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11-18-2009, 06:12 AM   #1
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"ideal" line up???

Hi everybody,

I know this is very personal decision and there is million answers with million reasons behind them. But...
What would you say is THE ideal/ultimate line up, from wide/moderate wide to short tele, preferably primes, preferably AF and preferably FF capable?
My current line up is 10-20, 31/1.8, 40/2.8/, 50/1.7, 105/2.8
I was thinking of bank breaker like: 24/2, 31/1.8, 43/1.9, 50/1.7, 77/1.8. but that would put a LOT of strain on my savings and quality of life for months/years to come. Would it be worth it if
there is a LOT of cheap(ish) manual options like K55/1.8 (is it worth it if F50/1.7 is in already?) K/A 24/2.8 (???), M85/2 etc.... And is it worth swapping 40 for 43? I do like DA40, just about everything about it but at times I wish it was faster.
any ideas, comments and suggestions are welcome.
Please don't read preferable as must be.

TIA
Peter

11-18-2009, 06:54 AM   #2
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Hi, Peter,

I think I've hit lens nirvana with what I've got (meaning I haven't felt the need to add to it in the past 11 months).

Like you, I'm a mostly prime shooter, and this is what I choose from when I go out:
DA 12-24 for the wide end - I just can't justify any of the new primes because this lens isn't very big to begin with and shoots f/4 through the whole zoom range
FA 31/1.8
FA 43/1.9
FA 77/1.8
D-FA 100mm Macro

The one place where I see I might be lacking is in the 50-ish range, but so far none of the 50's have really grabbed my attention and made me think I _had_ to have it.

Regarding the 77mm vs. 70mm, I very nearly put the 70mm on the list (I have both) because it's so light-weight and seems to deal with infinity better than my 77, but I when push comes to shove, I love the option of shooting at f/1.8. I am glad I have both though, because if I don't know what I'll be shooting that day - landscapes, portraits, architecture, I'll usually take the 70 instead of the 77.

As for the 40 vs. 43, I've never used the DA 40, and even though it was the pancakes that initially attracted me to Pentax, I've always been so happy with the 43 that I never even considered adding the 40 to the lineup.

A 24/2 would be tempting....

The only other thing I'd add would be a 135/1.8. _That_ would be worth breaking the bank.
11-18-2009, 07:14 AM   #3
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Hi Peter,

Looking at my current selection of lenses to choose from, if I were to pack a bag for a weekends shooting then I would take DA16-45, FA43, K55, FA77, Super Tak 85 f1.9 and the DA55-300 and all my bases are covered.
Now if I got a lotto donation that would allow me to go on a big spending spree
I would rearrange that to DA15, Zeiss 21, FA31, DA35, FA 43, DA55, DA55-135, FA77, A*135 and 55-300 for emergencies

Regards,

Robbie

Last edited by robbiec; 11-18-2009 at 07:33 AM.
11-18-2009, 07:47 AM   #4
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I really don't need threads like these--not because I have a problem with them, but because I just can't afford them right now. However, I love to read them and ponder what I have vs. another line up, and then I need another 2 G's. :P

I usually go for my 16-50, DA 35, FA 50 and DA 70 when traveling. I know I have an overlap, but I take those because each lens very different characteristics and the primes are small enough to pack without taking up too much space or adding weight.

If I know I'm shooting landscapes, I take the DA 14, DA 16-50, DA 35 and my Q'Ray 70-300.

On the wide end, I wonder if I'd be better off with the 12-24, but I really like the close focusing ability of the DA 14. It comes in handy when I'm indoors or when things get a little boring.

Of course, I wonder if I'd like the FA 31 over the DA 35.

I'm content with my DA 70, but that's probably because I've never used the FA 77. :P

I'd like a 70/80-200 F2.8 to shoot action, but what I keep reading about the Tammy and Sigma options have been turning me off. I'd love a DA* version (not that I could afford it, but if one were out, I'd certainly start saving, or at least rent it when I needed it).

A new AF 135mm 1.8 (I'd even take a little slower) would effin' rock.

So...ideal lens line up? DA 14, DA 16-50, FA 31, FA 50, DA 70, DA(?) 135, DA* 70-200. And for a macro, either the DA 35 or the Tammy 90mm.

11-18-2009, 07:52 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
preferably primes and preferably FF capable

Please don't read preferable as must be.
These two are the rules I go by, don't care for autofocus. So the ideal line-up would thus be:

- K/A 15mm 3.5
- A 20mm 2.8
- K 28mm 2
- K 35mm 3.5 (that's right, not the f/2 or f/2.8 versions)
- FA 43mm 1.9 (Not sure I'd need to fill the gap between 35 and 50 but if I would, the 43mm would probably do it)
- K/A 50mm 1.2 (this could also be a K50/1.4...)
- A* 85mm 1.4 (I'm really missing this focal length with my current line-up)
- K 105mm 2.8 (heard good things about it)
- A* 135mm 1.8
- Voigtländer APO Lanthar 180mm 4 (if you need a little more than short tele)

That's about it from wide to short tele. The best from over three decades. Hardly cost efficient but that's not what dreams are for... right?

Last edited by Jimfear; 11-18-2009 at 08:13 AM. Reason: forgot the 180mm
11-18-2009, 08:40 AM   #6
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I've bought (and sold and bought and sold) quite a few primes to find the right combo, and I think I've done it:

DA 15mm f/4
FA 31mm f/1.8
M 50mm f/1.4

A little minimalist, perhaps, but each offers a unique angle of view.

Then again, something between 15 and 31 would be nice. Maybe an A 20?

I don't ever really use anything longer than 50 -- I even sold my FA 77 because amazing as it is, I never really used it much.

I can't imagine my ideal lineup would be much different than this, but maybe a couple of modified Leitz's?
11-18-2009, 09:16 AM   #7
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If I only were to have say 5 lenses, I would go with:

Sigma 24mm/2.8 Super wide II macro - landscape + interesting composition options available from the pseudo macro function from the lens

K 50mm/1.2 - general purpose lens when stopped down, artistic bokeh shots wide open

Voigtlander 90mm/3.5 Apo-Lanthar - tele / portrait, and the close focusing function is, again, a wonderful plus. Did I mention that it has wonderful sharpness and bokeh and colour rendition?

Topcor 135mm / 3.5 - for that longer reach when you need it. Great bokeh and sharpness wide open, even though a tad slow.

Sigma 24-70mm / 2.8 DG Macro - for those days when you just need a general purpose lens with a variety of functions available.

These lenses were selected from ones i owned or currently own. These lenses can be used on a DSLR or a film body, whichever you choose as a medium.

Final choice of lenses really is reflective of your personal style, I guess. The ideal line up for me shows what I shoot - no macro (none of the lenses offer 1:1), no sports or reportage especially in trying lighting conditions (lens above 50mm FL are rather slow), and no specialisation in portraits (which lenses in the 60 - 90mm range at about f2.5 or below would do well in), and no nature / wildlife shots (no long FL). Don't think you can cover all bases from fisheye to landscapes to product macro to flora/fauna macro to portraits to street shooting to nature/wild-life to zoom photography (optical effects achieved from zooming in and out during shots) to sports to reportage to kids to weddings to... you get the idea. Maybe if you had say a 20 lens line up. Maybe.
11-18-2009, 09:21 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Finn Quote
I've bought (and sold and bought and sold) quite a few primes to find the right combo,
So I did. I owned all FA and DA Primes under 100mm and my personal choice is now what you found downside.

11-18-2009, 09:33 AM   #9
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Finn Quote
I've bought (and sold and bought and sold) quite a few primes to find the right combo, and I think I've done it:

DA 15mm f/4
FA 31mm f/1.8
M 50mm f/1.4

A little minimalist, perhaps, but each offers a unique angle of view.

Then again, something between 15 and 31 would be nice. Maybe an A 20?

I don't ever really use anything longer than 50 -- I even sold my FA 77 because amazing as it is, I never really used it much.

I can't imagine my ideal lineup would be much different than this, but maybe a couple of modified Leitz's?
This did cross my mind too but...
I like the 31 - 50 setup, but I need to fill the gap betwen 10-20 and 31 and at times pancake comes handy so 40 is there too...
11-18-2009, 10:26 AM   #10
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sigma 10 fisheye, 15, 31, 40, 70, 100 macro, 200
11-18-2009, 11:31 AM   #11
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Always an interesting topic.

My ideal lineup would be (+ means I own the lens):

+ Sigma 17-70
- DA 21mm LTD
+ 50 f1,7
+ 50 macro
- 77 LTD
+ 150 mm (M in this case)

I would add a tele, probably the 55-300 (I own a 100-300, not bad). I would also add (and probably will) the 50-135.

As you see, I'm not far from being a happy camper.
11-18-2009, 12:52 PM   #12
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Peter, this thread can't be good - too much drool coating the posts so far...
I'll comment that good quality of life with what you have is better than a poorer quality of life with your dream photo gear lineup. If it's a hobby and an enjoyable vocation to you, how much you invest in it should reflect that, within reason (finances, goals, other-half considerations...)

In any case, I believe I'm also at zenith for lens desire, but wouldn't balk at the opportunity to have a 43ltd, Voigtlander 125 macro and perhaps an FA* 300 on top of my 10-17, 12-24, 31ltd, 77 ltd and 70-200/2.8 lenses. Having said this, my FA 50/1.4 and FA 100/2.8 macro are doing a stellar job anyway, so I can't complain...
11-18-2009, 02:04 PM   #13
axl
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Peter, this thread can't be good - too much drool coating the posts so far...
I'll comment that good quality of life with what you have is better than a poorer quality of life with your dream photo gear lineup. If it's a hobby and an enjoyable vocation to you, how much you invest in it should reflect that, within reason (finances, goals, other-half considerations...)

In any case, I believe I'm also at zenith for lens desire, but wouldn't balk at the opportunity to have a 43ltd, Voigtlander 125 macro and perhaps an FA* 300 on top of my 10-17, 12-24, 31ltd, 77 ltd and 70-200/2.8 lenses. Having said this, my FA 50/1.4 and FA 100/2.8 macro are doing a stellar job anyway, so I can't complain...
LOL

I know what you're saying Ash, it is hobby indeed and really not a profitable one
I've made a few wrong turns (notably DA*50-135 and FA*300) to realize what I want to be doing with photography. Those wrong turns have cost me heavily but... LBA rules.
Anyway, I have tried 15 lenses in space of 3 years and as you can see in my signature I have only kept 6 to date. So 36 monts = 15 lenses = 1 lens every 10/11 weeks.... in the same time I bought engagement ring and we had 2 wedding ceremonies, honeymoon and some other less expensive vacations, so yes, budget is tight... As much as I enjoy checking pages and shops for next "THAT'S IT" deal, it's driving me insane!!! And my wife is less and less pleased with it (let's put it politically ).
So I want to get one line up that will keep me happy... period!
Problem is, I can't even decide what I want to build it around
For now, only safe keepers are 31ltd and F50/1.7. I'd love to keep DA40 but there is local deal on FA43 for old price and it's pulling my leg seriously... I'm still in search of a lens that would make me happy between 20 and 31... I tired Tokina 28/2.8MF = flop, Sigma 24/2.8 SWII AF = flop, couple of zooms = flop, and short trial of SMC 24/2.8 (K series) left me unimpressed, though the jury is still out on that one.
And I'd love to go tad above 50.... but I don't feel like spending £800 +/- for 77ltd, keep thinking about 70ltd but I'm not sure and 85s are incredibly hard to come by... Helios doesn't attract me, K55/1.8 is rare in UK, I've tried SMC Tak 55/1.8 but wasn't impressed by the M42>K adapter operation but I still can get one of those in great condition even with old SV camera... but just now Takumar 58/2 (super rare lens from what I've found out) popped out on scene and it fits the focal length I'd like but I can't get any info on that lens, even how many blades does it have, and I'm rethinking it all again.... WHAT DO I WANT?!?

As you can see it's hard when LBA is like a blind driver behind the steering wheel

and on top of all of this my wife fell in love with 31mm FOV but likes shooting macro, but she's not bothered to keep swapping between 31 and 105macro and 70-300 Tamron "macro" so I'm really thinking of getting 35ltd for her (nice husband... or am I not? )

BR
Peter

Last edited by axl; 11-18-2009 at 02:16 PM.
11-18-2009, 02:59 PM   #14
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Hi Peter,
I'm not sure about the "perfect" line up...but what I want to get to is:

DA* 16-50 (had the pleasure of using one recently & it is very good).
DA* 50-135 (again had a loan of a mates,& it also is great!).

from here I struggle a bit, as I already have the DA* 200, so would add the DA* 300 to the above, but if I didnt have the 200 I would be having a long hard look at the DA* 60-250.

And not a prime in sight you say? well not quite, my FA 43 would always find a place in the bag.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Cheers
Grant
11-18-2009, 05:19 PM   #15
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This is of course a hopeless subjective question, as it depends not only on focal length preferences, but also questions as to how many lenses one wants to carry, how much one values small size over large aperture, and other equally subjective decisions. Not to mention, how much wants to spend. If this is truly a discussion of an "ideal" lineup, that wouldn't matter, but still, it's hard not to take that into consideration at least a little. Toss in the fact that some who might otherwise feel similarly on any of the above matters might feel differently regarding the preference for primes over zooms, or the need for AF, or the need for FF. And if you do consider the need for FF, how much of a compromise should that involve in choosing focal lengths (eg, choosing focal lengths tht are *perfect* for APS-C but so-so for FF, versus choosing focal lengths that are "OK" on both, etc.

I figure the chance of getting someone who feels exactly the same as you on all these counts is close to zero. So despite the fact that my own lineup is not FF-friendly at all, and I don't value AF enough to compromise (much) on focal length or price, here's what I have settled on, and I think it's "almost" perfect for me:

DA15
M28/2.8
DA40
DA70
<longer telephoto TBA>

Right now, the longer telephoto varies between the M135/3.5 (the default choice), but sometimes the M100/2.8, and sometimes the DA50-200. The 135/3.5 is really a fine compromise choice here, but I do like the 100/2.8 for being faster, and the 50-200 for being longer (as well as being a zoom and having AF). A 135/2.8 would be a possibility, but I dumped the one I had as it was just too big and heavy for what I wanted. Which is why I keep thinking the M120/2.8 may be in my future (unless a DA version comes out before I get around to it!)

The gap between 15 and 28 isn't bothering me much. I just added the 15 recently, and didn't really see the need for a lens "just a little" wider than the 28 very often before I got the 15. I was using the 18-55 when I needed wide, and found I used it right at 18, or in the 28-43 range, a lot, but rarely anywhere between 18 and 28.

I'm comfortable with pretty large gaps in my focal length range because I prefer fewer lenses over more lenses, but also prefer primes to zooms overall, and am OK with cropping if need be (took a while to overcome that reluctance, but having that available in non-destructive RAW processing helped). I do find that I like the pairing of 28 and 40 - the smallest gap in my lineup. If I compromised on a 35 instead of those two, I'd probably rethink whether maybe a 24 would also make sense, so I might still end up with the same number of lenses. And I think the idea of having two lenses relatively close to each other around the "normal" FOV - and bigger gaps the further I get from there - makes intuitive sense to me.

If Pentax put out a new DA lens somewhere near 28 - not longer, but maybe as short as, say, 27 or 26 - I might buy it replace the 28. But I don't think a 24 or a 30 would be an improvement for me in terms of focal length. 24 would open up the gap betwene that and 40 too much, 30 would close it too much. My usage of my 18-55 - which has peaks around 28 and 40 - convicnes me I'm doing about as well as I can there.
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