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02-01-2008, 02:23 PM   #1
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Limited's Question

What is it about the Limited Edition lenses that makes them so desireable?

They sure are expensive so I imagine its a 'you get what you pay for' kind of deal.

I would like to get to the point where my photos look as good as the ones you pro's takes but to me this is just a hobby.

Is it worth it for an amature to invest in those kinds of lenses?

I am getting myself more and more confused about what kind of lenses I should invest in.
Please help.

Thanks... Blake

02-01-2008, 02:33 PM   #2
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DA Limited lenses focus on portability with outstanding optics. FA Limited lenses focus on speed with outstanding optics. That's about it.
02-01-2008, 02:37 PM   #3
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well there are 2 sets of limiteds

the DA 21/40/70,

and the FA 31/43/77



the DA are new age, designed for the smaller digital sensors. Like almost any prime, their quality is very good, they are also the smallest primes on the planet, the DA40 in particular.

their only weakness is their speed, at f3.2 for the 21, and f2.8 for the 40 and 70

however this makes them cheap in the land of primes in general, as special glass techniques and construction is not required, and the ability to keep the size that they are.

and one nit pick to think about is that actualy USING lenses in anything less than 2.8 is niche photography, for most junk that people will be taking pictures off, the depth of field that results from 1.4~2.8 is so shallow that getting it right really is an art, so again, for the masses, apertures of 2.8 and up are very acceptable.


aslo the 3 focal lengths yield a good overall capture.


the FA line is older and is designed for film cameras, but they are top quality glass, covering about the same field of view as the DA line

they are all bigger however, this is the result for making them faster 1.9, 1.8 and 1.8 respectivly, and also why they cost more.

however still, in the grand scheme of things these lenses kill the competition for cost/performance and ergonomics.

particulary because Pentax decided to implement auto-focusing mechanisms and shake reduction in body, making these Primes.. well.. simply amazing! LOL



also shooting primes vs zooms is a question of approach and feel, personaly love to shoot with primes, even if constantly changing them is a hassle.

also remember that lenses, unless you drop them, will last forever and also hold their value pretty well, some even appreciate (like the FA20mm 2.8 )
02-01-2008, 02:45 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sprags Quote
What is it about the Limited Edition lenses that makes them so desireable?

They sure are expensive so I imagine its a 'you get what you pay for' kind of deal.

I would like to get to the point where my photos look as good as the ones you pro's takes but to me this is just a hobby.

Is it worth it for an amature to invest in those kinds of lenses?

I am getting myself more and more confused about what kind of lenses I should invest in.
Please help.

Thanks... Blake
Hi, Blake

I'm new too in this expensive hobby and I had the same question like you when I first got my K100D. Some people in the other forums gave me different opinions in regards of choosing 43mm Ltd or other good zooms from Pentax or other 3rd parties.
Finally, I went with 43 Ltd even though that means I lost the flexibility of zoom. I had no fund to buy more than 1 lenses so I had to make a big decision at that time.
I'm still in the beginner stage of photography but I can tell a good picture or not (I think).
After comparing the result of 43 Ltd with other lenses, now I can appreciate why they are so highly regarded. It's hard to appreciate it until you use and compare it yourself.
Sure it's not gonna make you a better photographer, but once you do I believe it's an amazing tool to use with.

My suggestion is just make sure what type of focal length that you like the most. That's one lesson that I learned after I got 43 Ltd. It's very useful for general purpose but a little bit too long for indoor low light. That's why now I'm saving for either 21Ltd or the new Tamron 17-50mm.

Hope this helps.

02-01-2008, 02:49 PM   #5
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I love primes, which is why I'm concentrating on getting the following lenses:

DA 14/2.8
DA 21/3.2 Limited
DA 35/2.8 Macro Limited
DA 40/2.8 Limited
DA 70/2.4 Limited
D FA 100/2.8 Macro

Apparently, Pentax is going to release a DA 15 Limited as well. If it keeps with the small size of other lenses in this series, then I'm definitely going to drop the DA 14 and go for it. Then it's onto the FA Limiteds, the DA* primes, and the DA* zooms.
02-01-2008, 10:15 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by tux08902 Quote
I love primes, which is why I'm concentrating on getting the following lenses:

DA 14/2.8
DA 21/3.2 Limited
DA 35/2.8 Macro Limited
DA 40/2.8 Limited
DA 70/2.4 Limited
D FA 100/2.8 Macro

Apparently, Pentax is going to release a DA 15 Limited as well. If it keeps with the small size of other lenses in this series, then I'm definitely going to drop the DA 14 and go for it. Then it's onto the FA Limiteds, the DA* primes, and the DA* zooms.
I do like that 35 macro. May have to check it out when it arrives on the scene.
http://a.img-dpreview.com/news/0801/pentax/pentax_35_28.jpg
02-02-2008, 10:13 PM   #7
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Limited lenses are definitely worth it!

I just got the 43 a little over a month ago and I'm just beginning to realize how amazing of a lens it is in terms of IQ. I'm including an example of a shot that I took today to show you what I mean. All the PP I had to do with this shot was lighten it a little--no sharpening needed.

To me, I'm still fairly new to the DSLR world, but I've already come to understand that quality lenses really do enhance your enjoyment of photography. With that, I've decided to focus more on quality, rather than quantity. My next lens purchase will be the 21, and then a dedicated macro (I'm leaning towards the FA 100/2.8 at this point). Even though I have a really good vintage-80s F70-210, I still may eventually pick up the DA70 to fill the gap between the 43 and 100. If I get the 21 and later decide that I want to go wider, then I'm open to that idea, as well--I'm also curious about the 15--I wonder how much it's going to cost.

One suggestion that I'll make that might help you determine whether you prefer zooms or primes is to pick up a couple of cheap primes--say a 28 or 35mm + a 50mm (specifically the A50/2). Make a point to use both primes and zooms and see which ones you use more often. Once you've figured that out, you can start building your collection of higher quality glass with confidence.

HTH,
Heather

Last edited by heatherslightbox; 02-16-2008 at 06:03 AM.
02-02-2008, 10:23 PM   #8
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@Gooshin - Hey, that was a great explanation you gave back there!

I own only one lens, and that's the 40/2.8 Limited. It's a great lens. I bought my K100D just several months ago without the kit lens and opted for the 40/2.8 Limited instead. I'm very satisfied with the low-light performance, image quality and how tiny this "pancake" is. Of course, I'm now missing out on the flexibility of a zoom and the wide-angle perspective, but it's all good. I think I'm just going to go "prime-ate" and buy the 14mm or the soon-to-be-released 15mm as my next lens.

I wonder what the max aperture of the 15mm Limited is going to be... and when it's coming out.

Would anyone know where the "sweet spot" of these primes usually are? I was thinking around f5.6?

02-02-2008, 10:48 PM   #9
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hwblanks, my next purchase is going to be the DA 21/3.2 Limited as well. I have the F 50/1.7, so there is no point in getting a normal prime right now. When I cover the other ranges, I'll buy the DA 40/2.8.
02-04-2008, 12:08 PM   #10
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OK...I was almost set on getting a faster fixed aperture standard zoom like the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8...but I think I'm now convinced that primes are the way to go.

I currently have the 18-55 kits lens and since Circuit City has the 50-200mm telephoto zoom on sale for $159 I decided that that would be a good purchase at this time.

But I also think that for the money the 50mm f/1.4 is a great choice so I'm going to go for that one as well as well as the 21 in the next few weeks.
02-04-2008, 01:55 PM   #11
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What a great topic...Now I will chime in with my 2 cents worth and that is about all my opinion is worth...

For me, I only have two primes. The 50 f1/4 and the 77Limited F/1.8...
I hardly ever use them..The 77 I use stricklty for portraits and the 50 for walking around during evening hours but not really...

But as far as quality Goes, I also have the Tamron 28-75 F/2.8, the da*16-50 F/2.8 (yes, I finally got a good one) and the DA*50-135 F/2.8...All three of these zooms give nothing away what so ever in quality and really not even in low light...Because these zooms will maintain constant apertures, I see no difference in speed or quality...These zooms of today are pretty amazing....So for me, I do not think I will be buying anymore Primes...I just do not see a reason to...
02-04-2008, 03:11 PM   #12
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Except there IS a difference in speed between an f/2.8 zoom and a FAST prime. I agree that the high-end zooms are very close in quality to the excellent primes, but super fast they are not.

Your FA 50mm f/1.4 is TWO stops faster than your zooms. If you don't see that, then you're right, you don't need to buy any more primes.

QuoteOriginally posted by jgredline Quote
Because these zooms will maintain constant apertures, I see no difference in speed or quality...These zooms of today are pretty amazing....So for me, I do not think I will be buying anymore Primes...I just do not see a reason to...
02-04-2008, 03:12 PM   #13
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Great topic. I have this conversation often with a friend of mine. He likes zooms and sees no reason (in this day & age) to go the prime route. I want to go primes, but for me it's a bit different. I don't do photography as a business, but as something I enjoy. I find that shooting primes forces me to think about things more. I need to remember what the scene will look like in either of my two lenses, and then capture that with my camera. It takes longer (then with a zoom), but I find that it works for me. Here is a shot with my DA 70. Tried framing it with my 50, but it just did not work as well.

02-04-2008, 03:17 PM   #14
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Yep, composing becomes different with a zoom vs. a prime. With a zoom, you can just "zoom" in and change your focal length to get "closer" to your subject. With a prime, you keep the same focal length and move closer, altering the perspective. The following picture was taken with my FA 35mm f/2.0. If I had a zoom, I would have just "zoomed" in to 50mm or so, but being "stuck" with 35mm, I had to move my position closer to the doggie.
02-04-2008, 03:29 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by egordon99 Quote
Except there IS a difference in speed between an f/2.8 zoom and a FAST prime. I agree that the high-end zooms are very close in quality to the excellent primes, but super fast they are not.

Your FA 50mm f/1.4 is TWO stops faster than your zooms. If you don't see that, then you're right, you don't need to buy any more primes.
I understand that the F/1.4 is quicker than the 2.8, but in my case, I don't shoot at F/1.4 because I find the lens to soft wide open..But yes, they are faster...
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