Monday, December 15, 2008

Pentax Lenses preference.

Hi Pentaxian friends,

We all have preferences when it comes to lenses. The type of photography you like pretty much dictates what lens works best for you. For example, landscape usually works best with wide-angle lenses, portrait can have more selective focusing with small to medium telephoto lenses with large aperture, sport photography requires telephoto (or zoom) lenses with large maximum aperture, wildlife works best with extreme telephoto lenses, etc.

Nowadays, zoom lenses are very popular, although a reverse trend to prime lenses seems to exist amongst Pentax shooters. The current zoom lenses are certainly better than the zoom lenses manufactured decades ago, but because they have more moving parts, it makes sense that prime lenses would have an edge in IQ.

There are many choices on the market, from genuine Pentax lenses to brands like Sigma and Tamron. There is also the price factor. I would like to own a Pentax SMC P-FA 600mm F4.0 ED (IF), but there is no way that I could justify that purchase. I probably wouldn’t use it much and owning one of these monsters is more of a statement than a need. "He who has the biggest lens wins!"

Like many of us (Pentaxians), I like the Limited lenses because of their physical sizes and because they are very well built. I’m still looking for the Limited lenses pouch. Used with the new K2000, they make the perfect travel or street shooting outfit. The one pet peeve of mine is that I like all my lenses to have the same filter sizes. That works fine with the Limited lenses as they all have 49mm filter thread and also with the Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4. I currently own the 40mm and the 70mm Limited’s. With time, I will get the rest.

I own some of the prime and zoom lenses, and I want them all to have 77mm filter threads. I currently have the DA 14mm, DA 12-24mm, DA*16-50, DA* 200mm, and the DA* 300mm. They all have the 77mm filter threads in common.

Soon, I will put my non-conforming lenses on EBay, DA 18-55mm, DA 18-55mm II, DA 50-200mm, DA 16-45mm and a bunch of “A” and “M” lenses. I have the DA 10-17mm, but it doesn’t accept filters, so I will keep it.

I use circular polarizer and neutral density filters. That minimises the need for more filters. I have a set of 49mm and a set of 77mm filters. I know I could use step-up rings, but that would just be more items to forget at home.

I recently purchase a “Cokin P” filter system consisting of a CPL, ND2, ND4, ND8, graduated ND and sunset. They work okay, but are still a little too big for the Limited lenses. I will post an article about the “Cokin” system soon. It’s not for everyone.

Let all of us know what your lens’s pet peeves are in the comments. I’m sure we all have some.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque
P.S. I'm trying to make my photographic system all genuine Pentax...another pet peeve. Maybe it's an obsession, I don't know!

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