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01-27-2016, 05:18 PM   #1
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Best Lens For Each Shooting Situation

I have a K3, which I recently purchased, and I am running it through its paces with the various lenses that I have. I am interested in what others are selecting to optimize their shots (and why) in the categories shown below. I would be very interested in your reasoning and the unique ways that you use the lenses that you highlight. I am reviewing the lenses I have and I am interested in adding to my collection if warranted based on the ideas ofothers. I am sure that some of your lenses may fall into more than one category, if so, please include. I have the following lenses( SMC Pentax FA 43 1.9f;SMC Pentax DA 50 f1.8; SMC Pentax FA 77f1.8; SMC Pentax FA 28-200 f3.8-5.6; Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4; Sigma 18-250 f3.5-6.3 Macro HSM; Sigma 50-500 f4.5-6.3 OSHSM (Bigma); Quantaray LDO Macro 70-300 f4-5.6)
I have indicated which lenses I generally use under the noted conditions. What is your go to lens or lenses for scenes calling for a:

Wide angle: Sigma 17-70 f2.8 Lens gives verygood results throughout its range and allows close-up/cropping qualities because of the zoom.

Macro: Sigma17-70 I have caught some wonderful photos of flowers and insects with this lens; also, the Sigma 18-250, which I recently purchased. This has very good flexibility for very close and zooming to catch an object at a distance.

Portrait: Pentax FA 43; Pentax FA 77 Both are superb lens; however I would give top billing to the Pentax FA 77(sharpness, bokeh, speed, magical qualities)

Telephoto (near/far): near with macro capabilities Sigma 18-250 (this is rather new and I have not explored its capabilities); for more reach and to capture wonderful photos of wildlife the Sigma 50-500. I have been very happy with the results that I have received from "Bigma".

General walk around lenses: Pentax 43;Pentax 77; Sigma 17-70. The Pentax lenses for their overall picture quality and the Sigma for its flexibility.


Last edited by MRCDH; 01-28-2016 at 11:52 AM. Reason: spacing, spelling
01-27-2016, 05:31 PM   #2
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12-24 for wide angle. It's wider than the 15 and longer than the 21. Most of its bulk is the hood :-)

If you want true macro, get a macro lens. Any of them are pretty good but I had a Tamron 90. It also works as a medium telephoto.

A Sigma or Tamron 70-200 f2.8 is a nice lens for that range. With this, your Bigma, and your other primes you can dump the 18/28-200/250's unless you wanted to keep one as a true single lens option.
01-27-2016, 05:38 PM   #3
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Wide angle - DA21, recently acquired, is ruling the roost here; the 15 is too wide for general use, and both my zooms that start at 18mm are so much larger that I'm happy to lose the extra 3mm for lightness and compactness.

Macro - for work, where it really matters, the DA35 Limited rules for me; I need to swing between ultra close up and fairly wide FOV, so the 100 just doesn't cut it here, though it does a stellar job on the slimy things my children bring in from the garden. That being said, for "fun" macro I've recently laid my hands on an M42 bellows, reversing ring and some extension tubes, so literally everything with a 49mm front filter or an M42 mount has been getting a go as a macro lens recently (the results from the DA15 with the aperture lever held open are most impressive).

Portrait - DA70 Limited. No competition, no argument, no correspondence entered into. This lens rocks, and will rule the roost in the portrait division for me until such time as I might obtain an FA 77.

Tele - for the dry, or for indoors in good light, the DA 18-250; for the wet, snow or other inclement environments, it's the 18-135 WR.

Walkaround - DA40 is the general purpose king here, but as I have recently acquired the DA15 and 21 Limiteds, I'll be giving them a go next time I'm strolling around a big city. I have from time to time fitted the FA 28-90 kit zoom to my K5, and while it's far from the best lens Pentax ever made, its plastic construction means it's wonderfully light (much more so than either of my superzooms), which makes it nice to have for quick trips to the playground with my kids.
01-27-2016, 05:38 PM   #4
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Wide angle: Pentax 12-24
Macro: Pentax 50mm f/2.8 macro or the DFA 100mm macro
Portrait: DA 70mm Limited. I would use the 77mm in preference if I had it.
Telephoto: DA*60-250 + DFA 150-450

01-27-2016, 05:54 PM   #5
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Wide angle: Sigma 10-20
Walkaround: FA77 + Ricoh GR
Portraits: FA43, FA77, DFA100 macro, Sigma30, Tamron 28-75
Macro: DA35 macro, DFA100 macro
Tele: Tamron 18-250, CZJ135
01-27-2016, 08:04 PM   #6
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For me,


Wide angle: Sigma 10-20 or DA15
Walkaround: Sigma 17-70 or DA21
Macro: Tamron 90
Portrait: DA* 50-135 or FA77
Tele: Tamron 70-200 or Sigma 150-500
01-27-2016, 10:05 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
12-24 for wide angle. It's wider than the 15 and longer than the 21. Most of its bulk is the hood :-)

If you want true macro, get a macro lens. Any of them are pretty good but I had a Tamron 90. It also works as a medium telephoto.

A Sigma or Tamron 70-200 f2.8 is a nice lens for that range. With this, your Bigma, and your other primes you can dump the 18/28-200/250's unless you wanted to keep one as a true single lens option.
SpecialK, thanks for the input, I was considering the 12-24 and will do some more homework on this. The 28-200 is not working and needs adjustment, the 18-250 has given good results as a general macro with reach when it is needed, but I have more faith in the 17-70 for general use. I love the Bigma for shots when I want to really reach out and capture wild life pictures.

---------- Post added 01-27-16 at 10:08 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
Wide angle - DA21, recently acquired, is ruling the roost here; the 15 is too wide for general use, and both my zooms that start at 18mm are so much larger that I'm happy to lose the extra 3mm for lightness and compactness.

Macro - for work, where it really matters, the DA35 Limited rules for me; I need to swing between ultra close up and fairly wide FOV, so the 100 just doesn't cut it here, though it does a stellar job on the slimy things my children bring in from the garden. That being said, for "fun" macro I've recently laid my hands on an M42 bellows, reversing ring and some extension tubes, so literally everything with a 49mm front filter or an M42 mount has been getting a go as a macro lens recently (the results from the DA15 with the aperture lever held open are most impressive).

Portrait - DA70 Limited. No competition, no argument, no correspondence entered into. This lens rocks, and will rule the roost in the portrait division for me until such time as I might obtain an FA 77.

Tele - for the dry, or for indoors in good light, the DA 18-250; for the wet, snow or other inclement environments, it's the 18-135 WR.

Walkaround - DA40 is the general purpose king here, but as I have recently acquired the DA15 and 21 Limiteds, I'll be giving them a go next time I'm strolling around a big city. I have from time to time fitted the FA 28-90 kit zoom to my K5, and while it's far from the best lens Pentax ever made, its plastic construction means it's wonderfully light (much more so than either of my superzooms), which makes it nice to have for quick trips to the playground with my kids.
Pathdoc, I will check out the DA21 for wide angle use. Thanks for your feedback.

---------- Post added 01-27-16 at 10:11 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Wide angle: Pentax 12-24
Macro: Pentax 50mm f/2.8 macro or the DFA 100mm macro
Portrait: DA 70mm Limited. I would use the 77mm in preference if I had it.
Telephoto: DA*60-250 + DFA 150-450
Jatrax, that is two endorsements for the 12-24, which is one that was on my list to check out further; thanks for your input.

---------- Post added 01-27-16 at 10:15 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by kswong_00 Quote
Wide angle: Sigma 10-20
Walkaround: FA77 + Ricoh GR
Portraits: FA43, FA77, DFA100 macro, Sigma30, Tamron 28-75
Macro: DA35 macro, DFA100 macro
Tele: Tamron 18-250, CZJ135
Kswong_00, thanks for your input; I will look into the Sigma 10-20. We concur on the Pentax 77, it is a very special lens. I will have to give more study to the DA 35 for macro use.

---------- Post added 01-27-16 at 10:19 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
For me,


Wide angle: Sigma 10-20 or DA15
Walkaround: Sigma 17-70 or DA21
Macro: Tamron 90
Portrait: DA* 50-135 or FA77
Tele: Tamron 70-200 or Sigma 150-500
Clackers, one other person suggested the Sigma 10-20, which I will check out; the 17-70 has always been a very good performing lens for me as a walk around or for macro. I don't know of anyone who has any bad words for the Pentax FA 77, it is a very special lens.
01-31-2016, 11:55 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by MRCDH Quote
I have a K3, which I recently purchased, and I am running it through its paces with the various lenses that I have. I am interested in what others are selecting to optimize their shots (and why) in the categories shown below. I would be very interested in your reasoning and the unique ways that you use the lenses that you highlight. I am reviewing the lenses I have and I am interested in adding to my collection if warranted based on the ideas ofothers. I am sure that some of your lenses may fall into more than one category, if so, please include. I have the following lenses( SMC Pentax FA 43 1.9f;SMC Pentax DA 50 f1.8; SMC Pentax FA 77f1.8; SMC Pentax FA 28-200 f3.8-5.6; Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4; Sigma 18-250 f3.5-6.3 Macro HSM; Sigma 50-500 f4.5-6.3 OSHSM (Bigma); Quantaray LDO Macro 70-300 f4-5.6)
I have indicated which lenses I generally use under the noted conditions. What is your go to lens or lenses for scenes calling for a:

Wide angle: Sigma 17-70 f2.8 Lens gives verygood results throughout its range and allows close-up/cropping qualities because of the zoom.

Macro: Sigma17-70 I have caught some wonderful photos of flowers and insects with this lens; also, the Sigma 18-250, which I recently purchased. This has very good flexibility for very close and zooming to catch an object at a distance.

Portrait: Pentax FA 43; Pentax FA 77 Both are superb lens; however I would give top billing to the Pentax FA 77(sharpness, bokeh, speed, magical qualities)

Telephoto (near/far): near with macro capabilities Sigma 18-250 (this is rather new and I have not explored its capabilities); for more reach and to capture wonderful photos of wildlife the Sigma 50-500. I have been very happy with the results that I have received from "Bigma".

General walk around lenses: Pentax 43;Pentax 77; Sigma 17-70. The Pentax lenses for their overall picture quality and the Sigma for its flexibility.
As I mentioned in the initial posting I am looking for the best lens for each shooting scenario. I have not heard any comments on the 8-16mm wide angle lens. One comment I read was that the K3 has trouble processing the information from the lens and gives inconsistant results. Has anyone had any experience pro or con with the 8-16 wide angle lens. In the lens review section it is rated rather high.

01-31-2016, 12:05 PM   #9
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I have quite a few lenses and use most of them from time-to-time, but the below are the ones I use most often:

Wide angle - Sigma 17-50 f/2.8, though I have the HD DA15 if I need wider still. I have no need for wider than this at present (and rarely need to go to 15mm as it is)
Macro - D FA 100 Macro WR
Portrait - Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 if I need the flexibility, otherwise the DA50 f/1.8. I have the DA70 but really haven't used it all that much
Telephoto (near/far) - HD DA55-300 WR
General walk around lenses - very much depends on the situation, but... primarily DA21 or DA35 f/2.4, Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 and HD DA 55-300 WR
01-31-2016, 12:20 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I have quite a few lenses and use most of them from time-to-time, but the below are the ones I use most often:

Wide angle - Sigma 17-50 f/2.8, though I have the HD DA15 if I need wider still. I have no need for wider than this at present (and rarely need to go to 15mm as it is)
Macro - D FA 100 Macro WR
Portrait - Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 if I need the flexibility, otherwise the DA50 f/1.8. I have the DA70 but really haven't used it all that much
Telephoto (near/far) - HD DA55-300 WR
General walk around lenses - very much depends on the situation, but... primarily DA21 or DA35 f/2.4, Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 and HD DA 55-300 WR
BigMack Cam, thanks for your input, I have the Sigma 17-70 2.8f and feel the same as you that it is a very flexible lens with very good image quality. Take a look at the ultra wide lens and the results that they provide; they look like they would provide some interesting and fun photos.
01-31-2016, 07:24 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by MRCDH Quote
As I mentioned in the initial posting I am looking for the best lens for each shooting scenario. I have not heard any comments on the 8-16mm wide angle lens. One comment I read was that the K3 has trouble processing the information from the lens and gives inconsistant results. Has anyone had any experience pro or con with the 8-16 wide angle lens. In the lens review section it is rated rather high.
I have the 8-16 and it is an excellent ultra wide angle. The Pentax exif is not set up for 8mm so that focal length isn't registered in the exif. I think that is the only problem I know of. Photos with the lens are superb at all focal lengths but, of course, 8mm is extremely wide and requires care on the part of the photographer.

Here is a photo showing the 8mm. It is a room at Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin west. Not a great picture but it gives you an idea. Digitalis has posted a number of beautiful beach scenes.

It is a great lens.
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01-31-2016, 07:32 PM   #12
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Wide angle and general walk around - DA21. If you want to extend your range from your 17-70, the Sigma 8-16 is tough to beat, but the DA15 limited is great, as is the DA10-17 fisheye.
Portrait - you already have the FA77. Look no further.
Macro - depends. For flowers, DA35 limited, for bugs, DFA100WR. Or just get some extension tubes and use your FA77.
Telephoto - cheap, DA55-300. Expensive, DFA150-450
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