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06-30-2011, 09:21 PM   #1
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Walk Around Prime Advice

I am blessed to own a K-5 and did not get a kit lens with it. I like primes having a Pentax 100mm Macro and an old M 50mm f 1.7 and I LIKE them.
So- I do not at this time care to purchase any of the available standard zooms and chose to shoot with primes. I was hoping to get some advice as to which of the following three lenses would be ideal as a walk around based on the users personal experience with any or all of these lenses.
I like to zoom with my feet.

Here is my list: and my thoughts:

Sigma 30 mm f 1.4 fast, but maybe to wide.
Pentax DA 35 mm Limited Macro f 2.8 - sharp enought to hurt youself and built like a tank. May be the ideal focal length but not that fast but it is on a K-5 so no big deal.
Pentax DA 40mm Limited - already have a 50mm but it is MF
Price is not of consideration as I consider these to me all in the same order of magnitude. I don't think I can save enough pennies for the Pentax FA 31mm f1.9

I shoot mostly landscapes.
Also have a K200D and a Sigma 10-20 mm UWA which are fantastic

I would love to hear thoughts from those that have used any or all of these.
Yes, I have read all the reviews and have done more pixel peeping than any human being should.

TIA for any and all comments.

06-30-2011, 09:42 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by uptheriver Quote
Here is my list: and my thoughts:

Sigma 30 mm f 1.4 fast, but maybe to wide.
Pentax DA 35 mm Limited Macro f 2.8 - sharp enought to hurt youself and built like a tank. May be the ideal focal length but not that fast but it is on a K-5 so no big deal.
Pentax DA 40mm Limited - already have a 50mm but it is MF
Price is not of consideration as I consider these to me all in the same order of magnitude. I don't think I can save enough pennies for the Pentax FA 31mm f1.9
The FA31 really nails all the requirements except price. But as they say, "the quality is appreicated long after the price is forgotten".

If you can't afford it though I'd look for the FA35 f/2.

There is also a DA 35mm f2.4, but maybe not fast enough?

Otherwise the Sigma 30 f/1.4
06-30-2011, 10:19 PM   #3
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I often carry just the 21 and a 50. 28/30/31 is nice when I want to simplify.
06-30-2011, 10:31 PM   #4
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I like my 35 mm macro the best and use it msot of the time. If you are doing landscapes, you might like the 21 mm pancake. I tend to walk around with the 21, 35, & 70 mms when I want a small kit to take around with ime

06-30-2011, 11:00 PM   #5
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I vote 35mm f2.4 (faster than the 2.8 still right?) and the 21mm. 35mm for walk around, 21mm for landscapes?
07-01-2011, 01:36 AM   #6
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This will depend on what focal length you will require. There are many lenses that will give you the "normal focal length", or close to it. I have used the Sigma 30 in Canon  OS mount, it is a good lens. But IMO it is just too big for the K5 ethos (small camera to be used with small primes).

I would go for the 35 macro limited, in fact, I am waiting for the arrival of one
07-01-2011, 01:45 AM   #7
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If you shoot mostly landscapes forget about the Sigma 30mm f/1.4, that lens is all about shallow DOF and subject isolation photography.
07-01-2011, 01:49 AM   #8
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When travelling overseas, I prefer to take 1 body + 1 lens. After 2 years of travel, my prefered setup are:

1 zoom lens = DA 18-250mm
or
1 prime lens = FA31mm f1.8

The FA31mm has a focal length that is not too wide nor too narrow. There is little distortion. The lens is further quite fast (f1.8) and this is useful for low light conditions. Most importantly, the IQ is outstanding.

If you can afford the FA31mm, you cannot get wrong.


07-01-2011, 06:56 AM   #9
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The 40 is my choice.
07-01-2011, 07:15 AM   #10
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Of your list you say you can justify or save enough for, the DA35 f2.8 has my vote. No experience with the others so I can't honestly recommend them. The FA31 is damn fine too but I already have one so I don't have to worry about the cost .

07-01-2011, 08:21 AM   #11
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I have two of the lenses on your list, an FA 35mm f2 and 40mm 2.8. I would recommend the 40mm as the preferred street lens for its discreet size and super quick AF. In low light the FA 35m tends to hunt more often. The aperture speed difference is more of a factor indoors, shouldn't matter outside.
07-01-2011, 08:29 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I have two of the lenses on your list, an FA 35mm f2 and 40mm 2.8. I would recommend the 40mm as the preferred street lens for its discreet size and super quick AF. In low light the FA 35m tends to hunt more often. The aperture speed difference is more of a factor indoors, shouldn't matter outside.
Maybe it's in some secret code but I don't see the FA35 on his list. I agree, it's a nice lens though I don't think it's worth its current inflated price. That's just my own view of it of course.

07-01-2011, 09:16 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Maybe it's in some secret code but I don't see the FA35 on his list.
Oops!

QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
I agree, it's a nice lens though I don't think it's worth its current inflated price. That's just my own view of it of course.

Depends on what you want it for. I chose the FA 35mm over the DA 35 and would do so again, even at the same price. I wanted the extra stop for indoors and I already have a lens more suited to macro than the 35mm. Unfortunately, the FA 35mm stock at B&H appears to be gone.
07-01-2011, 09:37 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Depends on what you want it for. I chose the FA 35mm over the DA 35 and would do so again, even at the same price. I wanted the extra stop for indoors and I already have a lens more suited to macro than the 35mm. Unfortunately, the FA 35mm stock at B&H appears to be gone.
I agree for the most part. It doesn't really matter, my opinion of the value though, I have both the DA35 and the FA31 (which also gives me the extra stop if I want it). I've had 2 copies of the FA35 at different times. One was nice and sharp even wide open, the other was not. It wasn't terrible but there was definitely a difference between the two. At the end of the day though, I've never liked the build of the FA non limited primes (35, 50, etc) and that is the main reason I let both of the FA35s go. If you can pick one up in the $350 or less range, it's still a good value. For the $400+ people seem to be asking for used copies, not so much IMO. I think B&H had a few from some found new old stock but the lens is out of production for a couple years now so New copies are going to be harder to come by, If that matters.

Good luck to the OP... All of the lenses will get you good results, I'm sure. It just comes down to what you want to spend and how much you want to carry. The real world difference (for what this is worth) between 35mm and 40mm is quite small in the grand scheme of things.

07-01-2011, 10:31 AM   #15
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From your list i would choose the DA 35 2.8 macro as it gives a sligthly wider than normal view and can do macro but i would ask you to look at the DA21 3.2 AL which i think is better for most landsacpe shooting especially cityscapes in confined areas.
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