What "Normal" lens for K-7


wadna

Link Posted 19/05/2010 - 12:20
I've been using my FA 50mm f1.4 as a walk around lens on my K-7 but the problem is it's a short telephoto lens on K-7 - good for portraits but limiting for getting in close for street photography etc. so I'm looking for something in the 28-30mm range.

The Sigma 30mm f1.4 EX DC & the 28mm f1.8 EX DG both fit the bill but reviews have been mixed for them because of softness, CA etc. Or there is the (gulp) Pentax FA 31mm f1.8 Limited which, apart from it's silly hood & knee weakening price, sounds great.

Obviously I want an AF lens. Have you any suggestions or thoughts or experience with suitable lenses please?

Regards, Ian.

mowog

Link Posted 19/05/2010 - 12:38
My standard lens, for the istD, is the Pentax F 28mm f2.8. It equates to something like 42mm on a digital SLR. Not what you would call fast, but It's a fine lens. Auto focus is a bit clunky, though.
That's my recommendation. Others may know better.
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aliengrove

Link Posted 19/05/2010 - 12:38
Have you thought about a zoom? I quite fancy a Pentax 16-50mm F2.8 DA* ED for much the same use. It's a bit steep but not as much as the 31mm Ltd.
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gartmore

Link Posted 19/05/2010 - 12:41
40mm DA limited is a wonderful performer and incredibly discrete if you enjoy street photography.
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

wadna

Link Posted 19/05/2010 - 12:43
"My standard lens, for the istD, is the Pentax F 28mm f2.8. It equates to something like 42mm on a digital SLR. Not what you would call fast, but It's a fine lens. Auto focus is a bit clunky, though."

That's a thought thanks but I would prefer it faster than 2.8.

"Have you thought about a zoom? I quite fancy a Pentax 16-50mm F2.8 DA* ED for much the same use."

I've got a Sigma 17-70 which does a good job but a prime lens should be lighter, faster & less obtrusive.

Thanks.

Regards, Ian.

whelmed

Link Posted 19/05/2010 - 12:44
If you've got the cash, the FA 31 ltd is the lens. I didn't so went with the siggy 30mm f1.4 and absolutely love it. I'm on a K10d so the 2/3 stop between 1.8 and 1.4 is a make or break in a lot of indoor / night shots. In terms of it being soft - pfft. The only softness I can see is in the extreme corners. If you're using this to shoot nature, the top corners will be sky, and the bottom ones may be a touch soft - but everything else is great.

Lets face it though, people buy fast glass for indoor / night / lowlight shooting. In those cases you'll be shooting between 1.4 and 2.0 and you'll have some extreme subject isolation - thus who cares if things in the corners are soft. If you don't want fast glass, go get a pancake lens, DA40, or hell even go with a DA* 16-50mm. The Samsung 35mm f2.0 can be had for a good deal as well if you're willing to give up 1 stop. It's a great lens.

Back to the 30mm Siggy. By corners what people mean when they see a slightly soft picture - they really mean the extreme corners. I made the below in photoshop to try to illustrate what they mean. And it's not like it just starts being soft there, I mean at the edge of the red area it is starting to hint at being soft. In real life pictures you never notice this.

The next pics below are ones captured with the siggy @ f1.4 and ISO 1600 (i.e. good luck with a slower lens). The one of the two people is in a very dim room where the picture actually appears brighter than real life. No flash used on either.







K-5; Siggy 10-20 f4, 30mm f1.4, 18-50mm f2.8, 70-200mm f2.8; Tammy 400mm f4, 500mm f8
Last Edited by whelmed on 19/05/2010 - 12:46

wadna

Link Posted 19/05/2010 - 12:45
"40mm DA limited is a wonderful performer and incredibly discrete if you enjoy street photography."

I haven't but it would be worth considering. I'll have to check it out. Thanks.

Regards, Ian.

wadna

Link Posted 19/05/2010 - 12:53
"If you've got the cash, the FA 31 ltd is the lens. I didn't so went with the siggy 30mm f1.4 and absolutely love it. I'm on a K10d so the 2/3 stop between 1.8 and 1.4 is a make or break in a lot of indoor / night shots. In terms of it being soft - pfft. The only softness I can see is in the extreme corners. If you're using this to shoot nature, the top corners will be sky, and the bottom ones may be a touch soft - but everything else is great.

Lets face it though, people buy fast glass for indoor / night / lowlight shooting. In those cases you'll be shooting between 1.4 and 2.0 and you'll have some extreme subject isolation - thus who cares if things in the corners are soft. If you don't want fast glass, go get a pancake lens, DA40, or hell even go with a DA* 16-50mm. The Samsung 35mm f2.0 can be had for a good deal as well if you're willing to give up 1 stop. It's a great lens.

Back to the 30mm Siggy. By corners what people mean when they see a slightly picture - the really mean the corners. I made the below in photoshop to try to illustrate what they mean. And it's not like it just starts being soft there, I mean at the edge of the red area it is starting to hint at being soft. In real life pictures you never notice this.

The next pics below are ones captured with the siggy @ f1.4 and ISO 1600 (i.e. good luck with a slower lens). The one of the two people is in a very dim room where the picture actually appears brighter than real life. No flash used on either."

Thanks for the detailed reply. The Sigma 30mm f1.4 was my initial choice until I read the reviews but your thoughts have given me food for thought.

The thought of telling my wife I've just spent A$1600+ on a lens is frightening - the K-7 was less than that!

Regards, Ian.

mikew

Link Posted 19/05/2010 - 12:56
Quote:
Lets face it though, people buy fast glass for indoor / night / lowlight shooting

No you don't, you buy it for limited DOF. Well I did.

Incidentally I have the Sigma 30/1.4 and find it to be very good even wide open. I have had one bad experience with CA so far.

Mike
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You can see some of my shots at my Flickr account.

Steve Chasey

Link Posted 19/05/2010 - 12:58
Having just done a 5 week tour Down Under when I used my K7 pretty well every day, I'd recommend the DA*16-50 - not often found to be too short or not wide enough. Primes are fine on your own patch - you have a rough idea of what's possible and whether it's wide or telephoto location but when your travelling, flexibility is key IMHO.

If your budget doesn't stretch to this lens, the DA 16-45 (available second hand only) will give you a similar focal range but a stop slower wide open and no weather sealing. Neither of these may be an issue in yr part of NSW, but if you go up to Cairns and beyond, weather sealing might be useful.

HTH


Steve
In the Pack - Gripped K5 (SE),K7 & K20, Gripped MZ-S(SE)& MZ-S,DA10-17, DA12-24, DA14, DA*16-50, 50-135, 60-250 & 300mm; FA31mm/43mm/77mm Ltds; Sigma 8-16, 135-400 & 150-500
Half Backs: K10+BG,DA16-45, DA50-200
Backs: LXs,Super As and lots of A, M & K lenses
Impact Subs: 28mm Shift, K 135-600 (the Banahan of Pentax zooms ), 400-600 Reflex

wadna

Link Posted 19/05/2010 - 12:59
"Incidentally I have the Sigma 30/1.4 and find it to be very good even wide open. I have had one bad experience with CA so far."

Thanks Mike. The 30mm f1.4 is looking better & better.

Regards, Ian.

wadna

Link Posted 19/05/2010 - 13:02
"Having just done a 5 week tour Down Under when I used my K7 pretty well every day, I'd recommend the DA*16-50 - not often found to be too short or not wide enough. Primes are fine on your own patch - you have a rough idea of what's possible and whether it's wide or telephoto location but when your travelling, flexibility is key IMHO.

If your budget doesn't stretch to this lens, the DA 16-45 (available second hand only) will give you a similar focal range but a stop slower wide open and no weather sealing. Neither of these may be an issue in yr part of NSW, but if you go up to Cairns and beyond, weather sealing might be useful."

Thanks Steve, it gets wet & humid here too (but not like Cairns). I'm aware of the versatility of the zoom - with a prime lens it can be a case of the one that got away.

Regards, Ian.
Last Edited by wadna on 19/05/2010 - 13:07

johnwhit

Link Posted 19/05/2010 - 13:04
Hi Ian

I'd be tempted by the FA 28mm f/2.8 or the FA 35mm f/2 if you can find a good used copy at the right price on the s/h market.

Regards,

John
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In LBA hiatus.

wadna

Link Posted 19/05/2010 - 13:05
Thanks John.

Regards, Ian.

Dr. Mhuni

Link Posted 19/05/2010 - 13:06
Another vote for the FA (or Samsung) 35 f2. A great performer from wide open and what's more very small and discreet. Smaller than the FA 31 & much smaller than the Sigma (I think?). I'd sacrifice the stop for the size any day.
Mhuni

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