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09-21-2015, 06:15 AM   #1
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DA 40, 20-40 or DA 70 ?

I am mostly into Aviation (Fighter Jets Military related), Motorsports (Particularly Superbikes) and Wildlife (Mostly Big cats). Never been into Human photography (like wedding,indoor, closeups etc). Now a days my focus towards this. I am new in this Human (Portrait & closeups). God blessed me baby girl. She is just two months old and I am frustrated with my telephoto lenses the reason of my turn towards this. I need suggestion btw best one or two from the following lenses:

  • Pentax HD DA 40mm
  • Pentax SMC DA 40mm
  • Pentax DA 20-40mm
  • Pentax DA 70mm
Please recommend me best or at least two from above list (No issue with zoom or prime).

PS: I've Pentax K-3 Premium Edition.

Here is my photography folio: www.facebook.com/fotorix


Last edited by Fotorix; 09-21-2015 at 06:43 AM.
09-21-2015, 06:28 AM   #2
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I love my SMC DA 40 and HD DA 70. My understanding is that the HD 40 is a modest upgrade from the SMC.

Kids are tough. The move quickly and framing tightly can be an exercise in futility. The 40 is a fine lens, it can deliver stunning shots particularly medium to close distance shots. The 70 is also fantastic a great portrait lens but much too long for many kid shots when they are not farther away.
Cropping is your friend on a k3! The 20-40 is interesting. Zooms tend to be best for kids, but that zoom is slower the longer you go. Are you looking for outside use or inside? Do you use a flash?
09-21-2015, 06:39 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I love my SMC DA 40 and HD DA 70. My understanding is that the HD 40 is a modest upgrade from the SMC.

Kids are tough. The move quickly and framing tightly can be an exercise in futility. The 40 is a fine lens, it can deliver stunning shots particularly medium to close distance shots. The 70 is also fantastic a great portrait lens but much too long for many kid shots when they are not farther away.
Cropping is your friend on a k3! The 20-40 is interesting. Zooms tend to be best for kids, but that zoom is slower the longer you go. Are you looking for outside use or inside? Do you use a flash?
Thanks for your response well I am looking for Indoor and No I don't use flash. So what will be your suggestion.

PS: Keep in mind wedding too.
09-21-2015, 06:50 AM   #4
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Hard to say. I have gotten nice results from my SMC DA 40, but f/2.8 can be limiting. The 40 indoors may be too tightly framed as well. A used FA 35 f/2 or FA Limited 31 f/1.8?

Weddings are most often shot with zooms and flash. The DA* 16-50/50-135 pair well for that.

09-21-2015, 06:52 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
I have the DA versions of the 40 & 70, plus the 20-40. If you want precision, I'd be hard pressed to see how you could go wrong with any (or all). OTOH: For the task(s) you describe... If you are looking for 'soul' from you images, my preference would be the DA*55/1.4, or even better... FA 31/1.8.

... my two cents... M
My Preference is Wedding + Human portrait.

---------- Post added 09-21-15 at 06:54 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Hard to say. I have gotten nice results from my SMC DA 40, but f/2.8 can be limiting. The 40 indoors may be too tightly framed as well. A used FA 35 f/2 or FA Limited 31 f/1.8?

Weddings are most often shot with zooms and flash. The DA* 16-50/50-135 pair well for that.
16-50 (lacking in sharpness)
50-135 (no SDM AF issue)
09-21-2015, 07:37 AM   #6
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Hmm... I don't see the need for f1.8 or f1.4 for your intended usage. It is useful for a brighter viewfinder image maybe but I think the dof would be too narrow, especially as your kid grows and becomes more mobile.

So, if your budget is enough, get the 20-40 AND the 70 - but I think you would be much better off with the Sigma 17-50 f2.8.
09-21-2015, 07:40 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fotorix Quote
My Preference is Wedding + Human portrait.

---------- Post added 09-21-15 at 06:54 AM ----------



16-50 (lacking in sharpness)
50-135 (no SDM AF issue)
I'm not a fan of the 16-50 myself. The 50-135 is however quite nice and I don't have any reason to expect SDM failure - even DC lenses fail.
09-21-2015, 07:46 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bagga_Txips Quote
Hmm... I don't see the need for f1.8 or f1.4 for your intended usage. It is useful for a brighter viewfinder image maybe but I think the dof would be too narrow, especially as your kid grows and becomes more mobile.

So, if your budget is enough, get the 20-40 AND the 70 - but I think you would be much better off with the Sigma 17-50 f2.8.
I think I've two options

Option 1:
Pentax SMC DA 40mm
Pentax DA 70mm

Option 2:
Pentax DA 20-40mm

and later will go for DA70mm

My Budget is around 700 USD. SMC DA40 & DA 70 cost me around $700 USD and alone DA 20-40 cost me around $650 USD.


Last edited by Fotorix; 09-21-2015 at 07:51 AM.
09-21-2015, 07:50 AM   #9
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Zoom is good with kids - and that zoom is quiet which you may want as it won't distract the subject. The downside is that as you go toward 40mm the lens slows to f/4.

That is a tough choice. I often carry the da 15, 40, and 70 as a kit. 40/70 is a great combo.
09-21-2015, 07:57 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fotorix Quote
I need suggestion btw best one or two from the following lenses:

Pentax HD DA 40mm
Pentax SMC DA 40mm
Pentax DA 20-40mm
Pentax DA 70mm
If I didn't already have the DA 35 Limited Macro and the DA40 Limited (SMC variant), I would be looking very closely at the 20-40. Little babies are excellent subjects for a normal lens (which the 40mm FL is on a crop sensor), but as she grows bigger and more mobile you will feel the need to "zoom out" a little. Of the lenses you have selected, the DA20-40 would therefore be my choice for practical reasons. The only downside I perceive is that this isn't a constant-max-aperture lens (it'll be a stop slower by 40mm). It also may not have enough reach at the long end for wedding work.

If compactness and ease of handling is everything to you (and it may be if you're trying to dangle a toy in front of your daughter to grab her attention while you shoot with the other hand), the DA40 is king. But then you lose the flexibility of zoom, and it becomes less about wedding work and more about a lens with which to photograph the hell out of your little girl (with which there is nothing wrong!!).

It also depends on what else you have at the long end (error - I meant Wide end) to give you flexibility if you decide to get a prime.

Last edited by pathdoc; 09-21-2015 at 09:14 AM.
09-21-2015, 08:56 AM   #11
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Your intended involvement in shooting weddings will give you an idea about the range you'll need. Primary shooters get the most benefit in using wide lenses since they can get near the celebrants while also covering wide view angles. I use my 16-50 when I was one of the primary shooters. I use my 50-135 when working as a backup or even just as a guest and I can tell you even 135 is sometimes not long enough.
Just to be straight to the point, you have to know what range you'll be using the most since demands in covering weddings and doing portraits have a lot of differences.
09-21-2015, 09:28 AM   #12
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I want to restate what I said before the classic wedding kit is 16-50 (or similar 17-xx lens from SIgma) f/2.8 and 50-135 (or 50-150) f/2.8 on APSC. The FF kit would be a 24-70 and a 70-200. Virtually everyone uses this combo with flashes and carries two bodies to avoid lens changes. There are few if any prime shooters in Wedding photography except for a few special shots that get FA 77 or similar lens.

The 20-40 seems pretty limiting for weddings as pointed out above but certainly better than shooting with a set of primes since zooming on your feet is difficult in a wedding venue and the printouts don't leave a lot of flexibility for cropping - they need to be very clean images. The downside to the 20-40 besides range is the loss of a full stop on the long end.

NOTE: I do not shoot weddings - I am only telling you what I have learned both from watching them shot, and talking to people shooting them. I am no expert. I have shot a couple - but only in the most simplistic way and with limited understanding of what I was doing.

I do however have kids and shooting indoors with the DA 40 is sometimes cramped. I also think that f/2.8 is really as slow as you can go inside with kids. So I don't think the 20-40 excels there either but it is likely better than the 40 since it will allow more flexible framing. That's just my opinion - I love my DA 40 and think it is a fine lens. You won't regret owning one but I don't know if it fits the plans you have for it. My DA 70 is also a must keep - but again not sure how it fits into your plans.
09-21-2015, 09:41 AM   #13
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I shoot the occasional wedding with two bodies. 16-50 on one, and rotating primes for longer shots OR the 60-250 on the other. The 60-250 is kind of big so I'll often put the 70 or a 135 prime on it.

I often carry the 15/40/70 Limited kit which is nice and compact.

For kids I'd lean toward the 20-40 + the 70. The zoom gives you some versatility and the ability to react faster. The 70 has nice bokeh and is good for closeup portraits when they aren't moving too fast.
09-21-2015, 09:43 AM - 1 Like   #14
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Congrats on your baby
I went through this exercise myself recently because I had a son 1 3/4 years ago. Like you, I didn't care about human photography at all...now that is 75% of my photography (mostly him running around, him in his environment, his grandparents playing with him etc).

A few bits of advise. You mention that you don't do flash. I HIGHLY recommend that you start. Start out with a p-ttl that tilts and swivels. Like others have mentioned, f2.8 isn't that fast indoors...but with a flash, all of a sudden f4 is plenty fast
Right now your little girl isn't mobile, but she will be as soon as you blink, so I also recommend a zoom.
How about a budget flash and Tamron 17-50mm?
09-21-2015, 10:14 AM   #15
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maybe consider sigma art 30mm 1.4 or even da35 2.4? da70 & even 50 might be tight indoors.
for weddings, zoom might come in handy though. any in the range 16-50 2.8 for the reasons mentioned above..
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