Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-13-2008, 05:22 PM   #1
Senior Member
ankit's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posts: 140
Prime lens suggestions for a newbie

I've been using the minolta/sony for a while, and am considering getting my feet wet in the Pentax system with a K100D and one/two cheap prime lenses. I am looking for something relatively cheap (new or used, <$200), but with reasonably good quality in the range of 28mm/35mm or 50mm.

Also, I am really confused by the various types of lense families. Is there a nice page with a brief introduction to the lens history? What all lenses can I use on the K100D with and without an adapter?

01-13-2008, 05:34 PM   #2
roy
Inactive Account
roy's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: D/FW area, Tx.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,712
short and sweet. any made for pentax lens will fit. the screw mounts require an adapter($18/b&h)..
i'm on a new machine and don't have my favs on it yet.. some will be along tho..
01-13-2008, 05:48 PM   #3
Senior Member
ankit's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posts: 140
Original Poster
Thanks roy. I am looking for something that gives me autofocus, and doesnt require an adapter for now. The manual mentions D FA, FA, F, A, M, S lenses. What is the difference between these?

Also, any recommendations on what lenses I should look at getting (in the sub-$100, and $100-$200 range)?
01-13-2008, 05:48 PM   #4
Veteran Member
selar's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Sydney, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,035
[QUOTE=ankit;152055]I've been using the minolta/sony for a while, and am considering getting my feet wet in the Pentax system with a K100D and one/two cheap prime lenses. I am looking for something relatively cheap (new or used, <$200), but with reasonably good quality in the range of 28mm/35mm or 50mm.
QUOTE]

The SMCP FA 50/1.4 fits your requirements nicely, still available new, and IMHO the one prime lens that should be in every Pentax kit.

Reasons for getting this lens include:

- Great portrait lens on the APS-C format (all Pentax dSLRs).
- Fastest Pentax lens currently being sold.
- Good build quality.
- Sharp at anything over f2.0
- Dreamy picture quality from 1.4 to 2.0 - great for soft portraits
- Good manual focus feel.
- Compact size.

01-13-2008, 05:53 PM   #5
Forum Member
TheWengler's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Brisbane, CA
Posts: 79
QuoteOriginally posted by ankit Quote
I've been using the minolta/sony for a while, and am considering getting my feet wet in the Pentax system with a K100D and one/two cheap prime lenses. I am looking for something relatively cheap (new or used, <$200), but with reasonably good quality in the range of 28mm/35mm or 50mm.

Also, I am really confused by the various types of lense families. Is there a nice page with a brief introduction to the lens history? What all lenses can I use on the K100D with and without an adapter?
Kind of hard to recommend a lens w/o knowing what you plan to do with it. All you've said is budget and that you want a prime.
01-13-2008, 06:03 PM   #6
Senior Member
ankit's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posts: 140
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by TheWengler Quote
Kind of hard to recommend a lens w/o knowing what you plan to do with it. All you've said is budget and that you want a prime.
It would be a "standard walk-around" lens. I use the 50mm/1.4, 28mm/2, and 135/2.8 on my minolta setup about 99% of the time, and am looking for something in the 50mm, 35mm or 28mm range.
01-13-2008, 06:08 PM   #7
Pentaxian
rvannatta's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Apiary, Oregon
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,176
QuoteOriginally posted by ankit Quote
I've been using the minolta/sony for a while, and am considering getting my feet wet in the Pentax system with a K100D and one/two cheap prime lenses. I am looking for something relatively cheap (new or used, <$200), but with reasonably good quality in the range of 28mm/35mm or 50mm.

Also, I am really confused by the various types of lense families. Is there a nice page with a brief introduction to the lens history? What all lenses can I use on the K100D with and without an adapter?
The Pentax K mount in verious iterations has been used since 1975. Before that pentax used a screw mount and an adapter must be located to use the screw mount lenses sometimes referred to as 'm42' lenses becauses the thread diameter was 42mm.

If you look around on ebay you will see

SMC lenses --- Oldest kmounts beginning in 1975
SMC-M lenses --- the 'M" was for minerature -- like SMC's only smaller in physical size.
SMC-A lenses (identifieable by a usually green "A" position on the aperature ring beyond F16)
'F' lenses --- auto focus --- fully functional
FA lenses --- auto focus -- fully functional.
DA lenses --- for digital cameras usually no aperature ring at all.

None of these require an adapter, but only the last 3 are fully functional as the first 3 don't have the drive in them for the auto focusing. -- the 'a' style lenses are fully functional except for auto focusing. The first two are just barely usable in some exposure modes because
they don't communication the lens F stop setting properly to the camera body.

If you are buying for the first time and don't have any lenses, I would suggest you buy
a camera with the 'kit lens' that is often offered. It's a decent zoom and will meet most of your needs. Really cheap zoom additions include a large volume of lenses that float through EBAY which are often in the focal lengths of 28-80, or 35-80, or even 35-135, they show up in 'A', "F" and "FA" styles. they often go for $50-$100 dollars. For example I bought the other day an 'F' -- 35-135 macro zoom f3.5-4.5 for $101.50. The macro is not a true macro but better called 'close focusing' mode but they are decent glass--not extraordinary, but decent.

If you want a little more range for a little lmore money, -- the new DA 50-200 zoom can usually be found for around $200, and it is very credible.

As for the non-zoom lenses, Pentax never made a really bad one, but most are fairly fast and fairly expensive at the present time. Classics include the FA-50 F1.4 --- the classic 'normal lens' --- I own one but frankly almost never use it. There are also various shorter and wider non zooms, but they all want a lot of your money.

My thought, If you are buying a lens but at least the 'A' style or newer,---the older ones can be used which makes sense ifyou own one, but the later lenses don't cost much more on the second hand market
01-13-2008, 06:10 PM   #8
Forum Member
TheWengler's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Brisbane, CA
Posts: 79
Is that a cropped camera? If it's not then keep that in mind before you add another prime. The 50mm f/1.4 is certainly a great deal. I got mine for $155 after rebate. I use this one mostly for portraits. The 35mm f/2 goes for about $300 new but you might be able to find a good price on a used copy. This would work better if you wanted a standard lens.

01-13-2008, 06:22 PM   #9
Senior Member
ankit's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posts: 140
Original Poster
Thanks rvannatta. That helps a lot. What is the difference between the F and FA lenses? The FA 50/1.4 sounds perfect. If it is anything like the takumar 50/1.4, it would be just what I need to get started. Is there an 'F' 50/1.4 also that might probably be a little cheaper used?

I am not really interested in zoom lenses right now, particularly not the kit lenses. I need something small that I can carry with me whereever I go. The "limited" pancake lenses are nice and tempting, but too expensive for me right now.
01-13-2008, 06:25 PM   #10
Senior Member




Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Kansas, USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 123
Cheap prime? Well, you can get a 50mm/1.4 on ebay or other places like keh.com for like $100...I regret not doing that..
You can also get various other older manual focus lenses on ebay or other sites for cheap. Some require an adapter (the takumar m42 screwmounts) and others don't (m-series, a-series, k-series, fa-series, faj-series, da-series, etc)

And as for all those series of lenses, I am not an expert on the subject, and I may be a little off on this, but I'm pretty sure this is how it goes:
Oldest Pentax lenses that are around are the Takumar m42 screwmounts, which you can get an adapter for ($15) and they work just fine with any Pentax camera. I read once that the old 1960's takumar 50mm/1.4 is even sharper than some of Canon's L glass.
Then came the K-series, using the K-mount.
Then came the M-series, which used the K-mount.
Then came the A-series, which used the K-mount and started to have automatic aperture.
Then came the F series, which started to use autofocus and and auto aperture.
Then came the FA series, which had AF and auto aperture.
Then the DFA or something, which was pretty much teh same thing as FA.
Then came the DA series, which is digital only, i.e. the 18-55, 12-24, 16-45, etc.

Hope that helps! If any of the lenses have a * by them, that means that they are outstanding performers. And expensive. Some lenses from each series are also outstanding performers, like the Takumar 50mm/1.4. And there are also some lenses that kind of suck. Do your research before buying one
01-13-2008, 06:42 PM   #11
Veteran Member
Finn's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Phoenix
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,056
Keep in mind that on digital, 50mm has the same field of view as a 75mm lens on a film camera, so it is no longer a "normal" lens. Other than that caveat, it's a great lens. If you don't mind manual focus, of course, there is a whole universe of great old primes out there. You might like one of the old 28mm lenses (screwmount, SMC -- a.k.a. "K", M, or A), which on digital is equivalent to a 42mm on film.
01-13-2008, 06:47 PM   #12
Senior Member
ankit's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posts: 140
Original Poster
So what is the difference between the K-, A-, and M- mount lenses (lenses that will mount without an adapter, but dont give AF if I understand correctly). Is there a database of these lenses somewhere?

Also, I really like the 50mm fov on the cropped sensor, so that should work out fine!

hmm, the DA 40mm/2.8 looks very attractive with the $50 rebate. Maybe I'll just get that and the K100D for now!?
01-13-2008, 07:25 PM   #13
Senior Member
ankit's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posts: 140
Original Poster
Been reading a bit more about pentax lenses. The FA 43/1.9 limited looks really nice too. Maybe I should just sell one of my minolta lenses and get this!

Anyone knows how the pentax rebates work? Are they likely to renew the rebates after the current one expires?
01-13-2008, 07:35 PM   #14
Veteran Member
Pentaxtic's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Vancouver
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 417
QuoteOriginally posted by ankit Quote
So what is the difference between the K-, A-, and M- mount lenses (lenses that will mount without an adapter, but dont give AF if I understand correctly). Is there a database of these lenses somewhere?

Also, I really like the 50mm fov on the cropped sensor, so that should work out fine!

hmm, the DA 40mm/2.8 looks very attractive with the $50 rebate. Maybe I'll just get that and the K100D for now!?
Lens database here on this forums.

Pentax Lens Review Database - Main Index

I would say go for a prime now because I see lots of zooms ie 16-45mm on the used market now because of the DA*16-50mm being released.

Primes tend to save their value. 18-55mm and 16-45mm tend to lose their value once you buy them. If you are looking at their monetary point of view.
01-13-2008, 07:46 PM   #15
Veteran Member
Finn's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Phoenix
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,056
QuoteOriginally posted by ankit Quote
Anyone knows how the pentax rebates work? Are they likely to renew the rebates after the current one expires?
Based on what they've been doing for the year or so since I bought into Pentax, there will probably be another rebate sometime this spring, I would imagine. There was one last summer, and soon after that one ended they came out with another one, for most of the same items. A way to make you feel time pressured, I guess.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
k-mount, lens suggestions, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
prime landscape lens suggestions adwb Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 25 05-22-2010 12:46 PM
Newbie question - Prime f1.4/1.8 or small tele zoom f2.8 Pretender Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 13 02-08-2010 05:12 AM
Newbie - Needs suggestions.. lingtroy Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 2 08-05-2008 09:55 AM
small prime suggestions... heatherslightbox Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 13 03-26-2008 04:42 AM
Newbie:Need some suggestions on focussing kvish Post Your Photos! 6 10-23-2007 12:47 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:28 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top