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10-28-2009, 08:43 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eaglerapids Quote
audiobomber, I'm not questioning your handholding abilities of the 55-300 but my handholding abilities of the DA* 300/4 suck.
The DA*300 isn't that much bigger, so I guess the difference is more to do with steadiness. I have no trouble with 300mm. IME, some people do, some don't. I would call anything beyond 300mm "supertelephoto". If you had said supertelephoto, I wouldn't have questioned your statement, although I know some people seem able to handhold a Bigma. I've never tried supertelephoto range, although I often crop hard with the 55-300. My main purpose in upgrading from 6MP to 14.6 MP was to increase my cropping ability instead of buying a longer lens.

10-28-2009, 08:51 AM   #47
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The difficult part of selecting a lens is first determining what it is you want to produce. Selecting a style, in other words. I enjoy shooting landscapes and moderate length still life shots which means my nice M200/4 doesn't see much use for anything other than compressed views especially since my daughter gave up soccer. I like my K24/2.8 and M50/1.7. Narrowing things down further, the K24 gives me some options with cropping so it's a good walk-about lens and I find the FA24/2 tempting. Used on a tripod and cropping cautiously afterward, it might be the zoom lens that isn't a zoom lens.
10-28-2009, 01:14 PM   #48
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Reading over this thread, it seems as though there are about ten different "obvious first choices" and if you are "only going to get one, this is it." I envy you guys that live in more well worn areas of the world where used lenses are easy to stumble across. I'm trying to decide which lens to begin saving for, and it feels like every day my choice flip flops. One of the things I'm trying to do in my portraiture work is to slow down and take less pictures. I feel like right now I'm getting too lenient with myself as far as spray and pray goes. In an effort to be more deliberate in my choices, I think I've talked myself out of the DA* 50-135 in favor of a more constricted, and thus oddly more liberating, prime.

Currently, these are the lenses I frequently use:

Pentax SMCP-FA 35mm f/2.0 AL (My walk around, low light, generally everything in one lens)
Pentax SMC-M 50mm f/1.7 (rarely use, despite really enjoying it when I do)
Pentax DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED (rarely use, almost exclusively a "vacation" lens)
Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 EX DG IF Aspherical (used as my main work horse)
Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 WR (used for wide angles, primarily)

Since the FA35 and the M50 handle the bulk of the range from 28-70 I usually shoot in, I'm thinking I need to book end it at either end with a fast prime to cover most the range I typically use. I've got a little Sears 28mm f/2.8 that's not bad but nothing special. On the other end it looks like the front runners are either the 70 or the 77, but I have to admit to a curiosity about the various options at 85mm. My main concern, and this may sound extremely silly, is having a satisfying experience that goes along with the image quality and price tag. None of my lens / body combinations are as satisfying to me to use as my SMC-M 50 with the K20D w/ KatzEye split. I want to bring that deliberate and satisfying feeling back into my normal work flow. Since I've been keeping an eye out for the 85s, the only ones I've seen are priced nearly at the cost of the 77ltd (or considerably more for the A*85mm). Do the 70 and 77 have the same "feel" as older manual glass?

Any suggestions on where to go from here for me?
10-28-2009, 01:55 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mister Guy Quote
I want to bring that deliberate and satisfying feeling back into my normal work flow. Since I've been keeping an eye out for the 85s, the only ones I've seen are priced nearly at the cost of the 77ltd (or considerably more for the A*85mm). Do the 70 and 77 have the same "feel" as older manual glass?

Any suggestions on where to go from here for me?
The Pentax M85 f2.0 is generally available for under $300 US, so it should be worth a look for you (though they don't pop up for sale all that often). The M85 is small and light, and renders beautifully with great colors and sharpness (even wide open). It is a great lens. See

But I'm not going to lie to you--9 times out of 10 if I want to reach for my DA 70 or my M85, I'll reach for my DA 70. It is an outstanding lens as well of course, with the DA limited feel, and the AF wins out for me most of the time. Both the DA 70 and FA 77 (from what I have read) are certainly worth strong consideration in that range.

10-28-2009, 04:25 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I hope you were joking, because that's not accurate. I handhold my 55-300 at 300mm all the time.
He said telephoto and not zooms. There is big difference in the DA 55-300mm and a 300mm f2.8 or even f4 lens!
10-28-2009, 06:01 PM   #51
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Just ordered the Voigtlander 58/1.4 SLII to complement my DA40/2.8 as my mainstay primes

I used to own the FA50/1.4 which was a great lens for the price I got it for about 2 years ago, but began to get worried with its build. I noticed that when unused for some time, its AF would lose some accuracy. To get it back to accurate focusing. I'd have to test focus at close objects, then go a little farther for every succeeding shot, until I was confident that AF was accurate. That made me worry about the lens's build and durability. So I sold it and got the DA40/2.8 which is a great lens.

From experience, I've also realized that it is more reliable to shoot MF at stops wider than f2.8. So I got a SMC K55/1.8. This is another great lens for its market price. But the lack of automatic aperture was beginning to bug me. It was already a hassle trying to MF with my bad eyesight, so the added step of setting up the correct aperture through stop-down metering really bogged me down in capturing dynamic moments. And that's the reason why I ordered the CV 58/1.4 SLII. Hope this new lens delivers.

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