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12-30-2011, 08:59 AM   #16
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some excellent recommendations above. What I would point out is that right now you have a wide variety of focal lengths covered, before running out and buying a whack of primes go shoot for 2 or three months (and shoot a lot) get to know the weaknesses of what you have and develop enough of a portfolio so that you can look and see what the most common focal lengths are that you shoot at. then target your prime purchases that way. If you want to play with primes without blowing the $1000 pick up some of the more common and inexpensive manual focus primes (say an M 28 f3.5 and an M 50 f1.7 )- these 2 should set you back no more than $130 and could be had for less b hunting around (mine totaled $30) - cheap way to find out if you like using primes some people don't....and you can easily sell them on for about what you paid.

12-30-2011, 10:22 AM   #17
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Great thanks for all the advice! I don't really know anything about flash and triggers, how much can those run you? They're also something I'd want to get at some point but am even more clueless regarding flashes and triggers than I am about lenses.
12-30-2011, 03:27 PM   #18
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I would focus on be specific with your lens focal length selection for a while ( I spent about a year ). You can wait on a flash for a bit and rely on the on-camera flash for most situations. I would also recommend looking into reflectors as an alternative to flash. They are comparatively cheap, fold up for storage, yet still help adjust the light. However, focusing on your lenses and ISO settings, etc. of your camera will yield better results in the short term, and give you some ideas for future purchases later next year.

For some quick examples, try shooting portraits at 45mm, 55mm, and then 50mm, 70mm, and 135mm. For group shots or scenes, try 21mm, 35mm, and 45mm. You may find that after dozens or hundreds of pictures at these focal lengths (or somewhere in between) that you take a majority of your shots at specific focal lengths. The trick will be deciding on which lengths to cover with your current zooms, and which ones are worth buying a specific prime lens for.

I have found that Pentax has done most of the work for me already, and that their limited lenses conveniently fall into the ranges that I like to use anyways. The fact that they are so tiny and well made is a huge bonus, and I'm just beginning the process of obtaining as many as I can. Good luck!
12-30-2011, 04:06 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
The Takumars are M42 screwmount. You'd need an adapter, $25 or so. See https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/110657-how-use-meter...k-x-k-7-a.html. Price-wise this should be a wash vs. the M 50 1.4, for which you wouldn't need the adapter.
That's true if this remains the only M42 lens you get, which I find unlikely, since after I had the pleasure of playing with my first Takumar, I had to have more. Meanwhile, I've acquired the 28/3.5, 35/3.5, 50/1.4, 55/1.8, 135/3.5, 200/4 Super-Takumars, all of them in excellent condition, none of them costing me more than 65$ and quite a few a lot less than that. I find the craftsmanship of these lenses nothing short of amazing and they're a real pleasure to use.

12-30-2011, 04:09 PM   #20
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Thanks for the advice. I'm going back to school in a few weeks and my girlfriend already wants me to take a bunch of pictures of her so I'll be sure to try out several different focal lengths that way!
12-30-2011, 05:14 PM   #21
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You need to decide which way you want to push the limits of photography. This can include 'really close' 'really far', really dark, really wide
etc.

My suggestion is to add a Macro lens to your collection. the are usually F 2.8 which is fast enough and if you get the 50mm macro you can
use it for portraits as well. Just because it says Macro on it doesn't mean you can't use it for general purposes. It's corrected for very close
focusing and for flatness of field, something that general purpose lenses are not necessarily optimized for, I'm plenty up on the the 100 macro as well (and have both the 50 and 100) but it's a bit narrow for portraits---but not bad for the school christmas program... If you are of a type who is willing to stop and look at what you are standing on, the macro is a delight....
12-30-2011, 06:44 PM   #22
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Hmm, definitely something I'll consider. I'd like a macro lens, and if the 50/2.8 can do both macro and portraits that's a plus. Guess I have a lot of pictures to look at for samples!
12-31-2011, 06:10 AM   #23
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Sigma 30 f1.4 plus Sigma 50 f1.4...

Enjoy!

12-31-2011, 07:11 AM   #24
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Youve gotten some good recommendations already. I'd like to second that you review the lengths you use and find out what youre sweet spots are to decide on focal lengths.

The focal length is not an immediate problem since you have a zoom that covers the range that you are interested in getting a prime lens for. The simple answer is - what focal length do you find yourself using on the zoom most? Are there clusters of lengths? When I went though this process last year I found that I was shooting a LOT at 33-37mm. Guess what my next lens purchase was? The DA35/2.4. Data, can't argue with it and when you look at enough of it there is NO speculation.

Someone here suggested that I get ExposurePlot to answer that question and it worked like a charm by analyzing my photo library for me. You can find it at Wega2 JPG Image Viewer | Exposureplot Exif Analyzer | Slide Show | Aspect Ratio Changer | Digital camera related program (Wega2 JPG Image Viewer | Exposureplot Exif Analyzer | Slide Show | Aspect Ratio Changer | Digital camera related program) and its Donate-ware, so if you like it you can make a PayPal donation to the developer.
12-31-2011, 10:24 AM   #25
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Thanks I'll look into that software. How much is the sigma 50/1.4 compared to the pentax FA 50/1.4?
12-31-2011, 02:33 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbuck92 Quote
How much is the sigma 50/1.4 compared to the pentax FA 50/1.4?
The Sig weighs about a pound / half-kilo more.

I'm thinking real hard about writing an article on how to choose lens kits. There are many options.

* Wedding professional: Tamron 28-75/2.8 and FA50/1.4 on separate bodies
* Stalker / paparazzi: Tamron 17-50/2.8 and 70-200/2.8 on separate bodies
* Minimum travel kit: Tamron 10-24, DA18-250, FA50/1.4, DFA100/2.8 macro
* MF junkie: fast manual primes at 20-24-28-35-50-58-85-105-135-200mm
* Coverage junkie: Tamron 10-24 and 17-50; Bigma 50-500
* Sharpness freak: Schneider Betavaron on focusing helicoid
* Fisheye freak: DA10-17; DA18-55 with 0.25x strap-on
* Primal perfectionist: all the Ltds
* Ultraminimalist: FA31 Ltd
12-31-2011, 02:39 PM   #27
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Sigma 50 1.4 is a hulk and weighs 500gm. The output is amazing at f1.4 to f3.2. My limited experience so far (3 days) shows it is a very capable lens---possibly as good as my Carl Zeiss, and not far from my Leica 50mm Lux but with AF. It costs more than Pentax 50 f1.4, about US 500.00.

I am curious and initially wanting to get a copy of Pentax 50 f1.4 to compare with my Sigma 50/1.4, but not after i have seen the output. I don't think other brand 50/1.4 (Canon or NIkon )will get as close with the IQ.

I am going overseas tomorrow. Hopefully i can write a short review of Sigma 50/1.4 vs Leica 50 Lux.

All the best!
01-01-2012, 02:23 PM   #28
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RioRico, I'd love for an article like that! Especially for newbies like myself, a lens article outlining what kind of lenses are most useful in certain situations would be fantastic!

After looking at picture samples of different lenses, I definitely am leaning towards the 50 f1.4. At a New Years party last night I was shooting almost only at 35mm and 50mm. Perhaps I'll try my hand at getting a 35mm ltd as a birthday present next year?
01-01-2012, 06:53 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbuck92 Quote
RioRico, I'd love for an article like that! Especially for newbies like myself, a lens article outlining what kind of lenses are most useful in certain situations would be fantastic!
I'll see if I can squeeze it out. I have outlines now for three articles: How-2 Build Lens Kits; Stuff to Put in Front of a Lens; Stuff to Put Behind a Lens. These will hopefully be as useful as my CHEAP MACRO and PAWNSHOP LENSES articles. But I'm also rather booked for the next few weeks, so hold not thy breath.

QuoteQuote:
After looking at picture samples of different lenses, I definitely am leaning towards the 50 f1.4. At a New Years party last night I was shooting almost only at 35mm and 50mm. Perhaps I'll try my hand at getting a 35mm ltd as a birthday present next year?
IMHO the FA50/1.4 is still a steal of a deal. It's my only AF prime. The only other AF primes that tempt me are the Limiteds (but way beyond my budget) and that's about all. Yeah, I need to sell my second house, or have a relative die, or rob a minimart...
01-01-2012, 07:31 PM   #30
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I know how you feel. The only 2 lenses I have right now are the 18-55 and 55-300 kit lenses. I definitely could use a nice surprise lump of cash to support my addiction.. How much does a FA50/1.4 usually go for used?
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