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01-01-2008, 03:22 AM   #16
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Sadly, I can't tell my favourite lens, but gladly I can say my favourite brand 'pentax'.

01-01-2008, 08:42 AM   #17
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These are some good lenses posted so far and the intent of the thread was (I needed to be more clear I guess) was there are so many new members and we are always seeing questions about this lens or that. So unless it's in the lens review database, could you post a picture and some detail about your favourite lens? Maybe edit your post and put a picture there? There can be several versions of a lens. For example the Vivitar Series 1 70-210 f2.8-4 version 3 (there were 5 versions).
01-01-2008, 09:27 AM   #18
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My 6x7 200mm F4.

Its one of the sharpest lenses i have

01-01-2008, 09:33 AM   #19
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Since I have two systems, I think I can go with two favorite lenses. They are at opposite ends of the extreme though...but then I am funny like that.

1. For the Canon (just don't throw rotten food at me please j/k) it would have to be the Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX DG/HSM, otherwise known affectionately as the Bigma. During the warm weather, it is always on my Canon 20D.

Here is a photo of my wildlife set up. Bigma, 20D, and Bushawk shoulder support.

And an example. This was taken at 500mm, f/6.3, 1/1250s, at ISO 400.

They do make this lens in a Pentax mount, but it does not have the HSM capabilities. With the Canon system, I do enjoy the faster focusing that this lens has to offer, especially for BIFs (Bird In Flight).

I find its weight reassuring. It is heavy enough that you can hand hold this lens easily enough. The tripod mount has finger holds that fit my large hands nicely when I rotate it 90 degrees on the lens. This allows me to slip my hand between the tripod mount and the lens for a comfortable hand holding experience. Likewise, the wide range is very useful. It gives you a very slow 50mm lens, but I have found it good for taking images of animals that appear closer to you (with nature, you just never know what you will encounter, and where). It is the perfect nature walkabout lens in my humble opinion.

I am looking for something different for my Pentax system. Possibly a fast 300mm coupled with a teleconverter or two. Maybe towards the end of this new year will I have something, but with the Bigma, there is no hurry.

2. My second favorite lens, this time on the Pentax system, is the Pentax 10-17 f/3.5-4.5 ED Fisheye. I just recently bought this lens and only had a few chances to take it out, but wow! It was always a dream to have a fisheye, even back in the days when I was learning how to take photos. These types of lenses were super expensive glass at one time, well outside the reach of many people. Today, we are absolutely spoiled. I only paid 499 Canadian for this gem, and what a gem it is!

At 10mm, it gives you a rectilinear 180 degrees field of view. This is massive and about as extreme as you can get short of a 360 degree circular fisheye on a full frame camera. Combine this with a close focus range of a mere few inches, and you have something that can do things that very few lenses can.

I have found that you can control the amount of distortion with careful composition. Horizon lines that run dead center are nice and straight. Move that horizon line up or down and you get increasing amounts of barrel distortion. It is quite a nice effect. Now the lens is a zoom. At 17mm, the fisheye effect is minimized. It is still there, but you do have to look harder to see it. This makes the lens a true versatile performer.

Here are a few examples of the few times I took it out for a spin.

My K10D was only a few inches away from that wooden bowl of fruit.

An example of fisheye distortion. Note how much that horizon line is curved, but then, it is well above the central plane.

Here are two examples. The first showing the lens at 10mm, the subject is my workplace. The second shows the same scene but defished using Corel Paint Shop Pro X2. I was curious to see what sort of effect I would get. These are rough examples with little PP added to them. Note the slight purple fringe in the lighting. This is about the only bad thing I can say, and even at that, it is fairly well controlled.

Last edited by Chako; 01-01-2008 at 09:39 AM.
01-01-2008, 10:32 AM   #20
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My favorite lens is the FA 35 f2. It is almost always on my K10D

However, right now, I cannot get enough of the Tamron 18-250. I will probably always have these two lenses with me.
01-01-2008, 01:35 PM   #21
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Hey Peter, you don't ask the easy ones do you? I'm not sure I have a "favorite" lens, it's more like several favorite lenses. I'm partial to my Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro, the Pentax K 135 F2.5, the Pentax K 50mm F1.2, the Zenitar 16mm F2.8 fish eye the.... you get the drift. However, for pure fun, I'd have to say that my Zenitar takes the prize. It's by no means a terribly versatile lens, certainly not like the Tamron 28-75 F2.8, but every time I put the Z on my camera, a smile comes to my face. There is just something gleeful about this diminutive lens.
Some samples

I was going to leave a shot of the lens, but it seems that smugmug is down, I'll try my old flickr account, that is a film canister to give you an idea of how small this guy is.

NaCl(the "Z" don't leave home without it)H2O
01-01-2008, 04:27 PM   #22
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Best lens I ever owned is my A*85/1.4, which my Dad gave me for Christmas in the mid '80's. I still use it fairly regularly, although AF dominates my life now.

My favorite AF lens is either my FA 35/2 or DA 70/2.4.

01-01-2008, 08:53 PM   #23
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Absolute hands-down favorite is the FA31. Seems an obvious choice, but I really would throw myself in front of a train for this lens. Well, maybe not, because then I wouldn't get to use it anymore. You know, being dead and all...

A close second, at 1/30 the price, is the Super-Takumar 50/1.4 (don't have the S-M-C version yet). I have never felt such a sublime focus ring in any other lens, Leica included.

01-01-2008, 09:58 PM   #24
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It's a toss up for me, I have 2 manual lenses that I really like, an RMC Tokina 28mm f 2.8

And an SMC-M 50mm f1.4

01-02-2008, 06:57 AM   #25
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Peter, you own what used to be my favourite Pentax lens for the short time I owned it which was the FA 135mm f2.0!
01-02-2008, 11:05 AM   #26
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Current favourite is DFA 50mm with one of the best bokeh and excellent sharpness

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PENTAX K100D  Photo 

Last edited by mer; 01-02-2008 at 12:03 PM.
01-05-2008, 08:42 PM   #27
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Definitely the 43 Ltd.

I just got it a couple of days ago and I can already tell it's going to get a lot of use. It's so sharp, produces great colors, and does pretty well in low light with a tripod.


01-05-2008, 11:35 PM   #28
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Vivitar Series 1 105mm f2.5 macro.

Native 1:1, made by Kiron, and sharp enough to poke a hole in the space-time continuum.

(Just acquired, and thrilling.)

On my camera a lot lately: SMC-M 50mm f1.4 & FA-50mm f1.4. We've been having a bit of a competition here, 50mm, new school vs. old school. So far, old school's slightly ahead.

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