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02-20-2010, 05:23 AM   #1
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Dear Pentaxianne Landers... (+Japan wide Lens prices Feb 2010)

(sorry for the massive post, maybe the Japanese price report below will earn me brownie points) let me know if you want me to find something for you on kakaku.com

My wife has made the mistake of enabling my LBA. This is what you get when she misses Christmas and your birthday!

So, I told her that the only lenses *worth* buying were about four bills... and she said she would pony up 50%, so I guess she is only half as dumb as I thought

If you have had any real favourites from the lenses below (or horror stories) please let the world know.

Shopping target is a wide wide sharp sharp (SHARP) zoom or prime. Actually anything shorter than my 50 is game I guess. Fuel for the journey is ¥40,000 ($400), which is more than I spent on the entire original kit. Prices in Japan are schizophrenic but deals be had on that thar yahoo or if you butter up the right camera shop dude. Within reason I don't care about distortion much.

As for what I shoot it's been a lot of flowers to date. Bugs come spring, and hopefully lots of city, which is a reason to go really wide living near Tokyo I assume. There are alot of interesting structures here and I haven't had a lens which snaps quick either unless the subject is 15 ft away. Also I'm looking forward to those in-your-face wide angle portrait shots.

Besides my 100mm and an FA J that doesn't even make a good paperweight, I have
nothing but MF lenses so AF is the dream, but I do have a split-prism screen (diy from
an old slr; messes metering) so MF is fun too. Anything sharp is fair game, hopefully as
good as I've got or better.

Already on the team are three I frequently use with my K10:

M 50mm F1.4 (K mount)
- the famous sharpie, but has a rather cool cast maybe due to some fungus speckles.
Also it's a pain to focus even with the prism in the tiny K10 VF at 1.4 so snapshot
glass it is not.

FA 100mm F2.8 Macro
- My second wife. I luvs me some macro. I hope she survives her recent outing in
the snow.

A 70-210mm F4 (Frankenzoom)
- Bought like-new for 60 bucks, gets the job done at the long end. (... for now, shhh.)

As you can see I lack width, unless we talk about my portly frame. Also I have thus far
avoided digital-only lenses but I figure I can bend to Hoya's will for the right glass
(Dear Full-Frame, thou art in heaven...). Lastly a small lens would fit in the current bag.

I will admit that some of the glass below (10%) I haven't researched, because i've only been reading reviews for a paltry three days solid. I've listed all the new wides less than 5 bills and their prices in yen. Many thanks.

-+The candidates+-
(divide by 100 for a fair approximation of USD prices, from champcamera.co.jp, kakaku.com and yahoo.jp on Feb 20 2010)

// = I'm leaning towards this

Pentax
//DA 15 F4 Limited - breaks the bank ¥50,000 (or more) and the hole in my range will be big. I haven't used wides before so will this be too extreme for a newbie?
//DA 21 F3.2AL Limited - ooooooh. ¥41,000 - the 70 Ltd is the same price btw.
//DA 35 F2.8 Macro Limited - ¥44,300 The very edge of my persuasive power; fifty bucks over budget? Noooothing!
FA 35 F2 AL - ¥37,000 - sharp enough?
DA 40 F 2.8 Limited - Not really wide enough, but for ¥31,000?

DA 10-17 F3.5-4.5 FISH-EYE - ¥41,000 Fish eye IS cool, after all.
//DA 16-45 F4 ED AL - Prices vary, avg ¥30,000 - worth it?
//DA 18-55 F3.5-5.6 AL WR - new at ¥15,000 (!) but will I be sad later? If I CAN spend more now... and the normal ALII is 50 bucks, so I could buy toys.
DA 17-70 F4 - barely affordable with luck on yahoo - sigma 17-70 is better, no?

Sigma
30mm F1.4 EX DC - ¥37,800 -?

//17-70 F2.8-4.5 DC MACRO - ¥35,800 (no HSM) - I hear it's nearly as sharp as a prime.
24-70 2.8 EX Macro - I suppose I lose wide for constant aperture - ¥41,000

Tamron
//SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] (Model A16) - ¥32,000

Voigtländer
COLOR SKOPAR 20mm F3.5 SLII - ¥42,000 and up. Tempted by coolness of name
40mm F/2 Ultron SLII - I assume this is MF only? ¥36,000 and up. Not so wide

02-26-2010, 11:15 PM   #2
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Location: Kagoshima, Japan
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Take a look at this: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographic-equipment-sale/91611-sale-%5...hard-find.html

Tom is a nice guy, got my M 35mm f/2 from him this week.
02-27-2010, 05:02 PM   #3
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Just1MoreDave's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
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Posts: 4,862
What I have from your list is the DA 18-55, DA 16-45 and FA 35/2. The DA 18-55 would help you stick a toe in the wide-angle pool, allow purchasing something like a flash, and is a pretty decent outdoor daytime lens. The DA 16-45 does not look very impressive on paper compared to the DA 18-55, but is a better performer in nearly all areas, particularily the wide end, colors and contrast. I think it's worth it. The drawback is the 45mm end, sometimes a bit short if that's the only lens you're carrying. The FA35/2 is a great lens, but you will eventually be looking for wider.

I would apply the same FA 35/2 advice to all the 30s, 35s and 40s. If you can find an inexpensive used DA 18-55 to go along with these, they are fine lenses in their own right. They just won't touch the wide-angle focal lengths.

I don't think that any of the lenses you're looking at have any serious flaws; they're all pretty good.
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