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12-31-2007, 02:46 AM   #1
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Suggestions...PLEASE!

Hey guys (and girls),

Recently I've been going back and forth between the idea of purchasing a couple zoom lenses rather than several prime lenses. Though I enjoy the versatility of zooms, I think primes offer more bang for the buck. So, I've finally decided to go down the road of primes.

Now I have the task of assembling a collection of primes that suit my style of photography. I was hoping you guys could help me out by offering your advice. I need a set of primes that covers the wide angle (for landscapes), normal (for street and documentary), and medium telephoto (for portraiture) range. I know how expensive lenses can be and how sometimes you have to pay top dollar for quality, but I'd like to be somewhat practical, without seriously affecting quality. I'd like to stick to the PENTAX brand of primes, and I'd like to have the option of AF.

Can anyone suggest a specific set of primes that would meet my needs? There are just so many lenses to choose from that I feel overwhelmed—though, it didn't take very long for me to decide that I needed an FA 50mm F1.4 in my collection, since I've heard nothing but good things about it.

In your list of suggested lenses, can you also explain the logic behind your choices?

I'm so glad I joined this forum; everyone is so amicable and willing to help. Thank you!

P.S. Just for fun: If you could only have one PENTAX lens, what would it be and why?

12-31-2007, 02:51 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by stafford588 Quote

P.S. Just for fun: If you could only have one PENTAX lens, what would it be and why?
The fa 35 f/2. Great lens a normal fov on dslr.
12-31-2007, 03:43 AM   #3
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I would go for 31 ltd

At night or at functions, its low light ability is stunning with fantastic colour.

With protraits or street landscape, this is working quite well for me both wide open or stopping down.
12-31-2007, 05:22 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
I would go for 31 ltd

At night or at functions, its low light ability is stunning with fantastic colour.

With protraits or street landscape, this is working quite well for me both wide open or stopping down.
I really really want one of these ... but not when I am soo soo broke.

12-31-2007, 06:31 AM   #5
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Ultra Wide: DA 14mm f2.8
Med Wide: DA21mm f3.2 Limited/FA20mm f2.8*
Normal: FA31mm f1.8 limited or FA35mm f2.0
Short Portrait: FA43mm f1.9 limited/DA40 f2.8 limited/FA50mm f1.4
Portrait Tele: FA77mm f1.8limited/DA70 f2.4
Tele: FA135mm f2.8* (If you can find one.)


You will note that none of these lenses are particularly cheap, and some are down right expensive. This selection will equal or better the IQ of any other brand of lens. You will have the 35mm equivalent of 21mm thru 200mm.

*Not in production, only available used.

Last edited by roscot; 12-31-2007 at 06:52 AM.
12-31-2007, 07:41 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by roscot Quote
Ultra Wide: DA 14mm f2.8
Med Wide: DA21mm f3.2 Limited/FA20mm f2.8*
Normal: FA31mm f1.8 limited or FA35mm f2.0
Short Portrait: FA43mm f1.9 limited/DA40 f2.8 limited/FA50mm f1.4
Portrait Tele: FA77mm f1.8limited/DA70 f2.4
Tele: FA135mm f2.8* (If you can find one.)


You will note that none of these lenses are particularly cheap, and some are down right expensive. This selection will equal or better the IQ of any other brand of lens. You will have the 35mm equivalent of 21mm thru 200mm.

*Not in production, only available used.
This is about the best list so far, but you might want to add a 200mm (f2.5 if you can find it)

If you expand to used lenses, you might also want to add an 85mm F1.8 and also look for a 100mm, either in F2.8 or the F4 macro.
12-31-2007, 01:46 PM   #7
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Or wait for the DA*200 f2.8 .
A macro would be nice. I actually use the FA135 with extension tubes, and it does a really nice job for a non-macro lens.
12-31-2007, 06:38 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by stafford588 Quote
Hey guys (and girls),

Recently I've been going back and forth between the idea of purchasing a couple zoom lenses rather than several prime lenses. Though I enjoy the versatility of zooms, I think primes offer more bang for the buck. So, I've finally decided to go down the road of primes.

Now I have the task of assembling a collection of primes that suit my style of photography. I was hoping you guys could help me out by offering your advice. I need a set of primes that covers the wide angle (for landscapes), normal (for street and documentary), and medium telephoto (for portraiture) range. I know how expensive lenses can be and how sometimes you have to pay top dollar for quality, but I'd like to be somewhat practical, without seriously affecting quality. I'd like to stick to the PENTAX brand of primes, and I'd like to have the option of AF.

Can anyone suggest a specific set of primes that would meet my needs? There are just so many lenses to choose from that I feel overwhelmed—though, it didn't take very long for me to decide that I needed an FA 50mm F1.4 in my collection, since I've heard nothing but good things about it.

In your list of suggested lenses, can you also explain the logic behind your choices?

I'm so glad I joined this forum; everyone is so amicable and willing to help. Thank you!

P.S. Just for fun: If you could only have one PENTAX lens, what would it be and why?
OK here we go. I don't know how many you want and whether or not you would consider manual lenses, but I'll assume you will so here is a kit: I'm considering prices here also so for the most part I'll be going for less expensive choices.

From wide to long:
Zenitar 16mm F2.8 Fish eye. Great little lens and not an extreme fish eye. Great for close ups too.

Sigma 24mm F1.8 Excellent wide angle and fast too.

Pentax FA 35mm F2.0 the new "normal" lens
or
Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 limited pancake. Great lens in a very small package

Pentax FA 50mm F1.4 the old favorite

Pentax FA 77mm ltd F1.8 everybody should have at least one "jewel" lens, and it's IQ is legendary
or
Pentax DA 70mm F2.4 limited pancake, a great street lens

Tamron SP 90mm Di F2.8 Macro, everybody needs a good macro, and doubles as a short tele

Pentax K 135 F2.5 my most favorite medium tele lens

Pentax K (or A) 300 F4.0, for when you need to "reach out and touch someone"

I realize there is a pretty big hole between 135 and 300, but I've rarely found the need for a 200mm. But if you need to fill that hole get a K (or A) 200 F4.0

If I had to keep only one prime lens I guess I'd have to go with the DA 40 or the 43ltd, but I'd be mightly irked. If I could keep two it would be the Sigma 24mm and the Tamron 90mm macro.

NaCl(it's like the "one music album on a desert island" question)H2O

01-02-2008, 02:33 AM   #9
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expensive option:

Ultra Wide: A 15/3.5
Med Wide: FA20mm f2.8
Normal: FA31mm f1.8 limited
Short Portrait: FA50mm f1.4
Portrait Tele: FA77mm f1.8limited
Tele: FA135mm f2.8

Inexpensive option:

Ultra Wide: DA 14mm f2.8
Med Wide: DA21mm f3.2 Limited
Normal: FA35mm f2.0
Short Portrait: FA50mm f1.4
Portrait Tele: DA70 f2.4
Tele: FA135mm f2.8

To any of these two options I would add DA 10-17 fisheye.

If I had to get only one lense for APS size sensor camera that would most probably be the FA 35mm f2.0
01-02-2008, 09:11 AM   #10
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You have the 18-55 and the 50-200. Go through your photo files and see what focal length you use the most. That might give you a clue as to which prime would be best "for you".

I think there are programs that will draw graphs of your focal length usage but I don't know one offhand.
01-02-2008, 09:38 AM   #11
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My choices for primes were (in the 100mm or less):

DA 14mm - Landscapes for that big sweeping perspective
FA 43mm - general anything & everything usage.
FA 77mm - portraits and tight landscapes

If I had to choose just one lens of those 3, it'd be the 43mm. It's the only lens I'll take out as a 1-lens-kit.
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