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10-26-2009, 09:33 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by steven.81 Quote
Some of the last few posts have made some good arguments for the DA40 and after looking at some of the user reviews I'm toing and froing between it and the FA50. The DA40 seems to have sharper, better images and might provide a more useful focal length (closer to "eye-view" so I can see it being a good workhorse for both portraiture and landscape) but the FA50 has the wider aperture.

I do like utilising a narrow depth of field for creative purposes. For anyone that has used both is there a noticeable difference between the two? I've heard the image quality on the FA50 is higher at F2 than it is at F1.4, which is still wider than the F2.8 on the DA 40. Added with the FA50's slightly longer focal length (which should further enhance the depth of field) I'd be interested to know if it is a noticeable difference? If the DA 40 also has a really useful DOF for portraiture I think maybe I might change my mind and go for that one instead?
I could be wrong (I don't measure these things) but I doubt that the 40 is sharper than the 50 f/1.4 at any aperture. The 50 is a very good lens, providing perhaps more value for your dollar than any other lens you can buy. The 16-45 f/4 would rival the 50 in the best-bang-for-the-buck category, were it not for the 3 stop difference in speed!

So what's special about the 40? Why would I prefer to have the 40 rather than the 50 f/1.4, if I could have only one lens?

First, I find 40 a more generally useful focal length. It's a slightly long normal, sort of the opposite of the Sigma 28, which is a slightly wide normal. The 50, on our Pentax DSLRs, is a telephoto lens.

Second, the 40's form factor is part of its charm and it's not without its usefulness. Somebody said that the 40 intimidates subjects less and I think there's something to that. The 40 is light, easy to carry.

I think I could probably live with just the 50, as well, and perhaps if I were smarter I would actually prefer it. The f/1.4 is a benefit, certainly, especially for portraiture.

QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
but the DA40 is cuter !!! it is so small !
Heh. Yes, I think this is definitely part of the 40's appeal.

I have to admit that I do not like the LOOK of a number of the Pentax lenses, including the FA 35 f/2 and the 50 f/1.4. I can't put into words what I don't find appealing about the look of these lenses, but it's real. I love the look of the 40 - and the 70 is kind of sexy, too. Otherwise, I prefer the look of my Sigma lenses. The Sigma lenses seems, oh, stronger somehow. Obviously, this is entirely subjective.


10-27-2009, 12:13 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by steven.81 Quote
Just to add quickly... Too anyone with a DA 40. How do they find it performs for portraiture?
It does very well in terms of sharpness and colors, however if I want the creamy bokeh then my choice is 43mm ltd, may be only because I have it.
10-27-2009, 12:46 PM   #33
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I just added up the weight of the DA 21mm ltd (140 g), DA 35mm ltd (215 g), FA 50mm f2.4 (220 g) and DA 70mm ltd (130 g) to be 705 g. The K200d weighs 630 g. That makes for a compact kit.
10-27-2009, 04:39 PM   #34
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Primes are great. No doubt about it. However, I would suggest there will be MANY situations where swapping lenses would be less desirable than optimal IQ. Ever take a picture on a windy beach? Swapping a lens there is a great way to get a series of basketball sized sand grains CEMENTED to your sensor.

Perhaps my shooting is not the norm. Typically I go into a gig KNOWING what I'm shooting and have the lens to be used already on the body and the camera settings optimized as much as possible. That way I get to concentrate on the lighting & angles, and get comfy-cozy with the subject.

For personal stuff the situation is usually more fluid, so zooms are where I start, then if an exceptional scene presents itself, the primes will see use.

Start with a few good quality zooms better than the kit lens and use them for a while. Once you know where your tendencies are, get some primes to support those tendencies - if you need to. I find that people appreciate the context & composition of a photograph, not the IQ.

10-27-2009, 06:03 PM   #35
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I completely agree. I've never been to a photography exhibition where anyone is up at the picture with a magnify glass checking for sharpness. I think since we went digital we can sometimes get a bit carried away zooming in 500% on our hi-res screens forgetting that it's the picture that counts and not the pixels...

I'm usually the same. Once my camera is set up at a particular focal length I tend to keep it that way in most cases. In the same way I find this helps me to concentrate on lighting and angles so therefore I think I prime would suit me well.

The first prime I get will be used for portraiture stuff, mainly candid shots of friends, family and everyday life. I went through all my EXIF data last night checking all my photos like this and found at least 80% were set to a focal length of 55mm. Therefore I've decided to go for the FA50 first (and with it being slightly wider than 55mm I think I'll find it even more useful!)

A lot of my other shots were around the 37mm mark. Putting a bit of thought into it I like the gap between the 31mm, 35mm primes and the 50mm. For me I feel the 40mm would be stepping on some toes, where as a 35mm, 50mm and 70mm set of primes would be a nice usable a range if I ever decide to go that way.

So I'll go for the FA50 first, then most likely a zoom in the 10-20/12-24 range and then finally decide on a telephoto prime (70, 105 or 150...I'll cross that bridge when I come to it though

I'd like to thank everyone for there input. Getting everyone's feedback and utilising all your experience has been so helpful.
10-27-2009, 06:19 PM   #36
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my most used lens is the Pentax K 50mm f/1.2 then the FA31mm f/1.8 and the FA77.. that is one killer three lens combo.
10-27-2009, 07:21 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by steven.81 Quote
Just to add quickly... Too anyone with a DA 40. How do they find it performs for portraiture?
Performs fine in the rare cases when I want to shoot a portrait with that short a focal length, but I wouldn't be buying any lens in that focal length range for portraits.
10-27-2009, 08:02 PM   #38
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I'm with Peter from way up in the thread. The DA12-24mm is the wide lens to get. No single (or even two) primes can match it. I could live with just that and the FA77, but would also recommend the FA43 for when you need an angle of view between the two.

It's not just about sharpness. The FA series render beautifully.

I have no problem using the FA43 for portraits especially if I need to capture three people in the shot or one person with more environment.

10-27-2009, 08:38 PM   #39
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If i had to be left with just one lens it would be the da40mm. I shoot people with it quite often. Works great for head and shoulders shots. You do have to get close so i use it mostly for candids rather than what i'd call portraits. Being so small no one is intimidated by it.
10-27-2009, 08:47 PM   #40
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As soon as you buy any of the Limited lens you'll be hooked, it's just the way it is. If you love primes and you buy any of the Limited lens, the ballgame is over. If you want faster, an aperture ring, and don't mind a little bigger lens go with the FA Limiteds, if a smaller lens is important to you and a tad slower is ok and you want quick shift to boot and don't mind not having the aperture ring go with the DA Limiteds. You see once you're in you will want the whole collection and if you can afford it you will end up with them. In my case I couldn't afford them......and still ended up with them. There is no sense in fighting it, I bought the 31mm first, used, and it was over for me.
So, my advice?
First off get the 21, 31, 43, 77 or the 21, 35, 40, 70 or mix them up! Personally I'd go with the 31 over the 35 and get a dedicated macro around 100mm (in fact, that's what I did) but it really doesn't matter. Once you have these required lenses the other extreme choices can be made when you figure out if you really want to get into telephoto work or real wide angle. Don't even think about the telephotos because then you need ballheads and tripods and....and....and....and....
But really what you should really really do is never buy a Limited lens because you will be spoiled for life, you have been warned:-),
10-27-2009, 09:34 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eaglerapids Quote
Don't even think about the telephotos because then you need ballheads and tripods and....and....and....and....,
I hope you were joking, because that's not accurate. I handhold my 55-300 at 300mm all the time.
10-27-2009, 09:40 PM   #42
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I'd say the FA35 has been more of use to me rather than the FA50. though I tend to use the FA50 if I want to go longer.
10-28-2009, 06:37 AM   #43
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For me it would be the FA 43mm Limited.

+ for extreme sharpness stoped down
+ for out of this world color rendering
+ for portrait on a crop size sensor
+ for street photography.
+ for close up shots

- not a tele lens
- not a macro
- not a wide angle
10-28-2009, 06:50 AM   #44
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audiobomber, I'm not questioning your handholding abilities of the 55-300 but my handholding abilities of the DA* 300/4 suck. And I couldn't imagine handholding any bigger lens than the DA* 300/4 for the shots I'm attempting and getting the quality I want on a consistent basis.
I didn't mean to mislead, I was speaking from my point of view and from my experiences. I don't have anything longer than the 300mm but I have a 1.4X and 2X converter and with them on the 300mm the bar is raised even higher on clean sharp photos. I have never gotten a really sharp photo with the 300+2X converter handheld.
10-28-2009, 07:00 AM   #45
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If there was one prime to get, it would be the FA31. You can read all about it everywhere. What I will say is that it does cost a lot... however, don't think of it in immediate dollar terms, but the endless joy you will have from using it in the years to come.

Mine basically lived on my K10D, and now K-7.

My personal prime set consists of the DA14, FA31 and FA50.

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