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11-26-2011, 07:06 AM   #1
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Can't decide! what would you choose/suggest?

So, here's my current situation, I've got the 10-17mm fisheye, DA 18-250mm and 31mm f1.8 and a K5
I tend to bring them along when I'm backpacking, or if I'm heading out to the hills or somewhere interesting. If I'm travelling I'll most likely take all 3 if not I'll just take one of my pick.

I've always liked the thought of the 15mm f4 ltd though, and have also considered something like the 50-135mm or sigma 50-150mm instead of the superzoom, but that'll leave me with a 15mm prime, 50-135/150 and either 31mm or fisheye, which I'm not sure if I want to sacrifice the versatility at the wider end on the zoom, but I know with the resolution I could easily crop at the tele end.
Weight and size also comes into concern, if necessary I'll just take 2 lenses.

It has even came to me to cash in on the 31mm and swap for the 15mm and 50-135mm, and probably eventually getting rid of the superzoom.

What would you guys do? I'm struggling here really!

Thanks
Adrian

11-26-2011, 07:18 AM   #2
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have you considered the 12-24 to cover your wide needs? 12-24, 31 and 50-135 gives you pretty good coverage of the whole range from 12-135
11-26-2011, 07:38 AM   #3
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I have, indeed but decided against it, I don't really need it any wider than 15mm plus it's the size appeal!
I'm thinking if I could crop out of the 15mm for the length up to 50mm, just not sure if I have the technique to shoot that way
11-26-2011, 07:42 AM   #4
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Another Idea?

Hello Adrian,
This may not solve all your needs, but one suggestion is to get a wide-angle zoom instead of the 15mm f4.0 ltd. Here in the States the 15mm sells for about $650.00. For $400.00 (or slightly less) you can get the DA 16-45mm f4.0 (constant). This lens is very sharp and colors are outstanding.
With that zoom and another zoom of (roughly) 50-135mm or 70-200mm, you would have most of the necessary focal range covered.
Just an idea?
Ron

11-26-2011, 07:57 AM   #5
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I have thought about that but then I don't really want to get a 70-200 since I hardly really shoot tele, plus I have previously owned the 16-45 and 17-70mm, whilst I liked them I wasn't a huge fan of them for some reason, the 15mm simply gets the edge for being small, so when Iwant to I can just put it on the camera and take it out as a small little thing! Also works when I am travelling and only want to sneak a pancake in to plcaes I don't want a zoom knocking about. Thanks for the suggestions though! I'm really wondering if anyone uses the combination I mentioned !
11-27-2011, 08:38 AM   #6
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What do you use the 50-135 range while backpacking/hiking? Too short for birding and too long for general usage. If I start taking more portraits I would like to get that lens but it will never find its way into my backpack.

My dream set of primes for travel 15/40/100WRmac. Common filters and light/compact. Your 31 would work well in place of the DA40. And I might swap to the FA43 someday.

The DA15 is sitting in my BH cart at 509 so it's not as expensive as previously mentioned.
11-27-2011, 12:00 PM   #7
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I find that range quite good at taking pictures of people from a distance, essentially spying sometimes but it's does come in handy, the 50mm end sometimes works in landscapes when I just take a few and stitch them up.
I'm experimenting at the moment how well I actually get on with the 31mm, because since I've owned and used it I don't seem to be able to get the full potential out of it so far and it might be pointing in the direction of a 15mm or 21mm instead.
So eventually I might end up with a fisheye, 15mm or 21mm, the 18-55 WR and a 50-150!
It is a wierd choice but I think the more I shoot landscapes the less I use the wide end!
11-27-2011, 12:09 PM   #8
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IMO, hang on to your primes and pick up a Tamron 70-200mm. You'll like the extra reach! (And it's only 699)

11-27-2011, 12:27 PM   #9
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So you don't want the 70-200, 17-70 or 16-45. I'll suggest a low-cost kit (which I use):

* Tamron 10-24/3.5-4.5, for tight spaces at the short end and 'scapes at the long end
* F35-70/3.5-4.5, a tiny bag of primes, agile and crisp in a long.normal / short.tele range
* FA100-300/4.7-5.8 -- maintains good resolution and rendering throughout its range

Toss in a Raynox for closeups, and there you have it! Bring along your FE and the 31 too.
11-27-2011, 12:37 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by chaude Quote
I have, indeed but decided against it, I don't really need it any wider than 15mm plus it's the size appeal!
I'm thinking if I could crop out of the 15mm for the length up to 50mm, just not sure if I have the technique to shoot that way
1. If you don't need anything wider than 15mm, then sell the fisheye and replace it with the 15/4. It's a very special lens, in both my opinion and the opinion of many others on this forum. Cropping the 15mm to yield a 50mm angle of view may be a stretch. I think you'd be cropping down to fewer than 5 megapixels, among other problems.

2. The 31mm gives you a pretty good "normal" perspective and some speed when the light gets low. It's also very expensive and could be sold and replaced with something like the DA35 macro + FA50/1.4, maybe with some money left over (and around the same weight). Now you have a normal perspective + speed + macro + great IQ at two focal lengths + no need to crop from 15 to 50. But you'd no longer own the legend

3. Keep the 18-250mm. It's a compromise lens, but it's tough to beat as an all-arounder. It could fill in the gaps between your primes, plus it has the reach in case an interesting animal shows it's face during your hike.

Nothing but my $0.02.

- Mike
11-27-2011, 03:11 PM   #11
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Mike, the reason I didn't mention getting rid of the fisheye is because it's a fisheye and I save it for special purposes and that actually comes into use, didn't count it into my normal range but yes the 15mm or the 21mm will be on the list.
I've had a play with the 31mm properly today and it seems to be doing a fairly great job at landscapes and all sorts and I didn't particularly miss the wider end of things, there wasn't much I couldn't get in the frame by moving around and thinking a bit!
With the 18-250 I always find myself gravitating towards the 18mm end then everything looks flat and boring. Most of my best shots have actually been shot around.
Anyway the biggest appeal of the DA ltds really is their size, I just can't fault having a pancake!

so, I guess there's lots of thinking to be done now.
11-27-2011, 04:23 PM   #12
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My favorite 4 lens combo is the following:

DA 12-24
FA 31 Ltd
DA* 50-135
DA* 300

If you want only three, I would drop the DA* 300. Otherwise, this combo is hard to beat in terms of flexibility.
11-27-2011, 07:52 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by chaude Quote
I find that range quite good at taking pictures of people from a distance, essentially spying sometimes but it's does come in handy, the 50mm end sometimes works in landscapes when I just take a few and stitch them up.
I'm experimenting at the moment how well I actually get on with the 31mm, because since I've owned and used it I don't seem to be able to get the full potential out of it so far and it might be pointing in the direction of a 15mm or 21mm instead.
So eventually I might end up with a fisheye, 15mm or 21mm, the 18-55 WR and a 50-150!
It is a wierd choice but I think the more I shoot landscapes the less I use the wide end!
I guess my point regarding the 50-135 is that you're not using it's potential while hiking and it's a heavy lens. It's a great lens and I want one but I want it for city use. Portraits, concerts and other stuff.

I completely agree that wide isn't better for landscapes. Using a wide for landscapes requires a completely different composition that focuses on the foreground while the background is shrunk. What I really want wide angle for is waterfalls and architecture where you cannot back up.

I typically go hiking with a 24/28 and a 50. And I like the 50 more for hiking. It gets used less now that I have the DA40 though. I also always carry my M135 but I have almost never used it while hiking.

My recommendation is to get a F/FA 50f1.4/1.7 and add it to your current set. FE for wide/artsy, FA31/50 as your workhorse lenses and 18-250 for wide and for telephoto. If you want to go light then you can leave the superzoom at home or get a 18-55WR for bad weather. Then in a couple of months you can decide what focal lengths you desire.
11-28-2011, 11:30 AM   #14
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I agree with both of you, abacus07 and sylber.

I had a long chat with a friend who also uses a dslr and came to a similar conclusion, if I were to keep 3 lenses it would be the 31mm, 50-135 and the 10-17mm fisheye (instead of the 12-24), it is a combo that excels in flexibility, and after defishing the FE, depending on the distortion it will roughly equate to something between 12-15mm on a normal UWA (personal experience, might not be true)

Yet it is also true that the 50-135's weight could add onto the burden but I suppose I should be able to cope with that and bring less of other stuff, last time I was trying everything out so I brought the 31mm, FE and superzoom, along with a K5 and MZ5 body plus a olympus XA. In the end I've came to the conclusion that the MZ5 was completely redundant and the XA does it's job so that's one less body and more space/weight!

I've just took the 31mm out yesterday and will put some of the pictures up on the forum so it would be great if I could get some comments and perhaps ideas if you guys think that the 31mm suits, I think it serves quite well as a landscape and general lens, not the smallest but I wouldn't want to give it up and swap for a 15 or 21mm after using it for a day now!

Plus abacus has a good point that I could always pick up a cheap 18-55 for the rough days. I've been through a period that I've owned enough lenses to decide upon what I roughly want, but would really like to hear from the more experienced before I make my mind up! Thanks guys!!
11-28-2011, 12:32 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by chaude Quote
...if I were to keep 3 lenses it would be the 31mm, 50-135 and the 10-17mm fisheye (instead of the 12-24), it is a combo that excels in flexibility, and after defishing the FE, depending on the distortion it will roughly equate to something between 12-15mm on a normal UWA (personal experience, might not be true)
The DA10-17 @17mm defishes to the equivalent of about 12.5mm. A 10mm shot defished would be equivalent to LESS THAN 1mm!! (I just check my AOV calculator for that.) Downside is that such defishing introduces lots of distortion, and kills edge resolution. After defishing a 16-17mm shot, I find I must downsample by about 50% to keep the edges from looking too sh!tty.

I'll compare your choices to my first dSLR kit: DA10-17, DA18-250, and FA50/1.4, for the fishiness, the super-zoom-ness, and the Fast Fifty speed. But I also quickly found that this kit was limiting. My basic kit now includes those three, and a Tamron 10-24, and an old F35-70 sometimes, and some selected MF primes: 24/2 or 28/2, 85/2, 135/2.5. With money, I'd look for a Tamron 17-50 or 28-75 to carry instead of my F35-70. Such suit my needs. Everything I carry has its purposes.

If I translate your lens choices to my FF/135 FOV mindset, they would be 46mm, 75-200mm, and 15-27mm FE -- not unreasonable, but not comprehensive either. Those are respectively a 'normal' focal length, a good portraiture zoom, and a wide special-effect zoom. Are those all you need?
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