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11-26-2010, 08:52 PM   #16
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Try for the A 50 1.7 if you can, it's really not that much more expensive and can be found for 50 dollars if you are patient. One place to look is the forum marketplace, or craigslist. Ebay prices are *generally* not the bes,t although deals can still be found.

The A 28 2.8 also gets my vote, a nice versatile focal length, and very sharp. Could be faster, but it's great for about 80 bucks.

A 28mm 2.8, at f8:



11-26-2010, 09:00 PM   #17
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any of these worth it? or can i get much better deals?

Pentax-M 50mm f1.7 55
Pentax-A 50mm f1.7(with hoya skylight filter) 65
Pentax-A 50mm f2(with hoya skylight filter but no caps) 40
Pentax-FA 80-200mm f4.7-5.6 35
Pentax-M Takumar 135mm f3.5(M42 mount) 55
Carl Zeiss Jena 135mm f3.5(PK mount) 65
Pentax-FA 100-300mm f4.5-5.6 90



oh and il look out for the a 28 2.8 for sure! thanks
11-26-2010, 09:17 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by dupazbita Quote
Pentax-M 50mm f1.7 55
Pentax-A 50mm f1.7(with hoya skylight filter) 65
The pentax A is a better deal than the M there... the M looks over priced, and the A looks like an "OK" deal.. I'm not very familiar with the UK prices though.

I'd stay away from the 50mm 2.0, 1.7 is better.

Never tried the Jenna, but here's some info: https://www.pentaxforums.com/userreviews/Carl-Zeiss-Jenna-135mm.-F3.5-Sonnar-MC-for-Pentax.html. Looks like an interesting lens.

M42 mount is a bit of a pain (the 135 takumar). Some people are A OK with it, but keep in mind it is more of a process changing lenses with a screwmount adapter to PK mount lenses. The quality of the lens looks very nice.

The 100-300 and the 80-200 has "so so" reviews in the database. You can likely do better.

Last edited by paperbag846; 11-26-2010 at 09:25 PM.
11-26-2010, 09:18 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by dupazbita Quote
any of these worth it? or can i get much better deals?

Pentax-M 50mm f1.7 55
Pentax-A 50mm f1.7(with hoya skylight filter) 65
Pentax-A 50mm f2(with hoya skylight filter but no caps) 40
Pentax-FA 80-200mm f4.7-5.6 35
Pentax-M Takumar 135mm f3.5(M42 mount) 55
Carl Zeiss Jena 135mm f3.5(PK mount) 65
Pentax-FA 100-300mm f4.5-5.6 90



oh and il look out for the a 28 2.8 for sure! thanks
The FA 100-300 came in two different versions. The f4.5-5.6 version is the one you don't want. The FA 80-200 is a lens to avoid. Thus the low price.

If you can get the A 50 1.7 for just 10 pounds more than the M go for it, it sells for about $110-140 on KEH.com. The A 50 2 can be as good as the 1.7 when stopped down to f8. The Takumar 135 3.5 is well regarded but it is a screw-mount lens that needs an adapter for a K-mount camera.

I have no experience with Zeiss lenses so I don't know about the Jena.

Keep an eye out for the Sigma Mini-Wide II. It's just as good as the A 28 2.8 but costs less.

11-26-2010, 09:31 PM   #20
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I'm not sure there's much point in getting a 28 f2.8 unless you're going to use it at f2.8 - your kit lens isn't much slower (a stop maybe?) and will be quite a bit sharper. Definitely get a fast 50. Expect some troubles manual focusing unless you're very good at it - I found it nearly impossible to manual focus my K-X in low light wide open. Nothing at all like manual focus on my canon F1!

I'd spend some time with the kit lenses first and try manual focus with them, the feel will not be good but it will give you some idea whether you enjoy it and can be successful at it. I wish I had done this, because I have now sold the MF lenses I acquired and replaced them with their AF equivalents.

As far as macros, what sort of magnification are you looking for? Subject alive or dead, flowers bugs etc? The ones mentioned above are definitely good lenses, vivitar 55/2.8, tamron 90 f2.5-2.8 (any flavor) sigma has made a bunch of good ones. The kiron made 105/2.8 macro lenses are fantastic as well, but probable out of your price range. Your best bet is *probably* the vivitar 55, they pop up on here once in a while pretty reasonable. Myself I went with a tamron 90/2.8 AF and loved it but have since sold it because I got a DFA100 macro locally for a very good price.

Sometimes it pays to wait and buy what you want in the first place.. your kit lenses can get you through a lot if you want to go for great glass later. Pick up a raynox macro "filter" to use on the 55-300 and get some good macro shots in the meantime.

Oh and you might want to consider saving the UV filters for adverse weather (sand, dust) as they do degrade image quality, there has been a recent thread on cheap uv filters.
11-26-2010, 09:32 PM   #21
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For macro on a budget, I would recommend an off-brand option: the Vivitar/Cosina/Phoenix/whatever other name 100/3.5, which you want to find in K-A mount (with the A setting) including the additional adapter for 1:1 Macro, and which you should be able to find for $100 or less. There is also a Pentax A 100/3.5 version of this lens, which has the same optics, but may be is significantly more expensive.

While there are cheaper ways of doing macro (such as extension tubes), this lens in any of its versions will give you a dedicated lens featuring true macro (with adapter) and high quality pictures at a fraction of the cost of other dedicated macro lenses.
11-26-2010, 09:35 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by tentacles Quote
I'm not sure there's much point in getting a 28 f2.8 unless you're going to use it at f2.8 - your kit lens isn't much slower (a stop maybe?) and will be quite a bit sharper. Definitely get a fast 50. Expect some troubles manual focusing unless you're very good at it - I found it nearly impossible to manual focus my K-X in low light wide open. Nothing at all like manual focus on my canon F1!

I'd spend some time with the kit lenses first and try manual focus with them, the feel will not be good but it will give you some idea whether you enjoy it and can be successful at it. I wish I had done this, because I have now sold the MF lenses I acquired and replaced them with their AF equivalents.

As far as macros, what sort of magnification are you looking for? Subject alive or dead, flowers bugs etc? The ones mentioned above are definitely good lenses, vivitar 55/2.8, tamron 90 f2.5-2.8 (any flavor) sigma has made a bunch of good ones. The kiron made 105/2.8 macro lenses are fantastic as well, but probable out of your price range. Your best bet is *probably* the vivitar 55, they pop up on here once in a while pretty reasonable. Myself I went with a tamron 90/2.8 AF and loved it but have since sold it because I got a DFA100 macro locally for a very good price.

Sometimes it pays to wait and buy what you want in the first place.. your kit lenses can get you through a lot if you want to go for great glass later. Pick up a raynox macro "filter" to use on the 55-300 and get some good macro shots in the meantime.

Oh and you might want to consider saving the UV filters for adverse weather (sand, dust) as they do degrade image quality, there has been a recent thread on cheap uv filters.
Is it understood that the 18-55 version II is sharper at 28mm than the A 28/2.8? That was not my experience . . .
11-26-2010, 09:37 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by tentacles Quote
I'm not sure there's much point in getting a 28 f2.8 unless you're going to use it at f2.8 - your kit lens isn't much slower (a stop maybe?) and will be quite a bit sharper.
I completely disagree w.r.t. the sharpness of each lens, however, I would agree that it might be wise for the OP to spread his money out more (i.e., buy a 90mm macro since that gives him a new focal length and macro).

The 28mm 2.8 is much much sharper than the kit, it's no contest. The kit is very capable, though. I'm glad I own both. The only thing the kit has over the 28mm 2.8 is colour saturation, which is much better with the kit lens, and of course the zoom function .

11-26-2010, 11:11 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by dupazbita Quote
and deciding if i should get the cheap transcend class 10...
or spend more for a sandisk....
Look at the different memory cards on newegg. Especially look through the reviews. A lot of times, there will be reviews where the people have actually done speed transfer tests with the cards.

Up to a point, the faster the card, the quicker you will be able to take/preview/copy pictures.

Don't be fooled by all the class ratings on the cards. There are some class 6 cards that run circles around the junky class 10 cards.

I would look for something in the range of at least 15-20MB/sec that has tests to back up the speed claims.

edit: The Transcend cards look like junk from the speed tests done.
11-26-2010, 11:27 PM   #25
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i'd get a good memory card. Forget capacity and look at speed. It can make a big difference when you're shooting RAW.

My first memory card, i bought the cheapest 8GB card I could get on ebay. Big mistake.

I switched to smaller but faster one. Now I take less photo's and waste less shutter clicks. They record much faster too.

I forget what is the fastest you can use on a Kx, someone else on here could probably help. class 10 might be more than you need.

With the kit lens, or Takumar lenses I never use UV filters. Less chance for reflection, and if I drop them, they can be replaced for super cheap.
11-26-2010, 11:31 PM   #26
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If you get many manual lenses, katzeye split focusing screens are great. My camera came with one and it makes focusing manual lenses much easier.
11-27-2010, 12:35 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by dupazbita Quote
any of these worth it? or can i get much better deals?

Pentax-M 50mm f1.7 55
Pentax-A 50mm f1.7(with hoya skylight filter) 65
Pentax-A 50mm f2(with hoya skylight filter but no caps) 40
Pentax-FA 80-200mm f4.7-5.6 35
Pentax-M Takumar 135mm f3.5(M42 mount) 55
Carl Zeiss Jena 135mm f3.5(PK mount) 65
Pentax-FA 100-300mm f4.5-5.6 90



oh and il look out for the a 28 2.8 for sure! thanks
I think you're on the right track regarding a 50/1.7 - they're just right for portraits, and one of the sharpest things around (especially given the modest outlay). Just be careful to focus it accurately to get the best out of it.

I agree with others that the A50/1.7 looks much the better bet at 65 - you expect to pay a premium for the convenience of "normal" metering, and I think 55 is a bit steep for the M version (though it's probably better made).

I also agree that the 50/2 is best avoided - they don't seem to be in the same league as the other Pentax 50s.

If you fancy a 135/3.5s, there are plenty of decent ones about, and for relatively little money. I have several, and can recommend the Super-Multi-Coated Takumar (not the Super Takumar) because it's sharp and beautifully made, but M42 (so you'll need an adaptor), the Pentax-M, because it's tiny and convenient and the Carl Zeiss Jena MC Sonnar, because it's optically great (but poorly made, M42 and overpriced). Also the Pentax (K) 135/3.5, because it's a PK version of the S-M-C Takumar. You should be able to get the S-M-C Tak or Pentax 135/3.5s for about 25-35 on Ebay, if you're patient.

Now, I don't like the look of the "Carl Zeiss Jena 135mm f3.5(PK mount) 65". The "proper" CZJ 135/3.5 is the MC Sonnar, an M42 lens. I think they did a Praktica Bayonet version (which isn't usable on a Pentax camera), but if it really is a PK mount version, then it won't be an East German lens, but probably some Japanese-made 135 which has nothing at all to do with the desirable Sonnar.

Regarding a 28mm lens, these can be quite useful for landscapes etc., but I would perhaps avoid the Pentax f2.8s, unless you can get one cheap - the various Pentax/Takumar 28mm f3.5s have a much better reputation (though they're usually more expensive). For a decent, cheap 28/2.8, I think one of the best would be a Komine-made Vivitar (identified by a serial number starting with 28...) - especially if you can find the Close Focus version.

Another lens I would recommend is the S-M-C Takumar 35/3.5 - it's really sharp, and it's tiny.
11-27-2010, 03:15 AM   #28
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Go for lens hoods rather than lens filters - good protection and good contrast creation in the image - especially with the older lenses that may or may not have SMC.
11-27-2010, 04:13 AM   #29
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Some great advice here and for now, I think you have managed to pause the start of my LBA journey..
As a noob, I too find the wealth of old glass out there intimidating and confusing, and there is a whole load of knowledge behind those lenses that reviews just dont show..
Because I had so may questions and there was so much I didn't understand, I decided to hold off for now, just use the kit lens and see how I go..
From a noob point of view some of the questions I had were

With an 18-55 lens, why buy anything in that range as I have it covered..

Is the picture IQ equal at 18 and then at 55, or is it only sharp at say the middle (35)?

It seems that the only cheapish lenses are manual ones A or M, as soon as you look at FA series the price rockets..

The DA lenses were designed for digital camera's, does this mean that anything less than a DA is a compromise on quality?

When a lens lists Appertures say for instance F3.5 - 5.6 - is that the range of the lens? I get that if one apperture is listed, than that is probably the widest it will go, but when more than one is listed?

I was so close to buying the Lester A. Dine 105mm f2.8 Macro (alias Kiron) as I saw everyone raving about this Lens, and I do want to do ALOT of macro work as it fascinates me and I sort of figured that these don't come up that often, so it might be worth it as the first keeper for my collection. The thing that stopped me is that for a little bit more - I could get a DA macro from Pentax..
How does old quality glass compare to the newer stuff?

OK, I get fungus isn't good in anything, but why does oil in a lens cause problems, as I have seen a few mentions suggesting that a lens might need lubricating?

The lens naming scheme - when searching for lenses in ebay, there seems so many ways to name lenses in any order that I have just started to search for focal length and leave the rest so I dont miss any..

Why isn't there a list or top ten pre DA lenses as a sticky or guide as to what are good lenses? There is so much to go through to try and find out whether a lens is good. Read the review, it's ok, then see a post about another lens, and the whole process starts again.
A list of well regarded lens for beginners would be a great idea. People buy into Pentax for the old glass as a cheaper way to build up a lens kit while they learn, and as they get better they can upgrade. It would be a great idea to have a sticky listing some old but good lenses, so people can go off and search straight away and know that while it won't be great, they will get a half decent lens to learn on while they work out what to do..

For now, Im holding off, sorry for the barrage of questions, but these are all things rattling around in my head, I know in IT when I see the Grads coming in now, I have to try and remember where they are starting from and just how much they don't know that experience gives you, and it's the same in this I think!
Having said that, this forum and the pentaxuser one were a big decision in why I went Pentax as I liked the feel of them and the tone of the comments.
I think I have a classic case of 'noob elephant in china shop' syndrome, so Im taking a deep breath, stepping back and promising myself to just use the kit lens for 3 months, then exposure plot and see what I need before i buy
Unless another kiron macro comes up
11-27-2010, 04:31 AM   #30
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+ 1 for the Pentax-A 28mm 1:2.8 : it is a nice general purpose lens with a very useful focal length especially for indoor use (with the APS-C crop factor). Compared to the kit lens this is very compact at least :-) The A 50mm 1.7 is a great too (fast, great IQ) but with the APS-C crop it gets tight for general indoor use (where the small aperture would especially shine), with the crop it is getting into portrait territory (which is a common enough application, of course :-).

+1 for the Cosina 100mm 1:3.5 macro (also sold as Phoenix, Promaster, Vivitar), this is quite a bargain, see:

Cosina 100mm F1:3,5 MC Makro Lens Reviews - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database

Cosina AF 100mm f/3.5 macro (Pentax) - Review / Lab Test Report

+1 for the Raynox 150 (+ DA(L) 55-300) for a respectable budget & pocketable macro kit
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