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09-21-2015, 10:50 AM   #16
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I owned an SMC DA 40 and it's a cool lens, but I didn't keep it for a couple of reasons. As someone else said, without a flash, I found 2.8 to be not quite fast enough indoors. Also, it's a good focal length if you have space, but with my own son in a small house it was frequently too tight. I got to play with a DA 70 for a while once and really loved it, but you'd need to be across a big room from a baby to take crawling/toddling shots with it.

I replaced my DA 40 with an FA 35/2 and find it better in every way. That extra stop makes a huge difference. I think the image quality is at least as good and they 5mm broader perspective makes it more useful for what you are describing. The 20-40 zoom looks like a nice lens to me and it's a good zoom range for what you describe, but it may or may not be fast enough depending on how well lit your house is.

You might think about faster aftermarket lenses in the 24-30 mm range as well. Pentax has a hole in it's lineup in this range and speed, I think.

09-21-2015, 11:18 AM   #17
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If you're shooting indoors, assuming you mean residential size rooms and no across a gym, you won't want to go any longer than the 40. Honestly, the 21 would be a better choice if you want to stay with a prime. The 20-40 would also be better than the 40 in that indoors you'll miss more shots from not being able to move far enough back with a long or moderate lens than from not being able to get closer with a wide lens.
09-21-2015, 11:20 AM - 1 Like   #18
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No idea about weddings, but for kids (even infants) the closer you get to their perfect smiles, perfect skin, and perfect craziness, the better the pictures turn out. So my advice is to get the 70mm no matter what! (EDIT: Hilarious that I contradict Parallax above. Well, you know what they say about opinions...)

IMHO, the 20-40 zoom may offer some flexibility later, when your kid is very mobile, but that's still a very limited range. Like others have suggested, the Sigma 17-50/2.8 or even the Tamron 17-50/2.8 (if you get a good copy) offer a lot more range with very good image quality. Not quite a "Limited" lens, but then not every lens needs to be.
09-21-2015, 11:33 AM   #19
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Thanks everyone for the great response. Now I'm again start research over 20 - 100mm lenses. The problem i am facing with 20 btw 100 mm lenses is sharpness. Pentax Lens User reviews are not in favor of Zoom lens in terms - Sharpness. Majority are lacking in sharpness.

09-21-2015, 12:37 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
If you're shooting indoors, assuming you mean residential size rooms and no across a gym, you won't want to go any longer than the 40. Honestly, the 21 would be a better choice if you want to stay with a prime. The 20-40 would also be better than the 40 in that indoors you'll miss more shots from not being able to move far enough back with a long or moderate lens than from not being able to get closer with a wide lens.
+1....I have a 77mm LTD that I love, but I just cannot get it on my camera. I am spending a lot more times indoors nowadays and therefore I am always using my 31LTD or the FA 50mm when I want a close up. The 77mm is nust too long for the vast majority of my indoors shots. And even outside, I am using my 16-85mm the majority of the time. It has an awesome range and being outside, I dont need it to be as fast.
09-21-2015, 12:48 PM - 2 Likes   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fotorix Quote
Thanks everyone for the great response. Now I'm again start research over 20 - 100mm lenses. The problem i am facing with 20 btw 100 mm lenses is sharpness. Pentax Lens User reviews are not in favor of Zoom lens in terms - Sharpness. Majority are lacking in sharpness.
There is a bias against zooms. Let me show you something. This is the "not so sharp" 18-135 with an indoor picture taken with flash:



The not so sharp 55-300 outdoors in good lighting (cropped):

The oh so very sharp 60-250

There is a great interview with a Japanese optical engineer who works for Zeiss - in it he says essentially that primes are not designed for sharpness - they are a compromise for size and complexity. Zooms he says (and I believe it) can equal or exceed the performance of primes particularly in their best focal lengths. They have more optical correction, more specialized glass, more design time, less concerns about weight etc. Don't get hung up on the reviews. Look for the pictures. Also realize that bad lenses - truly awful lenses - can make great pictures. You as the photographer have to work around the limits of lens systems and cameras.

But primes are often small and lovely and beautiful. There is also something creative about having to zoom with your feet. Preference for primes may have a lot to do with things outside of optics.


Someone else said it and I will say it - learn to use a flash very well. This will open more doors for you than anything in terms of kids photography. Good lighting is hard to find inside - bring your own.

---------- Post added 09-21-15 at 03:54 PM ----------

Just to give equal time...

Here's a DA 40 shot:


And a DA 70 shot (a bit backfocused on that shot - look at the leaves edges on the back side):
09-21-2015, 01:00 PM   #22
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I have 3 kids and the most used lens to take pictures of them is my DA 35 2.4, though if I want to sit back a little further away I put the F 50 1.7 on. But the DA 35 2.4 gives me great results especially indoors.
09-21-2015, 01:05 PM - 1 Like   #23
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Based on what you're saying I'd go longer TBH. Off of what you posted though I'd do the 70 and the 20-40.

09-21-2015, 01:39 PM   #24
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I have a 40 a 70 and the 20-40. The 20-40 is the most useful for sure, with minimal drop off in IQ. I'm contemplating selling the 40 and 70, given how good the zoom is. But, as a contrarian - there are a few FA 43/1.9 lenses for sale in the marketplace around $400. I would grab one of those without hesitation, it is my favorite lens I have used for pictures of my kids. With decent technique on my part, the shots turn out better than I could hope.
09-21-2015, 01:40 PM   #25
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She is only two months old now, but in a few seconds she will be two years and the next minute she is seven years and running around like a squirrel😄. You will soon need longer glass, at least 70mm. For short I cannot recommend strongly enough to by the ricoh GR. It is always with me, and it is so easy to use. Problemv with the K3 is that it distracts the kids if you are close to them, but the GR is so silent and anonymous that they dont notice it. Congratulations btw, enjoy this wonderful time!
09-21-2015, 04:16 PM - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
But, as a contrarian - there are a few FA 43/1.9 lenses for sale in the marketplace around $400. I would grab one of those without hesitation, it is my favorite lens I have used for pictures of my kids. With decent technique on my part, the shots turn out better than I could hope.
We have been around the block many times on DA Ltd v FA Ltd, so I'll just give my personal take. I agonised between DA 40 and FA 43, and between DA 70 and FA 77, and went for the FAs. I'm glad I did. The FAs have their quirks (especially the 43), but the rendering is superb. Have a look at the samples.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/130-lens-sample-photo-archive/153328-pent...d-samples.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/130-lens-sample-photo-archive/182849-pent...d-samples.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/130-lens-sample-photo-archive/153218-pent...d-samples.html
The very sharpest lenses (I have the DA 35 and DFA 100, which are both plenty sharp) aren't always ideal for portraits.
09-21-2015, 05:33 PM   #27
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Congratulations for embarking on life's greatest adventure; parenthood. My standard compact kit is the HD DA 21 / 40 / 70 kit on a K-5II. I have been shooting Pentax SMC A, F, FA and DA lenses over the past 30 years before selling off much of my kit and opting for a simple set up. Indoors the HD DA 21 will perform very well. If i had to choose a simple set up with only 2 lenses it would be the HD DA 21 / HD DA 70 combo. These are already my two most used (and loved lenses). On a crop sensor the 21 looks like 31 did on film. You should check out shots from the lenses you are considering in the Pentax Photo Gallery. Cheers.
09-21-2015, 05:35 PM   #28
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Here's a HD DA 70 sample...

Last edited by Saltwater Images; 07-20-2016 at 03:06 PM.
09-21-2015, 06:43 PM - 1 Like   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
There is a bias against zooms.

Someone else said it and I will say it - learn to use a flash very well. This will open more doors for you than anything in terms of kids photography. Good lighting is hard to find inside - bring your own.
I agree with this completely. For shooting kids indoors, a decent bounce/swivel flash plus an average zoom will get more keepers than even the fastest prime; even if you have a fast enough shutter speed to stop the kid's constant movement, they wander right out of the DOF. Shooting at F/8 with the flash freezing movement is much nicer.
09-21-2015, 06:54 PM   #30
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Congratulations!

It wasn't so long ago when I was a newly minted dad. Now my daughter's turning 11. I must agree, in my experience, I was using shorter focal lengths when she was still a baby, when all she did was smile, laugh, try to crawl, and burp. You'll need to be up close, and you really won't need faster glasses. So, a 20-40 will be great for that stage.

The moment she started running, I knew I needed faster, longer lengths, or I needed to learn how to use flash. She would be up close, and at the very next second, a few hundred feet away. A 70 or 77 would be great at this stage.

By the time she started schooling, and stage practices and plays were the order of the day, the need for faster and longer lengths became more pronounced.

And as she enters pre-puberty, things begin to slow down now, and my FA20/FA43 and FA77 are probably all I need now.

So, I guess, you'll need different glasses at different stages. I guess, that's what justifies LBA
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