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04-09-2007, 06:10 AM   #1
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31mm vs 16-50

I have ordered a 16-50, when I get it I dont know. In the mean time I have been using my 50mm 2.8 macro. The lens is fantastic for general photography.
So I wonder how much better is a good prime contrast, resolution and colorwise compared to a good zoom (from any company) at the same focallength. And what about the 3D-effect? I remember a picture of my dog taken with a 35mm Summi-something on a Leica M4. Blowed up on a screen, it was like the dog was freezed in its movement, and the screen or the projector was not there. Only the dog.
Maybe I should bye the 31mm ltd rather than the 16-50 ? What will be the differences if I frame in something worthwile and take the picture at 31mm/5,6 with both lenses, and put the result on the wall as a 70x100cm print.

I am starting to think that 10mb sensors can take advantage of the best primes, leaving even the best zooms behind.

I would really appriciate if someone of you who have used the 31mm ltd and the 16-45mm (wich I also have) on K10d can comment on this.

Or may be the best would be to stick to my old Rollei 35s?


Last edited by chals; 04-09-2007 at 06:20 AM.
04-11-2007, 11:29 AM   #2
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I am waiting for some replies, please
04-11-2007, 08:26 PM   #3
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I think you asked question is conclusively unanswerable.

The prime fans will advise primes.

Others will say newer zooms are nearly as optically good to rival primes.

Every make and model of lens is different and can not really be generically compared. Sigma is widely claimed to have large variations in lens IQ.

I've seen an "example" of the "3-D" effect and had no idea what the poster was talking about. I know what 3-D means - just the example looked like...any other flower shot with blurry background. Shrug.

I like zooms for convenience. My pixel-peeping does not go much further.
04-12-2007, 05:16 AM   #4
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I'm a prime fan (see sig) so I would advise the prime.. I prefer usinng a few smaller primes than one large zoom... I prefer the rendering of primes, generally far better resolution across the entire frame (esp for large landscape prints), and the fact they are generally faster..

As I said I do often prefer the OOF rendering of primes.. But thats a personal thing, many see no need for the slight difference (to them) and thats fine, its all preference..

So opposite to the previous poster I vote primes over zooms, BUT what we like should mean nothing to you not very helpful am I? All I can say is as far as primes go the one you are looking at is one of the best choices..

P.S. I have used the FA31, owned the DA16-45 and own the FA35 which is close to but not quite at the standard of the FA31... The FA35 replaced the DA16-45 as my walk around lens..

Last edited by joele; 04-12-2007 at 05:22 AM.
04-12-2007, 06:27 AM   #5
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I think 3D feel is probably more of micro contrast around the edge to the degree that the subject is "almost" floating out of the bokeh etc.

Canon or Nikon lenses can produce shallow images with DOF with fast primes but not to the same degrees of pentax fast primes.

Canon 16-35L




Da 14


I feel pentax shots have more 3D feel even with higher aperture numbers

Canon 85L



Fa 77


Definitely more 3D feel again from pentax shots here

Speaking of preference owning either zooms or primes, it is up to your individual taste. (This topic has been discussed repeatedly many many times here). Zoom for convinience, best fastest aperture to only f2.8. Primes for the extra sparks to the images that not everyone appreciates.

Once 16-50 is released, I would get a copy just for the sake of owning a Da*. In the end, head to head comparison would be done between 16-50 and 14, 21,31, 43 primes... I guess Fa* zooms like 24-80 and 80-200 are apparently sharper with better contrast than pentax primes - the only exceptions I reckon.
04-12-2007, 06:56 AM   #6
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A few examples to compare 3Dness in general

Canon 100 macro



Pentax DFA 100 macro



Contrast is higher in pentax shot with richer colour

150 macro




A 200 macro



Again, I think the bokeh are all there but there is more 3D feel out of pentax lenses with similar aperture
04-14-2007, 09:59 AM   #7
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Pentax pwns Canon.
04-15-2007, 11:47 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
A few examples to compare 3Dness in general

Again, I think the bokeh are all there but there is more 3D feel out of pentax lenses with similar aperture

Thankl you for all your examples.

I have decided to buy the 16-50, and selle it later if i dont like it.

04-16-2007, 07:24 AM   #9
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Part of the choice is what you use the lens for. The 31 Limited is perhaps one of the best primes in the world, and is a couple of stops brighter so you can limit DOF or shoot in lower light.

If you mostly shoot in bright conditions, and need the flexibility, the 16-45 is an excellent lens. It just can't stand up to the 31, but it allows more than one angle of view.
04-16-2007, 07:40 AM   #10
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WOW really nice shots there! The 14mm is incredible, side by side with the canons the pentax lens shows its true COLOURS
04-16-2007, 08:05 AM   #11
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Wow, thanks for all the comparisons! Very nice photos too. argh..if only I can afford the new stuff..

The 3D thing is primarily with the primes only right?

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