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12-28-2010, 01:35 PM   #1
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Looking for a new lens, advice?

I have a K-x, FA-50mm 1.4, Sigma 70-300mm, and the kit 18-55mm lenses. I find myself using the kit more often than not because I'm almost always indoors shooting friends and some action so the 18mm is where I spend most of my time.

However, I tend to switch back and forth with the 50mm because of the 1.4 f stop, which lets me get all the night and dark indoor shots without any blur. Ideally, my perfect lens would be something like a 10-17mm pentax or 12-24mm pentax with a super fast f stop, but I know these are completely different lenses used for different things, just trying to convey what I'm trying to accomplish.

Can anyone suggest a good lens for this? Is the 10-17 fisheye any good for indoor, dark night shots? I like the FE and I love the crazy, odd shots you can get with it, however I'm not sure if 3.5 f is going to be fast enough for what I'm looking for. Maybe there's a 16-50 ish zoom that would be better suited? I'd like to stay around $500 if possible but I know with lenses that can go right out the door quickly.

TIA!

12-28-2010, 01:54 PM   #2
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Do you really need the UW? If so, I believe the Sigma 1x-2x (I can't remember the exact focal lengths) f/3.5 is the fastest WA lens I know of for Pentax.

However, if you're looking for low light shots then UW isn't going to get you good pictures. Go for something like the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8. That gives you something wider than what you've already got, but also faster as well.
12-28-2010, 02:03 PM   #3
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I have a K-7 and my advice must be considered as such (ie with the experience of a camera that is less stellar at High ISO than the K-x).

Indoor the FA31 mm f1.8 is excellent and it would give you a wider view/angle than the 50mm, and still works nicely without flash. It might be above your budget, but do consider... I get excellent results indoor with the K-7 + FA31 mm (without flash). More generally, the FA31mm is a stunning lens indoor and outdoor.

Hope that the suggestion may help...

Last edited by hcc; 12-28-2010 at 02:17 PM.
12-28-2010, 02:22 PM   #4
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there's also the pentax da 14mm f/2.8 -- fast and wide

12-28-2010, 03:30 PM   #5
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I looked at the FA31, and I was really wanting to pull the trigger on it, but I think I need wider. I completely forgot about the 14, how does that compare to the 15? Ill have to go get some googling on right now. Thanks!
12-28-2010, 03:34 PM   #6
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+1 for Tamron 17-50 1:2.8
12-28-2010, 06:21 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by TriCon Quote
Can anyone suggest a good lens for this? Is the 10-17 fisheye any good for indoor, dark night shots? I like the FE and I love the crazy, odd shots you can get with it, however I'm not sure if 3.5 f is going to be fast enough for what I'm looking for.
The DA10-17@17 is only f/4.5, not great in dim interiors. My first lens set for my K20D were a DA10-17, DA18-250, and FA50/1.4. Later I got a DA18-55 (CHEAP!), and a Zenitar 16/2.8P fisheye. And I just received (yesterday!) a Tamron SP10-24 which I haven't exercised much yet, same as a Vivitar-Kiron 24/2 that arrived a couple weeks ago. Other lenses commonly in my bag are an F35-70 (CHEAP!) and a Nikkor 85/2.

Which of these are best indoors? What I use most: the Zenitar 16/2.8P fisheye, with KM mount. Notably faster than the 10-17@17, notably wider than either 18-xxx@18, of equivalent FOV but faster than the 10-24@12. The Zenitar is moderately fishy, easily defishes, is small and light and quite sharp. Like any KM lens, if it's not wide-open, it needs M(anual) mode and the Green button.

I use all the above-mentioned lenses except the 18-150 indoors. With the agile and sharp 35-70 I just let ISO float to accommodate its slower speed. The 10-17 probably gets the LEAST use because rectilinear interiors just don't suit its ultra-fishiness, to my eye. 10-17@10 is great for emphasizing odd angles and extreme coverage, with almost infinite DOF, but that doesn't make it a party lens. The 24/2 and 85/2 also get good workouts, as well as the 50/1.4 of course.

I'll call the Zenitar my most playful lens. Typical price now is ~US$200. Or buy a batch-lot of ten for US$1500 shipped, eh? The Vivitar 24/2 in KM mount was ~US$130 -- it's good for dim interiors. The F35-70 needs higher ISO but performs excellently, sharp and with fast AF. Mine was... ELEVEN BUCKS!! My new Tammy 10-24 cost rather more, and I don't know yet how it'll do inside. To be seen...
12-29-2010, 05:28 PM   #8
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Well, I found a brand new 10-17 for $293 shipped. It was a one off deal and I can return it if I dont like it, at that price I figured what the hell might as well try it out.

I'm hoping the K-x's awesome high ISO kung fu will help me out with the relatively sluggish performance, if not, I think I might just go for that Zen. Thanks for the input!

12-29-2010, 05:43 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
I have a K-7 and my advice must be considered as such (ie with the experience of a camera that is less stellar at High ISO than the K-x).

Indoor the FA31 mm f1.8 is excellent and it would give you a wider view/angle than the 50mm, and still works nicely without flash. It might be above your budget, but do consider... I get excellent results indoor with the K-7 + FA31 mm (without flash). More generally, the FA31mm is a stunning lens indoor and outdoor.

Hope that the suggestion may help...
Yes, it's a fantastic lens and I intend to be buried with mine. However, even used, it blows the op's budget by at least $400.

If you want speed in a zoom, f2.8 is as fast as you're going to get. Just pick one that suits you. The 12-24 is a nice lens and I've used it for the types of things you want to do but it Is an f4 lens and still exceeds your budget. Can't speak on the 10-17, never had one. With the Kx you should be able to get good shots at iso 1600 or so, so an f4 lens may not be so bad for you. Don't know if it's been suggested but the DA16-45 can be had for well under $300 (used). Want something a little longer, DA17-70. Don't care about constant aperture? DA18-135 and it'll probably serve as your all around every day lens (I don't have any experience with the last two I mention either, just tossing ideas).

12-29-2010, 06:07 PM   #10
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Run the exposure plot utility to find out what focal length you are most commonly using. You might not need to go as wide as you think. A prime might be a good choice (for example a MF A28/2.8 for $100 or the DA 35/2.4 for $200) or the versatile tamron zoom that has been suggested.

I think if you go UWA you will be switching back to the kit lens quite often because I normally shoot in the 28-35mm. UWA is awesome at the right moment though.
12-29-2010, 08:02 PM   #11
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Don't forget the DA 21 / 3.2

I have and love the little lens but it sadly is my least used. I did take the Pentax 12-24mm on a couple of museum outings (no flash of course, and no tripod) and it did surprisingly well on my K200D in some tough lighting conditions.
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