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03-11-2011, 08:49 PM   #1
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Help me choose a prime!

Hi Pentaxians,
I have been using film Pentax for about 2 yrs, and acquired my k7 a month back and I want to add a fix focal length lens to my arsenal! The lenses I am considering are the following:
Voigtlander 40mm 2.0 SLII
Voigtlander 58mm 1.4 SLII
DA 40mm 2.8 Limited

all of them can be found on ebay for roughly 450 including tax and shipping.

I like to shoot portraits, and will be doing some traveling in the summer, so getting into landscape as well. I actually prefer the manual focusing, it isn't a real downside for me. My other choice is to spend roughly 150 dollars more for a FA 43mm, but the price is getting a bit too steep for me at the moment.

I would love to hear your opinions on the above lenses!! and also if there are other candidates that fits the profile, please make suggestions!

03-11-2011, 08:55 PM   #2
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If you'd like to buy one of these lenses from folks on the forum, you can start a thread here: Wanted Items - PentaxForums.com

For landscapes, 30-40mm primes are ideal, whereas for portraiture 70-90mm is better. Since the Voigtlander is what comes closest to a portrait lens out of the three lenses you listed, that's what I'd choose!

Personally, I just walk around with my 85mm and let it rip, so if you ask me, that's the ideal FL.

Adam
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03-11-2011, 09:06 PM   #3
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Welcome to the digital realm and you picked a great set of options!

I personally used to own the FA43 and currently own the Voigtlander 58mm 1.4. On APS-C sensors like our K-7, the 58mm 1.4 turns into approx an 87mm 1.4 in film equivalent. That said, the 58mm makes an excellent portrait lens! At 1.4 - 2.0 the lens is a bit soft and dreamy. Past 2.0 it gets super sharp. The only issue I've had with it is it's a bit long for indoor use. I'm planning on getting a fast 30-35mm prime to fill that role.

I personally didn't like the FA43 for two reasons:

1. It caused my K-7 to have very sporatic white balance issues that I haven't seen in other lenses.

2. Manual focusing is difficult due to the small focus ring.

Many people love the FA43, and it certainly is sharp and has a unique rendering, so your milage may vary.

The Ultron and DA40 are both excellent. If you search around on this forum you can see some comparisons.

Good luck and have fun deciding!
03-11-2011, 09:08 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice Adam, you were referring to the Nokton 58mm which will come to just about 87 mm on the K7, right? Just wanted to make sure. I will post wanted thread there!

03-11-2011, 09:12 PM   #5
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Thanks Jeff, I saw ur msg after my reply to Adam, I am leaning towards the Voigtlander 58mm at the moment, I've been looking at images from all of these lenses, they are all full of character! I think due to the price of the 43 in comparison to the others, I might consider that in the future when my budget will allow it.

Is there any other lenses I should also be looking at in this ball park?
03-12-2011, 01:48 AM   #6
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I own the Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4 and I have the FA31mm f1.8 Ltd. I can recommend both of these very highly.

Both the FA31mm and Nokton 58mm are superb lenses bot for different use. The FA31mm is good for landscape and group photography. The lens distortion is negligible. The colours are superb and the IQ is outstanding.

The Nokton 58mm f1.4 is better suited for portrait and this fast prime is a delight in low light conditions. I found that it works also very well for landscape in tricky lighting: glare, fogg, smogg.

The FA43 mm is, in my opinion, too close to the Nokton 58mm.

In summary, I would strongly recommend the Voigtlander Nokton 58mm 1.4 SLII, and suggest the FA31mm to complement the Nokton 58mm.

Food for thoughts...

Last edited by hcc; 03-12-2011 at 02:00 AM.
03-12-2011, 01:56 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by NicZh Quote
Thanks Jeff, I saw ur msg after my reply to Adam, I am leaning towards the Voigtlander 58mm at the moment, I've been looking at images from all of these lenses, they are all full of character! I think due to the price of the 43 in comparison to the others, I might consider that in the future when my budget will allow it.

Is there any other lenses I should also be looking at in this ball park?
Another lens that does both landscapes, macro, and possibly wide-angle portraits is the DA35/2.8 limited. You can find it used for around $450. I consider that lens the perfect "stranded on a desert island lens" since it's so versatile.

In general Adam is right that you'd want different primes for landscape and portrait, but I've been impressed with the wide-angle portraits I've seen from the above mentioned lens as well as the FA31/1.8 (out of your price range) and Sigma 30/1.4 (around $350 used). If you went the wide route like that, you could always pick up a Jupiter-9 85/2 in M42 mount for around $100 for an excellent portrait prime on a budget.

So many options...

Edit: BTW, Samyang is putting out a 35/1.4 this month that looks promising. It's manual focus and designed to work on full-frame, which sounds like pro's for you. I'm considering it as well once I see some reviews. It should go for around $500 when it's released, but I wouldn't be surprised if it quickly dropped to $450.

Last edited by jeffshaddix; 03-12-2011 at 02:02 AM.
03-12-2011, 02:28 AM   #8
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So many options....haha, it's completely clouding my judgments...well, I have a 17-50 Tamron, which I just acquired, I want to use it as a walk about lens, and I'm leaning towards the Nokton 58mm for portraiture, and as my budget frees up maybe a wide angle prime, guess i'm on the lookout for the Nokton Than! Thanks everyone for your input! I will post pictures in the future!

03-12-2011, 03:25 PM   #9
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Then get the 58 (if the list is all you're considering).

Voigtlander 58mm f1.4 - a set on Flickr

03-12-2011, 06:08 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by NicZh Quote
Thanks Jeff, I saw ur msg after my reply to Adam, I am leaning towards the Voigtlander 58mm at the moment, I've been looking at images from all of these lenses, they are all full of character! I think due to the price of the 43 in comparison to the others, I might consider that in the future when my budget will allow it.

Is there any other lenses I should also be looking at in this ball park?
There are a lot of old lenses around 55-58mm with "character". The ones I'm thinking of are K or M42 mount. I have the SMC Pentax 55mm f1.8, a couple of Takumar variations on that formula, the Cosina 55mm f1.2, the Mamiya 55mm f1.4, an Auto Rikenon 55mm f1.4, and a CZJ 58mm f2 (not really working).

There's something I like here - it might be that these lenses don't have the correction and refinement of the 50mm range. Take the Cosina out of the group, settle on one version of the K55/1.8 and use a Helios for the CZJ and it's not that expensive. The shooting style is not for everyone, though.
03-12-2011, 06:54 PM   #11
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I agree with Adam that you need something longer, but disagree on the 85mm since the FA 77 Limited is far smaller, lighter and renders just as well, if not better. Either choice might be outside your budget however.
03-14-2011, 05:38 PM   #12
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QuoteQuote:
for portraiture 70-90mm is better. Since the Voigtlander is what comes closest to a portrait lens out of the ..
Sigma has a new 85 1.4 that I would love to get my hands on
would be good for weddings as well do to the f 1.4

randy
03-14-2011, 10:36 PM   #13
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I am a little confused at the moment, I originally thought that Adam was referring to the 58mm as having APSC equivalent of around 87 something focal lenghth, therefore it is more suited for taking portraits, or did he mean that I should get something in the 70-90mm range??
03-14-2011, 11:52 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by NicZh Quote
I am a little confused at the moment, I originally thought that Adam was referring to the 58mm as having APSC equivalent of around 87 something focal lenghth, therefore it is more suited for taking portraits, or did he mean that I should get something in the 70-90mm range??
I don't want to speak for Adam, he Is well known for his preference of the FA*85 f1.4 but No, I do believe he did suggest the 58 from your list.

03-15-2011, 12:40 AM   #15
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okok, haha, was just a little confused...Thanks Jeff
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