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08-25-2008, 02:36 PM   #1
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another "should I buy?" thread: DA 70mm f/2.4L - I have a Tammy 28-75/2.8 & FA 50/1.4

Please forgive yet another "should I buy" thread.... In my defense, toehr than asking about different old 50mm's early in my time here, over 1400 posts and it's pretty much my 1st in this exact vein , so hope you'll help me answer my particular curiosity!

I'm considering the 70mm f/2.4 L, for a light & small[-ish] short-telephoto lens for walk around or near distance portrait use ... to use most often with the dogs laying or sitting around, and maybe something to catch them running around and playing (fast focusing & good focus hit-rate). I'm an "available light shooter" so a fast lens matters, and I know the lens is good wide open to the edges based on reviews in this forum's review section.

However... of the lenses you see in my profile and sig:

a) I do have the Tammy 28-75mm f/2.8 which is a real performer and covers the focal length in question. Real sharp. But yes, big-ish & heavy-ish.

I have been keeping the grip on the K10D since I bought the camera. With that and the bigger sized lenses I have that I normally keep on the camera, it's a big heavy'ish kit. I've been considering taking it off to make a smaller/lighter walk-around kit. I can carry an extra battery or two in my pocket instead... So a smaller/lighter lens with that makes sense. Heck, maybe my wife will pick it up and use it if I make it smaller & lighter.

b) So regarding having a small light lens, I have the 50mm f/1.4, which is pretty close in size and focal length (well ok, the 50mm is physically 0.5" longer and double the weight, tho still light).

I do know the difference in perspective and field of view a 70mm will give me vs a 50mm. Not a lot, but it'll serve to focus the subject in frame a tad more than the naked eye sees the subjects I plan to shoot @ the distance I usually shoot them. The 50mm likes to be stopped down a bit for better performance anyway. So comparing the two f/stop for f/stop above f/2.4, will the 70mm L be noticeably better in sharpness, color & contrast compared to the 50mm to make it worth the investment?

Thanx much for all informed replies...

08-25-2008, 03:43 PM   #2
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I have the lenses you mentioned and I love all three of them. Both the DA 70mm and the FA50mm are just a tad sharper than the Tamron and focus a little more accurately. The differences are not great and I do do just fine with the Tamron alone. The Tamron stays on the camera 95% of the time due to flexibility of usage.

If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't get the 50mm and 70mm together. They are both great but their focal lengths are too close in my opinion. I think DA 40 would go better with DA 70 and perhaps FA77 would be a better match for the 50mm.

Last edited by Stratario; 11-23-2008 at 09:36 PM.
08-25-2008, 04:03 PM   #3
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Thank you for for your thoughts. Great chart. It's much better than my fingers I use in an L shape or making a circle with my arm stretched out forward.

How far is that sheet supposed to be held from the eye to represent the focal length, and is that at 35mm FF? Actually, our crop factor just means just hold that chart 1.5x farther away than FF I think.
08-25-2008, 04:25 PM   #4
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This chart is intended to just show the relative coverage of various lenses versus one another. It is not inteded to be held at a certain distance to show the actual FOV with a human eye.

Another thing I was going to mention in my previous post is that I doubt DA70mm can be much useful as a walk around lens. Even FA 50mm is a little too long for that.

I think if you take a lot of protrait shots getting the DA 70mm would be worthwhile. Otherwise as a walk around I do not recommend it since you already have a very capable 28-75 zoom.

08-25-2008, 05:31 PM   #5
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save that money for an FA77 ... it's focusing isn't as bad as it's said to be
08-25-2008, 05:50 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
save that money for an FA77 ... it's focusing isn't as bad as it's said to be
I have to agree. It isn't like you really *need* the focal length of the 70, but the esthetics's of the 77 ltd is definitely worth the $$$.
08-25-2008, 07:32 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
save that money for an FA77 ... it's focusing isn't as bad as it's said to be
And likely to be a better performer on FF (which can help the resale value) although not as small as the 70. (But then again, don't listen to me as I'm struggling with whether to get a 70, a 77, or a 50-135 myself) Good luck...

PS thx for the chart. I didn't realize it was so "exponential"...
08-25-2008, 08:00 PM   #8
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I appreciate the recommendation on the 77. The 77 just like the 31 are ridiculously gorgeous lenses and I lust after them for just their look alone; let alone their performance.

But for this particular choice I'm considering, perhaps the most important criteria is I'm not looking for another 'big' lens. I'm looking for a 'slealthy' kit variant using my K10D body, and wondering if it will be just that much better than my next closest compact setup, the camera w/o grip + 50mm, to make it worth it. The 77mm is a similar weight as the 50mm just a tad heavier... just even bigger still by about an inch longer and 1/2 wider. The 70mm is 'stealthy'.

Now.... I just spent a bunch of time on photozone.de reading those tests, and my gosh to the 40mm and 70mm Limiteds test incredibly well!!! I had never looked at them before. And from users I read here, they perform really well in the real world too.

...I kinda think I've talked myself into it! Tho feel free to tell me if I'm an idiot ...or not.

08-25-2008, 08:08 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by beaumont Quote
And likely to be a better performer on FF (which can help the resale value)...
At risk of going off my own topic... I can't resist having some fun with this.

(resale value aside/ignored, as I never sell anything) ...Now stop that!!! I'm in the 'APS-C' forever camp... Gives me the same results w/my 300mm + 2X TC as would a 900mm on FF. (Ignoring I couldn't get it if I wanted to) Now how much do you think a FF 900mm f/5.6 Auto-focus lens is going to cost me...? You'll never hear me saying "gimme FF or I'm walk'n".

...but I digress.
08-25-2008, 11:27 PM   #10
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Ha! I would NEVER think of the 77 ltd as a large lens. Man that thing fits in any nook and cranny. It is substantial weight wise because of its excellent build, but it is not a large lens at all.
08-26-2008, 08:15 AM   #11
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I stand corrected. Not large, just much larger than the 70... 2.5" vs 1". Yes, the 77 is still quite compact if I compare it to most of my other lenses. Thanx for being patient while I slowly realized.
08-26-2008, 09:09 AM   #12
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FA77 with hood retracted is about as big as the DA70 with hood installed
the weight is the true difference
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