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02-15-2009, 05:42 PM   #1
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Best Lens Lineup

Hey All, I've been starting to really look into lenses (perhaps a little LBA haha), and I've had a post on here about a good wide angle. That led me into some other discussions and thoughts. I did some reading and saw a recommendation of good setup to start with, so I was curious what every one thinks.

For the time being you can put money aside (or if you really want to include a price for performance lens feel free).

The setup I saw would be something like this:

12-24mm f4
50mm f1.4
50-135mm DA* f.28

And then grow the needed lenses from there. I realize there is a gap between 24 and 50, but that can be made up by moving the feet I think?
Just curious what your thoughts are on this setup, or what you would think a good "ideal" setup would be. Seems like the 50-135 is getting rave reviews, and is almost too good to pass up.

Right now I have 2 lenses: 50mm f1.4, and an Old Pentax SMC 135mm f.35 prime (My dad bought this in the late 70's).

So anyways, lets here what you all think is a great starting setup!

I hope to shoot landscapes/architecture, all the way to birds (which I can get fairly close to them as they are at bird feeders maybe 20 feet away).

Thanks for your thoughts! Remember this can be an ideal (go all DA* if you really want haha.)

02-15-2009, 06:32 PM   #2
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Your lens lineup is very reasonable. You can always move closer to fill the 24 to 50mm gap. I am doing that for 28 to 50mm.

Save money and buy 12-24mm and 50-135mm instead of buyig a lot of lenses, using those for a while and then selling those. Its a pain. I am learning it the hard way
02-15-2009, 06:50 PM   #3
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depends on how/what you shoot. Most of the time I have a 31/35/43 ltd on the body so your setup would be miserable in my hands. I have no use for really wide range but will likely get the 15ltd so I can drop down to just one zoom (50-135*). I never really "see" anything below 24mm effective (16mm on an APS-C).

Totally depends on the individual...
02-15-2009, 07:21 PM   #4
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What I have done, and I'm not saying that this is the way to go, is to cover a wide range with a couple of zooms. I have since been tracking the focal lengths that I use most, and looking for primes in those lengths for low light and high IQ uses. As you can see from my sig, I have not gotten far with the primes yet, but I have not been using Pentax for long. I'm not trying to replace the zooms with primes. I just want the primes to complement the zooms. I really like the zooms that I have and would miss the versatility of them if they were completly replaced by primes.

02-15-2009, 07:28 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Presto Quote
I really like the zooms that I have and would miss the versatility of them if they were completly replaced by primes.
you never know until you try
02-15-2009, 07:48 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Presto Quote
I'm not trying to replace the zooms with primes. I just want the primes to complement the zooms. I really like the zooms that I have and would miss the versatility of them if they were completly replaced by primes.
That's basically the same approach I've taken to my kit. While I currently have 16-300 covered by zooms, I've got 3 primes that I've chosen for specific tasks, in addition to their great IQ:

DA21--a nice small WA alternative to a zoom, pairs nicely with the DA55-300 for an extra lightweight hiking or zoo setup.
FA43--my lowlight gem. Also works well in my all-prime setup.
DFA100 macro--obviously macro, does a great job on it's own as a short/mid tele, but also plays nicely with my Promaster 1.7x TC. Pairs well with my wider angle zoom for hiking or other outdoor situations where I want to go light, but I want macro too.

I like being able to mix and match my lenses to suit whatever it is I'm planning on shooting.

Heather
02-15-2009, 07:58 PM   #7
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I think it's a reasonable setup. I might consider either the DA16-45mm f4, Tamron 17-50 f2.8, Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 instead of the 12-24 at first. Then over time start looking a specific primes as you decide what FL's you'd use a prime.
02-15-2009, 08:52 PM   #8
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I've used to own DA*16-50, DA*50-135, FA 20-35, FA 50 1.4, Tamron 17-50 2.8, Sigma 10-20, DA 14 2.8, all the DA Ltds except DA15, ... but have sold all these and narrow down to the following setup and it's based on the wide angle zoom you talked about ...

DA 12-24 (your original choice)
FA 31 Ltd (needless to say, best pentax lens)
FA 43 Ltd (you could use your 50 f1.4 instead)
FA 77 Ltd (instead of the DA* 50-135, and you can still use your 135 f3.5)
Voigtlander 125mm Macro (what else, but macro)
F*300 (for the kind of birding I do, where they aren't too shy that I'll need to shoot that far away)

Decided to stick to "Learning" how to best use the FA Ltds!

02-15-2009, 08:57 PM   #9
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DA 21 Limited
DA 35 Limited
DA 40 Limited
DA 70 Limited

I am on a Limited high right now (even though I only have one.)
02-15-2009, 09:27 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by IronWolf Quote
Hey All, I've been starting to really look into lenses (perhaps a little LBA haha), and I've had a post on here about a good wide angle. That led me into some other discussions and thoughts. I did some reading and saw a recommendation of good setup to start with, so I was curious what every one thinks.

For the time being you can put money aside (or if you really want to include a price for performance lens feel free).

The setup I saw would be something like this:

12-24mm f4
50mm f1.4
50-135mm DA* f.28


...

I think that's pretty much the lineup I suggested in another thread, so of course I'm going to say "genius!"

What's perfect about it is that it's not just a basic kit - it's an everything kit. You really don't ever need anything more than that, and you're covering the FL with, IMO, Pentax's 2 best zooms, overall. (Unless you need long glass for bird/beast/sports, if cropping the 50-135 doesn't quite get there.)

The FA 50 1.4 may give too tight a crop for indoor shooting, may want to consider the FA 35 f/2 or even 31ltd/43ltd instead if budget allows.



.
02-15-2009, 09:52 PM   #11
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QuoteQuote:
I realize there is a gap between 24 and 50, but that can be made up by moving the feet I think?
Many people just throw this out without giving it miuc thought, I guess.

It depends on:

1. Your camera-subject distance
2. How far you want to walk.
3. How far you can walk.

I have no use for a fast 50mm, but the 12-24 is very useful, and most people love the 50-135.
02-15-2009, 09:55 PM   #12
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I'm going to suggest/offer a setup totally outside the ones you've gotten so far.
This is your "starting setup".
You've got a fast 50 and a good midrange tele prime already.
Your photographic interests vary from super-wide angle to long telephoto.
So consider these two possible routes:

Option A:
Pentax DA 18-250/3.5-6.3

Option B:
Pentax DA 18-55/3.5-5.6 AL II
Pentax DA 55-300/4-5.8

Pick one route or the other, whichever suits you, and go shoot your butt off. Shoot everything that tickles your fancy for three months (or one, or six - doesn't really matter but three is a good easy number). At the end of three months run ExposurePlot on all the photos you've taken (you'll need to do a batch convert to jpeg if you're shooting raw) and look at the focal length graph.
Find the high point on that FL graph and buy the best lens you can find/afford to fit that range and buy it. That will be YOUR best startup kit.
You can flesh out your kit as time goes by with primo glass on the rest of your shooting range but to start off with I suggest getting good glass covering as much of the full range you hope to shoot, and get fantastic glass for the range you know you shoot.
02-15-2009, 11:13 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by IronWolf Quote
And then grow the needed lenses from there. I realize there is a gap between 24 and 50, but that can be made up by moving the feet I think?
Moving the feet changes perspective. That's a totally different thing than changing focal length.

I'm not saying you absolutely need the focal lengths between there, but I will again point out that those are the most common focal lengths used in photography. You had better really know what you're doing if you're going to choose to forego them. If you have enough experience to be able to conclude logically that you're unlike the vast majority of photographers and would not miss those focal lengths, great, but if you're new to this, it would foolish to assume you're not going to miss what most people have relied on the most over the years.

QuoteQuote:
Right now I have 2 lenses: 50mm f1.4, and an Old Pentax SMC 135mm f.35 prime (My dad bought this in the late 70's).
And he'd be a case in point - that 50mm on 35mm film is like 33mm on APS-C in terms of field of view - right smack dab in the middle of the range you are not covering.
02-16-2009, 12:51 AM   #14
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FA 20-35mm f/4 AL
Tamron 28-75mm f2.8
Tokina AF 70-210mm f4.5

I'm covered from 20-210mm

As for primes, I've got a FA 50mm f1.4, K55mm f1.8 & M135mm f3.5
02-16-2009, 02:28 PM   #15
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different people, different opinions.
starting setup?
well, get a kit lens, then add longer lens, then add decent prime. Shoot, shoot, shoot, and when you'll know what you like to shoot and how you like to shoot it, take your hard earned cash, treat yourself and then...
ENJOY

BR
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