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11-07-2011, 01:53 AM   #1
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UK Newbie K5 owner looking for a Prime!

Hey guys.
Looking for a nice prime to go with my K5 and 18-135 combo. Ideally looking for a lens I can use in low light, for walks along the harbor and indoor shots of friends and the cat!
I have been looking in to the following:
50mm f1.4
50mm f1.7
35mm f2.0 (which seems a rare find)
Sigma 30mm f1.4
Anyone had any experience of the above and what they would recommend? Iím thinking the 50 might be a bit too long for my needs. Sigma seems appealing, but without HSM I am not sure how well it performs.
Budget is around £300.

11-07-2011, 02:15 AM   #2
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Pick up a DA35 f/2.4, its a FA35 by another name. Small light and cheap. Then have a look for a 2nd hand FA50 f/1.4. You 'll find that they are cheaper than the F/FA 50 f/1.7 then you're off on your first LBA run
PentaxUser.co.uk have a small market place that often has 35s & 50s turn up.

Welcome to this forum as well though
11-07-2011, 02:32 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info! The 50 f1.4 does look appealing, but not sure if it will be a tad long! Ideally I will get both a 30 and 50 at some point (when money allows!).
11-07-2011, 02:41 AM   #4
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Do you need AF (auto focus)? Because you could possibly pick up a manual 50 f/1.4 and the DA35 f/2.4 within your budget.
There is a 2nd hand DA35 going for £120 at the moment on the English forum, and a MF 50 f/1.7 for £45 and a manual 50 f/1.4 for £70.

11-07-2011, 04:18 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by JayX2A Quote
Ideally I will get both a 30 and 50 at some point (when money allows!).
And those are very good focal lengths: normal, and short tele. Faster is better. Some 50-55/1.4 is a must-have. IMHO 28-31mm is more usable than 35mm, no matter the speed. And as suggested, consider manual lenses -- after you have a FA50/1.4, that is. I don't miss AF at all with my 24/2 or 28/2 or 35/2, none of which were very expensive (and I'm a cheap bastard).
11-07-2011, 06:59 AM   #6
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If you're not going to be taking pictures FOR organisations or anything then I'd highly recommend going manual focus with lenses. Pentax A 50mm f/1.7, or the M equivalent, are dirt cheap and readily available. But on your budget you could easily manage a 1.4. They really are fantastic lenses and every photographer should have one. Autofocus is only really necessary if you're following moving subjects, or if you're very short on time. Plus you'll get much better build quality without it.

Other than that, the 35/2 is a great lens as well, though I currently own the 35/2.4 for the autofocus, and it's absolutely stunning. You can move around "zooming with your feet" really easily with a standard lens, and I rarely ever feel restricted with my 35. The Sigma is a great lens, though it's HUGE. With primes, size is a massive bonus, and the Sigma primes tend to neglect this. I wouldn't worry about the lack of HSM though. I don't understand the hatred of screw drive systems. They're really not THAT noisy.

I would recommend going for A primes instead of M though, as then you can use all the program/Tv/Av/Sv/TAv modes, whereas you're stuck with Manual with the M series. It's not the end of the world, but it feels a lot more elegant and fluent with the A series lenses.
11-07-2011, 07:52 AM   #7
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I've been playing with a M50 f/2 lens, and it's really quite nice on the K-5. It's so inexpensive - even the A-50 f/2 is cheap it's worth playing with and keeping in the bag. Images of flowers etc. are very 3D with that lens and it focuses fairly closely. I'm trying to get one of the A-50 1.7 or faster lenses though, for convenience.

I've rented the DA 21mm and liked its size but decided it wasn't suitable for the uses I had in mind. I'm going to rent the DA 35 macro, and will make a decision based on that. I'd buy the Non-macro version, but really want this for close, wide work.

That's my input, take it for what you will.
11-07-2011, 09:51 AM   #8
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Out of interest, how much does it cost to rent a lens? I bought a DA 15 Limited recently and sold it for the price I paid brand new on eBay. Minus eBay fees it cost me about £40 to use it for two months. If you bought second hand off the forums you could likely buy and sell at no loss and be able to evaluate a lens for as long as you want, provided you're careful with it.

11-07-2011, 10:08 AM   #9
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Another thing, unless you are looking for thinnest depth of field you can get away with lenses that are less fast on your k-5.
The fa 35-2 you mentioned is sharp at any aperture and a great street lens.
I hear the da 35-2.4 is possibly the same lens formula.
You can get manual 28-2.8s for low cost that are fun to use.
The da40 is a mini jewel that will amaze.
My first prime was an a50-1.7 but I use the 35 more as I find the focal length and iq more to my liking and the 40 for it's portability (and iq)
11-07-2011, 11:31 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mareket Quote
Out of interest, how much does it cost to rent a lens? I bought a DA 15 Limited recently and sold it for the price I paid brand new on eBay. Minus eBay fees it cost me about £40 to use it for two months. If you bought second hand off the forums you could likely buy and sell at no loss and be able to evaluate a lens for as long as you want, provided you're careful with it.
With the suggested budget, you could do something like this and explore several different lenses. It would be a good way to get a feel for different primes. The DA 35mm f2.4 is a good first choice, and you could maybe pair that with a Pentax-F 28mm f2.8. Six months later, if one isn't quite the right focal length, sell and get something else. I can think of lots of ways to spend your budget: Kiron 24/2+M28/2.8+DA 35/2.4+K55/1.8 might be possible too. I personally like the FA 35mm f2 for the uses you list, but that might blow the whole budget and you might like 28mm instead.
11-07-2011, 12:02 PM   #11
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I can afford another prime after christmas, but my main aim is to get one that I can enjoy right now! For the moment I would like AF, but that does not mean in the future I wont get MF lenses! Im liking the pics from the Siggy 30mm thread so thats on my hit list but the FA 50mm f1.4 is also very appealing and can get a new one in my budget (if i go the 50 route i could even stretch to the 35mm f2.4 too).

Cant find the 35mm F2 anywhere for my price! Shame as think that would be the perfect lens as its the focal length that would be ideal for indoors and portraits.

I can get a 2nd hand 40mm 2.8 for £250 but really looking for something faster. Only reason I say that is because when I had a 50mm on my Canon I was using f1.8 a fair bit!
11-07-2011, 12:16 PM   #12
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Keep an eye out for the 35mm F2 in Samsung guise. (D-Xenogon 1:2 35mm AL)

There was recent availability of a some new old stock here in the US and that's how I acquired mine.

There are a couple of FA35's in the marketplace at the moment.
11-07-2011, 12:55 PM   #13
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Well I am get impatient so Im going to take the plunge on a new lens!

50mm f1.4 or Siggy 30mm f1.4.... damn why are decisions so hard!!!
11-07-2011, 02:19 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mareket Quote
Out of interest, how much does it cost to rent a lens? I bought a DA 15 Limited recently and sold it for the price I paid brand new on eBay. Minus eBay fees it cost me about £40 to use it for two months. If you bought second hand off the forums you could likely buy and sell at no loss and be able to evaluate a lens for as long as you want, provided you're careful with it.
With lenses often seen used and available that's probably a better option. For special purpose or really expensive lenses it's worth renting. Two weeks with the DA35 will run abut $60. I'll use it a lot in that period and make a decision.

But yeah, for the quality lenses I'm sure you could sell it for the same you bought it if you don't want to keep it. Second-hand prices for the Limiteds seem pretty stable.
11-07-2011, 02:24 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JayX2A Quote
Well I am get impatient so Im going to take the plunge on a new lens!

50mm f1.4 or Siggy 30mm f1.4.... damn why are decisions so hard!!!
I find the ~30mm focal length far far more useful indoors than the 50mm. Actually I find the 21mm focal length more useful than either, but that's another story...
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