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10-19-2010, 08:27 PM   #1
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If you had just a K10d body and $100 what lens would you get?

I'd love to hear what type of lens (prime, zoom, wide, macro) whatever you would choose as most important and why

And if possible model numbers and where to buy then.

Thanks a bunch

10-19-2010, 08:50 PM   #2
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$100...that's a tough budget.

Definitely a prime. It'll get you more comfortable with a specific perspective until you feel that you're ready to move on (and...when you have some more budget). Are you comfortable with manual focus? What type of shooting do you do? Do you like up close and personal?

I'd say a cheap 28mm prime (Pentax-A 28mm/2.8) , or a 85mm/2 Jupiter-9 if you're fine with MF.
10-19-2010, 08:51 PM   #3
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M 50 f/1.7 or A 50 f/1.7 if you can find one for the price.
10-19-2010, 08:57 PM   #4
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Tamron SP 90/2.5
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10-19-2010, 09:01 PM   #5
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I'd search the marketplace here and see what I could afford. $100.00 isn't much to put towards a lens.
10-19-2010, 09:26 PM   #6
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Easy. I'd get either the original 18-55 or the DAL version, and take what's left over and get a SMC-A 50mm f/2. It might take a bit of searching, but you should be able to do it for $100 with just a bit of work.
10-19-2010, 09:28 PM   #7
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I would get the F 35-70mm f3.5-4.5 or the FA 28-70mm f4 and put the rest towards a fast 50 or 55mm mf lens. Both these zooms will smoke any of the 18-55 lenses in IQ and are far more compact and overall faster.
10-19-2010, 09:30 PM   #8
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The kit 18-55mm lens (any of them) is hard to beat for versatility at under $50 used and they are pretty common.

On a good day you might be able to get a Super Takumar or SMC Takumar 50mm f/1.4 and an adaptor for $100. It would be tight, but a Takumar 55mm f/1.8 and a 28mm f/3.5 or 35mm f/3.5 might also be doable.

I know a guy who bought an F 50mm f/1.7 for $20 at a camera show last weekend, so anything is possible on the used market. My Super Tak 50mm f/1.4, Super Tak 105mm f/2.8 and SMC Tak 135mm f/3.5 came out to under $100 with an adaptor, but finding that kind of deal takes patience, research and legwork.

The A 28mm f/2.8 is a good general purpose lens at ~$80.

You may be able to get one or two F or FA series kit zooms (35-70, 35-135, 70-210, etc.) for under $100, but check the lens database first to make sure you get one of the models with a decent reputation - Pentax sold a few really questionable kit lenses in the 80's and 90's.

SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5 Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Review Database

Seeing as you're in Japan you might ask Mike Cash politely where he gets his low cost Takumars.

10-19-2010, 10:26 PM   #9
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The best IQ for the money would be the A50/1.7. Adding three other lenses to that, each of which can be had for around $100 or less, you could have a very nice kit: the A24-50/4, the F70-210/4-5.6 (get the Tak version to keep the cost down), and the Cosina 100/3.5 macro. All of them give nice IQ. Actually I have just this as my "cheap" kit that I can take anywhere without worry. However, I'd sometimes want to replace the A24-50/4 with a more expensive AF lens like the F24-50/4, FA20-35/4, FA24-90/3.5-4.5, or FA28-105/3.2-4.5. Note that any of these would work just as well on Film as on Digital.

Other worthy candidates are the F35-70/3.5-4.5, the FA28-70/4, K28/3.5, and the Tak 135/2.5. I almost never use my 18-55 kit lens (which is OK), but I'm happy to use any of these - most of which I still have. There are many M lenses - both prime and zoom - which look worthwhile too, but I don't have any of them.

But really, you should also consider increasing the budget to get a DA35/2.4, from what I've seen so far (and having owned an FA35/2). I think the FA35 may be overpriced now, but the DA35 appears quite worth it. Even if it ends up looking only OK in testing (much like the DA15), I suspect it will give nice results in actual usage.

Last edited by DSims; 10-19-2010 at 10:35 PM.
10-19-2010, 10:56 PM   #10
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Wow, thanks for the loads of helpful responses.

First off I should make clear I am not comfortable yet with Manual Focus. I'm sure all the old school guys love it but as a new photographer I'm not sure if thats something I'm ready for. (Or maybe thats the way to learn, I'm not sure).

Also I'm in Japan, so I doubt many marketplace people will ship to me In fact I have no idea where to buy anything since prices here ARE SOOOO EXPENSIVE! The Japanese also throw away most of their old equipment instead of selling it, so finding used here is difficult. If it wouldn't be so much of a bother could someone link me to one of these items on a website?

Lastly... at the risk of sounding like a total lost cause newb.... what is IQ?
10-19-2010, 11:08 PM   #11
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I should also point out, I have a SMCP F-Zoom 28-80mm lens (i'm pretty sure its old). I am worried that it isn't giving me the sharpness or true color. So thats why I'm considering getting a replacement. However if people think its a good lens then I would have to consider that it is mearly my lack of ability to bring out what I see through the view finder ("not into but through" as a photojournalist once said )
10-19-2010, 11:11 PM   #12
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A50/1.7, imo.
10-19-2010, 11:27 PM   #13
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As to IQ: Move your mouse onto it and wait a secobd, then it will be explained. ;-)

Manual focus: hm... well... it ist, of course, a little bit challenging. But then, that is part if the fun.
I have the opposite problem; having grown up "fully manual", I find it extremeley difficult to get autofocus do what I want it to do. AF is always choosing the wrong target... and besides, in low light situations, where manual focus becomes tricky, autofocus has problems too. With the kit lens, it takes forever and a day until AF decides where to focus on - and then, again, it's the wrong target. Or it doesn't find any target at all.

I would advise you to buy the kit lens (smc DA 18-55mm) nonseless. It is slow, it has it's limitations, it distorts wildly on the wide-angle side: but it is sharp, and versatile. I had nothing but the kit lens for the first year with my k200d (ok, I had my old Takumars, but no adapter yet) and it served me well.
You should be able to get a used 18-55 for next to nothing.

With the remaining money, I strongly recommend a fast 50. M 1.7/50mm probably is the easiest to find. (1.4 is waaayyyy more expensive. As is "A".)
M forces you to use "stop-down metering", which sounds much more coplicated than it is.

The 50 prime on digital is a formidable lens for portraits, but will require some patience . The kit lens will be your all-purpose-lens, allowing for snapshots and offering you all the flexibility to discover which focal length suits your style best. If your financial situation improves, you will know which prime to buy, then. ;-)

As to buying abroad: shipping from, say, Germany to Japan via DHL will cost 13.90€, if you stay under 2kg (but without insurance); for up to 5kg it will cost 40€ (insured).
This could be critical, as shipping fees might eat up a good part of your budget...
10-19-2010, 11:33 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ehlacore Quote
...Lastly... at the risk of sounding like a total lost cause newb.... what is IQ?
IQ stands for Image Quality - a general term embracing sharpness, resolution, contrast, colour, aberrations, bokeh etc. You can get an explanation for many of the common abbreviations by holding your cursor over the abbreviation.

Regarding MF (use your cursor!), I know what you mean; today's DSLRs aren't really designed for MF - in the old days an SLR would have a focusing screen which not only made it easier to get accurate focus, but actually gave you focus aids such as a split-prism. (You can get replacement screens, and they're probably very good, but there are downsides, not the least of which is the possibility of damaging your camera during installation).

It's a pity, because there are a lot of very good, well-made primes out there, for relatively little money (but obviously not in Japan!). So it sounds like your best bet would be an 18-55 kit lens - it's REALLY good value for money!
10-19-2010, 11:46 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by turboseize Quote
As to IQ: Move your mouse onto it and wait a secobd, then it will be explained. ;-)
THATS AWESOME!

QuoteOriginally posted by turboseize Quote
With the remaining money, I strongly recommend a fast 50. M 1.7/50mm probably is the easiest to find. (1.4 is waaayyyy more expensive. As is "A".)
M forces you to use "stop-down metering", which sounds much more coplicated than it is.
A? M? Stop down metering?

QuoteOriginally posted by turboseize Quote
I would advise you to buy the kit lens (smc DA 18-55mm) nonseless. It is slow, it has it's limitations, it distorts wildly on the wide-angle side: but it is sharp, and versatile. I had nothing but the kit lens for the first year with my k200d (ok, I had my old Takumars, but no adapter yet) and it served me well.
You should be able to get a used 18-55 for next to nothing.
So you dont like my current set up either, of 28-80MM SMCP F Zoom and suggest I sell it and get this instead?

QuoteOriginally posted by turboseize Quote
This could be critical, as shipping fees might eat up a good part of your budget...
Honestly, its SOOOO Frustrating! I see something in Japan for $300 USD that I could buy in the US for $100, but the shipping ends up being $50 (which puts it outta my price range again. It seems everything that is made in Japan is more expensive in Japan... WTF

Last edited by Ehlacore; 10-19-2010 at 11:47 PM. Reason: adding stuff
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