Just purchased a k3 II and need advice on specific lens


Link Posted 25/08/2015 - 13:04
I am new to digital photography. Used to do a lot of work back in the film days n the early 80's and do know my way around a camera and lighting effects as I took product photos for my small business as I always thought it was better to do something yourself and learn something new as opposed to paying someone else to do it for you.

I just bought a K3 II with the DA* 55mm 1.4 lens after a lot of research. I wanted this for a good camera for general use but I also got it for the pixel shift feature as want to produce images like the one in this post. We sell knitted products and judging from the sample images of threads and fabric, I think the pixel shift will give me the images i want without breaking my pocketbook. Now the sock is about 16 inches high and about 9 inches across at its widest.

My question is what would be the best lens for this specific type of product? I want to emphasize the details in the knit and use the whole frame of the camera without being 10 feet away. The salesman said i needed a macro lens and wanted to sell me the 100mm pentax. I went with the 55mm as a good all around lens but it seemed like with a 100mm lens, i would have to back up too far to get the whole sock in the pick. Macro to me meant close pics of small objects and I never really did any of that in my day, my products were industrial equipment when i was taking pics. So given the dimensions of the sock and the pick below, what would be a great lens for this specific purpose?

Thanks in advance.


Link Posted 25/08/2015 - 13:17
A macro lens would be the best type for this type of photography - the DA35mm f2.8 Limited would allow you to be closer to the subject - the 50mm versions would probably be a touch too long and the 100mm (as you've pointed out) is definitely too long.

Here's a review of the lens so you can get an idea of it's uses and capabilities:

There are 2 versions. the HD (with High Definition coatings) and the earlier non-HD version. I've owned both (still own the DA version) and didn't notice anything particularly better about the HD version.

The DA model can be picked up 2nd hand often for less than 230. There are currently several listed in the Classified Ads section (including one of mine)


Link Posted 25/08/2015 - 13:59
Thanks Lenny,
I wanted to see the 35mm macro lens but the store did not have one in stock. I am going to be using a light box and even the 55mm I purchased seemed to be a little long as It is hard to get close enough to stay on a tabletop but that is not what i bought the 55 for.

This new digital world is a steep jump from my old days. I researched online and have a friend who swears by his canon. I hope to have some samples posted as soon as i am comfortable with the camera. right now i get 1 good shot for every 5 or so I take but I am learning. Initial shots of my couch with pixel shift actually had my canon friend shaking his head at the detail. Just walking on my floor will throw off the shots though as i live in an older house and have a 150 pound dog that loves to jump.


Link Posted 25/08/2015 - 14:25
I think the DA 35mm F2.4 would be good enough for what you want, only 119 brand new


Link Posted 25/08/2015 - 15:12
mille19 wrote:
I think the DA 35mm F2.4 would be good enough for what you want, only 119 brand new

Yes - a very capable lens indeed. If you have time this thread shows it's capabilities and how it compares to 3 other models of Pentax 35mm lens. I would still choose the DA35 Macro for the stated purpose as it gives a little more flexibility in case you need to move in a lot closer (not inconceivable for detail of the items).

Oh and by the way - I forgot to say welcome Bilbo


Link Posted 26/08/2015 - 01:40
Thanks Mille19 and LennyBloke,

I am leaning toward the macro for the reason's you stated about close focus. I will want to get in close to show the details in some of our other products like scarves and beanie hats.

I must say I was a little skeptical about the quality of the 50mm. Online reviews were all over the place, the price is about what "I" would expect a "good" but not "great" lens to be based on my old days and looking at reviews and prices of other major brands, and places like dxomark rate pentax lenses with scores in the 20's while rating lenses on other cameras in the 40's (that whole scoring system confuses me). This 50 is better than what I expected and I haven't even come close to realizing the full potential of it.

After playing with my new setup, I could have went with a shorter lens as I was still caught n the film days where a 50mm was about the standard general lens everybody went with. I knew about apsc and full frame but that just didnt click for some reason and playing with the lens on the camera in the store I knew it would be a good general length.

Thanks for all your help, I gotta get busy with my light set up now and learn more about digital in general. My Canon friend laughed at me today when I was cursing for not getting the autofocus right and he showed me the beauty of that big screen on the back of the camera and how to zoom with it......LOL.
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