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02-28-2014, 01:00 PM - 1 Like   #31
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If you shoot in the elements the AW or WR features zoom lenses will be more important than the performance of the primes. I chose my DA* 16-50 because it was AW. It doesn't see as much use as my other really nice primes, but when it is raining, there is no way in the world I would risk my FA Limiteds or FA* lenses! Features trump performance in this scenario. The 20-40 was not available when I bought my DA* 16-50. However, I'd still chose AW over WR if I was making that decision today.

02-28-2014, 01:04 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by waterfall Quote
I agree as one who owns both the 21 and 35 Macro Limited. I currently shoot a K30 and the camera loves both those primes.
I'm sure they are both great, and one day my collection will have them all. But that is a long time away. For now, I want a high-quality zoom that covers the key area I want, is WR and lightweight. Either the 16-50 or 20-40 could have done it, but 20-40 won over on the weight. As a carry-around I can avoid changing lenses too often. For the future, who knows?
02-28-2014, 01:05 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by waterfall Quote
I agree as one who owns both the 21 and 35 Macro Limited. I currently shoot a K30 and the camera loves both those primes.
I've rented both, and while the 21 wasn't what I was looking for at the time I do remember it as a very nice lens with great visual appeal. It's one on my medium list, I can see buying it eventually. I'm a sucker for the pancakes, though I don't own any.
02-28-2014, 01:57 PM   #34
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The FA Ltds ARE TOO GOOD. They are so good that whenever there is a tiny bit of chance that the lens might get abused, I will keep them at home. I never take them with me to hiking. 35/2.4 or 40/2.8 goes with me in that case.

02-28-2014, 02:02 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dice Quote
the DA20-40 it is no slouch and competes easily with all of the lenses suggested.
Not sure how you can claim that. I dont have the lens but pretty much every review out there (including the one on pentax forums) suggests that the lens is soft in the corners, all through the focal range, EVEN when stopped down. In my opinion it clearly does not compete with any of the DA* lens and certainly not any primes out there. I think the only reason Pentax decided to label it limited is because of its built quality. It really does seem like a wonderful, classic looking lens. However, the OP is concerned with the IQ. This lens clearly does not resolve the corners.
02-28-2014, 02:22 PM - 1 Like   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by kentishrev Quote
On the K-30, the DA* 16-50 was a bit of a beast, and felt very heavy. But the AF was amazing. The 20-40 was just stunning to use, although you noticed the AF more.

The store agreed to match a lower price I'd seen elsewhere, and I eventually went for the 20-40.
Good job on getting the price match and just going for it! The DA20-40 will give you much better photos than some lens you don't have, or wouldn't keep with you.

Sometimes you have to get hands-on with the equipment to sort out your priorities. Many of us don't get that opportunity with Pentax. Fortunately, when I was building my kit I was able to get hands on many of the lenses before purchasing (or deciding to get something else). But in other cases I had to apply my experience with similar lenses and combine that with other's reviews and photos online.


I look forward to hearing how it's going with the new lens and seeing your review on the site here.
02-28-2014, 02:30 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
Good job on getting the price match and just going for it! The DA20-40 will give you much better photos than some lens you don't have, or wouldn't keep with you.

Sometimes you have to get hands-on with the equipment to sort out your priorities.
Thanks for the support. I know if I hadn't gone and tried it, I would have ended up spending weeks (months!) trying to make a final decision. It really was as simple as getting it to two options then off to the shop to try them out. Really helpful staff too, who let me put the lenses on my own K-30 to test them one at a time:

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02-28-2014, 03:13 PM - 1 Like   #38
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Every person has his or her priorities. I don't mind the weight of the DA* 16-50, and appreciate f/2.8 all the way. I'm taking my small kit to Hawaii when we visit my bother's widow at Christmas this year. K10D, DA* 16-50, DA 12-24, DA-L 55-300, Battery charger in a LowePro AW100 sling bag.

I'll put a light weight tripod into the baggage, and that is my kit for 10 days in the tropics. For a really light rig, I have gone out for the day with only the 12-24 and 55-300. The gap is not ideal, but I appreciate wider than 16mm more than closing the gap. If we start at the 12mm end of the rig, and use the rule of thumb from pre-zoom days of lens ratio steps of 2x, the lens selection of focal lengths would be 12, 24, 50, 100, 200, 400. Start from 300 using standard sizes of the day and fudging as we did, 300, 135, 55, 28, 14. Pretty close, isn't it? For many years, my kit was basic: 28, 55, 135.

I don't miss having to change lenses a dozen times in a day very much, and modern zooms are really quite good, particularly if one seldom prints larger than 11x14 inches. And yes, I do print larger from time to time. It takes careful work with the camera.

---------- Post added 2014-02-28 at 15:18 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by grahame Quote
The FA Ltds ARE TOO GOOD. They are so good that whenever there is a tiny bit of chance that the lens might get abused, I will keep them at home. I never take them with me to hiking. 35/2.4 or 40/2.8 goes with me in that case.
I am afraid that I do not follow this line of thinking. I take the lenses I like the best with me from the ones I own. If I were in prime mode, and I had a $2,000 Zeiss, that would be the 50 I took with me. Hiking, boating, whatever. Why leave them home? I've been shooting in strange and stranger places since 1961, and have yet to break a lens.

02-28-2014, 03:43 PM - 1 Like   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by oxidized Quote
Not sure how you can claim that. I dont have the lens but pretty much every review out there (including the one on pentax forums) suggests that the lens is soft in the corners, all through the focal range, EVEN when stopped down. In my opinion it clearly does not compete with any of the DA* lens and certainly not any primes out there. I think the only reason Pentax decided to label it limited is because of its built quality. It really does seem like a wonderful, classic looking lens. However, the OP is concerned with the IQ. This lens clearly does not resolve the corners.
I can claim it because I've owned the DA*16-50, DA 21, DA35 Macro, DA40 and have shot thousands of images collectively. And I've shot several hundred images with the DA 20-40. You've read reviews I can see but I don't see where you've actually used the lens. I was dubious about so how can you say this lens is not as good as the sensor?

It seems there are a lot of haters of this lens but curiously it seems to be the ones who have never used this lens. If you look at the Pentax User Reviews you will find more love than hate.
02-28-2014, 03:56 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dice Quote
It seems there are a lot of haters of this lens but curiously it seems to be the ones who have never used this lens. If you look at the Pentax User Reviews you will find more love than hate.
Well, test charts are test charts. I understand you have certain emotional attachment to the lens, so there is no sense in arguing about it. Sometimes test charts dont reveal everything. For instance the 31mm has pixie dust even though its slightly soft wide open. Obviously a test chart cannot reveal that. However, if corners are soft they are soft. Frequently this is the pitfall of zooms (though not all have this problem). The most important thing is that you are happy with it. Again, the poster was stating the lens may be "too good" for the sensor. I was just pointing out that its the other way around.

Also, I wouldnt put too much stock in forum reviews numbers, as they are largely based off people's own expectations of the lens rather than the lens actual abilities relative to other options out there in the market. For instance take a look at :
HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
I can tell you right now, I would never consider this lens to be a 9!
02-28-2014, 04:04 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by oxidized Quote
I dont have the lens but pretty much every review out there (including the one on pentax forums) suggests that the lens is soft in the corners, all through the focal range, EVEN when stopped down. This lens clearly does not resolve the corners.
QuoteOriginally posted by oxidized Quote
Well, test charts are test charts. However, if corners are soft they are soft.
Indeed, but as I commented in my earlier post,
the Optyczne/Lenstip test chart shows
that the DA 20-40 resolves to 40 lp/mm,
or above 90% of the FA 31's performance,
at the two lenses' respective f/8 apertures.
02-28-2014, 04:07 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Indeed, but as I commented in my earlier post,
the Optyczne/Lenstip test chart shows
that the DA 20-40 resolves to 40 lp/mm,
or above 90% of the FA 31's performance,
at the two lenses' respective f/8 apertures.
All lenses are usually sharp at small apertures. I think the real test is how does this lens do at closer to its largest aperture. Is it a champ at that like the FA 31 Limited?
02-28-2014, 04:17 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
If it costs as much as the 20-40 and has an aperture of 2.8-4, I expect it to be very sharp. To each his own, but I don't intend on spending over 800 euros to get a 20-40mm lens that I have to stop down to f/8.
You don't have to stop the DA 20-40 down to f/8,
although for landscape or overall depth of field,
you will need to do that with any lens above 18mm on APS-C.

QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
I find that hard to believe, since the K-50 has a 16MP sensor.
In digital photography, individual pixels are capable
of providing more than one byte of information,
if the lens is good enough to deliver it,
and the AA filter doesn't destroy it.

---------- Post added 02-28-14 at 05:24 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by miltona580 Quote
Is it a champ at that like the FA 31 Limited?
The Optyczne/Lenstip reviews that starbase218 invoked as a reference for this thread
show that the FA 31 doesn't reach the 40 lp/mm APS-C edge standard until being stopped down 3 stops,
which for the DA 20-40 would mean to f/8 or more.
02-28-2014, 04:31 PM - 1 Like   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by kentishrev Quote
Thanks for the support. I know if I hadn't gone and tried it, I would have ended up spending weeks (months!) trying to make a final decision. It really was as simple as getting it to two options then off to the shop to try them out. Really helpful staff too, who let me put the lenses on my own K-30 to test them one at a time:

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You are so lucky! As you said, I do spend months grueling over lens decisions since I have no access to anything photographic that I can hold in my hands or try.

Glad you went ahead with a great lens - looking forward to seeing some pics. Your K-30 will do just fine!
02-28-2014, 04:38 PM   #45
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Why can't we all just go out and shoot, and worry about if we're good enough for our lenses, instead of worrying about if our lenses are good/too good for our cameras?

The problem I've found with the pixel peeping tests, is they really don't go into the real world usage/benefits of lenses and such. Most good modern lenses will be sharp and good enough to take fantastic pictures, if the man behind the camera is up to the task.

There's a lot more than just resolution in a lens being 'good'. Other things to consider:

Size
Weight
Handling
WR or no WR
Color rendering
AF Speed
AF Accuracy

Most importantly: Focal Length

If it's the FL you most use, it's small enough to go with you everywhere, it handles well so you can capture difficult shots, and the AF is fast and accurate, why is there so much other debate?

If you want the absolute sharpest results, you shouldn't be shooting APS-C, nor FF, you should be shooting Digital MF, or 8x10 film. When it all boils down, there's so much more to consider, most importantly, the man behind the camera.

How many people here can say they've pushed their photographing skills beyond what their lenses can do? I know I haven't. I also know I have fantastic shots that are all fantastic photos, done on everything from 35mm with 400 speed film, to slow film on 4x5, with lenses ranging from brand new computer designed lenses, to ancient lenses most would call junk. Pick the lens that works for you best, not just on its sharpness, and go out and shoot. =)
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