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11-27-2012, 07:05 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by gooseta Quote
ok, i will consider the 100mm non-wr and the f4 manual. Honestly the 100mm f4 is so cheap I could just resell it if I feel the need for af.
I believe the f4 is only 1:2 macro, not 1:1 like the D FA.

QuoteOriginally posted by gooseta Quote
audiobomber, will a 300mmf4 with a 1.4x tc match the iq of the Sigma 150-500 at equiv. fl? Also what tc would you recommend?
I owned a Sigma 150-500 HSM OS for a couple of weeks. I was annoyed by the size, rings that turned the wrong way, zoom lock and creep. More importantly I found it soft at 500mm, so I returned it.

The A*300 with Kenko 1.5X met my standard (sharp at pixel level) and was not shorter in use than the Sigma. (The Sigma is an internal focus lens, loses range at distances below infiinty.) I like being able to use the primes at 300mm and f4 in lower light. MF is a handicap but livable. The biggest problem with the A*300 is that it throws CA at times.

The DA*300 is a beautiful lens, but focus is capricious with the Kenko TC, despite the PZ contacts. I'm told the Pentax 1.7X works well with either lens. It adds AF to the A*300, which is an interesting feature. although you have to pre-focus and I think you lose quick-shift focus on the DA*. Pentax shows a 1.4X TC in the roadmap, so hopefully it will be available in 2013.

There are also F* and FA*300 f/4.5's which work with the Pentax 1.7X or Kenko 1.5X (or the similar Tamron 1.4X), but they're almost as expensive as the DA*300.

11-27-2012, 07:40 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
That sounds like a great lineup (go for the 70-200mm, as it'll work well together with the 17-70mm).

Only thing is that there's no 150mm macro for Pentax (only Canon/Nikon) from Sigma.
Why does Pop Photo state differently(180 2.8 got a great review).
11-27-2012, 08:22 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by gooseta Quote
Yes, I didn't consider the tamron, I got wonderful macros with it on my sony, hopefully the price has kept falling.
I think I may just go for the 77/70 limited and if I feel the need for the 70-200 range pick up a 55-300? What do you guys think
My most used lenses include:

DA 17-70
FA 43
FA 77
DA 55-300

Obviously the weakest lens in the kit is the 55-300, but it also gets used the least. In it's defense, it is a great lens considering price / size and weight. I have no complaints regarding the sharpness of my copy and I like the color reproduction. I've had several different Sigma lenses which somewhat correlated to the FL (70 or 100 - 300) and wasn't pleased with any of them in comparison.
The FA 77 was one of my first Pentax purchases after the K10d. I consider it my most prized possession (in regards to camera equipment). I've used it to shoot every school portrait I've done, and it gets welded to a body for every wedding.

Just my opinion.
11-27-2012, 08:28 PM   #19
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The Pentax 100mm F 2.8 WR Macro is rated very highly by Popular Photography magazine. It is weather sealed, metal bodied and at 100mm could also double as a very good portrait lens.

I have the Pentax 12-24mm and I continue to be very impressed with this lens. I use it a lot taking photos of vintage vehicles.

11-27-2012, 08:29 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by tabl10s Quote
Why does Pop Photo state differently(180 2.8 got a great review).
Think you are thinking of the Pentax 100 F 2.8 Macro WR...and yes PP gave it an excellent review.
11-27-2012, 11:06 PM   #21
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Nope. Sigma in last months issue.with the Sony Alpha 99 on the cover.
11-27-2012, 11:32 PM   #22
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Exciting shopping ahead, huh?

Another vote for the FA77, it is a stunning lens and way more exciting photos at that FL than from a tamron 70-200 or the like. Also, the 31 is another big favorite of mine. It has much character but I don't use it enough for bokeh shots. Nevertheless, it is a stunningly accurate landscape lens.
Good luck.
11-28-2012, 01:59 AM   #23
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I'd not jump from DA35/2.4 to FA31ltd so fast.
I have the FA35/2 and it does rather similar work compared to my 31ltd.
IMO, the 31ltd is mainly better in T-stop (abt 0.5 stops) and OOF rendering.
The 31ltd is also wider in FOV of course, but I sometimes find that the price for it is somewhat lost on APS-C.
Come FF, 31mm FOV with its rendering and fast aperture, its going to be superb.

For macros, the DA100WR is very good, though the Sigma/Tamron 90/105mm are good as well.
I find 100mm enough for general macros including most insects.
A longer FL macro lens is only necessary for skittish insects. These are heavy and more clunky to handle in the field too.

Long tele, if you do it in good light and don't want to spend too much money, just settle for the Bigma Sigma 50-500.
Else, you will need serious firepower in at least a DA*300 and/or Sigma 500/4.5
My suggestion is to not even consider any such long lenses at all until your are sure what you want to do with it.


My few cents

11-28-2012, 05:07 AM   #24
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I did a number of head shots with different focal length primes (and zooms) as a test. Looking at all the shots, the most natural were around 100mm. This is even with 1.5 digital crop. So regardless of the crop, it seems that you still get the best head shots - in terms of naturalness of the face - with the good old-fashioned full-frame 105mm length. Going down to 85mm was slightly unnatural and up to 135mm was fractionally flatter. These are small but perceptible differences, and we are simply talking about the face itself, not the whole composition. I'm not a professional, but as a psychologist I spend a lot of time looking directly at people's faces and observing their body language and emotions!

Maybe somebody who takes a lot of portraits could comment on this - my understanding is that it's the length from camera to subject that counts here.

So on the evidence I have, for portraits, I'd be wanting something around 100mm. Could be a macro or a zoom, or just an old manual focus 105mm.

Last edited by les24preludes; 11-28-2012 at 05:13 AM.
11-28-2012, 05:44 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by gooseta Quote
portrait lens
Try your 50 fora while, and see how it goes. Maybe you won't need anything else

QuoteOriginally posted by gooseta Quote
Also, do you think the 31mm f1.8 should replace my 35/2.4?
The 31 is better, but if the 35 is good enough for you, take your time before spending more is my advice.

QuoteOriginally posted by gooseta Quote
For the macro, would a 50mm, 70mm, 100mm, or 150mm be more versatile
Since you already have a 50, I'd go with the 100 macro if you can afford it, you'll get WR and a usable short tele with great IQ. Otherwise, the Tamron 90mm macro is almost as good (see the comparative review here).

QuoteOriginally posted by gooseta Quote
Also, for a tele lens for airshows and occasional wildlife, can you recommend a mf lens with iq that is comparable to the Sigma 150-500?
I haven't used that Sigma, but regarding teles, if AF speed is not an issue I'd say get the inexpensive Tamron 70-200. If AF speed and f2,8 are required, get the newest Sigma 70-200. If f2,8 is not mandatory, get the Pentax 60-250 f4, it's got a longer range, is WR, great IQ even at f4 (probably as good as the 70-200s at f4) and currently inexpensive (sort of).

Enjoy your new lenses, and show us some pictures!
11-28-2012, 05:51 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by twilhelm Quote
Obviously the weakest lens in the kit is the 55-300, but it also gets used the least. In it's defense, it is a great lens considering price / size and weight. I have no complaints regarding the sharpness of my copy and I like the color reproduction.
I have a 55-300mm and my opinion is similar. It has decent resolution, coupled with excellent colour and contrast. I use mine when I don't expect to crop too hard. Obviously the DA*60-250 is all-around better, but much larger and much pricier.
11-28-2012, 06:20 AM   #27
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M for Macro?

Hello Gooseta,
Welcome to the Pentax family! As you can see, like most families, we have our different opinions, but generally get along.
Regarding the macro lens, here's my suggestion; Try it with an inexpensive (M/F, manual aperture) lens, see if you like it enough to invest in a more expensive version.
My recommendation is the Pentax M 100mm f/4.0. These can easily be found online for USD $100-$150. Compare this with a modern A/F 90mm-100mm Macro at (USD) $400-$800. Quite a difference, and my experience is that you really don't miss the A/F, most macro shots are done using M/F anyway. Now, the manual aperture is a slightly different story, you MUST remember to use the green button if not shooting wide-open, and that can be frustrating at times.
As to whether this lens can double as a portrait lens, I honestly can't say. Never tried it, but I can't think of a reason why not, it's very sharp, great color rendition and the focus "throw" and dampening is superb.
The reason I don't use it for portraits has nothing to do with any optical qualities (or lack thereof), it's because I also own an M 85mm f/2.0 and M 100mm f/2.8, plus several zooms in the short-tele range.
If you later decide to upgrade, the M Macro will always have a decent resale value, really you're just "renting" it for a while!
Ron
11-28-2012, 01:18 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I believe the f4 is only 1:2 macro, not 1:1 like the D FA.



I owned a Sigma 150-500 HSM OS for a couple of weeks. I was annoyed by the size, rings that turned the wrong way, zoom lock and creep. More importantly I found it soft at 500mm, so I returned it.

The A*300 with Kenko 1.5X met my standard (sharp at pixel level) and was not shorter in use than the Sigma. (The Sigma is an internal focus lens, loses range at distances below infiinty.) I like being able to use the primes at 300mm and f4 in lower light. MF is a handicap but livable. The biggest problem with the A*300 is that it throws CA at times.

The DA*300 is a beautiful lens, but focus is capricious with the Kenko TC, despite the PZ contacts. I'm told the Pentax 1.7X works well with either lens. It adds AF to the A*300, which is an interesting feature. although you have to pre-focus and I think you lose quick-shift focus on the DA*. Pentax shows a 1.4X TC in the roadmap, so hopefully it will be available in 2013.

There are also F* and FA*300 f/4.5's which work with the Pentax 1.7X or Kenko 1.5X (or the similar Tamron 1.4X), but they're almost as expensive as the DA*300.
So you're saying that the 300 with 1.5 is as good at the 150-500 at 450? Also can you tell me if there is any iq difference between m* 300 and a* 300?

QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
Exciting shopping ahead, huh?

Another vote for the FA77, it is a stunning lens and way more exciting photos at that FL than from a tamron 70-200 or the like. Also, the 31 is another big favorite of mine. It has much character but I don't use it enough for bokeh shots. Nevertheless, it is a stunningly accurate landscape lens.
Good luck.
IS the DA 70 as good?
11-28-2012, 02:13 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by gooseta Quote
IS the DA 70 as good?
Supposed to have a more even performance across the frame, slightly lower center sharpness, but both are outstanding lenses.
11-29-2012, 11:00 AM   #30
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Heres the lineup now
12-24
35mm f2
17-70
90mm macro
Tamron 70-200 or DA/FA 70/77
DA* 300 or M* 300 w/ 1.4 tc
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