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08-07-2011, 05:29 AM   #1
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Lens Decisions!

It is finally time to upgrade. I'll be getting the K-5 and starting my collection of good quality lenses. Would prefer not to get anything "the will do"; would rather invest that money on better gear. I will have about $1500 to spend on lenses:
  1. Either the FA 31mm Limited or the Zeiss Distagon 35mm f2
  2. To accompany one of these the DA 15mm Limited for landscape shooting.
I like shooting landscape and lifestyle.

Your thoughts?

Thanks

08-07-2011, 05:34 AM   #2
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Don't rule out the Tamron 28-75/2.8 - I know its NOT a Prime, and its NOT a Limited - but occasionally I imagine shooting "lifestyle" having a bit of Focal Length to play with could be handy... But for a "fast" zoom, its a very very nice lens particularly for the $370 it can be had for. Some sample pics: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/31955-tammy-club-6.html
08-07-2011, 05:47 AM   #3
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Thanks adr1an. I will take a look at it now.
08-07-2011, 11:27 AM   #4
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It's rather subjective but I would highly recommend the FA31 in the past. However, my opinion has changed after repairing my own FA31 recently. Optical misalignment might be an issue due to the way it was built. For 1.5k budget, I would spread it a little and opt for a few primes like DA21, DA40 & DA70 instead of a single 31 or 35. However, I have no idea how much they cost in Australia. Personally, I am not a big fan of Tamron lenses due to poor built quality, and much less so for their zooms. In fact, I feel there is no high quality standard zoom for Pentax system right now. If that's what you want, consider the Canon EF-S 17-55/2.8 instead. Not Pentax I know but you haven't gotten the K-5 yet so it might still be an option. I am just saying.

08-07-2011, 02:43 PM   #5
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It is difficult to give you the best advice without more details on your existing lens(es).

If you have the kit lens(es), I assume that you are after quality lens(es). Then the following my apply.

The FA31mm f1.8 is definitely a great lens. The IQ is outstanding. The focal length is almost ideal (not too long, not too short). The lens is fast. I got mine new from B&H during a special (for less than US$1,000).

A few more suggestions:
-If you are interested in portrait, you could consider some lens between 50 and 100 mm.
-Are you prepared for the challenge of MF lens? See https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/146443-manual-f...we-afraid.html
-Have you considered second hand lenses? There are ample choices incl. quality lenses at the PF marketplace.

From my own experience, and in addition to the FA31mm, my second recommendation would be my 2nd favorite prime: Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4. A fast prime with superb IQ, MF, very solid.

Food for thoughts...

Last edited by hcc; 08-07-2011 at 05:33 PM.
08-07-2011, 05:02 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rainwilds Quote
It is finally time to upgrade. I'll be getting the K-5 and starting my collection of good quality lenses. Would prefer not to get anything "the will do"; would rather invest that money on better gear. I will have about $1500 to spend on lenses:
  1. Either the FA 31mm Limited or the Zeiss Distagon 35mm f2
  2. To accompany one of these the DA 15mm Limited for landscape shooting.
I like shooting landscape and lifestyle.

Your thoughts?

Thanks
My favourite lens kit is the DA15 + FA31 + FA77 or DA70 so I'd highly recommend getting the DA15 & FA31. Most of my shooting is with those 2 lenses.

The Zeiss has no auto focus and is not auto aperture that would rule it out for me when the cost is similair to the FA31.
08-07-2011, 07:21 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
My favourite lens kit is the DA15 + FA31 + FA77 or DA70 so I'd highly recommend getting the DA15 & FA31. Most of my shooting is with those 2 lenses.

The Zeiss has no auto focus and is not auto aperture that would rule it out for me when the cost is similair to the FA31.
Thank you for your suggestions. I like the idea of the DA 15 and FA 31; gives you both landscape work and street. Are you certain that the Zeiss does not have auto aperture, I thought I read that it does?
08-07-2011, 07:49 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by rainwilds Quote
Thank you for your suggestions. I like the idea of the DA 15 and FA 31; gives you both landscape work and street. Are you certain that the Zeiss does not have auto aperture, I thought I read that it does?
No I'm not certain, I'm going off my very fuzzy memory, it might have been the 28 f/2.8.

08-07-2011, 07:58 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
No I'm not certain, I'm going off my very fuzzy memory, it might have been the 28 f/2.8.
Sounds like my memory at times!
08-07-2011, 09:16 PM   #10
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I can say about the Aussie market but here I could get a DA 15 and DA 35mm ltd macro for not much more than what an FA 31 ltd would cost.
08-08-2011, 12:40 AM   #11
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Have you 'explored' your current digital images to see what focal lengths you are using most?

ExposurePlot (former Focalplot)
08-08-2011, 01:25 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
I can say about the Aussie market but here I could get a DA 15 and DA 35mm ltd macro for not much more than what an FA 31 ltd would cost.
Yeah, and I hear that the 35mm macro is really nice, with a pretty good bokeh.
08-08-2011, 01:28 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by cats_five Quote
Have you 'explored' your current digital images to see what focal lengths you are using most?

ExposurePlot (former Focalplot)
That program looks awesome! Does not look like it works with RAW though. Maybe if I export my photos as JEPGs first? I use Lightroom and it can filter through focal length but does not produces sexy graphs like this!
08-08-2011, 02:48 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by cats_five Quote
Have you 'explored' your current digital images to see what focal lengths you are using most?

ExposurePlot (former Focalplot)
Looks like my three main focal lengths with roughly the same amount of shots at the 35mm equivalent are:

  1. 27mm = 18mm APS-C
  2. 80mm = 50mm APS-C
  3. 450mm = 300mm APS-C
Based on this it looks like something like the following would be ideal; taking into account the good suggestions above:

  1. 14mm DA Limited
  2. 31mm Limited or Zeiss Distagon 35mm f2
  3. Existing kit Sigma 70-300mm until I can afford the Sigma 50-500mm
Great software really helps you narrow your selection. Thanks again!
08-08-2011, 03:59 AM   #15
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I'm confused as to how you are getting to your final selection of lenses, bar the long one.
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