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12-20-2011, 02:25 PM   #16
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I'm seeing some great suggestions from everyone but maybe we need to read what he said, he's knew to photography. For a newbie I doubt i'd send them off into manual prime territory unless i knew they were comfortable with the operation of the camera. As I said the Kit lens is capable of decent images so it's a good place to learn. If i was going to recommend a prime I'd stick to AF for the time being letting him focus on technique. So inexpensive good DA35 2.4 which is also a long normal
If you can find one at a decent price an f28 2.8 is an almost perfect normal length, if not there is the sigma 28 f1.8 which is a good fast (but more pricey) normal. for portraits if you can find a f50 f1.7 at $200 or so it's excellent (if a little plastic) or an FA 50 1.4 (used about 275 new about 400) both are good short portrait lenses
More ideal as a portrait length lens is the DA*55 but it's bigger bucks too.

If you go the manual focus route consider A series lenses as they meter properly and can be fully controlled and leave all camera functions intact meaning you only need to learn focusing and not a pile of other stuff. the A 50 f2.0 is a vastly underrated lens and available much more reasonably than many other A lenses



QuoteOriginally posted by Irish Pride Quote
I have always been fasinated by photography but i am just now starting to jump into it. I have a K-r and am slowly seeing how crappy the kit lenses are. My question is what is the #1 lens i should have invested in first and why?

I know there is no perfect answer so i am really looking for personal opinions here.

-Chad


12-20-2011, 02:37 PM   #17
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Everyone has suggestions based on their own experiences. Here are mine:

* The most cost-effective place to start is with the two-lens kit: DA18-55 and DA55-300. These are a real deal, with good performance for the price.
* The simplest place to start is with an old DA18-250 or its Tamron twin, and the FA50/1.4: an all-in-one for good light, and a low-light + action lens.
* The most instructive (and cheapest) way to start are with a few M-series primes: 28/2.8, 50/1.7, 135/3.5. These will teach you the fundamentals.

Both the 18-55 plus 55-300, and the 18-250, are great to help you determine later needs. Shoot them a lot (it's free!) then run software to see what focal lengths you tend to use. This can help you decide on 'better' and faster lenses. And then you can ask yourself: "What do I want to do that I can't do with what I have?" The answer may lead you to ultrawide or macro or fisheye or ultra-tele or other lenses.

I personally don't like the 18-55 plus 55-300 kit because I shoot a lot between 35-70mm and I hate swapping lenses around 55mm. But as I said, they're cost-effective. I do sometimes use a similar kit, supplemented with a cheap old F35-70, very agile and sharp and cheap. Did I mention cheap? It is, and it's also the smallest zoom Pentax ever built.

I could recommend much more, but I'd better not. Kill me now!
12-20-2011, 02:54 PM   #18
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when i read the title, not knowing your interest of course, the first that came to mind for me was the SMC M-50/1.7
It was my first lens beyond the kit lens and what an amazing introduction to learning exposure and getting great results with fast glass. The green button makes it simple, of course, but the A-version is certainly a good option at a higher price point. Man, once i started shooting with that fast 50, i was hooked on fast primes.

If you just want a good replacement to the kit lens, the DA 16-45 is a good contender and not terribly expensive...i shouldn't say i bought mine for $100, that was a screamin' deal.
YMMV
12-20-2011, 03:05 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
I'm seeing some great suggestions from everyone but maybe we need to read what he said, he's knew to photography.
Always good to check what the OP said in a rapidly lengthening thread. As it happens, I read his welcome thread so I know he already has two more recent lens purchases, including a 50 1.4 (which one he didn't say). At the start of the thread we're in now, he said "what is the #1 lens i should have invested in first and why?" Note "should have", not "should". Which is why I gave the answer I did -- buying the kit lenses is a good choice for any newcomer.

12-20-2011, 03:11 PM   #20
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The 18-55 kit lens is quite a good little lens. I've never gotten a bad shot from it. If you're getting crappy photos from it, it's not the lens unless you just have a really bad copy. I don't have experience with the other Pentax "kit" lenses, but from what I hear, they're solid performers as well.

Here's one I took with the 18-55:

http://img853.imageshack.us/img853/6998/imgp75991.jpg

And a couple smaller examples:







Since you're new, I'd suggest to refine your camera skills and once you get them honed a bit better, you'll have a better idea of what you're looking for in a lens. Good luck & have fun! - Bobbo :-)
12-20-2011, 03:22 PM   #21
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Depending on your tast for either wide-anle or short tele.

I think that DA*50-135mm/f2.8 would be your absolutely best lens for years to come.

If your tast is shorter then DA40mm/f2.8 Ltd. would be the great lens for many occasions.
12-20-2011, 03:38 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
The Pentax 12-24 is a nice ultrawide.
The Tamron 28-75 would make a nice complement to that, but I find it is not wide enough to be a single lens option.
A 17-70 may make a good casual single-lens, i.e., "walk-around" option.
The Pentax 55-300 is a decent and reasonably-priced performer though not particularly fast. A Sigma or Tamron 70-200 has better IQ and speed, at 2-3X the cost.
The 10-17 fisheye can be fun and creative.
Never bonded with the 50/f1.4 though many swear by it.
Primes are nice for IQ but involve lens swapping - perhaps at inopportune times. Some are small, some are fast, but not usually both.
[Continued]

The DA*50~135mm is great!
The DA16~45mm is a good one!
The Sigma 30mm 1.4 has been a big talk as of late across many threads (one of my next purchases).
The Sigma 17-50mm 2.8 CA is a super great choice for a good walkaround lens.
12-20-2011, 03:47 PM   #23
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I would say get the DA 35 f2.4.
After my kit lens, I wanted to try the prime lenses and went for the FA50 f1.4. I couldn't stand this lens: too long for everyday, AF not precise enough (or was it my K10?).
Then I bought my 2nd prime lens which was 30mm-ish and the angle of vision suits my desire much more.

12-20-2011, 06:35 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
I'm seeing some great suggestions from everyone but maybe we need to read what he said, he's knew to photography. For a newbie I doubt i'd send them off into manual prime territory unless i knew they were comfortable with the operation of the camera. As I said the Kit lens is capable of decent images so it's a good place to learn. If i was going to recommend a prime I'd stick to AF for the time being letting him focus on technique. So inexpensive good DA35 2.4 which is also a long normal
If you can find one at a decent price an f28 2.8 is an almost perfect normal length, if not there is the sigma 28 f1.8 which is a good fast (but more pricey) normal. for portraits if you can find a f50 f1.7 at $200 or so it's excellent (if a little plastic) or an FA 50 1.4 (used about 275 new about 400) both are good short portrait lenses
More ideal as a portrait length lens is the DA*55 but it's bigger bucks too.

If you go the manual focus route consider A series lenses as they meter properly and can be fully controlled and leave all camera functions intact meaning you only need to learn focusing and not a pile of other stuff. the A 50 f2.0 is a vastly underrated lens and available much more reasonably than many other A lenses
+1...
Unless he wants to shoot indoor sports or wildlife, the 18-55 will do about 95% of the time. I would recommend he stick with the kit lens, practice, practice and practice. Then he can decide what holes he wants to fill. If all he does is shoot birds in flight, then the DA* 50-135 wont help him much, will it.
12-20-2011, 06:50 PM   #25
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With a tight budget, stick with the kit lens until you outgrow it and know its limitations. It's also the cheapest wideangle lens around and having AF is always useful.
Get the DA 35mm f/2.4. It's an excellent do everything lens at a nice price.
12-20-2011, 06:55 PM   #26
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Absolute #1 lens for a newb? The one you have already had. If the shots are crappy, shame on your skill, not the lens.
12-20-2011, 07:06 PM   #27
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I started out with the K-x kit w/ the 18-55 and 55-300. Love the 55-300. W/ the 18-55, it didn't seem I was getting pics that were much better than my old P&S. I got a M 50 1.7 to practice w/ manual and see what real sharpness was like. I got the DA 16-45 to replace the 18-55, and I have been very happy w/ it. The 16-45 + 50 + 55-300 makes for a very nice kit, but, after about a year and a half of shooting...
... as RioRico also notes, I found that most of my shots were in the 18-90mm range. I found a cheap F 35-70 which I really like, but it's a fairly narrow range. So, I've presently been using as my main lens a Tamron 24-135 I found somewhat inexpensively. I wouldn't mind it being a bit wider, but it does take good pics. It is rather large on my K-x, though.
SO, I'm hoping for the DA 18-135 for Xmas as the solution!
12-20-2011, 07:10 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
Absolute #1 lens for a newb? The one you have already had. If the shots are crappy, shame on your skill, not the lens.
and there's your answer. no lens for you until yer ready.
arent you glad you asked?
12-20-2011, 07:32 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Irish Pride Quote
My question is what is the #1 lens i should have invested in first and why?
It used to be that everyone started out on prime lenses. Back in the 70s it was the Tak and early K-Mount 55 f2 (perhaps best kit lens ever), later the M and A versions of the 50 f2. I started out with a K1000 and the 50mm f2. Hardly a great lens, but at least better than the 18-55. There are real advantages to start out with primes. Generally speaking, they are better training platforms than zoom lenses. Primes, by restricting the photographer to a single focal length, force the photographer to really think about composition, compelling him to make, rather than just take, photographs. A prime is also a better vehicle for developing an appreciation for narrow DOF photography. So I'm inclined to disagree with the dominant sentiment in favor of the 18-55. I think tthose just getting into to DSLR photography should begin with the DA 35 f2.4.
12-20-2011, 10:44 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Irish Pride Quote
My question is what is the #1 lens i should have invested in first and why?
The kit lens is the first lens that you should have invested in It's not a crappy lens, but you now run into its limitations and are ready to move on.

The K-r also was available as a kit with the DA35/2.4. It might have been the better option, but not many people are willing to sacrifice the flexibility of a zoom, specially when they are starters in the (d)SLR world.

When I started (new to dSLR, not new to SLR), I bought a K10D with kit lens; shortly after that I added a DA55-300 to cover the range.

My choice for the next lens was a fast 'standard' prime in the 28mm to 35mm range and I ended up with the FA31Ltd; that should really have been your first lens But it's expensive It has a perfect focal length (long enough and wide enough) for most situations that I encounter.
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