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02-10-2014, 11:08 AM   #1
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Help me manage my prime lens lineup

With today's announcement that Sigma will finally release their updated version of the 30mm f/1.4 Art prime lens for Pentax K-mount, I'm now trying to decide which lenses to get rid of to fund that purchase. Due to my lens hoarding tendencies, however, I may very well just add the new lens without subtracting any, but my wife (and limited bank account) would certainly prefer if I got rid of some overlapping lenses.

My current prime lens lineup is:

DA 15mm f4, DA 21mm f3.2, Sigma AF 24mm f2.8 Super-Wide II, smc Pentax-F 28mm f2.8, FA 35mm f2, DA 40mm f2.8, FA 43mm f1.9 (MIJ), FA 50mm f1.4, DA 70mm f2.4, D FA 100mm WR f2.8

In order to clear space for the new Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Art, I think the primes I'd put up for sale would be: smc-F 28mm, FA 35mm, and FA 50mm. Maybe even my DA 40mm limited even though I enjoy that compact little lens' fast AF and image quality. (It's been hard keeping both FA 43 and DA 40 but I love both for different reasons and would be sad to get rid of one).

Should I do this? I think of trades in professional sports, specifically basketball, and how a team could trade 3 good players to get 1 all-star, super-star player. But I'm afraid I'd regret getting rid of some of my favorite primes: my FA 35mm is very good optically, lightweight, and compact, as are my F 28mm (so sharp, small, and light) and FA 50mm (a sentimental favorite as my first prime lens). Certainly the Sigma 30mm would replace the F28 and FA35, while my FA 43 and DA 70 can easily take the place of my FA 50mm as a portrait lens. (And my love/needs for f/1.4 capability would be met by the Sigma, at a more "convenient" focal length on APS-C than the FA 50).

Note: Full-frame compatibility is not a concern for me, so me getting rid of 3 FF-capable lenses for a APS-C only digital lens is not a big concern. And yes, I could also sell off the 3 lenses to try to get a FA 31mm limited but I prefer the f/1.4 and HSM motor of the Sigma 30 art lens, plus it's at least half the cost.

Any suggestions/feedback would be appreciated!

02-10-2014, 11:37 AM - 1 Like   #2
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You have a wonderful lineup. Not sure if selling all of those is worth it, but only you know how much you use them, what they mean to you, and what your priorities are. I would take a good hard look at my gallery and reviews of the Sigma before doing that.
02-10-2014, 12:04 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Normally I begin my LBA by justification which turns into an action plan for what I will remove from the lineup. I would say that in terms of frequency and quantity this plan completes itself maybe 50% of the time. Honestly, if you can afford not selling for the time being, just hold onto them for now and a few months down the road re-evaluate which lenses are not getting used... Should make parting more logical and easier for you, based on experience, not conjecture.
Also, lenses rule.
02-10-2014, 12:14 PM - 1 Like   #4
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May I turn your question on its head? Why do you want or need the
QuoteOriginally posted by seventysixersfan Quote
30mm f/1.4 Art prime lens for Pentax K-mount,
?


Other questions to ask: How much money do you need to raise to buy it, and realistically how much money might you get for the lenses you are thinking of selling. Which of these lenses to you use least? I understand the DA40 and FA43 are very different and I can see why you would want to keep both, but it seems that owning the 35 and 50 gives you many lenses in a somewhat narrow range of focal lengths. I think if you sold two to fund the purchase you'd be happy with yourself in the long run- and the FA28 seems the most obvious as one of them,- but if you have to sell three you might not. I'm really just trying to take some of the emotion out of the purchase (because the 30/1.4 can do that to a person) and rephrase the thinking more into the types of photography you do.

02-10-2014, 12:41 PM   #5
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Wow, this is all outstanding advice! Thanks everyone who has chimed in. Lots of food for thought here... and helps me tame my LBA a bit...

I think my want/need for the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 art lens is because I love the beautiful f/1.4 bokeh that my FA 50 produces, but the FA 50 is a bit too long for indoor use, especially when trying to capture my little kids playing inside the house. The Sigma 30 offers a better FOV for that, although my FA 35 does well here too-- and its f/2 is really excellent, but the Sigma's f/1.4 is that much better for low light. Plus it's an extra 5 mm wider. I just think that my prime lens lineup would make more logical sense to have a bit better spacing between them, so that it could ideally look like this:

DA 15, DA 21, Sigma 24, Sigma 30, FA 43, DA 70, DFA 100

(with the understanding that DA 21 and Sigma 24 f/2.8 super-wide II are overlapping, but I enjoy having both lenses for different reasons)

Ah, I suppose it may well be best for me to get the new lens first and then see which ones to jettison afterwards, as @chickentender suggested. I'm pretty sure I could afford to buy it without raising the funds beforehand, then sell other lenses to pay for it later on...

And this is just talking about primes! I might very well just skip over the new Sigma 30mm and get the heavy Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 zoom instead...
02-10-2014, 12:45 PM   #6
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I'd ditch the 24, 28 and 35; the 50, too if you don't use it.

A logical progression is 15/21/30/43/70. That's close to a series of 1.4 multiples (excepts 43 to 70, which is 1.6).

I'd add the 35 macro if you have cash left, just because it's fun.
02-10-2014, 12:50 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
I'd ditch the 24, 28 and 35; the 50, too if you don't use it.
Yeah, that's pretty much what I was thinking, except that I'd keep the 24. maybe I should ditch the 21, even though I like that lens for entirely different reasons -- it's more compact than my 24, but the 24 offers better FOV and is sharper wide-open. I probably should only keep one though.

I like my FA 50 but since getting the FA 43 and DA 70, I find myself not reaching for the FA 50 that often. I love the rendering and bokeh, though, but it's not as useful a focal length on APS-C for my purposes.

---------- Post added 02-10-14 at 02:51 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
I'd add the 35 macro if you have cash left, just because it's fun.
Have thought long and hard about that lens but don't need macro in that focal length, plus my FA 35 is a faster lens. Still, not a bad idea if I end up revamping my lineup as you suggested.
02-10-2014, 12:55 PM   #8
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Based on the usage needs/wants behind this purchase you just described, if it were me (and it has been) in this case, personally I'd ditch the three you mentioned initially and find a 31mm LTD instead of the Sigma 30. If it's mainly shots of persons indoors and your 50 is too narrow, the color rendition (particularly skin tones) and speed of the 31 will make you a very happy person.

02-10-2014, 01:01 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by seventysixersfan Quote
but the FA 50 is a bit too long for indoor use, especially when trying to capture my little kids playing inside the house
I understand your dilemma even if I face it with cheaper options. I really like my F50/1.7 but indoors it is too long. My only other wide lenses are slow (kit 18-55 or 35-70), or are MF which isn't great for chasing kids. So I've been looking at the Sigma 17-70 or Tamron 28-75 and may even get around to buying one, one of these days.
02-10-2014, 01:12 PM   #10
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If you've got Lightroom you can go in and look at your images and see how many were taken by each specific lens, this may give a clue as to what your not really using...
02-10-2014, 01:15 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
Based on the usage needs/wants behind this purchase you just described, if it were me (and it has been) in this case, personally I'd ditch the three you mentioned initially and find a 31mm LTD instead of the Sigma 30. If it's mainly shots of persons indoors and your 50 is too narrow, the color rendition (particularly skin tones) and speed of the 31 will make you a very happy person.
Yeah, I have certainly thought about that option but find it hard to justify investing upwards of $1000 on a single prime lens, even if it's for the legendary 31 limited. Psychologically, I'd feel better knowing that I spent "only" half that amount to get a Sigma 30mm. Plus I like the silent HSM AF motor of the new Sigma lens. I've been using a combination of my smc-F 28mm f/2.8 and FA 35mm f/2 as a sort of poor-man's 31mm LTD but that double-teaming isn't always ideal-- the FA 35 can be a touch too long for indoors, and the smc-F 28mm can be a bit too slow. Hence the Sigma 30 f/1.4 as the magic bullet solution. FA 31 would certainly also fit the bill but again, I am really hesitant about spending that much for a single lens...

---------- Post added 02-10-14 at 03:16 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by MSL Quote
So I've been looking at the Sigma 17-70 or Tamron 28-75 and may even get around to buying one, one of these days.
Yep, I've been tossing that idea around as well the past few years, and nearly pulled the trigger on the Tamron 28-75 several times. I'm trying to keep patient and stick with my DA 18-135 for my primary zoom needs, and hopefully add a Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 someday. My older Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 is decent but definitely expendable if/when I get the Sigma 18-35...

---------- Post added 02-10-14 at 03:18 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
If you've got Lightroom you can go in and look at your images and see how many were taken by each specific lens, this may give a clue as to what your not really using...
Thanks for the tip, will definitely check that out! My hunch is that most of my shots are usually between 24-50, probably making me a candidate for the DA 20-40 zoom, but I particularly enjoy the 20-30mm range, and would like as fast a lens as possible. Right now, my fastest lenses in that range is f/2.8, so a Sigma 30 f/1.4 or Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 would be significant upgrades there.
02-10-2014, 02:11 PM   #12
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If you think you'd like the 18-35/1.8 that might be a good place to start.

I think getting the 18-35/1.8 before/instead of the 30/1.4 Art might free you from worrying about having as many primes in this range.


However, designing a prime-only lineup here (and based on what I use) I'd say get/keep only the DA15, FA*24/2 (nice to have the f/2 speed, especially at a great focal length), FA43, and DA70 (as well as 100WR macro, of course).

Then after you take a little time to see how it's working you can consider whether you still want to get a DA35/2.4, FA31, or Sigma 30/1.4 Art. Likewise, you can take your time and someday consider swapping out the DA70 for a FA77 (of course, I'm afraid all the FA Ltds are going to get slightly revised as HD versions and go up in price again).


Keep in mind that none of the lenses I mentioned selling are that difficult to re-aquire on the market. Nevertheless, it sounds like you may have a better copy of the Sigma 24 than the 2 I've had - So even though I'm confident you'll like the FA*24, don't sell the Sigma until you're sure you like it.

Last edited by DSims; 02-10-2014 at 08:49 PM. Reason: Typo - no such thing as an F*24!
02-10-2014, 02:16 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
But I think getting the 18-35/1.8 before/instead of the 30/1.4 Art might free you from worrying about having as many primes in this range.
That is a good strategy!

Thanks for your other comments as well. This has been a really helpful thread for me and I appreciate everyone's input!
02-10-2014, 02:51 PM   #14
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Hey seventysixersfan, if I was in your place and had your dilema (and your budget), here's what I'd do...

. Keep the 18-135 if you think it's working well for you...
. Keep the 15
. Sell the 21
. Sell the Sigma 24 2.8 and get the Sigma 24 1.8. KEH has 3 refurbs that are very reasonably priced I think you'll enjoy that lens for both outside, and inside pictures of people. Look it up on flickr and I think you'll agree it's a great people lens. You already have the 15 for landscapes anyway.
. Sell the F 28 2.8 (with the 30 it will be very redundant)
. Get the 30 1.4, Sigma Art lenses rock.
. Keep the 35 f2 for a little while, but I have the feeling it's not going to get used after you get the 30.
. Sell the 40
. Keep the 43 - are you kidding, this is a classic.
. Keep the 50 for now - same as the 35 f2 - you can always sell it next time you need to convince the wife there's another need in your lens lineup
. Keep the 70
. Trade the 100 2.8 for a FA 135 2.8. I find the 135 to be a very sweet spot on APS-C when the kids are playing at the park and I just want to take candids of them.

QuoteOriginally posted by MSL Quote
I understand your dilemma even if I face it with cheaper options. I really like my F50/1.7 but indoors it is too long. My only other wide lenses are slow (kit 18-55 or 35-70), or are MF which isn't great for chasing kids. So I've been looking at the Sigma 17-70 or Tamron 28-75 and may even get around to buying one, one of these days.
I find that the DA 35 2.4 is the perfect lens for chasing kids around. On paper it seems a bit slow at 2.4, but let me tell you, it's sharp wide open. And sometimes my K20D selects 2.5 instead of 2.4 (which confuses me a bit), but it's pin-sharp by then! And the skin color and overall rendering are perfect for portraits. They don't call it the "plastic fantastic" for nothing...
02-10-2014, 02:56 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
I'd ditch the 24, 28 and 35; the 50, too if you don't use it.

A logical progression is 15/21/30/43/70. That's close to a series of 1.4 multiples (excepts 43 to 70, which is 1.6).

I'd add the 35 macro if you have cash left, just because it's fun.
i second that...although i really like my fa 31 limited ...why not that instead of sigma...i know it have some extra stops but.....
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