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10-22-2009, 04:58 AM   #1
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symptoms of LBA...

Dear All,

After hours of pouring over the treads here, I finally decided to leverage some web-enabled collective wisdom, and seek some advice...

As Is:
Gear: K200D + Pentax 18-250mm
What I shoot: primarily landscapes, sky & clouds, macros, some wildlife, city shots, but generally I am still exploring... so I wouldn't tie this down to a list as yet and which is why the 18-250mm shall stay as well... (to somewhat quantify this topic, I am looking at some graphs on focal lengths I use most often, and I can share them here, if it helps you help me)

The future:
Option A: DA * 16-50mm + DA * 50 - 135mm
Option B: DA 21mm Limited + DA 40mm Limited + DA 70mm Limited
Option C: umm... a Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 + something else which gets me through without sacrificing on IQ, low light capability... (but see point (4) under Considerations)

Considerations:
(1) Convenience: either less weight around my neck, or less frequent lens changes, lesser of the two evils (preferably both, but that's wishful thinking I guess)
(2) Better overall IQ... as good as I can get between the options listed above...
(3) Better low light capability
(4) Avoid repeat costs of periodic upgrades, and therefore get as good a kit as I can so I can stop thinking about 'better gear out there' for as long as possible... and focus on technique...
(5) I will have a friend pick the selected lenses for me (from a different country) so I want to minimize the chances of QC issues, which I have read about regarding atleast the DA* 16-50mm (is this still relevant?).

Any help is appreciated... please bear with me, I do realise that some parts of this topic have been hammered in threads before, and while I have read them, I realise responses can be context based, and therefore I post my situation afresh... thank you for your time...

10-22-2009, 05:22 AM   #2
axl
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How about this option:
keep 18-250 and get 31ltd or 35/2 and FA/F 50 1.4/1.7.
This way you will have 2 exccellent primes and suopezoom for covenience. You'll be covered on compatibility and upgrade fronts too.

BR
Peter
10-22-2009, 05:26 AM   #3
Ash
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Welcome here, and congrats on a well-thought out plan for relieving your LBA, at least for a few months... or is that weeks. I dunno, but in any case, you've got 3 options all of which are very feasible and featuring quality glassware.

Your first consideration is unfortunately unrealistic - fewer lens changes means zooms, zooms mean weight. But from my point of view, if IQ means something to you, and you can budget for it, I'd go with the host of DA limiteds, including the DA 15 ltd. Only problem is your maximum focal length would be 70mm. Do you regularly use your 18-250 at the higher focal lengths? If so, I'd consider the 50-135, despite the double up with the 70 ltd. You may even consider replacing the planned 70 ltd purchase with a 50-135...

I am weary of encouraging everyone to get as 16-50 considering the amount of flack it's received concerning its QC, but I got a good one first go, and it's simply unrivalled. Much heavier than a DA 21 though...

Hope this helps.
10-22-2009, 07:12 AM   #4
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Thank you for the quick feedbacks...

if silent AF & weather sealing can be compromised upon, then is the Tamron 17-50mm a 1-1 substitute for the DA*16-50mm as far as IQ goes? Are there other trade-offs with this substitution?

10-22-2009, 07:13 AM   #5
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I agree with Ash's variation on option 2. Another possibility would be to go with option 2 and scrounge up the FA 135mm f2.8 in a used copy. I don't see a need for the 16-50mm considering its potential problems and your other options.
10-22-2009, 12:20 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rkt Quote
Dear All,

After hours of pouring over the treads here, I finally decided to leverage some web-enabled collective wisdom, and seek some advice...
...

The future:
Option A: DA * 16-50mm + DA * 50 - 135mm
Option B: DA 21mm Limited + DA 40mm Limited + DA 70mm Limited
Option C: umm... a Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 + something else which gets me through without sacrificing on IQ, low light capability... (but see point (4) under Considerations)

Considerations:
(1) Convenience: either less weight around my neck, or less frequent lens changes, lesser of the two evils (preferably both, but that's wishful thinking I guess)
(2) Better overall IQ... as good as I can get between the options listed above...
(3) Better low light capability
(4) Avoid repeat costs of periodic upgrades, and therefore get as good a kit as I can so I can stop thinking about 'better gear out there' for as long as possible... and focus on technique...
(5) I will have a friend pick the selected lenses for me (from a different country) so I want to minimize the chances of QC issues, which I have read about regarding atleast the DA* 16-50mm (is this still relevant?).

Any help is appreciated... please bear with me, I do realise that some parts of this topic have been hammered in threads before, and while I have read them, I realise responses can be context based, and therefore I post my situation afresh... thank you for your time...
..

Lots of ways you can go, but here's one suggestion:

Tamron 17-50 2.8 (save money over the 16-50 to use for fast prime)
DA* 50-135 2.8 (best zoom ever) -or- Sigma 50-150 2.8 HSM (If SDM is a concern)
FA 35 f/2 -or- F/FA 50 1.4/1.7 (low-light fast prime)
10-22-2009, 01:27 PM   #7
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are the considerations in order of importance?

can you live with prime lenses? that is, have you tried setting your zoom to 1 or 2 focal lengths and shoot without deviating from those?

i guess the big question is: is versatility and convenience of zooms more important than the compact and lightweight nature of primes? (a side note is that pentax primes use relatively small diameter filters which are less expensive)

as for IQ, from what i've read (books/blogs by pro's, not so much forums ) good zooms are almost if not as good as good primes so you are not likely to win or lose much by going either route. it's mainly a matter of preference and as you can see from my sig i like primes but tastes will differ greatly from person to person and so will their advice.
10-22-2009, 02:54 PM   #8
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For what it's worth, there was one point during the summer where I had a DA 21, a FA 35, and a FA 50 and a K200D. I later sold the FA 50 and FA 35 for a F 28mm. I loved the primes, but got tired of planning which lenses to take. I sold all of the lenses (before the huge increases in lens prices!) and picked up a Tamron 17-50 2.8. I sold the K200D and picked up a K20D. I like the Tamron, but wish I had at least F 28 or DA 21 as a sharp walk around lens. The sharpest of the primes, from my experience, was definitely the FA 35 (bought the Samsung version for $250, and sold it for close to that amount. Now you can't get a FA 35 for less than $380!).

To get to the point, i've had the Tamron 17-50 and K20D combo for sometime now, and believe that, after adding a zoom lens, I'll be done with lenses for a while

10-22-2009, 03:45 PM   #9
rkt
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Thank you for the responses... I am getting a firmer idea somewhat...

To add to the discussion, w.r.t. QC issues & lemons, is the DA* 50-135 safe as far as getting someone to pick it for me? What about the Limited series primes?

Have QC issues been commonly encountered on these, like the DA*16-50 ?

(this is becoming my strongest argument against this lens, and in the zoom option I see Tamron as a stronger possibility somewhat. This may have been irrelevant if I could count on (maybe) multiple trips of returns and refunds, but I am trying to source it based on price, and thats from a different continent, so I want to play safe with what I ask for, while keeping up with the overall IQ and lens quality as far as possible. Buying local would mean half the gear eventually planned)
10-22-2009, 03:53 PM   #10
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AFAIK the 50-135 has held up quite well with regards to QC and SDM.
Everyone I know praises this lens as the best in its range.
Hopefully that helps - but is no guarantee everything will be OK getting it from someone you don't know...
10-22-2009, 04:07 PM   #11
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Ash, I do end up using the longer focal length sometimes, I am trying to add a focal length graph that shows the spread as such over 2009... it should be viewable at the following link...

focal length spread (in 35mm equiv.) on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

pb_red, the ordering is more like 4, 2, 3, 5 then 1... I have not really shot holding any specific focal length as such, but of late while I have been tossing these options around, I have tried to take random shots around the house etc with focal lengths for the Limited series...

parkpy, I fear the same if I go the primes way... at times, the zooms make life (and photos) much easier... but these Limited are so enticing...
10-22-2009, 05:43 PM   #12
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based on your order of importance i definitely recommend going with good quality zooms that stop down to f2.8 for good low light performance.

if money is not an issue then along with the zooms pick up a good prime, or several, and see how you like them.

whatever you go with i can guarantee that there will be other lenses out there that are, or at least appear to be, better than yours and you will want them

so if you go with zooms you will want primes. if you go with primes you will want zooms. if you get both then you will want other zooms and other primes that are out there. at the very least you will want a silver fa-77 because it's just too cool

so pick something you like and be happy with it and don't worry about what else is out there. (btw, that's easy to say and very hard to do... hehe)
10-23-2009, 12:38 AM   #13
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Ah LBA! Its a nasty beast when you get it.

I'll tell you what I have done because that is what I know. I find that in the short-mid telephoto range you don't necessarily have the time or ability to get the shot off with primes. So I went with a zoom there with good low light performance. Conclusion: DA* 50-135. You can keep your DA18-250 for anything longer than that.

For the wide and normal range, image quality, low light performance, and weight were the driving factors so I went with a bunch of primes. You can also zoom with your feet in most instances. Its really up to you what you want to choose for focal lengths. I figure three primes (ultra wide, wide, and normal) from 15 to 50mm should do just nicely. But it could be four because really the FA 50 1.4 is a real-nice-to-have for anybody.

That should keep the LBA in check for a while.
10-23-2009, 01:27 AM   #14
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Well, it's still half baked, but so far it seems this is the path that may make immediate to medium (?) term sense...

Phase 1: Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 + DA* 50-135mm 2.8
Phase 2: * some primes (faster than 2.8 hopefully, to not disturb the Tamron too much, unless from the Limited series). I am checking those recommended here already...

Ash, the "transporter" is a colleague... so it should be cool, just that I maybe can't / don't want to ask the person to really do tests etc with the lens while making the purchase... (convenience / capability to check) that's why I want to focus on those where a random pick is highly likely to be a 'good' copy... I would hate to kill all the excitement of a lens binge by getting into the whole refund / return / repair loop... If the price diff. between Germany and the US were marginal then I would have spent a bit extra to give the DA*16-50 a shot locally as I still feel a very quiet focus, weather sealing have their merits... but so many people here report more than 2 changes till they migrate to something else... that I would rather get a Tamron & channel the extra cash into some primes * ...

* (of course, all this depends on appropriate "home ministry" approvals)
10-24-2009, 10:16 AM   #15
rkt
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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
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