Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
04-26-2010, 02:27 PM   #1
Veteran Member
khardur's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW Massachusetts
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,496
can't decide what lens to buy, so I made a chart...

I've been pondering buying a new lens for weeks. (I won't admit to it being months) Kind of a 10th anniversary present my wife wants to get me, but she doesn't know what I need...

First off I never even realized I had so many genuine Pentax lenses. And multiple lenses covering basically the same focal lengths. Arghhh...!

So, here's what I've got:


Sheesh 5 lenses that cover 55mm... And what a generally mediocre bunch of craptastic lenses I've got too... The 40 is awesome, the 50-200 I got used, it's OK but the focusing makes a funny grinding sound. I still have to do more testing on the Pentax 28-70... I like the constant aperture, but I haven't had good luck with the focusing on that one.

But looking at the chart I'm definitely lacking on the wide angle, and that's what I've been wanting/lusting for anyway.
So it's come down to this: Pentax 15mm Limited or a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 zoom.

For my portrait work which is starting to pick up, the 17-50 would be more versatile and yet give me a wide angle option for landscapes. The 15mm wouldn't be my main lens in the studio setting, yet I have nothing even close to that focal length and I'm dying for a good wide angle.

So I'm stuck pondering for a few more weeks. Any thoughts, suggestions?


ps. I think I need to sell some of the overlapping lenses that don't get used!

04-26-2010, 02:38 PM   #2
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,312
I would look at a 10-20 or 12-24 mm lens as well as something in the 16/17-50/70mm range ideally at F2.8 and get rid of all zooms but the 50-200.
04-26-2010, 02:57 PM   #3
Senior Member




Join Date: May 2009
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Posts: 132
Not sure where you are in the world, but here in the UK the DA15 is about twice the price of the Tamron. The DA 15 is a wonderful lens, very well regarded, but you could get a Tamron 17-50 f2.8 AND another lens for what it costs now.
04-26-2010, 03:31 PM   #4
hcc
Pentaxian
hcc's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,482
I would go for a prime lens, and I agree with MrCynicla that the DA15 Ltd is a good choice. Review are Photozone.de: Pentax SMC-DA 15mm f/4 AL ED Limited - Review / Test Report.


04-26-2010, 03:38 PM   #5
Veteran Member
khardur's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW Massachusetts
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,496
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I would look at a 10-20 or 12-24 mm lens as well as something in the 16/17-50/70mm range ideally at F2.8 and get rid of all zooms but the 50-200.
Yes this is more or less what I was leaning towards.
I think the DA* 16-50 is out of my price range. The Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 (or sigma 18-50 f/2.8) solves my lack of *any* wide angle at all, plus versatility for portraits. (especially kid portraits where often times you may not have the luxury of time to change lenses)

The 15mm or an ultra-wide zoom may come later, but for right now I think the 16/17/18-50 range would probably be the best choice, since I only have funds to add one lens right now.
04-26-2010, 03:47 PM   #6
axl
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Nove Zamky, Slovakia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,181
are you prime guy or zoom guy?
or you are not really fussed?
04-26-2010, 03:54 PM   #7
Inactive Account




Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Michigan, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,485
What I would do if I wanted to get scientific about it (instead of my normal just gotta have it type purchase) is look at the most used Focal length (or range) overall. Then use That to decide which of your current lenses to replace.

Me, Myself,Personally, I, would never choose a short zoom over a Pentax Limited Prime lens but again, that's just me. I don't think it's much good for actual Portraits but you basically have that range covered. As for catching the kiddies in action, the wider lens will give you more space to catch them in. Many want the FA50 as a portrait lens, your DA40 isn't too far off of that.

04-26-2010, 06:25 PM   #8
Veteran Member
khardur's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW Massachusetts
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,496
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
are you prime guy or zoom guy?
or you are not really fussed?
bah this isn't helping.
I used to say "it doesn't really matter to me" and I was always a zoom guy before, because I didn't have money to buy better glass/primes to cover various lengths. But just one glance at my stats in Lightroom says "primes" all the way...

AND - I've got portraits covered with the DA40. (it's so razor sharp even at f/2.8, and the focus is dead on with my K200D. Even if I wanted to do a full length portrait I can back up to the back wall, maybe I'd have trouble if I had someone 7' tall in my space, but then again, I'd have other problems there too...

I might sell the FA 28-70 and the Tamron zoom (people might at least pay $20 for the adaptall mount... LOL) but the Sigma 28-105 is not bad at all, and would cover me for doing outdoor/candid shots when the need arises. I'll have to do a few tests between the FA28-70 and the 28-105 just to see what kind of sharpness I'm getting at the wider apertures, and some real world tests to see which one I can let go, or if both of them are unsatisfactory for what I want to do.


QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
What I would do if I wanted to get scientific about it (instead of my normal just gotta have it type purchase) is look at the most used Focal length (or range) overall. Then use That to decide which of your current lenses to replace.

Me, Myself,Personally, I, would never choose a short zoom over a Pentax Limited Prime lens but again, that's just me. I don't think it's much good for actual Portraits but you basically have that range covered. As for catching the kiddies in action, the wider lens will give you more space to catch them in. Many want the FA50 as a portrait lens, your DA40 isn't too far off of that.

You're right, and I'm starting to think it would be more redundancy if I got something that, at the long end, was about equal to the DA40. And I'm pretty sure the 40's got most everything else beat as far as focusing speed too.



Curse you all, plus I've been watching jsherman's thread on the 15mm for a while now. Oh how nice that lens looks.

Maybe I'll take another week or two, do a bunch of real world testing on my current stuff to see what has to go, and then decide.

04-27-2010, 12:26 AM   #9
axl
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Nove Zamky, Slovakia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,181
so If you say primes all the way then here is what I think:
You have 4 good lenses (OK, 40 and 55/1.8 are excellent), and I'd keep the 28-70 from Pentax. Why? It's SMC and it has constant aperture.
Then question: long end or short end?
I mean for portraits you are covered by 40+55. You have 100 macro and 150 tele. Only gap there is around 70-85mm. You have some excellent choices in that area. Cheapest would be M85/2. I just got one and I'm loving it! If you prefer ltd lenses... well 70 or 77... you can toss a coin...

on the wide end, you don't have anything below your 28mm zooms. But do you need it?!? I mean, you have managed without it until now. What do your stats say? Do you shoot often on 28mm?
If primes, there is againg couple of good options. 21ltd would be great match to 40. FA20/2.8 is reportedly excellent lens. If you want wider you have 14and15. Or get wide/UWA zoom. Something like DA12-24 or Sigma 10-20.
Temporary measure: get DA18-55 (or 16-45) and M85 (DA70) that should sort you out for a while....
04-27-2010, 03:08 AM   #10
Senior Member
summonbaka's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Kagoshima, Japan
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 237
People seem to omit most of the time third party lenses (mostly with a reason). But a sigma wide angle could also fit the bill. The 20, 24 seem good options also. I haven't used them but afaik they are good. I shoot also in film so that's my reason to choose those instead of the DA 15 or 21. But head to head, I might choose a Pentax one (yes, i'm also biased). The 12-24 is also a great lens. If you want to do portraits, search for a screwmount 85mm or so. They are cheap, good, and can be had if you have patience.
04-27-2010, 04:42 AM   #11
Loyal Site Supporter
dadipentak's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,073
QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
are you prime guy or zoom guy?
He's a chart guy (like me ;~)
04-27-2010, 07:36 AM   #12
Pentaxian
ivoire's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: chicago burbs
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,356
I'd sell the 28-70's and the 50-200, then get the 12-24mm or 17-50mm (if i needed f2.8)
04-27-2010, 09:41 AM   #13
Veteran Member
rparmar's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 8,783
QuoteOriginally posted by khardur Quote
For my portrait work which is starting to pick up, the 17-50 would be more versatile and yet give me a wide angle option for landscapes. The 15mm wouldn't be my main lens in the studio setting, yet I have nothing even close to that focal length and I'm dying for a good wide angle.
Wide angle lenses are not for landscapes. This is some sort of a popular myth: since the world is wide we need a wide angle to cover it. But a wide angle lens has the effect of pushing away and diminishing anything that is not close to it, which means everything in the landscape. Mountains become hills and hills become molehills. This is not the way to build a dramatic or interesting shot.

What a wide angle is good for is enclosed spaces, not open spaces. Interiors, narrow streets, markets, walls. And any time you want to emphasise or even distort the dimensionality of something close to the lens.

That's why you will see tons of landscape photos with a wide angle published in certain glossy magazines. They all have some bold object taking up all the interesting room in the foreground. To me this approach is a trick shot I am tired of, like anything shot with a fish-eye. (If you want this effect, the best lens would be the DA14, since it has closer focus.)

Last time I went shooting a landscape I took a 43mm and 105mm lens. I also find that 28mm is pretty useful. Of course it would not be impossible to use 15mm, but there are better choices IMO.

I think you need a fast prime more than anything, so you can see what you are missing with your "mediocre" zooms. But maybe if you sell them all off then getting a 17-50 f/2.8 would be a good choice for you. Certainly you will find 17mm to be a world of difference from 28mm.

If you want wide angle, the best and most versatile is the DA12-24mm. The only reason to get the DA15mm is size. It is as good as but no better than the zoom and you miss out on 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24mm.

EDIT: To be clear... I realise this same argument could be made for any zoom; it's better than a prime since it covers more focal lengths. But only on the wide end does each mm make a really different shot. The difference between, say, 50mm and 55mm is not as pronounced. Besides this, one can always step closer in portraiture and other applications, but one cannot always step back to get a wider image of, say, an entire room.

Last edited by rparmar; 04-27-2010 at 12:38 PM.
04-27-2010, 09:52 AM   #14
Moderator
Site Supporter
Blue's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Florida Hill Country
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 17,166
khardur,

In your chart, you have an M55mm f1.8 listed and it should be k 55mm f1.8.

Edit: Since you are leaning towards being a prime guy, I think a good place to start would be with the DA 15mm ltd or even the DA 21mm ltd since you currently have the DA 40mm and the K 55mm f1.8. (Of course another possibility would be a DA 70mm/FA 77mm later on).

Last edited by Blue; 04-27-2010 at 10:02 AM.
04-27-2010, 01:11 PM   #15
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 484
QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
He's a chart guy (like me ;~)
Charts rule!


On a more serious note, you are seriously lacking in the wide department. I have the 16-50mm, which stays on my camera about 90% of the time. It's such a useful focal range, and I use the wide range a LOT, even for portraits.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
angle, k-mount, lens, lenses, pentax, pentax lens, slr lens, weeks
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Chart of Pentax Compatible Lens TimB5388 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 4 02-23-2009 09:20 PM
Cant decide which one to buy? Need Help Atindra Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10 10-24-2008 02:22 AM
Pentax Lens Reference Chart - June 2008 cputeq Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 15 06-01-2008 03:04 PM
Pentax Lens Reference Chart - May 2008 cputeq Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 21 05-22-2008 09:55 AM
Almost every manual is here & Pentax Lens Chart Peter Zack Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 1 06-24-2007 07:11 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:46 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top