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12-28-2011, 01:18 PM   #1
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is it worth to buy first prime?

Hi all ! As title says is it worth to start shooting with primes? Im planing to buy my first prime lens but im a bit afraid, because im used to point and shoot cameras and now to my k-5 with kit lens 18-55. Maybe you can give me advice with which prime lens i could start 35 mm 2.4 or 40 mm 2.8. I mostly shoot some landscape and my wife. Maybe there is one which can do it all in good terms . Thx all

12-28-2011, 01:32 PM   #2
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I'm a fan of the 35/2.4 because its wider than the 40 and a lot less expensive. It also, surprisingly, faster. They retain their value well so if you do not like it selling it should not result in much net loss. Primes force you to think about framing and what you see more and to "zoom with your feet". When I'm shooting fast moving kids I use zooms. When I have more time, want to be more creative, or need a faster aperture I use primes. If you want faster don't count out the FA50/1.4 its an outstanding lens and it can be found for $250 used (on a very lucky day) and $300 regularly IMHO. Good luck.
12-28-2011, 01:36 PM   #3
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If you're willing to try manual focus and green button metering, seriously consider getting a manual lens off <a certain auction site>for little $. i.e. a 28 f2.8 or 50mm F1.7 for < 60 shipped. Then you'll know what having a prime is about, and if you want to jump whole hog on getting a nice, modern, AF prime.

or you could end up like some of us LBAers and stick with the primes and buy more and more and more... oops.


---- edit ---- removed specific auction site's name.

Last edited by pezmaker; 12-28-2011 at 01:39 PM. Reason: tweaking
12-28-2011, 01:38 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Using primes is nice- apart from having faster apertures and better IQ, it makes you focus on composition rather than documenting everything around you


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12-28-2011, 01:49 PM   #5
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All the above plus 1

Pretty much 90% of my shooting is with primes now. Better IQ, frequently faster for low light and better DOF.. the kit is a great start but primes will really help develop your technique. If you are going to buy in the same range as your kit lens have a look at what focal lenghts you've been using the zoom at most. that is where to shop for your first prime I think.
the old lenses are a very inexpensive way to shoot with some very good glass (some of the old stuff easily matches the latest for iq. No AF of course and maybe no auto exposure if it's Pre A series but a price that makes up for that

of the 2 you ask about lean to the 40 limited it really is an excellent lens but maybe too long for landscapes. So is the 35 for that matter for the most part.
for landscapes i think a 24-28 is an ideal prime, and the 21 has it's adherents as well.

if you pick up the 40 used in the market their may be change for a manual prime at 28 or a fast 50. landscapes don't suffer from lack of AF (or Auto functions) and a fast 50-55 makes a good portrait lens and is very useful in many scenarios
12-28-2011, 01:57 PM - 1 Like   #6
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No, you shouldn't get any prime lenses,especially manual-focus primes. They're too much work and aren't flexible enough, won't do nearly as much as a good new AF zoom. Yeah, forget about primes. Leave them for me. My 200+ aren't enough.

More seriously: I see the role of AF zooms as the TAKING of pictures, and that of MF primes as the MAKING of pictures. (AF primes are somewhere in-between.) TAKING: documenting what's in front of you. MAKING: looking closely at what's around you.

Zooms, especially AF zooms, are very flexible. They are also never 'fast' -- there just aren't any (d)SLR zooms faster than f/2.8, and those ain't cheap. Primes are smaller, can be much faster (like down to f/1.2), offer DOF control that zooms can't.

If you like the P&S experience, stick to AF zooms. If you want to learn photography, start accumulating primes.
12-28-2011, 02:05 PM   #7
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I love my 15mm LTD!

If you like landscapes, you need the 15mm or 21mm Limiteds.....the 40 is way too narrow........
12-28-2011, 02:21 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rons Quote
Hi all ! As title says is it worth to start shooting with primes? Im planing to buy my first prime lens but im a bit afraid, because im used to point and shoot cameras and now to my k-5 with kit lens 18-55. Maybe you can give me advice with which prime lens i could start 35 mm 2.4 or 40 mm 2.8. I mostly shoot some landscape and my wife. Maybe there is one which can do it all in good terms . Thx all
You should practice 1st...

Leave your Kit Lens at 35mm and just shoot that way for a few days, you'll know how that focal length works for you and how much you need to move to get something composed the way you like. I think the DA 35/2.4, mentioned above, is a great great AF prime lens both for IQ and value, a perfect everyday lens...

12-28-2011, 02:24 PM   #9
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yes, it is always worth having primes. Most of my shooting is also done with primes. I do have zooms, but they are mostly to shoot my kids (zoom is then a lot handier).
I have the 35 2.4, and I got it over the 40 because of availabillity here. But have not regret it once, a fantastic lens
12-28-2011, 02:28 PM   #10
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Thank you all, i value very high your replies. As for MF, i think that it will be to hard for me . In you opinion Which could be moust flexible prime lens?
12-28-2011, 02:31 PM   #11
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that actually very good idea about leaving kit lens on 35 mm for one day, ty.
12-28-2011, 02:33 PM   #12
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If you mostly shoot landscape, a manual focus prime should be fine for you. Wonderful, actually. If you are more concerned with being able to capture a person in motion, autofocus may be the way to go. I used to have a copy of the 35mm 2.4. I know I am the exception, buy my copy of the lens was absolutely terrible, and I would never recommend it for anyone.
12-28-2011, 02:44 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rons Quote
... In you opinion Which could be moust flexible prime lens?
I reach for a 28 or 35 much much more often than a 50mm. I started with the 50 like most people but found, on a cropped sensor, the view was too tight and in small areas just couldn't work out (it's really a short telephoto). The 28 or 35 gives you a little more breathing room, and can still compose an image even in smaller areas. But other than the mentioned DA L 35/2.4, the wider angle AF lenses will cost more than an equivalent 50mm AF lens.
12-28-2011, 03:03 PM   #14
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It's more of an enjoyable experience shooting with primes in my experience. I'd suggest deciding your budget and then choose the focal length you want. I'd go for the 40 before the 35, and I'd definitely go for the FA 43 before the 40. The 43 excels at both portraits and landscapes. Browse this thread for examples: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/59538-fa-limited-club.html
And here's an example of a forum member who takes incredible landscapes with the 43: PENTAX : Pentax Photo Gallery
12-28-2011, 03:32 PM   #15
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No, don't do it, you will regret your actions - you will ruin your life and your LBA will spin out of control, always looking for your next fix. Just look at what it did to Rico....

They are usually small, fun to shoot with. The focus is demanding - unless its landscapes then just set it on infinity. You will see a difference.

I just ran across a set of 4 Contax Carl Zeiss from about 1975 (25, 35, 50 and a 135) sitting un-used in an old Pelican case for the last 10 years, that was used by a now retired photojournalist.


Last edited by interested_observer; 12-28-2011 at 03:39 PM.
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