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05-06-2013, 03:56 AM   #1
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Need advice : Rebuilding lens lineup

While I was gone from this forum, I bought an M9 and lenses, as I love rangefinders and the benefit of full frame. I've also sold of my FA* 24, FA 35, and Tamron 70-200. I am now certain about my purchase of a DA* 300mm, but I'm not so sure about how to cover the 16-70 area. I mainly shoot 20-40mm, 8-12mm, and 300mm. I am thinking about limited primes (21, 31, 43) and also the 16-50, but I'd like to keep the weight down.

What I have
8-16, 70mm macro

What I am sure about getting
DA* 300mm and Sigma 1.4x TC The seller has them listed at 730 and 160 respectively, but since they have been up for more than a month I think I can get him down to 700 and 150.

Options :
21, 31, 43

05-06-2013, 04:15 AM   #2
Bob from Aus's Avatar

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QuoteOriginally posted by gooseta Quote
DA* 300mm and Sigma 1.4x TC
these 2 lenses may not be comparable. if they aren't then the sigma Tc can damage the lens its fixed onto. Sigma does not say which non sigma lenses their TCs are compatible with
05-06-2013, 05:14 AM   #3
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The 16-50 is excellent in its own right, has weather sealing and SDM. You could consider replacing it with the Sigma or Tamron equivalents if those three perks are not important for you since the third party lenses are supposed to be a bit better.

The lineup of primes you list is excellent and should serve you well. I doubt you need three lenses to cover this tange, to me even though it's supposed to be superb I would drop the 31 and decide if 43 or 50 would serve me better.

Last option, get a Tamron 28-75 f2.8 since you got the wide angle covered.

I hope it helps!
05-06-2013, 05:28 AM   #4
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i would think of getting pentax A 35-105 f3.5. color reproduction and sharpness is amazing all across the frame. only downside is bokeh for me. and for bokeh i would carry 77 ltd in my bag

05-07-2013, 09:00 AM   #5
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Original Poster
Maybe I'll go for a 21, 35 macro, and 43 system, all three are under 500 pounds...
05-07-2013, 10:44 AM   #6

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QuoteOriginally posted by gooseta Quote
Maybe I'll go for a 21, 35 macro, and 43 system, all three are under 500 pounds...
The 35 and 43 are very close in angle of view.
You could pair the 35 macro with an A50/1.2 or K50/1.2
(if you found the 35/50 combination worked for you before).
Then you'd have macro and low light covered.
05-10-2013, 11:39 AM   #7

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Get the 300. If you like SDM on the 300, get the 16-50 nothing else with SDM on the list.
What would you use the 21, 31, 43 for? What do you nedd?
05-16-2013, 06:40 AM   #8
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Since you already have an M9, you might prefer your DSLR setup to have maximum differentiation from your rangefinder setup. As you already know, the advantages of the M9 is in its access to Leica glass, its small size, its quiet shutter, its full frame sensor, and in the silky smooth workflow. The disadvantages of the M9 are in its lack of autofocus, plus its general inability to use zooms, macros, or long telephotos.

(The K-5iis also has a technically superior sensor, with emphasis on the word "technically". I don't like pixel peeping or placing too much stock in DxOMark, especially when we're comparing apples to oranges, but the K-5iis does have better high ISO performance, especially when it comes to dynamic range.)

Looking at it that way, let's think about what lenses would best take advantage of the Pentax K-5iis, especially as compared with the M9.

The 21mm is great if you'd like your K-5iis to have a quasi-rangefinder feel. It's a tiny, sharp lens with excellent, trademark Pentax colors. It's a slow-ish lens, but it's sharp wide open, and you can use the Pentax at higher ISOs than you can your M9.

As for your walkaround zoom: if you don't need weather sealing, then I would strongly urge you to consider the Sigma 17-50. The IQ truly is top notch - tack sharp in the center wide open, prime sharp when stopped down. Smooth bokeh and gentle Sigma colors. I have found the AF to be quiet and reliable. You may have to spend a few minutes doing AF fine tuning to get the lens just right, but once it's done, it's done. The build quality on the Sigma is more than good enough for real world use.

I've heard too many mixed reports about the Pentax 16-50 to spend any time or money on one. I've tested a few out, but the AF always felt poky. What's more, nobody seems to think that the Pentax 16-50 is nearly as sharp wide open as its competitors from Tamron and Sigma. The Pentax costs much more than the Sigma and the Tamron, so if you don't need that weather sealing, then you're really only paying for the name.

It's sort of funny, to think that you could wind up with Leica lenses for your M9 and Sigma lenses for your Pentax, but hey, whatever works.

FWIW, for my WR lenses, I use a Pentax 18-135 WR (and a Pentax 100 Macro WR). The 18-135 is slower than the 16-50, of course, but it's reliable, it's durable, it has a wider range, it will never have SDM failure, and what's more, the image quality is actually quite good for its price and capabilities. There's no point in quibbling over corner sharpness if using the 18-135 means that I actually get the shot, as opposed to missing out because I was using something "nicer", but less flexible, especially if the 16-50 is going to be scarcely any better at f4 or f5.6. I can carry one in my backpack and not worry if it gets wet or banged around.

As for other lenses to get, it might seem a bit obvious, but people love the Limiteds. They're all good. Find a focal length you like and just get one. The 31mm is a logical choice for a fast, premium normal lens. The 35mm Macro is a weird idea, but there's a lot to be said for weird ideas, especially since you can't do macro on a rangefinder. People have fun with the 15mm, especially since it's so tiny, but it might be weird to have both the 8-16 and a 15mm prime.

I used to have the 70mm, and while on the one hand it had some of the best IQ that I've ever seen in a lens, I also didn't take nearly enough portraits for it to be worth my while. The lack of close focussing didn't help, either. That said, the idea of a high-quality pancake telephoto is actually pretty cool - it'd be great for event photography.

05-16-2013, 07:03 AM   #9
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Starting from the Sigma 8-16 and Sigma 70 macro.. you have two great lenses, and a macro lens. The Tamron 17-50 is going to give you the IQ you're come to expect from the first two. And the SIgma 70-200 most recent version has apparently cleaned up the lack of long end sharpness that was common to all it's predecessors, and has the fastest AF of any lens available for a Pentax (by forum consensus. )

With a 300 ƒ4, I'm not sure what else you could need without spending a bazillion dollars. ( As in Sigma 500 ƒ4.5)

If you want to add a few primes, the 21 and 40 XS are lightweight, as in you can carry them in a shirt pocket, and produce very nice images. I'm not mentioning a lot of Pentax glass here, but apart from the DA 18-135, and 60-250 I have found Pentax glass to be expensive, and not exactly what I want. (Those two were expensive but exaclty what I wanted. These days the 18-135 isn't even expensive) .)But you have to have some, or you can't use selective focus. But I wouldn't be happy with those two lenses if I didn't have my SMC A-400 for extra reach and the Sigma 8-16 (which is a big heavy lens). Taken together the 18-135 and 60-250 are the perfect wet weather hiking package, if you have the strength to carry the 60-250.

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