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07-11-2016, 01:54 PM   #1
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Seeking educated and within scope lens discussion

Ok, here's my dilemma:

I have a Sigma 24-60, Sigma 20-40 and Tokina 20-35 and DA40.

The subjects of my images with these lenses would be sunrise or sunsets WITH the sun in frame or near edge.

The Sigmas and Tokina flare badly. Like unuseable badly. I have kept the DA40 specifically for this reason because of its resistance to flare, but one available lens is too limiting.

My choices currently on the table:

FA31, but this is a last resort because using a Cokin filter system (gradient neutral density) is next to impossible. Would require same 400+ investment to use filters (similar to DFA 15-30). Would pair this with the DA40 to give me options FoV wise, but then I start having to carry a 50 or 55 around as well. Not sure I want a specific sunset/sunrise lens kit. My bag is already full. I'm NOT getting rid of my zooms because they are required for waterfall photography.

F/FA 28 - Haven't had real good luck getting a crisp copy of these lenses and they tend to have too much CA for my liking. All PP fixes for CA tend to reduce image quality as far as I'm concerned so I try to avoid that. Not sure how much better flare control I'm getting. Cheapest option of the bunch. See above for multi prime addition hesitancy.

DFA 24-70 - Seems pretty flare resistant, would replace my 24-60, can use filters etc, so this is the way I'm currently leaning, but soooo not into a 1200 hit to my budget.

FA* 24 - Intrigued, by tough to find, don't know much about image quality other than a step up from FA 28, but worried about flare and CA.

My shooting style in these type of situations on a K1 is 30-55mm so far.
Crop mode is not an option, otherwise I'd use my beloved Tamron 17-50.
Some of these images go to galleries and print so they must pass QC with Editors and art consumers.
Price is not real a deal breaker, but....
Size and weight have no relevance. IQ, Flare control and focal length are the parameters.

I'm also open to other brands if which I know nothing about, like Zeiss etc, though MF is not my preference.

I'm about 70% convinced I "have" to go with the DFA 24-70, but maybe someone has other options. I really need this lens by September 1-ish and I'm not sure the DFA 24-70 budget would be there by that time.

Thoughts?


Last edited by nomadkng; 07-11-2016 at 02:26 PM.
07-11-2016, 02:14 PM   #2
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Shoot crop, find an HD 15 Ltd, resell after this project is over if the crop mode is too distasteful?
07-11-2016, 03:22 PM   #3
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^ I was also thinking the DA15, but based on all the other lenses the OP mentions I suspect 15mm is too wide. The OP says "Crop mode is not an option", anyway.
07-11-2016, 03:29 PM   #4
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Tamron 28-75 f/2.8? I don't know how good that is with flare, but since you (OP) mentioned the 17-50...

07-11-2016, 03:36 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
Ok, here's my dilemma:

I have a Sigma 24-60, Sigma 20-40 and Tokina 20-35 and DA40.

The subjects of my images with these lenses would be sunrise or sunsets WITH the sun in frame or near edge.

The Sigmas and Tokina flare badly. Like unuseable badly. I have kept the DA40 specifically for this reason because of its resistance to flare, but one available lens is too limiting.

My choices currently on the table:

FA31, but this is a last resort because using a Cokin filter system (gradient neutral density) is next to impossible. Would require same 400+ investment to use filters (similar to DFA 15-30). Would pair this with the DA40 to give me options FoV wise, but then I start having to carry a 50 or 55 around as well. Not sure I want a specific sunset/sunrise lens kit. My bag is already full. I'm NOT getting rid of my zooms because they are required for waterfall photography.

F/FA 28 - Haven't had real good luck getting a crisp copy of these lenses and they tend to have too much CA for my liking. All PP fixes for CA tend to reduce image quality as far as I'm concerned so I try to avoid that. Not sure how much better flare control I'm getting. Cheapest option of the bunch. See above for multi prime addition hesitancy.

DFA 24-70 - Seems pretty flare resistant, would replace my 24-60, can use filters etc, so this is the way I'm currently leaning, but soooo not into a 1200 hit to my budget.

FA* 24 - Intrigued, by tough to find, don't know much about image quality other than a step up from FA 28, but worried about flare and CA.

My shooting style in these type of situations on a K1 is 30-55mm so far.
Crop mode is not an option, otherwise I'd use my beloved Tamron 17-50.
Some of these images go to galleries and print so they must pass QC with Editors and art consumers.
Price is not real a deal breaker, but....
Size and weight have no relevance. IQ, Flare control and focal length are the parameters.

I'm also open to other brands if which I know nothing about, like Zeiss etc, though MF is not my preference.

I'm about 70% convinced I "have" to go with the DFA 24-70, but maybe someone has other options. I really need this lens by September 1-ish and I'm not sure the DFA 24-70 budget would be there by that time.

Thoughts?
I am guessing {based on my experience with various older lenses} that all film-era lenses will have CA issues.
07-11-2016, 03:43 PM   #6
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Would the older Pentax 24-50 work?

I've not tested mine for flare resistance, but it's a good lens generally, and while mine is an A, it came in F as well.

With a 58mm thread, Cokins should be a breeze, even the little ones.

-Eric
07-11-2016, 04:40 PM   #7
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Hi,

As an owner of the 24-70 I'd like to provide some feedback unfortunately as I've not had it long I can't comment on how flare control is. I also have the 15-30 and it does handle flare well, but if you're baulking at the price of the 24-70 then you might be more reluctant to spend extra again. However my main aim in posting is to provide some information on the Zeiss options.

Manual Focus
So far as MF goes, if there are subjects other than landscapes then this can be less flexible though I'd have to say the viewfinder and focus confirmation of the K-1 make MF so much easier compared to the K5 I used previously. In that camera I installed an s type focus screen to help MF which I've not needed to consider with the K-1. For static images the Live View focus confirmation also makes accurate focusing easy.
Flare on Zeiss
Flare control on the Zeiss lenses is good. The lens that I find flares the most is the 21 f2.8. Having said this though it is not intrusive when it's present unless it is right on the edge of the lens. Here you can get some blooming on the opposite side of the frame.
Zeiss Pentax mount options
The Zeiss lenses for Pentax are ZK, but there is also a ZS version that uses M42 mount. In the focal lengths you might consider the lenses you are most likely going to consider are the 25 f2.8 and the 35 f2. From time to time you will also find the 28 f2. These lenses are not cheap compared to some other options though the quality of the lens and the rendering they provide make them a good choice if they fit your needs.
Nikon to K mount conversion
A recent alternative has arisen in the form of a Nikon to Pentax mount adaptor from Leitax. Fenwoodian, a PF member has recently adapted the Zeiss 28 f2 and the 21 f2.8 from the Nikon ZF2/ZF mount to ZK mount. I don't know how handy you are with tools but Leitax can do conversions if you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself. Whilst adapting Zeiss lenses may not interest you, maybe the option to consider Nikon lenses does? Nikon and Zeiss ZF lenses for Pentax cameras Please note, this is a mount change not an adaptor requiring a lens insert for infinity focus.
Don't forget too there is the Irix 15 f2.8 due sometime later this year and then the new wide angle prime on the lens thingy if this isn't a more immediate requirement.

Good luck with your hunt, I hope this has opened up some useful options for you.

Tas
07-11-2016, 07:23 PM   #8
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You could always try the "black card technique" instead of graduated ND filters.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/38-photographic-technique/324538-black-ca...ternative.html

07-11-2016, 07:59 PM   #9
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OK, this is a really unusual, specific situation. For the most part, to avoid flare in challenging landscape photography lighting, you need great coatings and it typically requires fewer elements. You really don't need a fast lens (assuming use of a good tripod to ensure the sharpest images). I would say you really need to go with prime lenses overall because they will prevent flare and give you corner sharpness. Some newer zooms will perform well (D FA 24-70 certainly, Sigma 24-70 and Pentax 24-50 possibly), but flare is still a greater concern with so many elements. If any zoom can pull it off, it might be the D FA 24-70.

Given that you will be stopping down for landscape, the K-1 viewfinder should be easy to focus (especially so if you use live view), and the fact that you aren't shooting action in this situation, I don't understand why you wouldn't consider manual focus for at least one of the lenses. You would get good results from the various A-series primes at bargain prices (the 50mm f/1.7 especially), and the various Samyang lenses covering FF (14, 24, 35, 50mm). The coatings and build are superb, and the pricing is very low for the optical quality.
07-12-2016, 07:09 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tas Quote
... Flare control on the Zeiss lenses is good. The lens that I find flares the most is the 21 f2.8. Having said this though it is not intrusive when it's present unless it is right on the edge of the lens. Here you can get some blooming on the opposite side of the frame... In the focal lengths you might consider the lenses you are most likely going to consider are the 25 f2.8 and the 35 f2. From time to time you will also find the 28 f2. These lenses are not cheap compared to some other options though the quality of the lens and the rendering they provide make them a good choice if they fit your needs.
Good luck with your hunt, I hope this has opened up some useful options for you.

Tas
That was the kind of feedback about ZK lenses I was looking for. I know they have almost a cult following, but because of their price they aren't a "i'll give one a try" purchase. UGH, there's the darn 15-30 again! I REALLY want to eliminate it as an option for any conceivable reason...lol. I just don't want to spend the extra money on the oversize filter kit, but it keeps popping up in threads,

---------- Post added 07-12-16 at 07:17 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
... For the most part, to avoid flare in challenging landscape photography lighting, you need great coatings and it typically requires fewer elements...You would get good results from the various A-series primes at bargain prices (the 50mm f/1.7 especially), and the various Samyang lenses covering FF (14, 24, 35, 50mm). The coatings and build are superb, and the pricing is very low for the optical quality.
Thank you for the little extra technical knowledge tidbit. I've never really considered Samyang lenses, I must admit out of some irrational personal bias most likely, but maybe I need to delve a little deeper.

I know this whole subject is tricky, which is exactly why I opened up this thread. Despite what my 16 yo claims, I know I don't know everything, so it's great to get other perspectives, especially hands-on experience with other lenses.

Last edited by nomadkng; 07-12-2016 at 07:22 AM.
07-12-2016, 07:27 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
Ok, here's my dilemma:


FA31, but this is a last resort because using a Cokin filter system (gradient neutral density) is next to impossible. Would require same 400+ investment to use filters (similar to DFA 15-30). Would pair this with the DA40 to give me options FoV wise, but then I start having to carry a 50 or 55 around as well. Not sure I want a specific sunset/sunrise lens kit. My bag is already full. I'm NOT getting rid of my zooms because they are required for waterfall photography.


Thoughts?
Disagree to the 400+ investment. A Heliopan 58mm straight hood will fit within the 31s hood and allow fitment of a Cokin / Lee Filter setup. Link to filter
07-12-2016, 07:31 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by robbiec Quote
Disagree to the 400+ investment. A Heliopan 58mm straight hood will fit within the 31s hood and allow fitment of a Cokin / Lee Filter setup. Link to filter
Interesting... thanks for the creative work around idea.
07-12-2016, 08:39 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
That was the kind of feedback about ZK lenses I was looking for. I know they have almost a cult following, but because of their price they aren't a "i'll give one a try" purchase. UGH, there's the darn 15-30 again! I REALLY want to eliminate it as an option for any conceivable reason...lol. I just don't want to spend the extra money on the oversize filter kit, but it keeps popping up in threads,

---------- Post added 07-12-16 at 07:17 AM ----------



Thank you for the little extra technical knowledge tidbit. I've never really considered Samyang lenses, I must admit out of some irrational personal bias most likely, but maybe I need to delve a little deeper.

I know this whole subject is tricky, which is exactly why I opened up this thread. Despite what my 16 yo claims, I know I don't know everything, so it's great to get other perspectives, especially hands-on experience with other lenses.
I have three Samyang-built lenses - 8mm (crop only), 14mm and 85mm. The 8mm, as you can well imagine, often has the sun in the frame. It is amazingly flare resistant. All three lenses are very much above average in their capabilities. As I get older, I gravitate toward AF because focusing on crop sensors (even with a quality magnifying eyepiece) is a real struggle. Much less of an issue on the K-1, though. Overall, the failings I have found with non-Pentax lenses (especially zooms) - is that Sigma, Tamron and Tokina (most especially) simply don't have as high a quality of coatings. That isn't the case with Samyang. Very close to Pentax quality.
07-12-2016, 08:55 AM   #14
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Samyang (Bell+Howell, actually) 8mm with sun in frame (just to show flare resistance - obviously not a choice for the K-1):
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PENTAX K-3  Photo 
07-12-2016, 09:28 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
The Sigmas and Tokina flare badly. Like unuseable badly.
The older Sigma and Tokina lenses are not exactly known for their flare control. Almost any Pentax SMC prime or HD zoom should be better in this respect.

QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
and the various Samyang lenses covering FF (14, 24, 35, 50mm). The coatings and build are superb, and the pricing is very low for the optical quality.
My experience with Samyang lenses is not consistent with this. Admittedly, I haven't used any of the FF lenses, but the 10mm is the worst lens I've ever used with flair, and it supposedly uses Samyang'' very best "nano" coatings:



Maybe the 24mm and 35mm are better (although given their f1.4 apertures, I wouldn't bet on it). The 14mm may be better in this respect.

QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
FA31, but this is a last resort because using a Cokin filter system (gradient neutral density) is next to impossible. Would require same 400+ investment to use filters (similar to DFA 15-30). Would pair this with the DA40 to give me options FoV wise, but then I start having to carry a 50 or 55 around as well. Not sure I want a specific sunset/sunrise lens kit. My bag is already full. I'm NOT getting rid of my zooms because they are required for waterfall photography.
Given the cost of the 31 and how close, in FOV, it is to the DA 40, this does not strike me as good idea. If you really want to go prime for sunset shots, you might be better off getting older, and much cheaper, SMC primes, like either of the K or M 28 f3.5. Both those lenses have good flare control and excellent color and contrast. The M version sells for not much more the $50.

QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
DFA 24-70 - Seems pretty flare resistant, would replace my 24-60, can use filters etc, so this is the way I'm currently leaning, but soooo not into a 1200 hit to my budget.
The DFA 28-105 is another strong option, at a significantly lower price point. I'd personally get either of the two DFA standard zooms, rather than putting down a lot of money for a prime.
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