a bit tighter. Environmental portraits, close ups, shallow dof , portraits, etc, the FA43ltd does them all pretty well.

I've never tied down the longer end of the setup though. This is often juggled between 85mm; 100mm and 135mm. The 100 and 135 adds a bit of weight to the setup, so often enough I just use a small M85/2 (I guess its about the size of a 77ltd).
100/2.8 is nice for the macro. Some folks can use it for everything, but somehow I just prefer the 24mm and 43mm to cover most stuff, leaving the 100mm for macro duty only (a bit of a waste for the weight)

In most cases, any choice compared to Canikon is likely to be smaller and lighter and cheaper (unless you use all the f1.8 plastic fantastics)

So FA*24, FA43ltd, DFA100WR for you??

08-31-2011, 07:05 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by subidoc Quote
+1 for the above.

Further, if I were in your place, and having gone back and forth between lenses beyond the 55mm FL, I would just sell the 100. Sit tight. Get a REAL idea of what you are looking for (based on what you are "often" missing), and then get it.

You have used spectacular lenses, and if you are still unsure, just hold off on buying anything more. I'd rather have fewer lenses that I use frequently, then many lenses that I would use less often. Since I got my Ultron 40 and Nokton 58, I have not found use for my old M100. I could crop what I need without loosing detail. An that is on an *ist DS....

My 2 cents...
Well, truth is I don't shoot above 55 often....very rarely would actually be more accurate.
I was even thinking of DA*50-135 to cover my needs for outdoors...as it would be really nice couple with FA*24 but f2.8 only and 90cm MFD... Not too sure about it (I did own that one too at some point).
I don't want to sell the FA100 until I decide what to do, just so I have the longer option if I really need/want it...

Frankly, the FA*24 and DA*55 cover 95% of my shooting in terms of style and needs but every now and then I'd love to have the option to go longer and that's pretty much why I want 3rd, longer lens...
08-31-2011, 07:16 AM   #10
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Yup, I'd sell the FA 100 and get a D FA 100mm WR. It's a super lens.
08-31-2011, 07:31 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
Hard decision indeed.
I often find myself in this same confused loop (smaller+lighter vs larger+faster)

In the end my decision was towards larger+faster.

FA*24 is larger, but not too bad to be unmanageable once I attached a smaller non-petal shaped 3rd party hood. The performance is good as you already know. I find that the FOV is just right and not too wide compared to my Sigma 10-20 at 20mm. Less distortion too.

FA43ltd. Small, fantastic performance. Certainly a wider 50mm replacement. I have a Revuenon 55 and a S.Tak55, and though these are really nice lenses, they lack a bit in versatility as they are a bit tighter. Environmental portraits, close ups, shallow dof , portraits, etc, the FA43ltd does them all pretty well.

I've never tied down the longer end of the setup though. This is often juggled between 85mm; 100mm and 135mm. The 100 and 135 adds a bit of weight to the setup, so often enough I just use a small M85/2 (I guess its about the size of a 77ltd).
100/2.8 is nice for the macro. Some folks can use it for everything, but somehow I just prefer the 24mm and 43mm to cover most stuff, leaving the 100mm for macro duty only (a bit of a waste for the weight)

In most cases, any choice compared to Canikon is likely to be smaller and lighter and cheaper (unless you use all the f1.8 plastic fantastics)

So FA*24, FA43ltd, DFA100WR for you??
I see what you are saying. And I have to agree to extent.
24mm is just right in terms of FOV. I practically never miss wider lens (although I'm sure I'd make good use of DA14/2.8 ) but for me 43 (despite being fantastic lens and great FOV for walkabouts) was just touch too loose. I always prefered 50 and when I got my 2nd copy of DA*55 I haven't picked the 43 from my drawer for a month before selling it...

So 24+55 is the main combo, but as I said before, sometimes I just wish I had bit more reach at my disposal. Usually only for a few shots, then it's back to *s...
08-31-2011, 08:00 AM   #12
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axl, your prime lineup is a great one, imo, but with the little one, there is definitely room for a zoom. the 50-135 is huge and i didn't find the IQ to be much better than average. it doesn't seem like you'll go much above 100mm anyway so a 28-70 range may be better as a one lens solution. FA*28-70 is quite heavy if that matters and excellent stopped down performance. oh man, decisions, decisions.
08-31-2011, 08:30 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Peter, perhaps the "easiest" solution is for you to take a trip to the US, stay at my place, and you can play with as many lenses as you like and attempt to figure out the perfect lineup once and for all. Not sure it would be cost effective to cross the Atlantic for the sole purpose of creating a lineup, but the offer is out there just in case

That said, I'll warn you, what I suggested above was pretty much my plan; buy one of everything, figure out what you like best and then sell off the rest to create the perfect lens lineup. You know as well as I do how that's been going
08-31-2011, 08:40 AM   #14
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I was amazed at how compact the D FA 100mm WR was when I got it. I had been using the Sigma 105mm EX DG for the past 3 years when my Viv 105 died. I also use a DA 21mm ltd which I find a very good all around lens. I don't notice any barrel distortion with it. The hood on it takes optional 43mm threaded filters. The hood is an interesting piece because it functions as a rectangular hood and doesn't and much to the length of the lens. I think a strategy that has been suggested is to consider selling the FA 100 until you make up your mind. My compact travel kit is typically made up of the DA 21mm, DA 35mm & FA 77mm. While I have the 40 I prefer the 35 ltd. I often had the 105 (now the 100 WR) with me and sometimes the FA 50/1.4. That is a lot of glass in a small amount of space. The DA 21 is a small lens.
08-31-2011, 09:13 AM   #15
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How about selling your K-7 and get a K-5? K-5 is good for High ISO and solve all your slow lens problems.
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