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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-24-2012, 01:24 PM  
Do you guys dream about having a dream lens?
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 29
Views: 2,978
I dream about a 21mm ASPC lens that is F2.

Like the fuji x100.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-02-2012, 08:09 AM  
Opinions whether I should buy the DA21?
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 87
Views: 7,273
The DA 21 gets a bit of flack for being slow (and indeed, it is slow for a prime), but the focal length is excellent and it is almost perfect wide open. Easily one of the most useful focal lengths for a prime.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-28-2012, 03:38 PM  
50-50-58mm lens with character
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 9
Views: 2,779
I think the samples from any of the 50 1.2s could be what you really want, but I was also very happy with my K 55 f1.8, which rendered backgrounds in a rough but painterly way.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-16-2012, 08:08 AM  
Wide lens for aurora photography
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 11
Views: 2,527
I'm not really good at astrophotog, but I would suspect that the Pentax 14 f2.8, or Sigma 10-20 (the f3.5 -0 f4.5 version) would fit the bill. Sharpness isn't a huge concern, as much as getting as much light in as fast as possible (because since the stars move, a slow but sharp lens will do you no good).
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-02-2012, 07:53 PM  
F28 f2.8 of DA35 f2.4
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 9
Views: 1,414
No, I don't think so. The 28 makes for a nice normal FOV but it isn't an exceptional lens for the money... the 35 is a little tight for my tastes, but it is a better quality lens for less money. I think (right now) 28mm is best done with a manual focus f2, cheap 2.8, or some sort of zoom lens.

I currently use the Vivitar Komine 28mm f2.8, a fine lens and exceptionally sharp. The "problem" is that the 18-55 I have (II) is just as sharp, with better colour and autofocus. I think I have a really good copy of the kit lens, but nevertheless, it is hard for me to really see the point of using a prime when a compact zoom like the kit lens will suffice.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-27-2012, 04:22 PM  
Pentax Lens prices are back up
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 12
Views: 1,838
Buying the DA 15 at 659 seems absolutely insane considering the price of the DA 12-24, Nikon 12-24, etc. It is no better a lens... only smaller.

IMHO, the DA limiteds are way overpriced, and the only reason I can see myself staying with the system. The difference between owning the DA 21, 40, and 70, and the Tamron 24-70 f2.8, is pretty small in the IQ department, but the price difference is enormous now. Green-button metering is really quite broken with my K-20d (I need to memorize and input exposure compensation for every lens as I change apertures), and A lenses are rare on craigslist, overpriced on EBay due to their scarcity. I would *prefer* to stay with Pentax in the long run because I like tiny primes, but I see no value in a system that is so very overpriced considering the picture quality. Compact primes are nice if you have a tiny camera to attach them to, but the K01 dwarfs the Pentax film bodies like the Program Plus.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-25-2012, 07:44 PM  
15 Ltd.
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 120
Views: 11,040
DA 15 (any wide angle) is really hard to properly manually focus on that little viewfinder, better to use the distance scale.

Never had a real problem with the DA 15 and autofocus.

I will say this: the lens is excellent but, IMHO, a one trick pony for a very simple reason: no zoom! (duh!) It is tonnes of fun and I could not ask more from it... but too often I find myself unable to move to the correct location to take the shot (and with a 15mm lens, location makes ALL the difference). I can zoom with my feet for most primes... but the 15 is really hard to use because often, zooming with your feet ACTUALLY means running 20 meters!.. so it gets tricky when you are shooting things that aren't dead/stationary.

It is for this reason that I am strongly considering the 16-45 or 12-24 as a replacement (i've been getting along pretty well with my 18-55 lately, even...). Even though I hate zooms.... with wide angles it really just seems more practical to suck it up. In wide angle land, focal length is more important than any other optical quality. Good luck with your decision.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-25-2012, 07:16 PM  
Looking for help on an everyday lens
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 17
Views: 2,004
I agree with this. If you don't want a wide angle, I would suggest you look at the Tamron 17-50 to replace your kit lens. You could do a lot with just the Tamron and your 55-300.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-25-2012, 07:14 PM  
odd focal lengths
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 76
Views: 8,374
The right thing to consider is not field of view but perspective. 43/50mm lenses give the same perspective our eyes see (assuming you are using a full frame camera... it should be approximately 28-35mm for a crop sensor). Wide angles exaggerate the distance between near and far objects, while telephoto lenses compress those differences. A 21mm lens gives me approximately the same FOV as what my eyes see, but it also distorts perspective in a way that looks really cool, but not "normal".
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-24-2012, 02:27 PM  
odd focal lengths
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 76
Views: 8,374
Yes you are correct.... except these are all ultra-wide lenses for full frame... the DA 21 is meant for crop in order to give you (essentially) a slightly wider than 35mm FOV (instead of 24mm which would give you pretty much exactly that FOV)...

The REAL point is funky fixed focal lengths don't matter a smidgen... slight differences in perspective are not important in the long run. Owning a 40mm and 50mm lens, for example, is superfluous.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-24-2012, 08:51 AM  
odd focal lengths
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 76
Views: 8,374
As we both well know, the difference between 15 and 21 is much larger (almost 40% FOV difference) than the difference between 31 and 35, which is in itself larger than the marginal difference between 43 and 50, and negligible difference between 77 and 85.of)

In any case, Pentax is one of the only companies that is (sort of) rethinking lens design for a crop sensor, but only sort of. Their lens line up does feel and behave rather arbitrarily (e.g., "true normal" for film - 43, but only "regular normal" for digital - DA 35,,, where's the 28?) I'm not sure why you would bother arguing this simple point. The oddball focal lengths exist partly to be oddball, because a lot of these lenses could have been designed at more traditional focal lengths... but they were not. E.g., the DA 21, which crops to approximately 31 mm, emulates their OWN oddball focal length, when they easily could have designed a super high quality 24mm for ASPC. But they think different, and produce a more expensive lens due to R & D and design limitations at the wide end in order to produce the only 21mm lens I know that is currently produced.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-23-2012, 08:28 PM  
odd focal lengths
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 76
Views: 8,374
I think you are wrong. Think different etc. 43 might be a "true normal" (whatever that mean in practice) but 31 and 77 were selected for largely arbitrary reasons... the K 30 of yore was just as arbitrary, and the 77 was selected because it is a lucky number. That is what we call marketing. Pretty much every manufacturer created this line of lenses for a long time:

20, 24, 28, 35, 50, 85, 100, 135.

Think of it as an industry standard. I don't think it is a coincidence that NONE of the limiteds are any of those focal lengths. Marketing. Aren't I different? I shoot Pentax.

The point is, as far as focal lengths are concerned, the practical difference between 43 and 50 is nothing, between 31 and 35 is nothing, and between 77 and 85 is nothing. It just sounds hip. Like vinyl, high tops, and mustaches.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-23-2012, 03:22 PM  
odd focal lengths
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 76
Views: 8,374
Mostly marketing. Focal lengths aren't all that consistent anyhow (e.g., FA 50 and K 50 are off by a few mm, FA 77 is actually closer to 80mm)... Generally speaking, the fact that Pentax has oddball focal lengths is generally advantageous to users of cropped format cameras.
Forum: Pentax K-01 04-21-2012, 04:53 PM  
K-01 Walkaround kit - 15mm X 21mm?
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 25
Views: 4,635
I struggle with my 15 for the people shots you are talking about, unless the frame has quite a bit of background in it (which is fine... just be aware of that). You can crop it down to the DA 21 if you are willing to lose 50% of your pixels.

The 28, on the other hand, is not quite wide enough to be all purpose. The 21 has more barrel distortion but that can easily be fixed on a computer. The 21 will not distort a person unless you are taking a headshot. It is generally more flexible than the 15 and a little faster, too, which is helpful at night time on the street.

I've recently decided that I only want two lenses in my life. The 15 is really addictive, but is more limiting than I had hoped. When I go for walks with only the 15, I get great shots, but miss just as many because I can't physically stand where I would need to to get a good photo. The 21 is less susceptible to key stoning, more appropriate for photos of people, and a little faster, and smaller. For an all purpose walk around prime, I can't think of a better Pentax option.

I'm not sure if I have the heart to sell the 15, but I can't do the kinds of things you want to do with it very easily. The 21 would get my vote.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-18-2012, 02:20 PM  
Take the pledge - No new Pentax lens purchases
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 356
Views: 23,613
On one hand, I won't have access to cheap lenses through B&H, and Pentax is no longer a bargain system.

On the other hand, maybe I'll actually see Pentax lenses in Canadian stores now that they aren't overpriced compared to normal, so I won't have to buy the thing to try it out.

And on the other other hand, my DA 15 and FA 50 went up in value. The question is - do I cash in? I do love them so...
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-16-2012, 11:05 AM  
FA limited focal lengths
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 36
Views: 3,242
31 = I don't know. It was perhaps a design choice based on an old 28mm f2 design that was updated to include better sharpness / bokeh, faster aperture, and as a consequence, more narrow FOV. Pure speculation.
43 = Perfect normal.
77 = Lucky number.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-16-2012, 09:41 AM  
Expanding my lens collection, good buy?
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 22
Views: 2,594
The F 70-210 is a very good lens for the money, but lets not confuse this guy: that lens is NOT the F 70-210!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-14-2012, 05:23 PM  
What would be a good collection of MF lenses
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 18
Views: 4,274
I think this is a really good set up for MF glass. The Pentax A lenses are very good and pretty easy to use compared to the M glass, which can meter poorly using the green button (I've missed a lot of shots due to improper metering).

NB: There is no good wide angle for your DSLR. You will need to buy a DA zoom for that sort of thing (but the kit lens at 18mm isn't that bad). DA 16 - 45 is good. I like the DA 15 but that is not a cost-effective solution. There are also great zooms that go ultra wide: Pentax 12-24 and Tameron 10-24.

1) A 28mm f2.8 --> Extremely sharp stopped down, good bokeh for a film wide angle. Very flare prone. Put a hood on this one. ALT: Vivitar close focus 28mm f2.8. Sharper than the pentax, but busier bokeh (I find). I'm not sure which one I like better (I'm having trouble selling mine). Handles flare better. This lens will be your "normal" lens you can use for convenient snapshots and general photography. I find them super useful (and they are a lot of fun on a film camera too).

2) A 50mm f1.7 --> Once again super sharp, cheap, and good bokeh for portraits. Approximately similar to the old 85mm f1.4 lenses pros will use on a full frame for portraits. This is an excellent low light lens, because it is actually sharper than the 50 1.4 wide open. I like the 1.4 better myself, because I like the way it renders, but I only paid 50 dollars for my old A 50 1.7. I paid much more for my 50 1.4.

3) Skip the 85mms, they are expensive. Buy an old A 100 - 135 (either prime), which are cheap and really fun. I've had a hard time finding a vintage MF zoom that looked good and was easy to use (hence my F 70-210), but I also don't use those focal lengths as much as things below 50mm. I have no other recommendation here, but surely someone else does.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-13-2012, 09:20 PM  
What lenses were you dissatisfied with?
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 119
Views: 11,060
Put that way, no :). But I stand by my DA 40 analysis, I suppose, considering my purposes were not fulfilled by the lens, which is not to say it is a bad lens. I was, however, disappointed.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-12-2012, 11:25 PM  
What lenses were you dissatisfied with?
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 119
Views: 11,060
DA 40. I know, this is actually a fantastic lens. However I found that it just didn't have enough DOF control. The IQ was excellent (better than the 50 1.4), but it was either too slow (for a K20D) or not shallow enough, which we could fix by extending the focal length a bit. It was ALMOST perfect, which is hugely disappointing considering there is no actual alternative (the FAs just don't look the same...). I've owned much worse lenses, but they were all cheap. This one was so close to being perfect, but it was just... non-optimal for my needs.

Also the DA 21. Just make it 2.8. Honestly. Great lens, though. Just not worth the cash to me. Close but missed disappoints me so....
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-12-2012, 11:10 PM  
Issues with the da 35mm 2.4?
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 16
Views: 2,136
Put a hood on your lens. Flare might be confusing the camera. Manually specify the white balance under tungsten, which confuses AWB.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-12-2012, 11:08 PM  
DA 50mm f1.8 or F 50/1.7
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 20
Views: 3,599
Looking at the DA 35 f2.4, the likelihood is that the major difference between each lens will be the quality of the mount. I'd pay the F 50 1.7 premium if you value an aperture ring.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-12-2012, 11:06 PM  
how many steps do i have to go back to get a FOV of 31mm from my 43mm ltd
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 30
Views: 3,014
You will never get the same FOV with a different focal length.

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-09-2012, 04:47 PM  
F1.2 50mm...worth it or not?
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 54
Views: 5,806
The A 50mm f1.2 looks better at f1.4 than the FA 50 1.4 at 1.4.

I use the FA because I'll be damned if I'm going to spend my shoestring budget on a lens that I don't have the skills to focus on a digital camera.

But the 50 1.4 has its faults and the 1.2 is generally better at any equivalent aperture. It isn't just about DOF and light gathering. Although those things are nice (and I'm the type of person who *likes* those soft pictures)...
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-30-2012, 08:25 AM  
FA 50 1.4 vs M 50 1.7
Posted By paperbag846
Replies: 21
Views: 4,041
FA and M should give you roughly the same performance on a DSLR (the coatings might be a little different on the FA, but I don't notice too much of a difference). I did notice a big difference in colour saturation between the K series (close to M in age) and the FA, but not as large as the difference between FA and DA, so YMMV.

The biggest difference between the two is autofocus vs. excellent manual control (assuming we are talking about two 1.4s). The FA can be soft wide open for two reasons: 1) lack of hood (duh), 2) missed focus with a small DOF.

Sometimes, manual lenses make it hard to nail focus quickly enough (and it isn't so easy to see if you are in perfect focus with a dslr screen). On the other hand, the FA has a looser focusing ring, which isn't as smooth, so if you are shooting manual with the FA, it can be harder to nail focus than if you had the M! Furthermore, AF is not perfect (especially with lenses like the 1.4s), so sometimes it is actually faster to jump into manual mode and take over. In good light, however, the FA usually wins and lets you take home many more keepers.

So it really comes down to this: if you are buying the 1.4 for low light stuff, just get the M. The FA is just more expensive for very little gain. If you use the 1.4 a lot for shooting portraits in decent lighting / or generally anything in decent light, the FA will help you take home more keepers in my experience.


As for the 1.7 vs the 1.4, they are very similar at the wider apertures, but I personally like the 1.4 much better in the f2.4 - f4 zone (where I mostly shoot) because the backgrounds tend to be less jagged with the 1.4. So it again comes down to style. They are both super sharp lenses, and largely indistinguishable, close to wide open or stopped down past f4. The 1.7 is also a smaller, lighter lens, and tend to be less prone to flare, so cheaper does not equal worser in this particular case. It is more a question of style and preference.

Paper "if he could only keep one lens it would likely be his stupid FA 50 1.4" Bag
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