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02-09-2009, 02:45 PM   #1
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My lens story...

Let me preface this by saying that I am a research freak.

When I decided it was time to jump into the dSLR arena, I read every review about every dSLR on the market, over and over. Then, I created a lens roadmap for myself, deciding which lenses would be best suited for me. I read every review about every lens from every manufacturer. I was obsessed with MTF charts, blur indexes, vignetting, chromatic aberation, bokeh, etc. I probably new more technical data about lenses than professional photographers before I ever even took a photo with a dSLR. Sites such as SLRGear.com, Photozone.de, and DPReview.com just fueled the fire.

From my past film SLR days, I mostly shot with my cheap fast fifty/1.8 on my old Canon, so I was naturally enamoured by the great selection of Pentax primes. From the elegant FA Limiteds with "3-d effects" to DA pocketable pancakes, I decided Pentax was my system.

Eventhough Pentax makes a very good kit lens, I turned my nose up at all of the casual shooters that actually bought and use it. I needed better resolution and overall higher quality. I needed something that would separate my photos from the casual weekend vacationer or a mother at her kid's birthday party. Pentax's wide selection of primes allowed me to get the best resolution for a reasonable cost. Plus, it gave me a feeling of superiority knowing that I only shoot with high quality primes. My wife would complain that I would miss good shots because I couldn't zoom in or out, and I would reply that there are no good shots with crappy zoom lenses.

How things change. Fast forward to one year later. Here is my current lens list:

Vivitar (Kiron) 28mm 2.5
Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 35mm 3.5
Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 50mm 1.4
2 Super-Takumars 55mm 1.8
Mamiya/Sekor 55mm 1.4
Sears 55mm 1.4
Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 105mm 2.8
Mamiya/Sekor 135mm 2.8
Vivitar (Komine) 200mm 3.5
Pentax-F 35-70mm 3.5-4.5 (for my wife) - my only modern lens

So in the end, I don't have any of those Pentax pancakes, limiteds, or *'s, nor do I think I will get any anytime soon. I am very happy with the results from my lens collection, and in total, they probably cost less than one Limited lens. I have no idea what the blur indexes and resolution charts say about these lenses. I would be scared to find out the results, especially for the cheapo Pentax-F 35-70mm, but I think it takes excellent pictures anyways. I wouldn't be surprised if the kit lens resolution blew them all away. Ironically, I am now always checking ebay to see if I could snag a kit lens on the ultra-cheap, just to add some versatility to my collection.

Though I am happy I chose Pentax and the K10D, the reasons why I bought the camera have absolutely nothing to do with why I am happy with it now. I love my camera for the green button, the two dials, and the flange distance, not the assortment of Pentax lenses.

I came across a quote which I vaguely remember, where an interviewer asked some old famous photographer which is his best lens, and he replied "my eye."

02-09-2009, 02:50 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shamwow Quote
Let me preface this by saying that I am a research freak.

When I decided it was time to jump into the dSLR arena, I read every review about every dSLR on the market, over and over. Then, I created a lens roadmap for myself, deciding which lenses would be best suited for me. I read every review about every lens from every manufacturer. I was obsessed with MTF charts, blur indexes, vignetting, chromatic aberation, bokeh, etc. I probably new more technical data about lenses than professional photographers before I ever even took a photo with a dSLR. Sites such as SLRGear.com, Photozone.de, and DPReview.com just fueled the fire.

---snip---

So in the end, I don't have any of those Pentax pancakes, limiteds, or *'s, nor do I think I will get any anytime soon. I am very happy with the results from my lens collection, and in total, they probably cost less than one Limited lens. I have no idea what the blur indexes and resolution charts say about these lenses. I would be scared to find out the results, especially for the cheapo Pentax-F 35-70mm, but I think it takes excellent pictures anyways.

Wait...so what you're saying is that taking actual pictures instead of research, spreadsheets, machine test, and endless brick wall photos actually might be important?!?!?

Heresy! He's a witch! Burn him!
02-09-2009, 03:10 PM   #3
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He turned me into a newt!
02-09-2009, 03:41 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrApollinax Quote
He turned me into a newt!
looks like you got better

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