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02-20-2011, 06:24 PM   #1
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Hello all. This is my first post. I have previously shot Nikon D90, D700 and Canon XSI, 40D and 7d, but layoffs forced a sale of all things photographic.

Rather than sulk, I've chosen to use the opportunity to start anew with closer examinations of Sony and Pentax, rather than just Canon/Nikon. My budget is tight, but I'm impressed with the K-r (on paper - can't get my hands on it in a store in Cincinnati) and I'd love to make the leap. As a bargain hunter, I've been happy to find so many useful legacy lenses through your forums, but before I buy a K-r, I'd love to find a cheap prime that wil autofocus on it. Although Pentax has the 50mm 1.7 on paper (and forums), it seems so hard to find now that the few places it's shown up list it at 3-4 times its original sticker price.

I call on you, Pentax community, in my hour of need. Is there a source for used lenses where I may be able to find this little, cheap gem so that I may begin my Pentax adventure??? Also, any other cheapie but goodie lens suggestions are quite welcome. Thanks, all!

02-20-2011, 06:47 PM   #2
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howmuch can you spend? the DA L 35 is really good for 200... the "F" series primes sometimes show up on craigslist for very little.

If you manually focus them, you get much better deal.
02-20-2011, 07:36 PM   #3
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Legacy Pentax auto-focus lenses are unfortunately not cheap anymore, demand has pushed the prices upwards.

As the previous poster proposed - you could consider manual focus lenses. The "A" lenses are the most convenient to use since they work in all exposure modes. Last I looked keh.com had an A 50/1.7 for less than hundred bucks.
02-20-2011, 07:50 PM   #4
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Aaron, I am from Cincinnati and saw a Kr in the Cord camera store next to the
Kenwood Mall. They also had a K 7. I shot Canon but once I had the K7 in my
hands I knew I had to have a Pentax. I was looking for a lightweight but robust
body and ended up buying a K5. I had shot with a Canon 20D and a 5D and just
love the Pentax

Jim

02-20-2011, 09:55 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by aaron.hollows Quote
Hello all. This is my first post. I have previously shot Nikon D90, D700 and Canon XSI, 40D and 7d, but layoffs forced a sale of all things photographic.

Rather than sulk, I've chosen to use the opportunity to start anew with closer examinations of Sony and Pentax, rather than just Canon/Nikon. My budget is tight, but I'm impressed with the K-r (on paper - can't get my hands on it in a store in Cincinnati) and I'd love to make the leap. As a bargain hunter, I've been happy to find so many useful legacy lenses through your forums, but before I buy a K-r, I'd love to find a cheap prime that wil autofocus on it. Although Pentax has the 50mm 1.7 on paper (and forums), it seems so hard to find now that the few places it's shown up list it at 3-4 times its original sticker price.

I call on you, Pentax community, in my hour of need. Is there a source for used lenses where I may be able to find this little, cheap gem so that I may begin my Pentax adventure??? Also, any other cheapie but goodie lens suggestions are quite welcome. Thanks, all!
Hello Aaron .... you may want to check the Marketplace section here on this forum, lots of great used gear for sale! Depending on your needs there`s quite a variety of Pentax "goodies" here!! Best of luck with your search.
02-20-2011, 09:57 PM   #6
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If budget wasn't a problem, I'd recommend (and get) a full-frame Sony A850. The Sony Alpha (Minolta AF) mount can accept a wider range of legacy lenses than can Pentax.

But on a tight budget, you'd do well with a Pentax Kr, its 18-55 kit lens, and a pile of old manual primes in PK or M42 mount. My paradigm is: AF zooms, manual primes. So of my 190+ lenses (30 of which will hopefully be sold), I have 1 AF prime; 15 zooms, 2/3 of which are AF; and all the rest are manual primes.

NOTE: Those AF's cost an average of US$280 each. The manuals cost an average of US$30 each. So that's TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY BUCKS for each AF mechanism. Sacre bleu!

Many great Asahi Takumar / Pentax lenses are still dirt cheap, as is much good glass branded as Vivitar, Sears, Soligor, Focal, Mamiya, Cosina, etc. And the Russians: Industar, Jupiter, Helios, Mir, Zenitar. A good cheap starting kit of manual primes might contain:

* Vivitar or Sears or Pentax 28/2.8
* Super Takumar (Pentax) 35/3.5
* Takumar 55/2 or Helios-44 58/2
* Pentax SMC or Takumar 135/3.5
* Takumar 200/5.6 or Vivitar 200/3.5

Or you could go all Sears Auto: 28/2.8, 35/2.8, 55/1.4, 135/2.8. (Although they're gaining reputation and prices are rising.) Or the same focal lengths by Vivitar, except with a 50/1.8. In AF, the fine Pentax SMC F35-70 can often still be found cheap. My source: eBay, of course!
02-21-2011, 01:40 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by aaron.hollows Quote
I'd love to find a cheap prime that wil autofocus on it.
The DAL 35mm f2.4 would seem to fit these criteria. You can read users opinion here. https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-DA-L-35mm-F2.4-AL.html

Lens was also tested by Popular Photography and published results in the March 2011 Issue.

Depending on your budget range, a K-r w/35mm kit and a used DAL or DA ALII 18-55mm on the side might be a good option.
Pentax K-r Camera Kit W/35mm Lens (Black) 14678 B&H Photo Video

In case you havenít come across it but there is a dedicated PENTAX Photo Gallery website where you can browse through photo galleries and see what Pentax bodies and lenses are capable of.
02-21-2011, 01:10 PM   #8
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You Folks are Awesome!

Wow, this is a responsive group! Thanks so much for all of the suggestions. Thanks, Jim Olson, for the heads-up about Cord Camera. We have NO camera stores down here in the NKY.

I knew about the cheap manual lenses and I'm sure I'll pick some up. I just wondered if there was an AF equivalent to the dirt-cheap 'nifty 50s' by Canikon and Sony. It seems that the 50mm 1.7 is that lens, but that the price has skyrocketed from its original?? Bummer.

I'll head to Cord to get a hands-on with the K-r, and if I like it as much as I expect, then I'll buy it way cheaper on line and start the adventure.

Is there a longer cheap manual prime that anyone recommends (preferably 85mm or longer) that I have any hope of finding?

Thanks, again everyone - very impressed with the number, speed and quality of the responses. Y'all are SHARP (yuk yuk yuk).

02-21-2011, 01:25 PM   #9
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DA vs. DAL vs. AL vs. AL II....oy

I see that the DA-L zooms are cheaper (something about build and lack of the 'quick shift' feature?), but is there a difference in IQ/AF I should be aware of?

Thanks
02-21-2011, 01:26 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by aaron.hollows Quote
I knew about the cheap manual lenses and I'm sure I'll pick some up. I just wondered if there was an AF equivalent to the dirt-cheap 'nifty 50s' by Canikon and Sony. It seems that the 50mm 1.7 is that lens, but that the price has skyrocketed from its original?? Bummer.

I'll head to Cord to get a hands-on with the K-r, and if I like it as much as I expect, then I'll buy it way cheaper on line and start the adventure.

Is there a longer cheap manual prime that anyone recommends (preferably 85mm or longer) that I have any hope of finding?
It's a supply and demand thing - I don't think you will have any trouble getting a Pentax 50mm 1.7 for under 100 bucks. I found mine for 50 (attached to a camera no less) - you just need to be patient.

On the long end, the 135mm lenses are cheap. The 85mm lenses are expensive.
02-21-2011, 01:27 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by aaron.hollows Quote
I see that the DA-L zooms are cheaper (something about build and lack of the 'quick shift' feature?), but is there a difference in IQ/AF I should be aware of?

Thanks
No difference in IQ.
02-21-2011, 10:32 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by aaron.hollows Quote
DA vs. DAL vs. AL vs. AL II....oy
This may shed some light: Pentax K-Mount Lenses and Lens Accessories
02-21-2011, 11:16 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by aaron.hollows Quote
Is there a longer cheap manual prime that anyone recommends (preferably 85mm or longer) that I have any hope of finding?
Zillions of cheap 28's, 50-55's, and 135's abound. PK or M42 lenses in the 85-105mm range *aren't* cheap. Usually. I work real hard on eBay to get lucky, so I've bought a Nikkor 85/2 for US$9, Vivitar 90/2.8 macro for US$3, Meyer Trioplan 100/2.8 for US$27, and Asahi (Pentax) Super Takumar 105/2.8 for US$17, all fine lenses. The Meyer and Takumar often go for 2x-3x those prices; the Nikkor and Vivitar are usually much more.

If you don't mind tinkering, here's a real sleeper: Enna Tele-Sandmar 100/4.5 for Argus C3 mount. I took a one buck PK body cap and dremeled a hole in it, then contact-cemented the lens into that hole. That lens cost US$7, about half the current price.

Another way to get into that range inexpensively is with cheap sharp enlarger lenses (EL's) plus bellows and tubes. EL's longer than 80mm can reach infinity focus on most bellows and so can be use for non-macro shooting, as well as macros. I recently got an M42 bellows with a quality German 105/4.5 lens for US$40 together. Many EL's in the 90-105-120 range can be had for under US$20 each, sometimes four for a dime. EL's are edge-to-edge SHARP, and IMHO the best bargains around.

Beyond that, cheapest-and-easiest, are any of the multitudes of 135's. Some branded as Vivitar, Sears, Focal, Soligor, Rokinor, Hanimar/Hanimex, Porst, Lentar, may go for within the US$10-30 range. NOTE: All prices I mention are eBay, shipped.
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