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11-29-2011, 12:49 AM   #1
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What Kind Of Lens?

Hi after one year i've decided to extend my lenses's kit.
Actually on my k-x i have:

pentax 18-55 (from the base kit)
pentax 50-200 wr (bought new last summer for 200)

Usually i do portraits, photos to monuments and sometimes landscape photos.without spend a lot of money (i don't want to spend more then 150-200) what kind of lens can i add to my actual kit?

Also if i have to give up to AF is not a problem....i've bought the pentax also for the opportunity to mount old lenses.
Thank you

11-29-2011, 01:55 AM   #2
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Your current kit should basically cover all your needs, but it obviously does not as you started this thread What do you feel is lacking?

Some thoughts:

For portraits, you might want something fast in the 50 to 100mm range so you can get a shallower DOF. You will be able to find older MF lenses in the given price range; M50/1.7, Takumars (55mm/1.8, maybe a 85mm) etc. If you don't want to play with DOF that much for portraits, a zoom between 35mm and 50mm at the one end and 70mm to 105mm at the other end might be useful as it will prevent lens swapping during protraits shoots.

I'm not a UWA man when it comes to landscapes; but plenty people prefer something wider than 18mm for landscapes. I also don't find that there is a need for something faster as you often want plenty of DOF in landscape shots.

For monuments, you will probably be looking at something wider than 18mm so you can take the photo while being reasonable close.

I'm not really aware of cheap alternatives for UWA (wider than 18mm); checking prices at Pentax Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database , a 15mm Takumar or A lens goes for far more than your budget (not sure how realistic the prices are). You might be lucky to find something cheaper.

You can use the previous link and https://www.pentaxforums.com/userreviews/ to find what exists and how the owners rate it (subjective); it's probably not complete and prices not might reflect the going prices.
11-29-2011, 02:04 AM   #3
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well actually i'm looking for a shallower DOF. i've seen that the most used is the 50mm f1.7 while others prefer as you have written the takumar 85mm 1.9. what are the difference between these two lens? also money speaking :P

another thing that i'ven't understood well is the difference between the A M K lens...the only thing that i've understood is that i'ven't the autofocus but the manual one
11-29-2011, 02:44 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by martinmistere Quote
well actually i'm looking for a shallower DOF. i've seen that the most used is the 50mm f1.7 while others prefer as you have written the takumar 85mm 1.9. what are the difference between these two lens? also money speaking :P

another thing that i'ven't understood well is the difference between the A M K lens...the only thing that i've understood is that i'ven't the autofocus but the manual one
I'm not much into portraits, but I believe 50mm is better suited for whole body shots or upper body shots, while 85mm is more for head shots. And I suspect the 85mm f/1.9 will cost more than the 50.

Difference between K, M, and A lenses:
K is the first generation of lenses with SMC coating, all manual (set aperture on lens, use stop down metering).
M is second generation, but still all manual. Generally a bit smaller than (and often regarded not quite as good as) the K lenses.
A still has manual focus but has an auto aperture setting, so you can use this in all modes on a dSLR - makes metering more convenient.

You can read more at Pentax K-Mount Lenses Explained: The differences between various Pentax lens series

11-29-2011, 04:46 AM   #5
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A lenses allow the use of Av mode on the camera; K and M don't (M mode only and use of green button to meter).

Focal length influences the perspective; sorry, actually it does not but because perspective relates to distance to subject and we usually want to fill the frame with e.g. the head, it translates to the same as you have to get closer (wide angle) or step further back (longer).

Somebody posted a comparison longer ago. A portrait taken with a wide angle will make the nose big which is not really flattering for the person; similar something taken with a long lens will flatten the features; we assume in both cases that the subject (head) fills the frame completely and the most natural results are considered to be achieved with something between 50 and 100.

I don't shoot portraits; except for the happy snap that I in general do with the FA31Ltd for full body portraits (that is, feet to head) and 'something longer' for the rest.

For prices, I think you should start digging at ebay to get an idea.
11-29-2011, 04:52 AM   #6
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I'm still discovering the qualities of my K and M lenses, which I've started acquiring recently. Hard to go wrong with an M 50 1.7; they're easy to find and good copies can be had quite cheaply. I got one recently but haven't had a chance to use it much. Partly that's because of how much I like using the M 50 1.4. The extra speed is useful in low light and for the even thinner DOF, both good qualities for available-light portraiture. I also prefer the build quality of the 1.4 over the 1.7 (my copies, anyway); it's simply a beautiful piece of craftsmanship and a joy to use.

According to the 50mm discussion on Stan's Photography, while all the Pentax 50mm 1.4 models have a similar optical design, there were some design tweaks with the introduction of the A model. So in addition to being more convenient to use, the newer versions (A, F, and FA) may also be optically a bit better. Probably the coatings also continue to improve with the newer models, so it's possible they have better flare resistance. With the F and FA you get autofocus.

I very recently picked up a K 55 1.8. While not quite as common as the M 50 1.7 (I think simply because the production run was shorter), these also seem to be pretty easy to find at a reasonable price. I've only had it out once but it made a very positive impression. 55mm on APS-C is arguably a slightly better FL for portraiture than 50mm, closer to the classic 85-on-full-frame perspective.

As savoche points out the K series lenses tend to be a bit better regarded than their M-series counterparts. In some cases there are indeed significant optical differences, but this seems to be partly that the Ks are more "collectible", with something of a cult status. What can I say; I belong to that cult. Most of the K lenses were only made for a couple of years or so before the M series supplanted them, so most models are rarer.

The stock Pentax focusing screen is not particularly good for manually focusing at f/2.8 and faster. I'm getting better with practice but intend to get an S-type focusing screen at some point.
11-29-2011, 04:55 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
A lenses allow the use of Av mode on the camera; K and M don't (M mode only and use of green button to meter).
True except that you can also use Av mode with a K or M lens when wide open (or within a stop or so of wide open and then using EV+ to compensate).

Last edited by baro-nite; 11-30-2011 at 02:59 AM. Reason: correction
11-29-2011, 05:08 AM   #8
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You're cheating

11-29-2011, 05:22 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
You're cheating
Anything to get the shot.
11-29-2011, 06:23 AM   #10
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well according to ebay's prices the 50mm 1.7 in euro-zone is around 50-80€.
is there somewhere a comparison between the 1.4 and the 1.7?i mean with photos
11-29-2011, 08:00 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by martinmistere Quote
well according to ebay's prices the 50mm 1.7 in euro-zone is around 50-80.
That's pretty high. Just looking at the latest postings, here's one in Canada for C$50 plus C$25 for worldwide shipping:

PENTAX SMC M 50mm 1:1.7 F/1.7 Manual Focus Lens Pentax-M Exellent Condition | eBay

and these come up all the time.


QuoteOriginally posted by martinmistere Quote
is there somewhere a comparison between the 1.4 and the 1.7?i mean with photos
Check out the Lens Sample Photo Archive - PentaxForums.com.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-sample-photo-archive/156527-pentax-m...4-samples.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-sample-photo-archive/153059-pentax-m...7-samples.html
11-29-2011, 09:57 AM   #12
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well consider that from non-euro zones i pay the 20% of taxes :P and i'm looking for the A series.


thank you for the photos.

i think that i'll go for the 1.7
11-29-2011, 10:15 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by martinmistere Quote
Hi after one year i've decided to extend my lenses's kit.
Actually on my k-x i have:

pentax 18-55 (from the base kit)
pentax 50-200 wr (bought new last summer for 200)

Usually i do portraits, photos to monuments and sometimes landscape photos.without spend a lot of money (i don't want to spend more then 150-200) what kind of lens can i add to my actual kit?

Also if i have to give up to AF is not a problem....i've bought the pentax also for the opportunity to mount old lenses.
Thank you
not sure if it is in or out of your price range, but the samyang 85mmF1.4 may be a real pleasure to use, and as it is in KA mount you get all the benefits of matrix metering and P-TTL flash
11-29-2011, 10:26 AM   #14
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Some points to consider:

* A, F, FA and DA lenses are easier to use than are K/M and adapted lenses
* K/M lenses must be used in M mode for auto-stop-down metering and exposure
* adapted lenses can be used as presets in Av mode, a little simpler than K/M usage
* screwmount lenses and some other mounts are easy to adapt or modify to PK
* faster f/1.4 lenses can achieve effects not possible with slower f/1.7 lenses

I own 50 Fifties, 20 of which are f/2 or faster. Just 5 of those Fifties are native PK-mount; the rest are adapted or modified, mostly M42 screwmount but also OM, C/Y and Exakta mounts. Among my fastest are a planar Yashica ML 50/1.4 (C/Y), Super-Takumar 50/1.4 (M42), and Tomioka 55/1.4 (M42). None were costly; nor was the Olympus 50/1.8 (OM). I hope to add a fast Nikkor 50 to my stable one of these days.

If you can live with adapters or a little dremel work, many inexpensive options are available.
11-29-2011, 10:46 AM   #15
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Some good advices already here so I'll just add little:

K series wasn't the first SMC coated series. There were S-M-C and SMC Takumars. K series was the first to use K bayonet (hence the "K" nickname as officially they don't have letter in the name but were the first lenses to use the Pentax name on lens, so officialy they are SMC Pentax FL/max f stop) opticaly they are identical to SMC Takumars.
M and A were explained well, I'll just add the series letter appears in name now and FL is followed by mm and the is f stop. A series communicates to camera the max and min apertures and that enables the Matrix metering and PTTL flash, but the camera still has no idea what is the focal length or what lens is on the camera (as with later F, FA & DA series and drivations) so you have input the focal length manually for SR to work

The name exmples with font changes:
SMC PENTAX 50/1.4
SMC Pentax-M 1:1.4 50mm
SMC PENTAX-A 1:1.4 50mm

Also note that the filter threads changed, all Ks had 52 or 58 mm threads, all Ms up to 135 (or 150) had 49mm, As had mix

As for the portrait side, wide doesn't mean big nose as long as you'll keep the distance. It all depends on what portrai do you want. Full body and narrow-ish DOF you are looking at sub 35mm ideally faster than f2.8 unless your setting can accomodate for ~4m+ working distance will 50mm excell. Personally, 24/2 and 50-55/1.4 are my favourite focal lengths for portraits. The 24 or 28mm would work great if you want to show bit of the setting etc, 50 is great for portraits, whether full or half body but as I said you might need more space, 35mm is good compromise which could pull it off from as close as 2-3m IMO and still provide narrower DOF.

My 2p
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