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01-04-2012, 09:25 PM   #46
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50mm: I think 50/1.4 is the most usable of Fifties. Great for portraiture wide-open, sharp stopped-down just a little, can be used on tubes for macro, lighter than a f/1.2. Other Fifties are great too but if I could only have one [shudder] it would be the FA or SuperTak 50/1.4.

Macro tubes: A-type tubes are handy but costly. A good kludge is to get a couple old A-type TCs and remove the glass. Two deglassed TCs will push a 50mm lens to 1:1 magnification. That's for AF or A-type lenses; for M42s, just use cheap tubes.

Macro lenses: 100mm is more generally usable outdoors than are shorter lenses. You don't get so close to bugs that you scare them all away. If you're not shooting live bugs, or otherwise don't need a lot of elbow room for working, then a shorter lens is fine, and the 50mm+tubes combo is economical.

For a lot more on this, see: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/152336-cheap-macro-b...lose-work.html. Cheers!

01-04-2012, 09:49 PM   #47
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Thanks for all the advice, I'll read that macro article Rico. I think I'll wait until I know my focal length preferences a bit more before I decide on either the Pentax 17-70 or the Tamron 28-75. Not sure if I'll be using the wider angles of the Pentax or if I can go without them.
01-05-2012, 01:16 AM   #48
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I find the wider FOV better for working closer, the longer zoom better for working further from subjects. Depends on how close you want to go.
01-05-2012, 01:20 AM   #49
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Yea, would just depend on what kind of shoot I'm doing and how comfortable the person is with having a lens right up in their face! I'll probably end up with both of them at some point in my life haha

01-10-2012, 10:48 PM   #50
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Any recommendations on a good, cheap portrait lens I could play around with until I can spend a bit more and get the 50/1.4 or a 70? Doesn't have to be a Pentax/Sigma/Tamron brand, just looking for a cheap portrait lens that still produces good IQ that I could play around with.
01-11-2012, 12:06 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbuck92 Quote
Any recommendations on a good, cheap portrait lens I could play around with until I can spend a bit more and get the 50/1.4 or a 70? Doesn't have to be a Pentax/Sigma/Tamron brand, just looking for a cheap portrait lens that still produces good IQ that I could play around with.
Possibilities:

* Helios-44 58/2 -- and maybe put a decent 1.4x or 1.5x screw-on adapter on it
* cheap 75/3.5 enlarger lens on 17-35mm M42 focusing helicoid and M42 tubes
* almost any inexpensive 135/2.8 but you need to work a bit further away
01-11-2012, 01:29 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Helios-44 58/2
I second that. Works great for portraits and doesn't break the bank.


01-11-2012, 07:19 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbuck92 Quote
Any recommendations on a good, cheap portrait lens I could play around with until I can spend a bit more and get the 50/1.4 or a 70? Doesn't have to be a Pentax/Sigma/Tamron brand, just looking for a cheap portrait lens that still produces good IQ that I could play around with.
The M50/1.7 ($50-60 shipped) is an outstanding value while you save up for an FA50/1.4. The problem that I have is that I continue to get/want different lenses because I already have a very good A50/1.7. That's how I justified the DA40 and now I want a M/K 85mm instead of upgrading to the FA50/1.4.

If you want autofocus then you're options are limited and I'm not sure what is cheaper (new) than the FA50/1.4. there have been several F50/1.7 in the marketplace for $200ish and that lens is arguably just as good as the FA50/1.4.

01-11-2012, 07:32 AM   #54
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Super Tak 55 1.8 is also a fantastic portrait lens and very common easy to find

for marginally more the Super Tak 50 1.4 is also excellent
01-11-2012, 08:37 AM   #55
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Great thanks everyone. I'm not opposed to both manual and buying used lenses so I'll start keeping an eye out for them. What kind of adapter is recommended for an M42 mount? And same question for the 1.4x/1.5x screw on adapter/focusing helicoid/M42 tubes. Never used any of those items and don't know what they do/are.
01-11-2012, 08:38 AM   #56
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go with the Pentax original M42 adapter it's dropped in price and last I looked was in stock on the Pentax Web Store if nowhere else
Never used m42 tubes so can't help there
01-11-2012, 08:55 AM   #57
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B&H was carrying the Pentax M42 adapter also so you might be able to split the shipping with a bigger order.

Don't bother with teleconverters (1.4x, 1.7x, 2x). If it's cheap (<$100) then you don't want to put it in between your lens and the camera. You could get some extension tubes for macro with a relatively cheap 50mm lens.
01-11-2012, 09:21 AM   #58
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Alright thanks. Looking at the Tak 50s, I notice there are "Super-Takumar","SMC/S-M-C/Super Takumar", "SMC/S-M-C/Super-/Auto-/Takumar" all just for the 50mm/1.4 or 50mm/1.8. What is the difference in all of these?
01-11-2012, 09:55 AM   #59
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The 50/1.4 has several different variants - more than I list before
8 element Super Tak - earlier version - kind of rare - supposedly better but you're splitting hairs imo (someone will run with this comment I'm sure)
7 element Super Tak - more common
SMC Tak - multi-coated and less prone to flare

The 55/1.8 didn't change as much AFAIK (other than coatings). As a matter of fact the 55/2.0 is the same lens but you can't open the aperture up all of the way. The 55's are cheaper (I got my minty SMC for $25ish shipped) than the 50/1.4 by quite a bit and some prefer the 55's. Unless of course you need to use f1.4.

I like my 55/1.8 but my A50/1.7 gets used way more because it's K mount and has aperture control.
01-11-2012, 10:13 AM   #60
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What I like about the 55 is the FOV is close to an 85 on FF though I'd like a 1.4 variant but the DA* is not in my budget currently ( a phenomenal lens by all accounts though)
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