15 July 2015

revenge of the primes

It's been a big 3 weeks of gear-trading!
 - and I did not see it coming.  I made my plans but the path meandered a bit..

It began with a great deal on a DA* 50-135 followed by an absurd deal on a DA17-70.  The DA* is a great lens, but the 55-300 was holding strong to its place in the lineup; slower yes and in more ways than one, but so much more convenient and less bulky.  While contemplating next steps I sent away a lot of gear the 50-135 rendered less relevant in hopes of grabbing a used DA14 or DA15; neither was available so instead I came away with a gently-used DA10-17 Fish-Eye.
 Then an trade offer hit the forum: Limited primes for DA* zooms!  With a minimal amount of negotiation I came away with the DA15 and DA40  - and the 55-300 retained its place.  In theory I gained value with both the great price on the 50-135 and again with the two primes; value was important but in practical terms I'll use the Limited primes more often than the bulky DA* zoom.
Speaking of value, the DA15 was a sure bet to crowd out the 10-17 since an ultrawide prime was my original goal - so the 10-17 became available to sell and recoup some expenses.  And after some hard thinking I decided the DA15 plus 24-40-50-100 primes was more userful and practical to me than the 17-70.. so that zoom also became expendable.

Today those two zooms left the building, victims of the DA15 and the primes in my bag.  The NX300 and 135mm lens left two days earlier, so cupboards are quite bare - but the remaining lenses are quite uniformly excellent and very well matched.  On a scale to 10, forum users review my lenses thusly:
DA15 / K24 / DA40 / M100 / 55-300 -> 9.2 / 8.6 / 9.6 / 9.3 / 8.8
While those are just opinions, experience shows these to be reasonable estimates - and my prices were seriously low which increases the value factor.  The low rating on my list is the smcA 50mm f/2, which is underrated by its proximity to the 50mm f/1.7 variants.

- But wait!   One last deal remains to be sorted, as a DFA 50/2.8 1:1 macro arrives tomorrow to contest with the DA40 Limited.  If the macro (user rating 9.4) wins out the DA40 will likely sell for a net gain of funds, as the DFA was priced lower than I'd have expected.

In the end I saved on several levels: weight, expense, aperture (all except the DA15 are f/2.8 or faster).  Add in the imminent arrival of the supercompact K-s1 dSLR and those primes will really be able to show their best: the faster AF motor and absence of a low-pass filter means my images will be as good as anything currently available.  Oh sure, 42 megapixels beats 20M every day   And when you can afford the camera with that sensor..- when you can store them.

Stay tuned! Another group photo will be coming soon !
In the meantime a bit of humour:
less than a month ago I posted
this as my "power team" lens set - 
now only the 55-300 (far left) remains!

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