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10-24-2009, 12:10 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by rkt Quote
Amongst the primes, what would get better recommendation between these two options?

(1) FA 50mm 1.4 (or, FA 43mm 1.9 Limited?) + FA 35mm 2.0
(2) DA 21mm 3.2 Limited + DA 40mm 2.8 Limited

Personally, if I had to go with 2 lenses, I'd go with the DA 21mm and FA 50mm.

10-25-2009, 01:29 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by rkt Quote
Amongst the primes, what would get better recommendation between these two options?

(1) FA 50mm 1.4 (or, FA 43mm 1.9 Limited?) + FA 35mm 2.0
(2) DA 21mm 3.2 Limited + DA 40mm 2.8 Limited
they are two VERY different setups!
1 - great low light, but leaving you without wide
2 - great carry around, in decent (and better) light - though 40 can manage pretty well in bad light too!
10-25-2009, 02:22 AM   #18
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21+40 and 77 later
10-25-2009, 05:10 AM   #19
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Ok, first things first...

Disclaimers:
(1) all numbers from photozone.de (lens reviews)
(2) Tamron version for Pentax (17-50) was not available (at photozone.de), therefore an average of the scores from Nikon & Canon versions have been used as a proxy
(3) these numbers represent a quantification of technical image sharpness only (if my understaning is correct w.r.t. MTF (resolution) MTF50 in LW/PH)
(4) I am quite sure that in most cases the tests represent a single or two samples of the said type, and therefore may not accurately represent the type as such.
(5) these numbers represent a much narrower subset of attributes than how total IQ would be defined, and therefore do not offer a complete picture...

In the images, I have tried to compare some of the lenses discussed here, and am trying to use some of the findings in my decision making process...


Last edited by rkt; 08-23-2010 at 12:44 PM.
10-25-2009, 05:35 AM   #20
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Now, based on the comparison above, here are my musings...

Wide to normal:
(1) Tamron offers consistent sharpness across most focal lengths and apertures, vs. the DA*, but does not have those absolute peaks in center sharpness as the DA*.
(2) Tamron does better overall at 2.8 than DA*... and under bad light, this may be of help if you need overall sharpness vs. center sharpness...
(3) amongst the primes, the FA 35, DA 40 & FA 50 offer great sharpness overall, and somehow the FA 35 seems really impressive across the range of available apertures... the 15mm & 21mm are great center sharp, but borders catch up by 5.6 almost... therefore, when you use it below 5.6 in low light then overall sharpness could matter, specially when hand held... Tamron is faster than both, and while it doesn't have the peaks in center sharpness, it performs quite consistently...
(4) on this attribute, the DA* 50-135 outperforms all of these at 50mm...
(5) can 21mm really be used as a good general purpose prime when up till 5.6 it is really center-sharp? What about low light shots where you want higher overall sharpness like city shots etc?
(6) I feel like concluding that the (Tamron) + (FA 35mm or DA 40mm) should probably be the best compromise here... plue the Tamron shares the same filter size as the DA* 50-135.

Normal to tele:
(1) the DA* is a strong performer, and that would be the only reason to overlook the 70 & 77mm... the latter are faster, but DA* should not be too far behind at equal apertures, though 70mm results for DA* were not available...
(2) Tamron outperforms the DA* at 90mm as well (on this attibute!)
(3) DA* augmented with the Tamron 90mm should offer a great combo, with Tamron getting the macros as well...

Also, I was glad to see there were enough times when the 18-250mm came in strong as well...

Last edited by rkt; 10-25-2009 at 06:00 AM. Reason: additional comment...
10-27-2009, 12:48 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by rkt Quote
Amongst the primes, what would get better recommendation between these two options?

(1) FA 50mm 1.4 (or, FA 43mm 1.9 Limited?) + FA 35mm 2.0
(2) DA 21mm 3.2 Limited + DA 40mm 2.8 Limited
I like the combination of DA 21mm and FA 35mm. I never used my fast fifty. I didn't like it's effective focal length at all.
10-27-2009, 07:26 PM   #22
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Hmm, from the numbering of your preferences... I would have thought that you are more of a primes user!

Since you have the 18 - 250 and graphs of which focal length that you use the most, why don't first get or borrow a prime of that focal length before deciding on further additions to your gear?

My reasoning are as follows:

1) til date you have experience with zooms but not primes, so having a prime would definitely colour your perspective on the types of lenses you want to get. Shooting with the 18 - 250 at whichever FL you like gives you familiarity with the FOV at that FL, but doesn't replicate the optical performance you get from a prime.

2) A good prime fulfils your main considerations of being upgrade proof, having low light capability, and great IQ. Given that convenience (read zoom lenses) is lower on your priority list, you should probably get a prime first.

I would suggest getting one of the faster primes, e.g. FA Ltds, FA 50/1.4 or voigtlander 58mm/1.4 - these are faster than the pro grade zooms which have a max f-number at 2.8, so you can tell how much you value the wider aperture these primes have.

From experience, I started from consumer level zooms for a long time, before getting my first prime the FA 50 /1.4 - since then, I've only gone for and shot almost exclusively with primes. I had the tokina 28 - 70/2.8 and have sigma 24 - 70 / 2.8, but they are more as casual complements to the primes I use. An additional benefit of using primes for me is that it has helped me develop alternative ways to composition, when your FL is limited. That has resulted in surprising and great results at times.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by knyghtfall; 10-27-2009 at 07:35 PM.
11-01-2009, 09:50 AM   #23
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a bit of an update...

Phase 1 seems done... picked a Tamron 17-50, Tamron 90 Macro and an old Pentax SMC M 50 1.7...

The 50mm is fun to play with...

But with all the lens changes over the last 24hrs... I can now see a small speck in the viewfinder... tried dust removal etc... and while the sensor (thru dust detection) seems ok... the speck still shows in the viewfinder... it's not the lens (since I can see it across lenses... maybe the mirror? Any advice...?

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