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03-15-2008, 03:33 AM   #1
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14 f2.8 or 21 f3.2???

Ok first thing I need to travel light, that's why I'm considering switching to an all prime travel kit... but why this title, the only two lenses I don't own are the 14 and 21.

14, 21, 43, 50, 77 and 18-250 for the range

or

12-24, 16-50 and 18-250

Help... whay do you think is the best combination both weight and quality?

03-15-2008, 03:36 AM   #2
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If light weight travel is the main concern,

Prime line up: 21, 43, 77

Zoom line up: 12-24

Mixed: 12-24, 43, 77

If the trip is of day trip, I will pick prime line up

If the trip of international travel, I would pick mixed line up
03-15-2008, 04:45 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
If light weight travel is the main concern,

If the trip of international travel, I would pick mixed line up
I forgot to mention, international travel for 2 to 5 months without going home. (work + vacation)
03-15-2008, 06:09 AM   #4
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I agree with the 21 - 43 - 77 combo. Very light and compact. No real need for both the 43 and the 50. I use a 21 - 31 - 77 combo and love it.

The 14 is kind of a massive lens, so if I wanted primarily a travel kit, I'd leave it out.

03-15-2008, 07:55 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Finn Quote
I agree with the 21 - 43 - 77 combo. Very light and compact. No real need for both the 43 and the 50. I use a 21 - 31 - 77 combo and love it.

The 14 is kind of a massive lens, so if I wanted primarily a travel kit, I'd leave it out.
Totally agree with Finn. The 14mm weighs 420g and is 63mm in length while the 21mm is 140g and 44mm. Reportedly the 21mm is also easier to focus in terms of the viewfinder image.

I looked into this issue myself in great detail, starting as a complete novice. 14mm is not a small lens, but I needed the wide angle. I ended up with the 16-45mm for flexibility in architecture and cityscape photos. It is not significantly heavier but do not be fooled by the stated length of 92mm. This lens extends to go wide-angle, a very unusual characteristic in my (limited) experience. At 16mm wide, with the hood, it's an imposing 160mm long. This may not scare buildings, but it sure scares people when I try to take a shot inside a pub! Still, it breaks the ice.

But anyway, steering back on topic, the trio of limiteds mentioned is a great option. For me it will be 16-45, 43, 77. That is, once I get my first photog paycheck and can justify the 77mm to myself.
03-15-2008, 09:33 PM   #6
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The 14 is big and heavy (relatively speaking), but the wide angle is worth it (if you know how to use it). I just got back from a trip to southern Utah hiking through some slot canyons, and WOW! I didn't bother with any other lens besides my 14mm while in the canyons. There were a few places where a less-wide lens might have been a little more desirable, but I still got some amazing pictures from it. 'Course, now the cap and hood are scratched up, but hey, it was worth it.
03-15-2008, 09:47 PM   #7
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Da 14mm f2.8 is relatively small comparing to competition brands. To me, weight is not the issue.

It is its propensity to get flare resulting blown highlights and loss of colour on either side of the image that troubles me (Usually with the light source from the sky). This problem does improve with ND +8 filter and improve little with polarisers.

Using it at night time or indoor dark lighting works as a treat. Absolutely a pleasure to use this prime. Just wishing this lens more versatile stopping down to f8 under normal day light.

There were a couple of occasions where I photographed the waterfalls without any canopy cover. Even weak lighting creates highlight at the top of the fall, 1/3 of the photo from either side of the frame showing flare. This has been frustrating.

Otherwise for most of the landscape, Da 14mm is more than enough.

Last edited by roentarre; 03-15-2008 at 10:39 PM. Reason: too many spelling errors and grammar errors
03-15-2008, 09:49 PM   #8
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In addition to the previous post, bokeh from Da 14mm is neutral at its best. The bokeh could be chalky at times and less pleasant.

However, it definitely has a better autofocus speed and accuracy comparing to Da* 16-50 f2.8

03-15-2008, 10:13 PM   #9
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Do you really need the "range"? I've never been impressed with any of the super zooms. Or many zooms in general.

So far I like the 50-135 and it makes for flexible shooting. The sharpness works for me, but it is heavy compared to the body, and I'm not crazy about the balance of the camera with this setup. Maybe with the grip it would be better, but then the whole thing is bigger.

The 16-45 to me is just about the right weight and length. It also performs beyond its price imho. I just bought a 77 ltd and that is sublime though. I'm thinking of going all primes and might just forget the zooms. For what I shoot I can live without a zoom.

Aren't they supposed to make a 15mm ltd? If so, and if it wasn't a zillion ounces, I'd go that, 33ltd (or 35ltd macro), 43ltd (or 50 macro) and 77ltd.
03-15-2008, 10:33 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote

Aren't they supposed to make a 15mm ltd? If so, and if it wasn't a zillion ounces, I'd go that, 33ltd (or 35ltd macro), 43ltd (or 50 macro) and 77ltd.
Aren't we all waiting for this lens with wishful thinking?

Tiny, compact, cute, metallic, possibly f3.5, great flare control, typically good contrast.

No expectation on bokeh since this supposedly tiny gem is not to be used for wide open stuff. Not with f3.5.

A great 15mm will get me selling both Da* 16-50 and Da 14mm for sure.

03-15-2008, 10:44 PM   #11
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What's got me wondering is the 35mm macro. I need a macro, and it seems that the 35mm could duplicate much of what the 31 could do. But the 31 is so revered, I hate to pass it up. Maybe just get the 50mm macro and forget the used 50/1.4. The 31 and 77 should be plenty quick, especially since I don't mind shooting high iso.
03-15-2008, 11:01 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
What's got me wondering is the 35mm macro. I need a macro, and it seems that the 35mm could duplicate much of what the 31 could do. But the 31 is so revered, I hate to pass it up. Maybe just get the 50mm macro and forget the used 50/1.4. The 31 and 77 should be plenty quick, especially since I don't mind shooting high iso.
Owning 31mm is like knowing a lover. It takes time to get to know her. You treat it like a treasure and you apply the lens to special occasions. It, at times. gives you that sparkle that stuns you. Not something to put on paper with analysis as no mistress is the same. I held the belief when I first heard Fa 31mm f1.8 ltd - "what the heck is this weird focal length?"

Even 2 years prior to getting my first pentax lens, I saw brochures in Japan showcasing the 3 Fa limited at the time. I found them really small and compact and interesting cosmetically. Contempt was definitely there as I thought - "So much cheaper than Canon EF 35/1.4 or 85/1.2; they got to be crap since aperture is only f1.8 - almost so pre-historic" ...

Well, it takes time to realise what Fa 31 ltd is capable of. I had a period that I put down Fa 77 ltd as well. But nothing is perfect and all lenses have an intended audience to serve. Nowadays, I know when to take out Fa 77 ltd for the best results. And this is the fun of photography getting to know your baby lenses.

Da 35mm f2.8 macro is surely a lens to look forward to. Many of us are addicted to various types of bokeh. Especially in a boring dull day with no particular event or people to photograph, we tend to think about composition, getting things isolated from the soft out of focus area. The common subject is puny tiny wild flower either in pots or by the road side.

Using ordinary Fa 31mm ltd or Fa 35/2 or even Da 21 f3.2 is not going to get you too close to the flower. Hence the flower looks small, almost obsolete with large sparse out of focus area as there is no theme in the photo. 35mm f2.8 macro would give you that edge to make dull shot more relevant.

35mm macro could also get you much closer to the still life photography subject without including too much of the light box or the ugly backgrounds. This lens is surely a specialised lens. Believe it or not, this lens might outsell majority of pentax line-up as 50mm macro on film camera is always the money spinner for major photography companies.

Enjoy photography
03-15-2008, 11:59 PM   #13
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I know the 31 won't cover macro (nor with the 77). The 16-50 actually is decent at the long end, although still not a dedicated macro.

I already am in love with the 77. I'm sure the 31 will have the same reaction. I'm a little different in that I don't really pull a lens out depending on the situation, but rather put one on and head out to see what I can find. The zooms are nice because I can be "lazy". Having a prime makes me walk around and find the right spot. But sometimes I do find myself saying, "hmm, I can't get what I see."

Getting back on track, if you can live 21mm being wide enough, I'd go that way in a heartbeat. I think that 12oz is about the limit for good balance, especially for handheld/street shooting. The 14 looks a little heavy and bulky for my taste, especially on the street. In fact, I prefer shooting with my D-Lux3 on the street instead of dslr. Another great choice is Ricoh GRD2, although you are "stuck" with effective 28mm lens.
03-16-2008, 03:20 AM   #14
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Ok 50-135 is a wonderful lens but it's wayyyyyy too big for my needs.

Let me go in details, I'm limited to 5kg of carry-on including laptop so you can imagine and only 15kg checked-in bag. I really need to travel light. This is the restriction to get to my work site. It's not that easy

So anyway, I think I'll go for 21, 43 and 77 + K20D. I could bring more but it has to do part of the trip in a truck on a real bush road so without a Pelican might as well forget about it.
03-16-2008, 07:59 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by CapitaineAbitibi Quote
So anyway, I think I'll go for 21, 43 and 77 + K20D. I could bring more but it has to do part of the trip in a truck on a real bush road so without a Pelican might as well forget about it.
Unless you need something more telephoto (where are you going? what do you hope to shoot?) this would be fine. No-one is going to argue against these lenses.

But consider a bit of an outsider choice, the "plastic fantastic" Vivitar 100mm macro. This gives extra reach over the 77mm, adds the useful 1:1 macro, and is the same weight. Unless you feel you will be needing to do lots of model shots out in the bush, it might actually be a better choice.

I presume you have also considered the advantages of weather-proof lenses and have decided that is not necessary?
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