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01-03-2007, 03:05 AM   #1
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Help me to choose which lenses to buy

I am about to buy the K10D, but first I want to buy some lenses. By now, I have the A 50 f1,4 and the F 300 f4,5. I am into landscape and wildlife, especially wildflowers.

Back when I was using film, my most used lenses on the wide side were 24 and 35 mm, so I would like to have 16 and 24 s they are the corresponding lenght on APS-C.

As for job I do a lot of big enlargment (for wayside and museum exhibits), I would like to have the highest resolution possible. As I shoot mainly on mountains, I would like also to keep my gear as compact as possible. I am evaluating the following composition:

1) Pentax primes: DA 14 and DA 21. Really too pricey (I couldn't buy both of them at the same time), far from the exact lenght I would like, I like the hyperfocal scale that I used a lot back in film days.

2) Other primes: a Zenitar 16, that defished gives a nice panorama format, and a old 24mm 2,8 Pentax available at a near shop. Would the quality be much lower than the above lenses?

3) DA 16-45. How would compare with the two solution above, quality wise, cosidering especially resolution?

4) Sigma 17-70 Macro. While I usually prefer Pentax lenses, and it doesn't reach exactly 16 mm, this range AND the nearly 1:2 macro feature would made this lens perfect for my kind of shooting. With this and the 300, I would cover all my needs. But I wonder if its quality would equal, again giving much importance to resolution, the 16-45.

I know the real answer would be using medium format, but for my kind of work, with usually small budget, is not an acceptable option.

01-03-2007, 03:38 AM   #2
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Nice lenses you are starting out with

Actually I think your question is pretty easy to answer if what you want is the 16-24 range in the best quality you can get without buying both the DA21 and DA14....

Either the Pentax 16-45/4 or the Sigma 17-70/4 are good choices, resolution wise they are both good and are about on par with each other, obviously the sigma has a better reach but the Pentax has less vignetting and distortion.. But my suggestion to you is the Pentax DA12-24/4... It is a decent step up from either of the before mentioned zooms, including in regards to corner/edge resolution... The Zenitar is a nice lens but after ptlens correction I really doubt you would be satisfied, I liked it but my Sigma 10-20 EX is better, even before correction let alone after ptlens correction which will degrade the image...

Last edited by joele; 01-03-2007 at 03:48 AM.
01-03-2007, 08:35 AM   #3
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Thanks a lot for the answer, I will seriously consider the 12-24.

Again, if I would a prime-only set, and would buy just one wideangle, would the DA 21 be noticeably better than the 16-45? And what about the Sigma 20 and 24 f/1,8?
01-03-2007, 01:42 PM   #4
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Yes I sold my DA16-45 as I prefer to just carry my FA35 and DA21 around, the 16-45 was a good lens though... The distortion I think is actually slightly higher for the DA21 (must be the size) but not a big issue unless your an architect? However resolution wise the DA21 is better especially noticable in corner/edge resolution (which I generally expect from a prime)..

Actualy the DA21 I bought as a replacement to my Sigma 20/1.8 which I sold.. It was also a VERY nice lens, a bit soft at 1.8 but sharp from 2.2 onwards.. The main problem I had with the Sigma 20/1.8 is the size and weight.. I found for such a wide angle I didn't really need f1.8 so I upgraded to the much smaller DA21..

I've owned too many lenses LOL...

01-03-2007, 08:36 PM   #5
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Hi eurostar

If you don't mind 3rd party lenses, Sigma has got a 24mm/1.8. And if you don't mind manual focus, there are a few 16mm/17mm MF lenses made by other manufacturers. I have got a Tokina 17mm/3.5.

I got DA16-45/4 from Joele and I have been very happy with it. But the barrel distortion at 16mm is quite noticeable if you take architecture/house interior shots.

cheers
Kenny
01-03-2007, 09:06 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by kjao Quote
I got DA16-45/4 from Joele and I have been very happy with it.
Glad you are enjoying it..
01-06-2007, 05:44 AM   #7
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I don't do many architecture shot, as I am a nature landscape/wildlife photographer.

I am very undecided at the moment, as I have noticed the presence of a 17-70 on the Pentax roadmap. As I have always been a Pentax original lenses guy, I think i will wait for it as my all-purpose zoom. Even if it would not be a f/2,8 lens, I would still be happy. Ideal for me would be a frontal diameter small enough to fit the Nikon two-elements close up diopters, as I found that they give a lot better results for macro than the macro position (or close up capability) of zoom lenses.

Waiting for that lens, which is stated for late 2007, or even more late, I am thinking about buying a prime, and the 21 I guess will be the candidate. For some time I will stitch to get superwide performance. 21-50-300 and macro tubes will be my all purpose outfit for at least a year.
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