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02-13-2008, 12:32 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
I asked the same questions when I saw these primes of similar focal lengths first time in pentax catalogue. After owning quite a few of these lenses, they all behave differently. Eventhough I thought pentax could be stupid here but these lens options are really great for "something different". For example, 31 mm ltd renders something different for protrait. 43mm ltd gives rather interesting mood around f2.2 to f4. Da 40mm gives you that thin pancake build for light weight.

Da* 30 is hopefully intended to be aimed at f1.4 or maybe f1.8 to replace Fa 31 ltd. Da 35mm f2.8 macro is for copy work. They all have their intended purposes and targeted users.

For landscape, it is not always about how wide you can go. The wider the harder to get a good landscape. Limited crop with some tighter lens can be of use too. Recently I have used Fa 31 ltd to get the following shots (no crop at all)

Regarding how fa 31 ltd could be used in a landscape shots. These are taken in a day's trip. It is not bad at all!

The fun is that fa 31 ltd is small. Usuaully I take 2 primes for a small trip. It lightens the load and gives you the flexibility to adapt to a range of apertures.
Exactly, well said and presented. Kudos and I would love to get my hands on fa 31 ltd, they seem to be a hard find. They do actually capture the moment.

Last edited by WendyB; 02-13-2008 at 12:37 AM.
01-22-2009, 12:56 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
and people always fight over the M/A/FA 50's always trading the 1.4 for the 1.7 and vice versa.
So when I found a mint condition M 50 f/1.7 (attached to an old film body) at my local, small camera shop, and the guy sold it to me for $40, that was a good deal?
01-22-2009, 02:19 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by azcavalier Quote
So when I found a mint condition M 50 f/1.7 (attached to an old film body) at my local, small camera shop, and the guy sold it to me for $40, that was a good deal?
As long as it comes off.


Currently, that's my 50 though, and I like it's personality, though I haven't used it as much since the switch to digital. Paid $100 for it about 10 years ago! That was before eBay though
01-22-2009, 02:28 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Finn Quote
I was thinking about this, and if you want to see a system with a lot of focal length overlap, look no farther than Leica. They have a 35/1.4, 35/2, 50/1.0, 50/1.4, 50/2, 50/2.8...
I guess when you're stuck with supporting a limited set of framelines in the viewfinder you probably shouldn't offer 28, 30, 31, 35, 40, 43, 45, 50, 55...

01-22-2009, 03:06 PM   #35
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Roentarre, I am hoping it to replace A* 85/1.4 in terms of image rendering ability (I sold my Fa* 85 f1.4 since it is just bulky and acting similar to my fa 77 ltd).

Don't do it you will regret losing her (A*85/1.4) and she's getting harder to find when you want to replace her.

Last edited by Kerrowdown; 01-22-2009 at 03:11 PM.
01-22-2009, 03:28 PM   #36
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You can never have enough fast portrait primes.

01-22-2009, 03:48 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by FastPhotography Quote
What is the big hype about getting 30mm to 80mm primes? I can understand why somebody would want a 50mm/1.4 or 1.8 for low light shooting, but also a 31mm and a 77mm and a 71mm and a 40mm and a 65 and a 41 and a 55 and so on just seems like overkill (except you, portrait shooters)..
It is all about perspective!

01-22-2009, 04:02 PM   #38
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or to put it another way, "if you have to ask..."

01-22-2009, 05:03 PM   #39
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I think the wide range of choices in Pentax primes is a main reason for LBA. Before, on my manual OM, i only had 1 focal length --50mm (okay I did have a 50mm f1.8, and a f1.2) 1 "normal lens" was good enough for me. The OM lenses are small, light, fast, good quality and cheap.

now the crop factor makes me rethink what would be a "normal lens" for me, and all these choices are great, and can be bewildering.
01-22-2009, 05:33 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
or to put it another way, "if you have to ask..."
That is exactly what I was thinking after reading the OP's message.

If you have to ask why - you don't get it...and that's OK.

I don't get zoom lenses, or enjoy using them. That's just me.

01-22-2009, 06:14 PM   #41
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Both primes and zooms have a place in my bag. Of course fast zooms (constant 2.8) are convenient, but their drawback is that they're heavy. The primes definitely have the advantage when it comes to weight, that's for sure. Unless your LBA tendencies lean towards wanting to own 1 of every FL lens possible , a few high-quality primes in the focal lengths that you use the most will be good additions to your bag.

01-22-2009, 06:20 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by FastPhotography Quote

Also, why do you need a 41mm when there's a 50mm? Or a 50mm when there's a 55mm? The difference is so minimal...

Only in field of view. Different optical formulas produce different characteristics in the rendering of the image. Its like asking why Lambourghini bothers to make so many models of sports cars when one Ford will drive you all the way to Albuquerque.

But to give you a specific answer from one who has (and carries) several near overlapping lenses - here's a tight focal length cross-over section that I regularly carry and why:

clump 1 (note, most shots pertain to current weather conditions)

Voigtlander Nokton 58/1.4 --- very smooth oof, very soft diffusion around focal plane can blend subject into the background, painterly bokeh, very artistic. Also very sharp in focal plane.

Cosina 55/1.2 --- totally different oof rendering to Nokton or Takumar, larger, clipped bokeh highlights can give a radial blur effect in some situations and is susceptible to the highlight rings that lead to this. Not particularly sharp wide open, is quite gentle for portrait type shots.

Takumar 50/1.4 --- most intelligible focal plane, not much diffusion, best for strong contrast between subject and background. I use this lens also for obviously polygonal bokeh highlighting (hex in this case, a personal favorite)

clump 2

Zeiss Jena 75/1.5 Biotar --- quite sharp at is focal point but creates a very strong radial swirling in oof areas. Also has an older, vintage look (hard to describe).

Schneider Componon 80/5.6 --- used in a homemade tilt housing, very sharp, no fringing at all - technically a very strong lens.

Zeiss T*85/1.4 Planar --- Mottled, oily bokeh totally resistant to bokeh highlighting. Bokeh always plays nice and supports the subject, quite predicatable lens and very sharp from wide open (albiet in a razor thin focal plane). Does diffuse around the focal plane to give a softened look to subjects at wide aperture, great portrait lens.

Voigtlander Lanthar 90/3.5 --- Similar to the Takumar in its low diffusion, this (indeed all) Lanthars are critically sharp. Probably the sharpest lens I've used. Good for very literal shooting, less artistic. If your subject wants to be the only thing you notice, this is the transparent master.

Meyer-Gorlitz 100/2.8 Trioplan --- early three element lens design leading to poor corrections for optical problems tackled by all modern surviving lens formulas... which lends it desirability to me. It doesn't look like everything else. Severe susceptibility to bokeh highlighting and with overpowering donut rings (spherical aberration). Lots of diffusion wide open, sharpness takes a hit at 2.8 as a result, but thats not why I put this lens on my camera. Interestingly, things were different back in the 50's. It was more common it seems to apochromatically correct glass and have more complicated (read: expensive) aperture mechanisms. As such, for all its failings this lens does not fringe in the least and has 15 blades in its aperture for those particular about round highlights at all apertures.

I suppose some will understand this, others will not - but this is why I do it.


Last edited by thePiRaTE!!; 01-22-2009 at 06:37 PM.
01-22-2009, 08:13 PM   #43
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^ good post. That pretty much explains it.

01-22-2009, 08:24 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Regarding how fa 31 ltd could be used in a landscape shots. These are taken in a day's trip. It is not bad at all!
Great shots, but you really need to clean that sensor.
01-22-2009, 08:36 PM   #45
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Great overview, Kelly. I'd really like to see some larger versions of those Tak and Cosina 55 shots.

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