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03-09-2011, 01:00 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
+1 for the Sigma A 50 f/2.8 macro.

If you are looking for autofocus on a budget there are several F series lenses that are potential gems. The 24-50, 35-70, 35-105, 35-135, and 70-210 are all excellent lenses, if you can find them. None of the should be budget busters. The 35-70 is usually less than $50 and none of the rest should be more than $150.

If you look hard enough you can find good deals on A series lenses. I found a Super Program with an A 50/1.7, A 28/2.8, and A 135/2.8 for less than $200.

I'm not quite as addicted as RioRico, but I have accumulated more than 30 lenses in the last year. 17 of them in the range of 50-58mm. Be very careful of the auction sites, they are like crack. Just Monday I completed an auction for a S-M-C Takumar 35/3.5 that I really don't need, but it gets such good reviews here that I couldn't pass it up. Another $60 gone.
Wow, yet another positive vote for the A 50! Or were the other posts referring to a Pentax, not a Sigma? (EDIT: nevermind, I figured out they are two different lenses!)

Thanks very much for the info. LOL, I've been on eBay all day looking up lenses. Haven't made any purchases yet, though ... it's a miracle!


Last edited by loco; 03-09-2011 at 01:05 PM.
03-09-2011, 01:02 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
Would I be better off just getting the newer Pentax DA 35mm 2.4? It is $200. Would something like the A 50mm 1.7 be a sharper, better option at a lower price?
The 35mm is going to be more flexible in tight spaces, and for general photography, and much easier to focus. I don't think there is any difference in sharpness. The 50mm is going to be really, really good for portraits, and general photography, but you might have trouble moving far enough back with it in tight spaces due to the longer focal length. Manually focusing it can be tricky without a split prism.

Overall I think I would go with the 35mm, but in my experience, I like the focal length of the 50mm more (it's more selective).
03-09-2011, 01:22 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
Wow, yet another positive vote for the A 50! Or were the other posts referring to a Pentax, not a Sigma? (EDIT: nevermind, I figured out they are two different lenses!)

Thanks very much for the info. LOL, I've been on eBay all day looking up lenses. Haven't made any purchases yet, though ... it's a miracle!
There are several 50mm pentax lenses that are all acceptable. Of the set, the 50 f2 is the lowest quality - that was the kit lens back before kit zooms became the rage. The 1.7's and 1.4's are much nicer. Optically, the A series and M series 50's are the same. The A series has an extra chip for aperture control.

QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
The 35mm is going to be more flexible in tight spaces, and for general photography, and much easier to focus. I don't think there is any difference in sharpness. The 50mm is going to be really, really good for portraits, and general photography, but you might have trouble moving far enough back with it in tight spaces due to the longer focal length. Manually focusing it can be tricky without a split prism.

Overall I think I would go with the 35mm, but in my experience, I like the focal length of the 50mm more (it's more selective).
I've also found the 50mm length to be restrictive, but a lot of the shots I take are indoors - events, parties sorta stuff. For that stuff, and street shooting, I got an SMCP-F 28 f2.8 (they can be a pain to find...) that I'm absolutely in love with. It's fast enough (especially with the fine high-ISO performance on modern bodies), and the rendering is just wonderful. Sharp too. I end up using my 50 for portraits, and to get a little distance in crowds. Still, very very nice. I've also used it with a macro tube - performs admirably.
03-09-2011, 01:36 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by sgtkashim Quote
The A series has an extra chip for aperture control.
The A series does not have a chip in the lens. If it did the lens would be able to pass focal length data to the camera like the AF lenses. All of the aperture control is part of the mount.

Features and Operation of the Ka Mount

Pentax Lens Terminology

03-09-2011, 01:37 PM   #20
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If you want a good starting point that is not macro I suggest the K 55/2 lens. It is not the fastest lens (in fact I think it's the slowest) in that focal length but it takes beautiful sharp pictures with great colour and can be had for less than $50. It was the first lens I bought after the kit.

I'm not just plugging it because I've got one for sale either......
03-09-2011, 02:06 PM   #21
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LOL at samski!

I am going to keep a list of all the lenses from this thread because I'm sure they are all terrific. It is probably true that many of them are going to require me to learn a lot more about photography than I know at this point in time.

For now, I will focus on lenses that will at least have the aperture control ability within the lens (and possibly the autofocus options as well). If any of those that are recommended are able to be had significantly cheaper than the newer lenses, I will probably go in that direction.

As my skill level and comfort increases, it's nice to know there are so many great options to choose from, judging by the varied responses I've gotten here!

I really thank you all for the discussion so far, as it's probably served to prevent great frustration on my part had I acquired a lens and then not known what the heck to do with it to get usable pictures!
03-09-2011, 02:29 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
The A series does not have a chip in the lens. If it did the lens would be able to pass focal length data to the camera like the AF lenses. All of the aperture control is part of the mount.

Features and Operation of the Ka Mount

Pentax Lens Terminology
Yes, the contacts allow the aperture control.

Not to drift the thread, buit it has been slightly disappointing that my recently-made Voightlander doesn't communicate the focal length reliably to my K-x despite allegedly being "chipped." This may be a quirk of the K-x.
03-10-2011, 12:19 AM   #23
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Another vote for the A50 1.7. Can be picked up cheap and IQ is excellent.

If buying sight unseen ask if it has the common sticky aperture problem. It can be fixed but best to avoid or at least counter the offer by half.

Be sure to check out the thread on how to use manual lenses on DSLR's if you haven't aready.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/110658-using-ma...x-dslrs-f.html

03-10-2011, 01:37 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
For now, I will focus on lenses that will at least have the aperture control ability within the lens (and possibly the autofocus options as well). If any of those that are recommended are able to be had significantly cheaper than the newer lenses, I will probably go in that direction.
The lens(es) that you choose should serve your needs. No need to e.g. buy a fast 50mm if you never use your kit lens on that focal length and don't intend to do portraits. It's the only way to keep your LBA under control

To get back to your first post, the DA55-300 is well regarded so it makes sense to add that first if you have a need for it. Before you add that lens however, get a lens hood for the 18-55 (if you have not done so already).

For macro, as a (cheapish) alternative you can add a Raynox adapter to the DA55-300.
03-10-2011, 06:20 AM   #25
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Thanks sterretje. I do have a need for the longer zoom and the Raynox is a great idea, since I already have the 150. I'll give it a try once I get the 55-300. And I'll also look into a lens hood.
03-10-2011, 10:34 PM   #26
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I think there are no bad Pentax 50mm or 55mm lenses. The fast ones are great. The macros are great. Even the f2 is fine if stopped down. The K28 and K35 f3.5s are great if you don't need speed. The K30 is even better, but expensive. For wider or longer manual lenses that are inexpensive, I'd look to third party makers. The Sigma 24mm f2.8 is better than Pentax's. Tamron, Tokina, Vivitar 90-105mm macros are very sharp.

If you have lots of money to spend, there are many more good choices.
03-11-2011, 05:45 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
I think there are no bad Pentax 50mm or 55mm lenses. The fast ones are great. The macros are great. Even the f2 is fine if stopped down. The K28 and K35 f3.5s are great if you don't need speed. The K30 is even better, but expensive. For wider or longer manual lenses that are inexpensive, I'd look to third party makers. The Sigma 24mm f2.8 is better than Pentax's. Tamron, Tokina, Vivitar 90-105mm macros are very sharp.

If you have lots of money to spend, there are many more good choices.
Nope, don't have lots of money to spend! But thanks for the tips above. They'll go on my list. I think I have decided to go after the A 50 either 1.7 or 1.4 sometime after I get the DA L 55-300. Then, I may go for a wider angle lens or macro option.
03-11-2011, 10:10 AM   #28
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i prefer more to F series lenses..it is a lot sharper and have AF(quite loud) if you not good at manual focus..

if you prefer manual focus only(aperture control by body), then A series is the choice

if you prefer fully manual, i will suggest K series but it quite expensive..

my suggestion :
1. F50.7
2. F70-210
3. A50.7
4. K50.4
03-11-2011, 10:37 AM   #29
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Thanks v3t0. I was looking at the F series but they are a bit expensive for my budget right now. I would probably prefer auto focus, but not for twice as much or more. However, I'm searching every day for a good deal, so who knows?
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