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12-24-2011, 10:52 AM   #1
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Prefect Primal Travel Triumvirate

Did I grab you with the catchy title?

So, I'd like some feedback. I'm pretty close to picking up a new K-5. I used to have a K-7 but didn't like the AF, high-ISO performance or potential issues with SDM lenses, so I sold it and bought a d300s. Since then, my photo-interests have changed and I just sold the d300s and am thinking about the K-5. My desire for super-fast AF and "pro-level" zoom lenses has pretty much faded, to be replaced with the desire for a smaller body and a few primes (that d300s was HEAVY!).

I'm mostly interested in a small, light travel kit. I'm thinking a set of three primes. I have a nice small Domke bag (made for Leicas or Micro 4/3rd) that would work perfect for a K-5 body and three primes (with a bit of room to spare).

(I had been thinking about a d7000 too, but the lens options for primes in DX-friendly focal lengths are far less appealing.)

So, if going with a K-5...

For the wide, I've pretty much settled on the DA15 Limited. Seems like a no-brainer.

For the mid/normal, I'm thinking the FA31. But the DA35 Limited looks appealing too. (I thought about the Sigma 30, but I think it's too large and heavy.)

For a short-tele, I can't decide if an FA77 or a DA70 Limited would be the way to go.

Does anyone have a strong opinion of those two FAs vs those two DAs as travel lenses? Are the DAs more versatile due to better control of CA? Or do the faster apertures make up for that (for low-light and shallow DoF)? I don't have much of a desire to shoot macro, but I do like shooting close-ups of objects (which is why I'm considering the DA35). Is the FA31 too large? The price difference isn't that big of a deal - I'd be fine shelling out for the FAs if I thought they were what I really wanted.

(I'd probably throw a 50-300 in my suitcase as well - depending on the destination (my brother has one from his K-X kit, but he just bought a d7000, so he won't be needing it), but only bring it along for the day if I was planning on going somewhere where I know I'd want it - like for wildlife excusions or something.)

Thanks,
Greg

12-24-2011, 11:04 AM   #2
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I have none of those lenses, so can't really coment on them. But you forgot the plastic fantastic lens the DA 35 2.4. It focusses very fast and is very sharp and contrasty . And as it is plastic, it is super light.
12-24-2011, 12:41 PM   #3
axl
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Personally I'd go with:
DA21 + FA43 + FA77.

Out ou your choices,
15 + FA31 + FA77.
Thing with DA35 is that it's only f2.8. K-5's ISO can substitute for light guzzling but f2.8 @ 35mm doesn't leave you huge amount of DOF control on APSC format.
DA70 vs FA77 is pretty much the same issue although 70/2.4 is quite OK. And don't be fooled by size difference, once you screw the hood on DA70 even retracted, it's just about the same size as 77 with retracted hood.

Regards
12-24-2011, 02:35 PM   #4
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Out of your selections I would agree with axl

If I go light with my M42s I take zenitar 16 fisheye, SMC 35/2 and super tak 85/1.9

Much the asme as 15, 31, 77

12-24-2011, 03:39 PM   #5
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If you want small, then DA, not FA, is the way to go.
12-24-2011, 03:59 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
If you want small, then DA, not FA, is the way to go.
But the difference is not that great that it is a problem. , after all, one of the lenses plus body will be in his hand most of the time any way
12-24-2011, 04:08 PM   #7
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I have the da15,21 and the fa31,77. When push comes to shove, the 21 is left out. I was given the 21,31,77 advice initially and ended up buying the 15 later anyway. I find the 21 is just too close to 31 and when wide is needed, it is the 15 that I reach of most times. The 31 and 77 are my favorites though.
12-24-2011, 04:31 PM   #8
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From your kit I'd take

DA15 + FA31 + FA77

12-24-2011, 05:22 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by GregX999 Quote
Did I grab you with the catchy title?

So, I'd like some feedback. I'm pretty close to picking up a new K-5. I used to have a K-7 but didn't like the AF, high-ISO performance or potential issues with SDM lenses, so I sold it and bought a d300s. Since then, my photo-interests have changed and I just sold the d300s and am thinking about the K-5. My desire for super-fast AF and "pro-level" zoom lenses has pretty much faded, to be replaced with the desire for a smaller body and a few primes (that d300s was HEAVY!).

I'm mostly interested in a small, light travel kit. I'm thinking a set of three primes. I have a nice small Domke bag (made for Leicas or Micro 4/3rd) that would work perfect for a K-5 body and three primes (with a bit of room to spare).

(I had been thinking about a d7000 too, but the lens options for primes in DX-friendly focal lengths are far less appealing.)

So, if going with a K-5...

For the wide, I've pretty much settled on the DA15 Limited. Seems like a no-brainer.

For the mid/normal, I'm thinking the FA31. But the DA35 Limited looks appealing too. (I thought about the Sigma 30, but I think it's too large and heavy.)

For a short-tele, I can't decide if an FA77 or a DA70 Limited would be the way to go.

Does anyone have a strong opinion of those two FAs vs those two DAs as travel lenses? Are the DAs more versatile due to better control of CA? Or do the faster apertures make up for that (for low-light and shallow DoF)? I don't have much of a desire to shoot macro, but I do like shooting close-ups of objects (which is why I'm considering the DA35). Is the FA31 too large? The price difference isn't that big of a deal - I'd be fine shelling out for the FAs if I thought they were what I really wanted.

(I'd probably throw a 50-300 in my suitcase as well - depending on the destination (my brother has one from his K-X kit, but he just bought a d7000, so he won't be needing it), but only bring it along for the day if I was planning on going somewhere where I know I'd want it - like for wildlife excusions or something.)

Thanks,
Greg
Almost missed your reasoning. I went from Canon pro body and 2.8 lenses to Oly's smaller pro body and smaller zooms. Finally got fed up with the weight and size of that too. Bought the k-5 and a bevy of primes. I love this setup. Pro spec body with very small lenses. I carry the k-5 plus one lens over my shoulder and a couple more primes in a belly pack. Mix and match as I think the destination demands. I have no regrets. I love how shooting with primes makes me think about composition a lot more. With zooms, all my shots were perfectly composed. Not I crop and add with more varied results by changing lenses. No perfect by the book framing. Good luck on your desist ion. The k-5 plus primes has been a liberation for me. YMMV.
12-24-2011, 05:44 PM   #10
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Thanks for the input everyone!

It seems pretty unanimous that the FA31 and FA77 trump the DA35 and DA70. I know there are trade-offs... but the faster aperture seems to be the way to go. Especially if the size difference isn't that bad. I know the FA31 is the largest of all these lenses (and the odd-lens-out regarding filter size), but I think it's probably right at the edge of "small enough" for me.

About the DA21... I was thinking about the it a bit (either w/ the FA31 or the FA43), but I think I'd miss the wider angle of the DA15.

Greg
12-24-2011, 06:20 PM   #11
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My dream travel kit is the DA15 (awaiting shipment), FA43 and DFA100WRmac. And then mix in an 18-55WR, M28, 55-300 if desired. I could understand if someone chose the FA77 (vs the 100mm) if they planned on doing more portraits but the FA43 should be pretty good body/torso shots. And the 100mm allows for closeups and short tele while being pretty good at portraits itself.

Initially I thought 50mm's was a very awkward focal length on APSC but I was getting more keepers with it than my 24/28's and choosing to use it more. I needed a versatile AF walkaround and chose the DA40 because I wanted a little wider and it's an outstanding value. But someday the FA43 is on my shopping list. First however I'm planning on getting a K5 for the iso improvement among other reasons.
12-24-2011, 06:23 PM   #12
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Given your set of choices, I recommend the 15, 31 and 77, with the expectation that the 31 will spend the most time on your camera. If you can also swing the FA43, do so. It is so small as to be no burden at all, but the IQ is the best, IMO. Whatever you choose, you will be well equipped to get great images, if you are up to the task. Good luck, and happy shooting.

Rob
12-25-2011, 04:19 AM   #13
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I have all those lens except the 35. Traveling with a k-5 I'd pack the 15, 31 & 70. 70 is a better travel lens than the 77, smaller and more suited to general purpose shooting.

However if I was packing a film camera as well then the 77 would come in place of the 70, aperture ring wins.
12-30-2011, 11:20 AM   #14
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I agree the DA15 is a no-brainer. It's my most-used lens. (I find it surprisingly good indoors; although at F/4 it's not fast, at that focal length I can shoot hand-held at quite slow shutter speeds. S/R and high ISO from the camera help.)

I'm not a fan of the DA35 Macro. 35mm is rather short for real macro work, and macro is a liability when you're not using it. I prefer the DA40, which avoids the macro issues and is also significantly smaller. (I own both.)

I don't own the DA70 or FA77. I went for the DFA100 WR Macro. I wouldn't want to be without some macro capability, and 100mm is a much more usable length for that. It's also a good length for portraits and squirrels (but not long enough for birds). Although it is not as small as a Limited lens, it is smaller than a lot of zooms and telephotos, and together the DA15Ltd and DA40Ltd are small enough that I can carry all three. This combination covers a lot of options. I am attracted to the DA70 for its size, but if I had one I doubt I'd ever carry it.

I also have the DAL55-300, which I carry when 100mm isn't long enough.
12-30-2011, 02:42 PM   #15
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I went on two trips this year with only primes. First trip = DA 21mm, DA 40mm and DA 70mm. Second trip DA 15mm, DA 35mm and DA 70mm. I found the 21mm more useful than the 15mm and the 35mm more useful than the 40mm. 21mm is a lot more natural for landscapes and much street stuff than the 15mm and the 35mm is (naturally) better at close-ups than the 40mm. It all depends on your shooting style. There is no correct combo, though I'm with Brangdon that the 100mm macro is a very fine lens and darn useful to take along. I use it a lot at home. For my next trip I'd be tempted to load up with 15, 21 and 35mm lenses plus the 100mm macro or even an old A-series telephoto lens since these seem quite compact.
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