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11-30-2011, 08:08 PM   #1
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Looking for Kx Lens Value

Hi, I'm new to the forum and recently joined because I always found myself getting my research info from here. I'll find my way around the site soon enough, but would appreciate any links within this sight or insight from you on what I can look for in some of the best Pentax Kx economical lens choices for my use, auto or manual lenses with or without adaptors, zoom or fixed.

I want to get additional info on some solid lenses that I might begin to start an arsenal with, or improve it. I want these lenses to grow with my use/needs.

I'm a casual photographer that is beginning to get more serious about it as a hobby. I've entered some pictures in amateur contests and might want to explore that a bit more.

I find I'm mostly taking low light 'action' photos in pooly light school gymnasiums, arenas and theatres where I'm a considerable distance away from my moving target. I like photographing our abundance of outdoor activities primarily around bodies of water or sports fields. Also for vacations, parties and holidays. I'm very pleased with where my DAL 18-55 has brought me with my photography, but I'm ready to increase my learning curve, get better lenses and get out of auto mode. Thanks, and apologies in advance if I posted in the wrong place....I'm a quick study and will catch on.

I currently have the DAL 18-55mm and (recently acquired)
Super Multi-Coated Takumar 50mm 1.4,
Telesar 135mm 2.8,
Super Multi-Coated 135mm 2.5 V1
with matching Asahi 2x T6 2x converter,
Vivitar 75mm-205mm F3.5-4.5
and Pentax Takumar-A 28-80mm F3.5-4.5.

Any insight into my recently acquired lenses would be appreciated as well. thanks.

11-30-2011, 09:03 PM   #2
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In before RioRico reminds you of the outstanding value of the Pentax 35-70mm (and I concur!)
Instead of the TC, the DAL 55-300 is an outstanding lens
If you want to improve on the 18-55, consider the Pentax 16-45 (or 17-70)
In addition to a M50 f1.7 and a Vivitar 28 f2.8, that's what I've done w/ my K-x. To get something of an all-around lens, I'm using the Tamron 24-135 (which is quite nice), but I'm saving for the Pentax 18-135
11-30-2011, 09:15 PM   #3
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The 2 S-M-C Taks are winners, assuming you have a converter. You might want to add a S-M-C Tak 35/3.5. The Telesar might be interesting.

I would second the suggestion of a DA L 55-300, and be sure to pick up a lens hood for it, the 18-55 as well.
11-30-2011, 09:18 PM   #4
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Welcome aboard. What I don't see in your current lineup is a really wide lens. Something in the 10-14 range gives you a completely different perspective in my experience. Also, I want to reinforce what mgvh said about the DAL 55-300 - it is a terrific lens for much of what you are doing outdoors and what boriscleto said about the hood is spot on. For the poorly lite gyms, you have several manual lenses in the <f2.8 range but what about an AF model? I use the FA50/1.4 for shooting in the poorly lite gyms my children's teams play in.

11-30-2011, 09:51 PM   #5
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Thank you for all the great advice all. I have a hood on order as we speak. The low light in the arenas/gyms I visit for my kids activities is killing me combined with the distance and fast action.

@Docrwn/Boriscleto, I do need a fast AF lens in my lineup and will check out the FA50/1.4 since it's working for you. I am worried about the manual focus with semi-fast moving targets. The DAL 55-300 definitely has the range but is it fast enough in bad lighting? After the DAL 18-55 in poorly lit gyms and moving targets....I'm a bit gun shy with anything around 4.0 or slower. I like appreciate the DAL, but I definitely need something different to suit my needs.

I never really considered a wide lens so thanks for the heads up. I'm not sure how/when to use it for sure. I'm not taking any real kind of macro pictures for now....is it more for macro or landscape or can be used for both?

I got the 2.8 lenses because they were faster, longer and, to be honest, cheap with fair to good reviews but it's early, so I'm not sure how well they will work for me in manual mode. I'm thinking the 135mm range will be about right.....but without the zoom, not exactly perfect for my needs when I may alternate between long distance action photos and close up portrait type situations. I don't really want to start lugging an equipment bag around.....so the 55-300 auto definitely sounds like it might cater to my needs.
11-30-2011, 09:53 PM   #6
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...and a question about the m42 adaptors....can I just buy one for each lens, attach it to the lens, leave it on the lens, then quickly mount it to the kx body with little or no notice of it having an adapter on it?
11-30-2011, 10:00 PM   #7
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No, not really, because you need to use your nail (or a pen, etc.) to remove the adapter once it's locked in on the body.

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11-30-2011, 10:17 PM   #8
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I understand the teleconverter will slow my speed down. Will the crop factor on my manual lenses alter my focal range? Will crop factor effectively turn my 50mm f1.4 into a 75mm f1.4?

If I used the tc on the 50mm, and assuming it worked ok in certain situations, would it turn that lens into a 150mm 2.8 (including crop factor)? Is the tc something I should even consider using or is it just good to have in your back pocket for those times you need a bit more range?

Thanks again for all the responses, greatly appreciated!

11-30-2011, 10:44 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dean31 Quote
I understand the teleconverter will slow my speed down. Will the crop factor on my manual lenses alter my focal range? Will crop factor effectively turn my 50mm f1.4 into a 75mm f1.4?
No. A 50mm lens is a 50mm lens. If RioRico were around he would tell you to forget that you ever heard of crap.factor...

The only thing that changes is field of view. There are countless threads on the subject.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/159791-focal-le...-question.html

Fast zooms do exist, but be prepared to pay $$$.
11-30-2011, 10:48 PM   #10
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The focal length is a physical parameter of the lens and will not change. Because of the crop (APSc sensor smaller than film), the field of view of a 50mm on APSc will indeed be the same as a 75mm on film. You can simply check that by comparing the kitlens at 50mm with your 50mm Tak; they will have the same field of view.

If you don't have a film / FF body, forget about crop factor.

Insight in your lenses; just look them up
Pentax Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Third-Party Lenses for Pentax - Pentax Lens Review Database

Just get one original adaptor. If you go on a shoot, you decide beforehand if you will use M42 or K mount. Makes life a lot easier. You can however indeed put an adaptor on each lens to make them K-mount; remove the locking mechanism of each adaptor and you can easily remove them from the camera; risk is that they might fall off if you don't pay attention because they are no longer secured.

I can not advise on the sport lens; I would buy the DA55-300 and give it a try on the K-x for sports unless you're prepared to spend the dollars on a f/2.8 zoom.

Last edited by sterretje; 11-30-2011 at 11:01 PM.
11-30-2011, 11:02 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dean31 Quote
...and a question about the m42 adaptors....can I just buy one for each lens, attach it to the lens, leave it on the lens, then quickly mount it to the kx body with little or no notice of it having an adapter on it?
Yes. I have removed the locking clips from 2 of my 3 adaptors so that they can be semi permanently mounted on lenses (the locking tab is held on by a single small Phillips screw). The disadvantage of this approach is that you have to be careful not to accidentally dismount the lens because there is no locking groove like a regular K mount lens would have.

On small lenses with smooth and light focusing rings accidental removal isn't a problem. On a few of my longer and less valuable M42 lenses I have added a drilled divot so they lock into place like a K lens. One or two of my lenses have a very stiff focusing action and they are too narrow to engage the K locking pin even if I cut a groove into them, so I use the unmodified M42 to K adaptor with them.
11-30-2011, 11:49 PM   #12
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I've been invoked a couple times here, so I guess I should lay down the Etch-A-Sketch and provide some rants input.

M42-PK adapters: I think everyone with very few M42 lenses should own just one Official Pentax adapter -- safe, tedious, not cheap, but safe. Those of us with many M42s (and maybe some old Russian M39s too) tend to buy a bunch of Bower-type clone adapters. Remove the screw and clip or YOU WILL GO APESH!T! Use a PK rear lens cap as a wrench to (un)tighten the adapter. I've had some adapters on lenses for so long that I've almost forgotten they're not PK-native. I haven't lost any yet! Those who are nervous about this, and who intend to leave the adapter on the lens awhile, might squeeze a very small drop of contact cement on the thread. This provides more security, and the adapter can still be wrenched off with a rear lens cap.

Low-light action: The FA50/1.4 is my gotta-get-the-shot lens and I highly recommend it for quality, agility, cost-effectiveness, etc. Some may disagree; such is life. But using a wide aperture (with its thin DOF) in low light can be tricky to focus. Yes, I also highly recommend getting an old F35-70/3.5-4.5 for its quality and agility -- it can often be found cheap on eBay, mounted on a SF-1 or other AF film cam. I may use both of these in low light with the aperture at f/4 and the ISO boosted. Your Kx is renowned for high-ISO performance. Don't be afraid to let the ISO float up.

Crap.factor: Yes, forget you ever heard that. I'm OK with the German term format-faktor. A lens projects an image circle; a smaller frame (film or digital) sees less of the projected image, but the focal length remains the same. When I mounted a 400mm full-frame lens on a half-frame camera (frame size very close to APS-C) I thought, HAY, IT'S A 600MM lens! But I was wrong. It was just a 400mm lens whose images had the edges cut off.

Specialty lenses: To bend your mind around some macro possibilities, see https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/152336-cheap-macro-b...lose-work.html. Ultrawide lenses (shorter than 17mm) and fisheyes usually focus very close, but they're not really suitable for most macro work. They're not really for land-sea-sky-town 'scapes either -- they shrink the distant, turning mountains into molehills. They're best for tight spaces, or to emphasize something close whilst shrinking the faraway. That said, the DA10-17 fisheye zoom is the lens that drove me to Pentax, and the Tamron 10-24 rectilinear is always in my carry-bag. I'll rant more about them another time.

OK, back to the Etch-A-Sketch. Just staying in practice for when the power goes out again...
12-01-2011, 12:22 AM   #13
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Thanks all! I'll re-read this several times....and I understand crap factor now too!

Last edited by Dean31; 12-01-2011 at 12:23 AM. Reason: I sounded Russian or something (typo)
12-01-2011, 08:45 AM - 1 Like   #14
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One last thought. Have you tried Catch-in-Focus yet, the poor mans AF?

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Also try experimenting with hyperfocal distance. There was action photography before AF.

Hyperfocus: Everything's clear now

Hyperfocal Distance
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