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03-12-2012, 02:01 PM   #1
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Cheap lens for bokeh for wedding? K or M42 mount

I have the two kit lenses that came along with my K-x, the 18-55 and 55-300. I am looking for something a little faster that will allow me to capture some shots with good bokeh. The wedding is a very low budget wedding for a family member and I have agreed to take photos at a few key points for free. I have the Pentax M42 adapter, though I would prefer something that has autofocus and will work straight on my K-mount, else I'll be fiddling to get the ring adapter in and out a lot (on top of changing lenses).

Budget.. not much.. maybe $100-$200? Less is better!

I love scouring eBay for bargains so if there are any older models that are cheap, but perform well please let me know


Last edited by maxwolfie; 03-12-2012 at 02:22 PM.
03-12-2012, 02:27 PM   #2
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if your willing to go MF then you will be able to find loads of bargains. the catch-in-focus feature will help a bunch here.

be careful about not promising anything for them. i got one of these for free off a family member who had an old film pentax and didn't use it any more. makes nice bokeh- far better than the kit lenses anyway:

SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.7 Reviews - A Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
would probably be about right FL for portraits on your K-x


sure you could find one of those for pretty cheap.
03-12-2012, 02:28 PM   #3
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m/a 50mm f/1.7 is a great lens to start.

If you want/need AF, look into DA 35mm f/2.4.
That's a great lens at a great price.
03-12-2012, 02:29 PM   #4
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Try either Opteka all though opteka might not have what your looking for so jsut go to your local camera shop or something of just look on craigslist.

03-12-2012, 02:39 PM   #5
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The size of the location and how packed it is likely to be are factors. The smaller it is the wider you want your lens to be IMHO. Here are my suggestions:
  • If its a small place then a manual 28/2.8 would be good but if its a bit larger then A manual 50 - the 1.7s are very well thought of and you can get them in the $60 range - I'd make sure that whichever version you get is SMC to minimize flare and such
  • The 35/2.4 is AF, which for not posed photos may be necessary, but goes for $169 regularly
  • An F35-70 zoom but its 3.5-4.5, although they go for $60 or so.
  • There's an F50/1.7 in the marketplace now for just over $200
    https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographic-equipment-sale/175559-sale-p...-5-5-6-al.html
03-12-2012, 02:40 PM   #6
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I haven't used one, but I think the various versions of the Helios 44 58/2 are considered the ultimate bang or bokeh per dollar lenses there are.
03-12-2012, 02:52 PM   #7
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Helios 44 series does have its problems.
It might be too tight for couple portraits that is weddings.

I would think that Tamron 28-75 would be the one lens that covers most focal length needed for weddings but it's a bit out of the price range TC mentioned.
03-12-2012, 03:01 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxwolfie Quote
I have the two kit lenses that came along with my K-x, the 18-55 and 55-300. I am looking for something a little faster that will allow me to capture some shots with good bokeh.
Why not your 55-300? If it's bokeh you want then that lens has no problem throwing the background out of focus.

What seem not to realise is that the background blurring is a function of (among a few factors) the size of the aperture, of which the f number is only half the answer. So in fact a DA55-300 out at 300mm has an aperture of 300/5.8 = 52mm. Even a lens like the FA77 only has a aperture of 43mm wide open (77/1.8). The the degree of background blur a 55-300 can get is actually more than a FA77 can get.

03-12-2012, 03:03 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Why not your 55-300? If it's bokeh you want then that lens has no problem throwing the background out of focus.

What seem not to realise is that the background blurring is a function of (among a few factors) the size of the aperture, of which the f number is only half the answer. So in fact a DA55-300 out at 300mm has an aperture of 300/5.8 = 52mm. Even a lens like the FA77 only has a aperture of 43mm wide open (77/1.8). The the degree of background blur a 55-300 can get is actually more than a FA77 can get.
True, but what's the minimum focal distance for the 55-300 at 300? Might that pose a problem with a wedding? Also, indoors without flash during ceremony - what lens?
03-12-2012, 03:25 PM   #10
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The question on "Cheap lens for bokeh" can be easily answered as a DA 55-300 since it's free for the OP'er and is very capable to blurring backgrounds. I agree it is a poor lens for indoors or large group shots for example. But for couple and bridal portraits outdoors it would perform extremely well.

If we want to answer a different question like "for $100-$200 what camera equipment should I buy for a wedding" given what the OP'er has I'd say a Metz 48-AF1 flash. The last place you want to be futzing with a manual lens is in a wedding situation IMHO. The best one-lens solution I can think of would be a Tamron 28-75 but that's way over $200.

Actually maybe renting a DA*16-50 would be the best answer....
03-12-2012, 04:26 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
The last place you want to be futzing with a manual lens is in a wedding situation IMHO.
This is a good point, I'd probably use all manual manual lenses or, preferably, all auto focus lenses. Getting the adapter ring out usually requires using a pen or other similar object to unlock it from the mount thread, which I'm sure will look a bit suspect at a wedding.

In that case, are there any older auto focus lenses that could be suitable?
03-12-2012, 04:28 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxwolfie Quote
This is a good point, I'd probably use all manual manual lenses or, preferably, all auto focus lenses. Getting the adapter ring out usually requires using a pen or other similar object to unlock it from the mount thread, which I'm sure will look a bit suspect at a wedding.

In that case, are there any older auto focus lenses that could be suitable?
Not for your budget, not compared to your existing lenses. Unless you rent....
03-12-2012, 04:36 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Not for your budget, not compared to your existing lenses. Unless you rent....
Have to agree with Twitch on this - a good flash or a rental. I recommended lenses that were not M42s because they take a LONG time to swap out. If you do go with a new lens (or used, or rented) then stick with a K mount.
03-12-2012, 04:38 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Not for your budget, not compared to your existing lenses. Unless you rent....
True! but if you are willing to spend close to $250 you could get the AF 50/1.7

SMC Pentax-F 50mm f/1.7 Fast Prime AF Lens Lens Pentax K Bayonet Mount w/CAPS | eBay

But, you should be able to do real well with the two lenses you have and a good P-TTL flash.
03-12-2012, 04:45 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
True! but if you are willing to spend close to $250 you could get the AF 50/1.7

SMC Pentax-F 50mm f/1.7 Fast Prime AF Lens Lens Pentax K Bayonet Mount w/CAPS | eBay

But, you should be able to do real well with the two lenses you have and a good P-TTL flash.
Yeah, but where does he get a P-TTL flash for <$200?
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