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09-20-2011, 07:34 AM   #1
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My lens strategy (not a which one to buy thread)

After alot of research I believe I have a good direction to go in on building my lens collection.
I want to shoot portraits and nature mostly.
In order
FA43 LTD
FA 77LTD
DA 15 LTD

Zooms are still open but will probably pick up the WR's for various reasons just to get started
And again this is not a definitive end all list just short term and LBA will ensue...

White Whales
FA 31 LTD
60-250

So the Hunt is now on and thanks to all the great advice and info on the board

JJ

09-20-2011, 07:54 AM   #2
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WHile you have said what you intend to purchase, you have not explained the logic behind your decision.

care to share the logic, because that is probably much more important than what you hae decided on.

A while back I ran a thread and poll, although I had some design errors in thepoll that made the results less definitive, what I asked essentually, in the logic of designing a thread, what people thought were important criteria.

specifically

Focal length range
Maximum Aperture over the focal length range
should a kit be primes / zooms only or a mix
should macro be a dedicated lens or a functional capability on a zoom or both.
ability to extend range, and approach.

What came back was roughly the following. (from memory)

- Minimum focal length average was about 16 with 50% below and 50% at or above
- Maximum focal length ranged almost uniformly across the range 135-400mm
- focal length range covered by zooms/primes 50/50
- dedicated macro 75%
- maximum aperture 50/50 above F4 and at or below F2.8

Basically it did not modify my own logic which is as follows.

- A base kit of zooms covering 10-200mm with some thought in this as to how to reach 400mm for wild life (if applicable)
- as much of the zoom range as possible at F2.8 (although many feelF4 is OK)
- supliment the zooms with speciality primes for either macro, fisheye, or very fast lenses, or to get a compact lens oat some focal length.

My logic is as follows:

Unless you are extremely set in your photographic tastes you will want to experiment a lot and will want to shoot over the entire possible range of subjects. to include for example archetecture, this means going below 15mm because that is just not wide enough for many situations. (Note I use my sigma 10-20 at 10mm for 50-60% of the shots), and a fisheye can have distortion that is unwanted in many cases.

Similairly many people wll shoot some form of sports wild life or other event that begs for a telephoto of some form. WHile F2.8 is heavy in a 70-200, it is a great all around lens for theatre, stage performances, and sports, and at F2.8 it is a bice bright viewfinder. Although better high ISO performance has allowed for improved low light shots, I have since the days of my *istD shot a lot at 3200ISO and struggled for shutter speed. the only way is fast glass.

I use my zooms for travel and ease of use, shooting speed, when fitting photography into someone elses schedule.

I have a great collection of M42 and K mount primes, many of them 1-2 stops faster than my zooms at any focal length, which I use when I am on my own schedule. Primes take more time, and don't always work whe you are not alone.
09-20-2011, 07:55 AM   #3
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I have a Sigma 10-20 and a Sigma 17-50, but I'm starting to think I should replace the 17-50 with the Pentax DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL (IF) DC WR
09-20-2011, 08:12 AM   #4
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Well my logic was really based on looking at all the pro's and con's of each lens, pouring thru the photo galleries and nit picking. And again this is just a base to find what I like and dont like in a given situation, I currently have a K7 and will add a K5 shortly and probably have both set up for different shooting styles. I also plan to go below 15mm at some point and believe there is no MAGIC lens combo that once I have a certain "Kit" I'm done. This will be an ever evolving process where I may find the WR zooms and 100mm WR macro works this year because I am outdoors alot with the kids and camping etc, and when in the studio fall back on the primes. There are so many good lenses out there and its been said in many threads it is an individual choice and a person can end up never buying anything because the "threads" go back and forth so much based on that personal preference. And I have to make every dollar count so I am approaching this as get the best I can afford up front instead of working my way up based on price, Granted there are some purchases that will have to wait if I ever get a chance... But I am trying not to go thru 2 or 3 lenses at a much lower price that would have totaled what I could get say the FA 43 for.

JJ

09-20-2011, 08:22 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jerryleejr Quote
Well my logic was really based on looking at all the pro's and con's of each lens, pouring thru the photo galleries and nit picking. And again this is just a base to find what I like and dont like in a given situation, I currently have a K7 and will add a K5 shortly and probably have both set up for different shooting styles. I also plan to go below 15mm at some point and believe there is no MAGIC lens combo that once I have a certain "Kit" I'm done. This will be an ever evolving process where I may find the WR zooms and 100mm WR macro works this year because I am outdoors alot with the kids and camping etc, and when in the studio fall back on the primes. There are so many good lenses out there and its been said in many threads it is an individual choice and a person can end up never buying anything because the "threads" go back and forth so much based on that personal preference. And I have to make every dollar count so I am approaching this as get the best I can afford up front instead of working my way up based on price, Granted there are some purchases that will have to wait if I ever get a chance... But I am trying not to go thru 2 or 3 lenses at a much lower price that would have totaled what I could get say the FA 43 for.

JJ
I guess the question still begs being asked, what is your overall photographic need?

you mention outdoors plus studio. but not a lot more,

If you look at each type of work, portrait, interior archetecture, archetecture, outdoor portraits, wild life, sports, theatre etc..... each topic has some needs optically. you need to make a list of what you intend to shoot, and start with those needs. I don't see that in your planning, I see you have picked what the best lenses may be, but not whether you need them. Sorry f this is a little blunt, but I don't really see a plan.

your last sentence is perfect though

"But I am trying not to go thru 2 or 3 lenses at a much lower price that would have totaled what I could get say the FA 43 for"
09-20-2011, 08:28 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jerryleejr Quote
After alot of research I believe I have a good direction to go in on building my lens collection.
I want to shoot portraits and nature mostly.
In order
FA43 LTD
FA 77LTD
DA 15 LTD

Zooms are still open but will probably pick up the WR's for various reasons just to get started
And again this is not a definitive end all list just short term and LBA will ensue...

White Whales
FA 31 LTD
60-250

So the Hunt is now on and thanks to all the great advice and info on the board

JJ
Sounds like a great kit, but personally I need a standard zoom, preferably WR, and a macro lens. I'm very pleased with the 18-135mm WR and I am currently building a kit around it:

DA 18-135 WR, DA 15 Ltd, normal, D FA 100mm, and A*300. I have everything but the A*300, which should arrive this week, along with a 1.7X TC. The TC is auto aperture, manual focus.

My normal lens alternates between the FA 35mm and DA 40 Ltd, depending on what I intend to photograph. I should sell both and get the 31mm Ltd, except I love the size of the DA 40. I have a bunch of other lenses, but I'll have to see how everything fits once the 300mm arrives. I hope to have room in the bag for the 10-17 fisheye.

Last edited by audiobomber; 09-20-2011 at 08:43 AM.
09-20-2011, 08:33 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Sounds like a great kit, but personally I need a standard zoom, preferably WR, and a macro lens.

I'm very pleased with the 18-135mm WR and I am currently building a kit around it:
DA 18-135 WR, DA 15 Ltd, normal, D FA 100mm, and A*300. I have everything but the A*300, which should arrive this week, along with a 1.7X TC. The TC is auto aperture, manual focus.

My normal lens alternates between the FA 35mm and DA 40 Ltd, depending on what I intend to photograph. I should sell both and get the 31mm Ltd, except I love the size of the DA 40. I have a bunch of other lenses, but I'll have to see how everything fits once the 300mm arrives. I hope to have room for the 101-7 fisheye.
The fisheye is on my just fun to have list
JJ
09-20-2011, 08:33 AM   #8
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Here's my lens-kit-building strategy: 1) Coverage; 2) Speed; 3) Character.
And I ask myself: What do I want to do that I can't do with what I have?

If I still made my living at this, the strategy might change, but the question would remain.
And how the question is answered, depends on experience, not just on well-meant advice.
So I don't KNOW which 28 is right until I've tried a few 28's. Not to mention all the Fifty's.

So, my usual recommendation: Get zooms that cover various ranges. See what focal lengths you shoot, the focal lengths at which you'll want superior primes. If the zooms or primes don't suit you, return them. Good luck!

09-20-2011, 08:41 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jerryleejr Quote
The fisheye is on my just fun to have list
JJ
It's a dual personality lens. The fisheye effect is great fun, but at the long end the fishy effect is quite subtle, if you pay attention to composition. At 17mm it covers about the same fov as 12mm rectilinear. At 10mm you have to mind your feet, or they'll end up in your photo.
09-20-2011, 11:13 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I guess the question still begs being asked, what is your overall photographic need?

you mention outdoors plus studio. but not a lot more,

If you look at each type of work, portrait, interior archetecture, archetecture, outdoor portraits, wild life, sports, theatre etc..... each topic has some needs optically. you need to make a list of what you intend to shoot, and start with those needs. I don't see that in your planning, I see you have picked what the best lenses may be, but not whether you need them. Sorry f this is a little blunt, but I don't really see a plan.

your last sentence is perfect though

"But I am trying not to go thru 2 or 3 lenses at a much lower price that would have totaled what I could get say the FA 43 for"
Lowell,
I agree with what you're saying. Define one's tasks, objectives and develop a plan.

Also, i don't have time for lens purity or numerical purity. What i mean by that is I don't much care whether i cover the entire numerical range, so long as i have lenses along that cover the range i like to shoot at and with. I also don't care whether they are all zooms or primes, i have both, and some i like a lot more than others.

The two major tasks i do with photography these days are:
a) shoot promo and decorative shots for a local live theatre organization - volunteer work.

b) I want to shoot a few prize-winning shots that i can enter into a local state-wide contest once a year. what i don't enter or sell, i put on my wall or give to relatives.

Plan
1. For theatre work, f2.8 is nearly a requirement because they don't allow flash and don't lighten the scenes for our shots.
1.a - primary lens - Tamron 28-75 f2.8 - 90% of the time
1.b - secondary lens- Pentax 50-135 f2.8 for outdoor plays which they do once a year or indoor tight shots
1.c - Wide angle - DA-21 f3.2

2. For Landscape shooting for those "prize-winning shots", out of the car
2.a All of the above
2.b Sigma 10-20 F4-f5.6

3. For short hikes (this is a difficult area)
3.a A 135 f2.8 or DA 50-135
3.b DA 35 f2.8
3.c DA 21 f3.2

Last edited by philbaum; 09-20-2011 at 11:22 AM.
09-20-2011, 12:26 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
Lowell,
Also, i don't have time for lens purity or numerical purity. What i mean by that is I don't much care whether i cover the entire numerical range, so long as i have lenses along that cover the range i like to shoot at and with.
No but in the tammy 28-75 and DA 50-135 you have some pretty good lenses numerically. I guess there is no accounting for luck.

Seriously though your kit pretty much matches mine.

sigma 10-20, tammy 28-75, the only difference in zooms is I have the sigma 70-200F2.8 because I wanted more reach. I still use it for interior stage performance, because I can be further back and still get the shot.

primes, again, i have a whole collection of them, and shen on my own time, take what ever I want when I want.
09-21-2011, 01:08 AM   #12
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I just grab lenses cheaply if they are available/possible. Cant resist if they are selling for very very low price. Mostly MF primes, 40-50-60 years old.
I stay with a lens for many days/weeks and adapt my shooting 'strategy' for that lens after i found out the uniqueness of the lens.
I shoot for fun, so i have more free hands.
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