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02-04-2011, 06:49 AM   #1
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Which should I buy first 50mm 1.4 or 10-20mm

Just starting to get serious about this hobby and want to know what would be the most logical lense to invest in first......Pentax 50mm 1.4 or Sigma 10-20mm?

I like taking landscape pic's having grown up on a farm but would like to do more portrait also especially in shearing sheds.

02-04-2011, 07:28 AM   #2
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If portraits is what you would like to do I would get the 50. Then start saving for the 10-20. If you have the kit lens then you already have a good landscape lens and a decent portrait lens.
02-04-2011, 07:52 AM   #3
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I don't use my 50 nearly as much as I thought I would...

I wish I had a longer lens for portraits--between 70 and 100 or so...

The kit lens is pretty good so you might go with the wide thing if you are into the landscapes.

I like the da 14mm 2.8, and the da 15mm limited is really sweet for that sort of thing...

be careful with the lens buying at this point, you can end up wasting money on things you don't really need...
02-04-2011, 08:00 AM   #4
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I've got two old lenses from my Mz-50 28-80mm & 100-300mm which still take good pictures but obvioulsy not as sharp as the new digital lenses.

02-04-2011, 08:11 AM   #5
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cont...and I only have the 18-55mm as I didn't go the twin kit given I had the above lenses.

I think I'll try and buy these additional lenses 2nd hand, then I wont be investing as much. Or Amazon sell them for a lot less than can be purchased in AUS.
02-04-2011, 08:33 AM   #6
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I have a SMC 50/1.4 (m42), and hardly ever use it. Wide open, it's tricky to focus, and I don't like the focal length on a cropped sensor. About the only m42 lenses I use on a regular basis, are my 28's, I love the lens otherwise, very sharp, got a good deal on it several years ago, but until there is a FF Pentax, I probably just won't ever use it much.

As for the 10-20, it's my most used lens, but then again, I prefer landscapes and cityscapes. I spend a lot of time in SF, or up in Yosemite and Kings/Sequoia in the summer, and I use it all the time.
02-04-2011, 09:08 AM   #7
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I would prefer a wide angle instead of a 50mm. And, I'd get a 70 instead of the 50 for portraits, anyway.
02-04-2011, 10:20 AM   #8
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I think the 50 would be the way to go I think. The widenangle would be nice but nothing like a fast fifty to work with. Since you have the kit lens why dont you compare what focal range you use the most and decide from there?

02-04-2011, 10:24 AM   #9
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you could always p/u on old MF fast 50 for reasonable and use the savings to get the w/a (for the price of the FA 50 you could get a good number of old 50s and 55's. remember the goal is to own as many copies of a lens as the focal length (ie 50 50's 35 35's etc) at least according to Rico
02-04-2011, 02:07 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
you could always p/u on old MF fast 50 for reasonable and use the savings to get the w/a (for the price of the FA 50 you could get a good number of old 50s and 55's. remember the goal is to own as many copies of a lens as the focal length (ie 50 50's 35 35's etc) at least according to Rico
Damn straight! More is/are better. But for the OP's quandary, I'll say that if I was starting over in PentaxLand, knowing what I know now, I'd get the 10-20 *and* at least one cheap manual Fifty. I got my FA50/1.4 back when (2.7 years ago, just as Hoya devoured Pentax) it was US$199 new. Them was the days, eh?

Since then my luckiest purchase was a Sears-Tomioka 55/1.4 for TWO BUCKS, but I've found other gems for US$15 and under: Yashica-ML 50/1.4, Yashinon-DX 50/1.7, Meyer Oreston 50/1.8, Chinon and Mamiya and Petri and Rikenon and Takumar 55/1.8. Some great 50-55-58mm f/1.7-2 lenses are still available dirt cheap, and may be easier to handle than a f/1.4. And it's hard to beat a Helios-44 58/2.

After buying and selling zillions of lenses, I still think hard about what would be my "minimal AF kit". Of what I have, it's: DA 10-17, Tamron 10-24, DA18-250, FA50/1.4, Lil'Bigma 170-500. The 18-250 is my generalist lens; all the rest are specialty items. Someone else covering that range might go for a Sigma 10-20, DA16-45, FA50/1.4, Bigma 50-500. It all depends on what we're hunting, eh?
02-04-2011, 03:08 PM   #11
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For my $0.02 I would suggest looking at longer than 50 mm for portraits. This will give perhaps a little more separation between you and subject. Not sure about the particular shots you want however in terms of being out of the way but inside the shearing shed.
02-04-2011, 03:14 PM   #12
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I agree that you should look longer for portraits (55mm is JUST cutting it for me, but I crave something over 70).

50's are fun, though, and worth owning... just maybe not the FA 50 1.4. You can have a lot of fun with a 50mm 1.7 (manual focus) for the cost of a nice meal out.
02-04-2011, 03:29 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I agree that you should look longer for portraits (55mm is JUST cutting it for me, but I crave something over 70).

50's are fun, though, and worth owning... just maybe not the FA 50 1.4. You can have a lot of fun with a 50mm 1.7 (manual focus) for the cost of a nice meal out.
As others have pOinted out MF 50's are also cheap. Now just look for a cheap 85mm
02-04-2011, 03:58 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
As others have pOinted out MF 50's are also cheap. Now just look for a cheap 85mm
My Nikkor 85/2 was just NINE BUCKS but I was real lucky. My M39 Jupiter-9 85/2 cost all of US$70. I was also lucky with an M42 Vivitar-Komine 90/2.8 macro (US$3), good for sharp portraits. There are certainly no cheap fast 85's now. EDIT: Correction. A Nikkor-H 85/1.8 just sold on eBay for US$65. Such Nikkors are easy to mod for PK mount. So there!

But there are cheap ways to get into that neighborhood: enlarger and folder lenses. 75mm is common but is usually too short to reach infinity-focus on most bellows that I've used. But then, infinity isn't needed for portraiture. 80mm and longer are OK for general use. So far my only 90mm enlarger lenses are f/4.5, a bit too slow -- I'm still looking for something faster there. But a real winner is my Zeiss Tessar 80/2.8, ripped from a wrecked Ikonta folder, which cost a whole US$7 shipped.

OP said they "would like to do more portrait also especially in shearing sheds." Something in the 70-100 range might be too long for such an enclosed space. So a good bargain Fast Fifty would be the Helios-44 58/2. Or maybe even a cheap 50/1.4 and a 1.4x TC so it'll function as a 70/2.
"There's more than one way to skin a cat" she mused,
as she pinned its little feet to the dissection table.

Last edited by RioRico; 02-04-2011 at 05:30 PM.
02-04-2011, 09:48 PM   #15
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Seems like best guidance here is to get cheap, but good, manual portrait, and spend relatively more on the very wide, for now. That is my current next strategy, since I have an old, manual M 50 F 1.4, and I'm looking at buying the DA 12-24, as the pics from that are VERY nice. I have to take my time with the 50, since nothing is auto with it, but when I do it right it I'm very happy with the photos, they are very sharp and the color is nice. I'm a little surprised at all the "downer" comments about the 50 that are posted here. Of all the FA 50 F 1.4 customer reviews (here, Amazon, B&H) they are nearly universally aligned in praising the 50 as a great portrait lens and stating that it is a "must have" for any bag. My $0.02. Thanks. Glenn
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