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12-01-2011, 11:59 PM   #16
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Thanks everyone for the input. I'm now done reading the linked threads. It was helpful. In the wide angle domain I'd go for the Pentax 15mm f/4 however I'm still undecided.

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
it would be useful also to know what other lenses the OP has
I'm new to Pentax and dSLR world, however I do have a few M42 Soviet lenses for my Zenit. Namely:
MC Zenitar ME1 1.7/50 (50mm f/1.7)
Industar-61L/Z 2.8/50 (50mm f/2.8)
Jupiter-21M 4/200 (200mm f/4)

I'm still confused because I have conflicting goals and limited money resources

- I noticed with my digital point and shoot zooms I tend to use the widest setting most of the time, thus I'm thinking of getting a wide lens like the 15mm f4
- I'm enjoying shooting landscapes the most (when backpacking and traveling) and I understand what you mean when you say that the 15mm f/4 is not a good landscape lens. Which one would you suggest for landscape work?
- I have realized a while ago it is not the camera that makes good photographs and decided never to invest into more gear until I get rid of what I already have or get lots of money However this time my wife asked me to by a dSLR (Why Your Wife Wants You to Buy that New Camera). So I did And the purpose is to take fantastic pictures of our soon to be born baby. And again the 15mm f4 is not the lens for that I guess. My 50mm and 200mm could work for that, however with babies you might want autofocus, don't you?
- and last but not least. I would like to spend no more than $500 right now, which basically means 1 good lens.

And so I'm still undecided, should I go for the 15mm, Sigma 28mm F1.8, 35mm, 70mm or maybe even a 50mm where there is the best quality/price? Or maybe start with a good zoom like Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and then slowly build my system from that?

I thought initially I'm not ready to sacrifice the wide angle which limited my choices to the 15mm and the zoom (17-50) (after I have excluded the 14mm and 10-20/12-24 options).

Sorry, I feel a bit lost now

12-02-2011, 01:28 AM - 1 Like   #17
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You still have time to shoot with MF lenses.

The first thing I did is get myself a split screen to use with all my MF lenses. It is my best investment ever.

Then I get a bunch of radio triggers/receivers, light modifiers and learn the strobist way, get use of all my existing old flashes. They are my second best investment.

After that some AF lenses, with the DA50-135 as my first AF,
Then the FA50/1.4 and Tamron 28-75/2.8. Still use them more than 80% cases when AF is needed.

Other AF lenses are nice to have, or for special purpose when fund is available.
12-02-2011, 02:41 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoanpham Quote
The first thing I did is get myself a split screen to use with all my MF lenses. It is my best investment ever.
hoanpham, thanks for the tip. I will see how focusing is with the K5 and then decide if I need a different focusing screen. Which one in particular would you recommend?
12-02-2011, 04:58 AM   #19
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I use jinfinance focus screen on my K20d. Spot right on, no further calibration needed. approx 30usd.
For my K5, I have katzeye with optobrit, but this one need a set of shims/washers and need to calibrate, 160usd + shims

Ironically, I like the cheap jinfinance 45 degree dual split better than the katzeye.
In my observation, the focus indicator in the body is not good enough. Split screen is a must when you have MF lenses.
Also, the focus indicator in my two k20d, both are better than the K5.

I also have several fast glass at f1.2 and f1.4. It is just a rush when you can nail the ultra sharp focus at f1.4.
I have sample photos in my picasa. All photos with f1.4 / f1.2 lenses are wide open. oh, very few with one or half click down.

12-02-2011, 06:03 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by vanyagor Quote
hoanpham, thanks for the tip. I will see how focusing is with the K5 and then decide if I need a different focusing screen. Which one in particular would you recommend?
I have no experience with it, but this is the one I intend to try out at some point:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5-forum/142241-best-screen-ever-...anon-ee-s.html
12-02-2011, 07:38 AM   #21
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for Landscapes you don't need the fastest lens on earth, but a nice sharp one is Good. I shoot Landscapes with an m28 3.5. It's Manual focus but i don't have an issue with that (heck most landscapes are shot at infinity in any case)
Nice sharp lens and won't cost a bomb.
you could also use your Zenitar or industar and stitch them to the width you want (this would mean carrying a tripod- i do for landscapes anyway but you may not)

A sample of the M28 3.5 - more cityscape than landscape. iso 100 f8 10 seconds on K7

12-02-2011, 08:37 AM - 1 Like   #22
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My wide angle experience is limited to the DA14/2.8 (used it on loan for one day), the DA15/4 (which I got instead because the DA14 felt too big) and the Sigma 8-16 (which I got to have more flexibility when traveling). I also experimented with various fisheyes, but that's another story perhaps, though the Zenitar 16 served as my very first (mildly distorted) wide angle lens on digital.

First of all you should know that I was a huge fan of 24mm lenses when I shot 135film in the pre-digital era. This was one of the main reasons why I stayed with Pentax: They had a standard zoom that started at around that FOV: the DA16-45/4. It was close, but not quite close enough. And on top of that, it didn't fit in with the limiteds that I collected the following years. The Zenitar 16 was ok for a while on 6MP, but it couldn't cope with the10MP when I switched to the K10D from my *istDS. Then the DA16-45 got replaced by a DA*16-50/2.8, a choice I'm still happy I made since the latter is by far superior for use in rough places. But still I didn't have a really satisfying 24mm equiv...

So finally, for lack of an really equivalent FOV in a prime on APS-C I tried another Pentaxian's DA14/2.8 for a day. I didn't like it. I found it too wide to give me the same feeling, and more importantly it felt so big (way too big for a prime)!

Fortunately, barely a few months later Pentax announced the DA15/4, which was everything that I had missed in the DA14! Perfect FOV for me in a wide angle prime and the size fitted in with my other limiteds. Great for street photography!

Though I'm convinced the DA15/4 is a great landscape lens (I have used it often for this), sometimes it's practical indeed to have some more flexibility in terms of FOV (sometimes you just don't have the time to find a good spot or just cannot get there because of physical obstacles). Since I already had 16mm covered in a zoom, the excellent Sigma 8-16 matched up nicely giving me the maximum range possible. Whereas I used the Sigma a lot for landscape the last few months since I got it, I found that it was too wide mostly when traveling in very spacious landscapes. For instance, I recently spent almost a month in Argentina (mostly Patagonia), where most of my landscape work was actually done with the DA*16-50 (I didn't have the DA15/4 with me) and not the Sigma 8-16, though I did find some use for it... Just to illustrate that there's no such thing as one focal length for landscape.

Why the Sigma except for the maximum range and not one of the other wide angle zooms? Mainly because of the results I saw from it, which made me believe it was the best choice available about 6 months ago. I basically love the contrast it yields, which almost forgives its inability to fit a polarizer (because of the protruding front element). One disadvantage may be for Lightroom/Camera RAW users that like using the lens correction feature: Pentax cameras don't register focal lengths wider than 10mm, so at 8 or 9mm you'll have to correct distortions manually using the sliders. Lenses that don't go wider than 10mm won't confront you with that problem.

Bottom line: I love the DA15/4, but my mind tells me I must sometimes prefer the Sigma 8-16 for flexibility. Which means the Sigma comes along on long trips but the DA15/4 will always be my favourite when I know a place will make me wanting a 24mm equivalent.

I'm not telling you which is *the* best. I just hope you will find some inspiration in the story of my subsequent choices?

Wim
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