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12-23-2009, 07:08 AM   #1
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So you own a 16-50mm and 50-135mm, what primes do you still run back to?

I'm more of a zoom shooter/person, I like to be able to frame my shots quickly and conveniently. I'm getting that LBA itch though, and I was just wondering what primes people use even after owning DA* lenses.

Right now I'm kinda thinking about a DA 70 or DA 40, as I wouldn't mind a small portrait lens. I had a M85 2.0 and got great shots from it at 2.8. I love my 50-135, but people kind of freak out when you point that lens at them (especially with the large hood). I think their mental reaction is "OMG my pores will be showing!" =)

So... If you own some or all of the DA* zooms, what primes do you still run back to, or prefer?

Thanks

Alfred

12-23-2009, 07:32 AM   #2
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My "K"'s: 135/2.5, 55/1.8, 50/1.2, 200 2.5, 15/3.5. About in that order too.

And my most used off brands must be the Porst 55/1.2 and the Helios 44K-4 58/2.0.
12-23-2009, 07:44 AM   #3
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I don't have those two but I were to have them and still wanted some primes, then I'd bought faster primes, like the FA limiteds, or others with max aperture at least 2.0.
Because well, money is (always) an issue so I wouldn't want a prime with same speed or slower than the zooms, I'd prefer the primes to have some uses that the zooms don't have (e.g. low light / very thin dof).
12-23-2009, 08:02 AM   #4
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I have both lenses and, other than my interest in a DA 12-24 (or an 11-16 if it ever happens), I definitely want to work on building a nice collection of primes. Of course, I want an FA 31mm Limited - in fact, I'd love to have all of the FA Limiteds. The FA 31 would be my first prime purchase - if I could afford it, which I cannot.

So I've set my sights on the DA Limiteds, starting with the pancake trio of 21, 40 and 70mm. The 35mm macro Limited may come after that.

But because what Sajah says about the need for speed and narrow DOF is very true, my first Pentax prime purchase will probably be the FA 50mm f/1.4. Don't forget to buy a lens hood - it'll mitigate almost all of the alleged "softness" of this lens when used wide open.

Gad, why won't Pentax come out with a fast, cheap DA prime in the 28-35mm range? It's what everyone wants. They would sell every last one they could make. Argh!

12-23-2009, 08:17 AM   #5
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DA*'s are great (I have 16-50 & 50-135, both wonderful), but sometimes the weight and bulk of a good zoom is a bit too much. I like all my lenses and try to spread the love around them all. At some point I need to consolidate quite a bit b/c it does get a little bothersome when having to decide what lenses to use when I want to go out shooting. Anyways, I still shoot with the following occasionally (this encompasses most of my lens collection...) Keep in mind that a lot of my shooting is for hobby/fun/family and not for pay. So I have plenty of freedom to use whatever lens I want to most of the time and don't have to worry about it being the ideal selection.

SMC Taks (using these less now as I get their K-mount counterparts...)
20/4.5: Not the best or fastest by any means, but I still use it occasionally for the sheer pleasure of using a wide angle takumar.
28/3.5: It's hard to beat the colors, sharpness, and lack of distortion from this lens when there is enough light. And it's really small so easily fits in a coat pocket.
35/2: I'll use it indoors for a fast lens that is wider than 50. I don't have anything more modern that is as wide/fast. Focusing in dim light is difficult.
50/1.4: Sometimes I'll through this one on the camera instead of my A50/1.2 just for kicks.
85/1.8: Used to use this one quite a bit for fun family shots, but I got a K85 and haven't used this one as much since. Although it looks better than the K version when mounted.
135/2.5: Oh what a joy to use. One of the smoothest focusing MF lenses I've got, and produces very nice pictures to boot. However, same deal with the 85...the K version has taken over in favor of open aperture metering.

K series:
24/3.5: Corners aren't as good as the DA*, but it's smaller and has less PF. Good for landscapes if you stop it down to f5.6 or f8.
85/1.8: Great indoor tele lens, or for indoor events where the subjects aren't moving too much.
135/2.5: Love this lens, and try to use it whenever I think the FL will be right. Or just when I want to have fun .

M series:
85/2: Not quite as good optically as the larger K85, but is very sharp and contrasty and has more "character." Interesting color bleeding in the bokeh when wide open, but does have some noticeable PF when shooting wide open. My copy focuses buttery smooth (better than my K85 just barely) so I'll still use it some just b/c it's a joy.

A series:
24/2.8: great small wide angle. Can't say that it really outperforms the DA*, but it comes in a much smaller package.
50/1.2: This one can go where no other lens can, and can produce bokeh like no other. Needless to say I enjoy shooting with this one. Wide open is fun, but it produces VERY nice pics when stopped down at least one or two stops.

F series:
28/2.8: Performs admirably as a normal lens on the digital crop. Although not a fast prime, it is optically great starting from wide open.
100/2.8 Macro: My best macro lens, so if I need to shoot macro, this is where I turn. May switch it out for the new WR macro that is coming out soon...we'll see.
135/2.8: Nice pretty fast tele in a small package. If I need AF and want 135mm but don't want the intimidation of the DA*, then the choice is easy. I have used it for sports and indoor events.
300/4.5: Not fair because my DA* can't reach this far. Good for sports and my best option for wildlife/birds at the moment.

FA:
20/2.8: If I need wide and AF without the bulk, this it the ticket. Has a bit of lens flare with bright lights right outside the frame, so I gotta be careful.
43/1.9 Ltd: Use this one a lot for general family events. Great wide open and a real pleasure to use. The other Limiteds are always calling my name since this purchase.
50/2.8 Macro: Blisteringly sharp macro. I'll take it for macros if I don't want to carry around the larger 100mm macro, but shorter working distance makes it tougher for bugs, etc.

Well, I think that covers it. Basically, I use a lot of lenses! I wonder how many cycles the mount on my camera is good for...hmmm. Not sure that this helps you any, but I hope so.

If you have the funds, I would highly recommend going for a Limited lens. When it comes down to pleasure of use, performance, and utility (for one FL), they are really hard to beat.

Cheers!
12-23-2009, 08:28 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
Gad, why won't Pentax come out with a fast, cheap DA prime in the 28-35mm range? It's what everyone wants. They would sell every last one they could make. Argh!
Agreed! please give me a 28mm F2 for cheapish ($300? $400?) and I guarantee it will sell like hotcakes.
12-23-2009, 08:50 AM   #7
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I shoot long (40%) or very short (50%). I wanted a solid performing compact AF lens and decided on the DA 40mm. It is extremely compact and sharp, and fits easily in a pocket. For the xtra 'in-between lengths', I decided to go with inexpensive, good performing manual lenses.
12-23-2009, 09:01 AM   #8
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I love my DA 35 Macro, and that's my lightweight walkaround, or small product/macro lens. I grab my DA 14 when I need to go just a little wider, or I want to shoot wide angle with closer focus. I acquired the FA 50 1.4 this summer, and it's taken me some time to get to know it, but I find myself using it more and more for a variety of uses. It sucks that the FA 50 (well, all Pentax lens prices have gone up) has gone up so much in price. I nabbed one on the marketplace before the used prices really rose, too.

Three of my favorite recent shots have been taken with the FA 50, and they're all very different:






I don't own the DA*50-135 (but I'd like to!), so I didn't refer to any primes over 50mm.

12-23-2009, 09:10 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by alfdog Quote
I'm more of a zoom shooter/person, I like to be able to frame my shots quickly and conveniently. I'm getting that LBA itch though, and I was just wondering what primes people use even after owning DA* lenses.

Right now I'm kinda thinking about a DA 70 or DA 40, as I wouldn't mind a small portrait lens. I had a M85 2.0 and got great shots from it at 2.8. I love my 50-135, but people kind of freak out when you point that lens at them (especially with the large hood). I think their mental reaction is "OMG my pores will be showing!" =)

So... If you own some or all of the DA* zooms, what primes do you still run back to, or prefer?


Alfred
Hey Alfred, for me it's simple - the DA* zooms (16-50 and 50-135) are for work and the DA Limited primes (21, 35, 70) are for play. My wife has the DA 40 and I think that's a great one to start with - it's so small and fast focusing that it makes a great all purpose lens. If you lean towards portraits, then the DA 70 is great too, and fine for snaps outside, but a little long indoors.

Good luck in your shopping!
12-23-2009, 01:47 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by arpaagent Quote
DA*'s are great (I have 16-50 & 50-135, both wonderful), but sometimes the weight and bulk of a good zoom is a bit too much. I like all my lenses and try to spread the love around them all. At some point I need to consolidate quite a bit b/c it does get a little bothersome when having to decide what lenses to use when I want to go out shooting. Anyways, I still shoot with the following occasionally (this encompasses most of my lens collection...) Keep in mind that a lot of my shooting is for hobby/fun/family and not for pay. So I have plenty of freedom to use whatever lens I want to most of the time and don't have to worry about it being the ideal selection.

SMC Taks (using these less now as I get their K-mount counterparts...)
20/4.5: Not the best or fastest by any means, but I still use it occasionally for the sheer pleasure of using a wide angle takumar.
28/3.5: It's hard to beat the colors, sharpness, and lack of distortion from this lens when there is enough light. And it's really small so easily fits in a coat pocket.
35/2: I'll use it indoors for a fast lens that is wider than 50. I don't have anything more modern that is as wide/fast. Focusing in dim light is difficult.
50/1.4: Sometimes I'll through this one on the camera instead of my A50/1.2 just for kicks.
85/1.8: Used to use this one quite a bit for fun family shots, but I got a K85 and haven't used this one as much since. Although it looks better than the K version when mounted.
135/2.5: Oh what a joy to use. One of the smoothest focusing MF lenses I've got, and produces very nice pictures to boot. However, same deal with the 85...the K version has taken over in favor of open aperture metering.

K series:
24/3.5: Corners aren't as good as the DA*, but it's smaller and has less PF. Good for landscapes if you stop it down to f5.6 or f8.
85/1.8: Great indoor tele lens, or for indoor events where the subjects aren't moving too much.
135/2.5: Love this lens, and try to use it whenever I think the FL will be right. Or just when I want to have fun .

M series:
85/2: Not quite as good optically as the larger K85, but is very sharp and contrasty and has more "character." Interesting color bleeding in the bokeh when wide open, but does have some noticeable PF when shooting wide open. My copy focuses buttery smooth (better than my K85 just barely) so I'll still use it some just b/c it's a joy.

A series:
24/2.8: great small wide angle. Can't say that it really outperforms the DA*, but it comes in a much smaller package.
50/1.2: This one can go where no other lens can, and can produce bokeh like no other. Needless to say I enjoy shooting with this one. Wide open is fun, but it produces VERY nice pics when stopped down at least one or two stops.

F series:
28/2.8: Performs admirably as a normal lens on the digital crop. Although not a fast prime, it is optically great starting from wide open.
100/2.8 Macro: My best macro lens, so if I need to shoot macro, this is where I turn. May switch it out for the new WR macro that is coming out soon...we'll see.
135/2.8: Nice pretty fast tele in a small package. If I need AF and want 135mm but don't want the intimidation of the DA*, then the choice is easy. I have used it for sports and indoor events.
300/4.5: Not fair because my DA* can't reach this far. Good for sports and my best option for wildlife/birds at the moment.

FA:
20/2.8: If I need wide and AF without the bulk, this it the ticket. Has a bit of lens flare with bright lights right outside the frame, so I gotta be careful.
43/1.9 Ltd: Use this one a lot for general family events. Great wide open and a real pleasure to use. The other Limiteds are always calling my name since this purchase.
50/2.8 Macro: Blisteringly sharp macro. I'll take it for macros if I don't want to carry around the larger 100mm macro, but shorter working distance makes it tougher for bugs, etc.

Well, I think that covers it. Basically, I use a lot of lenses! I wonder how many cycles the mount on my camera is good for...hmmm. Not sure that this helps you any, but I hope so.

If you have the funds, I would highly recommend going for a Limited lens. When it comes down to pleasure of use, performance, and utility (for one FL), they are really hard to beat.

Cheers!
.


You have some nice glass, Jim!



.
12-23-2009, 02:44 PM   #11
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I have the full set of DA* zooms, and there is no doubting they are very good, But I do find my primes produce better images. I have the DFA100 and the DA* 300. Next on my list is an FA50.
12-23-2009, 02:46 PM   #12
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My most used kit is the 16-50, 50-135 and FA 43mm ltd. I use these three lenses for 90% of my shooting and the 43mm easily beats out the 16-50 & 50-135 combined in use.
12-23-2009, 04:01 PM   #13
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so many primes, heh

I have a FA50 1.4 now, but I find the length a bit awkward. I just love the quietness and feel of the SDM lenses. I really hope that they come out with the DA30 soon.

The DA 55 1.4 looks so sweet, but I figure that if I don't really use my 50mm now, would I really use that.

I guess I need either a short or long, is a DA40 really that much of a difference from a FA50, in terms of "usage"?

I do think a DA70 would be a good length for me, I wish I could get my hands on one locally
12-23-2009, 07:03 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andrew Faires Quote
My most used kit is the 16-50, 50-135 and FA 43mm ltd. I use these three lenses for 90% of my shooting and the 43mm easily beats out the 16-50 & 50-135 combined in use.
I too own the 50-135. It was on my k20 most of the time, That is until I purchased the 43. Now the 43 sits on my k20 a lot. I'll second what Andrew said. It really is that good.
Jeff
12-23-2009, 10:18 PM   #15
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My prime lens in this range is the M 100/4 macro - very hard to beat the IQ of this old girl. When chasing bugs this is my go to lens. I have been known to go out with only this lens. It is one of the four "light kit" lenses I carry along with my three DA lenses.

My other prime is the M 400/5.6 and there is a whole long discussion about this in the M Club showing where it works well and where it does not. I don't think it is applicable to your question because it is way outside the focal length range.
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