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03-10-2016, 05:54 AM   #31
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I had 18-135 and was very pleased with it except for 2 things:
1. Corner quality at wide end, which is important for me.
2. Not wide enough
So I replaced it with 16-85 and quite happy: quality at wide end (as well as whole range) is outstanding. 16 mm is wide enough for me now. And I don't miss 85-135 mm range much.
About taking 18-135 with 31 lim. You need 31 lim only if you need to take pictures with open aperture. At closed apertures (4.5+) 18-135 is not worse, than 31 lim.

03-10-2016, 07:50 AM   #32
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I had the 16-85 as my main lens on the K-3II on a journey along eastcoast USA.

It is a great lens - in every respect. Great IQ but big and heavy. I use to hold the Camera in my right hand strapped around the wrist when walking the streets, and it really pulls at the arm. But even worse is Zoom creeping! When holding the lens downward it gets longer and longer. So I got into the habit of always keeping a finger on the zoom ring. Not very comfortable. Now I sold it. Maybe on my next journey I use my tried and proven 20-40 or the Sigma 17-70.
03-10-2016, 09:49 AM - 1 Like   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by SlamDesiAK Quote
Thanks very much for all of your feedback. I'll definitely be taking my 18-135mm and, possibly, look into a prime of some sort. I own many great lenses from the film days (50 f/1.8, 35 f/2.8, 28 f/2.8 - all M-Series) but haven't have a lot of luck getting satisfactory results. I take the blame for that in not spending enough time with using my manual lenses. Again, sincere thanks to everyone for contributing. I appreciate it very much.
I own the DA 18-135, and the DA 15. I owned a K-50, and now own the K-3. I have carried (not for a long trip) the 18-135 and 15 together. On a trip like this I would want my F50 f/1.7 or if I didn't already own that, I might buy a DA 50 f/1.8 for low light work and for portraits. I would also be sure to have some type of tripod. Where the DA 15 shines is shots made with the sun or other light sources directly in the frame. The flare resistance of that lens is nothing short of spectacular.

But if I had to pick just two lenses I would have trouble deciding if the low light 50 or the sunset/sunrise/city lights from afar/ DA 15 would win. The budget choice is to buy the DA 50 f/1.8 and use Microsoft ICE to do some stitched tripod pano's. You don't get the flare resistance but you keep weight and cost down.
03-13-2016, 02:18 PM   #34
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Well, after reading over the posts, I'm thinking of buying a 21mm HD Limited as a second lesson this trip. It's really close to the 35mm lens that was my standard walk around lens for my K2 when I shot film. I know I've seen 15mm and 31mm in the replies yet, I think that the 33mm equivalent of the 21 might be a good fit for me. It's affordable and compact as well. Any thoughts?

03-13-2016, 03:12 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by SlamDesiAK Quote
Well, after reading over the posts, I'm thinking of buying a 21mm HD Limited as a second lesson this trip. It's really close to the 35mm lens that was my standard walk around lens for my K2 when I shot film. I know I've seen 15mm and 31mm in the replies yet, I think that the 33mm equivalent of the 21 might be a good fit for me. It's affordable and compact as well. Any thoughts?
This is my favourite DA Limited, and one of my favourite lenses overall. It's superb - really. The only thing I would say is, before you lay down money for one, use a zoom lens to shoot at 21mm or thereabouts - maybe for a day, just to get used to the focal length. It will force you to look at scenes in a particular way, and it will be frustrating at times, as you need to be able to get close to certain subjects (sometimes, closer than is easy or practicable) in order to get the shot you want. But the results are worth it. It's a very versatile focal length.
03-13-2016, 03:13 PM   #36
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I live in Europe! I AWAYS take my 10-20 Sigma as city streets/indoor shots need it because there's very little distance between you and "it"! So take an UWA!
03-13-2016, 03:20 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by SlamDesiAK Quote
Well, after reading over the posts, I'm thinking of buying a 21mm HD Limited as a second lesson this trip. It's really close to the 35mm lens that was my standard walk around lens for my K2 when I shot film. I know I've seen 15mm and 31mm in the replies yet, I think that the 33mm equivalent of the 21 might be a good fit for me. It's affordable and compact as well. Any thoughts?
The 21 ltd is a nice small lens. It can do basically everything. Proxy/Flowers, landscapes, indoor/outdoor, full body portrait and group portrait, street photography. The size is a great asset. The lens is not aggressive to subjects.

For the picture quality, the lense is sharp, but not extremely sharp. It has some field curvature. The good thing it has for it is the color rendering, constrast and flare resistance that are good.

The max apperture is nothing to rave about and the focal length quite common, but as I said, can be used for many, many things.

This is not a lens like the FA31 with excquisite bokeh and in focus/out of focus transitions, but it get the job done.

One could ask why you would get the DA21 if you already have a zoom lens like the 18-135 or maybe a 17-50... Well this is mostly a contrast/flare thing but to me the idea is for when you don't want to have the zoom with you anyway. If you walkaround with only 2-3 primes, the 21 can make itself very useful and is not very expensive, at least used.
03-13-2016, 03:25 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeallen01 Quote
I live in Europe! I AWAYS take my 10-20 Sigma as city streets/indoor shots need it because there's very little distance between you and "it"! So take an UWA!
Usually I am happy with the DA15 I find it is enough for most use and I think 16mm would do too.

This I guess is subjective but I don't feel the need to always have everything in the frame and to get an heavy lens for that. I agree that very time I felt I needed wider than the 21 and got the 15 for it. But that's about it

03-13-2016, 03:29 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
The 21 ltd is a nice small lens. It can do basically everything. Proxy/Flowers, landscapes, indoor/outdoor, full body portrait and group portrait, street photography. The size is a great asset. The lens is not aggressive to subjects.

For the picture quality, the lense is sharp, but not extremely sharp. It has some field curvature. The good thing it has for it is the color rendering, constrast and flare resistance that are good.

The max apperture is nothing to rave about and the focal length quite common, but as I said, can be used for many, many things.

This is not a lens like the FA31 with excquisite bokeh and in focus/out of focus transitions, but it get the job done.

One could ask why you would get the DA21 if you already have a zoom lens like the 18-135 or maybe a 17-50... Well this is mostly a contrast/flare thing but to me the idea is for when you don't want to have the zoom with you anyway. If you walkaround with only 2-3 primes, the 21 can make itself very useful and is not very expensive, at least used.
Nicolas... I wanted a sharper, compact lens for street photography and some landscape/castle shots as we'll be touring Germany and Austria in May. Since we're doing the backpack thing, I was only planning on "one" lens (my 18-135) yet, the 21mm is so small it would hardly make a difference in terms of taking up space and might provide that Limited lens quality that I don't have now. The one I'd really like is the 35mm HD Limited yet, it's not quite wide enough once I factor in the crop (56mm). Heck, I don't know.
03-13-2016, 03:42 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by frogfoot Quote
About taking 18-135 with 31 lim. You need 31 lim only if you need to take pictures with open aperture. At closed apertures (4.5+) 18-135 is not worse, than 31 lim.
People don't buy 4 time more expensive FA31 f/1.8 instead of FA35 f/2 just for the apperture difference, a mere 0.3stop

There something more to the lens than pure sharpness. This is first and foremost the bokeh, the in focus - out of focus transitions that make the subject pop and the colors handling on top of good contrast and micro contrast.

I agree depending of your priorities and objectives, this might not be worth the trouble, but there definitely something to it.
03-13-2016, 04:15 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by SlamDesiAK Quote
Nicolas... I wanted a sharper, compact lens for street photography and some landscape/castle shots as we'll be touring Germany and Austria in May. Since we're doing the backpack thing, I was only planning on "one" lens (my 18-135) yet, the 21mm is so small it would hardly make a difference in terms of taking up space and might provide that Limited lens quality that I don't have now. The one I'd really like is the 35mm HD Limited yet, it's not quite wide enough once I factor in the crop (56mm). Heck, I don't know.
I understand that and I'd say the 21 is great, but the best benefit is to have some tiny thing to cover the range when you go out with another one or 2 lenses like say 21, 35 and 77.

At 21mm, the 18-135 is going to work just fine. In difficult condition the 21 would win constrast/micro contrast and flare, but that's about it.

If you plan to have the 18-135 with you anyway, you gain more getting lenses that compliment you 18-135 rather than doing the same thing (framing/apperture).

The DA15 for example would be quite nice because 15mm bring more possibility than 18mm, and the lens as the best flare resistance and contrast ever. Would help quite a bit on some landscape/architecture shots.

One or 2 fast lenses would help for portraiture and low light, innexpensive there is DA35 f/2.4 or DA50 f/1.8, but if you want to get best quality, you'd want to look at DA70/FA77 for portraiture and FA31/FA35 for a wider field of view.

DA35ltd is a great lens for landscape. Extremely contrasty, very resistant to flare, punchy colors... And of course macro, nice for small objects, flowers and things like that. The thing is it isn't especially good for portraiture/people.

DA21


DA21



DA21



DA15



DA15



DA15



DA35 ltd







03-13-2016, 04:34 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
I understand that and I'd say the 21 is great, but the best benefit is to have some tiny thing to cover the range when you go out with another one or 2 lenses like say 21, 35 and 77.

At 21mm, the 18-135 is going to work just fine. In difficult condition the 21 would win constrast/micro contrast and flare, but that's about it.

If you plan to have the 18-135 with you anyway, you gain more getting lenses that compliment you 18-135 rather than doing the same thing (framing/apperture).

The DA15 for example would be quite nice because 15mm bring more possibility than 18mm, and the lens as the best flare resistance and contrast ever. Would help quite a bit on some landscape/architecture shots.

One or 2 fast lenses would help for portraiture and low light, innexpensive there is DA35 f/2.4 or DA50 f/1.8, but if you want to get best quality, you'd want to look at DA70/FA77 for portraiture and FA31/FA35 for a wider field of view.

DA35ltd is a great lens for landscape. Extremely contrasty, very resistant to flare, punchy colors... And of course macro, nice for small objects, flowers and things like that. The thing is it isn't especially good for portraiture/people.

DA21


DA21



DA21



DA15



DA15



DA15



DA35 ltd







I love that shot where you're looking over the bridge (15mm), Nicolas. I'm all over the map now with what I want to take on the trip. The 18-35mm is a BIG lens yet, weather resistant. The thought of a 21mm and a 35mm - both Limited and MUCH smaller - are getting my serious attention. Will I miss the longer zoom? Maybe. Yet, what I lose in that, I might just make up in image quality. Thanks a lot for posting the images.
03-13-2016, 11:53 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by SlamDesiAK Quote
I love that shot where you're looking over the bridge (15mm), Nicolas. I'm all over the map now with what I want to take on the trip. The 18-35mm is a BIG lens yet, weather resistant. The thought of a 21mm and a 35mm - both Limited and MUCH smaller - are getting my serious attention. Will I miss the longer zoom? Maybe. Yet, what I lose in that, I might just make up in image quality. Thanks a lot for posting the images.
On my side, I don't miss the zoom but you have to be carefull that this is a more expensive route and it doesn't bring the same kind of experience.

I'll also add that while the picture quality is clearly improved that the subject, the composition, the choice of the good lighting, the choice of the right moment break or make the photo much more than the lens.


Having a set of primes only work if you take your time for your photos or you admit you'll not change lenses every 2 minutes meaning you'll miss some scenes. This is no issue for me, I can use the same prime for quite some time, but is it the case for you? I think keeping the same prime help to improve your photos and because I have no productivity constraint, I have no issue. But if you don't enjoy that way of shooting, you'll be frustrated.

Are you sure you are not going to miss that 18-135? the possibility to shoot a bit wider (18mm vs 21mm) or to shoot noticably longer (36-135mm ?).

I would strongly advise that you try before, take time to review the experience and depending of the result, decide what you do. I propose you to validate the model first with the 18-135, sticking to a focal length (for example 21mm) for quite some time. You could do an outing, one afternoon and restrict yourself to only 21mm and 35mm, avoid to change between the 2 focal length too often and see how you feel.

If that conclusive, you could buy 1 of the lenses and use it only for another outing or try it in your next trip but have the 18-135 as backup. Maybe the 2 lenses, but buy used so that if you are not satisfied you can resell almost at the price you paid for it.

To be noted, depending you'll also want in addition, a longer focal length for architectural details, portraiture, capture distant street scenes so that would be DA70/FA77 or something like that... But you don't have to buy it now, you can keep the 18-135 in the bag, use it for tele shots and use the DA21 or DA35 the rest of the time. But if you end up somewhat like me, look at my signature: DA15, DA21, DA35ltd, FA77, F135... That's going to cost not far from 2000€ even used. If you concentrate on the "essential" say DA21, DA35ltd and DA70, that would be still not far from 1000€ used and you might want the DA15 field of view (that brige picture you like !) or increase the reach (F135...). That's not the best way to save money. That's not issue if you agree with that, but not to be overlooked.

Last edited by Nicolas06; 03-14-2016 at 12:01 AM.
03-14-2016, 12:01 AM   #44
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To be honest with yourself on what each lens can do, you can check the corresponding threads with lot of example to see if you really feel the difference or if you might just going for the hype...

The DA lts (all lenses) club: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/74194-da-limited-club.html
The FA ltds (all lenses) club: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/59538-fa-limited-club.html
The DA18-135 show us what he can do: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/179869-da-1...at-can-do.html
The DA15 control my mind: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/86234-15mm-limited-controls-my-mind-club.html
The DA21 ltd samples: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/130-lens-sample-photo-archive/153172-pent...d-samples.html
The DA35 ltd samples: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/130-lens-sample-photo-archive/153168-pent...samples-3.html
03-14-2016, 12:01 AM   #45
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Also consider the time factor. Will you have time to stop and change lenses often or will you be able to work within the confines of the lens on the camera?
The 18-135 is bigger than one of the limits limiteds you mention but it isn't a huge lens, particularly compared to other brands. And it is not bigger than 2 or 3 limiteds.

Often in crowds, non-ideal conditions, moving along, etc, it isn't all that convenient to switch lenses. To find out, try it around wherever you are now for a few days. Try shooting three or four days in a row with the 18-135mm. Then try carrying various other lenses and switching for the appropriate lens that you might want while walking, while in crowds, while standing on sidewalks and streets.

I guess my perspective is like the old saying about a camera: "The best camera is the camera you have with you."
So: "The best lens is the lens on your camera, ready to take that shot that may be fleeting."

Anyway, I think someone said it earlier in this thread (or maybe another one): Is this a photography vacation, where you will spend careful time to get perfect images? Or is this a family, fun, friends, travel adventure vacation, where you will take photos as you go, but not necessarily delay others or pause while on the move?

If you do decide on a set of primes, DO try out switching them around while moving around your home town before actually going on vacation. If anything, the practice will be good.

Only you can answer the various questions I've posed, but that gives you an idea what to take.
...........................
Heh....
While I was writing this, Nicolas said much the same. Hmm..... Think about it?

Last edited by yucatanPentax; 03-14-2016 at 12:03 AM. Reason: { jinx }
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