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03-18-2012, 08:01 AM   #1
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K-01 Walkaround kit - 15mm X 21mm?

Hi Folks,

I'm planning on buying a K-01 for myself. I already have a K-r which I'm very happy with it, just wish it was better for manual focus. But I'm thinking that the K-01 with a small pancake lens would be easier to carry. Just put it my wife's purse and take it with us to more places. The K-r we just take when with go to places with the single purpose to take pictures. Also with everybody saying focus peaking is a dream is making me very interested in using it with the SMC-A 50mm f1.2 and the D-FA 100mm Macro I own. Having a second camera also means no need to share the K-r when we go to take pictures together (my wife is actually the better photographer of the couple ).

Since the idea is to take more of those common pictures (family, friends, etc) but also be with a great camera for when that great image shows up (it kills me when I see something great and I only have my cellphone camera ) the K-01 + small pancake seem to fit the bill. But I'm thinking that maybe the 40mm XS isn't wide enough, which makes me think to purchase either a 15mm or a 21mm with it.
So I'm asking for some opinions on which to choose. The 21mm is a bit thinner (1.5 cm thinner) than the 15mm so I'm a bit inclined to it, but I wonder if it's wide enough for it's intended purpose. Can I easily fit a group of people with it and also take a great street shot? What about the 15mm? Or maybe I'm wrong and just the 40mm is enough?

Thanks for the help!


03-18-2012, 08:05 AM   #2
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The 40 is better for people shots as you will have less distortion (can't get away with it with WA lenses). The 15 Ltd is an awesomely creative lens, but not for people. Around 30mm is perfect IMHO so maybe also consider the 35/2.4 ? Not much to lose by giving it a try since it's so cheap but has great IQ.
03-18-2012, 08:39 AM   #3

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Two lens options worth consideration based on optical ability alone; and NOT size consideration...

Pentax 31mm f 1.8... This is probably the best optical lens that Pentax makes for that focal length range; and it's wide enough for most people; most uses.

But if the above mentioned option isn't quite wide enough, there's the...

Pentax 14mm f 2.8... But some have stated the obvious; that for the focal length the size and weight of the lens are significant. There's also the issue of having the 77mm filters on the front of the lens, also for more creative photographers, that... IF stacking filters that vignetting might become an option unless opting to go with a step up adapter to an even larger size filter. This lens is quite impressive minus the size and weight issue, but is *about* as wide a lens as one would want that is still a full frame without the circular fish eye images.

But something that didn't make this posting is the prices. One can also find a good variety of Pentax wide angle zoom lens' as well at even below the price level of the two above mentioned lens'.
03-18-2012, 08:48 AM   #4
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I run into the need to take casual family pics at most affairs and I swtch from the 31 to the 77 depending. I agree that a 40 would probably be the best option. The 21 was good for three people, but watch depth of field as a curved group will have someone out of focus. The 31 is good for 2 and the 77 gives tight crops of one. I plan to get the 40 X with the K-01 for a real one lens party option.

03-18-2012, 09:51 AM   #5
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I'll base my comments, not on the specific lenses (I ain't got any) but on my use of these FLs. I shot a pancake 40 and a bigger 21 for a few days each very recently; I shoot a fast 28 CF constantly (close enough to 31!); I use my Tamron 10-24 at 15mm often enough.

I'll partly agree and partly disagree with the above suggestions. Yes, I think 40mm is a good FL for people-shots (1 person). Yes, I think 15mm is excellent for many purposes -- but not for individuals or small groups of people. Yes, I think 31mm is excellent for general purposes, as it's close to 'normal' for the camera format -- but 'normal' can require careful framing; the FL doesn't make excitement. I'll suggest 21mm as the best 'street' focal length.

'Normal' FL is great for reproducing what one eye sees, and for getting distortion-free scenes, but making interesting compositions can take effort; un-normal FLs give a boost for us lazy folks. 15mm shrinks people and places, is OK for shooting from the hip, but IMHO isn't really a general-purpose FL. 40mm is good for concentrating on features. And 21mm is just a great wide-but-not-too-wide FL, with manageable edge distortion, and vertical or horizontal exaggeration when wanted. The DA21Ltd is the next candidate for my ultralight minikit.

Last edited by RioRico; 03-18-2012 at 11:13 AM.
03-18-2012, 11:05 AM   #6
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I'm still in testing mode with my K-01, so not yet any careful photographs to post.

Right at this moment I have an FA35/2 mounted. With that lens on my K10D I can do a head/torso shot of 4 people standing close together 8 - 10 feet distant. At least in my world that is living room distance. It isn't quite a pancake lens but I'll give that up for the IQ I get with the K-01 / FA35/2. I'm just gobsmacked at what that sensor pulls out of an FA35/2.

I do have the DA40Ltd. and I have used it quite often outdoors on the K-01 but it is just that much more challenging for the documentary shots the OP wants. I didn't get the XS kit lens.
03-18-2012, 11:28 AM   #7
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You should know that the 21 Ltd actually produces more distortion than the 15 Ltd and so should really be avoided for people shots.

From Photozone :

15 Ltd (on K10D) : The DA 15mm f/4 Ltd produces moderate barrel distortions (~1.5%) - this is comparatively low although you may spot the problem in very critical situations.

21 Ltd (comments when tested on both K10D and K5) : The DA 21mm f/3.2 produces a relatively pronounced degree of barrel distortions (~2%) - this is not dramatic but a bit higher than expected/desirable for a newly designed fix-focal lens.

I'd stay with a 28-31mm for your people shots !
04-21-2012, 04:53 PM   #8
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I struggle with my 15 for the people shots you are talking about, unless the frame has quite a bit of background in it (which is fine... just be aware of that). You can crop it down to the DA 21 if you are willing to lose 50% of your pixels.

The 28, on the other hand, is not quite wide enough to be all purpose. The 21 has more barrel distortion but that can easily be fixed on a computer. The 21 will not distort a person unless you are taking a headshot. It is generally more flexible than the 15 and a little faster, too, which is helpful at night time on the street.

I've recently decided that I only want two lenses in my life. The 15 is really addictive, but is more limiting than I had hoped. When I go for walks with only the 15, I get great shots, but miss just as many because I can't physically stand where I would need to to get a good photo. The 21 is less susceptible to key stoning, more appropriate for photos of people, and a little faster, and smaller. For an all purpose walk around prime, I can't think of a better Pentax option.

I'm not sure if I have the heart to sell the 15, but I can't do the kinds of things you want to do with it very easily. The 21 would get my vote.

04-22-2012, 03:01 AM   #9
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Might be worth waiting to see what that new K-01 lens (with protruding rear element) turns out to be.
04-22-2012, 03:48 AM   #10
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DA21 and DA40. So small. So cool. Add a DA70 and boom! perfect three lens kit for the K-01.
Note to self; buy a DA70....
04-22-2012, 08:45 AM   #11
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I went through the same thoughts and went with the 21mm. I am finding it on my camera more than the 40mm, as most of my picture taking is of the family and friends! A lot indoors, in small low light environments like restaurants. The 21mm gives me a good FL, the 40mm is good for 1 or sometimes 2 people, but for more people, the 21mm is better. I also have the FA50/1.4 which is great in low light, but in these typical environments it remains a single person portrait lens for me.
04-22-2012, 03:15 PM   #12
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wait for the new XS lens, probably a wide angle
04-22-2012, 03:33 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
DA21 and DA40. So small. So cool. Add a DA70 and boom! perfect three lens kit for the K-01.
That *is* about a perfect 3-lens kit, small for a small camera, and following a focal-length numerology rule: Each lens is roughly 1/2 the length of the next. Even more minimal: The DA21Ltd and an F35-70. Keep a little M135/3.5 in your bag for long shots and your bases are covered, from close groups and 'scapes out to far headshots and almost-macro. For real macro, a Raynox DCR-250 with 49-43mm step ring on the F35-70 takes it to 1:1.5. Weights of this stuff:

* DA21Ltd: 140g
* F35-70: 230g
* M135/3.5: 270g
* DCR-250: 80g (with step ring)

If you don't need reach, skip the M135, and everything weighs 450g / 16oz. A nice tidy ultralight minikit. For comparison:

* DA40Ltd: 90g
* DA40XS: 55g
* DA70Ltd: 130g

OK, so the F35-70 weighs a little more than a DA40+DA70. But then you need extra hoods, caps, and especially money.
12-02-2012, 02:04 PM   #14
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Good thread, as I am pondering the exact same choice. Came back to Pentax after trying some other options. Picked up a K-01 kit w/ the 40 XS and a 70 ltd, so now I am trying to decide on a WA prime or a WA zoom.

Last edited by mwcfire; 12-02-2012 at 02:15 PM.
12-02-2012, 02:45 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by mwcfire Quote
Good thread, as I am pondering the exact same choice. Came back to Pentax after trying some other options. Picked up a K-01 kit w/ the 40 XS and a 70 ltd, so now I am trying to decide on a WA prime or a WA zoom.
Well you are good with your primes, so you are spoiled with the image quality. I think the Da21mm would make a great lens and it a huge step from the 40mm lens.

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