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01-06-2009, 09:13 PM   #1
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"Lenses I Just Don't *Get"

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Anyone have any examples of lenses that they just don't get? Meaning - why? What's the attraction?

These might be lenses that everyone else raves about, or at least wants, but you have never felt the urge to buy.

You may understand the merits of the lens, and have seen good images from it, but there may be other alternatives that make much more sense to you... Or maybe you've purchased one and sold it after being underwhelmed.

Any personal examples? I have a couple, but I'd like to hear what others think first. I mean, I've tried to talk myself into wanting these lenses I have in mind, but I just don't get it...


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01-06-2009, 09:22 PM   #2
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F50 1.7, supposed to be sharp but am not a fan of the F (or for that matter FA) build
is it better than an FA43?

and probably one that no one gets the F50 1.4
01-06-2009, 09:28 PM   #3
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Pretty much any zoom.
01-06-2009, 09:39 PM   #4
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The much vaunted sigma 17-70.... variable aperture zoom with a cludgy duo-cam zoom mechanism. The Pentax 17-70 SDM is executed a bit nicer, but the duo-cam still seems obscene, same with the DA* 16-50. I quickly exchanged it for a prime :P, so I'm with Wheatfield.


Though the Canon & Nikon ultrawide 2.8 zooms are pretty appealing for film bodies.

01-06-2009, 10:00 PM   #5
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Super zooms. I've got one myself, and it was my second lens after I got my ZX-10 years ago. It's a Tamron 28-300mm, and it served me well for a while, but it also caused me to get unusable images in some cases. The IQ would be absolutely dismal sometimes. Plus, they have the disadvantage of relatively small aperatures.

I'm sure the IQ has gotten better over the last 9 or 10 years, but I doubt that they would be worth the money to me even with improvement. I can understand that the reduced size compared to a multiple lens kit is appealing to some, but I don't mind carrying a few lenses, especially if I get usable pictures when I otherwise wouldn't have with a super zoom.
01-06-2009, 10:08 PM   #6
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Nikon glass. All variable aperture zooms except their pro level lenses which cost way too much.
01-06-2009, 10:15 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Votesh Quote
Super zooms. I've got one myself, and it was my second lens after I got my ZX-10 years ago. It's a Tamron 28-300mm, and it served me well for a while, but it also caused me to get unusable images in some cases. The IQ would be absolutely dismal sometimes. Plus, they have the disadvantage of relatively small aperatures.

I'm sure the IQ has gotten better over the last 9 or 10 years, but I doubt that they would be worth the money to me even with improvement. I can understand that the reduced size compared to a multiple lens kit is appealing to some, but I don't mind carrying a few lenses, especially if I get usable pictures when I otherwise wouldn't have with a super zoom.
Chalk up another vote for superzooms. I understand that, in a small working environment such as being stuck at the end of a runway at a fashion show, a zoom can be your best friend, because you try swapping primes a couple dozen times during the show, and see how many shots you miss. I figure, however, that if the zoom range is larger than 50-70mm, you're posting a substantial IQ loss compared to what the body is capable of.

You also give up a ton of speed. Take the Pentax 18-250. According to outfits like Camera Labs, for a lens of this size, it's a great all-around performer. However, the drawbacks are evident: your wide-angle aperture starts at 3.5, and is up to 4.0 by 25mm. Couple that with 6.3 at the far end, and you get a lens that's practically useless except for in outdoor lighting, and even then, you might have difficulty on a cloudy or darker day without pushing the ISO out of "clean" territory.

I love primes. Anything with Takumar written on it will do nicely, thank-you.
01-06-2009, 10:36 PM   #8
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The Nikon 18-200VR zoom. When I had my D70 I bought one of these and used it for a few days before returning it. POS. Cheap construction, lousy feel, and poor IQ. Yuck.

I still don't quite "get" the 31ltd. I know that is heresy, and I do like some aspects of it, but I prefer both the 77 and 43 to the 31.

Of course I still may buy another one

01-06-2009, 10:39 PM   #9
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The FA 50. I know I have one and after months of using it I find the DA*'s @50mm can produce images just as sharp and with better colours. I find I have to force myself to use it, so I'll be selling mine & trying the FA43 as my fast prime...better length for me too.
01-06-2009, 11:15 PM   #10
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2x zooms. This, coming from a 12-24 owner.
01-06-2009, 11:57 PM   #11
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I can dig the vibe of the thread, but at the same time, if I bend my mind, I've been able to understand pretty much any lens I've encountered once its primary purpose for existence is extracted.

For example, the super zoom. Who wouldn't love a lens that covered every focal range? Only those of us who understand the necessary trade-offs. But not everyone does, and many of those don't care. Leave it to the the Leicas to ignore that market niche, but most others don't work that way.

The 50/1.7. It costs less to produce, and gets you most of the way to a 1.4. I recall many arguments with my folks growing up ending with "Its good enough!". Apparently, not everyone NEEDS 1.4 and would rather save a few bucks.

Frankly, I don't get MOST lenses. I wouldn't waste any of the effort I spend working to afford a lens that I didn't research to be at the top of its class at _something_ otherwise, really, whats the point? Its just going to pass light as generically as the last thing. My phone can take pictures like that these days. But, we research. We learn. Knowledge is power, and the kingdom is ours. What we make of it is another thing
01-06-2009, 11:59 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by CSoars Quote
The much vaunted sigma 17-70.... variable aperture zoom with a cludgy duo-cam zoom mechanism. The Pentax 17-70 SDM is executed a bit nicer, but the duo-cam still seems obscene, same with the DA* 16-50. I quickly exchanged it for a prime :P, so I'm with Wheatfield.


Though the Canon & Nikon ultrawide 2.8 zooms are pretty appealing for film bodies.
Dropping your primes in the snow, while switching between ultrawide and telephoto would be even more obscene.
01-07-2009, 12:06 AM   #13
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I don't get the Helios-40 80/1.5

Really...I get that it's supposed to be used wide open or up to f/2 for portraits, but aren't 85mm-ish lenses supposed to have sublimely smoother bokeh just for this task?
01-07-2009, 12:40 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
Dropping your primes in the snow, while switching between ultrawide and telephoto would be even more obscene.
If someone is uncorked enough to do so, they probably deserve the disdain. Luckily, the only person I've ever seen drop a lens in my life worked at my local camera store (a DA*16-50).

QuoteOriginally posted by ryan s Quote
I don't get the Helios-40 80/1.5

Really...I get that it's supposed to be used wide open or up to f/2 for portraits, but aren't 85mm-ish lenses supposed to have sublimely smoother bokeh just for this task?
It does.

Smooth being subjective. Some consider outside lit highlights to be obtrusive. Some might consider the Helios propensity for 'swirl' bokeh to be an aberration. Otoh, just as many will appreciate these traits as differential and unique. I should know, the Helios is the clone to the Biotar, which I own and love! (Its the lens in my avatar)

Ok, back to ungetting - I'll take a break, hehe.
01-07-2009, 12:59 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote
If someone is uncorked enough to do so, they probably deserve the disdain. Luckily, the only person I've ever seen drop a lens in my life worked at my local camera store (a DA*16-50).
But joking aside, you probably wouldn't want to switch between your primes while it's snowing, raining or you're surrounded by plants in spring. The last situation would score you pollen on your CCD. The zoom-in-your-legs-theory doesn't work when you're on a sidewalk downtown or trying to frame a shot of a wild animal.
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