Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
05-05-2013, 02:01 AM   #31
Site Supporter
utak's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 840
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
PF wide open with the 77 Limited? I keep hearing this, but have never seen it. Have you actually used this lens or are you blowing smoke?
No I don't own the 77mm, nor the 31mm Limited. I decided to buy the K85mm 1.8 and K28 3.5 instead, on the basis of what I'd read on this and other forums. A third of the price and very happy - with the lens and forum support.

Here's the kind of comment, from "Chris" on the internet, that made my mind up not to spend hard earned cash on some of the most expensive primes, because it resonated with what others had said in their user-reviews:
"I bought the 77 recently and just now had the opportunity to test it, as on a short trip to Africa I chose to take the 21, 40, 77, 100WR and 200 with me (not the 70 as usual). Short result from my point of view: I understand that Pentax developed the DA 70. The 77 is difficult to handle in high-contrast situations. Purple fringing is everywhere. The half-stop advantage over the 70 (1.8 vs. 2.4) does not outweigh this disadvantage. In addition, the 77 is heavier than the 70. End result: I will use the 70 and keep the 77 just as a collection object (and the occasional portrait shot inside, with low contrast and good lighting). Very disappointed with the 77. I think it is overrated".

Who knows who Chris is, competence-wise...who am I'm to judge lens either?!! I'd still consider buying the 77mm, as a vanity purchase, as you nicely put it.

But to repeat: my purpose is not to moan about the value for money issues around Limited Pentax primes, but to suggest that if (say) you've just purchased a K30, try good value zooms first, try a few used primes. Buy hoods. Focus on a couple of focal lengths.

And...(my second "contribution") maybe wait until Pentax upgrades the most expensive primes for the next generation - and where they have, like the 100WR, they seem to be excellent.


Last edited by utak; 05-05-2013 at 02:53 AM.
05-05-2013, 03:16 AM   #32
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Gladys, Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 16,237
I think it is important to understand the difference between primes and zooms. In general, the benefits of primes are : smaller size, faster aperture is often available, more resistance to flare, better rendering of out of focus areas, and they will usually be sharper at a given aperture than a zoom lens at the same aperture. Obviously, if you are able to stop down to f5.6 or f8 (there is enough light to do that), your differences between a zoom and prime will shrink, particularly if you are not printing large or pixel peeping.

Obviously, not all primes are equally expensive -- the FA limiteds are currently the most expensive of the Pentax lot at present and I don't know if for current prices they are worth it. I do own the FA 77 and it is prone to purple fringing, but it is so easy to fix in post that it isn't a big deal. Truthfully, the list of Pentax lenses that are prone to PF in my experience is pretty long and includes the DA *16-50, DA *200, and the 100WR. It just isn't a reason to like or dislike a lens any more since you can fix it with a click of a dropper in lightroom.
05-05-2013, 05:42 AM   #33
Ash
Community Manager
Loyal Site Supporter
Ash's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 22,695
For those who suggest the Limited lenses are overrated, then clearly the lenses aren't for you. Their capabilities and rendition go beyond what words can describe. I doubted them prior to my first Limited lens purchase, and since then I have seen the virtues of the lens surprise me each time I use it. Expense is valued on what you get out of it, and for a once in a lifetime purchase, it goes beyond a vain possession. The Limiteds are fine tools - workmanship and image quality are hard to beat, and if a photographer doesn't need their capabilities, there's little point in investing in them.
05-05-2013, 10:12 AM   #34
Pentaxian
todd's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Basement
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,941
QuoteOriginally posted by utak Quote
Who knows who Chris is, competence-wise...who am I'm to judge lens either?!! I'd still consider buying the 77mm, as a vanity purchase, as you nicely put it.

But to repeat: my purpose is not to moan about the value for money issues around Limited Pentax primes, but to suggest that if (say) you've just purchased a K30, try good value zooms first, try a few used primes. Buy hoods. Focus on a couple of focal lengths.
I am not discounting anything you've said, and I agree with the above, nevertheless in my interpretation of what Ash said, certain lenses have certain qualities that make them unique, and that make them desirable aka popular and unfortunately expensive.

I am no expert by a long shot, but I've yet to see any relatively fast lenses that don't have some PF issues. (If there are some I'd love to know about them...) As Rondec said, PF is not a big deal.

Technical and cost arguments aside, just spend a few minutes scrolling through a hundred or two of these shots and see if you don't recognize anything special about what the 77 can do. Not to say that other lenses at varying costs can't do this and aren't special in their own ways... And what do I know I may be wrong or snowed, but it's my honest opinion just based on the results I've seen, the 77 is a special and desirable lens.

05-05-2013, 11:42 AM   #35
Pentaxian
reeftool's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Upstate New York
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,155
When I first bought my K10D several years ago, I got by very well with the DA 18-55 kit lens and a Sigma 70-300 along with some old Takumar primes that went back to my Spotmatic. If you're shooting in good light and stopped down to f/8-f/11 most of the time, you may not see a big difference. I still use my kit lens and the Sigma. My first purchase (besides very inexpensive MF glass) was the DA 10-17. Why? I love the fisheye look and I always wanted one. The 10-17 got me exploring wide angle shooting a lot more and within a year, I added the DA 15 Limited. I do a lot of car shows and those 2 lenses get used a bunch. My next purchase was the DA 40 Limited. Again, it was based on needing a fast autofocus lens with a somewhat "normal" field of view. I should mention that at the time, the DA 40 Ltd. was relatively inexpensive, around $300 new. An f/8 landscape shot is much sharper with either of these lenses but I didn't buy them for that purpose. I still use the 18-55 as a walk around simply because of the convenience of having a zoom with that range. I'm a strong believer in buying lenses that I will use. There is a lot of exceptional glass out there that I just can't justify buying because it doesn't fit in to my photography right now. My 2 Limiteds remain just 2 because I just don't know how much I would use the others. Maybe the DA 21 but I think I would get more use out of something in the 24-28mm length. I have a 28mm Super Tak I use a lot and would love and have considered an AF lens in that size.
05-05-2013, 01:25 PM   #36
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Gladys, Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 16,237
The biggest problem that I have with the FA 77 is that I don't have a full frame camera to shoot it on. It feels too long for APS-C and I actually prefer the DA *55, although that is plenty expensive in its own right. Anyway, there are plenty of reasonably priced primes out there, particularly if auto focus isn't crucial and many of the older ones have interesting, special rendering which today's more bland lenses don't have.
05-05-2013, 02:20 PM   #37
Pentaxian
Sagitta's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Maine
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,939
I have a soft spot in my heart for cheap, crappy zooms, but I'm not about to say they hold a candle to ANY of the primes I have*.

The advantage of zooms is that you can catch fast moving object (Hi, kids!) or compose and refocus on the fly where the primes will require hunting.

I can honestly say I don't own a 'modern' prime, but if the IQ is even remotely comparable they'd still trounce my zooms. The thing with zooms is - usually - when you by an Xmm - Zmm zoom, you're actually getting a Ymm zoom - lop off the first and last quarter or so of the zooms focal length and assume you're using something somewhat in the middle as far as IQ goes. You can get perfectly passable shots at the near and far ends, but you truthfully usually need to stick to the middle somewhere for quality if you're fussy at all about what you're getting as results.

If I had a choice between a modern 18-200mm zoom or a set of modern 28, 50, 135 and 85mm primes, I'd go for the primes.

Then sell them and buy a Bigma.

But then again that's me.

* - Except for my 400mm and 500mm Quantarays, they're in a level of suck all on their own.
05-05-2013, 02:35 PM   #38
Site Supporter
mikeSF's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: East Bay Area, CA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,705
QuoteOriginally posted by utak Quote
...

Don’t buy the story that excellent expensive primes guarantee excellent photos

...
wow, i don't think ive EVER heard that assertion by anybody ever. You lost me when you went on to respond to such an inane remark.

That said, my three favorite images were shot with a $1000 prime, a $25 prime, and a $40 prime. I am not sure there is any conclusion to be had in that, but the person behind the camera is obviously far more important than the gear he or she is holding.

05-05-2013, 07:53 PM   #39
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,438
QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
That said, my three favorite images were shot with a $1000 prime, a $25 prime, and a $40 prime.
I think I can do you a bit better (one-upmanship). Of the 109 photos in personal favs set on Flickr (LINK), only one was taken with the 77mm Limited. The price ceiling for the others is $325 with most having been taken with dirt cheap lenses, say under $30, and a bunch with FSU (Former Soviet Union) glass on FSU cameras!


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 05-05-2013 at 08:01 PM.
05-05-2013, 08:00 PM   #40
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,438
QuoteOriginally posted by utak Quote
...to suggest that if (say) you've just purchased a K30, try good value zooms first, try a few used primes. Buy hoods. Focus on a couple of focal lengths.
Fair enough, but I would caution that optical value for cheap zooms is highly variable. It is my opinion that vintage primes offer more bang for the buck.


Steve

(...founder of the "Off-Brand Club"...)
05-05-2013, 08:45 PM   #41
Pentaxian
Sagitta's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Maine
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,939
QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Fair enough, but I would caution that optical value for cheap zooms is highly variable. It is my opinion that vintage primes offer more bang for the buck.


Steve

(...founder of the "Off-Brand Club"...)
QFT

When you get a dog, its usually a hell of a dog, but when you get a nice one, oh, man...

In my experience when looking at old zooms, look for macro zooms. Budget macro zooms tend to have better quality than standard zooms, and offer a bit more flexibility. The macro is never a true macro, but they do (usually) allow for a closer minimal focus distance and trend towards a better bokeh than non-macro zooms.
05-05-2013, 09:07 PM   #42
Pentaxian
redrockcoulee's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Medicine Hat
Posts: 2,135
It seems to be that often the time that better equipment shines in when conditions are the worst, whether that be low light, bad weather, terrible environment or any other heavy demand on the gear. I was at an indoor rodeo a couple of weekends ago and the person who only had a kit lens went home and bought new gear. I shot everything wide open and even at that my 50 1.7 could have been many stops faster and I was shooting at 3200 and I think 6400. Harsh but low light, dark ground and cowboys wearing hats, I do not think your kit lens would cut it. I left my slower lenses home knowing they would be useless. Flash was not allowed.

If I am out shooting landscape there is much less demand on my equipment, my main lens for my 4X5 was made in the 60s and cost me $78 and is at least three generations out of date in a format that does not change rapidly. I have no limited lenses and the most expensive lenses I have used were borrowed Nikon ones. For when they are needed they are needed. I think a butcher uses better knives then the average person does at home, or a cook better pots, but that is due to the heavier demand, heavier usage and good enough is not good enough if you are being paid to be the pro.

To the OP: until or unless you need the better gear do not spend the money on it. But if the tasks require lenses that your current ones cannot properly complete, you will want to or need to acquire these lenses. More expensive lenses do not mean better photos but they might mean the ability to capture images you cannot with lower quality gear in certain conditions.
05-06-2013, 09:16 AM   #43
Pentaxian
todd's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Basement
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,941
QuoteOriginally posted by redrockcoulee Quote
To the OP: until or unless you need the better gear do not spend the money on it.
Unless you have the money and feel like splurging. (I'm being redundant so I promise to stop after this...) I didn't even remotely need it at its price but I am so glad I splurged on the FA31. I went out yesterday to a Cinco De Mayo festival on a cloudy day here and took tons of shots and the IQ was blowing me away all day. In the mix was probably my favorite shot of my family (just sitting together on a bench) that I've ever acquired. The more I shoot with this lens the more I feel like I am drinking a fine wine that I am learning to appreciate with all its subtly and it may not be improving my photography but it has way improved my photography experience...
05-06-2013, 11:45 AM   #44
Pentaxian
redrockcoulee's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Medicine Hat
Posts: 2,135
QuoteOriginally posted by todd Quote
Unless you have the money and feel like splurging. (I'm being redundant so I promise to stop after this...) I didn't even remotely need it at its price but I am so glad I splurged on the FA31. I went out yesterday to a Cinco De Mayo festival on a cloudy day here and took tons of shots and the IQ was blowing me away all day. In the mix was probably my favorite shot of my family (just sitting together on a bench) that I've ever acquired. The more I shoot with this lens the more I feel like I am drinking a fine wine that I am learning to appreciate with all its subtly and it may not be improving my photography but it has way improved my photography experience...
Todd: The OP made comments about premier lenses not being worth while buying and so to him I stated that the time may come when he actually needs one may have little choice. For the rest of us buy what you can afford or make it so you can afford one if you want it get it. For me the Hasselblad is a luxury that I did not need and had access to borrow gear however it just feels wonderful using it, I love the process and am more than satisified with the results. I could have bought two limited lenses for the funds I have in the Hasselblad and more than likely would feel the same as you posted about them. But again no one needs fine wine when porch climber works just as well Unless you are speaking of outstanding results and an extraordinary experience. I also enjoy pinhole photography which is the other side of the spectrum. But haing used expensive Nikkor lenses and cheap cheap zooms, I know they are not the same in results but more importantly in abilities. The gear does not make the photographer but at times without the appropiate gear the photograph just does not happen. And great gear is great and it does not always have to be expensive.
05-06-2013, 12:06 PM   #45
Pentaxian
todd's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Basement
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,941
Gotcha. Well said. The mention of Hasselblad and pinhole makes me want to say that yes the gear does make the photographer at least to some extent... Pinhole for example seems to funnel the photographer into such a specific realm of stylistic expression. I am guessing that could get me into trouble, so maybe a safer way to say it is that the two are inseparable?
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
budget, forum, guarantee, k-mount, lengths, lens, lenses, pentax, pentax lens, people, photos, primes, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
WR zooms vs IQ zooms being considered ChooseAName Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12 10-22-2012 03:17 PM
Portraits: Zooms vs. Primes FastPhotography Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 9 03-08-2008 08:18 AM
primes vs zooms ? gokenin Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 34 02-12-2008 02:21 PM
Zooms vs. Primes superbass Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 33 11-08-2007 08:34 AM
New zooms VS Old Primes Cloggy Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 7 08-01-2007 02:00 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:51 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top