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01-26-2014, 06:39 PM   #1
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Lenses - If you were to do it all over again

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"?

Last edited by SteveM; 01-26-2014 at 07:54 PM.
01-26-2014, 06:56 PM   #2
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FA*24 F2
DA*55 F1.4

I'm working my way to this trio anyways, but yeah - would have saved a bit of money if I went that way first.
01-26-2014, 06:57 PM   #3
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For me, it's easy, I love them all! I'd buy them all again in a heartbeat. I've mostly bought used from the forum, so that if I don't like one, I can sell it along at almost no loss. I've not sold one yet.

I suppose, it you are really splitting hairs, I just might sell my DA40 Ltd. But it's cheap and wonderful, and it was my first Limited, so it stays.
01-26-2014, 07:07 PM   #4
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I'm subscribing maybe save me some heart ache lol...


01-26-2014, 07:13 PM - 1 Like   #5
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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.
01-26-2014, 07:15 PM   #6

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I might buy Canon (maybe a 6d) and an MPE65 .. both used, of course, as the prices are up there.
01-26-2014, 07:16 PM   #7
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Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4
FA31mm f1.8 Ltd

This selection reflects a lot my shooting: outdoor in all weather, including very poor weather conditions. The DA18-250mm brings the versatility, unmatched by any other lens, , the sturdyness and the good overall IQ (for a zoom lens of that kind). The VL58mm is an excellent low light and poor weather lens. It is stunning in tricky lighting incl. fog, smogg, smoke, hazy conditions. The FA31mm is outstanding in terms of IQ, fast and AF.

These three lenses were my first 3 lenses and I bought them in that order. If I was to do it again, I would but choose the newer FA31mm HD if I could get it on special.

My 5 cents...
01-26-2014, 07:17 PM   #8
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For me, buying and selling of lenses was a learning experience. When I first started I was completely into long lenses. If they would have made a 1000mm lens I would have started to save for it... Then I went to zooms, testing of course, then a few months in I was hooked on primes. Now I shoot only primes except for one lens.

If I would have known then what I know now, I still don't think I would have done anything different except one thing. I would have bought my trial and error lenses used instead of new. The forum here is a superb resource.

Also making use of the lens database is awesome. It will cut down on a lot of 'testing'. For now my LBA is somewhat abated, except for one thing...a 31mm...

01-26-2014, 07:31 PM   #9
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The nice thing is that there is no right or wrong answer...just what matters to you. Photography reminds me of food...some like it spicy, others prefer just meat and potatoes, and heck some of us like brussel sprouts...... Call me nuts, but I didn't enjoy the rendering of the FA31....but love the FA77. Go figure....
01-26-2014, 07:44 PM   #10
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Even though I don't use the kit lenses much now days, 5 years ago - they were what I had and what I used, and they are very good for what they are. I would acquire them again (they essentially came free with the camera kit - so, I am not heart broken in any way). I also learned several lessons - use what you have and not what you wish you had - just make do and go forward.

I probably went too far with the wide angle lenses, but - that is what I like, so that's what I have acquired.

I really would not change a thing - if I were able to do it over again....

01-26-2014, 08:09 PM   #11
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Heh.. For my usage, i would just get the tamron 17-50/2.8 and be done with it..
01-26-2014, 08:19 PM   #12

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I probably wouldn't choose Pentax if I had to start over with digital. The limited 3rd party lens availability is too much of a disadvantage, and Pentax zooms (which I prefer over primes) have been generally disappointing.
01-26-2014, 08:19 PM   #13
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I've bought and sold quite a few lenses, most used. There are a few that I sold that I wish I had kept. One would be the DFA 100WR Macro. I just didn't use it enough and wanted to buy a DA*300. The one I wish I had kept the most was a Kiron 28/2 that I paid a whopping $20 for with an ME as a lens cap, it was super sharp at f8. I had a Tamron 28-105 that I loved but sold it after I got a DA18-135 and found out how good it was, I didn't regret selling that but I would have been happy to keep it. I had the exact same lens Promaster badged and gave it to my daughter, it's just as sharp. I was ready to buy a DA 15 and ended up with a Tamron 10-24 because it would be better for an event at the time. I would still like the 15 but I like the Tamron and use it a lot. I wish I could have used the AUTO Mamiya/Sekor SX 21mm f4.0 that I bought in a lot a couple years ago. I would have had to do some lens surgery to make it work on a DSLR but it was just to beautiful to modify. I'm pretty satisfied with the lenses I have now. I can't say I would do it differently, I did it the way I could afford and for what I thought I wanted at the time. Like many others my interests in subjects have changed, and actually change by seasons.
01-26-2014, 08:20 PM   #14
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I've gone through a bunch of lenses from ultra wide angles to the Bigma, but I wish I had purchased the DA 15 from the beginning. I love shooting wide landscapes and that lens is my favorite.
01-26-2014, 08:32 PM   #15
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I hear you about selling a lens only to then wish I had it back Tom. I've ended up repurchasing a couple of lenses, one of which was the DA10-17 I ended up purchasing my original lens back from the person I sold it to!

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