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02-24-2011, 08:45 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
are you really using your K-r?
No, but I'm thinking about getting one. Of course, I also want to base my decision on the option of a good fast lens. Looking at the 35mm f2.4

Also looking at the Nikon D3100 with the 35mm f1.8.

02-24-2011, 09:04 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by sweetwillow Quote
Also looking at the Nikon D3100 with the 35mm f1.8.
In practice you will be stopping that 1.8 down to about 2.4 anyways, so the difference there is negligible.

Are you looking for a fleet of fast, cheap primes?

Nikon might be your best bet if this is the case. Pentax does not have a cheap 50mm or cheap 85mm any more .

However if you are looking for higher quality at a good price, Nikon is not your friend.

The DA and FA limiteds are amazing value for the dollar if you compare them with their Nikon counterparts (granted, they might not have direct relatives).
02-24-2011, 10:45 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by sweetwillow Quote
No, but I'm thinking about getting one. Of course, I also want to base my decision on the option of a good fast lens. Looking at the 35mm f2.4

Also looking at the Nikon D3100 with the 35mm f1.8.
if that was the case, you should not have a problem on boosting up the ISO for lowlight use. ISO 3200-6400 should be fine. if you want the best alternative, you can go for the K-5. you'll have more than enough dynamic range to shoot at base ISO and clean images. as compared to only a half stop exposure that a 35/1.8 and D3100 can only provide.
02-24-2011, 11:06 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
In practice you will be stopping that 1.8 down to about 2.4 anyways, so the difference there is negligible.

Are you looking for a fleet of fast, cheap primes?

Nikon might be your best bet if this is the case. Pentax does not have a cheap 50mm or cheap 85mm any more .

However if you are looking for higher quality at a good price, Nikon is not your friend.

The DA and FA limiteds are amazing value for the dollar if you compare them with their Nikon counterparts (granted, they might not have direct relatives).
Why would he be doing so?
In practice I'm shooting all my primes wide open indoors, and that's even with K-7 which has better high ISO then my previous K10D.

OP stated he was using 35mm DLR with 50/1.8 and on APSC sensor the equivalent would be 35/1.4 or even 1.2 in terms of FOV/DOF combination. So 35/2.4 will him plenty of DOF compared to 50/1.8 on FF.

As for OP's original question. I can't really say much as I've never used Pentax 35 in any incarnation. I can vouch for 31ltd but that's been said to be out of budget.

One thing you will definitely gain with Pentax as oposed to any current Nikon counterpart is SR in body. Big advantage if you ask me...

02-24-2011, 11:20 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
Why would he be doing so?
The nikon 1.8 apparently does not perform very well wide open, and needs to be stopped down just a little bit to get the kind of in-focus sharpness one would expect from a prime.

Apparently, it makes more sense to bump the iso about 1 stop a 2.4 than use 1.8.

If OP wants the kind of DOF control you get with an SLR, he really needs to go full frame, or get used to longer focal lengths.

The only option I can think of otherwise is the Canon 35mm f1.4, which is 1,500 dollars.

Which is why I tried to draw OPs attention to the full lens line up. Pentax does not really make fast lenses. The question is really whether you care.
02-24-2011, 12:29 PM   #21
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Wow...thanks for all the insight! I'm getting more confused by the minute. I probably won't do a lot of upgrading to lenses. I owned a Cannon 50mm f1.8 for a 35mm SLR and loved it. Just looking for something equivalent or about for a dslr. If the 35mm f2.4 works as well, then I will go for it but I'm thinking the Nikon 35mm f1.8 will work better in low light but I'm no expert, obviously since I'm here. Thank you guys for all the info!
02-24-2011, 12:37 PM   #22
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Low light performance is tricky, because beyond f2 the trade off in DOF is so great that it often makes sense to just bump the ISO.

That said, investing in the latest and greatest body (for ISO) is not really a sound investment either, because they become obsolete pretty quickly.

Since you are used to using your 50 1.8 on film, I would suspect you would see similar low-light performance with a K-X and DA L 35mm f2.4, but do know that you will need to have higher ISO and you won't have as thin a DOF.

The difference between the Nikon and Pentax lenses as far as DOF go are not huge. It would be prudent to compare the costs of the full lens lineup that you intend to buy. It will give you a better idea of which camera system to buy into.

Overall, it could be said that Pentax makes high-quality lenses that are not particularly fast, at very competitive prices. Nikon has cheaper lenses, and far more expensive lenses. In general, you have to pay more with Nikon for quality, but you can find some really cheap consumer options in there as well. Nikon has a better autofocus system. Pentax has better backwards compatibility, and in-body shake reduction.

Pick your poison . And buy a flash.
02-24-2011, 12:45 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by sweetwillow Quote
I see that Nikon has the D3100 and I can get the 35mm f1.8G. This seems like a good combo especially since I really have no desire to upgrade to more lenses. But I'm really leaning toward Pentax -call me different.
Blasphemy! Not the Pentax part, but the idea of not using other lenses I figure since you're looking at an interchangeable lens camera, might as well look at the available lens line-up out there as well. It is a system afterall, if not, you may want to peek into a Fuji X100 if you're only thinking of ever using one lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846:
Nikon might be your best bet if this is the case. Pentax does not have a cheap 50mm or cheap 85mm any more .
Nikon's cheap AF-D primes will not autofocus on the D3100 and would work as a manual focus lens. You might as well buy some old manual focus Pentax primes, at least they would be stabilized.

02-24-2011, 12:56 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by einstrigger Quote
Nikon's cheap AF-D primes will not autofocus on the D3100 and would work as a manual focus lens. You might as well buy some old manual focus Pentax primes, at least they would be stabilized.

Thanks for catching this. It's true - you would need to buy a more expensive camera body for these lenses to auto focus.

It's that sort of silliness that kept me away from Nikon.
02-24-2011, 04:00 PM   #25
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Ok...what about the 50mm f1.4? Too long for indoor shots, right? So, this one probably won't be an option and the other lenses (primes) are too expensive!

I really want to go with Pentax since I like what the K-r offers but....not sure about that 35mm f2.4 lens for my only prime lens option. What about manual focus lenses? Although it would be irritating, I'm proficient enough. What are my options here?
02-24-2011, 04:39 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by sweetwillow Quote
Ok...what about the 50mm f1.4? Too long for indoor shots, right? So, this one probably won't be an option and the other lenses (primes) are too expensive!

I really want to go with Pentax since I like what the K-r offers but....not sure about that 35mm f2.4 lens for my only prime lens option. What about manual focus lenses? Although it would be irritating, I'm proficient enough. What are my options here?
manual focus lens are rare and not that cheap nowadays either.
options would be to get the autofocus FA35/2 on the used market. I think one was just sold this week for roughly $250. lucky basturd. but this lens usually ranges from $300 and over. if you got one less than $300, then consider yourself lucky. $350 would be a good and fair price. also this lens skyrocket to $450 due to high demand and limited supply. as if one being sold in the used market is not that common. FA31 is expensive, although consider this is not an FA35 nor does it in the same caliber as the Nikon 35/1.8. the FA31 is not just your typical 30+mm lens, it is more than that and you pay the price for a premium highend lens (something like an "L" lens for Canon). if you get one for less than $800, then you are in luck. $800 would be a good deal price. $900 and above would be the market selling price.

3rd part options. Sigma 28/1.8 - cheapest alternative around $150-$250. pretty good for lowlights and portraits which is I think the purpose that you are after.

if you want real lowlight performer at 30mm, the Sigma 30/1.4 would be the best affordable and logical choice for your need. extremely sharp at the center and considerably half-stop faster than any of the 35mm f1.8s , a stop faster than the f2 and 2 stops faster than the macro. I think you can get one used for $300-$400 which is affordable and get the result that you are looking for.

anyway, personally I would vouch for the FA35 if you really want a great performing Pentax lens and the Sigma 30/1.4 if you want something faster and wider. I think the 30mm would suit you best though due to focal length.
02-24-2011, 06:48 PM   #27
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k-r is a lowlight monster. 2.4 is also fairly fast, you should be fine and don't be afraid of higher iso's. Even 6400 is doable so long as you apply some noise reduction in pp.
02-25-2011, 01:49 PM   #28
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Pentaxor - Thanks a lot for the suggestions! Sounds like a have a few options that won't totally break me.

I don't know about the other ones, but this forum is GREAT! Reason alone to buy a Pentax!

Thanks to all for your replies!
02-25-2011, 03:52 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
manual focus lens are rare and not that cheap nowadays either.
Sorry, I'll have to disagree there. I've acquired a batch of decent fast manual primes pretty inexpensively in the last couple months. But it takes a bit of work to find them.
02-25-2011, 04:09 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Sorry, I'll have to disagree there. I've acquired a batch of decent fast manual primes pretty inexpensively in the last couple months. But it takes a bit of work to find them.
Agree. As long as you are just looking for something like a 50mm 1.7, they are everywhere.
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