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01-07-2012, 02:21 PM   #1
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Dream Lens Setup

Greetings:

After much debate, I have decided to upgrade to a K-5. I am also seeking to build out the best lens set that I can buy. So, based on my research (which is mostly trolling this and a few other sites), I have tentatively settled on the following lens collection. Because you are all so much more experienced with both photography and with Pentax, I'd love some advice about what I've selected.

I will be doing a fairly diverse mixture of indoor and outdoor photography, including the occasional portrait and kids' sporting events. Here's what I'm considering:

FA 43mm F1.9 Limited
FA 77mm F1.9 Limited
DA* 50-135mm F2.8 ED IF SDM

Because of the cost, I would like to get as much advice as possible before diving in. Any thoughts and opinions are welcome.

Thanks!

01-07-2012, 02:45 PM   #2
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Well, you've already got one of the premier Pentax walk-around lenses so you have that covered. Those are all highly rated and thought of lenses. Just one question: have you used something like ExposurePlot to look at what focal lengths you use most now with your K10D and 18-250? That would be the strongest guide as to focal lengths in primes to purchase that you could use.

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01-07-2012, 03:02 PM   #3
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Something in the 18-70 range in 2.8 might be nice.
Jake
01-07-2012, 03:32 PM   #4
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So I guess you don't look into wide-angle. All three lenses are very good. The only downside to the DA*50-135mm is its slow focussing, when you try sports. One option could be to replace the 43mm with a 31mm.

01-07-2012, 11:24 PM   #5
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I had DA50-135 and FA77 at the same time once and ended up selling FA77 because I hardly used it, since I got zoom lens. Optically they're close, SDM is much more precise than screwdrive AF on FA77, but Ron is right about its slow speed. But DA50-135 has a downside, it is quite big lens especially for the camera like k-5, although more versatile. If I were you, i would choose only one of those two lenses and spared funds invest in another glass - perhaps FA31? FA43 is great lens, my personal best of FA limiteds....
01-08-2012, 12:44 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by KensingtonPark Quote
Greetings:

After much debate, I have decided to upgrade to a K-5. I am also seeking to build out the best lens set that I can buy. So, based on my research (which is mostly trolling this and a few other sites), I have tentatively settled on the following lens collection. Because you are all so much more experienced with both photography and with Pentax, I'd love some advice about what I've selected.

I will be doing a fairly diverse mixture of indoor and outdoor photography, including the occasional portrait and kids' sporting events. Here's what I'm considering:

FA 43mm F1.9 Limited
FA 77mm F1.9 Limited
DA* 50-135mm F2.8 ED IF SDM

Because of the cost, I would like to get as much advice as possible before diving in. Any thoughts and opinions are welcome.

Thanks!
How about group shots? If you do these, then you would need something a little wider, like the DA*16-50/2.8 or the Tamron/Sigma 17-50/2.8 or Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.0. All of which are good for indoor and outdoor.

Why not select the Tamron/Sigma 70-200/2.8 instead? They are very good for sports.

I have both the DA*16-50/2.8 and the DA18-135 WR (which I use for holidays) and both are good indoors and outdoors, especially the DA for its long reach of 135.
01-08-2012, 01:47 AM   #7
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Are you comfortable with primes?
If not, a few zooms may be a better option to start off.

IMHO, I really don't know if there are absolute best lenses as there are so many good/great lenses avaliable out there.
There are the ones where budget is a concern and those where they aren't.

So my list :

Budget Zooms
--------------------
Sigma 10-20
Tamron 17-50/2.8
Tamron 28-75/2.8
Tamron 70-200/2.8


Large Budget Zooms
------------------------------
Pentax 12-24
Sigma 8-16
Pentax 16-50/2.8
Pentax 50-135/2.8


Budget Primes (~$400-600 ea though; except 35/2.4)
--------------------
Sigma 24/1.8; 28/1.8
Sigma 30/1.4
Sigma 50/1.4
Pentax 35/2.4
Pentax 50/1.4
Pentax 100/2.8 macro WR


More costly primes
---------------------------
DA15/4
DA21/3.2
FA31ltd
FA43ltd
FA77ltd
Sigma 85/1.4
DA200/2.8


I've not listed old lenses nor MF lenses.
You can mix and match of course.
01-08-2012, 03:07 AM   #8
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FA31Ltd as standard lens; personally I find 43mm far too long as a standard lens but you can check it yourself by putting your 18-250 on 43mm for a week and checking if you can get most of the shots that you want.

70-200/2.8 as sports lens; you might need that extra reach.

Can not advise on dedicated portrait lens.

And you might be missing something wide.

01-08-2012, 03:18 AM   #9
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Just cover 35ish, 50ish and 85 ish (35mm equiv) @ f2.8 or faster and you won't want for much. Zooms or primes, whatever you prefer.
01-08-2012, 08:47 AM   #10
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50-135 duplicates 43 and 77 - why? If you want dedicated 43 and 77 mm lenses with large aperture, tell us why... do you need two lenses for portraits?
why do you want FA lenses (43/77)? DA lenses are more advanced, but with smaller max. aperture.

I am about to sell my 77 for a 55 mm lens. 77 is too long for my idea of a protrait lens in APS-C. The 55 is SDM focus, quite addictive. If you want the 50-135 SDM, get te 55/1.4 if you want a dedicated lens for portrait. The 43 is a nice lens, but plays somewhere in nowhere land on the APS-C sensor. In my opinion you only need the 43 in case you also buy the 77 as the 77 is too long and the 43 is too short for general portraits. Consider a 24 mm lens before a second portrait lens, 24 mm would equal a classic wide angle (the 35 mm days 35 mm lens).

Get the 50-135 as first universal lens, then decide what focal length to add for portraits - large aperture 55DA or 77FA. Use the zoom lens to decide what focal length YOU prefer for portraiture, previous post suggests all kinds of focal lengths based on personal opinion, price or other reasons. Find out for yourself.
01-08-2012, 09:46 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by KensingtonPark Quote
Greetings:

I will be doing a fairly diverse mixture of indoor and outdoor photography, including the occasional portrait and kids' sporting events. Here's what I'm considering:

FA 43mm F1.9 Limited
FA 77mm F1.9 Limited
DA* 50-135mm F2.8 ED IF SDM

Because of the cost, I would like to get as much advice as possible before diving in. Any thoughts and opinions are welcome.

Thanks!
I have all of these plus the FA 31mm Ltd... which is a very good lens. They all work for me. I really prefer using primes but sometimes, you just have to have that zoom.
01-08-2012, 10:19 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by KensingtonPark Quote
I will be doing a fairly diverse mixture of indoor and outdoor photography, including the occasional portrait and kids' sporting events. Here's what I'm considering:

FA 43mm F1.9 Limited
FA 77mm F1.9 Limited
DA* 50-135mm F2.8 ED IF SDM
I have the 43mm & the 50-135, they are both great but don't normally take them out together. I use the 43 as part of a 21mm/70mm prime lightweight set and the 50-135 combined with the 16-50mm.

43mm is not that wide to use indoors. You could add the 21mm or 16-50 to your kit and cover most options. They are both great lenses.
01-08-2012, 10:34 AM   #13
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Just as I thought, and usually happens, you got a lot of opinions based on what others like in focal lengths. My original question still stands - have you analyzed your own preferences based on the shots you have already taken to see where they cluster in terms of focal length? There is no substitute for actual data in these issues (when its available as it is here).
01-08-2012, 10:56 AM   #14
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Me, I'd add the 15/4 Limited and sub the 31/1.8 Limited or Sigma 30/1.4 for the 43. But I tend to see a little wider.
01-08-2012, 11:16 AM   #15
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hmm, not knowing specifically how you shoot, my impression of that plan is you'll need a wide lens for those indoor shots, 15 or 21-ish maybe. also, the 50-135 would be a waste to me except at the long end and for the sports functions, 135 is definitely not long enough. I'd get a 70-200 instead and reduce some of the overlap. from 60-85mm, i'd find a way to use the 77mm instead of the zoom.
despite all our input here, it is better to ask yourself the important questions of how you'll be using the kit. Also, there is nothing wrong with buying lenses and selling those to buy other lenses until you settle into your best rig, have fun and good luck!
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