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02-08-2009, 07:53 AM   #1
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Best 4-5 Lense Setup/Your Dream Setup

So i know this might be a vague question, but thought i would put this out. I find myself i guess a little unhappy with my current setup:

Pentax SMC DA 10-17mm 3.5/4.5f Fisheye
Pentax SMC FA 50mm 1.4f
Tamron 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6
Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 APO DG

Really i guess only unhappy with the Tamron and Sigma Lenses, but could sell or trade the FA 50MM as well. My question is what would be your ideal setup with 4-5 lenses in the bag, that would cover range from i guess 10-300. Im thinking about selling the Pentax 50mm, Tamron and Sigma. One of the lenses im looking to get is the DA * 50-135 lense.

Give me some ideas as im looking to get aback that requires less lense changing, but has optimal performance in lenes. Could go higher on the range, like 500mm but my only option, might be to spring for the 50-500 bigma, but i know that pretty much requires atleast monopod. Anybody with decent pictures being handheld the bigma?



02-08-2009, 08:24 AM   #2
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Here's an expansion of the dream setup I always recommend:

DA 12-24 f/4
FA 35 f/2 <--> FA 31 f/1.8 ltd <--> FA 43 f1.9 ltd
DA 50-135 f/2.8
FA 77ltd
DA* 200 f/2.8 <--> DA* 300 f/4

The <--> are alternatives to each other.

The lenses in blue are all I think 85% of people would really need, and can be supplemented by cheaper lenses if you need another FL (like M 200 f/4, etc)

The blue covers basic needs with exceptional glass - to move from need to desire, add the 77ltd and DA 300/200.

02-08-2009, 09:38 AM   #3
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DA 12-24
DA* 16-50
DA 40
DA* 50-135
DA* 300

With those 5, I figure I could cover pretty much any situation I might need to cover. As a practical matter. Now the 5 lenses I think would be most FUN to have alltogether:

DA 10-17
FA 31
DA 40
FA 77
DA* 300
02-08-2009, 10:42 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote

Here's an expansion of the dream setup I always recommend:

DA 12-24 f/4
FA 35 f/2 <--> FA 31 f/1.8 ltd <--> FA 43 f1.9 ltd
DA 50-135 f/2.8
FA 77ltd
DA* 200 f/2.8 <--> DA* 300 f/4

The <--> are alternatives to each other.

The lenses in blue are all I think 85% of people would really need, and can be supplemented by cheaper lenses if you need another FL (like M 200 f/4, etc)

The blue covers basic needs with exceptional glass - to move from need to desire, add the 77ltd and DA 300/200.


Thats my dream setup
+ master photoshop and I would never need another lens

02-08-2009, 11:02 AM   #5
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My actual setup:

Pentax 16-45mm F/4
Vivitar Series1 70-210mm F/3.5 Macro
Vivitar 28mm F/2.8 MC
Pentax A-50mm F/2.8
Industar-61 50mm F/2.8 L/Z
Helios 44-2 58mm F/2
Sigma 70mm F/2.8 Macro

My deam set-up 1 (perfect):

Pentax DA* 11-16mm F/2.8
Tamron SP 17-50mm F/2.8 (or a good copy of the Pentax DA*16-50mm F/2.8)
Pentax DA* 50-135mm F/2.8
Sigma 100-300mm F/4
Sigma 70mm F/2.8 Macro

My dream set-up 2 (realistic):

Pentax DA 12-24mm F/4
Tamron SP 28-75mm F/2.8 (or the new Sigma 24-70mm F/2.8)
Pentax DA* 50-135mm F/2.8
Pentax DA* 300mm F/4
Sigma 70mm F/2.8 Macro

Enuf said.
02-08-2009, 11:03 AM   #6

The dreams of a realist... are boring

Must have MF lenses

Vivitar 28mm 2.8 close focus
Pentax S-M-C Tak 50 1.4
Helios 44M 58mm F2
Jupiter 9 85mm 1.9
Vivitar Series 1 105 macro

sigma 10-20
tamron 28-75
FA 35
FA 77 *
Da 50-135 *
DA 300mm *I could never afford it, but a boy can dream

I wont even dream for a FA31... I am too much a realist
02-08-2009, 11:05 AM   #7
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For me a "dream setup" depends on what type of shooting I'm doing. I have 2 kits I'm working on.
Action Kit:


This is a big heavy kit though and my intention is to use it at work to replace the kits they currently provide, which are all Canon 1D beaters and even bigger and heavier L lenses.
I also need a 2nd body and a AF360 flash in that kit.

Daily Kit:

FA31/f1.8ltd or FA35/f2

This is a relatively small light kit and except for the FA31/35 is what I'm carrying now. It all fits in an old Tenba Slimpack leftover from the '80s and provides for just about any situation.
Also I'd reserve some space for a specialy lens to carry for fun or some special circumstance I want or need to shoot. I'm lusting after a bunch of classic glass for this purpose, have started my collection and have a couple more on layaway at my local shop. Other lenses for me would include:

DA21/f3.2 ltd
FA24/f2 !!
A28/f2.8 (just purchased)
FA31/f1.8 ltd
FA43/f1.9 ltd
A50/f1.2 (next)
FA77/f1.8 ltd
100/fast macro (just purchased a Dine 105/f2.8)
and the list goes on to include practically any of the other A lenses :-) and a few classic zooms I'd like to play with too.
For a basic kit a couple of zooms can pretty much cover the common FLs used and everything else depends on preference and purpose. I would definitely keep the FA50 for a low-light lens because it's small, light and excellent. It seems to me your kit is missing a good "normal" range lens like the P 16-50 or 17-70; you've got the ultra-wide and short tele covered. If you like it, your current Sigma covers the long tele range well. And a P 16-45 and a Bigma would cover it all well too, especially if you just want a change of lenses.

good luck and hth

02-08-2009, 11:41 AM   #8
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4 or 5 is rather limitating. You want to cover a wide range of focal length.

1) DA12-24 or Sig 10-20 for ultrawide
2) DA* 16-50 for normal zoom
3) DA* 50-135 or Sig 70-200 for low-light.
4) Sig 50-500 to cover telephoto or the Sig 100-300 f4 if you limit yourself to 300mm. The 55-300 is a good alternative if you want to be able to pack everything in one bag.
5) A good fast prime, the FA31 or the upcoming DA* 55

A 6th lens would be a good macro like the D-FA 100 or -since price is no object- the old FA 200mm macro.
02-08-2009, 12:08 PM   #9
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DA Limited 15mm f/4
DA Limited 21mm f/3.2
FA Limited 31mm f/1.8
DA Limited 35mm Macro f/2.8
DA Limited 40mm f/2.8
SMC A 50mm f/1.2
FA Limited 77mm f/1.8
02-08-2009, 12:27 PM   #10
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The answer depends on so many personal factors that you are and will continue to get answers all over the map. Looks from your current setup that you value the convenience of AF and zoom and don't mind paying - in price, size/weight, or speed - for those conveniences. Me, I'd have the opposite slant: I'd go for MF and/or primes when it makes sense to improve price, size/weight, and speed.

But then, my own lens collection came out fairly haphazardly. I think if I were starting over and trying to build a simple but effective and not terribly expensive kit, it might look like this:

DA 12-24

For the record, my own version of this kit goes

DA15 (well, hopefully, once it comes out!)
M100/2.8 *or* DA50-200

I usually take the M100/2.8 with me and leave the DA50-200 at home because I more often value speed over length [ that's what she said... ] , but I'll take the 50-200 instead on hikes. 200mm is almost always enough for me - I'm not enough of wildlife photographer to feel then need for more. If I were, it would be the 55-300 instead of the 50-200.

Oh, and the DA15 isn't out yet, I often have the 28 as my widest, but if I want wider, I'll take the my DA18-55II and leave the 28 at home.
02-08-2009, 12:30 PM   #11
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It looks like everyone is pretty much in agreement with the following setup of a wide-angle zoom, a handful of quality primes in the middle range, and a short + long telephoto zoom.

With that in mind, I think my "perfect" setup will probably be (bolded are what I would like to add):

"Standard" kit:
1) 12-24mm F4
2) 31mm Limited or 35mm F2
3) 43mm Limited or 50mm 1.7
4) DA* 50-135 F2.8

"Specialty" lenses:
1) 85mm F1.4
2) 100mm macro
3) Tokina ATX-Pro 80-200 F2.8

Since I'm just over halfway to building my perfect kit, I'm still struggling with whether the question should be the 31mm OR the 35mm (will having the 31mm supersede the need to have the 35mm?). Selling my 35mm will get me 40% of the way to the cost of a 31mm but I think I'd keep my FA 24mm just in case because it's nearly impossible to replace.

QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote

Here's an expansion of the dream setup I always recommend:

DA 12-24 f/4
FA 35 f/2 <--> FA 31 f/1.8 ltd <--> FA 43 f1.9 ltd
DA 50-135 f/2.8

Last edited by legacyb4; 02-08-2009 at 09:51 PM.
02-08-2009, 12:55 PM   #12
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My current:

Jupiter-9 85/2 and occasionally CZJ 135/3.5

Occasionally : ZE16/2.8 or 400/6.3 or 500/6.3


DA12-24 or FE10-17 or DA21
02-08-2009, 01:00 PM   #13
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I already mostly have it:


31/1.8 ltd
35/2.8 macro ltd
43/1.9 ltd
77/1.9 ltd


The only change I anticipate will be getting the 15/4 ltd and getting rid of the 16-45.
02-08-2009, 01:14 PM   #14
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Out of my current lenses I have for coverage:

Sigma 10-20
DA 16-50
Sigma 70
Sigma 10-300
only DA 50-135 is missing

Would be nice to have also as sixth lens FA 31 or FA* 24
02-08-2009, 02:30 PM   #15
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I'm one lens away from mine:

DA 12-24
DA 21 (this is the one I need)
DA 35
DA 70
DA 55-300

It's light. It's small. I have the K-m for a 21-35-70 travel/street setup. I have the K10D for a 12-24 landscape setup or a 55-300 sports/wildlife setup. And I have macro. The high-iso capabilities of the current DSLRs make 2.8 or 2.4 (DA 70) plenty fast enough for low-light shooting. I'm about happy!


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