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07-23-2010, 12:04 AM   #1
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Fast Prime?

Hi,
I am looking for fast prime lens for low light no flash general photography in range of 35 mm to 55 mm. What do you suggest?
Regards,
Nitin

07-23-2010, 12:07 AM   #2
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I'll shamelesly recommend the A50f1.2. Else some form of a 35mm f2 is good too.
07-23-2010, 12:18 AM   #3
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What's your budget? There are a whole host of options in that range.
07-23-2010, 12:20 AM   #4
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There are several excellent fast primes around 50mm, among which the Carl Zeiss 50mm f1.4 and the Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f 1.4 are considered possibly the best IQ lenses.

Yet there are also some excellent older Pentax lenses, like 50mm f1.4 and 50mm f1.7.

You may need to consider your budget, MF or AF, and 'new or used'.


07-23-2010, 12:21 AM   #5
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About $400.
07-23-2010, 12:32 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
There are several excellent fast primes around 50mm, among which the Carl Zeiss 50mm f1.4 and the Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f 1.4 are considered possibly the best IQ lenses.

Yet there are also some excellent older Pentax lenses, like 50mm f1.4 and 50mm f1.7.

You may need to consider your budget, MF or AF, and 'new or used'.
No preference of MF/AF/New/Used. Anything that is good will work. Since I will use it for general photography I am looking for decent corner to corner sharpness at wide apertures. Budget is around $400. Thanks!!
07-23-2010, 12:48 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by kharenitin Quote
Hi,
I am looking for fast prime lens for low light no flash general photography in range of 35 mm to 55 mm. What do you suggest?
Regards,
Nitin
35-55,....that's a fair range....lots of different lenses in that category with lots of different characteristics.
However, if you want to "generalize", & consider a lens that will be satisfactory in a multitude of situations, then I believe that a GENUINE Pentax 50mm 1.4....M42, K,M,A or whatever, will serve you well.
Cheers, Pickles.
07-23-2010, 01:51 AM   #8
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there's a lot of excellent lenses within that range. if you are looking for a specialty lowlight lens, an A50/1.2 would be great for such purpose. it can work for general photography as long as the focal length doesn't bother you.

other lens choices would be, FA35/2, FA43/1.8, FA50/1.4, DA55/1.4.

you can find some cheaper MF 50/1.4 and 55/1.8 or 55/2 as well.

07-23-2010, 03:06 AM   #9
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Another vote for Pentax 50/1.2 (if you can go for A if not, K is just as good but lack A contac obviously).
07-23-2010, 05:58 AM   #10
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In that range, I have the Sigma EX DG 28mm f/1.8 Aspherical Macro, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, and Cosina 55mm f/1.2 (a manual focus lens), all of which cost less than $400. I find I shoot most often with the Sigma, due primarily to it's focal length on APS-C (where it is a 'normal' lens). I've been very happy with the pictures I get from it.
07-23-2010, 07:58 AM   #11
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I use the Sigma 50 mm/f1.4 and am very happy with it. It is AF and most of the other lenses people are recommending are MF. Another popular AF choices seem to be FA 50 mm/f1.4. I chose the sigma because it seemed to be more usefule wide open, it has quickshift focus, quieter motor, and its constructin feels more solid than the plastic construction of the pentax. The major drawback over the pentax is that it is big and heavy, but that doesn't bother me.

Were you looking for an AF or MF lens?
07-23-2010, 08:18 AM   #12
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I'd start by trying to narrow down your focal length range a bit. There's a huge difference between 35mm and 55mm. I personally wouldn't find a 55mm very useful at all for general photography - I already retired my 50's from that duty for being too long. For me, it's more like 28-40 that is most useful, which is still a pretty big range, but I cover it using two lenses (a 28 and a 40).

Personally, the DA40 is what I like best for this. I know - it's "only" f/2.8, but at ISO 1600 or 3200 in a pinch, that's enough 99.99% of the time. And I love the focal length, the small size, the fast focus, and the price is good.

If for some reason I just couldn't stomach shooting at f/2.8 and were willing to throw away ahalf my pictures for having the subject OOF for too shallow DOF, I'd probably go with the Voigtlander 40 or maybe save money with the M35/2. If I didn't mind the size, I'd push the budget by a few dollars to get the Sigma 30/1.4. Or I'd sit tight to Photokina in the (probably vain) hopes that Pentax announces something else.
07-23-2010, 08:27 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by kharenitin Quote
No preference of MF/AF/New/Used. Anything that is good will work. Since I will use it for general photography I am looking for decent corner to corner sharpness at wide apertures. Budget is around $400. Thanks!!
You won't get corner to corner sharpness at wide apertures, even for a $2000 budget. Sorry, that the hard laws of optics.

Cheers,

Abbazz
07-23-2010, 08:57 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
0 is what I like best for this. I know - it's "only" f/2.8, but at ISO 1600 or 3200 in a pinch, that's enough 99.99% of the time. And I love the focal length, the small size, the fast focus, and the price is good.
+1 to that recommendation. Best bang for your buck if you want autofocus. f/2.8 on digital is plenty fast.

Second would be the FA 50/1.4, but an FA and F 1.7 are available on the marketplace as well.

And no lens in your price range and fast has corner to corner sharpness. The wider the lens, the greater the reduction in sharpness.
07-23-2010, 09:14 AM   #15
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I'll echo what's been said already. My first lens in this range was a M 1.7 that I had from my film days. That was good, but I decided an A lens would be better (less fiddly on dSLR) so I sold the M and got a A 50. That lens has served me well and is my fastest.
More recently I got the DA40 2.8 and I find that is the lens I keep on the camera the majority of the time. A K-x with a DA40 is a great, versatile, and small package that has been serving me well. The quick and accurate AF gets me a lot of shots I would have missed while focusing on the MF 50.
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