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06-03-2012, 08:36 PM   #16
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Looking at your lenses collection, it makes me wonder if you are pro 'zoom'.
I am a prime user but i dislike changing lenses. I have FA31 and FA77 for my K5. I do wish i have two K5 and not having to change lenses. I use a 50Lux in between.
The prime lenses are more portable than your zoom and allowing shallow DOF.
If your type of photography allows frequent changing of lenses, go for the primes.
May i suggest you try changing your lenses (shoot at FL 50 on 16-50 zoom and 80 on your 50-135 zoom) and see if that suits you if you only have one K5. Yes, the possibly of it becoming redundant is real if you don't like changing lenses.

Enjoy!

06-03-2012, 09:51 PM   #17
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> DA* 16-50 I DA* 50-135 I DA* 60-250 I DA 55-300 I DA 100mm Macro WR I Sigma 8-16

Nice collection. You have portrait length well covered. Portrait length doesn't need super thin DOF, f/2.8 is shallow enough. What's missing for me in your kit is a fast normal, for low light shooting indoors. The 16-50 is soft wide open, and f/2.8 is not fast enough in some circumstances. My clear choice given your kit would be an f/2 lens, between 28 and 35mm. Something that's sharp wide open, like the FA 35 or FA 31.

Last edited by audiobomber; 06-04-2012 at 04:39 AM.
06-04-2012, 12:58 AM   #18
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The 55 and the 77 are different focal lengths.
I'd say, buy based on the working distance you will have and the type of portraits you will be doing. (ie. head, head+chest, 1/2 body, full body)

Though I don't have the DA55ltd, I do have a Takumar 55/1.8 and Revuenon 55/1.2, to me they loose their magic (shallow DOF effect) for more than 1/2 body shots and are at their best for head, head+chest shots. Perhaps from above 2m focusing distance.
To get a better subject isolation shallow DOF effect longer focal lengths do better. The 77ltd will still do pretty well for half body and full body (much better than 55mm), but for full body, 85mm or above usually works better.
With the longer focal lengths, you'd need to stand further of course, and that's not always possible indoors.

As mentioned by RioRico, sharpness is the least to worry about. Lighting, subject pose, bkground and perhaps even PP would stack more highly to me than sharpness.
Most good lenses are sharp enough at wide open anyway.

Other than the size of the DA*50-135, I'd say that it can do portraits very well and be more versatile than 55ltd and 77ltd with its range of focal lengths.
06-04-2012, 11:29 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
Just looking at that pic makes me think to myself, one think Pentax could do to differentiate themselves from other camera companies, include a Damn aperture ring on their lenses. You don't realize how much you miss them until they are gone.(
Wouldn't help unless they also incorporated the necessary mechanism on the camera body to allow full use of the aperture ring. And it still seems rather as waste to me, as most exposure modes require you to leave the thing in "A" anyhow, and even in "M" mode, a second dial on the camera is just as fast/convenient.

06-05-2012, 12:35 AM   #20
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I have to agree with Marc here. The aperture operation from the body in HyP mode by rear (or forward) wheel is extremely convenient. Full exposure control is literally at one's fingertips. Whenever I have to shoot with my MZ-6 or MX it is a bit of pain in the neck to make the mental transfer from convenience of HyP to lack of shiftable program of MZ-6 and fully manual operation of MX. In fact, the fully manual operation is more mentally convenient than A-mode of MZ-6 that I am forced to use...
06-05-2012, 06:43 AM   #21
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I'm with cali92rs. You don't lose anything with the "A" setting on the aperture ring anyway,
but manual setting with the ring is a must if you're using most bellows or extension rings.
06-05-2012, 07:12 AM   #22
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I've never used a 77mm, so I'm pretty bias toward the 55mm.

It's probably my favorite lens. It gives me a lot of what the FA* 85mm f1.4 does, but in a smaller package. I often take the 55mm out because of that reason when I don't need an extreme level of full-body people shots with thin dof the 85 can provide. I mostly use prime lenses, so I use two cameras, quite often one with the 14mm and the other with the 55mm.

Your lens collection looks like it covers both the 77 and 55 alright. There would be some benefits to the larger apertures, but that is dependent on if you want or need that.




My real suggestion, like someone else already said, was to pick up something around 24-35mm. That would give you a normal focal length and would be the best all-rounder lens. Why Pentax has never released a DA* prime in that range I can't fathom.
06-05-2012, 12:58 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
pick up something around 24-35mm. Why Pentax has never released a DA* prime in that range I can't fathom.
At the long end of that range, they already have the FA 31 and two DA 35s.
But at the wide end, a DA* 24 f/2 would be great, something like the Zeiss 24/2 for Sony mount.

06-05-2012, 01:35 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
At the long end of that range, they already have the FA 31 and two DA 35s.
But at the wide end, a DA* 24 f/2 would be great, something like the Zeiss 24/2 for Sony mount.
My main point is that the DA* line is a set of lenses with unique properties such as a rugged exterior, advanced WR, and SDM. From my experience with the 55mm and 300mm, they also have a certain rendering to them that varies a bit to the other lines of lenses.

I agree with you. I think a FF capable DA* 24mm lens should have been in the lineup. The other lenses in the line just don't fill that role a DA* would fill even if focal lengths were close.
06-07-2012, 03:19 AM   #25
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Several similar threads before answer all your questions...
Sold my 77 for the 55. The 55 covers classic protrait angle, 77 is really long for protraits. 55 is a modern design including SDM, water resistance... The size of the 55 is still perfect (much smaller than a real 1.4/85 mm for full frame), the 77 is quite small and has the loudest focus engine I used in the last 10 years - besides the old Sigma 2.8/24 AF maybe.

One of your previous posts suggests that a dust proof lens is of great advantage for you, ..., only the 55 offers this feature. A DA* 24 mm companion is definitely missing in Pentax land. The lens shoud NOT be fuill frame!!! I want a wide angle retrofoucs lens that fits APS-C snesors. Much less distorion and better image quality is possible than for a FF lens. For the same reason the FA31 is NOT a good replacement for a normal angle lens on APS-C, but a very expensice wide angle that happens to crop to a normal angle. I only keep mine waiting for a full frame Pentax.

Last edited by zapp; 06-07-2012 at 03:24 AM.
06-07-2012, 05:23 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by zeitlos Quote
btw. I just saw that you're living in Bavaria. That's were I live, too. If you should happen to live more or less in my area maybe there's a change to meet so you can at least test the FA77 (and the FA43 and Sigma 85mm 1.4) with your camera if you want. Well, just a spontaneous idea if you feel like testing
That's fantastic! I live in Bamberg, however I won't be back until spring '13 - currently in Afghanistan. But when I return, we will definitely have to get together, and hopefully I have some lenses that you have been wanting to test drive. And the beer will be on me

QuoteOriginally posted by Zaphodmonster Quote
Hope these help man!
Those are EXACTLY what I have been looking for. I have NEVER come across any comparisons between the two, and also none of the 55's with hoods on and reversed, which for some reason I feared was not possible. Thank you so much. And it also made me realize - the 55 is extremely compact as well. Realistically, it's not much bigger than the 77. At least to me, it isn't...

QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
> DA* 16-50 I DA* 50-135 I DA* 60-250 I DA 55-300 I DA 100mm Macro WR I Sigma 8-16 Nice collection. You have portrait length well covered. Portrait length doesn't need super thin DOF, f/2.8 is shallow enough. What's missing for me in your kit is a fast normal, for low light shooting indoors. The 16-50 is soft wide open, and f/2.8 is not fast enough in some circumstances. My clear choice given your kit would be an f/2 lens, between 28 and 35mm. Something that's sharp wide open, like the FA 35 or FA 31.
Thank you very much - it has taken me a lot to acquire the lineup I currently have, and I am extremely proud of all the lenses - I have no qualms about using any of them - they are all gems in their own right. I really think you are onto something with the suggestion of a normal FL...

QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
My real suggestion, like someone else already said, was to pick up something around 24-35mm. That would give you a normal focal length and would be the best all-rounder lens. Why Pentax has never released a DA* prime in that range I can't fathom.
I'm starting to lean towards a normal FL. I don't know either - it is seriously lacking.

QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
My main point is that the DA* line is a set of lenses with unique properties such as a rugged exterior, advanced WR, and SDM. From my experience with the 55mm and 300mm, they also have a certain rendering to them that varies a bit to the other lines of lenses. I agree with you. I think a FF capable DA* 24mm lens should have been in the lineup. The other lenses in the line just don't fill that role a DA* would fill even if focal lengths were close.
And that is exactly what I am looking for - the durability and outstanding build quality of the DA * series. Agreed - the role is not just in the FL, but the total character of the lens.



And this is why I came to my next possible idea - the Sigma 30mm f/1.4. I just checked Tamron, and they don't offer anything in that FL that fast, however I think the 30 f/1.4 is what I would be most in need of.

I am most definitely leaning towards the 55 (although it's expensive as hell! I will probably try to find a slightly used copy for ~ $600 - I found one for ~550 that I regret not jumping on). The Sigma 30 1.4 (because I can't justify the cost of the 31 ltd) started to grab my attention. It's just I don't know anything about its build quality (I don't understand why Sigma has an EX line that is their "pro line of high quality optics" and only a miniscule fraction have weather sealing), and I'm a bit angry at Sigma for once again neglecting Pentax by making it the only mount they offer that doesn't have HSM. For the same price, Canon and Nikon have HSM focusing, and to me, this is absolutely unacceptable and terrible business practice.

Gripes aside, what are your thoughts on the Sigma 30 f/1.4 if you have had any experience on it.

Much appreciated everyone!

-Heie
06-07-2012, 09:08 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Heie Quote
I'm starting to lean towards a normal FL. I don't know either - it is seriously lacking.
And that is exactly what I am looking for - the durability and outstanding build quality of the DA * series. Agreed - the role is not just in the FL, but the total character of the lens.
Same here. With APS-C, a 24mm would be really appealing. That's why I recently bought a used FA* 24mm lens. Although, I got burned a bit on the stated quality level. Turned out it has a bit of fungus inside I wanted gone an with my accidental damaging of two mount screws, it's making the lens as expensive as the over priced ones on ebay. Hopefully Erik of pentaxs.com will do a nice job on the lens... I'm certainly paying for my mistakes.

Had Pentax offered a DA* 24mm, there would have been no question what lens I would have bought. Part of the frustration with Pentax.



QuoteOriginally posted by Heie Quote
And this is why I came to my next possible idea - the Sigma 30mm f/1.4. I just checked Tamron, and they don't offer anything in that FL that fast, however I think the 30 f/1.4 is what I would be most in need of.
I'm sure some people here like the lens. I haven't personally used it. However, I do know someone who bought it and pretty promptly sold it. Look up the username RickyFromVegas on here and ask if you want to see why. I'm not sure, but I think he decided to stick with zoom lenses.



QuoteOriginally posted by Heie Quote
I am most definitely leaning towards the 55 (although it's expensive as hell! I will probably try to find a slightly used copy for ~ $600 - I found one for ~550 that I regret not jumping on). The Sigma 30 1.4 (because I can't justify the cost of the 31 ltd) started to grab my attention. It's just I don't know anything about its build quality (I don't understand why Sigma has an EX line that is their "pro line of high quality optics" and only a miniscule fraction have weather sealing), and I'm a bit angry at Sigma for once again neglecting Pentax by making it the only mount they offer that doesn't have HSM. For the same price, Canon and Nikon have HSM focusing, and to me, this is absolutely unacceptable and terrible business practice.
The 55mm is a good choice. The 31mm is expensive, but also a good choice. I like my 31mm a lot, but it isn't perfect.

How about going super cheap and getting a new DA 35mm f2.4 lens? It will give you the prime lens experience without the massive investment of a 31mm. There is also the FA 35mm f2 lens...
06-07-2012, 09:54 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
Had Pentax offered a DA* 24mm, there would have been no question what lens I would have bought. Part of the frustration with Pentax.
There are a couple of excellent MF solutions, if you can find them.
Cheaper and more compact: K or A 24/2.8.
More expensive, but maybe the ultimate on APS-C: Zeiss ZK 25/2.8.
06-07-2012, 10:34 AM   #29
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I should add here Sigma AF 24/2.8 Macro II which is a wonderful optic.
06-07-2012, 11:13 AM   #30
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The 55 gets realy huge with the hoodie.
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