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04-30-2013, 06:53 AM   #16
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Shallow depth of field is vastly over-rated when it comes to family travel snaps.

04-30-2013, 07:01 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Shallow depth of field is vastly over-rated when it comes to family travel snaps.
I think that is why the OP plans on also having a P&S camera. I often do the same thing when travelling. There are times and places I want a small, simple camera when capturing memories is more important than great images. This thread is having the ability to get great images given the circumstantial limitations.
04-30-2013, 07:10 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
I think that is why the OP plans on also having a P&S camera.
Somehow I missed that important piece of information among the noise.
I now have no idea what the OP is worried about. Take your P&S and your K-5 with the DA35 macro. End of story. Stop worrying so much.
04-30-2013, 07:47 AM   #19
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I always hope to get a few amazing "keepers" to print and put on the wall. However, my criteria for what I want to print and put on my wall has changed. It used to be dramatic landscapes, etc. but now my favorites are ones with my family members in them.

The typical "everybody stand in front of this amazing landmark" shot is fine and makes a great memory. The point and shoot does an admirable job at this task.

But my new favorite is capturing portraits with context on my travels. For instance, my wife in a restaurant. Or my son in a train car, etc. for these shots my favorites are always the ones with that "3D" shallow depth of field look that the Limiteds can create. It makes the family member "pop", and even though the background is blurred I leave enough in the frame to remember where the shot was taken (Czech beer hall, Japenese garden, etc.).

I was hoping the DA 21 would be almost perfect for this task, but at 3.2 the DOF is often not shallow enough and in some situations the bokeh is nervous looking. The DA 40 provides awesome pictures but isn't wide enough in small spaces. The DA 35 Macro could work, but I find I miss shots of my toddler due to the focus hunting. I was hoping to get better at manually putting the focus in the ballpark so the 35 didn't have to work as much - but I still find I miss the focus spot often and it takes awhile to find the right spot.

I thought about getting the 18-55 kit lens. It would be cheap, no worries, and would have WR. But this would still not provide much DoF I think.

I'm surprised there are not more votes for a 2.8 zoom like the Tamron or even the Pentax 16-50. I considered the Pentax, as it would provide WR. But it didn't get a great review on Photozone and the price just nearly doubled.

That is why I circled back around to the FA 31. I'm also surprised that isn't getting too many votes. Much cheaper than the Pentax 16-50 now, and it is supposed to legendary. I am concerned that it could be too limiting a focal length and it is bigger than the DA Limiteds. But paired with the point and shoot it could be pretty awesome too.

Finally, this new purchase will not just be for Germany. I keep having the same issue in my home town when going out hiking or to the zoo, etc. There is not a ton of time to switch lenses. Maybe I need to bite the bullet and get a zoom lens. The whole reason I love Pentax is for those amazing primes though...

I do tend to worry about my lens choices. But some upfront worrying saves me from being bummed out that I don't have the right gear on my trip...

I guess I'm leaning towards a zoom like the Tamron 17-50 2.8 or the FA 31 at the moment. I haven't found a large sensor compact that will fit the bill yet.

Any more thoughts? Thanks for all the input, it really does help to give me new perspective.


Last edited by K206; 04-30-2013 at 07:56 AM. Reason: Forgot to include info
04-30-2013, 08:38 AM   #20
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Consider the F35-70. I know it will be a compromise, but it may be the lens that gets the job done.
04-30-2013, 04:43 PM   #21
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You clearly want the FA31, and you can afford it. Just do it. It is a superb lens in every respect, and particularly bokehlicious.

As for the DA16-50 – I'm a big fan, but I thought you wanted to keep things reasonably compact.
04-30-2013, 05:07 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by K206 Quote
But my new favorite is capturing portraits with context on my travels. For instance, my wife in a restaurant. Or my son in a train car, etc. for these shots my favorites are always the ones with that "3D" shallow depth of field look that the Limiteds can create. It makes the family member "pop", and even though the background is blurred I leave enough in the frame to remember where the shot was taken (Czech beer hall, Japenese garden, etc.).

[...]

I thought about getting the 18-55 kit lens. It would be cheap, no worries, and would have WR. But this would still not provide much DoF I think.
Well, I'm primarily a prime shooter when i'm shooting alone or personal stuff, but when I'm on vacations with friends the 18-55 is my go to lens. It's lightweight and much more practical than primes, and you can still take portraits with context and some blurred background :







Plus it's cheap and WR. But if you really want shallower DOF I would say go for the Tamron 17-50/2.8 (but it's 200g heavier too).

That said, I could only take the Ricoh GR for my next vacations if I get it in time

Good luck with your choice!
05-01-2013, 11:32 PM   #23
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If you don't mind the weight, a 2.8 zoom is the way to go imo. I've always left my primes at home and brought a Sigma 18-50/2.8 on trips and it's a good compromise. The focal length works in most occasions and 2.8 is often good enough to capture light and get the DOF you want.

05-03-2013, 05:52 AM   #24
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Well, so much for the 31mm Limited option now that the price skyrocketed. This price jump on lenses is ludicrous. It makes me second guess my choice of Pentax altogether...
05-03-2013, 07:26 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by K206 Quote
The DA 35 2.4 is a decent option as well. I thought about that as a solution, but then would I sell the DA 35? Also, Photozone stated that the bokeh can be busy in certain scenarios.
Photozone was even more critical of the Limited's background blur, but you've been satisfied with that one! Either way, Photozone sometimes has credibility issues, but that's a topic for another day (and another sub-board)...

The bokeh of the 35 2.4 is more than fine. It doesn't have the creaminess of a Zeiss, or the distinctive character of macro bokeh, but it's perfectly fine. What the lens really has is excellent sharpness and high-quality, Pentaxian color rendition.

As for what to do with your 35 Limited in the event that you purchase a 35 2.4, you could always keep the 35 2.4, for whenever you need both a large aperture and quick AF. The two lenses have two different purposes, even though they share the same focal length. I mean, I do assume that you will hanging out indoors with your family again at some point in the future? So, in that respect, it will continue to be useful for you.

If you ever get tired of it, you could always have the option of selling the 35 2.4, thereby treating it as a long-term cheap rental. It might feel weird psychologically, like you're wasting money, but think about it this way: would you rather spend lots and lots of money by buying the 31mm Limited at its highest price point, or would you rather spend a relatively tiny amount of money getting great photos? As it stands, the 35 2.8 Macro might have strange AF behavior, especially indoors. There's no point in having a fancier lens if you keep missing shots, or if you have to manual focus.

So, yeah, 35 2.4, I stand by that recommendation.

I'm sure the 31mm is excellent, too.

As for serious compacts, if you already have an S95, but you're not satisfied with it, then I'm not sure how much of an IQ difference you'll see in any of the other serious compacts. The Sony RX100 would be a significant step up, but the lens slows down quickly as you zoom out. The background blur difference will be minor, except at the widest focal length and aperture. Check out the FOV equivalency chart on DPReview's review of the Pentax MX-1. The differences are certainly there, but they're not earth shattering. Of current choices, I'd rather have an MX-1, where you have a flippy screen and a lens that is fast all through the focal range.

As for NEX lenses, the Sigma 30mm and 19mm are getting outstanding reviews. Sigma's lenses have become scarily good over the past ten years or so.
05-03-2013, 12:51 PM   #26
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DA35 f2.4 I'm loving this lens at the moment, 4.4oz and good value.
And perhaps some kind of zoom either a good copy of the WR18-55 or I have the Tamron 17-50mm.





And stitch of three DA35 f2.4 into the sun hand held images via Hugin.
05-03-2013, 01:09 PM   #27
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The 31 sounds to me like it would be the ideal solution, but the new prices do throw that out of whack. Maybe you can find one used or otherwise at the older prices. You could consider a Sigma 28/1.8 or 30/1.4, those are both pretty nice lenses for portraits in a scene. The 30 is smaller, better for travel. Also an FA 35/2 would be a possibility, more reason to coexist with the DA 35 macro than a 35/2.4. That is an easy lens to carry around.
05-03-2013, 02:16 PM   #28
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The toddler will keep your hands and mind occupied (as it should be), you could forget or drop a lens.

Just use a zoom. Bring an extra lens if you have time without your child.

Been there done that. Back then I would bring two film cameras, tripod, two zooms, and four or more prime lenses. On trips with the small child I could only use one or two zooms and one camera.

Make your wife and in-laws happy, don't lose or drop your equipment. Focus on the family(child, wife, and in-laws), just use the one zoom.

Have a wonderful trip.

p.s.
I like the Tamron 17-50mm/2.8. It is a great zoom.
05-03-2013, 08:28 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by K206 Quote
I am traveling to Germany with my wife, in-laws, and 18 month old son. In the past, I have traveled with 3 DA limiteds and been perfectly happy.

However, this time I will be carrying baby gear and I do not think switching lenses frequently will be an option due to juggling a toddler, etc. Also, I'm not sure I will even be able to bring a camera bag, so my camera setup must fit in my carry on backpack and/or the diaper bag. I will be bringing a separate small sensor point and shoot. I am primarily concerned with shooting shallow depth of field shots with whatever else I bring.

So far, I see my options as follows:

1. Bring just the DA 21 (this lens does not provide enough shallow DOF for my taste in most situations).
2. Bring either the DA 15 or the 21 and the 35 macro or 40 (I know I will be constantly switching lenses, the 40 is not wide enough for indoors and places like train cars).
3. Bring just the DA 35 macro (the autofocus may not be fast enough for a toddler and P&S will be required for wide angle).
4. Purchase the FA 31 (this is pricey, the lens is bigger/heavier, but I'm assuming it will provide shallow depth of field for portraits and that AF is fast enough for a toddler).
5. Purchase a compact such as the new Ricoh GR (smallest, lightest option, unknown if AF fast enough or if DOF/bokeh is adequate for portraits).
6. Purchase a zoom, such as the Tamron 16-50 2.8 (big in comparison to primes, not sure will fit in my backpack easily, not a huge fan of third party zooms in the past).

As you can see, I'm quite unsure what the best option is considering my circumstances. Any advice from my fellow Pentaxians would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance. Sorry for the long post.
Secondhand FA50 for creative moments (with your liking for bokeh in mind); Fuji X10 for everything else.
05-08-2013, 08:39 PM   #30
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If anyone is interested, I found a FA 31 at a good price and quickly bought it. This doesn't necessarily solve my small/lightweight issue. But maybe I can just bring the 31 and the P&S. I'll see how large and heavy the lens is when it arrives. At the very least, I should have a new wonderful lens for many occasions.
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