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05-17-2018, 11:10 AM - 1 Like   #16
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Personally I don’t think there is another lens like the 20-40. It may not be perfect for everyone but it became my most used lens. I still cannot bring myself to sell it on now it is hardly ever used because I have a k-1.
To answer your points:
1. I cannot see anything wrong with the lens for the images posted.
2. Alternatives- I used the 18-55 WR and the 18-135. For images with trees and lakes and on sunny days it was difficult to tell the difference between the three lenses. The 20-40 shines in handheld night street shots, bad lighting such as grey overcast days, difficult lighting such as grey days with snow on the ground and isolating foreground subjects.
I think you should look at the images you have and base the selection on the majority of your picture “types”. You’re obviously happy with the range.
3. Are the 70 images “better” because you’re using it to hone in on a subject rather than for the wider images?

It can be difficult but I think it comes down to which lens you enjoy using. It’s no good havin a bag full of “great” lenses if you don’t feel good when you use them.

05-17-2018, 11:12 AM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I own the 18-135 and use it as my walkabout - I got the 18-50 to compete with my m43 walkabout kits and see if I could get my K mount kit smaller and still make it light enough and small enough for some purposes that it isn't meeting. It didn't win me over. I haven't decided to sell it yet - the image quality is good and I like it well enough but I haven't used it a lot. I'm more likely to grab the DA 15, 20-40 and 50-135 than the 18-50 plus anything.
Couple things; if you're cool with grabbing those three lenses, then trying to shrink your kit while remaining a k-mount user seems kind of weird. A DA 15, the 18-50, and a DA 50 1.8 with a K-01 is maybe more in-line with your goal of getting a k-mount based kit that competes with your m43. So there you go, more equipment to purchase.

You're welcome.
05-17-2018, 11:25 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by W412ren Quote
Personally I don’t think there is another lens like the 20-40. It may not be perfect for everyone but it became my most used lens. I still cannot bring myself to sell it on now it is hardly ever used because I have a k-1.
To answer your points:
1. I cannot see anything wrong with the lens for the images posted.
2. Alternatives- I used the 18-55 WR and the 18-135. For images with trees and lakes and on sunny days it was difficult to tell the difference between the three lenses. The 20-40 shines in handheld night street shots, bad lighting such as grey overcast days, difficult lighting such as grey days with snow on the ground and isolating foreground subjects.
I think you should look at the images you have and base the selection on the majority of your picture “types”. You’re obviously happy with the range.
3. Are the 70 images “better” because you’re using it to hone in on a subject rather than for the wider images?

It can be difficult but I think it comes down to which lens you enjoy using. It’s no good havin a bag full of “great” lenses if you don’t feel good when you use them.
I used the 18-135 for a while, I like it a lot.....except for its weight. I know it is still not heavy, but it did not fullfil my requirement for small and light kit. The 20-40 is really the maximum at that edge.

I have a month for returning it, so I will use the 20 40 a little more.

Concerning the images with the 70, they have:
- more 3D effect, that OOF view
- they are extremely sharp. I usually do not care that much about it, because my pictures are usually for the internet; however, with the 70, it is just a joy to zoom in, and discover new details!
- I use the 70 for portraits, that is what I bought it for (and the bokeh is nice to look at, too), but also for landscape shots. Its contrast and rendering are just beautiful

---------- Post added 05-17-18 at 11:30 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
Most if not all of these images were probably taken around f8, yes? It's a guess as I don't see a link to exif info.

I think portraiture might show more differences between your 18-50 and 20-40. The pictures of the river scene or the single tree shouldn't stress even average lenses.

Alternative primes; DA 21, F or FA 28, Sigma 28 EX (have it, love the IQ, it's huge though) FA 35 f2, DA 35 Ltd, DA 40 or DA 40 XS. I also like the Tamron 17-50. The low-light/hi-ISO performance of the K-70 and the DA 21 or any of the f2.8 28's would make for a very capable combination.

EDIT: Thinking about this some more, an 18-50 might be a really nice zoom to be the 'anchor' around which you build a kit. Good quality primes where you really want something at a specific focal length, and then a do-all zoom that's affordable and easy to pack along. For me that's the DA 18-135, and then I have good primes at 15, 28, and 50mm (along with a bunch of other random lenses, but you get the idea). A good ultra-wide, a good normal lens on crop for walk-about/do-anything, and a good short-tele for portraits. It seems like you're about there anyway and the 20-40 just doesn't have enough of what it takes to buy its way onto your shelf.
I will test the 20-40 a little longer (within 30 days return policy), maybe it improves. Although it is not quite what I would like, I had the following idea: get the FA 31 limited instead of the 20-40, and keep the 18-50 for those days when the weather is not friendly. Just not sure, although pictures look nice (PP almost all of them these days, of course), but I am not ready to shell out 1200 euros for a lens, without looking at it in real life....and Pentax isnt really present around the corner.

Last edited by AlexanderS; 05-17-2018 at 11:31 AM.
05-17-2018, 11:34 AM   #19
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It really sounds like an F or FA 28 would be more in-line with your budget and would probably be to your liking. I have owned neither and currently want, well, both. Would probably go to the FA 28 just because it seems a bit more artistic. Obviously neither is available new.

The FA 31 seems very cool but it's so much money...

05-17-2018, 11:56 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
Couple things; if you're cool with grabbing those three lenses, then trying to shrink your kit while remaining a k-mount user seems kind of weird. A DA 15, the 18-50, and a DA 50 1.8 with a K-01 is maybe more in-line with your goal of getting a k-mount based kit that competes with your m43. So there you go, more equipment to purchase.
Different uses. I wasn't carrying that kit for my tiny kit. Just the 18-50.

---------- Post added 05-17-18 at 02:58 PM ----------

I'd suggest the FA 35 f2 as a poor man's 31. It's a nice lens.
05-17-2018, 12:11 PM   #21
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The DA35 f2.4 could be an option. It's small and lightweight with excellent IQ while being quite affordable. But it certainly doesn't have the build quality nor the handling feel of the Ltd. There isn't much to lose by trying it since you can easily find a used one for about 100$...
05-17-2018, 02:47 PM - 2 Likes   #22
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I have both the DA 20-40mm LTD and the 18-50mm. I got the latter as a kit with my K-S2 purchase for next to nothing. I have numerous fine lenses,including Limited primes and high-quality zooms. This little lens surprised me with the quality of its images and its very good, quiet AF. Couldn't beat the price- around $40 or so. I bought the K-S2 as replacement for my K-r as my smallest, lightest DSLR. That being the idea, the little zoom lens fit the concept perfectly. It is a particular use and application that dictates the value of the equipment chosen.

I primarily use this little wonder on the K-S2 for the reason given, and it is amazing that I can actually fit a very competent DSLR into a large jacket pocket with a good-performing zoom lens on it, and having WR to boot! When shooting with my KP, however, the DA 20-40mm is among my top considerations. I shoot in lower light situations fairly often. Its f/2.8-4 aperture and fine-quality, contrasty imaging performance are also appreciated, along with very good handling. It has relatively low distortion for a zoom lens, and its low flair at low-light angles is another advantage.

The DA 18-135mm is among my arsenal as well. It is highly valued, especially when the need is- having an extensive zoom range to address circumstances where changing lenses is to be avoided. It is also very compact for lens with such a zoom range to handle this purpose. image quality is very good, and its AF is fast and accurate.

If this little zoom lens fits your particular needs well, why replace it? Between your DA 15mm LTD and your 70mm LTD it fits in well in terms of FL, although certainly being the weak part of the chain. Its reduced aperture range for low light situations, and other matters such as distortion, flare resistance and vignetting don't compare. The DA 70mm is far more tele than 40mm, therefore much easier to isolate subjects from background for a 3-D effect, and images will have a different perspective. I notice quite a difference in the exposure value in your comparative shots also. But if you are happy enough in your uses and needs with this little lens, why not just keep using it?

As per some test reviews, as well as my own experience with other Pentax models, I recommend for better JPEG performance, going into the Custom Image menus and implementing "Fine Sharpening" for both the "Bright" and the "Natural" settings. Then put the camera back to "Bright" for most applications after making this adjustment. The "Auto" Custom Image setting is to be avoided, as well as the "Green" mode on the mode dial, unless a friend who knows nothing about DSLR use is temporarily taking a few shots. For full automatic exposure, the "P" mode is fine, and allows adjustments on the fly via the Pentax Hyper System.

Last edited by mikesbike; 05-17-2018 at 02:56 PM.
05-17-2018, 08:53 PM - 3 Likes   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by AlexanderS Quote
3. Is there maybe something I should look out for in photographic technique, using the 20-40? These are of course not the only pictures, some are of course better, but none can justify this price difference. As an example, my 70mm limited is just beautiful at all times, even though the aperture is not the best for great object isolation.
Yes, Alexander, I think looking at your pictures, they could have been taken with any lens, an 18-55, the 20-40, or even a phone.

To justify a lens with extra capabilities, you need to shoot differently to take advantage. By the sound of it, you already do with your DA70, and that's what it's all about. Why not also with the most common lens you put on your camera?

I bought a 20-40 just the other week and took some snaps on my K-1 (works from about 24mm onwards), and am pretty happy with the results - the FA31 might get left at home from time to time. The last one illustrates the out of focus rendering at quite close distances.








Last edited by clackers; 05-17-2018 at 11:00 PM.
05-18-2018, 01:43 AM - 1 Like   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
I have both the DA 20-40mm LTD and the 18-50mm. I got the latter as a kit with my K-S2 purchase for next to nothing. I have numerous fine lenses,including Limited primes and high-quality zooms. This little lens surprised me with the quality of its images and its very good, quiet AF. Couldn't beat the price- around $40 or so. I bought the K-S2 as replacement for my K-r as my smallest, lightest DSLR. That being the idea, the little zoom lens fit the concept perfectly. It is a particular use and application that dictates the value of the equipment chosen.

I primarily use this little wonder on the K-S2 for the reason given, and it is amazing that I can actually fit a very competent DSLR into a large jacket pocket with a good-performing zoom lens on it, and having WR to boot! When shooting with my KP, however, the DA 20-40mm is among my top considerations. I shoot in lower light situations fairly often. Its f/2.8-4 aperture and fine-quality, contrasty imaging performance are also appreciated, along with very good handling. It has relatively low distortion for a zoom lens, and its low flair at low-light angles is another advantage.

The DA 18-135mm is among my arsenal as well. It is highly valued, especially when the need is- having an extensive zoom range to address circumstances where changing lenses is to be avoided. It is also very compact for lens with such a zoom range to handle this purpose. image quality is very good, and its AF is fast and accurate.

If this little zoom lens fits your particular needs well, why replace it? Between your DA 15mm LTD and your 70mm LTD it fits in well in terms of FL, although certainly being the weak part of the chain. Its reduced aperture range for low light situations, and other matters such as distortion, flare resistance and vignetting don't compare. The DA 70mm is far more tele than 40mm, therefore much easier to isolate subjects from background for a 3-D effect, and images will have a different perspective. I notice quite a difference in the exposure value in your comparative shots also. But if you are happy enough in your uses and needs with this little lens, why not just keep using it?

As per some test reviews, as well as my own experience with other Pentax models, I recommend for better JPEG performance, going into the Custom Image menus and implementing "Fine Sharpening" for both the "Bright" and the "Natural" settings. Then put the camera back to "Bright" for most applications after making this adjustment. The "Auto" Custom Image setting is to be avoided, as well as the "Green" mode on the mode dial, unless a friend who knows nothing about DSLR use is temporarily taking a few shots. For full automatic exposure, the "P" mode is fine, and allows adjustments on the fly via the Pentax Hyper System.

Hey,
so far, this will be my option, if the lens will not be able to further convince me over the next 2 weeks. But I am happy to hear that it seems the 18-50 just is a great piece for a kit lens, so it is not only my imagination About the pictures, as stated before, something went wrong during uploading, there should be shots with the exact same exif settings,but so far, I am too lazy to reupload I shot the comparison ones in Aperture priority, fine details set to Ex, so it should be sharp enough.

Right now, the plan is: I will test the 20-40 extensively, and then send it back. The 18-50 will be most likely my lens for a while(maybe with the 31 or 28 at some point, will go to Japan on business soon enough, so I guess there are stores to test a little in), but the quality is good enough for the moment. Maybe Pentax updates the 20-40 at some point, or releases something else that is interesting.

Yesterday, when searching the database, I discovered the 20-35. Although it lacks the WR, I love the rendering on what I saw, also some pictures that were not too heavily post processed. There are also a couple of those around, mainly in Japan, too. Does anyone have any reasons, why this lens would perhaps not be a good idea?

---------- Post added 05-18-18 at 01:47 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Yes, Alexander, I think looking at your pictures, they could have been taken with any lens, an 18-55, the 20-40, or even a phone.

To justify a lens with extra capabilities, you need to shoot differently to take advantage. By the sound of it, you already do with your DA70, and that's what it's all about. Why not also with the most common lens you put on your camera?

I bought a 20-40 just the other week and took some snaps on my K-1 (works from about 24mm onwards), and am pretty happy with the results - the FA31 might get left at home from time to time. The last one illustrates the out of focus rendering at quite close distances.




Thanks for the images, they really help me getting a better understanding of the ways to utilize this lens to its potential!

Furthermore, thanks everyone commenting on your input, and for bearing with me!
I have to be honest, coming from Canon and Sony, Pentax is harder in the way you actually need to work and put thought into your images, so a lot of questions do arise, naturally, but it much more rewarding so far!
05-18-2018, 01:55 AM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
I bought a 20-40 just the other week and took some snaps on my K-1 (works from about 24mm onwards),
This is me.
The lens is fully useable between 24-35 on the K-1 without any messing about in post so it can serve well as an "adjustable prime" so I cannot see me selling this lens - ever :-)
05-18-2018, 02:15 AM - 2 Likes   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by W412ren Quote
This is me.
The lens is fully useable between 24-35 on the K-1 without any messing about in post so it can serve well as an "adjustable prime" so I cannot see me selling this lens - ever :-)
Yeah, 24mm and 35mm are standard FF lengths and here it is, WR, all-metal Limited build, silent focusing.

For an APS-C, it of course can spare changing between the DA21, DA 35 and DA40, all in something the size of the FA31.

There's a lot to like about it, on a four week overseas trip later this year I may leave the K-1 behind and take my K-S2, DA15, this thing, and the DA70.
05-18-2018, 02:24 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by AlexanderS Quote
Yesterday, when searching the database, I discovered the 20-35. Although it lacks the WR, I love the rendering on what I saw, also some pictures that were not too heavily post processed. There are also a couple of those around, mainly in Japan, too. Does anyone have any reasons, why this lens would perhaps not be a good idea?
Yes, I bought one from Japan and like it. It's not as sharp as the 20-40, but it's genuinely full frame across the range, and has, as you correctly spotted, beautiful FA style rendering. It is plasticky, but it is small.

I even put it on a Sony A7 at times because the EF mount Tokina 17-35 f4 I have for it is so big and heavy by comparison, and I just can't be bothered lugging it around.
05-18-2018, 05:20 AM   #28
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I'm late to the show, but here goes...

I have not tested extensively but I have tested the HD 18-50 (and the SMC basic version). The HD 18-50 is an impressive lens. Its sharpness, bokeh and contrast impressed me a lot. It should not be considered a "kit" lens, it's more expensive than that and also much better than that. I'm not surprised that you like it a lot.
05-18-2018, 06:41 AM - 1 Like   #29
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Here's a couple of thoughts from my experience. The 20-40 is one of my most used lenses, it is great on the K-3 and on the K-1, as clackers stated, from about 24 onward. If you're unhappy with the 20-40, it is possible you have a bad copy, or haven't found the sweet spot of it.

On the FA 31, I wasn't impressed with it with a crop sensor. Then I put it on a film camera and it blew me away. It's one of the reasons I finally purchased the K-1 and it spends a lot of time on it.

For an affordable 35mm, you can't go wrong with the DA 35 2.4, it is a great lens.

I don't have the 18-50, but traditionally Pentax "kit" lenses tend to be a bit better than other brands "kit" lenses. At least in my experience with Nikon and Canon.

This shot was with the 20-40 on a K-1 at the last wedding I did.



And on the K-3:

05-19-2018, 05:59 PM   #30
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My 20-40 is one of my most used lenses. It is currently hooked to my KP and once and a while makes it on the K3 II. Aside of the 16-85 it is my go-to primarily for the F2.8 at 20mm. It is like two primes in one. The images are exceptional and the build quality is superb. It shoots sharp and has its fair share of pixel dust.
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