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View Poll Results: Which Prime Lineup to complete my kit
FA31, DA*55, DFA100 1234.29%
FA31, DA70, DFA100 1645.71%
FA43, DA70, DFA100 720.00%
Voters: 35. You may not vote on this poll

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06-14-2007, 02:23 PM   #1
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Prime Lens Vote to fit in my lineup!

With the release of the DA* zooms my lens lineup will look like this NOT counting the FA50 as I plan to sell this lens and replace it with another prime or two at most. (Im selling the FA50 because Im a little dissapointed with its indoor low-light focusing otherwise its a great lens and I love it for portraits).

Lineup:
DA 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 Fisheye
DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 SDM
DA* 60-250mm f/4 SDM
DFA 100mm f/2.8 Macro

So I want to add 2 primes to my lens lineup that would complement the list above.

Here are the options:

a)FA 31mm f/1.8 Limited & DA* 55mm f/1.4 SDM
b)FA 31mm f/1.8 Limited & DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited
c)FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited & DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited


I should also note how I would utilize the lenses:

FA31 - (low-light indoor lens/group & full body lens/normal lens/abstract shots (taking advantage of bokeh at this focal lenght)/some landscape)

DA*55 - (low-light/normal and head and shoulders portraits) (think I'll like this lens a lot because I love the rendering of the FA50 and love its application for portraits - this with 5mm more is even closer to the sweetspot of portrait photography with the 1.5x crop and I think it will focus a lot better as I think it will have a redesign over traditional 50mm lenses and of course SDM will help and it would sit very nicely between the FA31 and DFA100)

DA70 - (normal & headshot portraits) I like the pancake design and QS focusing.

DA43 - (long normal/short portraits) like the DA*55 a replacement for the FA50 though at a slightly different FL basically.

My current option is for a) and the reasons are: I can get the FA31 now and save up for the DA* 55 when available! I think the focal lenght combo works well and useful as an 31,55,100 (more so than the 31,70,100 and 43,70,100 combo)

Please raise your opinions on what you think!


Last edited by sft; 06-16-2007 at 05:00 PM. Reason: Typos
06-14-2007, 02:38 PM   #2
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Go for the middle option!

Your zoom will cover the extreme-wide-angle and normal areas, the 31mm will serve as a faster wide-angle, and the 70mm as a short-telephoto. The macro can also be used as a telephoto lens, so you're pretty much covered from 16 to 100mm! With this setup, your focal length range will be ideally spaced out (16, 31, 50, 70, 100). If you had chosen the 43mm, you would a rather redundant prime.

One more thing, though- if I were you, I'd go for the FA 77 instead of the FA 70, or maybe even an FA* 85mm. Both alternatives are faster and sharper Then again, they're both closer to 100mm, and thus more redundant. I know that I'm never parting with my 85mm, though- I even brought it along for my trip, and it's living up to its reputation!

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06-14-2007, 03:16 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mo Quote
Go for the middle option!

Your zoom will cover the extreme-wide-angle and normal areas, the 31mm will serve as a faster wide-angle, and the 70mm as a short-telephoto. The macro can also be used as a telephoto lens, so you're pretty much covered from 16 to 100mm! With this setup, your focal length range will be ideally spaced out (16, 31, 50, 70, 100). If you had chosen the 43mm, you would a rather redundant prime.

One more thing, though- if I were you, I'd go for the FA 77 instead of the FA 70, or maybe even an FA* 85mm. Both alternatives are faster and sharper Then again, they're both closer to 100mm, and thus more redundant. I know that I'm never parting with my 85mm, though- I even brought it along for my trip, and it's living up to its reputation!
You raise some good points Adam - thing is with the 77/85 they are a little too close to 100 as you say. The 70 still leaves a little more between them. Though I do love the bokeh of the 77! Dont know where I can find an 85 anyways - thats the f/1.4 lens right? Thats gotta be a hell of a lens and I read its bokeh is even better than the 77 which is hard to believe! I thought the DA70 had more even resolution figures though according to Klaus' review - also I do like the QS focusing a lot - and I also have my K10 setup so that when I press and hold the AF button it cancels AF and thus with QS lenses I can have full instant MF without having to go to the switch! I like this a lot actually.

Another thing is - If I only decide to go out with the primes (and I plan to do so as photographic experiments/exercises) I think the 31,55,100 combo will be more versatile than the 31,70,100 combo. I have a nice small camera bag which will take all 3 primes with K10 so its perfect! Though I also have 2 larger camera bags which can take everything!!

Still hard to decide though I do see your point about the 70 fitting in nicely as an f/2.4 between the 50 at f/2.8 and 100mm f/2.8. After all the 16-50 should be pretty good for portraits at f/2.8 but of course for low-light portrait work the DA*55 could really come in handy at like f/1.8~f/2 (DOF will be razor thin of course!) I'll wait for more votes and comments too.
06-14-2007, 06:37 PM   #4
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I voted for 2nd option too. Simply because I like my 50mm on film (31mm on digital) and when I take portraits I prefer to be a little further away (so 70mm over 55mm, I would have chosen 77mm if it was an option though). And 100mm macro is good, not too short (like the FA50 I have got) and not too long to hand hold properly.

06-14-2007, 06:43 PM   #5
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I like option #3. It's a much cheaper and smaller kit, and you already have the DA* 16-50mm to cover anything wider. For me, size is important. Besides speed, I don't know what the DA 70mm can't do in comparison to the 55mm for portraits. I'm curious about the 55mm with SDM, but it seems like an awkward focal length for me to walkaround with. Price may be high also.
06-14-2007, 07:32 PM   #6
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Well, 'cause you are looking for a better low light lens, the DA55 will definitely be your first choice imo. DA70 isn't much better than the FA50 as far as low light AF performance.

The problem now is when this DA55 will come to the market ...
06-14-2007, 09:36 PM   #7
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I voted for the first option because I think you always need to start wider with the 1.5x crop factor. The FA31 is an exceptional lens and I wish I could've kept the one I had last year (it belonged to Janneman).

The range of 31-55-100 is a good progression and I think it covers that middle ground better than moving the wide end toward 70. No disrespect intended toward the DA70--it's a fantastic lens. I'm just thinking about the daily use of the range and I think you would be better served this way. Of course, the 55 is not available yet and I'm absolutely in love with my Pentax 50's, so you can't go wrong on price or performance with the FA50/1.4 or the F50/1.7.
06-15-2007, 01:42 AM   #8
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To Twist it a little further

Hmm, option a) and b) are dead even now at 5 votes each

This lens business is going to cost me a lot!! DA*16-50, DA*60-250,FA31, DA*55 (or DA70) and im looking at $3K or so probably! Thank God it will be spread out over a year or so period with the DA*16-50 and a prime coming first.

So to twist it a little further - what about only getting one of the primes above?
I guess most would say get the FA31 if youre not going to sell the FA50.

What about if I sold the FA50 and replaced it with only one prime - then what would you guys think fits the lineup best? FA31, DA*55 or DA70?

PS. Please continue voting to the original poll question also however - Id like opinions on both the one and two prime combo.

So far the results are in-line with my expectations and also my uncertainty - a) and b) are head-to-head! - Thanks to all who voted and please continue doing so - its much appreciated.

06-15-2007, 08:16 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by sft Quote
So to twist it a little further - what about only getting one of the primes above?
I guess most would say get the FA31 if youre not going to sell the FA50.

What about if I sold the FA50 and replaced it with only one prime - then what would you guys think fits the lineup best? FA31, DA*55 or DA70?
FA31, easy. It's a good focal length for a DSLR and it's fabulous.

I hope the talk of selling the FA50 is just talk. There isn't a better prime for the price than those F and FA50's. Keep it, you will use it. It will only buy you 1/4 of a FA31, so it's not much of a value to sell. Unless you are trying to pare down your kit in terms of numbers. Such as when you get a mandate from the Ministeress of Finance, in which case I'd suggest finding her a hobby so she will forget about counting your lenses.
06-15-2007, 08:23 AM   #10
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neighoma - the only advantage I see the DA70 having over the DA*55 will probably be the longer FL. I do find the 50mm comfortable to work with for portraits though and I find the 100 a little too distant - though it works OK for head and shoulder shots IF there is enough space. The DA70 would probably give a good working distance and be an excellent portrait lens - but I can see myself being very content with the 55 also.

frank - indeed why Im a little more biased I think to the DA* 55 is indeed because of the fast aperture (about 1.5 stops faster) and also I am sure the AF performance will be the best of the bunch. It should be a killer low-light lens and also a perfect portrait lens on APS-C. Still good portait lens on APS-H and a Normal lens on FF - so I can see it being versatile no matter what happens over the next few years. Same applies to the 31 (it will have a good application no matter the format IMO).

eric - I think the DA70 is a fantastic lens - however I read somewhere (cant remember where now) that it is more like an f/2.8 than an f/2.4 - I think it was mskad that did a comparison to his FA77 and he fonud this result. Also when its time to go out with just the primes the 31,55,100 progression seems like a good one, 31 to 70 leaves a little too much gap IMO but it fits in very well when the whole kit is taken (ie. DA*16-50, etc.). Tough choice.

PS to eric - I wont sell the FA50 straight away anyways. I will wait until the DA*55 is available and see the results and AF performance and only sell it if Im sure to replace it with the DA*55 and maybe sell it if I replace with DA70 - though of course I may just keep it. I will first get the FA31 (no matter if I choose option a) or b) and then get the second prime at a later date and the FA50 will stay until I get that second prime at which point a decision will be made to sell or keep the FA50. My problem with the FA50 is this - its an amazing lens for portraits, bokeh and rendering. Really is - but where I really need the speed (ie. f/2.2 or faster) it struggles with the AF - and since its usually very dark in those scenes I need such an aperture - MF is very difficult due to there being such little light. This is why i would replace the 50 with the *55. The ministresses baby aint happening anytime soon

Last edited by sft; 06-15-2007 at 05:03 PM. Reason: Added PS to eric
06-16-2007, 05:41 AM   #11
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I would go with the 70ltd and personally I would substitute the FA35 for the 31mm (get the 35 while you can). The 35 and 31 are really close in performance - you would be giving up very little performance wise, the 35 is quite a bit smaller and easier to pack, and you would be saving a LOT of money to boot.
06-16-2007, 06:06 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ericc Quote
FA31, easy. It's a good focal length for a DSLR and it's fabulous.

I hope the talk of selling the FA50 is just talk. There isn't a better prime for the price than those F and FA50's. Keep it, you will use it. It will only buy you 1/4 of a FA31, so it's not much of a value to sell. Unless you are trying to pare down your kit in terms of numbers. Such as when you get a mandate from the Ministeress of Finance, in which case I'd suggest finding her a hobby so she will forget about counting your lenses.
Yup, the Pentax 50mm's are true gems. I have all 4 of the F and FA 50mm's, and from what I can see, the F1.7 version is a bit sharper and shows less aberation than the F1.4, so if you're not using your 50mm for low-light photography, I'd substitute it for a F1.7 version Then you'd also have no need for the DA* 55!

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06-16-2007, 08:58 AM   #13
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Interesting point - I do use it for low-light but how is the AF performance in very dim light? I know its not my camera as my 100 Macro doesnt miss focus at all at f/2.8 in the same light whereas the FA50 at f/2.8 and faster usually completely misses focus sometimes (even though it confirms and takes the shot) or front focuses quite severely. I have read of similar problems with the FA50. Is the F/FA 1.7 any better in this regard?

I also came to realize another thing: by not getting the FA31 I could in fact get 3 primes if I sell the FA50 - a lineup that would include the DA21, FA43, DA70 and DFA100. This would cover great range IMO - though im not overly convinced of the DA21's performance as far as IQ goes - it seems to be the worst Limited out of all 6 but should still be quite stellar I guess. This way I can definetely leave the zooms at home on occasions and would even be more versatile than a FA31, DA*55 and DFA100 setup. Though I dont think any of the other lenses can match the FA31's IQ. Predicament? I think so!
06-16-2007, 06:22 PM   #14
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I picked the first option.

Fa 31 is a must, no second thought.

Da* 55 is a preferred option than Da 70 or 43 as it just sits in the middle between 30 and 100 mm. Its optical quality is probably the equivalent of Fa 85 f1.4, made for APC sensor.

If you had included Fa 77 in the options, I would pick Fa 77 over Da*55... Although 77mm focal length is close to DFA 100mm, these two lenses are totally different beasts. DFA 100 macro, honestly, is not that sharp comparing to Tamron 90mm macro or my voigtlander 125mm wide open. DFA 100mm macro colour is rich and contrasty but not as lively and real life like. 77mm brings up the colour very differently. After all, I will eventually get Da* 55 once it will be released and see the difference

Fa 31 ltd is fantastic for its price but I would not call it the best lens produced. After all, there are so many lenses with optical quality similar to this lens in this focal length across the board (just the prices of other brands are several times more dear)

You mentioned Da 21 IQ not up to scratch... I would say Fa 24 mm f2 would be even inferior to that (did comparison with Joel's Da 21 ltd). DA 21 ltd is good enough! Its bokeh could be chalky and ugly at times but that is to do with lighting I guess... Otherwise it is a great performer; I wanna use Voigtlander 15mm f4.5 instead...

Cheers

James
06-16-2007, 07:27 PM   #15
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I would have said

FA 35/2 - save some money, but that is just me.. For theh same money as the 31 you could get the 35 and the 21. The 35 is pretty darn close in IQ to the 31 IMO.

DA 70/2.4 - Fantastic little lens

But for macro the 70 and 100 are a bit close, I would prefer something with more reach. But given we have little choice then the DFA100 I guess it must be!
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