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05-22-2008, 09:51 PM   #1
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Lens delima

Currently I have the pentax 10-17mm FE, 40mm ltd, 77mm ltd

I've found myself with limited space when taking portraits inside and I'm looking for something in between 17 and 40mm.

Factoring in low-light performance, skin tones, and just over all... take your vote:

DA* 16-50
DA 21 ltd
DA 35 macro ltd
FA 31 ltd

I've heard good things about all of these lenses, but if i went with the 35 macro, I'd also get the macro....

Thanks in advance.

05-22-2008, 10:07 PM   #2
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I have both the 21 and 31/ While they are very different lenses, they are both excellent lenses. The 31 is particularly good.
Now, the 16-50 covers both, is a halfish stop faster than the 21, and a stop slower than the 31. I don't own one, but I used one for a loaner test when they were still in pre release. I was quite impressed with it, though I didn't think it was quite up to the imaging quality of either of the primes. Not surprising, as the 31 is pretty much the best lens Pentax makes.
I have no experience with the new macro lens but pictures I have seen from it lead me to believe it is an excellent performer as well.
And it does have macro, vey good macro.

You might find, if you buy the 35 that you can sell the 40 and put the funds towards the 21.
05-22-2008, 10:14 PM   #3
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Here's my 2. And my opinion might not be worth that much since I own none of these lenses.

The DA 35 Macro is barely wider than the DA 40 LTD, so it's out.

The FA 31 will give you a little more working room, and I've seen some really stunning images from them.

The DA 21 gives even more room to maneuver, but you're getting into a focal range that doesn't work well for torso/head n' shoulder shots.

The DA* 16-50 would be the most flexible obviously. If you get a good one they're hard to beat.

Since I have the DA 16-45, from your list I'd be looking at the FA 31 or DA 21, but I'd be aware that I'd have to be more careful using the DA 21 for portraits. For alternatives, I'd also take a look at the Sigma 28 and 24 f/1.8s.
05-23-2008, 12:04 AM   #4
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I have the 31mm and the 40mm limited. The 31mm gets much more use and I find it to be a better portrait indoor/lowlight lens than the 40mm. Don't own the 21mm Limited, but I tend to only use around 20 for landscape and street shots, just not tight enough for pictures of a few people. Really the only mark against the 31mm is the price tag.

05-23-2008, 12:13 AM   #5
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I have heard so many times that FA31 is the best Pentax lens ever made that I would probably choose that one (if you can afford it). About the DA*16-50, people use to say that there is no so much difference between it and the DA 16-45, so I would not pay the difference (I have the DA16-45 and like it a lot).

DA35 macro it is maybe too close to your DA40 and if you want a macro lens I would go for a 70mm and above.

Hope that helps.
05-23-2008, 12:17 AM   #6
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from the list you've posted I'd be choosing from FA31ltd or DA*16-50. Why?
- 35mm macro doesn't give you so much more space from DA40, in this respect, 31 is wider and faster, and reportedly superb lens....
- DA21 is too wide for portraits (I'd say) and suffers from barrel distortion (according to reviews) more than DA40 or FA31.
So those two are out. As for the reminding two. Hard to say. FA31 is faster, sharper, and I haven't heard anybody really complaining about this lens. DA*16-50 would be more versatile, still with excelent IQ, of course if you get good copy. And 16-50 is cheaper (at least on my side of the ocean). If you feel you need the ultimate quality, go for 31. Otherwise, or if you're budget conscious, go for the zoom...
05-23-2008, 04:27 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
You might find, if you buy the 35 that you can sell the 40 and put the funds towards the 21.
I second this idea. I do have the 35 macro and I've found it to be an excellent all-around lens. If you think you'd use it's macro capabilities, then I say go for it. I'm also leaning towards eventually getting the 21. Granted, I have this length covered by the Sigma 17-70, I'd also like to have a small prime subkit that I could carry around in a fanny pack for when I don't want to haul the zooms. I'd also like to add the 70 to it to round that kit off.

HTH,
Heather
05-23-2008, 06:03 AM   #8
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i have both the DA21 and FA31

the extra stop with the FA31 let's you take photos indoors handheld without flash. and the FA31 is close to a normal on an APS-C sensor making it pretty versatile. it's out of focus rendering is fantastic and i skin tones turn out very well.

the DA21 is handy as a very portable walkaround, but if you can afford it, for the purposes you've stated the FA31 is the best.

05-23-2008, 10:32 AM   #9
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Original Poster
Would it be worth it to own the FA31mm and the DA40mm? Are they too close in focal length? Would it be worth it to sell the 40mm to get the 31mm or keep both?

At this point it's in between the FA31mm and the DA*16-50 (Leaning towards the 16-50 for versatility).
05-23-2008, 11:00 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgsullivan Quote
Would it be worth it to own the FA31mm and the DA40mm? Are they too close in focal length? Would it be worth it to sell the 40mm to get the 31mm or keep both?
I think that if you owned the FA31 and DA40 you would change between them just depending on which lens are you more confortable that day with, rather than changing the focal length, because they are quite close and the best option would be to move yourself one or two steps forwards or backwards...

In fact, I own the FA35 and I am considering buying DA40, compare them and play around... is that LBA??
05-25-2008, 07:35 AM   #11
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Are the 31 and 40 too close in focal length to have both? In my opinion probably. When deciding between the two, the main factors are size (DA 40), speed (FA 31) and price (DA 40). For me, speed is a neccessity therefore I recently purchased the 50 1.4 based on price, and was planning on purchasing the DA 40. Then after reading so many positives about the 31, returned the 50 (full refund) and put it towards the 31. Next purchase will be the DA 70 as I have "speed" covered, and many of the 70 range portrait shots are taken outside of the house. So far I'm happy with my decision. (Other than the primes, my only other lens is the DA 18-250 which I'm very happy with...)
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