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01-25-2013, 07:04 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by carcha Quote
I'm reading up on a 28 just at that moment On the Sigma 28/1.8 to be concrete...doesn't sound too bad. To be honest, I already own a 28: the Pentax-A 28/2.8. I bought it shortly after I got the K-5 but never really used it because of the manual focus, I guess. I've got to use it on the next occasion to see whether I like the focal length or not.
Manual focus on a 28mm lens is also pretty forgiving.

We all have different preferences for a "normal" prime. Mine were shaped in the early '70s with a screw mount 55mm as my only lens for a while, then the 50mm replaced it when the K-mount came. The (~60mm) FOV of the DA 40 felt more right to me on APS-C than the 28mm (~42mm), The 35mm is now better still. I do find that the extra 5mm makes a difference in a small interior space.

The 35mm can have a spacious feel in a room that is smaller than it looks (as below) which I don't think I could have gotten with just 5mm more FL, and still works up close. BTW, having F/2 available (used in both the shots below) in a home very dimly lit with tungsten light is a big reason why the FA35 won me over as my "normal" lens.

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Last edited by GeneV; 01-25-2013 at 07:34 AM.
01-25-2013, 12:22 PM   #32
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I would suggest the 21 Limited as it is a great complement to what you have. The 70 Limited would be next and then swallow hard and buy the FA31. You cannot beat the Limiteds for IQ, build quality and they are so light. For landscapes and street use I probably use the 21 a bit more than the 15 but always carry both. I had an FA28 until I acquired the 31 and it was a good compromise. But you can never have enough Limiteds. I was not impressed with the Sigma 24 or 28 compared to Pentax alternatives and they are not cheap. Most of all though, they are too heavy. Your previous experience with the 15 and 40 sugests that you have the Limited disease and nothing else will do. I am of course kidding a little, there are many alternatives but I would never trade any of my 5 Limiteds. Each one is fast focusing and I use them all. The FA31 was my last aquisition and my only regret was not getting one sooner. The 40 was my first and still gets a lot of walk around time because it is great for events and so easy to carry.
01-25-2013, 04:35 PM   #33
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One idea, apart from making a conscious effort to stand back a bit when using the 40mm, is to use it at wider apertures, 2.8 to 4, looking for shots which are about one (isolated) subject with the rest being out of focus, i.e. use it as a bokeh lens. You cannot really do that with the 15mm. FWIW, I have and often use both lenses, they are very fine and I would be reluctant to part with either. I can get some nice effects with the 40mm wide open and mine is sharp enough at 2.8 for sharpness not to be an issue. If Pentax had a modern 28mm in the limited line, I would probably get it for the reasons you give but they don't (oddly).

I have the DA 35mm macro and I don't think there is much of a difference in FL, and the macro has a long focus throw which can make it a hassle for everyday shooting. I use it as my "museum" lens - quality close-ups of smallish but not insect-sized objects like small statues and the like. The FA 35mm sounds like a darn fine lens, though, better quality than the DA 21mm from what folks say.
01-25-2013, 05:20 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
The FA 35mm sounds like a darn fine lens, though, better quality than the DA 21mm from what folks say.
I'm very happy with the quality of the DA 21, but I do enjoy the ~1 1/2 stops of extra speed when I'm using the FA 35.

01-25-2013, 05:54 PM   #35
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The Sigma 30mm and DA 35mm Macro are excellent allround lenses. Where the Sigma shines is the large maximum aperture which opens up a lot of possibilities with regards to available light shooting. I'd rank the FA 35mm f/2 lower than the DA 35mm Macro in terms of versatility. The ability to shoot subjects up close one moment and a general scene the next makes it invaluable addition for me. I've had the FA 28mm f/2.8 and Sigma 24mm f/2.8 in the past and both were pretty mediocre lenses imo. If you really don't want to spend a lot, the just get the DA 35mm f/2.4, just as good as the FA 35mm f/2 but much, much cheaper. When I got my Sigma 30mm, I thought it might replace my DA 35mm Macro but I've found both lenses complement each other - shooting at f/1.4 and very close focusing.
01-25-2013, 10:29 PM   #36
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I think the OP is amputating most of its possible choices by concentrating on AF lenses only.
With wide angles, a manual lens could prove as fast as an AF one - actually faster, if you shoot in dimly lit interiors.
With ultra-wides, it's a no contest, especially with a minimum of illumination - set the shutter at 1/60, or even 1/30, and leave the focus ring at hyperfocal... then you can start shooting like a machine gun
With a K5 you can even push up the ISO setting with a certain liberality. Noise isn't your first enemy!
Of course there is a learning curve, but it's not as steep as with a long tele.
In the end, it's just a matter of trusting your own eyes, and with a small twist of your wrist it's all set.
No need for an old-fashioned ground glass (though it's a good idea to buy a cheap chinese one if you have some MF lenses and a second body), or to practice with pre-focusing, trap-focus, etc. Not that i'm saying that manual focusing with a tele is so complicate, just that with a wide is VERY simple.

I started my Pentax journey with the release of the M line, one MX for me and one ME for my girlfriend.
No previous Pentax cameras (just a Nikkormat an a chinese 6x6)... but i bought a K2 afterward, and of course the LX, the Super A, etc. etc... up to the AFs cameras like the Z-1.
With time i acquired most of the best MF lenses, and just a few AF for the latest analog bodies with autofocus.
To make the whole story a little shorter, now i have two rather old digital bodies, and of course i tried my full frame AF lenses with them.
I wasn't very impressed.
I recognize that a long-ish AF zoom would be very useful in some situations, unfortunately i don't own one.
Maybe i kept the wrong AF lenses, cause i privileged IQ over usability (two short zoom and a 50mm Macro F), but the most useful AF optic i have is the 1.7x AF converter
The "proper" AF lenses i own didn't turn me in a fan of autofocus.
I repeat, maybe i bought/kept the wrong ones: the Pentax F 2.8/50mm Macro is optically very good, but it's a usability nightmare; the Tokina 20-40mm wide zoom is only marginally faster than a manual one (maybe two seconds, and only because it has two separate rings); the other is a Pentax FA "normal" zoom, which is slightly moe useful than the other two, cause it is at least a good all-round zoom to sneak quick people shots (though i am more keen in using primes, even for that use).

All that to say: give a try to your 28mm A!
All A lenses are a pleasure to use with modern bodies, cause you have no limitations but the AF.
Of course the extended coverage of a full frame lens is an optical burden that modern digital-only lenses don't have to bear, but i don't think that the image quality would be so different.
There is a counterbalance though, if/when the full-frame Pentax chimera will show up, any digital-only lens would not work.
One more thing:
not all "new" lenses are better than "old" ones.
It is not just mechanics...
I wouldn't swap my Pentax/Zeiss 2/28mm K with ANY of the new lenses.
Some second-hand jewels are the only chance to buy a kind of lens which would be too expensive to produce by today's standards.
It is a true pity that the adoption of APS-C sensors seriously hampers the appeal of old high-quality wide angle primes, but 28mm and 35mm ones can still be useful. Shame that my beloved 15mm becomes a timid 24mm!

I know that many of the readers/posters have a totally different mindset.
I don't think that i'm right and that they are wrong.
There are different approaches, probably as many as the number of photographers.
I just wanted to give a "different" prospect from those already suggested.

P.S.
I thought i had posted this message before, but there was a problem.
In the meantime, somebody else gave more or less the same advice (manual lenses), but i think my post is not redundant.


have fun

Paolo



Last edited by cyberjunkie; 01-25-2013 at 10:56 PM.
01-25-2013, 11:16 PM   #37
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The sweet spot between the 21 and the 40 is about 30. There is a good reason why for many years when most people had only one lens, it was a 40 or 50mm. On the cropped sensor, the equivalent would be 26.6 to 33.3.
01-25-2013, 11:32 PM   #38
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K-5 (or K-x if traveling light) and the da15/da40 combo is my standard walk around kit. I go through stages of using one more than the other but the portrait point is a good one. The 15 is great but not every shot works bet with that fov. I have that 55-300 too and often don't bring it for a nice compact and high IQ kit. If you like to travel light and aren't afraid of a lens change it's hard to fault it.

01-25-2013, 11:48 PM   #39
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If you like the build and IQ of the 15 and 40, I'd say go for the 21. If you want something faster for pubs and other indoor shots I'd suggest the FA* 24/2. It's probably about as common as the F/FA 28 though, but it's a very nice lens with outstanding IQ. If those are too wide I'd second the suggestions for the FA 35 or DA 35/2.4.
01-26-2013, 12:50 AM   #40
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And for a sideways option ...

Just to help widen the options - may be try the FA 20-35 f4 zoom? If you can get hold of one, try the different focal lengths to see your favoured one, then go for the prime and resell the zoom if you don't like it.
My own experience is that the zoom gives me a bit more flexibility with image quality pretty close to my DA 21 (or maybe my 21's not a good copy, still haven't made up my mind). The zoom is quite light, not too large and comfortable to hold.
01-26-2013, 04:56 AM   #41
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Thanks!

I think I noticed something...

Situations in which I thought the DA 40 is great:
Being in the garden, taking photos of friends in the bright daylight of summer or similar scenarios.

Situations in which I felt disappointed by the DA 40:
When switching from another, slower lens because of the fading light. I believe my expectations in these situations were too high. I always felt disappointed because the 2.8 didn't do as much as I expected.
Also, in Scotland when we took a tour through a whiskey distillery, I was in a hurry and had to decide which one single lens to take for the tour and decided I'd take the DA 40 because the 2.8 might come in handy when being inside and having not that much light available. But I was disappointed because I wasn't able to take a photo of at least half a room or a machine or something. I only took shots of details because the 40mm were too tight and I couldn't step back as far as needed.

I don't really blame the DA 40 for that. I know that I decided wrong and my expectations were too high. When I want to put a picture on the wall it's not the sledge hammers fault that I don't succeed. Also it's not the hammer's fault if I use the stick of the hammer to do the hammering. I guess I used the DA 40 wrong in the wrong situations.
Now, I just want a lens which fits situations like that. When switching to that lens because of the fading light, I want to be sure that the 1.4/1.8/2 will make a difference.

Trying to think clearly and translating those fragments of thoughts into English isn't something I should do after just getting up

QuoteQuote:
I would suggest the 21 Limited as it is a great complement to what you have
I agree. That would solve at least the distillery-problem. But with it's 3.2 it isn't that fast for being the first choice when shooting indoors isn't it? I'd really like that lens because it's another pancake and like I said, I already planned to buy it.

QuoteQuote:
I think the OP is amputating most of its possible choices by concentrating on AF lenses only.
You may be right but I believe I'm just too paranoid for MF. I'd constantly be in fear that once I'm on the computer looking through the photos, I'd have to throw half of them away because I didn't get the focus right. I may be exaggerating and that's more a problem I have with the M-50, not with something as wide as the A-28 but still...I'm not that comfortable with MF and when using the lens for "action shots" I think I wouldn't get many good shots. You'll say now that I just need time to get used to it and once I learned it, all these problems will fade away... and I won't have a good, reasonable answer to that

Right now, I know that I desire something like the DA 21 or or the DA 35 but that the Sigma 30/1.4 might fit my requirements best
I guess I'll have to call Frankenstein and ask him to fit a Sigma 30/1.4 into a DA 35 or 21...

Thanks again, grabbing dinner now
01-26-2013, 08:53 AM   #42
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The DA 40/21 pair is a great pocketing combo. I tend not to have too much trouble with the DA21 aperture indoors because you can hand-hold it in fairly slow shutter speeds.

However, I would caution about making decisions based upon a visit to a distillery, unless you go there a lot. I visit a lot of wineries, and the clear majority of photos I take indoors there are with the DA 15. It is way out of line with the amount I use that lens otherwise, even indoors. We are in small tasting rooms or wending our way through barrels and fermenters, and this seems to beg for an ultrawide FOV. When I am in dark, narrow cellars, I could be tempted by the DA 14/2.8.

Last edited by GeneV; 01-26-2013 at 09:13 AM.
01-26-2013, 10:25 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by carcha Quote
Now, I just want a lens which fits situations like that. When switching to that lens because of the fading light, I want to be sure that the 1.4/1.8/2 will make a difference.
[...]
I'm not that comfortable with MF and when using the lens for "action shots" I think I wouldn't get many good shots.
AF doesn't do much for my low-light action shot keeper rate. With the target moving, the DOF being thin and the off-camera flash not handy, I find manual pre-focusing, sometimes combined with CIF, much more helpful. Anyway, since you don't want the venture into the realm of manual focusing, it'll probably have to be something like the FA 31/1.8. Better start saving up.

Last edited by Ikarus; 01-26-2013 at 10:34 AM.
01-26-2013, 11:29 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ikarus Quote
it'll probably have to be something like the FA 31/1.8. Better start saving up.
Don't put that thought into my head :-( It's not about saving and I know I won't regret buying it but it's that price tag. I thought it was much when I paid 700eur for the 15mm Ltd but 1200eur is way more than I thought I'd ever spend on a lens. It's as if the lens demands a level of skill/professionalism I don't have.
01-27-2013, 05:48 PM   #45
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I think I'll get the Sigma 30/1.4 (speak now or forever hold your peace). Found one used for 280 ($375) (with the focus spot on) and if I don't like it, I'll sell it again and get the FA 31mm instead But I'm quite confident that the Sigma will fit my expectations and that it won't disappoint me. After all it fits my requirements: it's fast, it's 30mm are enough difference to the 40mm and it doesn't cost a fortune it's no Pentax Limited but who's perfect...

Thanks to everyone for the help. Really appreciate that
Freddy
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