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10-10-2013, 12:44 PM   #1
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Updating lens lineup for K-3

Hi,
With the announcement of the K-3 I've per-ordered the silver combination version and am now trying to update my current state of lenses. I have a pretty good range of lenses already, but I do have some gaps and overlaps as I'm sure most people do. Below is my current set of lenses:

Zooms
Pentax 18-55mm Kit Lens
Pentax 18-135mm WR
Pentax 55-300mm ( Will update to new WR line )
Sigma 10-20 f3.5

Samyang/Rokinon Fixed Primes
8mm 3.5
14mm 2.8
85mm 1.4

Primes
Pentax 35mm DA 2.4
Pentax 50mm FA 1.4
( Pentax 43mm FA 1.9 Limited - just purchased )
Pentax 100mm DFA 2.8 WR Macro

One of my thoughts was to get an all DA Limited lineup with the new HD coatings from the 15mm all the way to the 70mm. I like that these lenses are compact, light, and good quality and would shrink my overall traveling load. I carried all but two of the lenses above when I went on a trip to Hawaii and it was a very hefty kit, plus my Q and it's lenses. After looking at the cost, I couldn't justify it completely just yet, but I want to have the best quality lenses that make sense. I've just ordered the 43mm 1.9 limited in silver that was on sale at B&H as a companion to my 50mm 1.4. I feel the quality and resolution of that lens should match up well with the K-3 and can't wait to test it out. Also I found the 50mm on a DSLR just a bit to long for portrait shooting. In truth, I'd like to get the HD DA 15mm Limited just to have a smaller wide-angle zoom. The Sigma is huge comparatively. From there, maybe the 21 and the 70, but I wish they were a bit faster glass and WR.

Buy HD DA 70mm or FA 77mm Limited?
I have a gap from my 50mm 1.4 to my 100mm 2.8, but, I never understood why I would need something in-between. The DFA 100mm is the sharpest lens( minus the Samyangs ) I own, and it really shows it's quality. Trying to compare with my zoom I find I only need to take one large step back to mimic the perspective of a 70mm lens. The only place where this couldn't happen is when doing landscape work where I can't simply move back enough. Any thoughts on what this lens might be useful for or needed? I find I use my 50mm 1.4 for portraits exclusively and never using my 100mm unless shooting outdoors or in a larger studio possibly.

Buy the HD 35mm 2.8 macro or FA 31mm 1.9 Limited?
Honestly I'd like to get the limited, if the price ever reaches back under $800-900 but, I'm starting to worry that the newer lenses with modern coatings will perform better on DSLR's. I already have the 35mm 2.4 which is a great lens, and macro ability is something I may use every now and then. The limited of course should be fantastic, but how much over the basic budget 35mm? I don't know if it's worth the $1100 difference, especially if it's not WR.

Final thoughts
Since Pentax has a general road map for there lenses that we know of, it gives us some idea of what to expect. However, I am really hoping they start making more WR lenses or updates to the DA* line. I would probably buy all the DA limiteds if they were WR. They other question is, are the FA limited line that has been in production for a while now still good for the K-3 and beyond? Will the FA Limited line come out with new coatings or be re-branded for the FF Pentax if it ever comes out?

10-10-2013, 12:58 PM   #2
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There are people that say the FA77 is sharper. I personally would go for the DA70 over the FA77, but I think it really comes down to handling both in person.

As far as whether you need it or not - eh.. the DA70/FA77 are very very good portrait lenses. Better than both your FA50 F1.4 and DFA 100 Macro (debatable sure, but I'll throw it out there!). If you had the DA*55 F1.4, then I'd say the 70/77 would be redundant, but since you don't - go get them!

I would automatically get the FA31 over the DA 35 Ltd. I'll be frank (who's Frank?) - I'd automatically get the FA31 over almost anything else if I had the money for it.
10-10-2013, 01:12 PM   #3
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i have both the 31 and 77...although i absolutely love the 77 i use the 31 more...i agree with
JinDesu
10-10-2013, 01:23 PM   #4
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Ahh my bank account is going to get more empty. So both of you say there is a significant upgrade in IQ over the DA 35mm 2.4? Even as great a lens as it is? I never used 35mm much till I got one and realized how useful it is. It's my 2-3rd most used lens, with my 55-300 being the other contender. The FA 50mm 1.4 is number one but I'm hoping the 43mm 1.9 limited will replace/complement it.

10-10-2013, 01:24 PM   #5
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You may find that with the FA 43 now in your bag, you won't find much use for the FA 50. (at least, that's what I've discovered). So you could consider selling off the FA 50 and getting either the DA 70 or FA 77. That way, you'd have better spacing -- FA 43, DA/FA 70/77, DFA 100.
10-10-2013, 01:25 PM   #6
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you may want to add the Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 to your list of zooms to acquire in the future...
10-10-2013, 01:37 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by seventysixersfan Quote
You may find that with the FA 43 now in your bag, you won't find much use for the FA 50. (at least, that's what I've discovered). So you could consider selling off the FA 50 and getting either the DA 70 or FA 77. That way, you'd have better spacing -- FA 43, DA/FA 70/77, DFA 100.
If it wasn't a 1.4 I probably would. Plus it was my first real lens on a Pentax. If I find the 43 just that outstanding, then I can probably sell it for what I paid for it. That would leave me with either getting a FA 31mm or a FA77 at best, but I may wait till the end of the year to make sure no other things pop out from Pentax that I may want.
10-10-2013, 01:51 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by knightzerox Quote
Ahh my bank account is going to get more empty. So both of you say there is a significant upgrade in IQ over the DA 35mm 2.4? Even as great a lens as it is? I never used 35mm much till I got one and realized how useful it is. It's my 2-3rd most used lens, with my 55-300 being the other contender. The FA 50mm 1.4 is number one but I'm hoping the 43mm 1.9 limited will replace/complement it.
Supposedly it is sharper wide open than the 35 F2.4. Stopped to F4 they are about equal.

I prefer any focal length wider than the 35. The 35 is just a little too tight for my use for a lot of things.

10-10-2013, 01:51 PM   #9
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I am saving up for lenses for my new FF next year. I am hoping they will have a 28 coming out and it will need FF basic zoom. I only have the black K3 on pre-order figuring with some luck I can spend my money on FF gear.
10-10-2013, 01:56 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
I prefer any focal length wider than the 35. The 35 is just a little too tight for my use for a lot of things.
I agree with this. As much as I love my FA 35 f/2.0, I find I reach for my F 28mm f/2.8 more often because of the wider focal length although it's too bad it's not as fast. In an ideal world, I would have either a FA 31mm or Sigma 30mm f/1.4. Or, my current plan is to just get the Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 to cover this range...
10-10-2013, 05:44 PM   #11
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I love my Sigma 30. It's a real workhorse. In your shoes, I'd get the Sigma 30, the DA15, and the DA21 in that order.
10-10-2013, 05:53 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by pearsaab Quote
i have both the 31 and 77...although i absolutely love the 77 i use the 31 more...i agree with
JinDesu
I use the '43 the most with the '31 a distant cousin who I don't need to see at all.
10-12-2013, 08:38 AM   #13
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Well I got the 43mm 1.9 limited in and have been doing a lot of testing. One thing that had been impacting my results was that a few of my lenses that I was comparing were not focusing properly. Once I got them all in order I could compare well. Here's what I have found and what I think will be a good lineup for the K-3 coming up.

43mm vs 50mm 1.4 vs 35mm 2.4 AL
The 43 is a nice in-between lens compared to the other two but I feel that a 30-35mm lens is still necessary. As you get toward the wider end each mm of difference has counts more toward the difference in perspective and the 43 is not wide enough to cover both, but a very good FL for a DSLR.

I found that the 43mm is the sharpest consistently out of those lenses. Now, once you shoot them all at f4, the differences are more slight, but, the 43mm is sitll the winner and I believe with the K-3's more resolution you will begin to see them separate even more. For example, I thought my 50mm 1.4 was the sharpest lens at wide open on a 6 MP camera, but now at 16MP, more of its faults begin to show. I think with the K-3 we are going to start seeing more demands for high quality lenses and more demands out of our current ones. The 35mm 2.4 is sharp wide open as well and comparatively equal to most people at f2.4 to the 43mm, with again the 43mm being better but other factors then come into play. I'm pretty happy with the 35mm now, so I don't see any need to spend $1300 for a 31mm Limited, or even the DA 35mm limited as the performance is good enough for me.

100mm 2.8 WR Macro
It was interesting to compare the sharpness of this lens with the 43. They are both very very sharp and I think it's a toss up. I'd go back and forth between the two in terms of sharpness. At first this lens was also incorrectly focusing which made me question why I bought the lens, but I knew something was wrong as it had always been sharp before.

My lineup now
I did also go and shoot with my Samyangs, which are wonderful lenses that are sharp and perform so well, but in a photoshoot/work environment I need the auto-focus. For pleasure or video, those lenses can't be beat. Which means I will be filling in with a HD 15mm DA Limited ( For compact wide-angle since my Sigma is huge ), 35mm 2.4 AL, 43mm 1.9 Limited, 70/77, 100mm WR Macro.

I'll be keeping the 50mm 1.4 for now till I get my K-3 and see if I still like the effects at 1.4, but it is a very creamy/dreamy photos that it produces at that aperture.
10-12-2013, 10:06 AM   #14
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I have both the DA70 and FA77 and much prefer the 77 but you really can't go wrong with either. You will love the 43!
10-12-2013, 10:54 AM   #15
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Well with the K-3 Silver (when you can get one) you need some off the Silver lenses.
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