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11-20-2020, 01:03 PM - 1 Like   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cerebum Quote
There's another thing to factor in, what kind of shooter is the OP
I would say that's the only consideration.

11-20-2020, 01:05 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I would say that's the only consideration.
I am going to have to check his original post to see if he told us
11-20-2020, 03:01 PM   #33
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Thanks for all the input everybody! I don't have time at the moment to respond with the depth and attention your replies deserve, but I shall return...

Last edited by Thagomizer; 11-20-2020 at 03:08 PM.
11-20-2020, 03:04 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I would say that's the only consideration.
He said wanting to try wildlife but not being successful at it, unlike macro, that's why I (and a few others) recommended the 55-300 PLM.

It may look reduntant compared to the regular 55-300 he has, but its autofocus speed (and lack of noise) can make all the difference!

Besides he said he didn't "need" a new lens, yet he posted here, so we could explain to him what he really needs. On that, we are a great team!

11-20-2020, 04:02 PM - 3 Likes   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bertrand3000 Quote
He said wanting to try wildlife but not being successful at it, unlike macro, that's why I (and a few others) recommended the 55-300 PLM.

It may look reduntant compared to the regular 55-300 he has, but its autofocus speed (and lack of noise) can make all the difference!

Besides he said he didn't "need" a new lens, yet he posted here, so we could explain to him what he really needs. On that, we are a great team!
Yaaaaaay, we have infected him with LBA, and unlike covid, there is no chance of a vaccine 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂
11-20-2020, 04:39 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thagomizer Quote
Tamron 72E 90mm f2.8 1:1 (used) This would be my longest 1:1 macro lens. I already have 35mm, 50mm and 70mm 1:1 macros, and a Tamron 52BB 1:2 macro which gives great resuts with my Raynox 250. I'm sure this Tamron would also provide excellent images, with or without the Raynox. Currently, this one would be the least expensive option of those herein outlined. Just under $200 (CDN)

Laowa 100mm f2.8 2:1 Ultra-macro (new). If I were to get this, it would end up being my longest 1:1 (at least) macro, and offer 2x magnification to boot. I've already got a bunch of options I can put together which give me more than 1:1, but many of them, unlike the Laowa, do not maintain automatic diaphragm or auto aperture control. This choice would probably be the priciest choice on my list. As a new lens, this option is not in danger of being sold from under me while I make up my mind and/or save my money. $600-700
I have the Tamron 90/2.8 Macro, and also the 52BB. Frankly, for my use the 90/2.8 is not much of a game changer. I find the 1:2 magnification of the 52BB is often enough for large bugs and the like, and when I want greater magnification I usually want more than 1:1.

I think if I were in your shoes, I would buy the 55-300 PLM. If you find you really get the wildlife bug, you could buy something like an A 400/5.6 in the future.
11-20-2020, 05:12 PM - 3 Likes   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thagomizer Quote
DA 55-300 PLM (probably new). Just the one prospect here. I've already got the DA 55-300, so this is a more direct duplication/replacement of something I've already got, with less light but faster, quieter AF and WR. It occupies the upper middle portion of the proposed budget range, at $400ish. This would make a nice zoom companion to the 16-85. I'd like to do more wildlife shooting than I do currently
QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Use your 55-300 until it breaks.
QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
One person's "minimal" is another's "must have" improvements.
Stick with the screwdriven 55-300 or get the PLM? This is becoming an FAQ.

It's not really about resolution IMO. The PLM might have slightly more resolution than the screwdriven versions (or more precisely, my DA-L 55-300) wide open, but there's not really much in it. I got plenty of sharp images with the DA-L. The real difference in IQ IMO is in the colours, bokeh and overall rendering. Not that the DA-L was at all bad, but the PLM is noticeably better. Some of that might be because of the HD coatings, some the revised optical formula and some the rounded aperture blades, but images really do have a more pleasant overall look than I could get in 5 years with the DA-L. Images can look like something more than a consumer zoom. It's not just the detail it's the overall look. Almost like a Limited

Almost.

The bokeh is certainly a lot better than the DA-L.


And every so often you just get a little 3D quality.


That's before we get to the AF.


After the "coffee grinder" noise of the DA-L (scaring the critters away) the quiet was a pleasant change, let alone the speed.

The compact size of the PLM when retracted is a big plus too. It fits in a smaller bag.

For me the PLM is a fantastic "walk in the bush" lens and yard birds lens, especially with the high-ISO capability of the KP to offset the slow aperture. It is now my most-used lens. I really like my current standard walkaround kit of 15, 20-40 and PLM (can be varied with DA 12-24, DFA 100, FA 43, etc). The PLM is a worthy companion to the Limiteds.

But whether it's worth the coin depends on the individual user. The low prices for the screwdriven models and the higher price of the PLM (in this country anyway) have increased changeover cost. If you are really only an occasional telephoto shooter and the budget is tight (or there are more pressing needs) you can still get good shots from the old version. The other reason to stick with the old one is for use on a camera that doesn't support KAF4. (Yes you can use the PLM wide open and focus manually, but I would find that rather limiting.)

Last edited by Des; 11-20-2020 at 06:29 PM.
11-20-2020, 05:31 PM - 1 Like   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
Stick with the screwdriven 55-300 or get the PLM? This is becoming an FAQ.
...

After the "coffee grinder" noise of the DA-L (scaring the critters away) the quiet was a pleasant change, let alone the speed.
Re the 55-300 PLM, it would undoubtedly be my recommendation for an economical lens for this focal length range. However...

AF speed - and, hence, the coffee-grinder noise (perfect description, by the way ) - of the screw-drive 55-300 can be optimised quite effectively by manual pre-focusing (assuming it's one of the versions with quick-shift MF). If I'm shooting at close range with my screw-drive HD 55-300, before using AF I'll manually adjust to minimum focus distance in advance. If I'm shooting at long range or I'm unsure what distance is involved, I'll manually adjust to infinity. In this way, the initial AF operation is usually much quicker and avoids the back-and-forth racking the lens is infamous for.

This same approach, incidentally, works very nicely with the D FA100 too...

11-20-2020, 06:13 PM - 1 Like   #39
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My APSc travel kit consists of a Pentax K3 body + DA 12-24 mm f/4, FA 35 mm f/2 and DA* 60-250 mm f/4. There's nothing I can't do with this kit. Plus I have a DFA 100 mm f/2.8 Macro.

DA 12-24 mm f/4

FA 35 mm f/2

DA* 60-250 mm f/4

DFA 100 mm f/2.8

Last edited by RICHARD L.; 11-20-2020 at 06:20 PM.
11-20-2020, 07:00 PM   #40
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I just realized I never really said what I recommend. DA 15, SMC version. It is the lens that pulled me into the world of ultra wide angle. Until I owned the DA 15 I didn't appreciate ultrawide. It's a great gateway - easy to use, easy on the eyes!
11-20-2020, 09:24 PM   #41
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+1 for 55-300 PLM - PLM motor is next level fast - can't wait for the road mapped 16-50 f/2.8 PLM to be released.
11-20-2020, 09:25 PM - 1 Like   #42
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Hi again everyone, and thanks. I had no idea I would spark so much discussion; productive and useful, too.

As one might guess from my original post, I do a fair amount of macro shooting, and already have lots of ways to shoot it. I do the usual family shooting as well, where the 16-85, 35, 50 and 70 macros all play a role, along with my fast 50s for wide open soft portrait stuff. I do a bit of wildlife shooting, some urban architecture, landscape and anything else that grabs my attention. My usual practice, when I go out shooting, is to take a single lens, with sometimes a second. If I'm going bug and flower shooting, it will usually be one of my macro rigs. If it's general shooting, it will usually be the 16-85, though the 35 Limited has been getting good use in this role. Most of my other lenses I have to choose to do the particular shooting I use them for, unless I'm deciding to exercise a given lens and vision that I've neglected for awhile.

At some point I might decide to dedicate my K-S2 to M42 shooting. It's had the solenoid replaced, so it should be good for a while yet. I've got an original Pentax adapter (accept no substitutes!) and a nice range of super, S-M-C and SMC Takumars (28 f3.5, 35 f3.5, 50 f1.4, 50f4, 55f1.8, 100f4, 135 f3.5, 200f4,along with a Helios 44-2 with which to use it with. I'm more likely to keep these lenses than a number of the K mount manual focus lenses I have.

I've got more lenses than I regularly use, having managed to accumulate a fair number over the years, mostly used, some purchased, some given to me for free (lucky me!). But I'd rather not be a collector. I'm probably going to sell some of the lenses I don't use so much to help finance the acquisition of one or more of the candidates we've been discussing. There is a local outlet that may still pay cash for those items of mine that I'm not as likely to use, to help pay for and make way or those I will.

From reflecting on the above discussion, I've made a few choices. I think I'll drop the two macro options. I've got more than enough options to keep me knee deep in bugs for the foreseeable future. Those options give me results that please me a great deal. Why chase for "more" or "better" when I've already got "excellent?" The Laowa is, realistically, outside what I can afford to spend on something like this at this time.

So that narrows things down to the 15 and 21 Limiteds, and the 55-300 PLM. Between the two Limited lenses, I am drawn to the 15. I know that it's not much wider than my 16-85's wide end, and falls smack in the middle of the Sigma 10-20's range. The size and build of the 15 are very appealing. The two zooms are each pretty chunky. My experiences with the 35 Limited have been very enjoyable and liberating. The 15 Limited I have in mind may be gone by the time I can afford it, leaving the refurbished 21 Limited as a fallback option in this scenario. It could sell too, but I feel thisis less likely to happen than it is with the used SMC 15 Limited I spied.

The55-300 PLM is certainly still in the running, but as it would likely be purchased new, there is no time pressure of a particular copy under a specific deal, so there's that. My first Pentax, the K-S2, came with a retractible, silent focusing DC,WR,18-50 kit lens. I have appreciated all of these features on that lens, as I have the WR and DC on the 16-85. Adding the PLM to the 16-85 would give me a very versatile two lens kit. I really appreciate Des's pointing out the "Limited like" improvement in colour rendition he noted from the DAL 55-300. I've noticed the way my 35 limited responds to rich, subtle lighting, so having that in longer reach lens (that I can afford!) would be great.


Whether or not any of this actually pans out remains to be seen. Until the money end of things works itself out (and I have to wait, unavoidably, on that) it's all vapourware. Even if things do not turn out as I would like, and I am unable to get any of these lenses until a much later time, this discussion has been very valuable, and for that I thank all of you who offered advice and suggestions, asked pertinent questions, and who shared your own experiences and preferences. All of these have made me think more clearly about what I do in pursuit of my photographic vision, what I hope to do in the future, and which tools will let me best do that. I hope that other Forum members reading this also benefit from the discussions here. It is one of the great strengths of our community that members offer help when asked, and freely share their knowledge, enthusiasm, and passion. I know I am much richer for it. Thanks again, everyone! I'll keep you updated as developments unfold.
11-20-2020, 09:27 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
It's not just the detail it's the overall look. Almost like a Limited
+1

"We pursue a level of quality and performance that can’t be measured by numbers alone."
11-23-2020, 05:55 PM - 1 Like   #44
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The refurbished 21mm Limited is no longer available. The 15 is still in play.

The macro possibility has raised its head again, as a Tamron 90 2.8 $50 less than the one I'd been looking at has appeared! If I were to get it, I'd probably sell the 52BB. Maybe.

We'll see what (if anything) happens....

Stay tuned!

Last edited by Thagomizer; 11-23-2020 at 09:01 PM.
11-23-2020, 09:01 PM - 1 Like   #45
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This is a useful exercise in tempering one's desires and expectations. If I sell some of the lenses I have that I don't use that much, and may not be likely to, then it's good to let them go. The hardest ones to let go are sometimes the ones I got for free: I'm turning my back on a "bargain." But if they're not being used, then they're just taking up space, howver well regarded and highly reviewed they may be.

If the items I have in mind to get disappear before I get a chance to buy them, then so be it. I don't really need any of these lenses I'm hoping to buy, so I shouldn't attatch to them; I still have a great kit without them, and I will shed no tears. I might feel a momentary twinge of regret, but how many other such twinges have I felt and now forgotten over the years? Dozen? Scores, at least. All those "missed opportunities" now unimportant, and inconsequential. Just a little perspective...
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