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03-01-2014, 06:01 AM   #1
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New to K01 : help me choose my first prime?

Hi all,

after 3 years of K7 action I've decided I need to change my photography style / gear. The K7's been a trusty companion throughout many travels but it has been gathering dust for the last 8 months (I've settled a bit, city life routine etc...). I was also underwhelmed by the sensor and want to play around with a good one now. I almost bought a K5IIs but couldn't justify the high price here in Europe, and having played around with the gf's Fuji X20 I really enjoyed the small form-factor and how it did expand the possibilities of catching impromptu moments thanks to its small size / carryability.

I will probably return to dslr and buy a K3 in a year or two, until then to play around and reignite my interest I've just ordered a used yet mint (2200 shuttercounts) K01 for 200 euros. I've also decided to ditch my zooms and invest over the course of the coming months in prime primes. Until now the only one I had was the trusty Sigma 30 1.4 which was my first k7 lens and which I really enjoyed shooting with. It is also the lens that showed me what sharpness and composition study means when compared to zooms.

As such I'm parting with my Sigma 17-70 1st gen, my Pentax 17-70 sdm, my Tamron/Pentax 18-250 (which is non-functionnal beyond 100mm, it must have some displaced lens as anything above is blurry/offset ; is this kind of problem serviceable?) and the trusty sigma to fund my future primes buying spree. The only one I'm keeping for now is the awesomely surprising sigma 10-20mm, just for fun.

So long story short I need your opinion on which prime to get first! Do all primes focus correctly on the K01 or are there some issues I should know about? I want sharpness, portability, acceptable AF performance and Pentax colors first.

The only one I am certain I'll get is the mighty 15mm Limited. Now I would like opinions on higher fl, say between 24 and 70mm. There are so many options it is really hard to make one's mind up, especially with such an odd body format as the K01. The only zoom I could consider if it ever comes out would be the sigma 18-35 but at 800g+ it wouldn't make any sense on a K01.

I can't buy all my lenses at the same time so I'd like to know what fellow pentaxians think should be my first one. I usually shoot street, night (I was long obsessed with getting fast lenses but suppose the K01's great ISO perfs lessen the need for very luminous glass) and wide. I want to try my hand at proper portraits. In the end I'll probably keep a 15mm limited, something between 24 to 35mm and a short 50 to +/- 70mm telephoto.

Options I've perused are :

F 28mm 2.8
XS 40mm
FA 43mm limited
DA 50mm 1.8
F / FA 50mm 1.7 or 1.4 ?
F / FA 50mm 2.8 macro

I'm wondering if I should just get the 15mm and start off with that since after seeing the threads and reviews it is pretty clear this is a must have and one I'll surely keep or start with something more versatile focal-length wise...

Thanks in advance for your precious input!



sk.

03-01-2014, 08:47 AM   #2
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I'd send the 18-250 off for repair (they can repair that most likely) and keep it, then since you're keeping your 30 I've heard the FA43 is great, and of the primes I've had the only ones I've liked so far are the DA40xs and the F 50 f/1.7. Both perform fine on the K-01, but are noisy when autofocusing.
03-01-2014, 09:11 AM   #3
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In terms of the COVERAGE you want, I'd say go for something in your 50-70ish slot, since you have a wide zoom and fast normal already and say you want to do portraits. But I think you'll find the K-01/40mm XS combo pretty sweet. Some find it an awkward in-between focal length, but I like it. (Not as much as I like 28, but still.)
03-01-2014, 09:14 AM   #4
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Well since you have and keep the Sigma 30mm and 10-20mm I would suggest:

- DA*55mm/f1.4
- FA 77mm/f1.8

03-01-2014, 10:04 AM   #5
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Thanks all!

I won't be keeping the 30mm, I want to replace it with something new and if I really miss it then i'll buy it again, maybe the SDM version next time.

I'm wondering if the quality difference between the XS 40 and the 43mm limited justify the price difference... any thoughts?

Voice of reason : the samsung tamron 18-250 is long out of warranty, any online repair services you can recommend? I could email them sample shots and ask for a quote...

Ron, any recommendable cheaper/older alternatives in the 55-80 bracket? Since I probably (?) will use the FL exclusively for portraits I'm not sure I want to spend that much (600$) without toying around beforehand in that focal lenght.

Appreciate your replies all,

sk.
03-01-2014, 12:33 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by skawa Quote
Voice of reason : the samsung tamron 18-250 is long out of warranty, any online repair services you can recommend? I could email them sample shots and ask for a quote....
I just had my Tamron 17-50 repaired by Tamron. It cost me 155 dollars, and was definitely worth it. It was like getting a new lens back. They had to realign a lens element, and while they did it it got a complete cleaning too. I would definitely contact them on it.

KEH also does lens repairs too. You might contact them for a quote.
03-01-2014, 01:03 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by skawa Quote
Ron, any recommendable cheaper/older alternatives in the 55-80 bracket? Since I probably (?) will use the FL exclusively for portraits I'm not sure I want to spend that much (600$) without toying around beforehand in that focal lenght.
Well you actually make giving advice very simple. You need to buy the DA*55mm. That is for aps-c by far the best portraitlens.
03-02-2014, 04:46 AM   #8
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I recently acquired F28/28 and it works well on the K 01

03-02-2014, 11:37 PM   #9
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My first prime for the k-01 was the da 35mm f2.4. Just got it a few days ago. Great lens and stupid cheap. See the pentax price watch thread for a crazy good deal on one.
03-02-2014, 11:52 PM   #10
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The DA21 is my favourite lens on the K-01. Its natural partners are the DA40 and DA70, which make an incredible, compact three lens kit. The latter is a wonderful portrait lens with a tiny footprint.
03-06-2014, 06:08 AM   #11
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I have a K-01 and several of the lenses you have or want (10-20, da15 ltd) and on the K-01, nice small compact lenses are a treat.
03-07-2014, 07:12 AM   #12
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I tend to agree with both Sandy and Hoffo: my most frequently used lens on the K-01 is the DA 21, which has exactly the right size and focal length for everyday use. The DA 35mm f/2.4 has a value for money which can not be beaten. The DA 40mm XS is also a nice one, but is a bit long for my taste (no, not its dimension, but its focal length)
03-08-2014, 09:53 PM   #13
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I absolutely love the results I get with the DA70mm on my K-01.

If you have a wide lens, this one is its polarity.

I also agree with Sandy; it's a great portrait lens, and a great long street lens.

If I could have only two primes, I'd choose a DA15 or 21, and the 70.

Good luck.

Mike
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