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08-05-2018, 07:19 AM   #1
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Question on new Lenses

Hello,
I'm an average photographer. I recently upgraded to the K-70 and also bought the DA35mm F2.4 and DA50mm F1.8 lenses.
I have been experimenting with the SCENE settings on the camera and quite frankly, this is the best feature Pentax has included on a camera.
Why Pentax hasn't advertised that feature and its capabilities more is beyond me. For years I've been expecting the cameras Auto function to be able to read my mind when I push the shutter button, and it just hasn't worked. If only more people knew what these features can do!
Now with the SCENE feature, its taking the pictures like I've always wanted and expected the camera to be able to do, I'm enjoying photography again.

I was looking for a wide angle lens, and I have the 10-17mm fisheye, but I'm tired of the fisheye effect.
There is the DA 15mm F4 which is many years old and no longer made, although I see a few old stock in B&H and Adorama, and used on ebay. The DA21mm is in the same boat.

Does anybody know if Pentax is going to expand the line of lenses of the mentioned DA35mm and DA50mm?

Thanks

08-05-2018, 07:37 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums!

It's great to hear that the scene modes are working well for you, and if that's giving you the creative control and results you want, fantastic. Be aware, though, you can unlock much more creative control by using the P, Av, Tv, TAv and M modes - but there's a learning curve involved.

Regarding lenses, the DA35 f/2.4 and DA50 f/1.8 are the only low-cost prime lenses currently available. However, the HD DA15, 21, 35 Macro, 40, 70 and 20-40 zoom Limited lenses are all current models, and each one of them is superb (the Limited designation pretty much guarantees this). There are many other current Pentax and third-party prime and zoom lenses that are compatible with your camera too

Last edited by BigMackCam; 08-05-2018 at 07:46 AM.
08-05-2018, 07:37 AM   #3
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Both the DA 15 and 21 are still in production, so I think you've picked up some misinformation somewhere. Are you maybe looking at the SMC versions, which have been replaced with HD?

e.g. HD PENTAX DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
08-05-2018, 07:40 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Hi and welcome!

The da 15 and da 21 are still made, they've been updated with HD coatings from SMC, the same with all DA limited primes (see them here Pentax DA Prime Lenses - Reviews and Specifications - SLR and Interchangeable Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database)

As for scene settings, I'm guessing either 1) these features have been around for a while, since film cameras, so maybe they think they're not worth promoting. Although for K1, there's been some ML-optimized scene detection, so they're working on improving these functions; 2) they're expecting users stay with the green mode, or P/Av/Tv/M more often than particular scene settings (higher end models lack these pre-set scenes)

08-05-2018, 07:43 AM   #5
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The HD DA 15mm F/4 is still in production, it was just updated with the new lens coatings and aperture blades. The scene modes in the camera are simply choosing settings that one could choose for themselves which most experienced photographers prefer to do. You hit the nail on the head with "expecting the camera to read your mind", the camera doesn't think so that part depends upon the photographer. If you only use auto modes then you will never get out of the camera what it is capable of.
08-05-2018, 07:56 AM - 1 Like   #6
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If you start off assuming the 21 ltd and 15 ltd aren't good enough, you really have no place to go.

There will be a $1200 Ultra Wide Angle with he same type spec as the new DFA* 50 1.4. coming in (2019 or later). But you've dug yourself into a hole here.

Just buy the DFA 15-30 2.8. If you want reasonably priced, the 15 and 21 are awesome. if you want premium priced, the 15-30 is awesome. Those are your choices right now.
08-05-2018, 08:30 AM   #7
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The smc Pentax-DA 12-24mm F4 wide angle zoom might also be a contender. It is a great lens and is my favorite lens for landscape photography.
08-05-2018, 08:42 AM   #8
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There is also the Sigma 8-16. It is a rectilinear lens so you do not get the fisheye effect. This is the widest lens I know of for crop sensors. It is a very interesting lens. I bought my copy new last year for $570. I must have gotten very lucky because all the new ones I have found currently are $650 +. Saw a used one on eBay for $500.

Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

08-05-2018, 09:15 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by midnightvisions Quote
Hello,
I'm an average photographer. I recently upgraded to the K-70 and also bought the DA35mm F2.4 and DA50mm F1.8 lenses.
I have been experimenting with the SCENE settings on the camera and quite frankly, this is the best feature Pentax has included on a camera.
Why Pentax hasn't advertised that feature and its capabilities more is beyond me. For years I've been expecting the cameras Auto function to be able to read my mind when I push the shutter button, and it just hasn't worked. If only more people knew what these features can do!
Now with the SCENE feature, its taking the pictures like I've always wanted and expected the camera to be able to do, I'm enjoying photography again.
A lot of people will tell you to jump off the auto bandwagon and learn manual mode. I will tell you that the scene modes are very helpful when you are learning. Pay attention to the setting the camera selects (ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed) and learn from that so that when you can take the plunge into manual you'll have some idea of what effect these factors will have.

QuoteOriginally posted by midnightvisions Quote
I was looking for a wide angle lens, and I have the 10-17mm fisheye, but I'm tired of the fisheye effect.
There is the DA 15mm F4 which is many years old and no longer made, although I see a few old stock in B&H and Adorama, and used on ebay. The DA21mm is in the same boat.
As others pointed out this lens isn't being discontinued. It has two versions an SMC version and an HD version. The HD version has newer coatings and rounded blades which some love but some prefer the older SMC version for better diffraction spikes.

QuoteOriginally posted by midnightvisions Quote
Does anybody know if Pentax is going to expand the line of lenses of the mentioned DA35mm and DA50mm?
The plastic fantastic series of lenses is not an area of known expansion - Pentax is really concentrating on higher end lenses.
08-05-2018, 10:42 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by midnightvisions Quote
I was looking for a wide angle lens, and I have the 10-17mm fisheye, but I'm tired of the fisheye effect.
There is the DA 15mm F4 which is many years old and no longer made, although I see a few old stock in B&H and Adorama, and used on ebay. The DA21mm is in the same boat.
Nobody has mentioned the 18-55 kit zooms. They give decent results, especially stopped down. If you donít have one they can often be found very cheap. If you do, the DA 18-135 is a step up in quality, and still affordable (although not a ďbudgetĒ lens like the 18-55s or 35/2.4 and 50/1.8). The HD DA 16-85 is better still, and even wider, although itís more expensive. The DA* 16-50 is in another league, expense wise. Iíd suggest either the HD DA 15 Limited (which Iíve never personally used, but it is supposed to be excellent), or the HD DA 16-85. I have both the 16-85 and the Sigma 8-16, which are great. I use the 16-85 a lot.
08-05-2018, 11:25 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
The smc Pentax-DA 12-24mm F4 wide angle zoom might also be a contender.
The DA15/F4 is a fantastic lens. It was my favorite daily driver wide angle lens before I moved over to full frame K-1. But I agree with Ole, the DA 12-24/F4 is an excellent lens, and probably a better candidate. Being a zoom, it would give you a lot more flexibility than a prime.
08-05-2018, 12:32 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by steve_k Quote
There is also the Sigma 8-16. It is a rectilinear lens so you do not get the fisheye effect. This is the widest lens I know of for crop sensors. It is a very interesting lens. I bought my copy new last year for $570. I must have gotten very lucky because all the new ones I have found currently are $650 +. Saw a used one on eBay for $500.

Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
I love that lens.


Sigma 8-16 slideshow.

But I really haven't used it much since I got the K-1, even though from 14-16mm it covers the frame.

Last edited by normhead; 08-05-2018 at 12:50 PM.
08-05-2018, 12:39 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by midnightvisions Quote
Hello,
I was looking for a wide angle lens, and I have the 10-17mm fisheye, but I'm tired of the fisheye effect.
Don't let me stop you from buying a lens, but there may be a cheaper way to scratch that itch.


The fisheye effect can be undone in post processing with Lightroom e.a. You just need the right lens profile. I don't know the details, but the information is out there to be found. Here is an example:


https://www.lonelyspeck.com/defish/


I researched this when I was going to buy one of those 10-17's last year but the deal fell through.
08-05-2018, 12:42 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cthulhugan Quote
Nobody has mentioned the 18-55 kit zooms. They give decent results, especially stopped down. If you don’t have one they can often be found very cheap.
Initially, I was going to discount this suggestion, but actually I think it makes some sense, especially as an inexpensive stable-mate to the DA35 and DA50 "plastic fantastics". If the OP is happy to shoot around f/8 most of the time (which is more-or-less the sweet spot for the 18-55, depending on focal length), then the later "MkII" WR versions make a lot of sense. At f/8, image quality - whilst far from spectacular - is "good enough". Plus it's small, light and WR too... Quite a versatile lens.

I regret selling mine, as there are times when I'd like a light-weight WR zoom covering wide-to-short-tele...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 08-05-2018 at 12:51 PM.
08-05-2018, 12:56 PM - 4 Likes   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by midnightvisions Quote

I was looking for a wide angle lens, and I have the 10-17mm fisheye, but I'm tired of the fisheye effect.


the DA 10-17mm isn't so fishy above 14mm... plus you can control how much of the distortion is showing by how you use the lens...



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