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02-22-2012, 09:18 PM   #1
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whats a good lens for indoor photography in a budget

Hey everyone!
Im looking to get a new lens for my Pentax k-x. i use my kit lens often but is very pixley and not very good quality under low light with fast shutter speeds. im still in high school working a part time job so not much money laying around to spend lots on a lens. im just a hobbiest right now. so exactly what i need is a lens that will take nice pictures under low light with fast shutter speed. any help will hopefully help me pick out a lens .


Last edited by cwarnock; 02-24-2012 at 08:32 AM.
02-22-2012, 09:28 PM   #2
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DA 35mm F2.4 AL - brand new is pretty cheap
DA 21mm F3.2...
FA 35mm F2 not cheap

Download free software and address the Hi ISO noise in Post... such as Noiseware
02-22-2012, 09:54 PM   #3
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Used manual-focus (MF) lenses usually cost much much less than new autofocus (AF) lenses. Of my ~230 lenses, the few AFs cost an average of US$300+ each, while the many MFs were US$16 each. I get almost all my used lenses on eBay.

The biggest bargains for fast MF primes are 50mm or 55mm or 58mm lenses in the f/1.7-f/2 range. The Pentax SMC-M 50/2 is outclassed by its sexier faster kin but is quite good and can often be found for US$20. (I have three that I don't use and they aren't worth selling yet.) The Helios-44 58/2 is superb and often goes for US$30. 50/1.7 lenses marked Vivitar or Rikenon (Ricoh) or Sears may be even cheaper.

Fast lenses, with maximum aperture faster than f/2.8, aren't so cheap in other focal lengths. But with some luck and perseverance, bargains can be found, especially 28mm lenses in f/2 or f/2.5, especially Vivitars. 28m is the 'normal' focal length for APS-C cameras like your Kx. My favorite walkaround prime is a Vivitar 28/2 CF (close focus) that cost me less than US$20 last year. It can probably be found now for under US$50.

Fast wider lenses are more rare and costly. But there's a trick: Slower wider lenses can be used at slower shutter speeds and still avoid handheld blur. A shot that might require a 35/2 at 1/10-second can be taken with a 24/2.8 at 1/8-second. And decent 24/2.8 lenses aren't horribly rare nor expensive. I've seen some sell for under US$30 in the last few months.

As mattt said, your cheapest option is to boost your ISO a bit and clean-up any noise in post-processing. Good luck!
02-22-2012, 10:59 PM   #4
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A $10 to 20 flash with a couple of manual and auto thyristor settings plus a low trigger voltage. A couple more dollars for an off camera flash cord, a craft foam or paper diffuser, and some reading and practice to learn how to use all of those elements together.

Leaving the kit lens at f/5.6 to f/8 lets you use it quite effectively as a fixed aperture zoom without having to change your flash settings.

The Sunpak 422D and its many close relatives may be a good direction to start looking in (5 manual power settings, something like 3 auto aperture settings, compact and with a tilt/swivel head).

I also like the Vivitar 285 with its dedicated off camera cord, though they can be difficult to find together and would probably sell for closer to $60. The Pentax AF280T offers some dedication to the camera body in certain modes, 2 auto aperture settings and 2 manual settings for around $40.

02-22-2012, 11:58 PM   #5
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I highly recommend the Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7. They can be had for $30 or less on eBay all the time. It's manual-focus, but the CIF (Catch In Focus) feature of the K-x makes it very usable. It also looks really, really cool on the camera.

Here's a thread where I posted several images made using my 50mm 1.7 on my K-x:

A lot of the pictures are on page 2 of that thread, but there are few on pages 1 and 3 also.

The later, autofocus version of the lens (Pentax-F 50mm 1.7) goes for around $200 - $230 on eBay, and is a great value for somebody wanting a fast lens on a budget.
02-23-2012, 12:39 AM   #6
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Just to be clear - it's not the lens that is causing the look you are seeing, at least not directly. It's noise from shooting too high an ISO. Often that noise can be controlled through post processing, but it is also true that a lens that has a larger aperture would allow lower ISO with the same shitter speed. Posting some pictures you are not happy with, keeping Exif intact, would help in making sure there isn't just something you cold be doing differently with the lens you already have.
02-23-2012, 01:05 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
a larger aperture would allow lower ISO with the same shitter speed.
I'd rather just spend a couple more minutes on the shitter and keep my "aperture" just as it is, thanks.
02-23-2012, 05:51 PM   #8
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Any good MF 50mm

You should still be able to get a 50-55mm F1.7/1.8 for $30. and a 50/1.4 for $100 or less

02-23-2012, 08:52 PM   #9
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You've gotten some great advice. If you just HAVE to have an AF lens than the DA35/2.4 is both cheap, at around $169, and an excellent lens.
02-24-2012, 08:31 AM   #10
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great thanks guys! any recomendation on other manual lenses as well as auto focus?
02-24-2012, 08:39 AM   #11
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im leaning twords getting an af lens because of quick change in distance from the players. i am there to watch the games mainly and being able to quickly take a picture while watching the game is important because im focused on the game 80% of the time.
02-24-2012, 02:17 PM   #12
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I believe this is the first mention of shooting which case you can toss all that 35mm talk right out the window and we can start all over again.
02-24-2012, 03:03 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by cwarnock Quote
any recomendation on other manual lenses as well as auto focus?
Horusbennu 50mm 1.7 ... Korean... New... Very cheap... and pretty sharp...

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