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08-07-2011, 08:30 AM   #1
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Looking for advice on another lens.

I have the following lenses; M 28-80mm; AF 18-55mm, two long zooms; AF 70-300mm and M 100-500mm, plus one M 50mm. What would be a good go between from the 28-80mm to the 70-300mm? I was thinking a long prime, but I need your input to help me decide. Bear in mind, I'm on a fixed income so price should be not more than $150.

Thanks in Advance.

08-07-2011, 08:49 AM   #2
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Good Morning,
  • What focal lengths do you use most?
  • What focal lengths do you wish you had a prime for?

08-07-2011, 09:13 AM   #3
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Another way to look at it: What do you want to do that you can't do with what you have? You have coverage. You have a 50, probably not too slow. Do you need a faster lens, or close-focus, or distinctive bokeh, or something for portraiture, or what? You have M-type lenses, so you're probably comfortable with manual focus. Would you consider M42 screwmount lenses, used with adapters? And other used lenses?

Depending on your answers, I could suggest: Helios-44 58/2, well under US$50; a budget 90mm macro, hopefully under US$150; bellows, adapter, and 75-90-105mm enlarger lenses, all for under US$50. Unfortunately, primes between (but not including) 58-135mm tend to be expensive, so a bit of luck is needed to find affordable 85-90-100-105mm lenses.

Something you didn't mention, and where you don't have coverage, is wider glass. Alas, ultrawides aren't cheap. But the fine Zenitar 16/2.8 (slightly fishy) can be found for between US$150-200, and will perform like nothing else you have. Again, think of what you want to do, where you want to go photographically, and what will get you there. Good luck!
08-07-2011, 09:30 AM   #4
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I'm not sure how you feel about this, but I would sell the 28-80 since you have that covered with your other zooms, and perhaps buy yourself either a fast-ish 28mm (f2.8) or 80 ish prime (f2-2.8).

Depends on if you want a normal or for portraits. Lots of cheap manual primes to be found.

08-07-2011, 10:06 AM   #5
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Interested Observer: The first is hard to pin down because I use most of them equally. The second I was thinking either 90, 100, or 135. But then again, those are probably above my budget.

RioRico: The reason; I had a shoot recently that I wished I had something other than the manual 50mm f2, or the 18-55mm AF lens. The shoot (a birthday party) went fine but I found the differences between the 18-55mm was too wide a range or too narrow.
I'm not against using screwmount, I just haven't looked into them since I learned to use the M lenses on my K-x. Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check out those you have listed.

paperbag, I won't sell the 28-80mm; for one, it's also macro on the 28 end and two, it was given to me by a fellow member.
I shot my Single in June with that lens, check the photos from the link below:
Single in June - a set on Flickr
08-07-2011, 10:13 AM   #6
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I think you need a wide 10-20 ish size............great for landscape and fills a space you don't have

Dave
08-07-2011, 10:33 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by GDRoth Quote
I think you need a wide 10-20 ish size............great for landscape and fills a space you don't have

Dave
Way beyond photolady's budget.
08-07-2011, 10:51 AM   #8
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For sure too expensive, and we have no interesting landscapes here. Mostly flat ground and filled to the brim with condominiums.

08-07-2011, 11:23 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady Quote
The second I was thinking either 90, 100, or 135. But then again, those are probably above my budget.
Manual 135s are dirt cheap. Good ones are common. You should be able to find Vivitar or Sears or Focal 135s in K-mount for under US$30 on eBay. A faster Super-Takumar 135/2.5 might go for under US$100; it has GREAT optics!

QuoteQuote:
RioRico: The reason; I had a shoot recently that I wished I had something other than the manual 50mm f2, or the 18-55mm AF lens. The shoot (a birthday party) went fine but I found the differences between the 18-55mm was too wide a range or too narrow.
Hmm, the only zoom I know of that expands that range slightly is the Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.5, but it's only slightly faster than the 18-55 and is beyond your budget. For more reach there's the Tamron 18-200 -- an old copy is probably under US$100 but the optics are good, not great. What are the party conditions? Too small for 18mm, too big for 55mm? If the problem is speed, well, I just boost ISO a tad.

So, for primes: The Zenitar I mentioned is wider but maybe not a b'day-party lens unless you want to defish in PP (and downsize the images to keep resolution). The Helios is kewl and cheap but isn't faster than what you have -- an M42 50-55mm at f/1.4-1.8 might make a difference. I've seen the Sears-Tomioka 55/1.4 and the SuperTak 55/1.8 both go for around US$50 lately, both superb lenses. Ricoh, Petri, Chinon glass in that range seem to sell for a little less. The Petri CC 55/1.8 is among the sharpest lenses ever, followed closely by the SuperTak 55/1.8.

The 85-105 range is a problem -- too much demand, too little supply, at least for faster glass, like 85/2 or 90-105/2.8. Like I said, it takes luck there. Perseverance helps too.
08-07-2011, 11:46 AM   #10
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You mentioned enlarger lenses. How would you mount those to the k mount?
I have a Sears 135mm f2.8 but it has been a disappointment for me in that it doesn't focus like my old Sears 135mm did. It's the macro type, it doesn't seem to focus properly. I'm not sure why, as my one I had in the '90s focused fine.
08-07-2011, 12:45 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady Quote
You mentioned enlarger lenses. How would you mount those to the k mount?
With cheap bellows and adapters. I mostly use a small M42 Bellowscope; a cheap safe flanged no-infinity-focus M42-PK adapter, to fit the bellows to the camera; a cheaper M39-M42 adapter ring to fit the mostly-M39 EL's to the bellows; and a homemade hood on the EL (enlarger lens). I go into this a little in https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/152336-cheap-macro-b...lose-work.html

QuoteQuote:
I have a Sears 135mm f2.8 but it has been a disappointment for me in that it doesn't focus like my old Sears 135mm did. It's the macro type, it doesn't seem to focus properly. I'm not sure why, as my one I had in the '90s focused fine.
I've had four Sears 135/2.8's in PK and M42 mounts, all from different makers. I had a PK 'macro' version where the front element could be extended to close-up range by twisting the front ring. I sold that one, slightly too much fringing for me, but it focused OK. It's the only insufficient Sears prime I've had. I'm not sure who made it but the only other lens with a similar 'macro' feature I've had is one I attribute to Tokina, who IMHO did better with zooms than primes then.

EDIT -- Addendum:
Enlarger lenses are built for light emerging from the lens, not coming in the front, so they're often susceptible to flare; hence the lens hood. EL's are edge-to-edge flatfield sharp, but the cheapest no-names may not be real contrasty. Some are great with front-lit subjects, not so great with shadowed or back-lit targets. And some are just superb glass for bargain prices! Names to look for include Eastman, EL-Nikkor, Industar, Ilex, Komura, Novoflex, Rodenstock, Schneider, Steinheil, Vega, Vivitar. Those made by Wollensack can be iffy; some are great, some not. But at US$5 or less, they're worth risking, eh?

Last edited by RioRico; 08-07-2011 at 01:13 PM.
08-07-2011, 01:11 PM   #12
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Yes I agree. Perhaps, look at the M 135/3.5 which is a very good sharp lens and should be obtainable for under $100. They are usually fairly easy to find in places of sale (PF/Ebay/2nd hand sellers etc.) There is an M 135/2.8 ( I think, don't quote me on that)) but rather hard to find.
08-07-2011, 01:56 PM   #13
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KEH has a couple of Taks in 135mm screwmount. A few days ago they had three in M k-mounts, guess they are popular because they are now gone.
08-07-2011, 04:14 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady Quote
Interested Observer: The first is hard to pin down because I use most of them equally. The second I was thinking either 90, 100, or 135. But then again, those are probably above my budget.
If you willing to go with manual lenses, you can easily find 100mm and 135mm lenses as fast as f2.8 in K mount for between $20 to $75, even on ebay. You could even get one of each focal length and possibly have budget to spare.

I don't know about a 90mm lens - you would need to go to either Tamron or Sigma primes way out side of your budget.

08-07-2011, 04:20 PM   #15
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Thanks, observer. I don't do ebay. Actually I've never bought anything on Craigslist, only sold things. But both items sold were local.
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