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01-05-2014, 09:58 PM   #1
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Filling a hole?

At the moment my kit consists of

Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6
Pentax F 35-70mm f3.5-4.5
Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 HSM II

Sigma 30mm f1.4

I am looking for recommendations on what lens I could get to replace the 35-70mm which is faster and/or sharper.

Previously I had a Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 which I sold as I found I was using it either at 17mm or 50mm, anything in between I would switch to the 30mm. There was nothing wrong with the lens, it was perfectly sharp and contrasty, just found it lacking in use. But now I am considering a faster lens to replace the 35-70mm

Do I even need something to fill this imaginary hole? Is my 30mm prime enough?

Lenses I have thought about are:

50mm prime - small, fast, light, cheapish but not that different from 30mm prime, no zoom
24-60mm f2.8 sigma - fast, cheapish but large and heavy
24-70mm f2.8 sigma - good range, fast but even larger and heavier and expensive
28-70mm f2.8 sigma - fast but big heavy and range is so so
17-70mm f2.8-4 sigma - seems good balance, but will i use it with all that other glass around?
17-70mm f4 pentax - also good, but a little slow and expensive
18-135mm WR pentax - big range and WR but slow and not real cheap, but possibly a nice walk around/bad weather lens?

As you might notice I am a bit all over the place with this Not sure what/if I want! Others thoughts and recommendations are welcome

01-05-2014, 10:23 PM   #2
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If a half stop can be deemed 'faster' and you have spare funds, the 20-40 Limited comes to mind

Personally I leave rather large gaps compared to most folks, especially if you have something like the 30 that you really like; it can be cropped a bit to do more. I have the 21 and 70 Limiteds and am looking for something in that space (which the 20-40 could also fill!) but just one lens not two. If I have more primes each will get less use, and then I'd second guess and sell one too many and if I get a zoom I cannot justify expensive primes with today's rather thin budget!
01-06-2014, 03:14 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jezza323 Quote
Do I even need something to fill this imaginary hole? Is my 30mm prime enough?
It's imaginary. Your kit without the 35-70 will definitely suite my style.

My standard kit lacks a UWA as I barely have a need for it; I will probably get one one day. My 'every-day' kit consist of the FA31Ltd and the DFA100WR and that suites me; I swap the DFA100WR for DA55-300 in case I go for some wildlife.

I still use the 18-55 when I have to do family gatherings (read parties) as it's a bit more convenient under those circumstances (and nobody cares about the quality ).
01-06-2014, 03:26 AM   #4
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I use a tamron 28-75/2.8 between my 10-20 and 70-200. I also have a pentax FA-J 18-35 but I found. I did not use it enough to carry.

01-06-2014, 04:10 AM   #5
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I've got the 17-70 Sigma, and I reckon it's a great lens. Get one of those, and a second hand FA100mm f2.8 macro, and you're set. Wait a minute, that's my setup!!!

Regards
01-06-2014, 07:00 AM   #6
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The lens Lowell Goudge mentioned, the Tamron 28-75/2.8 is highly regarded by users of this forum.

You probably want to make sure to get a good copy though (but then you always do).
01-06-2014, 07:13 AM   #7
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I have the F 35-70 like you do and love it. But when I need a faster lens in that range for indoor shots, I pull out my FA 43. At 1.9 it's hard to beat. So I recommend a prime for you in that range. For longer focal lengths I pull out my DA*50-135.

You can get a nice used FA43 for under $500.

(The F35-70 is one sharp lens. Even sharper than my DA 21)
01-06-2014, 12:43 PM   #8
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Forgot to mention that a Tamron 90mm (or Sigma 105mm if I can find one) macro is on the cards next anyway.

I think I will just leave the hole for now, maybe even try leaving the 35-70 at home and decide if I actually miss it when shooting

01-12-2014, 07:21 AM   #9
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50mm is a lot different than 30mm and there are fast fifties everywhere. you could get a M50f1.7 for $50, the DA50f1.8 for <200, the DA*55 for $500+ or dozens of other options in the middle. The F35-70 is a nice lens but it isn't close to a fast fifty. The other obvious answer is a DA70/FA77/M85 for a smaller lens than the Sigma zoom.
01-12-2014, 07:30 AM   #10
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I, too, don't believe a gap necessarily needs to be filled...
BUT, you could nicely place an FA 31 limited in your hole, just sayin'.

Also, a super upgrade to your 35-70 zoom might be the legendary Pentax FA* 28-70/2.8. It is easily my favorite zoom I've ever tried.
here is the link: SMC Pentax-FA* 28-70mm F2.8 AL Reviews - FA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

BTW I stopped supporting Sigma altogether when I discovered that they stopped offering so many of their better lenses in Pentax mount. I would rather support the companies that will support the Pentax brand, despite the economics of doing so.
01-12-2014, 03:54 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
I, too, don't believe a gap necessarily needs to be filled...
BUT, you could nicely place an FA 31 limited in your hole, just sayin'.
Thanks mike, bit hard to justify when I already have the Sigma 30mm f1.4 which I love though. Maybe when I win the lottery...
01-12-2014, 05:21 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by sam-joseph Quote
I've got the 17-70 Sigma, and I reckon it's a great lens.
I agree with this. I don't think it would be redundant at all. It would be a nice complement to your existing setup:
  • The distortion is a bit high on the short end, but you have the Sigma 10-20 for that. But the 10-20 is much slower, and the 17-70 is f/2.8 until 21 mm. That covers basically every possibility on the wide-end.
  • The 30 f/1.4 is a lot faster than the 17-70, so you have it for when you want to do shallow DoF or low light.
  • The 70-200 is a lot faster than the 17-70 (f/4 from 50mm on), so it seems like there's a hole from 30-70mm. But perhaps not: you may not care about fast speeds at long reach
If you're worried about another hole around 50mm for speed, you can always add something like an FA 50 or perhaps the DA 50. The latter is very inexpensive and incredibly portable. It would be perfect for a hole that only needs to be filled occasionally.
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