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09-23-2013, 12:10 AM   #1
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Lens dillemma

Hi all

This is always hard. I have set up three pathsways within the total price range I can afford.

1. Go primes / Limited being light and simple, but loosing versatility and long end( 1 300 Euro NEW)
a) DA 15 mm Limited
b) DAL 35 mm (already own)
c) DAL 50 mm 1.8
d) DA 70 mm Limited

2. Go for wide and portrait with zooms (1 600 Euro NEW)
a) 12-24 mm - no WR and no SDM
b) Sigma 24 -70 HSM mm (unfortunately no alternative from Pentax )

3. Going Super-Cover-It-All combo ( 1 200 Euro Mint or 1 600 Euro New)
a) DA* 16-50 mm SDM
b) 60-250 mm SDM

Unfortunately there is no ideal combination, because

A) Option 1 - I never have been fully on primes and are worried about lens change and can I get past it, but otherwise would fancy lite and simple gear. Could later add some 100mm macro as well.
B) Option 2 - I really like 12-24 and 24-70 combination as this is interesting set up for wide city and people, but rather bad reviews of Sigma lens put me little bit off (bad bokeh, soft at 70 mm) and both have no WR.
C) Option 3 - would look great but are worried of SDM failures (in Mint case) and also DA* 16-50 being soft and having quite a few distortions. Besides the weight of 60-250 no issues there. Would seem great Silent and WR option for my K-5 and I have good offer for Mint price at the moment.

Thanks for any thoughts that would help me to decide which option to go!

Regards,
Superdavis

09-23-2013, 12:53 AM   #2
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Whilst 1 and 2 are similar in focal length covered, 3 is very different, so it seems you're coming at this the wrong way - let your chosen subjects lead to your choice of focal length(s).

You say you're worried about lens change. Why? DSLR's are designed for lens changes, and if it's getting dirt on the sensor, etc. that you're concerned about, look to your lens change method. I change lenses all the time and have rarely had any dust etc inside the body. Always find a dust free, or as dust free environment as you can (but don't worry too much) and point the lens/body down when you change lenses, doing the switch as quickly as possible. Make sure the mount end of the lens has the cap on until the last moment.

SDM failures seem to have been very much a thing of the past. Unfortunately Pentax haven't come clean as to what they're done about the issue, but it does seem that recently manufactured lenses are ok. For my part, so far anyway, no issues with SDM. I make sure I give each SDM lens a run every two/fours weeks if they haven't been used, both using SDM and non-SDM bodies. Just a few minutes of focussing to min and max, that's all.
09-23-2013, 01:02 AM   #3
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Hi JohnX

You are very right, because this was my goal and I was deciding between primes/zooms
QuoteOriginally posted by JohnX Quote
Whilst 1 and 2 are similar in focal length covered
QuoteOriginally posted by JohnX Quote
let your chosen subjects lead to your choice of focal length(s).
I guess this is the most difficult choice to decide

QuoteOriginally posted by JohnX Quote
DSLR's are designed for lens changes
Great quote

Anyhow, thanks for encouragment
09-23-2013, 01:21 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by superdavis Quote



I guess this is the most difficult choice to decide
I don't really get this. What are your favourite subjects? Only you know.

If birds, for example, then you'll need a long lens. If portraits of people, then short telephoto. If macro, a macro lens. If street, then wide angle.

If you're not yet sure where your main interest lies, (and I confess to being a generalist myself), then it doesn't really matter where you start, but the DA* 50-135 is WR, and often described as a 'bag of primes'. Heavier than primes, but fast (f2.8), great IQ, but is SDM, so don't buy an older one that hasn't been 'fixed'. I have one - it's great!

Primes give you light weight, high IQ, and a good range of focal lengths if you also include the 35, 50 100, 200 and 300's.

Personally I only ever shoot Pentax glass for colour consistency, but the latest Sigmas are highly rated in reviews and most Sigmas seem to be well regar5ded bu users.

I wouldn't look at the 60-250. Although a good lens it is a 'super-zoom' = compromise on quality. For much less money, but still a compromise, the 55-300 is very under-rated.

09-23-2013, 01:23 AM   #5
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Different Horses For Different Courses?

Hello Superdavis,
I'm a bit confused here. You have two sets that go to 70mm as the long end and a third that ends at 250mm. These are impossible to compare rationally, do you want/need the long end?
Also, you mention that you already have a 35mm prime. What other lenses do you own? The reason I ask is that many new users want 'everything', and end up with some lenses they use a lot, while others sit on the bench.
The most simple answer is to get a kit lens of 18-55mm and perhaps a 50-200mm tele zoom. With the short zoom you could have a WR, wide-to-short tele in a compact package. Shoot several hundred photos with this 'budget' set, sort through the photos and pick your favorites. I'll bet you will find you're naturally drawn to certain focal length more than others. Those are the focal-length primes that will suit you best.
Anything else is guesswork.
JMO,
Ron
09-23-2013, 01:42 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnX Quote
Only you know
Option 1 -2 has been considering what I have been shooting so far - my range was 10-70 mm and I was satisfied with it, but Option 3 would give me something new to try Taking pictures are experimenting after all.
But - I shoot a lot inside so need wide (35 mm is ok, but not enough) and also I like city and people. There I agree that 135 mm could be enough for me.

QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
I'll bet you will find you're naturally drawn to certain focal length more than others. Those are the focal-length primes that will suit you best.
15, 35, 50, 70, 100 is my favorite lengths. This I know, but probably then this is rather dilemma for primes vs zooms.





QuoteOriginally posted by JohnX Quote
I wouldn't look at the 60-250. Although a good lens it is a 'super-zoom' = compromise on quality
Not always - if you read reviews then quite often even primes show issues, so no perfect lens at all. They are all compromises.
09-23-2013, 02:22 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by superdavis Quote
15, 35, 50, 70, 100 is my favorite lengths. This I know, but probably then this is rather dilemma for primes vs zooms.

Not always - if you read reviews then quite often even primes show issues, so no perfect lens at all. They are all compromises.
Keping this in mind, how about considering the 15mm prime + Tamron 28-75/2.8? Many a wedding have been shot with this Tamron - it is highly rated. I regret selling mine (sigh...). That may leave you with enough money to get a 100mm/2.8 Macro which will also give you some excellent Macro options, in case you would like to experiment. If it leaves you wanting a longer telephoto option, despite cropping, you could justify getting into longer focal lengths.

I'll say this: when I started out, the Tammy 28-75 seldom came off the camera in the first 5 years. If it did, it was to use an M100/2.8 or an old Bayonet Tak 135/2.5 that yielded surprisingly pleasant images...

My 2 cents...
09-23-2013, 08:24 AM   #8
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I was on the mostly-prime path, but the 16-45 can be found for so much less than the DA15+21 combo that my budget won out. Maybe some day those primes will be in play, but in the meantime I plan to keep the 40 and 70mm Limiteds. Telephoto is my challenge now..

09-23-2013, 12:05 PM   #9
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I have ended up with primes (15-21-35-50) as my (ehm) primary set of lenses. For whenever I can't/won't change lenses I have a zoom (18-135) .

And I think they complement each other well.

...and of course there are some specialty lenses in addition (fisheye, wide zoom, macro, tele), but lenses should ideally be added as you identify the need for them. I'm not too good at that last part
09-24-2013, 12:01 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
I have ended up with primes (15-21-35-50) as my (ehm) primary set of lenses.
I have decided for similar root, so Option 1, but for the begining I would rather go 21-35-50-70 so changing 15 to 21 as initially planned. Then let's see do I miss/need 15 wide.

QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
For whenever I can't/won't change lenses I have a zoom (18-135)
I am also considering this or even going with WR 18-55 kit lens in case i need zoom. I use zoom mainly for different effect, like zoom blur, color splash etc., so sharpness and F value and not the most important forme.

If initially I have decided to try Prime paths, this is what I should do. I know zooms are always tempting, but maybe it will fade away after couple of month shooting just primes. Otherwise you'll never know until you try.

THX to all!

Last edited by superdavis; 09-24-2013 at 12:07 AM.
09-24-2013, 01:08 AM   #11
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Shame you have a 35 already, otherwise I would try to talk you into a 40/43ltd instead of the 35 and 50. I'm a big fan of having an everyday zoom (sigma 17-70 in my case) paired up with a set of awesome primes.
09-24-2013, 01:19 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by robjmitchell Quote
Shame you have a 35 already, otherwise I would try to talk you into a 40/43ltd instead
Yes, this is also what I thought, but honestly I really like the plastic fantastic 35 2.4 - images are sometimes stunning, so looking forward to the same expectations towards 50 1.8

But you know, maybe I'll fall for Ltds and someday 40/43 would come in my line up

QuoteOriginally posted by robjmitchell Quote
I'm a big fan of having an everyday zoom (sigma 17-70 in my case)
Most probably, i'll also have one sooner or later, but now time for me exceptionally for primes - so I get no temptation to put on zoom and forget primes
09-24-2013, 04:26 AM   #13
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I'd love to have three small primes so I could leave the 17-70 behind. The 21 is certainly tempting, especially since i find there is not usually enough landscape for the 14mm a lot of the time.
09-24-2013, 05:44 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by robjmitchell Quote
especially since i find there is not usually enough landscape for the 14mm a lot of the time.
This is also my assumption and now I am going to test it
09-24-2013, 05:47 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by robjmitchell Quote
The 21 is certainly tempting.
Be tempted
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