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01-22-2013, 02:07 PM   #16
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Since I have the DA 40 I will tell you that it is a great walk around lens of very high quality. Since it is so small, I find it very useful for candid shots. But I will confess to being a prime wacko also owning the DA15, DA21 and DA 70. You may want to go to the lens club section on this forum to view photo's taken with the lens you are interested in and the lens reviews are very valuable in making your decisions.

01-22-2013, 02:52 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsm0372 Quote

Sorry, it would definitely help if I explained my thinking on the use for these lenses. My main reason for wanting the primes is for the better low light performance when I'm out taking 'planned photos'.
Joe
Do you have an SLR background? I ask because digital is so much different depending on the camera. Anything over 400 iso was always grainy with film. Digital can look much better at higher iso.

Processing raw images that are under-exposed can yield you treasures you would miss if only doing jpg.

The 15, 21, 35, 40, and 70 will do most of the of the captures you want with a prime lens. They are all fast enough.

With a big enough bankroll you can buy them all.
01-22-2013, 03:20 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Colbyt Quote
Do you have an SLR background? I ask because digital is so much different depending on the camera. Anything over 400 iso was always grainy with film. Digital can look much better at higher iso.

Processing raw images that are under-exposed can yield you treasures you would miss if only doing jpg.

The 15, 21, 35, 40, and 70 will do most of the of the captures you want with a prime lens. They are all fast enough.

With a big enough bankroll you can buy them all.
I'm certainly not rolling in cash, so I have to priortize my purchases and try to get the best bang for the buck when it comes to my equipment. I started shooting in RAW exclusively and have had my ISO as high as 1600 but as expected, the images get really noisy even though I am able to pull out some great detail and color, it's just a lot to PP and it would be nice to spend less time in LR. I'm a real novice when it comes to SLRs and photography in general but feel I am ramping up quickly thanks to all the great folks here in the forums.
01-22-2013, 05:26 PM   #19
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Hello jsm0372

Taking it back to your original post, you say “I currently have a K7 and am looking to improve the indoor/low light and natural light performance of the camera”.

In the first line of going with the Pentax 40mm f/2.8, I’m the proud owner of the ex. 40mm f2.8 XS lens from our colleague Docrwm… and boy what a pretty baby it is.
So if you go with that road, the 40mm is everything everybody says, it’s like having a lens cap on the camera, and does take great photos in low light (I bet the 35mm f/2.4 will do it too).

As you have mentioned that you are not against the option of a flash, I really advise to check Neil van Niekerk’s website about flash photography (http://neilvn.com/tangents/flash-photography-techniques/).
He explains in plain language how to use the flash (inside and outside) without (almost all) the negative ideas one has about shooting with flash in low light (family/friends) environments.

This option does not have to be very expensive even, per example the Pentax AF280T tilt a swivel flash (you will want to have these two functions - and it pops regularly here in the marketplace – reviews in PENTAX AF 280T reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database) will serve you perfectly well (my personal experience) and hey, you will be able to shoot the lower ISO that your K7 permits with your kit lens(!) if you want, have perfect focus exposed family photos and do not “get annoying/distracting” to anyone.

You can go with a full modern flash too, your choice.

Best regards,


Last edited by ddharriman; 01-22-2013 at 06:21 PM.
01-22-2013, 05:50 PM   #20
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I had the DA35/2.4 twice, it was a great lens but financial chaos claimed it both times. When I was back in the market I had a great manual 28mm so I saved a bit more for a used DA40 - I use it more than the 35mm by a wide margin, thanks in part to the 28mm filling part of the space. I've found in several instances that one great lens will or won't be used much depending on what else you have near its range. When I used the 18-135 on a hike I found myself shooting at 40mm often, so for me the 40 is a great fit. I paid much less than $375 used, so that was definitely a factor in its arrival I'd also get the XS in that case (though I love quick shift!).
01-23-2013, 12:35 AM   #21
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I find 35mm to be a bit of an awkward length. I'd rather have a 24mm, or a 28mm or a 50mm. 35mm just isn't wide enough for most uses, or tight enough for others. My DA-L 35mm 2.4 is my least used lens by far. My 24mm and 50mm are my most used, at least in normal situations. The 24mm is nice and wide, and good for indoor shots, and most outdoor and landscape shots. The 50mm is fast, and is generally a very nice lens since they put a lot of engineering into it back in the film days, when it was the "normal" lens.

I have never used the 21mm... But it seems like a good focal length.

I recently (this weekend) got a 40mm Limited from a member here, and so far I like it, but I haven't used it enough to really say if it will be as useful as a 24mm (or 28mm) and a fast 50.

My own decent into LBA was a manual, A 50 1.7. I don't regret it one bit. The FA version is also very nice, if you can find it.
01-23-2013, 05:51 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsm0372 Quote
I'm certainly not rolling in cash, so I have to priortize my purchases and try to get the best bang for the buck when it comes to my equipment. I started shooting in RAW exclusively and have had my ISO as high as 1600 but as expected, the images get really noisy even though I am able to pull out some great detail and color, it's just a lot to PP and it would be nice to spend less time in LR. I'm a real novice when it comes to SLRs and photography in general but feel I am ramping up quickly thanks to all the great folks here in the forums.

I bought the 40 and then I bought the 21 when I could not get some airplanes in a hanger in a single image. Knowing what I know now, I would purchase in the opposite order if I were doing it again. For general use the 21 is a perfect match for my style. Only you can determine your style. I rarely shoot faster than 800 iso with a k-2000 and usually restrict the auto settings to 400. A better camera would get me less noise.

IMO, the 40 is a little long for interior candid shots.
01-23-2013, 06:50 AM   #23
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If I'm only carrying a single prime, I want a 28mm. It's the widest normal on APS-C, so you get maximum wideness with no wide-angle distortion. If I'm using my K20D and shooting indoors, I want the FA 35 f2 instead of the FA 28 2.8. That extra stop helps with high ISO. (Despite the hype on the net, a K20D loses only 2/3 stop of ISO vs the K-x, and one stop vs a K-5/K-30/K-01. The K-7 SNR is 1/3 stop behind a K20D).

I bought the DA 40mm Ltd mostly for its tiny size. For a formal portrait shoot, I will choose the FA 35 + FA 50 over the 40mm, but the DA 40 is what I carry for everyday shooting, in place of the two FA's. It's a little tight indoors, but not clearly telephoto like a 50mm. For landscapes, I use the DA 15mm and 40mm for their compatible fields of view and punchy IQ.

All of the above is to justify what I'm going to say to the OP. I recommend you get the FA 35mm f2.0 for its slightly wider FOV and extra stop. Price shouldn't be too different vs. the 40 Ltd. Image quality is comparable; the FA 35 is sharper in the center, with smoother bokeh. The DA 40 is not as sharp in the center, but more even across the frame. The DA 40 has punchier colour & contrast. This is an advantage with landscapes, for portrait, not so much. For less money, the DA 35mm loses half a stop and has a plastic mount, but otherwise comparable to the FA.

01-23-2013, 07:02 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsm0372 Quote
I currently have a K7 and am looking to improve the indoor/low light and natural light performance of the camera. Most of the photos I capture are candids of the kids in the house and the occasional birthday party where lighting is a challenge and using a flash can get annoying/distracting. I also hope to use the lens for general street photograpy and other interest / artistic images.
Joe,

For the photos you are taking, I would suggest you consider a Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 zoom. The zoom will be much better for chasing after kids, and the quality and sharpness of this lens also works great for other images. I have one and it is on my camera more than any other lens. I use it for family events like you, but also for travel and portraits. It's price is in the same range you are looking as well.

Kevin
01-23-2013, 12:04 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by alphanerd Quote
The DA 40mm XS is significantly cheaper and has the same optics as the 40mm LTD (not as nice in other regards). You can even get a K-01 with a 40mm XS for ~$300!





If you're looking for real lowlight shots, I'd recommend a faster lens than f2.8 if possible. The 50 1.8 will capture a lot more light.
Are you really sure that the 40mm XS and 40mm Ltd. have the same optics ? That's the first I've heard that...I'm not convinced you're correct.

I have a 40mm Limited F 2.8 and it's not bad with available light. I also have a Pentax 50 mm F 1.4 and while it's faster than a F 2.8 , there are other considerations...such as F 1.4 is usuable...but the DOF is very narrow at this setting and the subject can be 'soft' at F 1.4 to F 1.8. I generally use my 50mm F 1.4 in lowlight situations at F 2.2 to F 3.5....so although F 1.4 is available...I'm conscious of clarity of subject and prefer to use F 2.2 to F 3.5...which sort of nullifies the F 1.4 to F 1.8.
01-23-2013, 12:20 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
Are you really sure that the 40mm XS and 40mm Ltd. have the same optics ? That's the first I've heard that...I'm not convinced you're correct.

I have a 40mm Limited F 2.8 and it's not bad with available light. I also have a Pentax 50 mm F 1.4 and while it's faster than a F 2.8 , there are other considerations...such as F 1.4 is usuable...but the DOF is very narrow at this setting and the subject can be 'soft' at F 1.4 to F 1.8. I generally use my 50mm F 1.4 in lowlight situations at F 2.2 to F 3.5....so although F 1.4 is available...I'm conscious of clarity of subject and prefer to use F 2.2 to F 3.5...which sort of nullifies the F 1.4 to F 1.8.
Good point. I thought the DA40 ltd had better optics than the 40XS (which was designed for the mirrorless camera). We probably should check the lens reviews
01-24-2013, 04:48 PM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by mdodrill Quote
Good point. I thought the DA40 ltd had better optics than the 40XS (which was designed for the mirrorless camera). We probably should check the lens reviews
The optical layout is supposed to be the same, but some claim there is a difference in the output. Maybe. We don't know if the materials, precision, and coatings are exactly the same. And the limited can use a hood, while the XS has a harder time getting a good tight hood. Now, reviews mention that the XS has rounded aperture blades, but they don't mention that for the ltd. On inspection of sample photos of the lenses, the aperture blades don't seem very different. More noticeable differences are quickshift, distance scales, filter thread size.. and I guess size/weight, though they are both so small its almost negligible. But for people that have both the ltd and XS.. they tend to prefer the ltd.
But having an XS on my K-01, I can assure you it is sharp! and has really fast AF. For the price its a great lens.
01-25-2013, 02:11 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
All of the above is to justify what I'm going to say to the OP. I recommend you get the FA 35mm f2.0 for its slightly wider FOV and extra stop. Price shouldn't be too different vs. the 40 Ltd. Image quality is comparable; the FA 35 is sharper in the center, with smoother bokeh. The DA 40 is not as sharp in the center, but more even across the frame. The DA 40 has punchier colour & contrast. This is an advantage with landscapes, for portrait, not so much. For less money, the DA 35mm loses half a stop and has a plastic mount, but otherwise comparable to the FA.
This is why I'm a strong advocate of getting the DA35/2.4. I had two FA35s. I never used them faster than f/2.5 because the IQ drop-off was too great after that. So f/2.4 is the ideal speed for that lens anyway. Save the money and get the DA version.
01-25-2013, 05:44 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
This is why I'm a strong advocate of getting the DA35/2.4. I had two FA35s. I never used them faster than f/2.5 because the IQ drop-off was too great after that. So f/2.4 is the ideal speed for that lens anyway. Save the money and get the DA version.
I've used the FA 35 mostly at f/2.0, and mostly because it was faster than my f/2.8 normals. It has a reputation for being sharp from f/2. It's also pretty universally agreed that the DA 40 Ltd is sharp from wide open. Photozone shows the FA 35 has slightly higher resolution in the center and slightly lower resolution at the edges at f2.0, vs. the DA 40 at f2.8. That's pretty impressive for being one stop faster. Nevertheless, I agree with you, the DA 35 f2.4 is a great value.
01-25-2013, 08:58 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
The optical layout is supposed to be the same, but some claim there is a difference in the output. Maybe. We don't know if the materials, precision, and coatings are exactly the same. And the limited can use a hood, while the XS has a harder time getting a good tight hood. Now, reviews mention that the XS has rounded aperture blades, but they don't mention that for the ltd. On inspection of sample photos of the lenses, the aperture blades don't seem very different. More noticeable differences are quickshift, distance scales, filter thread size.. and I guess size/weight, though they are both so small its almost negligible. But for people that have both the ltd and XS.. they tend to prefer the ltd.
But having an XS on my K-01, I can assure you it is sharp! and has really fast AF. For the price its a great lens.
Good information....thanks for posting
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