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10-29-2010, 12:33 AM   #1
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Need Some Advice for New Gear

Hello there,

In Feb. '10, I bought a Pentax K-x with 18-55 and 55-300 lenses. So far I'm pretty happy with my camera. Maybe the only con of it is the size, you know the k-x is a really really really small camera.. But I'm still having good times with it nonetheless.

I barely like the kit lens. I have to admit, it is not a good lens at all. The 55-300 is good though. But, I pretty much never used those two and instead my good old Helios 44K-4 f2.0. So far, I think I shot almost 10k photographs and most of them taken with the Helios. I love taking portraits, especally spontaneous. That's where my problem comes into. I guess I need a new prime lens. In addition to the issue of using a manual lens the Helios is good for only the portraits. I can tell you, it's really bad for nothing but close-ups.

I've been thinking, "why the hell Pentax doesn't produce a average-priced 50mm 1.8!", and since it doesnt' seem to happen soon I'm looking for some advice.

There is the 50mm f1.4 FA but the price is really out of my limits. Is there anything I can find instead?

And also I found some manual second-hand lenses.

Cosina 50mm 1.8 (40 Euro)
Porst 28mm f2.8 MC G (20 Euro)
Pentax MC-M 50mm f1.4 (70 Euro)
SMC Pentax-A 50mm F2.0 (50 Euro)
SMC Pentax-m 50mm F1.7 (60 Euro)

Last question: Is there a way use a 50mm Canon/Nikon lens with Pentax?

Thank you.

10-29-2010, 12:51 AM   #2
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M 50/1.4 is good; optically not that different from the FA. 50/1.7 is sharp. You can sort of use a Nikon 50, in that you can "half-mount" it. Won't lock, though. You could probably swap the mount and hack it. No way can you use the Canon.
10-29-2010, 01:07 AM   #3
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I think you've answered your own question - an MF fast fifty. That's Pentax's backward compatibility for you - any lens that will fit on your camera will do. The Helios is fine, but an A 50/1.4 or 1.7 should do the trick for you. And so would most other A 50 equivalents from other brands.
10-29-2010, 03:28 AM   #4
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I agree that an M50/1.4 is best, M50/1.7 is next best. The Porst 28/2.8 might or might not be good -- Porst quality is more variable than Vivitar, but I don't know how common Vivitar lenses are in Turkey. You may find other good manual lenses: Meyer/Pentacon, Carl Zeiss, Zenit and other Russian lenses, etc. Don't hesitate to ask questions here about any lens.

Some Nikon lenses can be used on Pentax cameras without too much trouble. Some can be easily force-fit to a Pentax mount, and some need very minor modification, and some are just too much trouble to bother with. Canon lenses can only be used for extreme close-ups and macro photography, because a Canon lens on a Pentax body can never focus to infinity unless it has been re-built.

10-29-2010, 01:46 PM   #5
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look for the K55/1.8.
10-30-2010, 12:54 AM   #6
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Here's a couple of useful links when considering which 50 (or 55) to go for:

Nifty 50 Shootout ERPhotoReview

I have a few 50s, among them the M 50/1.7, but not the 50/1.4. My impression, from all that I see on the Internet, is that the 50/1.4 is sharper at all apertures than the f1.7 (which is quite a feat!), except for wide-open, where it's very soft (relatively). Bokeh-wise, my vote would go to the f1.7 - but that is down to personal preference.

Of course, out of all Pentax 50s, the f1.2 is the one...
10-30-2010, 10:50 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
look for the K55/1.8.
I second this - it has very nice bokeh.

The 55 1.8 paired with a 28 2.8 will give you a nice range with good quality. The 55 for low light / low DOF and the 28 2.8 for a slightly wider than normal field of view.

If you are ok with stop-down metering you should be able to buy both for 100 dollars ish.

However, if I understand you correctly it is ease-of use you are looking for, for "off the cuff" shots, where setting up the helios is just too slow?

Another option would be the new DA 35 2.4, which should not be over 200 dollars. It's relatively fast, look quite nice, and autofocus. It is a very flexible field of view, and would pair nicely with your fast manual for portraits.

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