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09-09-2009, 05:33 PM   #1
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Having a lens dilemma - wanna help?

I started off in Pentax with a couple of Sigma fast zooms. Great lenses, great output, but only worked OK for what I wanted (heavy, large...another story). I recently acquired some primes which are better suited for me (at least at this time). This is what I have (or will soon have):

DA21
M50 F1.7
DA70
M135 F3.5
DA50-200

As you can see, it's a decent 'little' kit, with the emphasis being on little. That is what I want at this time. Most of my current work is done under 100mm, which is why I went with a budget tele-zoom (50-200) for 'just-in-case'.

I see two 'gaps' in my kit: something under DA21 and something between the DA21 and M50. In the next three months I will probably be adding the DA15 and DA35, but the funds don't allow right now, yet I would like something else for now. Trying to keep any additional purchases under $300 (preferably closer to $200).

Been toying with a few options...

DA16-45 (for good overall zoom, with close focus capabilities, low distortion 24mm)
DA18-55WR (for a knock around weather resistant lens)
M35 F2.0 (fills a gap and provides me with a very sharp, fast lens)

Any thoughts, suggestions, ideas? I am probably leaning towards the DA18-55WR as that is a lens I can keep regardless of whether or not I add the two other DA LTDs. The only con is the speed and the fact that it is not much wider than the DA21.

For what it is worth, the body being used is a K200D (and a KM will follow as soon as I can find a good deal - I need a back-up!).

Thank you


Last edited by joeyc; 09-09-2009 at 06:22 PM.
09-09-2009, 05:55 PM   #2
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you wont get a DA-16-45 under 300, but if you are willing to put an extra 100 bucks, it's worth the investment. besides, the focal range it covers and IQ results would be a closer. you would never think of purchasing a DA 15 and a DA 35. well maybe you would still consider a DA 35 because of it's speed and macro use.
09-09-2009, 05:57 PM   #3
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Well, although you are focused on primes (no pun intended), you should consider the DA 10-17 fisheye lens. It really is my favorite because get get 1) a fisheye lens at 10mm, and 2) a super wide angle at the other end. It's also fairly small.
09-09-2009, 06:01 PM   #4
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Funny you should mention the DA10-17. It was on my short list until yesterday. While I could see it being a useful lens to have, I was unsure about its CA in high contrast areas and distortion in the 15-17mm range. Has this been an issue for you?

09-09-2009, 06:20 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
you wont get a DA-16-45 under 300, but if you are willing to put an extra 100 bucks, it's worth the investment. besides, the focal range it covers and IQ results would be a closer. you would never think of purchasing a DA 15 and a DA 35. well maybe you would still consider a DA 35 because of it's speed and macro use.
I could definitely get a used 16-45 under $300. What you're saying is kind of what I was thinking (in terms of making the DA15/35 less desirable if I had the 16-45). Every review, every opinion seems to be very high on the 16-45, with the only consistent negative being the lens extension at 16mm. BTW: would this make the DA21 redundant? Maybe better replaced with the DA35 or 43LTD?
09-09-2009, 06:29 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by joeyc Quote
I could definitely get a used 16-45 under $300. What you're saying is kind of what I was thinking (in terms of making the DA15/35 less desirable if I had the 16-45). Every review, every opinion seems to be very high on the 16-45, with the only consistent negative being the lens extension at 16mm. BTW: would this make the DA21 redundant? Maybe better replaced with the DA35 or 43LTD?

my opinion on this one would be YES !
09-09-2009, 06:56 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by joeyc Quote
I could definitely get a used 16-45 under $300. What you're saying is kind of what I was thinking (in terms of making the DA15/35 less desirable if I had the 16-45). Every review, every opinion seems to be very high on the 16-45, with the only consistent negative being the lens extension at 16mm. BTW: would this make the DA21 redundant? Maybe better replaced with the DA35 or 43LTD?
Lens extension at the 16-45 wide end is only a factor if you use the built-in flash.

The 16-45 functions as a bag full of primes in my kit, it's that good IMO. It has low distortion, great colour and contrast and is literally prime sharp from F4. I don't see much point in also having a 21mm which has higher distortion, is only fractionally faster and has lower resolution at every common aperture.

I have a 35mm F2 and 50mm F1.4 for speed and low light. I haven't found that an F2.8 lens is fast enough for many low light situations, and the 35mm F2.8's working distance makes it an interesting but rather compromised macro lens.

Last edited by audiobomber; 09-09-2009 at 08:49 PM.
09-09-2009, 07:02 PM   #8
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Thanks Dan - I appreciate the input. The built in flash never gets used unless it is triggering one of the flashes (360/540) wirelessly. Are you using the FA35 or M35? I thinking if I go the 16-45 route, I may drop the DA21 and pick up something with those funds... maybe another body.

09-09-2009, 08:02 PM   #9
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I have the 16-45 and I purchased it off of Amazon used for about $260 in EXCELLENT condition; it looks new! It is my wide angle workhorse as all of my other lenses are for FF cameras. It has outstanding macro and IQ IMHO. Yea it is a wierd lens in that it rotates outward for the wide angle, but this is a minor gripe. Great choice!
09-09-2009, 08:42 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by joeyc Quote
Are you using the FA35 or M35? I thinking if I go the 16-45 route, I may drop the DA21 and pick up something with those funds... maybe another body.
I have the FA35mm. For macro I have a D FA 100, so the DA 35 didn't have much appeal compared to the faster FA 35. I also have a couple of Raynox diopters that I can use to add magnification to whichever lens I happen to have on the camera.

I have a K100DS as a backup body, and I've used it a couple of times when I neglected my three K20D batteries. Mostly the second body has just brought me peace of mind. I can't imagine being without a backup DSLR at this point.
09-10-2009, 10:39 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by joeyc Quote

Been toying with a few options...

DA16-45 (for good overall zoom, with close focus capabilities, low distortion 24mm)
DA18-55WR (for a knock around weather resistant lens)
M35 F2.0 (fills a gap and provides me with a very sharp, fast lens)

Any thoughts, suggestions, ideas? I am probably leaning towards the DA18-55WR as that is a lens I can keep regardless of whether or not I add the two other DA LTDs. The only con is the speed and the fact that it is not much wider than the DA21.
Thank you
Here is an alternative suggestion.

Pick up a used DA 18-55 II for US$75 instead of US$200 for the WR version. Put the money saved towards the primes.

Optically the II vs. WR are similar, not great but not bad. While the WR is not weather-resistant, it is somewhat disposable at that price making it also a suitable knockabout lens. (Also, if you are a protective-filter type of user, the II as a semi-disposable lens doesn't really need the expense and degradation of a protective-filter.)
09-14-2009, 04:19 PM   #12
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Well, I ended up grabbing a deal on a 16-45 that I couldn't pass up. Seems like I have rounded out my lenses for now...
09-14-2009, 06:17 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by joeyc Quote
Seems like I have rounded out my lenses for now...
LOL! You don't stand a chance.

So what do you think of the 16-45mm?
09-15-2009, 05:16 AM   #14
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I know. It's amazing how addictive it is - I went through the same with Olympus over the past 4+ years.

The 16-45 has yet to arrive...
09-15-2009, 09:58 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by joeyc Quote
Funny you should mention the DA10-17. It was on my short list until yesterday. While I could see it being a useful lens to have, I was unsure about its CA in high contrast areas and distortion in the 15-17mm range. Has this been an issue for you?
I see you've already made your choice, but I wanted to clarify something about the DA 10-17. It's not at all like a 17mm rectilinear lens at the long end. It's true that it has much less distortion at the long end (long being very relative in this case ), but the angle of view is still much wider than a conventional 17mm lens. Without defishing, the 17mm angle of view on this lens is not far off from a 10mm rectilinear lens (defished, I would guess around 12mm equivalent, but that's just a guess). This is something to keep in mind when you are making a decision about this lens. It picks up where rectilinear lenses leave off.
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