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01-27-2014, 10:49 AM   #31
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Seventysixersfan. PM sent.

01-27-2014, 11:06 AM   #32
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If I had to do it all over again - I'd probably get 3 lenses.

1. Everyday use 18-135WR (most of my shots are probably everyday)
2. A sharp zoom - possibly 28-75mm f/2.8 Tamron, 17-50mm Sigma/Tamron or Pentax
3. A decent zoom. I don't shoot that much beyond the 135mm on APS-C, but a 55-300mm or 70-300mm (assuming its a good lens) would be nice. I don't shoot enough to justify a 60-250mm f/2.8 or 120-400mm Sigma even though they are nice. What I 'typically' shoot on the long end would be during the day, w/o tripod, unless its the moon. The rare occasion that I would want a fast/long zoom, I can get a rental.
4. If I were to add 1 more lens, it'd probably be a wide angle fixed.
01-27-2014, 11:43 AM   #33
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As a true engineer, I would probably be hopeless at this even second time around. I just love to have all the right tools in the tool box even if I don't always need them. Have bought in tranche order 1.[18-55 (K200 kit) + Tamron 70-300] 2.[Sigma 10-20 + Sigma 170-500] 4.[DA 55-300] 3.[DA35 f2.4 with K-5] 4.[DA*300 + DA 15 ltd]. Along the way also picked up cheap deals on second-hand Tak-500-f/4.5; FA*80-200, Sigma 105 f/2.8 macro; Tak-200-f3.5; and had M-50-f1.7 from old film camera.

But a few lessons learnt along the way after all this.

I like a full range of good but light zooms to cover the useful range of Fls. This is great for travel and as a single bag carry around. For this I would select Sigma 10-20; 18-something; and DA 55-300 again; with parhaps the most used of these being the Sigma 10-20. Most likely 18-135 or 16-45 before 18-55 kit.

Would definitely skip the 70-300 clones.

Then for some good useful primes. Personally current shooting preferences favour short and very long ranges, so would definitely go first for DA15-Ltd, DA*300 (and HD TC when it arrives).

Then perhaps a Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM (Art) for normal perspective, a DA70 or FA77 for portrait, and DFA 100 Macro 208 WR to complete the dream kit. (But I think DA35-f/2.4, DA50-f/1.8, and Sigma105-f/2.8 and a good 70-200 or 80-200 f/2.8 are also fine for me.)

So not too far off where I would like to be...

If money was no object, then I would add Sigma 500-f/4.5 and good home smiling.
01-27-2014, 12:03 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by seventysixersfan Quote
Though I will say that I am very satisfied with the images I get while using my FA 35 and smc-F 28mm, and those two lenses combined are still a lot less money than a FA 31. But when I see what my FA 43 can do, especially compared to my FA 50 and DA 40, it makes me always wonder about getting more of the FA limiteds...
The FA 43 was my gateway FA Limited. I loved it so much at the time that I would come up with excuses to use it over other lenses that may have had more appropriate focal lengths for what I was trying to do.

I was originally on a two year plan to acquire the other two due to the issue of cost but ended up snagging them in less than 6 months and I don't regret it one bit. They truly are the gems of the Pentax lineup IMHO.

01-27-2014, 01:14 PM   #35
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I think I would have invested in a good 400 or 600mm Pentax lens back when I was making enough money off my pics to do so. Otherwise, I'm pretty happy with my lenses.
01-27-2014, 01:21 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
I decided nearly two years ago to only get the good stuff.
I think this is a good strategy, ending up with fewer better lenses at the same cost as a larger number of mediocre lenses. I "sort of" tried to do this when I ordered the k10d.......I ordered the body only and the DA16-45 based on lens reviews at the time. I don't know what I was thinking. The 16-45 was fun to play with, but I was never attracted to AF or Zoom lens over the years, so I don't know why I thought I would be then.

Ah...if I had just bought the FA LTDs and a couple of Voigtlanders..they were all so cheap back then!
01-27-2014, 03:35 PM   #37
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I've already pretty much done my do-overs. I replaced the DA 12-24 with the DA 15 and M 20/4; replaced the DA 16-45 with the FA 20-35; replaced the A 35-105 with the FA 24-90; and replaced the F 70-210 with the Tamron 70-200.

I'm fairly content with what I now have. The lens are all fairly sharp, with excellent microcontrast and color rendition. It would be nice to have a high quality, compact, durable standard zoom for longer hikes, but everything available in that class is either too expensive and/or too heavy and/or not wide enough. It would also be nice to have an ultra-wide rectilinear prime and a super-telephoto, but again cost considerations are an issue.
01-27-2014, 03:51 PM   #38
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I wish I'd bought high quality lenses before Pentax jacked up the prices.

I have an assortment of average quality lenses bought recently from eBay.

My current lens wish list includes a fast wide-normal zoom & a fast tele zoom. That's pretty much all that I want now.

01-28-2014, 06:19 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
Over the past 4 years or so, I bought and sold a lot of lenses - mostly bought used. This was the only way I could experience them all for myself to find what I like best. I don't regret this at all even though it did cost me some money to do it. I ended up with higher end lenses, but I don't think I would appreciate them as much now if I hadn't shot with the others.

A few times I sold lenses to help fund another lens that I wanted. This has back fired on me a few times and ended up buying said lenses again.

Lenses that I sold along the way that I bought again:

DA 10-17
DFA 50 Macro 2.8
DFA 100 Macro 208 WR

After all that, I am now very happy with my current line up with just one more lens to buy which will probably be the next Black Friday - DA* 16-50.

My current line up which I know are are keepers for me now:

DA 10-17
DA 12-24
DFA 50 Macro 2.8
DFA 100 Macro 2.8 WR
DA* 60-250
DA* 300
I also had and sold lenses, one of which I would love to get back. I had DA 18-55, DFA 50 macro, DA 17-70, DA 55-300 and DA 15 Limited. I kept the 15 Limited which got me hooked and wanting to get more of the limiteds and kept the 17-70 on my backup K10D body but sold the others. Since then I got 21 Ltd, 35 Ltd Macro, 40 Ltd, 70 Ltd and DFA 100 Macro WR. Of the ones I parted with I yearn to get back the 50 mm DFA macro. Of my new acquisitions the only one I might part with is the DA40 Ltd. This is because I got it used, cheap, in less than good condition and the 35 Ltd Macro fills that niche better. I see myself possibly parting with the DA 40 mm and going for DFA 50 macro or maybe a used DA*55 when finances permit. All of my others are definite keepers. If Pentax/Ricoh ever does to the DFA 50 Macro what they did with the DFA 100 Macro WR I would be the first in line to get it. Then I would have all I could want. My preference is for top notch build quality and compact size and prefer super sharp primes to zooms.

Last edited by jddwoods; 01-28-2014 at 06:26 PM.
01-29-2014, 07:15 PM   #40
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This conversation makes me feel much better about my own journey. I started with Pentax in August of '09 with a K2000 kit and a Tamron 18-200mm zoom. By December I had sold the K2000 for a K-x and I got a FA-50 f/1.4. Then I tried an A 28 2.8 manual lens and also picked up a F 35-70 zoom. By that following spring I added a Sigma 10-20mm variable aperture zoom. The following year to prep for a trip to Alaska I got a K5, DA 18-135 and a Sigma 70-300 variable aperture zoom. After that trip I started playing with primes. First the 21mm LTD, Then the 70mm LTD. Finally, just because of the size, the 40mm LTD. At some point during the months while I acquired those, I got a Tamron 17-50 2.8 zoom and a 70-200 2.8 zoom. I wanted a full arsenal in case I got into portraits or events and with a baby on the way I wanted some nice fast glass. Because I shoot a lot of street art, I picked up a Rokinon 8mm fisheye. Last year I also got a Rokinon 85mm 1.4, mainly because I was after creamy bokeh. When the baby was born I was obsessed with getting the best pics, with the fastest glass. I started by getting the poor man's 31mm -the FA 35mm f2. Then I slipped over to the darkside and got the FA 77. Finally this past holiday I got the FA 43. This is too much glass. So where do I stand now? A bunch of it was bought used and then I ended up selling it. I didn't love the DA LTD lenses and sold the 40 and 70. I couldn't deal with the manual focus of the A 28 or the Rokinon 85 so those were sold as well. After a year or so of use I realized there was better glass than the Tamron 18-200 and the Sigma 70-300 and those were sold. My workhorse lens for shooting streetart or landscapes is the Sigma 10-20. I also use the Rokinon 8mm and pentax 18-135mm for that. Love the 77 LTD for portraits and have already caught a bunch of nice ones with the 43mm, Also use the Tamron 17-50 2.8 around the house and at parties etc. The 70-200 doesn't get much play mainly because of the size. The FA 50 and 35 are about to go on the seller's block (having been replaced by the 43). And I am still deliberating on what to do with the 21 LTD. So if I were to do it all over again, I probably should have done what one of the other posters said and just gone for the good glass. I eventually ended up there anyway. Also, at the beginning, I probably should have shot more with that Tamron 18-200 (for like 2 years) and not read as much and then looked at my most used focal lengths before launching into an insane lens buying journey.
01-29-2014, 10:25 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by pearcemi Quote
I started by getting the poor man's 31mm -the FA 35mm f2. Then I slipped over to the darkside and got the FA 77. Finally this past holiday I got the FA 43. This is too much glass. So where do I stand now?

A bunch of it was bought used and then I ended up selling it. I didn't love the DA LTD lenses and sold the 40 and 70. I couldn't deal with the manual focus of the A 28 or the Rokinon 85 so those were sold as well.

So if I were to do it all over again, I probably should have done what one of the other posters said and just gone for the good glass. I eventually ended up there anyway.
One of the great things about photography is interpretation. What looks good to someone looks bad to someone else. I love the FA77, but have had a couple of copies of the 43 and 31, and they just didn't do it for me as there was not enough microcontrast on digital.

Other than the DA10-17, I have never been thrilled with the DA ltd line (although I'd like to try the new HD version of the DA70, since the rounded aperture blades should help with Bokeh qualities from the original.

I've just picked up a copy of the Voigtlander 125mm. I have the Pentax A*200/4 Macro, which still blows me away, but I'm curious to see how the Voigtlander stands up to the hype.
01-30-2014, 03:26 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
I think I spent to much time and effort on 'good deals' rather than just just buying the best and not messing around. One good lens is worth a dozen mediocre ones you don't use.

That said, I love my Takumar collection though they don't get the use they used to, and I don't regret getting any of them.
This is my story exactly even the Takumars that I don't use much but love.

At some point I will sell a dozen lenses and replace those with a few more desired ones. If I were starting today from scratch I would probably build 3 sets of lenses - AF, MF (K mount) and Takumars (not really necessary but cool and cheap). tbh I'm pretty happy with what I have ended up with. It's just the extra dozen lenses that I have and should sell.

AF - I'm really happy with this trio for hiking. It's not perfect but it's reasonably priced especially when I picked them up 2-3 years ago. The FA ltd's and the DA*55 are on my list to buy but it's easy to say NO when you don't have any money.
DA15
DA40
DFA100WR

MF (K-mount) - It's a MF set that fills the gaps in the more often used AF set
M20f4 - The used DA21 prices seem to keep coming down though.
K28f3.5 - the only drawback is that this is the only lens using 52mm filters
M50f/4 Macro - forgot about this one and I would definitely have a second macro lens of a different focal length
Any Pentax 50f1.4 or 1.7 - There are so many great ones available. I will probably never sell my A50f1.7 since it was my gateway lens but I should get a 50f1.4 also (only 100USD).
M85f2 (or K85f1.8) - both of these are special (or so I have heard) - alternatively I could go straight to the FA77
M135f3.5 - I like mine and it's a little different than the DFA100. It's also really cheap.
M*300f4 - I don't think I would use a long lens much but this gives me the option to do so.

Some Takumars for fun
28f3.5 - the 35 is great but it isn't really wide enough for my Takumar day nor is it spaced far enough from the 55.
55f1.8 - so I can own a different fast fifty variation
105f2.8 - this is pretty special

I should own a couple of zooms there isn't much that really interests me at the prices. The DA20-40 is probably my first choice but it's not cheap.

I think the K28f23.5 and M85f2 are on my shopping list this summer.

edit - If i were starting from scratch (kit lens) then my first purchases would be K28f3.5, fast fifty and M100f4 macro. Hopefully I could also afford a DA15 at the same time since this 4 lens set would give me most of the versatility that I currently have and it would be quite cheap (aside from the DA15).

Last edited by abacus07; 01-30-2014 at 05:07 AM.
01-30-2014, 09:25 AM   #43
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I had to start from fresh when I switched from my Minolta X700 and I (eventually) opted for Pentax. Over a couple of years I collected
  • Camera plus DA18-55
  • DA55-300
  • FA31Ltd
  • DFA100WR
  • Some legacy glass (M and M42)

If I now would make the switch to digital, it would be a MILC with APSc (or very maybe FF) so I can use my old MD glass.
01-30-2014, 09:34 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by SteveM Quote
There have been a couple of these threads on the forum in the past, but for lens choice, the last time the question was asked seems to be back in 08 for what I can find, so I'm curious to know what people would think now.

So for those that have purchased a lens or two (or a bunch)....and perhaps now wish they made a different choice....what would that choice be? Perhaps you wish you had gone in a different direction lens wise (with Pentax)?

I'll start by looking back at when I was a kid. I had worked all summer saving for a camera to take on a trip the following spring. I chose a ME Super with the 50/1.7 (and still have it.). It drained all of what I had saved, so my Dad decided to add a wide angle to it as a Christmas gift. He chose a Tokina 28/2.8, for which I will be forever grateful. In hindsight, it would have been much cheaper for him to pick up a K28/3.5, which would have also ended up in being a better lens. This makes me wonder.....what lenses are being released today as "better", but are not?

If I look back to more recent years, of all the lenses I've purchased, which ones could I have purchased and been covered? (if there is such a thing as being "done" acquiring lenses).

First off, I have a lot of information now that I didn't have then, such as prime vs. zoom or how warranted it is investing a larger sum of funds in what is a hobby. So before I ramble on further about my thoughts, what about yours? Thinking about the money and time you've spent, what would you do for a "redo"?
When I sold my MZ-S and bought my first digital camera, I think the K10, I had a battery of Sigma lenses that I sold, keeping only the EX 100-300 f/4, and 105 macro. I purchased the DA* 16-50 and 50-135 and later traded the Sigma 100-300 for a DA* 300 f/4. I am happy with this set of lenses, I will purchase a Pentax 12-24 f/4 this year and hopefully the 1.4 extender if it becomes available. I also have the 35 f/2.8 limited macro but don't use it that much. It is the only limited lens I kept after trying a set of Limited lenses that I thought would make a nice travel kit, but that didn't work for me. Now have a Fuji X100s as my travel, compact camera when the DSLR is not suitable. I had been holding off on the wide zoom hoping Pentax (Ricoh) would introduce a DA* superwide ...but given up on that now, so as I said, will pick up the current 12-24.
01-30-2014, 09:52 AM   #45
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I wish I had not gotten the FA 50mm f/1.4 It's an ok lens, but I hardly use it now that I got a FA 43 Limited. I should have bought that first.
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