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04-24-2008, 04:58 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by khardur Quote
@ Fritz - I've got that one as well, and I don't leave home without it.

@ beaumont - honestly, set your 18-250 @ 40mm and try shooting all day without zooming one bit. If you find the focal length very useful, go for it. If not, maybe one of the other limiteds is a better choice? If you find yourself wanting to zoom more, maybe a higher quality zoom would be a good choice as well. As was said, it's a very simple question, but so many factors go into the answer it's about as clear as mud.
Lens selection is quite subjective. There's an interesting thread on the 'best' 50mm, and evidence from every angle to say why each choice is wrong. I know my favorite is not for most people, but then again I also take pictures with an admittedly crappy Tamron 28-80.


Great suggestion on setting the zoom to 40mm. Why didn't I think of that?

(I went smiley stupid...)

04-24-2008, 05:05 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by TourDeForce Quote
Great suggestion on setting the zoom to 40mm.
Your other option would be to just take a full day of shooting with the 18-250 and afterward go in and see what zoom setting was used most often and then do some lens thinking/shopping.
04-24-2008, 05:34 PM   #18
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umm....err....I think I said that earlier in the thread

I think you'd want to take more than a day shooting. I find that my eye will change depending on the environment. Certain places and events will push me one way, and a change will push me another.

Actually it is an interesting experiment for anyone to do. Look through your last week or month's worth of shots and note the actual focal length used (and whether you cropped or not for the "final" image).

For instance if you shoot at 50mm but end up cropping a lot, you're probably better served with a longer lens. And if you are at 18 a lot and never crop (and if you look at your photos and say, "hmm, wish I had a bit more room) then you should ponder wider.

The problem is that you might find out that you really don't use or need some of the lenses you have and you might end up selling them. Anti-LBA. But to counter that, sometimes using a prime in a focal length that you're not "used to" can put you outside your comfort zone and expand your eye.

No single best way or solution. Just trial and error.
04-24-2008, 08:07 PM   #19
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I know that the author of the original post is busy enjoying their new 40mm ltd, but I could not resist an additional comment.

Beyond optical quality, smaller size, faster apertures, and easier handling there is another good reason to use prime lenses.

You actually learn the characteristics of the various focal lengths.

Most people use a zoom to find the right field-of-view and/or magnification. Little things like focal length-related differences in perspective and depth-of-field are often not considered. These things are better appreciated when you shoot one focal length for awhile. Ditto for manual focus and manual apertures.

Prime lenses are serious tools for serious work.

Steve

04-25-2008, 09:15 AM   #20
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Tape it!

QuoteOriginally posted by khardur Quote
@ Fritz - I've got that one as well, and I don't leave home without it.

@ beaumont - honestly, set your 18-250 @ 40mm and try shooting all day without zooming one bit. If you find the focal length very useful, go for it. If not, maybe one of the other limiteds is a better choice? If you find yourself wanting to zoom more, maybe a higher quality zoom would be a good choice as well. As was said, it's a very simple question, but so many factors go into the answer it's about as clear as mud.
You can go one step further and tape it at 40mm. I do that for my DA 18-55 , taped differently every weekend.
04-25-2008, 06:23 PM   #21
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Not enjoying the new lens yet. Apparently a "special order" so they will be bringing in both the 40 pancake and the 50 1.4 which I will be purchasing one of. (With regards to the taping of the lens at 40, or reviewing the pictures that I have already taken, the concern is not so much if a 40 or 50 will be acceptable as I'm quite sure either will do with a slight change in behaviour. The big question I had was how noticable the difference in images would be between a primary 40 and a zoom at 40. Sounds like it should be noticable, along with the speed benefit.
Since I'm typing...is the speed difference between the 1.4 and the pancake noticable?
thx again...
04-25-2008, 06:58 PM   #22
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the difference is either negligible or significant. It depends on what you shoot, how you shoot, and your eye/expectations. Same with speed.

I can see a difference between my 35mm ltd and shooting around 35 with my 16-45 zoom. And I know the 16-45 will give better IQ than the 18-55 kit lens (I've shot that one before).

The zoom is f4 and the 35 is f2.8 and I can get amazing low light performance with the 35. I can get a bit more out of my 77 f1.8 but not night and day.

Now, comparing the 50-135* and the 77 is a little tougher. mostly because the 50-135* is an incredibly sharp and contrasty lens which is what I like. The 77 though has a bit more pop and "magic". Don't know how else to describe it.

I haven't shot the 40 but would venture a guess that you'll see a significant bump in low light performance, less vignetting and generally better IQ than the 18-55. Mostly at the more extreme conditions.
04-25-2008, 07:49 PM   #23
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40mm Limited IQ

While I don't have a comparable shot from the 18-55 on hand at the moment, here's a good demonstration of the 40mm and IQ. This was shot wide open, 1/320 sec at f/2.8.



I think you can tell even seeing the full image resized small enough for web viewing, but here's a 100% crop:


speaking of the bokeh, I know with the f/5.6 of the 18-55 the trees in the background would be a little rougher.

04-25-2008, 08:16 PM   #24
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WOW!.......
06-15-2010, 07:46 PM   #25
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I haven't used my kit lens much since I bought the 40mm ltd. lens. I like it because it's so small. It's not very intimidating, especially with the white body K-x.

Sometimes I bring the kit lens out to get some wide angle shots. I'd be better off with a 15mm ltd. lens for that task. The kit lens just isn't in the same league.
06-15-2010, 11:04 PM   #26
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For me, shooting primes is much more enjoyable usually than a zoom. This being because a prime forces me to get more involved with the composition - you have to move, compromise, and do things you otherwise wouldn't to get the shot you want with a prime.

This is good, because otherwise I have a tendency to be lazy and snap a quick shot without thinking in depth about the subject or looking at it from any different angles.

On top of that, primes have advantages in speed, sharpness, size, and sexiness.

You should certainly get yourself at least one prime lens, although whether or not the 40 is a good choice is debatable. You might consider the FA 50/1.4 as well - not too expensive, and gives you some more versatility I think.
06-16-2010, 09:35 AM   #27
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I certainly have not used mine nearly enough yet, but the 40mm Limited pancake is one SERIOUSLY awesome lens!! So tiny and a really nice little lens to throw onto a K-7. And a pretty good reach as well compared to its small size so I agree it is great as a walk around lens especially if you don't want to draw much attention. Now I really want to leave work and go home and take some shots with this awesome little lens! haha
06-16-2010, 10:30 AM   #28
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f/1.4 is two stops fast thn f/2.8. Meaning four times faster shutter speed at the same ISO setting, which of course can useful in low light if you're having trouble getting a fast shutter speed to stop blur. But the flip side is, the 50/1.4 at f/1.4 is nowhere near as sharp as the DA40 at f/2.8, and the depth of field (Google it if unfamiliar) is so shallow you can'often t get a whole face in focus. Useful if that's the effect you're going for, but in most practical shooting situations, you'd shooting hte 50 stopped down a bit anyhow - and you'll probably 40mm a more useful focal length. I'm glad I have my 50 (a cheap manual one) for the rare times when I want shallower DOF or need faster shutter than my 40 gives me, but the 40 gets used about 1000 times more often.
06-16-2010, 10:52 AM   #29
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2+ year old thread resurected
As soon as I saw nostatic I knew this was oooold...
06-16-2010, 02:42 PM   #30
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As I posted on another thread, I just came back from a vacation in Spain and lots of shots on my K-x. The 40mm was the numeric champ among my lenses. I actually did use the 18-55mm for one day of people on the street shots from the deck of a tour bus in well lit conditions. (Sounds tourist trite, but some of them were pretty interesting) However, for all of the reasons stated above: size, sharpness, speed (fully usable wide open), lack of intimidation, it was my favorite outdoor lens. The 18-55 is not terribly intimidating, either, but the K-x plus DA40 almost looks like a toy, and people tended to ignore it.
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