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08-04-2013, 05:14 AM   #1
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Suggestion for a fast prime walk around lens

Hello folks I currently have the following:

1. K5 II
2. 77mm 1.8 limited
3. 16-50 2.8

I find myself wanting a fast prime to mainly use around the house where 77 especially on APS-C is a bit too much.

I am considering the 31mm 1.8 and the 43mm 1.9

The 43 is considerably cheaper but will it work for my purpose? Should I just bite the bullet and get the 31 or is the 43 good enough?

What do you guys think?

08-04-2013, 05:19 AM   #2
Ash
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Walk around lens could be either focal length, but bear in mind that 43 is quite a tight frame if not for portraiture and the like. I tend to use the 31 focal length more for the general purpose shooting, but that's if you want to invest into that kind of lens for that purpose. The alternatives include the very cheap (but not cheap on quality) DA 35/2.4, the very well-built Limited counterpart DA 35/2.8 macro, and DA 21 Ltd for something even wider. There is even the DA 40 Ltd if you want stealth, lightweight and an in-between focal length.


Ash.
08-04-2013, 05:27 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Walk around lens could be either focal length, but bear in mind that 43 is quite a tight frame if not for portraiture and the like. I tend to use the 31 focal length more for the general purpose shooting, but that's if you want to invest into that kind of lens for that purpose. The alternatives include the very cheap (but not cheap on quality) DA 35/2.4, the very well-built Limited counterpart DA 35/2.8 macro, and DA 21 Ltd for something even wider. There is even the DA 40 Ltd if you want stealth, lightweight and an in-between focal length.


Ash.
Thanks for your suggestions. I looked at the DA 35 2.8 but I figured that since I already have a 16-50 2.8, getting the 35 2.8 would be kind of pointless wouldn't it? I have just about the same focal length and exactly the same speed on my zoom.
Correct me if I am wrong please.
Thanks.
08-04-2013, 05:30 AM   #4
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Not at all IMO. It is a true 1:1 macro lens with amazing image quality. If you're after more speed/DoF control, then if money is no object, the 31 Ltd is a no-brainier. There is also the discontinued FA 35/2 but it is not in the same league as the FA and DA Ltd lenses.


Ash.

08-04-2013, 05:37 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Not at all IMO. It is a true 1:1 macro lens with amazing image quality. If you're after more speed/DoF control, then if money is no object, the 31 Ltd is a no-brainier. There is also the discontinued FA 35/2 but it is not in the same league as the FA and DA Ltd lenses.


Ash.
Good point. Something to think about!
08-04-2013, 05:54 AM - 1 Like   #6
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IMO, determining the focal length you prefer for walking around should be your first order of business. Go around with the 16-50 and see where you're at the most, decide on a lens after you've picked a focal length
08-04-2013, 06:29 AM   #7
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Hey there. Im sure the 31mm won't dissapoint, a lot of members here love it. But Pentax makes a lot of lenses in that focal length range.
There is the FA 35mm f2.0, DA 35mm f2.4, and DA 35mm f2.8 macro. You can also take a look at what Sigma offers in that range (35mm, 30mm, f1.4) - some people enjoy those primes, even though they are much bigger and have different rendering characteristics than Pentax lenses.
Samyang makes a relatively cheap 35mm f1.4, too, but it has no AF.
But, you know, the FA 31mm ltd should perform better than any of these
08-04-2013, 06:36 AM   #8
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I would recommend the 31 as a no brainer. It is a great walkabout normal lens, the DA21 isn't bad either in decent light.

08-04-2013, 07:07 AM   #9
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A Pentax F 35-70, not a prime but very small and sharp lens also has a useful macro a 70mm.
08-04-2013, 07:33 AM   #10
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For a professional or dedicated amateur the focal length of a walk-around lens would depend on the preferences of the person.

If you want to generalize it, however, it could mean a lens for "I have no idea what I will shoot today". This reasoning would apply for all the hundreds of P&S cameras the industry offered for the masses of holiday shooters for decades. All the lenses of these cameras were in the range of 34-42mm, with a peak at 35mm. This mild wide angle offered a usable AOV for small group portraits as well as general architecture and landscape photography. If needed, you could crop when enlarging.

On APS-C, this would correspondend with a focal length of 23-25mm. If you can take only ONE prime lens with you, this would be the universal "one fits all" length.

In post, you can always crop, but never extend the AOV.
08-04-2013, 08:00 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Primes4ever Quote
I would recommend the 31 as a no brainer. It is a great walkabout normal lens, the DA21 isn't bad either in decent light.
I think those 2 lenses would be perfect. I don't have them but they are both on my radar. You can get a nice used DA 21 for $375 and if you watch carefully the FA 31 could be bought at the 8 to $900 dollar range.
08-04-2013, 01:13 PM   #12
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Many don't like the Sigma 30/1.4. I love mine. It does render differently than the FA31. I like the 31 also, but to me the difference in image quality isn't worth the difference in price. For the price of the 31, you could have the Sigma 30 AND the DA40, with change to spare, and have the best of both worlds, a fast lens sharp in the center, and a slow lens sharp across the frame.
08-04-2013, 04:18 PM   #13
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I picked up a 31mm 1.8 for $ 895 shipped. I figure that's a fair price and if I don't like it i can always sell. Don't think these lose much value.
08-04-2013, 05:00 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by RKKS08 Quote
If you want to generalize it, however, it could mean a lens for "I have no idea what I will shoot today". This reasoning would apply for all the hundreds of P&S cameras the industry offered for the masses of holiday shooters for decades. All the lenses of these cameras were in the range of 34-42mm, with a peak at 35mm. This mild wide angle offered a usable AOV for small group portraits as well as general architecture and landscape photography. If needed, you could crop when enlarging.

On APS-C, this would correspondend with a focal length of 23-25mm. If you can take only ONE prime lens with you, this would be the universal "one fits all" length.

In post, you can always crop, but never extend the AOV.
Good summary. This is why I prefer focal lengths of 24-30mm on APS-C (35-45mm on FF), because for years and years all I had were point-and-shoots and cell phone cameras to use, and I got so used to the focal range they offered.

Pentax AF pickings are a little slim in this area though (FA* 24, F/FA 28, FA 31). Sigma offers a lot of additional alternatives. Of course, if you go manual focus only, there are a sea of lenses waiting for you.

QuoteOriginally posted by Borislav Quote
I picked up a 31mm 1.8 for $ 895 shipped. I figure that's a fair price and if I don't like it i can always sell. Don't think these lose much value.
Good job. That's a great price unless the body is all beat up, which then bumps it down to a fair value. Still a solid deal though. And if anything, its price will only go up. How high? Depends if Pentax ever releases their mythical full-frame unicorn.
08-04-2013, 05:08 PM   #15
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I often put either my 40mm Limited pancake or 70mm Limited F 2.4 on my K10D or KM bodies. Unobtrusive and boy are they sharp. Also....not a prime...but my old 16-45 goes from moderate wide angle to portrait and it's plenty sharp.
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