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02-10-2011, 06:23 PM   #1
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Help me decide on a lens

Hi all, I have a K7, and I'm thinking about buying a new lens. I really find the new 18-135 mm very attractive as a walk around lens. I also was looking at the 50mm 1.4 to help the k7's low light performance. I really like shooting low light images. How much would the 50mm 1.4 help? I already have the 55-300 for Tele shots, but I really like that 18-135 as well.

02-10-2011, 07:14 PM   #2
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There have been several threads on the topic:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-r-forum/131081-camera-noise-reduction-yes-no.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/106600-k-7-high-iso-success.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/129752-k7-noise-settings.html

Let say that fast prime lense (eg 50mm f1.4) will allow you to shoot in darker conditions that the 18-135mm. As a comparison, i shot outdoor in late September about the sunset. I was able to use my 18-250mm until about 19:20-19:30. hen i sawpped to my Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4 and I was able to shoot until 20:00 without any problam. Yes a 50mm f1.4 will hep in low light.

You may however consider to invest also in some noise removal software. There are a number of excellent packages. I use Noiseware that you can download freely for trial.

Off course, the advice of Adam for the K-7 is valid: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/106600-k-7-high-iso-success.html. In-camera noise PP can help a lot, although I prefer personally to do PP aftterwards (with Noiseware)..

Hope that the advice will help.
02-12-2011, 11:22 AM   #3
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get the 18-135 and a flash
02-12-2011, 08:28 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony3d Quote
Hi all, I have a K7, and I'm thinking about buying a new lens. I really find the new 18-135 mm very attractive as a walk around lens. I also was looking at the 50mm 1.4 to help the k7's low light performance. I really like shooting low light images. How much would the 50mm 1.4 help? I already have the 55-300 for Tele shots, but I really like that 18-135 as well.
I have the Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 macro as my walk around lens and I've been really pleased with it. It's less expensive than the Pentax 18-135 and it's also faster. Of course the 135mm end does reach quite a lot farther. Having said that, I find the 17-70 range quite adequate for most situations and you already have the longer telephoto lens for when you need to reach out farther. You might read the reviews about this lens on the forum site. You will see that most photographers speak of it in very positive terms. It's really a fine piece of glass, especially for the money.

02-13-2011, 12:08 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxRev Quote
I have the Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 macro as my walk around lens and I've been really pleased with it. It's less expensive than the Pentax 18-135 and it's also faster. Of course the 135mm end does reach quite a lot farther. Having said that, I find the 17-70 range quite adequate for most situations and you already have the longer telephoto lens for when you need to reach out farther.
I'll drink to that.

Another really useful bonus to the Sigma's good walkaround range is its 1:2.3 close focusing ability. 43% real life mag makes it icing on the cake to get those easy handheld mini-macros on the run.

So versatile when you consider you get a 2.8 low light wide end, and IQ is great for the $ too.

(That cheaper 17-70 is discontinued now though, replaced by an HSM+OS)

.R.

Last edited by Hypocorism; 02-13-2011 at 02:14 AM.
02-13-2011, 01:30 AM   #6
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QuoteQuote:
I really like shooting low light images. How much would the 50mm 1.4 help?
Compared to the kit lens at 55mm, you gain 5 stops. So instead of 1/4sec @ the max aperture of f/5.6 (at given iso) you can use 1/60sec @ f/1.4. 1/4 sec will be a challenge for handheld while 1/60s should be quite easily doable.

Just be aware that with 50mm/1.4 the Depth Of Field will be really shallow at f/1.4 and closer focusing distances; it's e.g. 1 cm around the focusing point at a distance of 100cm. So if you focus on the eye of a person, the nose might already be out of focus.
02-13-2011, 04:09 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
Compared to the kit lens at 55mm, you gain 5 stops. So instead of 1/4sec @ the max aperture of f/5.6 (at given iso) you can use 1/60sec @ f/1.4. 1/4 sec will be a challenge for handheld while 1/60s should be quite easily doable.

Just be aware that with 50mm/1.4 the Depth Of Field will be really shallow at f/1.4 and closer focusing distances; it's e.g. 1 cm around the focusing point at a distance of 100cm. So if you focus on the eye of a person, the nose might already be out of focus.
It's actually 4 stops (1.4 to 2, 2 to 2.8, 2.8 to 4, 4 to 5.6) but it's nevertheless a huge difference. As explained, that capability doesn't mean that even in low light it's necessary to use f/1.4 - the need for DoF may dictate otherwise, but it does help AF function somewhat.

The 18-135 may be more attractive also because of its versatility and decent speed - not f/5.6 until around 135mm. Enjoy choosing, and consider a flash for those real low light situations when even an f/1 lens wouldn't be enough...
02-13-2011, 09:05 AM   #8
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Ok, I still have my dad's Spotmatic with a Super Takumar 1.4 lens which is in mint condition. I think I'll order the Pentax adapter, and use it for low light shots. Then I'll purchase the 18-135mm. No sence in letting that nice lens go to waste, and I find shooting through the same lens my dad did sort of nostalgic. The lens really is mint with no signs of mold.

02-13-2011, 01:06 PM   #9
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And it's a fine manual lens too. Enjoy it.
02-13-2011, 01:24 PM   #10
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Maybe also consider the DAL 35 2.4, unless you want 50mm. I find 35mm more flexible, and the 35mm is usable at 2.4, whereas the 50 1.4 is really only good at f2 (except for some special circumstances where you actually want that soft look).

So the differences are - the 35 is cheaper, more flexible focal length, and the fstop differences in most cases will only be 1/2 stop.
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