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02-09-2009, 09:31 PM   #46
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Hi farfisa,
About the request for 55mm DA* photos, I am afraid that I don't think I am setup to post pictures. I don't have an on-line account for my photos, and I haven't ever figured out how to post to this forum (or any forum for that matter) either with or without such an account. I know that is a lame excuse, and it is something that I want to learn to do, but I am so busy with work and other things that it is hard to even find time to take photos let alone getting them up on the web. Maybe when I take my next vacation I can find some time to look into this. Fortunately pictures are starting to trickle out on the internet, so there are more and more pictures from this lens available for review every day

I haven't even taken the time for "proper" photos with the lens, mostly just some low light shots of the pets and my wife around the house in the evening to test the lens wide open, or close to wide open. I bought this lens primarily for low light candid photography of live subjects rather than for traditional portraits or still lifes, so that seems a good test for my use of the lens. My observations are that the lens is pretty sharp wide open, but it not as sharp or close to as contrasty as when stopped down one stop. I understand that this is pretty typical of all f/1,4 or wider lenses, and this one is no exception. Still, I would not hesitate to use it wide open. I think that it is very useable wide open, particularly for my low light candid photography. I think the lens will render these kinds of images nicely in both color and b&w. Besides, sharp and contrasty is not necessarily always great for portraits anyway, and the lens is plenty contrasty at f/2.0 and beyond.

After shooting a test chart I did adjust the focus on my K20 as the lens has a slight back focus on that camera. I set it to +4 on the K20 and it is now tack sharp. I am not sure that I would have even noticed this in pictures, as the backfocus was maybe 4mm, or about 1/6 of an inch. If I miss focus wide open it is more likely that me or my subject (or both) I moved slightly between focus lock and actually taking the picture than it is that the camera or lens misfocused. I am getting in the habit of trying to snap as soon as the focus lock light and beep happen, and not pause and introduce the possibility of movement to or from the subject. It seems to work, as most of my shots are perfectly in focus, even at f/1.4. Depth of field is razor-thin wide open, but again that is part of the fun of the lens.

I know the lens is a bit of a specially lens, and is pretty expensive, but I think that I am going to have a lot of fun with it.

02-09-2009, 09:41 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by jedperkins Quote
Hi farfisa,
About the request for 55mm DA* photos, I am afraid that I don't think I am setup to post pictures. I don't have an on-line account for my photos, and I haven't ever figured out how to post to this forum (or any forum for that matter) either with or without such an account. I know that is a lame excuse, and it is something that I want to learn to do, but I am so busy with work and other things that it is hard to even find time to take photos let alone getting them up on the web. Maybe when I take my next vacation I can find some time to look into this. Fortunately pictures are starting to trickle out on the internet, so there are more and more pictures from this lens available for review every day

I haven't even taken the time for "proper" photos with the lens, mostly just some low light shots of the pets and my wife around the house in the evening to test the lens wide open, or close to wide open. I bought this lens primarily for low light candid photography of live subjects rather than for traditional portraits or still lifes, so that seems a good test for my use of the lens. My observations are that the lens is pretty sharp wide open, but it not as sharp or close to as contrasty as when stopped down one stop. I understand that this is pretty typical of all f/1,4 or wider lenses, and this one is no exception. Still, I would not hesitate to use it wide open. I think that it is very useable wide open, particularly for my low light candid photography. I think the lens will render these kinds of images nicely in both color and b&w. Besides, sharp and contrasty is not necessarily always great for portraits anyway, and the lens is plenty contrasty at f/2.0 and beyond.

After shooting a test chart I did adjust the focus on my K20 as the lens has a slight back focus on that camera. I set it to +4 on the K20 and it is now tack sharp. I am not sure that I would have even noticed this in pictures, as the backfocus was maybe 4mm, or about 1/6 of an inch. If I miss focus wide open it is more likely that me or my subject (or both) I moved slightly between focus lock and actually taking the picture than it is that the camera or lens misfocused. I am getting in the habit of trying to snap as soon as the focus lock light and beep happen, and not pause and introduce the possibility of movement to or from the subject. It seems to work, as most of my shots are perfectly in focus, even at f/1.4. Depth of field is razor-thin wide open, but again that is part of the fun of the lens.

I know the lens is a bit of a specially lens, and is pretty expensive, but I think that I am going to have a lot of fun with it.
Jed, do you work for Pentax in boulder, or did you just order the lens, and if so, from where?

How is the AF speed with the 55, what other lenses do you have that you can compare it to?

BTW, I use flickr to host my images - it's free and easy to set up and upload photos there (although I pay $35/yr for unlimited.)
02-09-2009, 09:50 PM   #48
pdo
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The DA 12-24mm and the 50-135mm seems to be the most popular on everyone's list.
02-09-2009, 09:54 PM   #49
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And for those that have it, the FA 31mm Ltd. I'm almost kicking myself because Prodigital2K had a handful of silvers earlier this month and I didn't pull the trigger at the time...

QuoteOriginally posted by pdo Quote
The DA 12-24mm and the 50-135mm seems to be the most popular on everyone's list.


02-09-2009, 10:16 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by pdo Quote
The DA 12-24mm and the 50-135mm seems to be the most popular on everyone's list.
I suspect the way the OP worded his post has influenced people. He wanted to "cover range from i guess 10-300". That leads people to include their favourite super wide and zooms for maximum coverage. I'm one of the ones who seems happy with coverage to 16mm.
02-09-2009, 10:23 PM   #51
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4-5 is very limited .... lets see.

Have:
DA*16-50
FA 31ltd
Voigtlander 125 macro

Wish:
DA* 50-135
FA* 250-600 (DA* version preferred)

Can replace the Voigtlander with a FA*200 Macro, the 50-135 can be interchanged with a 70-200mm f2.8 depending on my mood.

If adding one more lens would add a mystical DA* 11-16mm for ultra wide (12-24mm in reality).

In my Pentax dreamland, I would have another prime set, it would have to to go out to 8 lens...

15mm ltd
21mm ltd
31mm ltd
DA* 55
77mm ltd
Voigtlander 125mm
FA* 300mm f2.8
FA* 600mm

Another fantasy lens.... FA* 400mm f2.8...

That's it for now.

Cheers
Shang
02-10-2009, 04:41 AM   #52
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I have my ideal set-up.

Tamron 28-75
FA35
FA50 (DA*55 will replace as soon as I can find one)
FA77

Sigma 70 macro

c[_]
02-10-2009, 06:55 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I suspect the way the OP worded his post has influenced people. He wanted to "cover range from i guess 10-300". That leads people to include their favourite super wide and zooms for maximum coverage. I'm one of the ones who seems happy with coverage to 16mm.
I guess the better way to have run the thread would be to have a poll asking people what they thought the focal length range of an ideal kit would have been.

Having said this, however, I don;t think it would have changed much.

People that own the 12-24 or the sigma 10-20 would still have
A) said 10-12mm was necessary, and
B) still included their lens be it the 12-24 or the 10-20

While I listed 4 zooms in my present "ideal 4-5 lenses" I do also own primes, at last review 24F2.5, 28F2.5, 35F2, 50F1.4, 58F2, 100F4 macro, 105F2.8, 135F2.5, 300F4 and 400F5.6., but to get the coverage over the focal length, in 4 - 5 lenses, I need to use only zooms. In reality, the poster really got many people's "ideal travel kit. add one body and away you go, ready to shoot almost anything.

02-10-2009, 07:21 AM   #54
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Hi Jed,

Thanks for the reply--forgot my manners there, but I couldn't believe you got away with dropping the DA*55 in your "have" list and nobody bugged you for details

Didn't make the Boulder - Pentax connection, but it makes sense that it would show up in stores there first. I haven't seen that lens up in Canada yet, but have an eye out for it.

I'd be using the lens the same way as you, so your account of your experience helps my decision even without pics. The 77 is my favourite portrait lens, but the 55 sounds perfect for portraits indoors / in close quarters.
02-10-2009, 08:25 AM   #55
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No self control whatsoever and I had my bad LBA ten years ago. So I actually own my dream kit(s). FA* and Limited lenses created my dream kits. I can't help it, if that's what I want in my kit then that's what I find a way to own...

Zoom kit:

DA 12-24/4
FA*28-70/2.8
FA*80-200/2.8
FA*250-600/5.6

These four cover everything from super wide to super tele.

Prime kit:

FA 31/1.8 Limited
FA 43/1.9 Limited
FA 77/1.8 Limited
FA*200/4 Macro
FA*600/4

I cheat with this kit and add the 12-24 zoom for wide angle work. I will likely repurchase an FA 20-35/4 when FF comes along. That lens did/does tremendously crisp images for it's size and price. May go with FA 20/2.8 again as it is also a superb lens. This presumes that the 12-24 won't cover FF...Not a fan of the pancake-style 21 limited...

67II kit:

45/4 equivalent to 22mm in FF SLR
100/4 Macro equivalent to standard 50mm in FF SLR plus has 1:1 Macro
M*300/4 equivalent to 150mm in FF SLR
M*400/4 equivalent to 200mm in FF SLR
Zoerkendorfer Multi-Focus System with 105mm/4 Rodenstock enlarger lens--this gives me perspective control and wide range of tilt movements.

MOTIVATION FOR THE DAY--you didn't hesitate to take on debt when you bought your car, why fear debt to own the kit you really want? I'll bet your photo kit brings you more enjoyment than your car! Your photo kit requires less maintenance and doesn't suck gas money on a daily basis either. Likely reduces your stress levels too--thus adding to your lifespan. GO BUY THE KIT YOU REALLY WANT--QUIT DREAMING!
02-10-2009, 08:54 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
MOTIVATION FOR THE DAY--you didn't hesitate to take on debt when you bought your car, why fear debt to own the kit you really want? I'll bet your photo kit brings you more enjoyment than your car! Your photo kit requires less maintenance and doesn't suck gas money on a daily basis either. Likely reduces your stress levels too--thus adding to your lifespan. GO BUY THE KIT YOU REALLY WANT--QUIT DREAMING!
That's exactly what I've been doing for the past few weeks. Not quite getting every lens I want but building a kit that should hold me over for a long while(of course I say that now). Plus the debt accrued should be paid off in maybe 3 months.
02-10-2009, 09:05 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
No self control whatsoever and I had my bad LBA ten years ago. So I actually own my dream kit(s). FA* and Limited lenses created my dream kits.
The thread was asking for one dream kit, but you've listed three.
If you had to give most of those lenses to me, which five would you retain?

QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
GO BUY THE KIT YOU REALLY WANT--QUIT DREAMING!
Are we to assume there's nothing on your wish list? I find that difficult to believe.

BTW, what's an FA*600 worth? As much as a small car?
02-10-2009, 09:24 AM   #58
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Tough..a DREAM set up of only 4-5 lenses? I'm sure most people would have many more lenses because thats just how it goes. I'll say...

DA 12-24 (for wide angle)
FA 31 (for indoor/low light, among other things)
DA 40 (for size and everyday use)
DA* 50-135 (for studio/portraits)
DA*300 (never used one, but I figure one day I'd shoot more telephoto)

I would have no macro capabilities. You could swap the FA 31 for the DA 35...but I would miss the speed. In reality, I have the 77 and I love it. Also have a 16-50. Maybe my kit is all wrong...lol
02-10-2009, 09:28 AM   #59
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Oh no, really...only 5 lenses? Ok, here goes, but with many regrets--esp. the limiteds...I love them, but they aren't necessary for me to do magazine quality work. The Limiteds are my "art" lenses for the small format.

DA 12-24 because wide angle is very important. And it's my only APS-C lens
FA*28-70/2.8
FA*80-200/2.8
FA*200/4 Macro
FA*600/4

If you force me to choose between digital and medium format--as in only one kit, then I'd dump the digi and keep the 67II kit and the five lenses in it. I guess that would mean ceasing to shoot "critter work", but I get more personal enjoyment from the art stuff and large prints with the 67 stuff. Didn't mention my Hasselblad XpanII panoramic camera and two lens kit. Can I keep that too?

Regarding the value of the FA*600/4...not sure what the going rate is nowadays and I'm not smart enough to search ebay for past sales...I will say that when I bought it new, it was a couple thousand less than the "big two" 600/4. I paid $6400 new in about '96 or '97. At that time I had an F*600/4 that I sold to my shooting buddy to partially cover the price. I think I paid around $4500 for the F* used through KEH. That was in '95 or '96.

Note that it's easy to taunt about funding LBA with debt since mine have all been paid off for many years
02-10-2009, 10:00 AM   #60
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Ok, fantasy wish list to use on current digi bodies...none of which currently exist...

16mm tilt lens
28 tilt lens
DA*400/2.8 or even DA*400/4
DA*400-600/4

Though I enjoy the wide angle distortion produced by the 12-24, perhaps a * lens in this general range with virtually perfect rectilinear performance. You know, a 2.8 version with even more correction...
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