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01-21-2023, 05:13 AM   #1
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Is the DFA 24-70 worth trading in for?

Hi all,

So Iíve been getting my portraiture business off the ground and had a wonderful shoot on New Years Eve. Itís been a minute since I brought out my camera, so I rented the 24-70 as a bit of a confidence boost. The images captured were good, but Iím missing a bit of the pixie dust that my FA* 28-70 captured at my NYE portrait session last year.

I also had some pretty severe backfocusing issues, and nailing focus on the eyes was a challenge (I shouldíve stopped down further than f3.5 as I was using flash).

So I have mixed feelings about the 24-70: I love the quick shift; AF could probably be tuned just fine with some adjustments; weathersealing is important to me.

And yet I love the FA* look, just as I love shooting with my DFA* 70-200. If there was a K-1iii with eye AF, I would buy that in a heartbeat as having two camera bodies would be reassuring as a semi-pro.

I guess I just wanted to get these thoughts out here and hear what yíall think.

01-21-2023, 05:44 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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I own the 24-70, the D-FA* 70-200 and the three smc Ltds and to me the 24-70 is a very competent lens that lacks anything to make it special, which the others have. The trouble is, there isn't really a modern weathesealed alternative in FF. I'm repeating what you already know, of course, not offering a solution, just confirming. I assume you want the width of group portraits, where the lack of pixie involvement is probably less important - otherwise there's always the D-FA* 50 and 85, of course...
01-21-2023, 06:06 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ffking Quote
I own the 24-70, the D-FA* 70-200 and the three smc Ltds and to me the 24-70 is a very competent lens that lacks anything to make it special, which the others have. The trouble is, there isn't really a modern weathesealed alternative in FF. I'm repeating what you already know, of course, not offering a solution, just confirming. I assume you want the width of group portraits, where the lack of pixie involvement is probably less important - otherwise there's always the D-FA* 50 and 85, of course...
Thanks for replying! Itís reassuring to hear, regardless. Ideally Iíd be wielding a K-1iii with a DFA * 24-70 on side and my trusty 70-200 on the other with my K-1, where it shines so well Iím not sure Iíve ever preferred my 77mm limited.

I shoot a lot of group portraits, so the wide zoom is really important. My photoshoots for NYE have been quick ďphotoboothĒ style photos (for example, I spent 5 1/2 hours setting up/taking down and photographing 13 groups).
01-21-2023, 06:07 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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The DFA 24-70 is a fine lens, not a great lens. I am not familiar with the FA *28-70 so I can't compare them. At f2.8 the things I have struggled most with relate to weak borders and pretty heavy vignetting -- mostly on the wide angle side of things. The auto focus issues should be fixable with calibration.

I just checked my Flickr and I have nearly 700 images on there taken with the DFA 24-70 -- more than any other lens. It isn't that it is better -- more that it is a standard zoom and goes pretty wide, so it works for landscapes.





01-21-2023, 06:22 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
The DFA 24-70 is a fine lens, not a great lens. I am not familiar with the FA *28-70 so I can't compare them. At f2.8 the things I have struggled most with relate to weak borders and pretty heavy vignetting -- mostly on the wide angle side of things. The auto focus issues should be fixable with calibration.

I just checked my Flickr and I have nearly 700 images on there taken with the DFA 24-70 -- more than any other lens. It isn't that it is better -- more that it is a standard zoom and goes pretty wide, so it works for landscapes.
Right? Itís such a versatile focal range, and thereís nothing particularly wrong with the lens rendering, it just lacks some character that I love out of my other lenses.
01-21-2023, 07:05 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Looking over the images taken with that lens and posted on Flickr by Rondec and other PF members, it's certainly worth it to me, but only you can decide.
Now I've got a case of LBA.
01-21-2023, 07:06 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Have you tried the 15-30 or the new DFA 21? One of these could be the extra wide answer if swapping lenses is an option (or a second body).

01-21-2023, 07:18 AM - 5 Likes   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithedreamer Quote
I guess I just wanted to get these thoughts out here and hear what y’all think.
I use the DFA 24-70 on my K-1/K1-II cameras as it is just such a handy zoom range.

But for portraits I bring out the big guns.... DFA* 50 or DFA* 85. Prior to the new 85mm I would use the FA*85mm 1.4 and it is a beautiful lens which produces stellar results. It may be worth you looking for one of those second-hand (no I wont sell mine !)

This was a couple of years ago with the DFA* 50mm at f1.4.......

01-21-2023, 08:11 AM   #9
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This is a Flickr search for all of my photos that have the DFA 24-70mm tag on them: Search: DFA 24-70mm | Flickr Most are landscapes, so probably not apropos to the current discussion...
01-21-2023, 08:18 AM   #10
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I do not own it, but if I was making portrait photography the focus of my business, I'd be investing in the HD Pentax-D FA* 85mm F1.4. (I did rent it last year, but for landscape photography.)

Last edited by EssJayEff; 01-21-2023 at 08:20 AM. Reason: Added last sentence.
01-21-2023, 08:50 AM - 1 Like   #11
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I own the lens because I got it new at its lowest recorded price, a unique moment. I got it for : the speed; the wider end. But I'm toying with the idea of selling it because I have the 15-30, I want the new 21, and in a lot of ways for my usage the 28-105 could be better. Due to the fine high iso performance of my K1mkII, the speed's not such a big deal to me anymore, and the longer FL of the 28-105 is more useful. The size is an issue as well---I often use my K1mkII in run and gun style while simultaneously having to move/build artworks or art installation construction so it can be documented. The smaller size of the 28-105 means the camera/lens doesn't swing around from my back so much.

I waver. Nothing wrong with my lens, but nothing that wows me much either. It's just utilitarian.
01-21-2023, 02:02 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithedreamer Quote
Hi all,

So I’ve been getting my portraiture business off the ground and had a wonderful shoot on New Years Eve. It’s been a minute since I brought out my camera, so I rented the 24-70 as a bit of a confidence boost. The images captured were good, but I’m missing a bit of the pixie dust that my FA* 28-70 captured at my NYE portrait session last year.

I also had some pretty severe backfocusing issues, and nailing focus on the eyes was a challenge (I should’ve stopped down further than f3.5 as I was using flash).

So I have mixed feelings about the 24-70: I love the quick shift; AF could probably be tuned just fine with some adjustments; weathersealing is important to me.

And yet I love the FA* look, just as I love shooting with my DFA* 70-200. If there was a K-1iii with eye AF, I would buy that in a heartbeat as having two camera bodies would be reassuring as a semi-pro.

I guess I just wanted to get these thoughts out here and hear what y’all think.
You can get one used for very little money. It's a versatile lens that has no competition at the moment, so is required if you want a zoom. Otherwise it's primes all the way - the 50 DA* and/or 85 DA*, with the 21 D FA for wider shots. And they cost waaaay more than the 24-70...you'll have to decide what the worth value is to you.
01-21-2023, 02:38 PM   #13
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IIRC in live view using face detect you mostly have eye AF as the eyes have the best contrast. I think this has been pointed out by Eddy Somers(?). Hopefully someone will be able to remember better than me.
01-21-2023, 03:47 PM - 1 Like   #14
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Thanks for everyone’s input! I was comparing the photos I’ve made with the DFA and FA*, and mu favourites are definitely the latter. Talked it through with my boyfriend, and I’m going to save my money for the K-1iii, as having a second body is important, and my K-1 is approaching 7 years old.
01-21-2023, 04:10 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Well, I do recall how well-regarded that FA* 28-70mm f/2.8 was back during 35mm film shooting days, and continues to be even now. I would just keep working with it. I never got one, as I own the Tokina 28-70mm f/2.6-2.8 Pro II and am very happy with it. However, I do own other FA power zoom lenses, and find this feature's design being to activate AF as it is zoomed, can bring exceptionally fast AF for moving subjects, though a bit noisy as it is continuously adjusting AF even though set to AF-S. Very fast and accurate- but you don't deal in moving subjects. This FA* lens is too good to ignore!

---------- Post added 01-21-23 at 04:14 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
Due to the fine high iso performance of my K1mkII, the speed's not such a big deal to me anymore, and the longer FL of the 28-105 is more useful
This is one possibility, so that if conditions should warrant where WR is needed, a switch for that purpose could be made. Maybe worth consideration. I do like mine vey much.

Last edited by mikesbike; 01-21-2023 at 07:09 PM.
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