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10-09-2009, 11:26 PM   #1
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Replace 16-50 with primes?

I have been considering replacing my DA* 16-50 with some primes. I am considering going with the DA limited 21mm and the FA limited 43mm to start off with. I like the convenience of a zoom, but I am more concerned with sharpness and quality, mainly for walk around and city/landscapes. Do you think those primes would provide noticeably crisper and sharper images?

10-09-2009, 11:49 PM   #2
Ash
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Are you not getting crisp sharp images from your 16-50 (without that CP-L that spoilt things for you)?

I cannot tell how much better/different results from the wide-normal DA and FA limiteds from experience, but the 16-50 does a pretty stellar job. Others who have both may be able to say more...
10-10-2009, 12:34 AM   #3
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for the price that you are going to spend on those two excellent prime lens, I would choose an excellent 3 prime lens combo of a DA21, DA40 and an FA50 1.4 . or a DA21, FA35 (if you can find a cheap one) and an FA 50 1.4.

the last combo just in case you cant find an FA35 would be, a DA21, a Sigma 30/1.4 (that's right, a 1.4), and a DA40.

you can't go wrong with the three 3-combo lens variations and would prefer them over the FA 43 because it gives you more versatility with 3 different focal lengths, speed, and rendition. gives you more options.
10-10-2009, 01:19 AM   #4
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I never owned DA*16-50 but I did replace my kit lens with prime setup.
Didn't plan it originaly but it kind of happened.
I started with DA40, few weeks later I was offered insane deal on F50/1.7 and 6 months after that I found FA31 for something that can be described as steal, considering today's prices. That leaves me with wide end. For the moment I have with covered by Sigma 10-20 and Sigma 24/2.8, but I keep elaborating on the 24.
So it takes me 4-5 (depends how wide I want to go) lenses to replace DA18-55.
Is it worth it?
Every single picture! I got used to primes, even 10-20 get's used as 10/4 prime and my 50-135 get's used as either 50 or 70 or 135. I rarely use them differently. Thing with primes is that they make you think bit more. It's not just about twisting some ring. It's more about finding the point of view and about framing the shot in your mind before picking the camera up and zooming in and out to see what it may be.
As for your proposed lenses, 21 and 16 is massive difference! You'd better get something to cover your wide end. From the experiences I gained building my line up, I'd recommend:
DA12-24 (Tamron 10-24 if you think 12 won't be wide enough)
FA31
FA43
DA55
This would leave you with nice steps from lens to lens and offer you perfect IQ from super wide to short tele.

just my 2p

BR
Peter

10-10-2009, 01:21 AM   #5
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In my experience, there is little difference in sharpness and contrast. You'll mostly notice differences in
  • size (duh...)
  • bokeh quality (although the 16-50 is no slouch)
  • distortion (at the wide end, the 16-50 has some pretty bad barrel distortion)
  • flare resistance (which quite frankly, sucks on the 16-50)
10-10-2009, 01:48 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
I never owned DA*16-50 but I did replace my kit lens with prime setup.
Didn't plan it originaly but it kind of happened.
I started with DA40, few weeks later I was offered insane deal on F50/1.7 and 6 months after that I found FA31 for something that can be described as steal, considering today's prices. That leaves me with wide end. For the moment I have with covered by Sigma 10-20 and Sigma 24/2.8, but I keep elaborating on the 24.
So it takes me 4-5 (depends how wide I want to go) lenses to replace DA18-55.
Is it worth it?
Every single picture! I got used to primes, even 10-20 get's used as 10/4 prime and my 50-135 get's used as either 50 or 70 or 135. I rarely use them differently. Thing with primes is that they make you think bit more. It's not just about twisting some ring. It's more about finding the point of view and about framing the shot in your mind before picking the camera up and zooming in and out to see what it may be.
As for your proposed lenses, 21 and 16 is massive difference! You'd better get something to cover your wide end. From the experiences I gained building my line up, I'd recommend:
DA12-24 (Tamron 10-24 if you think 12 won't be wide enough)
FA31
FA43
DA55
This would leave you with nice steps from lens to lens and offer you perfect IQ from super wide to short tele.

just my 2p
BR
Peter
pretty nice setup Peter, but that would leave the OP awfully broke.

I was thinking about suggesting him a wider angle but I don't think he would prefer the wide zooms. and getting a zoom might limit his collection as well. however, I might give him some thoughts though of a 2-3 lens combo.

12-24 and DA 40
FA 14, DA 40
Sigma 10-20, DA 40 and FA 50 1.4
10-10-2009, 04:24 AM   #7
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The FA43 is getting short shrift in this thread. But if you're replacing a good zoom you may as well go for the best and that would be it.
10-10-2009, 06:28 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
I'd recommend:
DA12-24 (Tamron 10-24 if you think 12 won't be wide enough)
FA31
FA43
DA55
I was thinking almost exactly the same thing.....don't own a 16-50 but for myself I was thinking...

DA 12-24 f/4 (already have it, like it a lot)
FA 31 f/1.8 Ltd
DA* 55 f/1.4
...then I've got both a DA* 50-135 and DA 70 Ltd. to cover the rest.

With the 12-24 being such a good lens by most accounts and some of the wide primes being questionable, it seems there would be nothing gained with wide primes over the 12-24.....and it's sufficiently compact to not pose a size problem over the primes.

Just my 2 f/stops worth,
Terry

10-10-2009, 06:30 AM   #9
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What about the DA 15?

I'm surprised that most of the posts went to the zooms to cover the wide end and nobody mentioned the DA 15. I don't hear this lens mentioned much in general. Is that because not many have tried it yet? I rented it for a week and really liked it.
10-10-2009, 07:28 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Crepusculum Quote
I have been considering replacing my DA* 16-50 with some primes. I am considering going with the DA limited 21mm and the FA limited 43mm to start off with. I like the convenience of a zoom, but I am more concerned with sharpness and quality, mainly for walk around and city/landscapes. Do you think those primes would provide noticeably crisper and sharper images?
In my experience, you'd be hard pressed to notice any difference between the zoom and the primes for the application you mention - walk around & city/landscape.
Like EricT said: there is a slight difference in size/weight.
That is, of course, when you have a good copy of the zoom and SDM remains functional.
10-10-2009, 08:13 AM   #11
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Thank for the feedback guys. I have been tempted by the wonderful shots that I have seen on the forums done with the primes. It is a tough choice and it can be very expensive.
10-10-2009, 08:22 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Are you not getting crisp sharp images from your 16-50 (without that CP-L that spoilt things for you)?

I cannot tell how much better/different results from the wide-normal DA and FA limiteds from experience, but the 16-50 does a pretty stellar job. Others who have both may be able to say more...
Oh I am. I just want to know if I could get even better results
10-10-2009, 09:08 AM   #13
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There are great shots taken with zooms, too. I generally prefer shooting with primes, mostly on account of size/weight. Also price - I was able to put together a collection of primes (mostly MF, of course) to cover my needs for a fraction the cost of what getting equivalent zooms would have cost. But I'm not kidding myself into thinking my lenses are giving me better pictures . Maybe slightly better in certain cases, but again, that has nothing to do with why I prefer primes.
10-10-2009, 07:54 PM   #14
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After doing my original research and deciding to go Pentax, my plan was to get the DA* 16-50 when it came out (at this point it hadn't been released). I really wanted it for the weather sealing in a drift boat. Then came all the problems upon it's release and I held off. Then I needed a wide angle lens for a wedding and came on a decent deal on the FA 31mm, after the first couple of shots with the 31mm I was hooked on the Limited lenses and there was no turning back. Besides the kit zoom which is retired I have the A 35-105/3.5 which is an awesome lens. It's so good I always carry it, but the primes are so good they are first up to bat. I love the A 35-105 and it really delivers every time it gets the call. But, I wonder, what would the 31 have done, you know? Or the 77. But the expensive lenses put pressure on you. Pressure to live up to their potential. If I go out with the A 35-105 on the K10D and shoot handheld and get blurry pics I can blame the manual focus on the K10D or the size and weight of the A 35-105. Or that it's to slow. But the Limiteds kinda take away the excuses, if you take a good pic it's because it was taken with a Limited, if you take a bad pic.....it's YOUR fault:-).
10-11-2009, 03:47 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
pretty nice setup Peter, but that would leave the OP awfully broke.

I was thinking about suggesting him a wider angle but I don't think he would prefer the wide zooms. and getting a zoom might limit his collection as well. however, I might give him some thoughts though of a 2-3 lens combo.

12-24 and DA 40
FA 14, DA 40
Sigma 10-20, DA 40 and FA 50 1.4
I know, even myself, I went for the cheaper route (for now ) -
10-20, Sigma 24/2.8 AF, 31ltd, 40ltd, F50/1.7

as for your suggestions. The first would work well (for me) 24 to 40 is nice gap and very managable, but there is missing something longer...
14 to 40 is too big gap IMO, I had 20 to 40 gap but found it too big. Was after 28mm lens but then good deal for 31 came along...
10-20, 40,50 doesn't work well either (again for me). I've been there, tried that. Again 20 > 40 is too big gap and 40 > 50 is not big enough (I wish I could get 55, but for now it seems I'll be following the gospel of Helios according to Gus...)
What does work well though is 10-20 (12-24 for that matter) 30ish (30, 31, 35) and fifty and up (either 50 or 50-135)
my 2p

QuoteOriginally posted by JamieP Quote
I'm surprised that most of the posts went to the zooms to cover the wide end and nobody mentioned the DA 15. I don't hear this lens mentioned much in general. Is that because not many have tried it yet? I rented it for a week and really liked it.
I don't doubt I'd like it too once I'd have tried it but....
Truth is, if you are into REALLY wide, you don't want to go back after trying 10-20. Hell, I saw good deal on DA14/2.8 but no, no... 10mm is 10mm

QuoteOriginally posted by Eaglerapids Quote
After doing my original research and deciding to go Pentax, my plan was to get the DA* 16-50 when it came out (at this point it hadn't been released). I really wanted it for the weather sealing in a drift boat. Then came all the problems upon it's release and I held off. Then I needed a wide angle lens for a wedding and came on a decent deal on the FA 31mm, after the first couple of shots with the 31mm I was hooked on the Limited lenses and there was no turning back. Besides the kit zoom which is retired I have the A 35-105/3.5 which is an awesome lens. It's so good I always carry it, but the primes are so good they are first up to bat. I love the A 35-105 and it really delivers every time it gets the call. But, I wonder, what would the 31 have done, you know? Or the 77. But the expensive lenses put pressure on you. Pressure to live up to their potential. If I go out with the A 35-105 on the K10D and shoot handheld and get blurry pics I can blame the manual focus on the K10D or the size and weight of the A 35-105. Or that it's to slow. But the Limiteds kinda take away the excuses, if you take a good pic it's because it was taken with a Limited, if you take a bad pic.....it's YOUR fault:-).
That's true...
it hurts to realise there so much to improve in style, technique once you try ltds...
but if you get it right they are VERY rewarding...

BR
Peter
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