But if? If more funds dropped into my lap for photography, where would it go? Let me count the ways..
First off: inventory.
On the AF front I am covered from 18mm to 300mm with very good Pentax zooms. For manual-focus fun I have things covered at 28mm and from 35-150mm with a prime and two zooms (all from what I'll call Ricoh's bronze age - hopefully the golden age begins soon!). I have a macro lens, several decent filters, a good-enough tripod and bags to carry the gear. Memory aplenty and two batteries. Check.
I have to say my limitations are few, and thoroughly self-imposed. I have no "fast glass", and I am very happy about that! To spend twice as much cash to carry thrice the weight, so that I can shoot at f/2.8 instead of f/4.5? With a K-5 that can shoot iso6400 or better with careful attention? As Bilbo Baggins will soon be saying on screen, No thank you!
As to range, I feel only slightly cramped and only at the wide end. I should like to pass beyond 18mm - though something like 10mm would more likely distract my concentration - why compose when you can take a picture with everything in it? That's an awful thing to say but I can hear it even now; the lazy imager in me will not be silenced and my guard must stay up. To keep lenses small and scale under some semblance of control, I'd like a prime or two for going ultrawide.
My Mental Shopping List
If money frees up for a large purchase my most likely next lens will be 15mm, most likely the DA15. Let's face it though, I also fancy Sigma's 15mm fisheye, which yields a bit more speed at the price of bent lines. One of those would likely be followed by the DA21. I really like the 28 that I have and it would probably have a comfortable place on my shelf if the 21 came about. The Sigma EX DG 50mac that I own now is too good to waste my dreams on the Limiteds from 40 to 70mm, which is a great relief even to my dreams. I do not doubt I would really enjoy the DA 12-24 and hear nothing but good about it, but apparently in my dreams it's prime time.
On the tele end: nothing really. The DA55-300 was made with me in mind - if I need more I shall crop, and if I stay below 250mm I shall be rewarded.
The only other item of some interest is a catch-all that is as good or better than the Sigma 18-200 that I have enjoyed more than once in my imaging career. I hated to let that go last time but the budget makes demands that must be obeyed. However, Pentax has mapped out a similar lens in their near future which has my interest. Other than "DA High-Magnification Zoom" and a fuzzy blur that looks like ~18-200mm we know nothing of substance in May 2012. Will it have quick-shift, weather seals, faster aperture settings? Will it be an XS model for the K-01? Will it be available in fuschia? No strike that, not a priority :^) - but its final configuration will go a long way to determining if it lands in my bag.
Fun times ahead - as always, budget permitting.
Further ruminations on the 15mm selection
We Pentax users have two very good candidates with distinctive features: the DA15 Limited and Sigma's fisheye. It's hard to argue against two lenses with great reputations, but the differences are clear; each of us will put a 'price' on those differences and choose the right lens. Both have 7 aperture blades and neither are weather sealed. Superlatives abound on the internet for both.
- On the DA side of things we have less field curvature, quick-shift, filter threads and those features that make Limiteds so beloved. It's a bit smaller and 100g lighter.
- On the Sigma side we have full-frame coverage, f/2.8 and an aperture ring. It can get close enough for 1:4 life size closeups. The fisheye effect on aps-c is muted but still evident.
and a week later, we did see - here's the update.