Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
07-21-2012, 02:58 AM   #1
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Flyover America
Posts: 4,475
What lens really works best for you?

Doing my annual hard drive clean up. Have all my pics going back to the old DL (2005) on it.

Anyway I have a folder where I keep all my best pics through the years. I sorted this list of pics by lens used.
I was somewhat surprised by what lens was most used - the FA35 F/2. I have a middling collection of glass below 300mm with the only
other lens comparable is my Zeiss Planar 50mm f/1.4 ZK. I dont use the Zeiss much and prefer the FL of 35mm
for most work. Also at F/2 I swear the FA35 is at least as good as the Zeiss at F/2 if not better. Also I like the color
I get out of the FA35 - very neutral and natural to my eyes.

I should say I do a lot of wildlife and bird photography using very long glass but that just isn't comparable to the
more normal FLs below 300mm.

Ignoring the logic behind this I guess I'm implying that the best lens is the one that gives you the best pictures. By "best"
I don't mean merely the best technically but also esthetically - that is the total visual experience of the image. Hell given this
it could be the kit lens for all I know.

Anyway, ignoring all the mystique about lens', and going by just your best pictures do you have one particular lens
that seems to stand out as being the most used for your best pics?

07-21-2012, 03:07 AM   #2
Banned




Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: NY/Germany
Posts: 1,183
Nearly everything I do is on the FA35 f2. Great lens. Was not cheap, but it was worth it. My second lens is now the M85 f2. Sadly, I don't use my f50 1.7 as much as I'd like, but it has served its purpose several times over during parades and such.

A lot of examples in my blog, particularly the two festivals/parades and the two guys sitting on the couch.

Some say it's not as good as the FA31, which I don't mind. It works for me and was 1/5 the price.

The M85 is a superb lens as well and I got it for a steal, needing minor work on the secondary aperture linkage, which was easy to perform.
07-21-2012, 04:31 AM   #3
Site Supporter
rbefly's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Denver, Colorado
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,030
Works Best or Best Work?

Hello Wildman, interesting question!
If you take the price (Heck, I paid 9000 bucks for this thing, it better be good!), reputation (brutally sharp at f/2.8, blinding at f/4!!), nostalgia (I bought this with my 1908 steam-powered rangefinder, it's been a workhorse ever since!) and scarcity (been waiting 23 years, never even SEEN one, now I've got it!) out of the equation, eliminate the special-use factor (Macros, Super-long teles, etc), you're left with...my favorite lens, or the lens that was used on my best (read: favorite) photos.
Gotta go with the M 85mm f/2.0.
Oh, it's got flaws, not just one, either. Very hard to focus properly (new screen, new screen!) bokeh gets swirlly/squirrelly above f/4.0 and it's manual aperture, manual focus or "Auto-Nothing", as I like to say.
But when you nail everything, it's capable of absolutely stunning portraits, detail, skin tones, bokeh (wide-open or nearly so) with those beautiful "rings" or fuzzy glowing circles, color rendition and contrast.
Small and compact, perfect stealth or street lens (looks like a fifty) and while they command $200-$300 on the used market, you'll never, that's NEVER, sell it.
JMO
Ron
07-21-2012, 06:32 AM   #4
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2011
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,703
QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
do you have one particular lens
that seems to stand out as being the most used for your best pics?
No, I'm not that monogamous with my lenses.

07-21-2012, 06:54 AM   #5
Pentaxian
liukaitc's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New York
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,005
zoom lens work best for me
07-21-2012, 07:34 AM   #6
Pentaxian
Sagitta's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Maine
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,927
Checking my Lightroom metadata for the lenses I've used, "K or M" has about 15,000 shots.

Further breaking these down, 3,000 were shot at 28mm (making those my Sears macro), 5,000 at 50mm (making those mostly the Sears 1.7), 4,000 at 135mm (which makes a mix of my Sears 135mm,or, most likely, my Sears 75-260 set at the halfway mark for SR reasons) with the remaining 3,000 or so shot at various other lengths which means they were probably shot on my 75-260 as well. I don't touch my 400mm and 500mm Quantaray Tube-of-Dooms enough really to count them. in the totals.

As far as autofoucus, I have about 7,000 shots with my Sigma 70-300, 6,200 on the DA 18-55 kit, and 3,500 on my FA 28-90.

This means my two most 'common' lenses are the Sigma and the old Sears zoom. If I had to choose one of those two as far as pixie dust goes, it'd be the Sears by a landslide.

So, which surprises me, the lens that 'works best for me' would be my Auto Sears 75-260 f/4.5 close focus, as that's obviously my 'go to' lens when I don't need autofocus or a 'fast' lens.

That said, my best 'holy smokes' pixie dust lens? That would be the lowly 18-55mm kit. It has cranked out by far the best shots when I've needed them and holds half of the top 10 'most interesting' flickr shots I've uploaded.

Which now has inspired me to go in and pick my 'best shot from each lens', but I think that may warrant a seperate thread. :-D
07-21-2012, 07:38 AM   #7
Veteran Member
ihasa's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: West Midlands
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,054
I took my kit lens out for a spin on thursday. Ugh, lets just say the kit lens is not topping my list! I guess my two stalwarts are the F35-70 and DA15mm. The latter has it's foibles, but used at f8-f11, it's always good. The former complements the DA15mm for slightly longer focal lengths in a tiny package, making a really compact 2 lens set up for a day out. I have the DA35 f2.4, which is also always good, but the DA15mm gets my top spot.
07-21-2012, 08:02 AM   #8
Pentaxian
Sagitta's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Maine
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,927
QuoteOriginally posted by ihasa Quote
I took my kit lens out for a spin on thursday. Ugh, lets just say the kit lens is not topping my list! I guess my two stalwarts are the F35-70 and DA15mm. The latter has it's foibles, but used at f8-f11, it's always good. The former complements the DA15mm for slightly longer focal lengths in a tiny package, making a really compact 2 lens set up for a day out. I have the DA35 f2.4, which is also always good, but the DA15mm gets my top spot.
I think in my case, I tend to use my kit in odd ways. I tend to do a lot of long exposure night shots, and the 18-55 seems to excel at dragging out colors in those situations. When I pick up the K-30 come wintertime, I'll probably grab either the 18-135 or a yet-to-be-determined DA* to go with it, so it could wind up being overshadowed, but I have absolutely no complaints about the kit. Its done this for me...










07-21-2012, 09:13 AM   #9
Pentaxian




Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Eureka, CA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,938
The FA 24-90, a lens I purchased back in April for late Spring trip to the northern Rockies, has become, much to my surprise, the lens that has worked best for me. Since I added it to my stable of lenses, it accounts for nearly half of the images I have rated three stars or better — and its competing with nine other lenses, including lenses that share focal length. I suspect the reason for this is that the lens covers focal ranges that, while I like to visit them on occasion, are not where I want to remain for any extended period. I can shoot all day at 20mm or 28mm, but my 35mm or 50mm primes simply won't stay on the camera for long. The ability to move about these focal ranges and still be able to go as wide as 24mm has proved immensely convenient. And the lens, despite some imperfections (i.e., considerable field curvature at the wide end, loss of resolution combined with focus issues on the long end, build quality issues), it's capable of stunning images. It's prime good in the middle of the zoom.
07-21-2012, 09:20 AM   #10
Pentaxian
Sagitta's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Maine
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,927
QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
The FA 24-90, a lens I purchased back in April for late Spring trip to the northern Rockies, has become, much to my surprise, the lens that has worked best for me. Since I added it to my stable of lenses, it accounts for nearly half of the images I have rated three stars or better and its competing with nine other lenses, including lenses that share focal length. I suspect the reason for this is that the lens covers focal ranges that, while I like to visit them on occasion, are not where I want to remain for any extended period. I can shoot all day at 20mm or 28mm, but my 35mm or 50mm primes simply won't stay on the camera for long. The ability to move about these focal ranges and still be able to go as wide as 24mm has proved immensely convenient. And the lens, despite some imperfections (i.e., considerable field curvature at the wide end, loss of resolution combined with focus issues on the long end, build quality issues), it's capable of stunning images. It's prime good in the middle of the zoom.
I love my 28-90 for similar reasons. It feels like it'll fall apart in my hands (so very, very light and plasticy) but it covers an very nice range. Its partly why I'm on the fence about grabbing the 18-135 come winter. It would effectively eliminate the need for the kit lens AND the 28-90 from my bag, and add weather sealing to boot.
07-21-2012, 09:27 AM   #11
Veteran Member
magkelly's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,905
I tend to use my kit and my digital 75-300mm lenses the most. I do mostly close up work, taking pics of small objects for my stores, portraits, and nature shots so that does it fairly well for me. But I shoot all over range-wise. I can't get by with just one 38, 35, 50 or a 135, 200 or whatever. I don't use a wide angle all that much but otherwise I do need to be able to stretch from 28-300.
07-21-2012, 12:13 PM   #12
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,097
I just took a look at my personal favs set on Flickr and it is pretty much a mixed bag. For the record, the FA 35/2 is almost always mounted to my K10D and is well-represented in the favs gallery, at least for the shots done with that camera. Beyond that it is a mixed bag with the Zenitar 16/2.8 Fisheye leading the pack and the 18-55 kit and KMZ Helios 58/2 also being prominent.

I case anyone is interested...Personal Favorites - a set on Flickr


Steve
07-21-2012, 02:23 PM   #13
Pentaxian
hoanpham's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Strand
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,365
No, not a single lens. I pick up one, and adjust myself after that one.
28-135 is most used focal, but also 15-24 and 150-300, 400, 500, and with tc 1.4x or 2x
07-21-2012, 09:12 PM   #14
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Flyover America
Posts: 4,475
Original Poster
Interesting. So far no Limiteds mentioned but zooms are well represented along with the kit lens.

So far as zooms are concerned I think Greg expressed it well:

QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
I suspect the reason for this is that the lens covers focal ranges that, while I like to visit them on occasion, are not where I want to remain for any extended period. I can shoot all day at 20mm or 28mm, but my 35mm or 50mm primes simply won't stay on the camera for long. The ability to move about these focal ranges and still be able to go as wide as 24mm has proved immensely convenient.
Just my opinion - I think when you are taking pictures and concentrating on the potential image in front of you rather than the gear you happen to be using at the time the zoom has a big advantage of getting out of your way and allowing the photographer to concentrate on visualizing the image. At the end of the day, all else being equal, I think a zoom is a more creative tool than a prime. Of course primes still have a technical advantage but even this is fading fast.

Speaking of primes:
A quick and dirty shot taken this morning under very low light with the FA35 - F2, handheld, ISO 800, K20

Last edited by wildman; 08-13-2012 at 11:39 PM.
07-21-2012, 11:26 PM   #15
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: central Singapore
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 409
FA24-90, M28/3.5, Sigma 17-70
Other lenses have produced very good shots, perhaps technically better in some cases, but these are the ones I have felt most attuned to (despite owning various DA and other primes and a motley collection of other stuff)
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
300mm, f/2, fa35, glass, k-mount, lens, pentax lens, pics, pictures, slr lens, zeiss
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Old film AF lens works on new k-x DSLR? Dairylander Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 8 06-25-2011 10:17 AM
Pentax M Lens works on Kx? DA L lens works on Vivitar 2X Macro Teleconverter? Kenneth3aracing Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 6 05-06-2011 08:54 AM
Verifying that old Pentax-A prime lens (setting aperture) works ok robroy Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 3 02-16-2011 02:45 PM
What kind of lens works with a ZX-60? Dippy Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 5 01-16-2011 07:44 PM
kx photo with 55-300mm lens af works,but as a newbe to manual focus litboat Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 4 11-07-2010 05:04 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:27 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top