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12-25-2013, 06:30 PM   #1
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What Is Your Best Lens?

What is your best lens? Is it the newest model, or your most expensive, or does something else make you feel a certain lens is your very best?

Just curious.

On a side note, today I saw a Zeiss Distagon Pentax mount prime lens on eBay. The asking price was $1,300. What do I get as opposed to a $400 prime lens? Can the difference readily be seen and distinguished in photos? Or is it more of a quality that doesn't easily translate into words?

Anybody got competitive samples such as the same shot between cheaper lenses and their rarer, exotic, or more expensive counterparts?

12-25-2013, 06:32 PM   #2
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Most expensive DA*60-250 f4

Best? Lester Dine 105 2.8 macro, although my Vivitar 105 2.5 came back from cleaning so I'll have to test them out.
12-25-2013, 06:42 PM   #3
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Several answers to this question.
  • 31 Limited - I just like it and it has AF to boot!
  • Contax Zeiss 28/f2.8 Distagon - Well you can pay $1300 for it (in the ZK version), but also give up a half a stop and get an older version, swap mounts and you have yourself a older K mount prime - all manual that is stunning, all for about $400. Or, even better an old M28/2.8 for about $100.
  • Contax Zeiss 85/f2.8 Sonnar - Same story as above.
12-25-2013, 06:51 PM   #4
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I like my trio of primes. The A 18/2.8, A135/2.8, and a fast 50 (FA 1.7, A 1.4, 8-element Super Takumar, can't pick just one).

But the lens on my camera the most is the DA L 55-300.

12-25-2013, 07:09 PM   #5
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Each lens has its own uses. The 15mm is great for car shows, not so good for air shows. The 12-24 is excellent for travel and city shots, the 150-500 not so much. The 70-200 is good for candid people shots, the fisheye...not so much. The 90 is good for close ups, the 70...not so much.
12-25-2013, 07:48 PM   #6
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My best lens is the DFA100WR. My two other limiteds (15 and 40) are great and perfect for what I do but the DFA 100WR is truly special. My 2nd best lens is probably my A50f1.7. I think it's even better than the DA40 for landscapes (a little long) and it's great for portraits.
12-25-2013, 07:59 PM - 1 Like   #7
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My BEST lens is my Sigma 70mm EX DG f2.8 Macro. Insanely sharp. $500 new. But my FAVORITE lens is my Sigma 30mm EX DC f1.4. Quirky but can produce some amazing images. $400 new old stock.
12-25-2013, 08:01 PM   #8
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Best In class?

Hi David,
That's pretty hard to answer, since the whole concept of (D)SLR's is that they have interchangeables lenses. The best macro may be too long for interiors or group shots, too short for wildlife.
An old saying is the best lens is the one you have on the camera.
'Best' can mean either best optically, fastest aperture, most expensive, favorite for rendering or other subjective qualities, best Bokeh, for example.
Then, you might have a favorite 'all-purpose' lens, like a zoom, because it covers several focal lengths. But is it really the 'Best' at every length?
My suggestion is to answer this question for yourself. Find the strong and weak points of all your lenses, then use them to advantage and work around the shortfalls. Know your gear. You can do fine work with a humble kit lens, providing you understand the limitations.
I'm not trying to avoid an answer to your question, I just don't thik there's a single 'right' answer.
Ron

12-25-2013, 08:05 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Action Jackson Quote
Most expensive DA*60-250 f4

Best? Lester Dine 105 2.8 macro, although my Vivitar 105 2.5 came back from cleaning so I'll have to test them out.
Can you tell me some more about Lester Dine?

Dave
12-25-2013, 08:08 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
Hi David,
That's pretty hard to answer, since the whole concept of (D)SLR's is that they have interchangeables lenses. The best macro may be too long for interiors or group shots, too short for wildlife.
An old saying is the best lens is the one you have on the camera.
'Best' can mean either best optically, fastest aperture, most expensive, favorite for rendering or other subjective qualities, best Bokeh, for example.
Then, you might have a favorite 'all-purpose' lens, like a zoom, because it covers several focal lengths. But is it really the 'Best' at every length?
My suggestion is to answer this question for yourself. Find the strong and weak points of all your lenses, then use them to advantage and work around the shortfalls. Know your gear. You can do fine work with a humble kit lens, providing you understand the limitations.
I'm not trying to avoid an answer to your question, I just don't thik there's a single 'right' answer.
Ron
Thanks for your thoughtful remarks. I do realize it's subjective. But I think everyone has a particular favorite lens, or dare I say most "cherished" lens, whether they use it a lot or not!

So I'm not looking for right or wrong, just a broad sweep of opinions! Who knows what sort of useful information the tide of replies will bring in!

Last edited by DavidSKAF3; 12-25-2013 at 08:13 PM.
12-25-2013, 08:09 PM   #11
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Most expensive would probably be the DA* 55 or Tammy 70-200 (not sure which one is more $ going by MSRP, but whatever). Great lenses, but not my favorites.

My favorite overall would either have to be the Tammy 90 Macro or the DA 40 Limited.
12-25-2013, 08:38 PM   #12
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I'm a budget enthusiast so I don't have anything really expensive but my favourites at the moment (favourite == best?)
1. FA 35 f2 - Such a useful focal length, is pretty small / light and great IQ (even at f2)
2. Bower (Samyang) 85 f1.4 - sharp enough wide open and bokeh to die for
12-25-2013, 08:54 PM   #13
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I like my DA 40 f2.8 Limited (pancake). It has very nice optics and a good focal length -- not so long that I'm backpedalling to fit objects into the frame nor compressing distance much at all. Long enough so there is no perspective distortion. And it's small and light. It gets a lot of use.
12-25-2013, 08:56 PM   #14
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Right now my best lens is the FA 43. Ultra Sharp and fun to use.
12-25-2013, 08:56 PM   #15
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The DA*300/4 performs in a way under tough conditions that it really feels like high end optics. Any long lens that can even cope with the Q without showing real limitations is impressive.
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