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01-03-2009, 04:42 AM   #1
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it happened to me, too...

Hi all,

I've been a happy snapper with Canon for 2 yrs but wanted to get more serious with photography. Sure, Canon 5D and 85/1.2L made some nice pictures, but... actually it made me look like a better photographer than I am. I shoot mainly anything, but people and streets are a true passion.

So, I sold everything that said "Canon" in it, and went to a store to buy Sony - and came out with a Pentax. After couple days of testing, I can say that I'm really happy I did. However, since I found this forum, I'd like to hear your recommendations although I suspect that this might have been asked a million times...:

With the body, I got the kit lens, of course, and I thought that I'll keep it no matter what - it seems to be a decent performer and since it was free of cost... For a workhorse I took a 40/2.8 ltd and I really love that, the design and the IQ. But, I would like to have something little longer, eg. for candid portraits. I think I would prefer primes, and if I've understood right, these 50-200 or 55-300 zooms are not so good. 50-135 undoubtely is, but here in Finland it sells near 900 euros and that's too much for me right now. Also, it seems to be somewhat heavy and I'd prefer something small and light.

So, what say you?

Regards,

Jari

Ps. This is absolutely excellent site!
Ps2. English is not my 1st language, so if you have troubles in understanding me, please do not hesitate to ask for clarification!

01-03-2009, 05:04 AM   #2
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Maybe I've gotten the wrong impression, but I'm very close to buying the 55-300 zoom for my wife's camera because it is getting such good reviews. (better than the not too bad kit compliment 50-200). I've got the 50-135 for my K10D and I love it!
For what you're looking for, I'd think along the lines of the FA77Ltd. or the DA70Ltd. since you've already started on the Ltd. series. You might also want to consider the DFA100 Macro. Reportedly an excellent portrait lens which also gives you true macro capability.
Good luck in your choice and welcome to the forum.
Brian

PS When you find the need for a wide angle, the DA21 Ltd. is a great choice. Easy to handle and to control the distortion (keep it level).
01-03-2009, 05:22 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forums and congrats on the new camera.
First the 18-55mm is a very nice lens and a decent performer. Great for the low cost. If you are happy with that lens, then the DA50-200mm is an equal match. Also a very nice lens for the low cost and similar IQ to the 18-55mm. Plus it's very small and light. The quick shift focus on both these lenses is a great feature as well.

The 55-300mm is a very good mid to long zoom. Here on the forums we have a lens review data base. It's here so you can check out all the Pentax lenses.
Pentax Lens Review Database - Main Index

The DA55-300mm is reviewed here: Pentax Lens Review Database - 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED

For a mid priced lens, it's tough to beat.

For something in a prime that would be close in length, quality and speed to your canon 85mm, I'd suggest you look at the FA77mm f1.8. It's a sweet lens. Pentax Lens Review Database - 77mm F1.8 Limited Excellent optically, small and beautiful build quality. It can hold up against almost any lens from any brand.

If you like the idea of a macro prime to do a couple of different tasks. The DFA100mm f2.8 is a very nice lens and I'd also recommend the Sigma 105mm f2.8 Macro. But these lenses are macro first and mid length prime second. That is, they will work well as a prime but a a little slower to focus on subjects further away. it's due to the longer focus throw (amount of focus ring turn) that is something you want in a macro lens for accurate manual focus up close.
01-03-2009, 05:22 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by calicojack Quote
Maybe I've gotten the wrong impression, but I'm very close to buying the 55-300 zoom for my wife's camera because it is getting such good reviews. (better than the not too bad kit compliment 50-200). I've got the 50-135 for my K10D and I love it!
For what you're looking for, I'd think along the lines of the FA77Ltd. or the DA70Ltd. since you've already started on the Ltd. series. You might also want to consider the DFA100 Macro. Reportedly an excellent portrait lens which also gives you true macro capability.
Good luck in your choice and welcome to the forum.
Brian

PS When you find the need for a wide angle, the DA21 Ltd. is a great choice. Easy to handle and to control the distortion (keep it level).
OOOPS, I forgot to mention the fast 50's. Read through another topic in this thread group (Lens Discussion), "Looking for a portrait lens".

01-03-2009, 11:26 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jesalonen Quote
With the body, I got the kit lens, of course, and I thought that I'll keep it no matter what - it seems to be a decent performer and since it was free of cost... For a workhorse I took a 40/2.8 ltd and I really love that, the design and the IQ. But, I would like to have something little longer, eg. for candid portraits. I think I would prefer primes, and if I've understood right, these 50-200 or 55-300 zooms are not so good.
They are comparable in quality to the 18-55 kit lens. Meaning they work fine for what they are, but don't have the large maximum aperture you'd often want for portraits.

Since you have the DA40, the obvious companion is the DA70. It would be a step up from the telephoto zooms the same way the DA40 is from the 18-55.
01-03-2009, 11:43 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote

For something in a prime that would be close in length, quality and speed to your canon 85mm, I'd suggest you look at the FA77mm f1.8. It's a sweet lens. Pentax Lens Review Database - 77mm F1.8 Limited Excellent optically, small and beautiful build quality. It can hold up against almost any lens from any brand.
+1. I you came to take my lenses and gave me a choice of keeping one, it would be the 77. Others are more versatile, but imho the 77 is sublime.

That said, the 70 gets very high marks around here, and has quick shift focusing which can be useful.
01-03-2009, 01:17 PM   #7
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Thanks all,

you've been most helpful. It seems that I mixed things up while browsing those photozone.de MTF charts - 55-300 does seem like a great performer, especially when compared to 50-200. And, I rushed to send in my message before getting to know the forum properly, the lens base is absolutely beautiful! Thanks for that tip.

However, my mind seems to be set towards primes at the moment. After a days shoot-out with only 40/2.8 limited, I would be ready to get to a shop and buy the whole pancake serie, 21/3.2 and 70/2.4. I just love that little thing! In my Canon-days I tried to fit Carl Zeiss Tessar 45/2.8 C/Y to my 5D (didn't work, though). But, I suppose you can't have it all at once... Anyway, those seem to be a perfect set for street-type photography which I like to practice more in the near future.

The only thing that worries me is that the gap between 40 and 70 (and even more so between 55 and 70) is not so much, since I have two good legs... The macro capabilities would be a nice add-on, although I have owned several in the Canon days but rarely needed to go life-size. so another option besides the 70/2.4 is the 100/2.8 macro - but I'm quite sure that some day I'll own them both... AND the 21/3.2.

I'll keep reading the reviews and try to make up my mind. Hopefully one day I'll be able to submit some images about what I've got and what I've done with it...

Seems to be very nice folks around here,

Jari
01-03-2009, 01:20 PM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
Hi all,
Welcome to the forum.

QuoteQuote:
So went to a store to buy Sony - and came out with a Pentax.
Very lucky for you.

QuoteQuote:
if I've understood right, these 50-200 or 55-300 zooms are not so good.
The 50-200 is good as a budget lens on a 6MP body. Slightly better than my Sigma 70-300 APO. It would not be so great on a K20D. The 55-300 is very nice, and not really expensive, either. A noticeably better image quality jump from the 50-200.

01-03-2009, 02:54 PM   #9
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Welcome aboard.
Do not overlook the Pentax DFA 100mm f2.8. It is an "un-assuming" lens for general walk about purposes, image quality is excellent (in my humble opinion) and you have the speed for when you need it.

Cheers.
01-03-2009, 04:30 PM   #10
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Hi Jari,
welcome to the forums, and to the Pentax camp too, wish you many happy clicks
as for your question, DA50-200 is not bad, but IQ reportedly waries with different specimens. DA55-300 is reportedly better (some would say much better). As for primes, these days the longest affordable Pentax option would be DFA100 macro. Great lens, and very usable in non macro situations. If you feel like splashing out more, you always can choose DA*200 or 300. Great lenses (I wish I had the budget for them ) As for you, I think DA70 would be the best option. It's a great lens, and would complement perfectly to DA40 (congrats on great choice on that one - by far my most used lens), and you don't have to break a bank to get it...
BR
Peter
01-03-2009, 04:58 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jesalonen Quote
The only thing that worries me is that the gap between 40 and 70 (and even more so between 55 and 70) is not so much, since I have two good legs...
First, the difference is probably bigger than you might think. Second, it's a mistake to think that shooting closer with a 40 will give you the same picture as shooting further with a 70. Perspective changes with distance, and this is precisely why focal length is so important in choosing a portrait lens: if you want a head-and-shoulder shot, it will look *very* different when taken with a 40 versus a 70, because you'll have to be much closer - close enough that features don't look their best - to get the shot with the 40. Most people find 70mm just about perfect for portraits. But a 100mm isn't bad either. You have to shoot from kind of far away if you want more than the face alone, but it does work well for close up head shots or if you have room to work with.
01-03-2009, 05:00 PM   #12
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Thanks, Axl. I forgot to mention that I have no need to go beyond 100 mm (+ crop factor), so 200 or 300 would be a total waste for me. And yes, I'm beginning to think that 70 it shall be, and after that 24 asap...
01-03-2009, 05:03 PM   #13
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"it's a mistake to think that shooting closer with a 40 will give you the same picture as shooting further with a 70"

Right to the point, Marc! Now, this is getting easier all the time... Thanks!
01-03-2009, 05:10 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jesalonen Quote
Thanks, Axl. I forgot to mention that I have no need to go beyond 100 mm (+ crop factor), so 200 or 300 would be a total waste for me. And yes, I'm beginning to think that 70 it shall be, and after that 24 asap...
Shame there isn't good new 24-28 ish lens from Penax. I'd love 28mm f2.8 pancake...
anyway, 70ltd is on my list too, just not high enough yet...
BR
01-03-2009, 06:20 PM   #15
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Don't forget to look at the older stuff too around your area and get the m42 adapter.
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