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08-16-2010, 07:46 PM   #31
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Pentax kind of decided for me

The solution for the wide angle was actually very easy.

At B&H I looked up the prices in dollars and found the following:
- K-x + 18-55 mm kit - Black - 499 USD
- K-x + 18-55 mm kit - Navy - 529 USD

So other color is slightly more expensive. But how about body-only. Hmm, they only seem to have that one in Black and guess what?
- K-x - Black - 509 USD

So if I want the body only then I can only get it in black and then it would be 10 USD cheaper to also accept the 18-55 mm kit lens with it...
- In dependent on the color the 18-55 mm is VERY cheap (I actually have no choice, you will get it if you don't want a black camera)

On the long and I was concern about the price of Pentax (vs clearly slightly better lens) and if 50 mm would be too long for my taking candid portrait pictures of my kid. So I did some surfing (of course to be confirmed in shop by myself). Here the background info / results:
Even though telephoto lens is more desirable for portraits, but there is limitation of telephoto lens. One of the limitation is space, you need more space to work around with telephoto lens. If you are working indoor in small studio/room, you canít use telephoto lens effectively.

Close up portrait tips – lens focal length

That means you want to stand at 10 or 15 feet away from him so that his nose isn't significantly closer to you than the rest of his face.
Portrait Photography guide and tips from Photo.net - Page 2

Here two other nice links:
Digital Photography Tutorial: Focal Length - TrustedReviews - TrustedReviews

Portrait Photographer - Thoughts from a Master.
So the 50 at the wide end should be OK (compared to Tamron 28-75 mm F2.8, with much less reach at the tele side and probably significantly worse lens either way). Then the prices at B&H:
- Pentax DA* 50-135 F2.8 - 819 USD
- Sigma 50-150 F2.8 - 749 USD

Only 70 bucks, I made up my mind!!!

In the future I will probably have to buy some other / additional lens in the wide range. A fast prime or one (zoom) that goes well beyond 24 mm (35 mm full frame equivalent), time will tell.

WHICH COLOR!!!
- Will the price of body (+ kit lens) drop close to photonika?

08-16-2010, 08:59 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by JoepLX3 Quote
(does that last one give "normal" (non-fish-eye shots at 17 mm?)).
Nope, it's fishy all the way down. One reason I use the Zenitar 16/2.8 is because it's equally fishy but notably faster than the 10-17 zoom, which is f/4.5 at the high end. Rectilinear wide means a 12-24 or 10-20 (not small, not cheap) or a fine Pentax 14 or 15mm prime (quite not cheap). I'll defish images from 16-17mm but that has consequences around the edges. Bother.
08-16-2010, 09:49 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Nope, it's fishy all the way down. One reason I use the Zenitar 16/2.8 is because it's equally fishy but notably faster than the 10-17 zoom, which is f/4.5 at the high end. Rectilinear wide means a 12-24 or 10-20 (not small, not cheap) or a fine Pentax 14 or 15mm prime (quite not cheap). I'll defish images from 16-17mm but that has consequences around the edges. Bother.
Thanks for fast feedback. I can understand your defishing approach, but then I can also to the panorama sweep and fishing, right?

Eitherway, it just comfirms my approach is pretty right for me:
- K-x + kit 18-55 + DA* 50-135 mm F2.8

Then depending on my need / development:
- fast prime for portraits (30 -50 -85 mm)
- prime for macro (if needed, can be used on and/or MF)
- more fast tele (prime or zoom is tbc, if I wanna go do bird spotting or my kids start play out door sports)
- more wide (probably not)
08-17-2010, 04:57 AM   #34
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Hi All,

Went again to Big Camera in Nagoya and they were rearranging the whole DSLR department (guess we have some new camera announcements coming up) and confirmed the working distance of the 50-135 mm will be right for me.

Inside it will be perfect for candid portrait of my kids. If the kids are close I need to zoom out to 50 to still have there full face fit within the frame. If they are on the other side of the room I can utilize my tools perfectly!!!
For outside I just zoom in to 135 to be able to also get facial portraits there. When they grow up and play further away I will probably need to make full body pictures either way. Or I can go close myself, because I don't have to watch them that much any more and can execute my photography hobby more freely.
For close-up on the other side of the soccer field I will need another lens that I don't want now either way...

Some good and some bad news, if you want a different color then black, then you have to get the 18-55 kit lens with it. But at least at B&H the body seperately is actually more expensive than the kit. So that lens is kind of cheaper than for free. I will try that out without throwing away any money at this point in time and decide later if I need to get something more on that side.

Oh, they didn't have many colors in the shop and at B&H they only of four either (black, white, red and navy blue). But also here I have good news, look here:

Japanese commercial for PENTAX K-x - have to see (sufficient English available to navigate site)!!!

(you can look up your camera + lens in any color combination, but just clicking on small camera on the left top)

I am probably going for Olive Green body with Black grip, but let me know which color you would go for!!!

PS: Some price info (before >10% discount, including tax):
Pentax 50-135 F2.8 = 126,000 Yen
Sigma 50-150 F2.8 = 98,000 Yen

Sigma 50 F1.4 = 56,700 Yen
- Will this prime given better brokeh than 50-135 F2.8 used at e.g. 100 mm?

Flashes (before > 5% discount, including tax):
Sigma EF 530 DG Standard = 20,800 Yen
Sigma EF 530 DG Super = 29,000 Yen
Pentax AF 360 FGZ = 23,400 Yent
- The Sigma actually looked pretty BIG, is the Pentax any good?

PS: The 50-135 is actually bigger than the attached lens below. With a small prine the K-x becomes nic and compact, almost like GF1 with 20 mm F1.7...

Attached Images
 

Last edited by JoepLX3; 08-17-2010 at 05:04 AM.
08-17-2010, 09:34 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by JoepLX3 Quote
Hi All,

Went again to Big Camera in Nagoya and they were rearranging the whole DSLR department (guess we have some new camera announcements coming up) and confirmed the working distance of the 50-135 mm will be right for me.

Inside it will be perfect for candid portrait of my kids. If the kids are close I need to zoom out to 50 to still have there full face fit within the frame. If they are on the other side of the room I can utilize my tools perfectly!!!
For outside I just zoom in to 135 to be able to also get facial portraits there. When they grow up and play further away I will probably need to make full body pictures either way. Or I can go close myself, because I don't have to watch them that much any more and can execute my photography hobby more freely.
For close-up on the other side of the soccer field I will need another lens that I don't want now either way...

Some good and some bad news, if you want a different color then black, then you have to get the 18-55 kit lens with it. But at least at B&H the body seperately is actually more expensive than the kit. So that lens is kind of cheaper than for free. I will try that out without throwing away any money at this point in time and decide later if I need to get something more on that side.

Oh, they didn't have many colors in the shop and at B&H they only of four either (black, white, red and navy blue). But also here I have good news, look here:

Japanese commercial for PENTAX K-x - have to see (sufficient English available to navigate site)!!!

(you can look up your camera + lens in any color combination, but just clicking on small camera on the left top)

I am probably going for Olive Green body with Black grip, but let me know which color you would go for!!!

PS: Some price info (before >10% discount, including tax):
Pentax 50-135 F2.8 = 126,000 Yen
Sigma 50-150 F2.8 = 98,000 Yen

Sigma 50 F1.4 = 56,700 Yen
- Will this prime given better brokeh than 50-135 F2.8 used at e.g. 100 mm?

Flashes (before > 5% discount, including tax):
Sigma EF 530 DG Standard = 20,800 Yen
Sigma EF 530 DG Super = 29,000 Yen
Pentax AF 360 FGZ = 23,400 Yent
- The Sigma actually looked pretty BIG, is the Pentax any good?

PS: The 50-135 is actually bigger than the attached lens below. With a small prine the K-x becomes nic and compact, almost like GF1 with 20 mm F1.7...

so, what are you going to buy?
08-18-2010, 08:14 AM   #36
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Only the Red, White and Black are stocked in stores. For other colors you have to buy them via internet and you pay 20% more, that is even before the > 10% discount I will get in a store.

But still aiming for K-x with 50-135 mm F2.8.
- Checking out Tele-converter possibilities for the future...

White looks to be dirty very fast, red is a little boring, so maybe just plain black.
08-18-2010, 09:23 AM   #37
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Just three comments here, from a relative dslr newbie whose son is almost 2:
1. You can't really go wrong trying out a couple of manual focus primes. Auto aperture costs a bit more, but eliminates the weirdness of 'step down metering', and KA lenses or equivalent off-brands should be consistently less than 100 euro per. Of course, what I learned from MF primes was that I loved primes but not MF, which has since cost me I'm AF prime LBA . . . but the MF prime experience itself was cheap and worrthwhile.
2. Consider the 1.7 AF teleconverter from Pentax. On good glass (such as DA* 50-135) it gives extra reach at the price of an exposure stop: 80-230 f4.5 in this case. It also lets old MF primes become longer as AF primes, which could be a lighter alternative to consider as your shooting style evolves. While not in catalogues I believe, this AF TC is easier to find in Japan.
3. Many of my own favourite shots of my son were taken with my DA 40 Limited. My ideal preference for an indoors lens is probably a bit wider, like my 35 or 28, but there is also something about the DA 40 + K-x combination that is extremely attractive in the hand. I don't know what the Japanese or Euro price situation is for the DA 40, but it would be an obvious add-on to consider for your kit.

Good luck!
08-18-2010, 10:29 AM   #38
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I'm a little wary of trying to assemble the ultimate set right away. The 50-135 is reputed to be an outstanding zoom, but it is large and expensive.

If you are going with the K-x, you may, as I did, fall in love with its size. I would probably get the k-x plus DA18-55, and add a tiny, fast and sharp DA70 for portraits of the kids. The FA77 is my kid portait lens of choice out of 20 or so lenses I own. However, it is expensive. The DA70 is cheaper, of very high quality, and, at F 2.5, only lacks a stop in max aperture. You will have a high quality portrait option, and the high ISO capabilities of the K-x will let you keep the kit lens at its best settings.

Your total kit will leave you enough money for getting what you (and we) will undoubtedly overlook in this analysis.

08-18-2010, 09:46 PM   #39
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Gosh, both very good remarks, where to start?

First the obvious, the DA*50-135 mm F2.8 being BIG. Yes, it is large as well as expensive and if I will be able to handle that is a concern. That means I am strong enough to carry it and make pictures with it, of course using both hands. But will it push me back in bringing the whole camera at all? Actually, it might...
On the other hand, by buying a good one instead of a cheap 18-250 mm full range tele zoom I push myself to bring and use it, don't you think this one looks more cool and will be more fun to use? This lens is also an investment for the future, depending on my childrens social / sports interest, maybe in combination with a tele converter!


But first about primes. The idea of primes attracks me a lot, especially a small one that will make me bring my camera every where (iso / next to LX3 my wife practically owns), but also to inspire my photography development (I am still a newbie). The question is actual which focal length?!?!?! Oh, I am aware none of you will be able to tell me, because in the end it is a very personal choice and totally depending on the individual photography interest (and they can be rather diverse).
  • At this moment I see the following applications:
  • Ultra wide: I am not a ultra-wide / fish-eye fan, but time can change that and it might tease me. Many subjects in this categorie will be static, so a used manual focus prime will for sure be something to consider.
  • Kit lens replacement: Fast prime in he 18-55 range to for example enable more indoor low light photo graphy, but also to boost image quality any where I would normally use the 18-55. In the 35 mm full frame equivalents probably something close to 40-50 mm, so a F < 2 prime in 25-33 mm range.
  • Portrait prime: That is for more / better brokeh than the 50-135 also for indoor photography at low light without flash. Hmm, that is competition to the expensive lens, I kind of hope that I don't really need it and only will buy it in case I just want it next to the 50-135.
  • Far tele: Let me start with teleconverter for the 50-135 lens, OK?
  • Macro: Can't I discover this area with a cheap used manual focus prime or and extension tube on a lens I already have or would buy for applications that interest me more? Is it correct that longer prime is best for this application? If so then I should focus on the 50-135 lens I already have, a portrait prime + teleconverter (is this even possible?) or a dedicated prime in 80-200 mm range...
  • Walk arround: Small and light form-factor at practical and/or teasing focal length, preferably with auto focus, see above for focal length "categories" that might be attactive, so compactness is a pre for all of them (in least extend for macro)..
Initially I was thinking about the Sigma 50 mm F1.4 (many good reviews for portrait applications) and I noticed Sigma also has a 30 mm F1.4 (I didn't have look at the reviews so far). Pentax is probably most know by its prime line-up, so too much for a newbie like me to make up my mind... It might also be interesting for me to kick off with a cheaper used prime. Wait, I can start with trying out my father's old Pentax 50 mm F2 manual focus lens, which is also pretty compact.
- To be continued...

Then about the tele converter. How does that work? I don't see a need to put into the kit lens, but would for sure be interesting icw the 50-135 mm lens as well as the 50 mm lens to try out, especially if it would "recover" autofocus. Will it impact my preference for a prime? Don't know. The lens for portrait should be fastest, so that one can be come a Macro with a tele converter. But a teleconverter on a nice limited prime, would that really help?
- Can't they make 1x tele converters for lenses with not Pentax mounting?
- Would my fathers 50 mm F2 become automatic focus prime at 50x1.5x1.7= 127.5 mm (35 mm FF equi.) with F3 or F4 ?

Last edited by JoepLX3; 08-18-2010 at 09:56 PM.
08-18-2010, 10:39 PM - 1 Like   #40
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Perfect for indoor in all but the lowest light. Fast AF. Tiny.





Ignore the audio recorder on top. That's what the DA* 50-135/F2.8 looks like on the K-x. Big but very usable. The 50-135 SDM is on the slow side with regards to AF, but workable.

Good luck!
08-18-2010, 11:16 PM   #41
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Looks great!!!
- and the tiny 40 mm prime with K-x also is a sweet combination

Thanks for pictures
- wouldn't have be great if the K-x would have had a connection for stereo microphone...

What other lenses do you have (and use regularly)?

Last edited by JoepLX3; 08-18-2010 at 11:29 PM.
08-19-2010, 01:03 AM   #42
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Just read myself into the Pentax 1.7x teleconverter:
- Looks like it should work (incl auto focus) with any Fast Pentax mount lens

(just do search on Pentax 1.7x at this site and dpreview)

It has an optical moving focus mechanism inside, so to prefer you just have to put the lens you are going to adapt towards infinity and it should work most of the times. If not then you should "one time" do a rough manual focus to get it into the range of the converter.
- Fast means F4 or faster (you might have luck with slower lenses in good light conditions, but no guarantees) and the the 1.7x will reduce the effective speed by one and a half stop (and increase focal length by 1.7x...)

The only think that is not clear to me (yet) is aperture control.
  • For lenses with manual aperture control it is easy, just continue to use the mechanism of the lens. But I am not 200% sure if in camera determination of shutter speed will be OK, can somebody confirm? (for sure info in RAW/JPG will be useless)
  • For lenses with automatic aperture control (both Pentax and non-Pentax), you need to find out if this teleconverter is compatible with this lens, but I don't know where to find such information...
Oh, in the older post I found they stated Pentax stopped making this things and it might be hard to get hold of one. Here in Japan it is just in the catalog (but it is in Japanese and I can't read Japanese, sorry), next I go to shop I will check price and availability.
08-19-2010, 07:43 AM   #43
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For your earlier questions:
o generally 1x adapters are not possible, though I will leave the explanation to wiser folks
o yes, your father's 50mm f2 will function as roughly 85mm optical, 130mm FOV (35mm equivalent) f 3.5 or so. I have used my KA 50 f 1.7 in the same way, it comes to about f 2.8. Does your father's have the auto-aperture (A) setting? If it doesn't, and is K or M series, then you will have to learn the mysteries of step-down metering.
o it sounds as though the normal prime you would be happiest to have is the FA Limited 31mm. Note the price of this lens! I looked into the Stigma alternatives, the 30mm 1.4 and the 28mm 1.8, before stumbling into the FA 35 f2 and FA 28 2.8 combination. I couldn't get over the size of the Stigma lenses, more than any issue with edge sharpness. YMMV. You might want to think of the 31mm Ltd as a possible long term solution.
for your newer questions:
o for aperture control of manual aperture lenses, you must use step down metering. Let me know how that works out for you. :-)
o I am not aware of any issues with aperture control in using the 1.7x TC with Pentax A series, FA series or DA Limited lenses, and I have tried all three. Notice that aperture must be controlled from the body as is true with all current Pentax digital bodies. For manual aperture setting of A and later lenses with digital bodies (whether using the TC or no) set the lens to auto and control with the camera.

I am sure you will have fun with your new setup!
08-19-2010, 09:07 AM   #44
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Thanks for answers!!!

Sigma F1.4 primes are indeed large (but affordable compared to the limited F<2 you mentioned, I already knew and want to avoid that one a little...)

Pentax FA 50 mm 1.4 is also a nice to consider, but may I really have to go for the 30 mm Sigma.

Would that 1.7x teleconverter be the best match for DA*50-135 as well as the Sigma 50-150?

PS: Step down metering sounds like "as bad as" manual focus... The lens is as old as, or even a couple of years older than I am and I am from 1974. I am pretty sure it has a ring for both focus and aperture and the camera then automatically calculated shutter speed, isn't that fancy? So I would hope a camera from 2010 would also be able to do that...
08-19-2010, 09:27 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by JoepLX3 Quote
Looks great!!!
- and the tiny 40 mm prime with K-x also is a sweet combination

Thanks for pictures
- wouldn't have be great if the K-x would have had a connection for stereo microphone...

What other lenses do you have (and use regularly)?
Click on the pic with the DA40 and you'll see a whole bunch of primes. I use the DA Limiteds for play and the DA* zooms for work.
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