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02-05-2012, 03:54 PM   #1
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Cheap prime lens advice

Hi Guys.

I'm looking to increase my lens collection - currently I have my 18-55 kit lens and a Tamron 70-300 zoom lens. I am looking for a wide angle/prime lens - the wide angle ones are mega bucks so leaning towards a prime with the smallest focal length I can afford. I love big apertures and macros so I think what I am looking for is a 28mm with something like 1.7 or 2.8.

So far I've found these ones -

eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d?r

eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d?r

eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d?r

First question - are these all manual focus/manual aperture? I would like the ability to autofocus but I think it would help me learn more if I have to manual focus. Also the reason I bought the Pentax in the first place was so I could use some of these old film lenses so may as well get one! Secondly am I best to go for a bigger aperture but larger focal length (50mm 1.7 first link) or smaller focal length and smaller aperture (28mm 2.8).

Any help is appreciated.



02-05-2012, 04:13 PM   #2
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Take a look at the lens database for specs on those lenses: Pentax Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
And the Pentax lens series info: Pentax K-Mount Lenses Explained: The differences between various Pentax lens series

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02-05-2012, 04:17 PM   #3
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Alex, Of the ones you have linked, the Pentax 28mm would be the best one (IMO), but you could try and pick up a Sigma 24mm Superwide, they are easy to come by and there are two models, one with just aperture setting and manual focus, the other (and much harder to get) with auto-focus.

02-05-2012, 04:40 PM   #4
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Mate your pretty much on the right track with what your looking for on Ebay.Manual focus lenses are way cheaper then there autofocus counterparts.If this may help any.There is also a Auto Chinon 50mm f1.7 on ebay Australia at the moment with only a few days left on bidding.I have the same lens,and it is surprising a good lens.But if you still want something a bit wider,then yes the 28mm lens would be the way to go.Adam did put up the Pentax lens reviews & database which is an excellent tool to look at different size and types of lenses in more detail.My choice of lens in manual would be the M series 28mm f2.8 or f3.5.Should be able to snap one up on for a reasonable price either on this great Forum under "Photographic Equipment for Sale" or Ebay.Good luck!!

Last edited by Barnster; 02-05-2012 at 05:11 PM.
02-05-2012, 04:43 PM   #5
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All of those are manual focus. Both of the Pentax lenses are are also manual aperture, not sure about the Hanimex but it is likely all manual as well. Auto-focus lenses will be an order of magnitude more expensive, mostly in the $200 plus category though you can always hope for a deal.

Read up on using manual lenses on new Pentax cameras here before you jump in, so you understand what you are getting into.

You do not say what camera you have but I assume APS-C if it is digital.

Secondly am I best to go for a bigger aperture but larger focal length (50mm 1.7 first link) or smaller focal length and smaller aperture (28mm 2.8).
That really depends on what you want to do. On film the 28mm was the wide angle and the 50mm was the normal or standard lens. Really designed for two different purposes. 28mm is not really wide angle on digital and the 50mm is more of a short tele.

The large apertures (small numbers) are useful for two things:
1) isolating your subject with a very narrow depth of field
2) Taking shots in very low light

With the use of higher ISO on digital the use of really large apertures is starting to be debated as far as low light is concerned. Isolation and depth of field still requires a large aperture though.
02-05-2012, 05:03 PM   #6
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Hi Guys,

Thanks for the replies - I will check out the lens database and reviews.

Bruce - The Sigma superwide sounds good - I'll have a look around and see if I can find one of these anywhere.

Barnster - Thanks - I have added that Auto Chinon to my watch list on ebay - it looks like a nice lens and cheap too! Will see what it's at in a couple of days :-)

Jatrax - I have a K-R - I realise that the 28mm isn't really wide angle per say but figured it would be more handy for a walkabout lens allowing me to get more stuff into the shot - I shoot quite a lot of landscapes. I'm also a fan of smaller DOF and like to take quite a few portraits when I can - I usually use my Tamron zoom to do this.

I'll decide over the next few days and see if I can get a deal on ebay - just out of interest how would the Hanimex compare to the Pentax M lens? It looks considerably cheaper.


02-05-2012, 05:53 PM   #7
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New Lens,

Hello Alex,
I'd agree with Jatrax, the "Digital Factor" of 50% (longer) makes the 28mm a 42mm on a digital camera, not really a wide angle.
For what it's worth, I just won a Sigma (manual focus) Super-Wide 24mm f/2.8 (36mm in digital terms) for 117.00 USD from a seller in England, I believe the conversion is 72.75 GBP.
I had one of these back in the film days, but it and the Me Super body it was on, were stolen. Always liked that lens, sharp, reasonably fast and great depth of field. I promised myself I'd get another one, but generally they sell for $150.00 USD and upwards. Just got lucky, I guess!
Anyway, if you keep a "Saved Search" on eBay for 24mm Pentax, you'll get some offers and a good price will come along.
Good Luck!
02-05-2012, 05:55 PM   #8
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Hanimex was a distribution company in Australia. They imported lenses and cameras from many manufacturers but never actually made anything as far as I know. So the Hanimex lens could have been made by a number of companies and then rebranded. Same thing happened here in the states and since the lenses were oftened shopped from different manufacturers over time it is hard to really say what any particular one will do. If it goes cheap, give it a try, you can always throw it back in the 'bay if you don't like it.

Hers is a link to Hanimex if you are interested.

02-05-2012, 06:06 PM   #9
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Nice one thanks - I've just found a pic on another post shot with the Hanimex lens and it looks great -

Think ill go for it if it goes cheap!!
02-06-2012, 08:06 AM   #10
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i got an old Russian Helios, its m42 screw mount so i needed a adapter, but it takes awesome pics. but slightly a yellowish tint to them, but that is just the radiation in the old glass and is to be expected from a lens from the 70s. i payed 25$ for it

but i found that manual focus can be cumbersome, especially if your trying to shoot animals. so i also bought a smc 50mm 1.4. so i say invest some money right away and buy a solid prime if you don't get one of these for cheap. your not going to regret a smc 50mm f1.4
02-06-2012, 02:19 PM   #11
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My opinions: The absolute best bargains for Fifties (all M42 screwmount) are the Meyer Oreston / Pentacon Electric 50/1.8, Super-Takumar 55/2, and Helios-44 58/2. These are short-tele / close-portrait focal lengths on APS-C. Like 50-55mm on 135/FF cams, 35-37mm is long-normal on APS-C and I'm not turned-on too much by the FOV. But the best deals there IMHO are the Super Takumar 35/3.5 and Meyer Primagon 35/4.5, also both M42. And zillions of wonderful inexpensive 28mm lenses exist. 28mm is 'normal' for APS-C and is my favorite walkaround prime length. I especially like the Vivitar 28/2s and 28/2.5s, variously made by Kiron and Komine.

Shorter than 28mm, you get into 'wide' territory, and prices increase. Let us know your budget, and we'll tell you how to spend it, eh?
02-06-2012, 05:19 PM   #12
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Thanks for the input guys - budget is probably around 60 or 70 aussie dollars. Barnster found me a Auto Chinon 50mm 1.7 on the bay for me (eBay - The UK's Online Marketplace. I'm pretty tempted by this one especially if it goes cheap and it looks like it might at the moment.

Figured if its cheap enough I could actually get two primes. Thinking the 50mm focal length maybe more practical for utilising the shallow DOF with macro shots etc and I could get a 28mm or keep an eye out for 24mm for landscapes.


02-06-2012, 06:30 PM   #13
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I've yet to own a bad Rikenon prime - I currently have their 28/2.8P and a 50/1.4XR (Sears brand but it's identical to the XR), and had their other 50s (f/2 and 1.7) and the 135mm XR in the recent past. I paid no more than $50us for any of them.. well, maybe $60 for the f/1.4 The coatings aren't great with modern digital stuff, so back-lit scenes can lose contrast. Good color and sharpness and fine contrast in 'normal' light, I've had no complaints there. Heck, their 70-150 f/4 XR is pretty nice too!

EDIT bonus - they nearly all take 52mm filters. Even the 70-150!

Last edited by jimr-pdx; 02-06-2012 at 06:37 PM.
02-06-2012, 07:29 PM   #14
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Thanks jimr-pdx for your input - will keep an eye out for a Rikenon.

Barnster - any chance you could link me to some images that you've taken with your Auto Chinon lens? Thinking about getting this one as its still at $19 on ebay - might consider making him an offer at $15 if no one bids.


02-06-2012, 10:12 PM   #15
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Another to consider are ricoh lenses. There are some very good ones of those too. Sears has some good ones also but I'm not so sure they will be available much there. I thought I had a chinon 1.7 and took a quick snap shot but turns out mine is a chinon 1.9 (my sears 50mm is a 1.7). I already had it uploaded so here is what I assume is a similar chinon lens. It was just a quick snapshot at 1/180 and maybe f5 with flash. Focus was on the control panel of the printer.

Photo: IMGP9126 | chinon 1.9 album | Ripit2 |, photo and video sharing made easy.

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