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04-02-2015, 01:01 PM   #1
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50s or 30s objective?

My dilemma is... Pentax or Sigma or maybe even an Samyang objective, pictures i would like to take is star-pictures (space, with ground in same picture) and portraits, mostly portraits.

Is there any one-ring-to-rule-them-all, and then i mean that can handle low F and have good sharpness all over the picture. I understand that the question is complex to answer in one simple objective, but would be nice to hear what amateurs/proffesionals photographers can give me knowledge on what to buy.

I have looked at these candidates below and i think i will go on RP SMC-DA* 55/1,4 SDM, but! first i would love to hear what you out there would recommend.

( The prices below are translated from the an Swedish "price runner" site, and to USD )
  • Ricoh-Pentax SMC-DA* 55/1,4 SDM (about 835USD)
  • Ricoh-Pentax SMC-DA 35/2,4 AL (about 174USD)
  • Ricoh-Pentax SMC-FA 31/1,8 AL Limited (about 1390USD)

OR.....
  • Sigma 35/1,4 DG HSM Art for Pentax (about 869USD)
  • Sigma 18-35/1,8 DC HSM Art for Pentax (about 812USD
  • Samyang MF 14/2,8 ED AS IF UMC fr Pentax (about 405USD)


04-02-2015, 01:44 PM   #2
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Hello!

I would definitely watch the forum listings here, for a better deal. Especially on the DA* 55mm.

The DA* 55mm is a very well respected portrait lens. Depending on what you want to do with the stars, I'm guessing that it would be a bit too long (narrow field of view) for pictures with lots of stars/landscapes at least on an APS-C camera. I have not done astro-photography, but my guess is that you will want two lenses in the end. One for the star photos and one for portraits. If price isn't an issue, I think most people will recommend the DA 77mm Limited or the DA* 55mm for portraits. The DA 70mm Limited would be a great cheaper option, and if price was an issue yet, the DA 50mm is a great lens to start off with for portraits!

Do you have a kit lens right now? My advice would be to take it and shoot at specific focal lengths (18mm, 35mm, 55mm etc.). Then you can see what lengths you like using for your star pictures, and then consider your next purchase that way. I would also recommend getting the DA 50mm f/1.8, and/or the DA 35mm f/2.4, before jumping on a purchase of a very expensive lens in the same field of view area. Then if you like one of those lengths a lot, you could always upgrade to a Limited lens. Watching for a good used deal on the forums could be another way to make your purchases go further.

Best regards,

Quintin G.
04-02-2015, 03:55 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by aikilink Quote
Hello!

I would definitely watch the forum listings here, for a better deal. Especially on the DA* 55mm.

The DA* 55mm is a very well respected portrait lens. Depending on what you want to do with the stars, I'm guessing that it would be a bit too long (narrow field of view) for pictures with lots of stars/landscapes at least on an APS-C camera. I have not done astro-photography, but my guess is that you will want two lenses in the end. One for the star photos and one for portraits. If price isn't an issue, I think most people will recommend the DA 77mm Limited or the DA* 55mm for portraits. The DA 70mm Limited would be a great cheaper option, and if price was an issue yet, the DA 50mm is a great lens to start off with for portraits!

Do you have a kit lens right now? My advice would be to take it and shoot at specific focal lengths (18mm, 35mm, 55mm etc.). Then you can see what lengths you like using for your star pictures, and then consider your next purchase that way. I would also recommend getting the DA 50mm f/1.8, and/or the DA 35mm f/2.4, before jumping on a purchase of a very expensive lens in the same field of view area. Then if you like one of those lengths a lot, you could always upgrade to a Limited lens. Watching for a good used deal on the forums could be another way to make your purchases go further.

Best regards,

Quintin G.
I do already do own an..

# Pentax DFA SMC Macro 100/2,8 WR
# Pentax SMC-DA 18-55/3,5-5,6 WR (-kit, with my K5)
# Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm ED
# Pentax SMC-DA 18-55/3,5-5,6 AL (-kit, with my old K10D)

But there F is in the most cases to high... i think.
04-02-2015, 07:20 PM   #4
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You may have a look at the -K, -M, -A, or -F 50 mm F1.4. On APS-C at F2.2 or F2.5 they are extremely sharp from corner to corner with virtually no vignetting and very very little CA. I shoot starscapes and portraits with my -A 50 mm all the time. Best lens in my line up. My DA*50-135 cannot even come close to what I can do with the old glass.

04-02-2015, 08:13 PM   #5
hcc
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I would recommend to look at good quality second-hand lenses. I recommend to start with the PF marketplace here, keh.com (a very reputed second dealer in US) and ebay from serious Japanese and Korean sellers. Learn to be patient and wait the good opportunity.

Looking at your current line-up, I would advise to consider the following (outstanding) primes:

FA31mm f1.8 Ltd
DA*55mm f1.4
FA77mm f1.8 Ltd

On the second hand market, the FA31mm can be found about US$800 (+ shipping ~$50). The FA77mm can be found about US$700-750. The DA*55mm is slightly rarer but the PF user review suggests about US$600, possibly less.

I personally recommend to be patient and get these top-of-the-line lenses: you will not regret them because they are truly outstanding IMHO,

I hope that the comment may help.

Last edited by hcc; 04-02-2015 at 09:52 PM.
04-02-2015, 09:25 PM   #6
dms
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Comma is not always tested or reported but the following does: LensTip.com - lens review, lenses reviews, lens specification - Lenstip.com
I don't know how their testing matches real world examples; however, comma would be perhaps the most important measure for star photo's.

I don't specialize in what you are looking to do, nor do I use AF, but if I did I would likely choose the FA35mm f/2.

Last edited by dms; 04-02-2015 at 09:34 PM.
04-02-2015, 09:50 PM   #7
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I currently use a sears 28/2.8 for star trails/night landscape shoots......(very inexpensive) saving a few bucks for a 14/2.8.....I've only heard and seen good things about the 31/1.8......as far as portraits go I don't shoot people yet except for friends performing at clubs but that's rather rare
04-03-2015, 03:24 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by njohan Quote
But there F is in the most cases to high... i think.
That was not really the point of the question. Put your kit lens on a couple of different FL and see which FL suites you best for the type of star shots that you want to take. Based on that you decide on the focal length that you need.

04-03-2015, 05:35 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by SunValley Quote
You may have a look at the -K, -M, -A, or -F 50 mm F1.4. On APS-C at F2.2 or F2.5 they are extremely sharp from corner to corner with virtually no vignetting and very very little CA. I shoot starscapes and portraits with my -A 50 mm all the time. Best lens in my line up. My DA*50-135 cannot even come close to what I can do with the old glass.
I was a little bit lost with the "-K, -M, -A, or -F" but understod that i should aim at F2,2 - 2,5 to have about the best sharpness to the whole picture and also that does have almost no vignetting and very very little CA, so this are "worst" on objectives below "F2,2", when the F is below F2,2 ?

---------- Post added 04-03-15 at 02:41 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
I would recommend to look at good quality second-hand lenses. I recommend to start with the PF marketplace here, keh.com (a very reputed second dealer in US) and ebay from serious Japanese and Korean sellers. Learn to be patient and wait the good opportunity.

Looking at your current line-up, I would advise to consider the following (outstanding) primes:

FA31mm f1.8 Ltd
DA*55mm f1.4
FA77mm f1.8 Ltd

On the second hand market, the FA31mm can be found about US$800 (+ shipping ~$50). The FA77mm can be found about US$700-750. The DA*55mm is slightly rarer but the PF user review suggests about US$600, possibly less.

I personally recommend to be patient and get these top-of-the-line lenses: you will not regret them because they are truly outstanding IMHO,

I hope that the comment may help.
Okej so i should aim directly towards one of the prime lenses.. in one way i do "save-money" about 200 to 400USD if i jump over a cheaper lenses and go straight for the primes.

FA31mm f1.8 Ltd
DA*55mm f1.4
FA77mm f1.8 Ltd

.. i will take that for my consideration, thanx.

---------- Post added 04-03-15 at 02:44 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
Comma is not always tested or reported but the following does: LensTip.com - lens review, lenses reviews, lens specification - Lenstip.com
I don't know how their testing matches real world examples; however, comma would be perhaps the most important measure for star photo's.

I don't specialize in what you are looking to do, nor do I use AF, but if I did I would likely choose the FA35mm f/2.
Shall see the review page of lenses you posted.

---------- Post added 04-03-15 at 02:53 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Aaron28 Quote
I currently use a sears 28/2.8 for star trails/night landscape shoots......(very inexpensive) saving a few bucks for a 14/2.8.....I've only heard and seen good things about the 31/1.8......as far as portraits go I don't shoot people yet except for friends performing at clubs but that's rather rare
Thanx

One of many good tips i get from this pentax-forum, it has made my choice simpler when people speak about there experience with different lenses and in that way gives good examples on what to choose, in different senarios.

.. "Its sad that there aint a lens that works from 0-1000mm/F0,0" , would be so much simpler .. ;-)

---------- Post added 04-03-15 at 02:55 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
That was not really the point of the question. Put your kit lens on a couple of different FL and see which FL suites you best for the type of star shots that you want to take. Based on that you decide on the focal length that you need.
Yes, thats an good example to know witch length to choose, thanx.
04-03-2015, 07:03 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by njohan Quote
I was a little bit lost with the "-K, -M, -A, or -F" but understod that i should aim at F2,2 - 2,5 to have about the best sharpness to the whole picture and also that does have almost no vignetting and very very little CA, so this are "worst" on objectives below "F2,2", when the F is below F2,2 ?[COLOR="Silver"]
Yes the smc Pentax-A 50 mm F1.4 I own is identical to the 50 mm F1.4 in the K, M, or F series This is why if you're interested in this lens you can look at any of these versions. The -A having the advantage of aperture control and the -F having the advantage of aperture control and autofocus.

At F1.4 these lenses show way too much coma aberration in the corners, even on APS-C sensor, for any kind of astro work. But starting at F2.2, coma, vignetting and CA miraculously dissappear! I've looked into the DA*55mm F/1.4 as an upgrade but the reviews haven't convinced me that it is better optically than my old 50.
04-03-2015, 08:27 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by SunValley Quote
Yes the smc Pentax-A 50 mm F1.4 I own is identical to the 50 mm F1.4 in the K, M, or F series This is why if you're interested in this lens you can look at any of these versions. The -A having the advantage of aperture control and the -F having the advantage of aperture control and autofocus.

At F1.4 these lenses show way too much coma aberration in the corners, even on APS-C sensor, for any kind of astro work. But starting at F2.2, coma, vignetting and CA miraculously dissappear! I've looked into the DA*55mm F/1.4 as an upgrade but the reviews haven't convinced me that it is better optically than my old 50.
Oki
Yes understand your point
04-03-2015, 10:04 AM   #12
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I wonder if a noct-nikkor could mount to a pentax body (might require switching to the MultiMount). It was basically invented entirely for astrophotography, wasn't it?
Granted, it costs around $3000-3500 even used, so you'd probably want to put it on a body that's also been modified for astrophotography.
04-03-2015, 10:24 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by narual Quote
I wonder if a noct-nikkor could mount to a pentax body (might require switching to the MultiMount). It was basically invented entirely for astrophotography, wasn't it?
Granted, it costs around $3000-3500 even used, so you'd probably want to put it on a body that's also been modified for astrophotography.
hmmmm..... might be a little overkill :-)
04-03-2015, 10:36 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by njohan Quote
hmmmm..... might be a little overkill :-)
Rule 37: There is no "overkill." There is only "open fire" and "time to reload."
-- 70 Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries
04-05-2015, 05:53 PM   #15
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At the end i went for the...
  • Ricoh-Pentax SMC-DA* 55/1,4 SDM (about 835USD)
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