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11-02-2009, 06:22 AM   #1
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Ditching the DA*16-50 for 2 primes??

So i have been thinking lately of selling the DA*16-50 in Favor of 2 Primes. Since i have the DA*50-135 50mm is covered. Yes not a prime i understand. I used to have a 50mm F1.4, but thought it was to much zoom for indoors. My next purchase is gonna be the FA 31ltd 1.8. This will be my main portrait and indoor low light lens. The other lens i was thinking to get is the SMC Pentax-DA 14mm F2.8. This will cover wider shots if needed. Landscape and possible indoor.

What are your opinions???

Current setup is

DA 10-17mm 3.5/4.5f Fisheye,
DA* 16-50mm,
DA* 50-135,
FA 100-300mm f4.7-5.8
DA*300 F4

Sigma 70-200 2.8 (Selling to Fund FA 31LTD)

Nice thing about 16-50 is it give versatility and Weather Resistance.


11-02-2009, 09:29 AM   #2
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Steve, I didn't ditch the DA*16-50, it is still my go to lens for event photography where I don't have time to change lenses. However, I did aquire a couple of limiteds to go along with my DA35 to make a travel kit and now leave the 16-50 at home. My kit is the DA15, DA35 and FA77. I am flying to Vancouver this weekend to take in an off broadway musical show, will take this kit with me in a bag a 1/4 the size of my regular camera bag, and it still has room in it for more lenses. Maybe Pentax will come out with a DA135 ...would be nice!
11-02-2009, 09:49 AM   #3
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This is a tough decision. A few weeks back I thought I should sell some of my primes and get the 16-50. For the WR and my desire to cut down on lens changes. But, for now I have decided to keep my primes.

Going from 16-50 to 31/1.8 and 14/2.8 means you definitely gain with the 31/1.8 in terms of IQ, low light and overall rendering. 14/2.8 gains in being wider. You are still carrying two bulky lenses.

Getting the DA21 and the FA43 like I've done, gives you two very small lenses as well. You can mix and match the DA15 and DA40 as well....just a thought. But, I think if size is not a major issue, the 31/14 combo would be great.

How do you like the FA 100-300mm f4.7-5.8 ?, do you have any comparsion images of it at 300 and the DA300...I kow the latter is way better, just want to see how much better?....I think FA 100-300mm f4.7-5.8 performs similar to FA 80-320mm F4.5-5.6 , and I am considering that for a smaller package when I don't want to caryy the 100-300/4.
11-02-2009, 10:28 AM   #4
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I personally like my DA*16-50 quite a bit and find it too useful to get rid of. I can see your point but like Pcarfan said the 14/2.8 is still bulky. I've had the DA21 and though a nice lens and very compact, it just wasn't wide enough, so my vote for your wide end would be the DA15. Now you've got me wondering...I've already got the FA35/2, which would be the other end of the combo as a potential replacement for the 16-50. Those two lenses (DA15, FA35) would make a dandy travel kit.

11-02-2009, 11:55 AM   #5
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I agree - why replace the 16-50 with two primes that combined are bigger and heavier than the 16-50 (and the 14 alone is practically as buky as the 16-50)? I can see the appeal of the 31 (duh), and while the 21 is a lot smaller & lighter than other wide angle lenses, it might not be wide enough now that you're used to having 16mm available. Given that it's pretty rare to actually need to shoot f/2.8 at very wide focal lengths, I'd also put in a plug for the DA15 if you're looking for a two lens 16-50 replacement.

BTW, I got my DA15 to provide the low end for my M28 & DA40 combo (hmm, DA15 as subwoofer...). And yes, I think that the 15 plus a 35 could do very nicely. I'm less sure about 15 + 40 without anything between, though.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 11-02-2009 at 07:42 PM.
11-02-2009, 01:06 PM   #6
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It all depends on what you shoot in the 16-50 range Steve.
If you're just into portraits and wide landscapes, no events or fast-moving gigs where a zoom would be handy - it's not a bad decision to go with primes.

I can see situations though where 14mm is too wide but 31mm is too long for some landscapes. Same with portraits, but your 50-135 would come in handy there for head & shoulders closeups...
11-02-2009, 01:09 PM   #7
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To effectively replace the 16-50, you will probably need 3 primes minimum.
A nice replacement kit would be the 15/4, 21/3.2, 35/2.8 and 55/1.4
You could take the 35 and 55 out and get a 40/2.8 instead.
This makes a very nice, compact lens set that is very versatile.
When I had a pre-release sample of the 16-50 for evaluation I thought it was rather a horse of a lens, but the one I had was a very good optic.
I don't really like zooms all that much, so I've never been tempted to get one permanently. I prefer my primes for everything, and only grudgingly bought a 60-250, which I'm happy enough with, but, like all zooms, it's far bigger and heavier than I like.
11-02-2009, 02:11 PM   #8
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I think the log(2) rule-of-thumb (at least that's how I think of it) is pretty good, where the focal lengths of primes double through the range. I use a DA 15mm, FA 31mm, and M 50mm, which I think is pretty much ideal. Each has a very distinctive angle of view, which is usually my main consideration. The 15 is slow for sure, but I think it does pretty well at f/4, and and I don't mind shooting at high ISO's (at least converted to B&W).

11-02-2009, 03:09 PM   #9
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I'd also prefer a 3 prime combo rather than 2. I'm quite shorthanded with only 2 primes at the lower focal range. for me though, I would get a DA15, F/FA28 and a DA40. although if you really need aperture speed that badly, the FA50 always comes as a first priority over the DA40. if not, the DA40 is also an excellent lens.
11-02-2009, 04:16 PM   #10
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All great points. I might pick up the 31ltd and figure out things from there. if anything keep the 16-50 and if i want something else, determine it then
11-02-2009, 05:45 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by 68wSteve Quote
This will be my main portrait
The 31 is to short to be a very efficient portrait lens. When you go for a head and shoulder shot, you have to get to close to your subject, and it creates distortion. Even the 43 is a tad short for that kind of pictures.
11-02-2009, 05:57 PM   #12
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I would keep the 16-50 and see what you can afford down the track.

I also have the FA31 ltd and soon to get the FA43, but I will not do away with my 16-50 as its my most used lens and just love it

11-02-2009, 07:27 PM   #13
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I'd keep the 16-50. As mentioned above, you should get smaller primes if your problem with the DA * is that it is too big. I find my 16-50 is pretty sharp, except wide open at its widest. I think you would miss it pretty quickly and truthfully, its not that big compared to some other lenses I can think of...

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