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05-19-2010, 12:48 PM   #1
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Help me pick my next lens, part deux

Ok I had a thread/poll posted a few weeks ago on a few lenses I was trying to decide on for my next one. I got a lot of great responses so thanks to all who responded.

I was really leaning towards the 10-17 Fisheye as I've always wanted to get a fish...however...after some consideration and in part due to some of the thought provoking responses I got, I really think what I really want at this point in the game for my next lens is a good fast portrait prime lens. While I could have lots of fun with the fish, the reality is I think a fast portrait prime would be more useful to me to get that first

If I had the money, the 77 ltd. would be my choice, hands down. And I'm going to own one, eventually. Unfortunately...it would probably take me a few more months to save up to get one, which of course would take us to the end of summer...and I'd like to get something within the next week so I can start taking advantage of the nice weather.

Thing is...I'd also like a decent walkaround lens that gives me a bit more reach than the 18-55...I like my 18-55 it's a good sharp copy...but I just find myself wanting more reach...so that's something I'd like to get in the near future as well

So it boils down to this...my MAX budget right now is about $400 and ideally I'd like to grab 2 lenses...and of course ideally spend less if possible so I can begin saving for the next one

For a portrait prime lens, I am not objected to a manual focus lens...if I go the manual focus route, I'd prefer an 'A' type lens.

It boils down to this...what I'm looking at for fast portrait lenses I've pretty much narrowed down to this:

Pentax A or F/FA 50mm 1.4
Pentax A or F/FA 50mm 1.7
Samyang/Bower/Vivitar/Rokinon 85mm f/1.4

All of these are < $300 so that leaves me some change for a cheap zoom. Right now I'm actually leaning to the Samyang lens because I'm not sure if one of the 50's is going to suffice for me as far as length for the way I shoot (I tend to frame tight)...plus, I've seen some really good reviews on it. Also, the last time I carried around a bunch of primes (as a Canon shooter) I had a 35 f/2, a 50 1.8, and a 85 1.8 in my bag...and by far the one that got the most use is the 85 1.8. Anyone care to comment? I wish I could just afford the 77 right now...but I just can't swing it.

The DA70 and 43 LTD I've seen here and there go for under $500 and I might be able to stretch it...but I'd like something faster than the DA70's 2.4 and , well, longer than 43mm for a portrait lens (otherwise I wouldn't be waffling about the 50's above )

Plus then I wouldn't have any change for anything else

Anyone have any other ideas for this area?

For a walkaround lens obviously I"m looking to go cheap just to get me a little better reach than the 18-55....maybe something like a 28-105 3.2-4.5 or a 28-70 f/4....possibly something 3rd party if the price/quality ratio is right ...any suggestions in this area that I might find on the cheap?

05-19-2010, 12:51 PM - 1 Like   #2
Ira
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You'll probably have the most fun with the 85.

And yes--the write-ups on that lens are excellent. Optically, it's been rated as better than the Nikon.
05-19-2010, 01:45 PM - 1 Like   #3
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That's a hard decision. The point is, I think, you are going to get the 77mm Ltd. anyway. So buying the Samyang does not seem to make much sense to me.

I would, in this situation, go for the 50/1.4 - even if it is a bit wide for close portraits. It will be very useful, even after you got the 77mm. Something which you can't say about the Samyang.

In the "worst" case, you could add a 1.4x tc to the 50 and would have app. a 70/2 with some added portrait-softness for free. If you get a good 1.4x tc, it will still be useful for other lenses in the future.

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05-19-2010, 03:20 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
I would, in this situation, go for the 50/1.4 - even if it is a bit wide for close portraits. It will be very useful, even after you got the 77mm.
I agree. Besides, I suspect the Samyang is over-rated. Because of the low price, people buy it with low expectations and then are thrilled when it turns out to be a tad better than average.

05-19-2010, 03:47 PM   #5
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If you look at my signature and my lens list, you'll see that I'm biased.

But...

If you think you really need a 50 NOW, I would recommend a Super Multi Coated Takumar or Super Takumar 50 1.4 (M42s) with the adapter to bring you into the old style lens world at this focal length, and to get that old style film look.

At only 75 to 125 bucks tops, to boot.

Plus, the 85 you're looking at is not overrated at all. It's been rated by the experts to be superior optically to the Nikon at half the cost.

And like you said, you want to get CLOSER. And the last time I checked, an 85 gets you closer than a 50.

And the 77 may or may not be on your wish list as time goes on. These things change.
05-19-2010, 06:08 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
If you look at my signature and my lens list, you'll see that I'm biased.

But...

If you think you really need a 50 NOW, I would recommend a Super Multi Coated Takumar or Super Takumar 50 1.4 (M42s) with the adapter to bring you into the old style lens world at this focal length, and to get that old style film look.

At only 75 to 125 bucks tops, to boot.

Plus, the 85 you're looking at is not overrated at all. It's been rated by the experts to be superior optically to the Nikon at half the cost.

And like you said, you want to get CLOSER. And the last time I checked, an 85 gets you closer than a 50.

And the 77 may or may not be on your wish list as time goes on. These things change.
Well tell me this Ira....what do you think of the 55 1.8 Super Tak? I see it in your gear list. I actually have one of these I was trying to sell that I got with some other stuff at a yard sale a couple weeks ago...I just have no M42 adapter as of this time. I just looked at the reviews this lens seems to get pretty high ratings.

That may be my solution right there..... Both
05-19-2010, 06:23 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgmankos Quote
If I had the money, the 77 ltd. would be my choice, hands down.
Well, thereís your answer. Donít waste your money on half solutions, save up some more, wait some more, and get the lens you actually want to get.
05-20-2010, 01:56 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Plus, the 85 you're looking at is not overrated at all. It's been rated by the experts to be superior optically to the Nikon at half the cost.
Ira, there are other "experts", that testify to the contrary. It's the same story time and time again - lens tests, despite all measurements, are mostly not objective but an interpretation of data and perception. In German photo magazines, with extensive MTF measuremnts and brick wall examples the Samyang was always rated behind other 85mm lenses, but with a "good for the price" comment.

If "good for the price" is good enough for somebody, that's fine, but it does not necessarily mean "really good". I am fully with Greg here.

Ben

05-20-2010, 03:54 AM   #9
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I haven't read all the responses above, but if you want the 77 hands down - then save and get it. Buying interim "this will do me for now" lenses is a waste of time (I know...I've done it).

c[_]
05-20-2010, 07:45 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
I haven't read all the responses above, but if you want the 77 hands down - then save and get it. Buying interim "this will do me for now" lenses is a waste of time (I know...I've done it).

c[_]
Well, I gotta disagree with you there, at least when it comes to this stuff.

I'd rather buy something 'pretty good' and be able to create the images I'm looking to create, than go a several months without anything...especially the best 3 months of the year for outdoor people pics. I really am not 'chompin at the bit' to get the 77...I really only said if I had the money for it that would be the most obvious choice for what I want.

Besides...when you're dealing with lenses which hold their value pretty good to begin with, and with the forsale forum, ebay, etc...if you get something used at a decent price it isn't really difficult to get your investment back so it's not like you're risking a whole lot financially by making an interim purchase. With the digital bodies...now that's a different story as they lose too much value too quickly, so then it makes a little more sense to wait things out and get what you want.

At any rate...thanks everyone for the responses. I think I'm gonna pick up an M42 adapter, and try out this Super Tak 55 that I have here....and go from there.
05-20-2010, 08:50 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgmankos Quote
At any rate...thanks everyone for the responses. I think I'm gonna pick up an M42 adapter, and try out this Super Tak 55 that I have here....and go from there.
Good call!
Maybe you've read up on adapters, but nothing's better (or as good as) the original:
PentaxWebstore Mount Adapter K(35m m Screwmount to Bayonet)

At $30.95 (+ shipping, probably), it's more expensive than the knockoffs, but much easier to use, and not always in stock (which is why some eBay sellers try and get up to $75 for them!).
05-20-2010, 08:54 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgmankos Quote
Well tell me this Ira....what do you think of the 55 1.8 Super Tak? I see it in your gear list. I actually have one of these I was trying to sell that I got with some other stuff at a yard sale a couple weeks ago...I just have no M42 adapter as of this time. I just looked at the reviews this lens seems to get pretty high ratings.

That may be my solution right there..... Both
For the money, you have to go for it. I don't shoot with mine much for no particular reason.

Just got too much stuff.
05-20-2010, 08:56 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Ira, there are other "experts", that testify to the contrary. It's the same story time and time again - lens tests, despite all measurements, are mostly not objective but an interpretation of data and perception. In German photo magazines, with extensive MTF measuremnts and brick wall examples the Samyang was always rated behind other 85mm lenses, but with a "good for the price" comment.

If "good for the price" is good enough for somebody, that's fine, but it does not necessarily mean "really good". I am fully with Greg here.

Ben
We all make our compromises where we have to do based on our wallets.
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