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03-18-2012, 03:56 AM   #1
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limited lens decision to make

hi guys well im torn between which limited lenses to get . and i need your guys help

1.) between DA 40mm / FA 43
intended use : walk around lens, low light shooting such as in a church or a old European castle ,and occasional portraits of animate and inanimate things
would like to know : which one is better in sharpness and is the difference minor or significant ,how much of a difference will the speed of the glass will make for my intended use ( my body is a k5), blokeh i think 43mm is better but i also do have a F 50mm f1.7 so i can use that for portraits as well provided that the blokeh ,sharpness and skintone etc... are nearly similar to the FA 43mm.

2) between DA 70mm /FA 77mm
intended use: low light shooting at concerts and theater , and may be portraits
would like to know : af noise which one has is the loudest, speed,whether extra speed of the 77 will make a big difference for my intended use provided that my body is a k 5 and for portraits i know 77mm is better but can i get away with the DA70 provided that i also have a Tamron 90mm macro which i have heard is excellent for portraits taken in a similar FOV

Thanks

03-18-2012, 04:04 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by nirVaan Quote
hi guys well im torn between which limited lenses to get . and i need your guys help

1.) between DA 40mm / FA 43
intended use : walk around lens, low light shooting such as in a church or a old European castle ,and occasional portraits of animate and inanimate things
would like to know : which one is better in sharpness and is the difference minor or significant ,how much of a difference will the speed of the glass will make for my intended use ( my body is a k5), blokeh i think 43mm is better but i also do have a F 50mm f1.7 so i can use that for portraits as well provided that the blokeh ,sharpness and skintone etc... are nearly similar to the FA 43mm.
I'd go half of that focal length for a walk around lens. I found that the 43 was useless indoors except for 2/3 body length portraits. Way too long on APS-C.
03-18-2012, 04:42 AM   #3
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well i already have the DA 15 as walk around lens. i though the 43/40 would compliment that plus providing good indoor shooting capability as mentioned above. what would be the best option considering that i have a 15mm.
P.S some time back i was thinking of getting a sigma 28mm but the size put me off . so how about the 35 ltd i know its really sharp as close range but would like to know abt the mid level distance sharpness and low light shooting ability .for landscape and long distance focusing i can use the 15mm and crop it if required
03-18-2012, 05:15 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by nirVaan Quote
so how about the 35 ltd i know its really sharp as close range but would like to know abt the mid level distance sharpness and low light shooting ability .
I've found the DA 35 Ltd to be very sharp in the mid range,
and using higher ISO settings on my K-x, it's handled low light well.

QuoteOriginally posted by nirVaan Quote
for landscape and long distance focusing i can use the 15mm and crop it if required
Think about the full set of primes you want to acquire.
The combination of 15 and 35 with 70 or 77 would give you good coverage,
cropping like you mention for shots framed at a field of view of say 24mm or 45mm.

03-18-2012, 05:47 AM   #5
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Ooo.. thats a toughie. There will be people here who have had that dilemma and now own all 4 of those.

1) The sharpest by a small margin is the FA43 (not counting from f1.9 - f2.4). For shooting interiors of old buildings you may want something wider. With a K-5 you may not necessarily need the fastest lens, a wider lens at f2.8 or f3.2 like the the DA21 will offer more coverage and DOF which may be preferable. I have seen some fantastic interiors in this forum with the DA14mm 2.8 but this is "way wide" of what you are considering.
The 43 is my favourite for family pictures indoors, in a decent size room its fine but I understand many finding it too long. It would be much the same story with the DA40 though.

Wide open with a head/shoulders shot from about 2m (1000x700mm frame) this will give you about 6" of DOF. With a 77mm you'd need to be nearly 4m from the subject for the same frame. Most will say the 77mm is the more flattering portrait lens but it was too long for what I like to do indoors.
I do like the way the FA43 renders skin tones, I dont have a 40 but found the DA35macro a bit "contrasty".

Focus speed is pretty quick with the FA43 but I'd wager the DA40 would probably be the fastest of all pentax lenses.


2) For FA77 or DA70,the cost decided this for me the as FA77 was well more than double the price I paid for my DA70.
What I like about the DA70 is that it is perfectly usable at wide open and right across the frame. I think most of my DA70 shots are f2.4-f2.8.
Looking at the test on PZ the 77 seems to be softer in the corners by comparison, but I doubt this effects its reputation as a portrait lens.
Some poeple say the DA70 shows too much detail (ie wrinkles) when used for portraits.

Again the 1 stop light advantage of the FA77 f1.8 over the DA70 2.4 is less significant with the high ISO performance of the K-5.
Of the 2 I would probably pick the DA70 for concerts etc as it's just as good for that purpose and is 1/2 the price.

I dont know if the AF throw of the 77 is longer then the 70 but the difference would not be great. FWIW I have always found the DA70 to be fast and accurate in AF in virtually any light conditions.

Good luck


Edit: The DA35 is a very sharp and very versatile lens. The focus throw is quite long of course because of the macro capability but it is still very quick to focus at medium distance because of the short throw in that range.

Jay ("jsherman999") considers the DA15, DA35macro & FA77 to be the ultimate 3 prime kit, and he ought to know.

Last edited by steve1307; 03-18-2012 at 06:02 AM. Reason: added DA35 comment
03-18-2012, 06:24 AM   #6
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thanks i think i have nailed it down to some extent
it will be
15mm,21mm or 35mm ltd,and the 70mm ltd. for portraits ill stick with my Tamron macro and my F 50mm f1.7

so the question is which of the two lenses (21 or 35mm )to get
03-18-2012, 06:40 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by nirVaan Quote
so the question is which of the two lenses (21 or 35mm )to get
Since you've got the DA 15, you can just crop from that to get the 21mm field of view,
so I wouldn't think that the DA 21 would be very useful for you.
The DA 35 Ltd, on the other hand, gives you whole new power!
03-18-2012, 07:27 AM   #8
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I think you were on the money with a 28mm, pity there is no DA28 f2.8 ltd (my wish is for a DA24 f2.8 ltd).

15 - 28 - 50 ?


Since you've already got an excellent macro lens in the Tamron 90 i wouldn't pick the DA35purely since it has macro abilities.
One thing about the DA35 is that right at 1:1 macro the lens element is almost touching the subject so is not so practical. Having said that, it is excellent for close-up "macro" and most other shooting as a one lens all purpose solution.

The DA15 has almost 2x the frame as the DA21 if you work it out, so the difference is significant. If you were to crop a DA15 frame to DA21 frame you would be chopping out 1/2 of the pixels.

The "gap" from 21 to 50mm is pretty big though. ( nearly 6 x the frame area )

Thinking, the other way, the "gap" from 15 to 35 is equally large ( nearly 6 x the frame area)


The DA21 seems to be favoured for street photography. Not that there is any hard and fast rules for street shooting (except don't use a 300mm because that seems to pervert-like). By getting in fairly close and using a moderately wider angle like the 21mm, it makes it seem that the viewer is actually part of the scene rather than standing back looking at a flat picture.
So if you like street and have the balls to get up close (which is pretty much unavoidable in Toyko i guess) then i'd go the 21mm.

If you are looking for a "normal" for your K-5 then go the DA35 (or the cheaper DA35 2.4 plastic fantastic if you aren't worried about its plastic body or lack of distance scale & no hood)



By the way: The tool i am using to work out the relative frame sizes and DOF calcuations is a handy free program called "Barnack"

find it here Barnack

03-18-2012, 07:58 AM   #9
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For a walk around lens then anything above 30mm is too long IMHO. So for me 15, 30 (or 28/31), 43 and 77 (you have the excellent Tamron 90 so ignore this one) is the perfect normal prime kit.

As far as the 43 & 77 are concerned they have been described as 2 of the best lenses ever made (also as has the 31).

However I doubt that for most people there will be a noticeable difference in the images that would justify the difference in price. It's just whether you want to savour the FA Ltd rush or not
03-18-2012, 11:07 AM   #10
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i'd personally go with FA43 + DA70 combo....FA43 for its rendering and sharpness, DA70 for better corners, quickshift and compact size (not to mention better price), although FA77 is very good as well....
03-18-2012, 11:51 AM   #11
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Get all of them, of course! And all the other Limiteds. Hay, it's only money.

One approach: Get the FAs if you think Pentax will ever release a FF camera you'll want to buy. Get the DAs if you'll be happy with APS-C forever. NOTE: Only 4 of my 234 lenses are DAs.

Another approach: Get what you can afford. If you have cash for the FAs (and don't mind their bulk), grab them! If DAs better fit your budget (and you want smaller lenses), get those.
_________________________________

Another approach: Think about AOV differences. Here are some comparisons for nominal APS-C:

30mm - 53 degrees ('normal')
35mm - 47 deg
40mm - 41 deg
43mm - 39 deg
50mm - 34 deg

70mm - 24 deg
77mm - 22 deg
85mm - 20 deg

The differences between 40-43 and 70-77 are trivial. The difference between 40mm and your existing 50 is more noticeable, slightly -- like zooming-with-feet by one footstep or so. If you had a 35 as well as the 50, the 40 would be midway between them, one footstep in either direction. I'll suggest that a 35 may be more useful to you than a 40 or 43.

And at the other end, those 70-77-85 differences are even more trivial. Going from 70-85mm is a very short footstep. The 70 would give you slightly more image to crop. Does that matter? YMMV.
_________________________________

Are the IQ differences between these Limiteds significant except when pixel-peeping tripodded shots? Are their AF-speed-accuracy differences significant? I can't help there. Good luck!
03-18-2012, 02:17 PM   #12
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In FA43 vs DA40 I'd get the FA43 easy. The DA40 is too slow @ 2.8 for that focal length.

In DA70 vs FA77, well on paper the FA77 is better. In practice when I have to get the shot I pull out my DA70; awesome IQ, off the scale sharp, fast, reliable and accurate AF, fast enough aperture (just). With the FA77 I am just as likely to walk away with nothing as I am to walk away with a 5 star shot.
03-18-2012, 02:48 PM   #13
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To a large extent, this comes down to a debate about the relative merits of the FA and DA Limited series. I prefer the former for their silky smooth rendering along with excellent sharpness. Others prefer the latter for their crisper, punchier rendering. So, the OP will have to decide this matter for himself. Given the options that he is considering, I don't think that he can go wrong with any of them.

Rob
03-19-2012, 08:10 AM   #14
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I have the 40 , 43, 77, tried the 70.

40 and 43; 43ltd w/o a doubt.
More DOF options. More chance of that nice 'pop' from its sharpness + shallow DOF + contrast + rendering under the right lighting
Faster.
Very very sharp.
They are rather similar in FL as to their versatility (ie. about 60mm equivalent), sort of like a long normal.
They can both be used in many walkabout situations with the only limitation being some wider views (eg. buildings; landscapes)
Candid shots of people seem to be more zoned in on the person than showing more context compared to a wider lens like 35mm or 24mm.
As a walkabout lens, I prefer a 24mm or 35mm. (ie. FA*24; FA35 or 31ltd), though I don't see myself as particularly handicapped with a 40/43 if I have a DA15 in the bag.


70 and 77; 77ltd.
I did not like it at all that the 70ltd started off at f2.4. Less speed, less DOF options to play with.
70ltd also did not do as well to throw the background nicely OOF above head to chest shots.
IMO, the 77ltd does better in that respect up to half body shots.
The 77ltd also seems to often produce a certain drawing (ie. outlining) of the subject, that, coupled with its contrasty o/p and rendering is what I feel makes a subject seem to 'pop'.
Both are better used outdoors due to working distance, though head shoulders shots can still be done indoors with them reasonably.
Small objects and head/shoulders shots, DA70 does as well as the FA77 in most respects.
03-19-2012, 08:51 AM   #15
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thank you guys for the info.deciding to get lenses is like getting addicted to sex.after lot of thinking i think i cant afford all the FA ltd (which i would love to have ) plus i don't think for a untrained eye there is much difference . so with taking cost , versatility and best possible IQ ,sharpness and bokeh in to consideration i have decided on this combo

15mm ltd
35mm ltd ( not sure abt it some say this is sharp some say this is not )
50mm 1.7
and decided to drop both DA 70 and FA 77 and get
DA* 50-135

heard DA* is some quality glass and produces images as good as the ltd primes . so i think this combo is the best i can afford. only concern is low light capabilities of these lenses and hope the k5 ISO strengths will come to my rescue
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