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12-26-2007, 04:23 PM   #1
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Is this a good pick-up?

pentax-m lens 135mm

I'm still new to the whole DSLR shooting, but I'd like a relatively inexpensive zoom lens.

pentax-m lens 135mm asahi opt. co. - (eBay item 230205242242 end time Dec-26-07 15:39:22 PST)


Was also looking at a Sigma 24-70mm 3.5 and a SMC PENTAX M 28 F2.8

Any feedback on these? I checked out some of the reviews but I'm always hesitant when it comes to buying anything

12-26-2007, 05:33 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcleary47 Quote
pentax-m lens 135mm

I'm still new to the whole DSLR shooting, but I'd like a relatively inexpensive zoom lens.

pentax-m lens 135mm asahi opt. co. - (eBay item 230205242242 end time Dec-26-07 15:39:22 PST)

The 135 isn't a zoom but rather a fixed tele. I see its sale has passed though.
12-26-2007, 05:35 PM   #3
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There were two versions of the M28/2.8 made. The first version has poor optical quality compared to the M28/3.5. The second version does not have a silver ring at the top typical to M series lenses. That version is identical to the A28/2.8. It has great optical quality. So, the only 28s you should be looking at are the M28/2.8 version 2, the M28/3.5, or the A28/2.8. All of these can be found on eBay. However, the first one is quite rare. There is actually a listing on eBay right now, but the buy it now is around $200.

What's your budget?
12-26-2007, 06:09 PM   #4
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Looking to spend under $200 if possible

Really, what I'm looking to eventually get is a decent zoom, wide angle, and macro lens to help me get started.

I know I won't be able to get all 3 at once with my current $200 self imposed budget.

12-26-2007, 07:16 PM   #5
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I don't know what your range for zoom lenses is, but two really good ones for the buck are the Sigma 70-300mm APO DG Macro F4-5.6 and the Tamron 70-300mm Di LD Macro. I don't remember the aperture on the Tamron, but I believe it's the same. I plan on getting the Sigma. It's a little more expensive, but that doesn't say much. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, so you can't go wrong with either. Pick one that you can afford that you like and go for it. They both sell new for $140-180 on eBay. Both of those lenses have neat macro feature, but it's not 1:1. It's 1:2, but the pictures taken in macro are awesome. Check 'em out at pbase.com.

As for a wide angle, what kind? Do you want a super/ultra-wide angle lens? Just a normal wide? The thing is that older lenses in the 20mm range don't retain their wide FOV on DSLRs because of the crop factor. To get around this, you'd need older lenses like the Pentax-A 15mm, and unfortunately those are more expensives than the DA lenses available today. So, for ultra-wide, I'd recommend the Pentax-DA 14mm F2.8. It's a fairly expensive lens, but it does well. The other option is for you to go for a zoom that starts at that range. The Pentax-DA 16-45mm F4 is a very good lens and it's not nearly as expensive, only $400. It might be what you need.

Some good primes for you to look at might be one of the 28mms I recommended in my previous post and a 50mm F1.4 or F1.7. You should get any 50mm regardless of the series because they are all great lenses. Often times people have said that the 1.4 is better bokeh while the 1.7 is sharper. Make your pick. Any Pentax 50mm with either maximum aperture is a great lens, but beware the 1.4s are considerably more expensive on eBay. I snagged my M50/1.7 on eBay for $60. It's an amazing buy.

If you really need a good macro then there is an Pentax-M 100 f4 Macro on eBay for $109 I believe. However, it's 1:2, not 1:1. If you would like 1:1, then I believe you'll need to go for one of the current D FA lenses, the 50mm or the 100mm, but those are expensive as well.
12-26-2007, 07:48 PM   #6
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In terms of wide angle...I'm not really sure what I need exactly. I do a lot of landscape and architectural shots.
12-26-2007, 08:18 PM   #7
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Well, you're going to need something pretty wide for that. The Pentax-DA 14mm F2.8 has a good reputation for being the landscape and architecture lens. So, you may want to look into that. If you're looking to get a good quality zoom that covers the super-wide to normal range, then the Pentax-DA 16-45mm F4 is hard to beat. There is also the Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8, which is almost twice the price, but very much worth it. However, if you're coming from a low-quality zoom like the kit lens, which isn't bad for its price, then the Pentax-DA 16-45mm F4 offers much much better performance and optical quality. In the end, it's all about price and what you want to do. If I were in your situation, I would go with the Pentax-DA 16-45mm F4. It's cheap for what it offers and has gotten great reviews. The only thing I don't like is that the focus ring rotates during autofocus.
12-27-2007, 09:37 AM   #8
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So is eBay pretty much the only place to find lenses for cheap?

I'll have to wait a little bit as the DA 16-45 is slightly out of my intended budget, but it is probably worth it to wait than to get something I won't be completely happy with.

12-27-2007, 09:57 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcleary47 Quote
So is eBay pretty much the only place to find lenses for cheap?
No...you can find lenses in a number of places, if you're persistant. Pawnshops, garage sales, thrift stores, and the used gear section of your local camera store would be good places to look. However, you CAN get burned by purchasing a lens that has fungus or some other serious problem, so you kinda need to know what to watch out for.
12-27-2007, 10:14 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcleary47 Quote
So is eBay pretty much the only place to find lenses for cheap?

I'll have to wait a little bit as the DA 16-45 is slightly out of my intended budget, but it is probably worth it to wait than to get something I won't be completely happy with.
No, with eBay you have to be very careful. Make sure you review the seller's feedback before you bid on an item. You can also find good deals at KEH.com and the used section of bhphoto.com. KEH sells mostly used equipment. They have a rating system, so you can go by that.
12-27-2007, 10:52 AM   #11
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Hi Jesse and welcome

The 135mm mentioned in the eekbay sale isn't a zoom, but it's an OK prime. The winning bid was a pretty good price. Zooms almost always have two numbers separated by a hyphen (28-75, 70-300 etc) while primes have only one. But it can get confusing for the newcomer because sometimes a seller will list the fastest fstop of the lens too, so you might get 50mm F1.4 or 50 1:1.4 In any event zooms are listed with the smaller number first. A really good resource for Pentax made lenses is this one:
Pentax K-Mount Lenses and Lens Accessories

As for your question about a good relatively low priced zoom. I don't know if you have the "kit" lens, the DA 18-55, but it is a very good lens for the price. If you are looking for a longer reach, check out the Pentax DA 50-200, I'm personally not a big fan of this lens, but many many here are. In looking for a good source of used lenses I'd check out KEH, I've bought many lenses from them. The two best things about KEH are that they consistantly undergrade their lenses a KEH "bargin" lens would be listed as "excellent" quality even by the most conservative eek bay seller. The other great thing about KEH is that they have an excellent return policy. If you get a lens and don't like it, return it with no problems.
KEH Camera: Used Cameras, Digital Cameras, Film Cameras, Laptop Computers and More.
The one other buying tip I will give you is to get the best you can absolutely afford. If you are like most of us, if you "settle" for a lens, in a year or two at the most it will be on the block and you'll be looking for something better. Personally I've found the best "bang for the buck" has been in the older non AF primes. Some of them are stellar performers, like the Pentax K 135mm F2.5, the Pentax K 300mm F4.0 both of which I own and will not sell even if offered 2X what I paid for them.

NaCl(hope that helps)H2O
12-27-2007, 11:29 AM   #12
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Thank you to everyone for the great information. I have experience on eBay but I'm always looking for ways to avoid it, and you have all offered great suggestions! I'll do some research tonight.
12-27-2007, 11:41 AM   #13
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In light of NaClH2O's comments, you may want to look into this K55/2 that KEH is selling. At $27, it is a steal. You can check reviews here. 55mm is a nice focal length. That's a fast lens, so it should also perform well in poor lighting.
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