My first Prime for DSLR - DA 50mm, 35mm or ?


wadna

Link Posted 08/01/2013 - 09:39
This is probably redundant advice but it depends what you want to photograph! For Street I like my DA21. Fast to use, light & unobtrusive (even if it is mounted on a K-5 - people don't notice it like they do with a bigger lump of glass on the camera). Sometimes the 21 seems a bit too long but it's a good compromise.
Last Edited by wadna on 08/01/2013 - 09:41

smudge

Link Posted 08/01/2013 - 09:54
A fast prime is well worth having, not just for better IQ, though you should see a difference in edge sharpness and distortion, but because it gives more opportunity for getting the shot you want. Pictures in low light without ramping up the ISO excessively, shallow DOF shots that you cannot get at f4, or when you need the fastest possible shutter speed.
Regards, Philip

andrewk

Link Posted 08/01/2013 - 10:09
DrOrloff wrote:
But it's about much more than that anyway. The 16-45 is quite a bulky lens and f4. A prime just has a completely different feel, takes you into a different mode of viewing and you have faster options for different situations and types of image.

Yes, I understand that and it is another consideration - but I was asking about whether the primes had better IQ.

Andrew
Flickr photostream

johnriley

Link Posted 08/01/2013 - 10:10
It can be hard to define differences in lenses sometimes. Although technically the 31mm and 77mm lenses that I tested were better than the 43mm, it's the 43mm that I kept. I preferred the overall look of the images, which match very closely the feel of images shot with the 70mm f/2.4, which I don't own but also like very much.

The 50mm f/1.4 is a bit bland for me, but then so was the A series 50mm f/1.4 as well, so I guess it's inherent in the design purpose of those lenses. Not my style, in other words!
Best regards, John

andrewk

Link Posted 08/01/2013 - 10:15
smudge wrote:
Pictures in low light without ramping up the ISO excessively, shallow DOF shots that you cannot get at f4, or when you need the fastest possible shutter speed.

Indeed - but the question I asked was about whether the IQ of a good modern prime is better than that of the 16-45 zoom under the same conditions. Some say 'yes', some say it doesn't matter anyway (which suggests 'no')

Andrew
(Confused of Oldham)
Flickr photostream

johnriley

Link Posted 08/01/2013 - 10:21
andrewk wrote:
smudge wrote:
Pictures in low light without ramping up the ISO excessively, shallow DOF shots that you cannot get at f4, or when you need the fastest possible shutter speed.

Indeed - but the question I asked was about whether the IQ of a good modern prime is better than that of the 16-45 zoom under the same conditions. Some say 'yes', some say it doesn't matter anyway (which suggests 'no')

Andrew
(Confused of Oldham)

It depends on the lens and whether or not you like the rendering of a particular lens. It's not really just a technical matter that can be measured, hence the relatively vague answers. The 16-45mm is an excellent lens, but the 43mm is arguably better in many ways, providing you like the ways in which it is better!

Changing from an excellent zoom to an excellent prime lens is not a magic formula.
Best regards, John

bforbes

Link Posted 08/01/2013 - 10:34
Given that the designers have to make compromises in the optics to produce a Zoom lens and prime designs can be very specific, I would say the IQ of a prime is going to be better.

In the real world, whether or not you can tell the difference is another question.
Barrie
Too Old To Die Young

http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/barrieforbes
https://www.flickr.com/photos/189482630@N03/

smudge

Link Posted 08/01/2013 - 12:47
The unscientific comparisons I have carried out for my own amusement on dull days have so far suggested that at modest apertures centre frame sharpness is much the same for most of my lenses - the differences are more noticeable at the edges or wide open - and in other factors such as distortion and colour rendering as mentioned by many others. I once tested my FA 31mm against a couple of zooms including the 18 - 55 mk2 kit lens and at f5.6 there was no discernable difference in centre sharpness. A few months ago I realised that I had accumulated 7 lenses that covered the 24mm focal length (in my continuing search for the 'perfect' standard zoom) - 16-45, 16-50, 17-70, 18-55, Sigma 17-70, Sigma 24-70 and Tamron 10-24 - so I did a comparative test at f5.6. I do not have a 24mm prime so I included the DA21mm in the test. I took reasonable care - tripod, mirror up, remote release - and once again very little to choose centre frame.
Regards, Philip

Papa_Lazarou

Link Posted 08/01/2013 - 14:27
Thanks everyone for the advice so far, it's much appreciated.
I feel that 35mm will suit quite nicely. I've been pondering the DA35 2.4, but long term I know i'd wish I stumped up the extra for the Limited Macro - so i've just taken the plunge and ordered one from SRS.
Arrives tomorrow.
My Flickr Page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/philnmorgan/

Mal

Link Posted 08/01/2013 - 14:40
For me i prefer to shoot with primes rather than zooms , just before Christmas i went out shooting using just one zoom , not only did i not enjoy the shoot , i did not like the photos i had taking , but saying that i enjoy shooting manual primes than AF too! much better rendering of bokeh and color than modern primes .

I would much rather inspect and survey , study angles rather using a zoom to do the work for me ......are primes sharper ? that's up to you to judge for your self , but i will go for primes every time , I was saying to a mate of mine the other week who owns a camera shop 'I'm thinking of getting rid of some of my zooms , because i hardly use them ' his reply was , well don't bring them here!
Last Edited by Mal on 08/01/2013 - 14:41

Mal

Link Posted 08/01/2013 - 14:58
Papa_Lazarou wrote:
Thanks everyone for the advice so far, it's much appreciated.
I feel that 35mm will suit quite nicely. I've been pondering the DA35 2.4, but long term I know i'd wish I stumped up the extra for the Limited Macro - so i've just taken the plunge and ordered one from SRS.
Arrives tomorrow.

Congratulations you wont regret it

andrewk

Link Posted 08/01/2013 - 15:39
smudge wrote:
I once tested my FA 31mm against a couple of zooms including the 18 - 55 mk2 kit lens and at f5.6 there was no discernable difference in centre sharpness. A few months ago I realised that I had accumulated 7 lenses that covered the 24mm focal length (in my continuing search for the 'perfect' standard zoom) - 16-45, 16-50, 17-70, 18-55, Sigma 17-70, Sigma 24-70 and Tamron 10-24 - so I did a comparative test at f5.6. I do not have a 24mm prime so I included the DA21mm in the test. I took reasonable care - tripod, mirror up, remote release - and once again very little to choose centre frame.

Yes, that pretty much mirrors my conclusions from the limited testing I have undertaken. I'm pretty confident that, at f/5.6, a Pentax SMC M 50mm f/1.7 is more detailed than the 18-55mm mk2 kit lens, even in the centre of the frame (but not by much). At f/8 onwards, its just too close to call. I also tested the kit lens at 24mm against what I understand to be a quite highly rated Sigma 24mm f/2.8 Superwide II without drawing any firm conclusion - even at f/5.6 in the centre of the frame, the kit lens and the prime were very close. If anything, at the edges and corners, the kit lens was sharper.

All the tests I've done previously, used a Pentax K200D and it may have been a limiting factor in some cases. Maybe I should have another look with the K30 I now have.

Andrew
Flickr photostream

Algernon

Link Posted 08/01/2013 - 16:07
The Sigma 24mm f/2.8 Superwide II used to be highly rated in film
tests on 24mm lenses, especially in the centre. The 18-55mm mk2
kit lens is very underated. Hard to find anything to beat it in
the centre. The edge is also very good.
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi
Last Edited by Algernon on 08/01/2013 - 16:14

Northgrain

Link Posted 08/01/2013 - 17:26
Papa_Lazarou wrote:
Thanks everyone for the advice so far, it's much appreciated.
I feel that 35mm will suit quite nicely. i've just taken the plunge and ordered one from SRS.
Arrives tomorrow.

Enjoy the lens - let us know how you get on with it. I think you'll find the Ltd build a joy to use ... And as others have said, if it's not the perfect focal length for you can sell for little loss.
Tim

Some of my vaguely better stuff
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