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11-24-2012, 09:52 AM   #16
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QuoteQuote:
A single focal length will force her to focus on composition...
I've never understood this statement. You compose with your eye and choose the lens that matches as close as possible. Otherwise you are trying to fill some arbitrary frame, which may in fact not be the best composition. Now, that can be fun as some exercise, but it will frustrate a beginner.

QuoteQuote:
How is a manual focus 50mm suitable for a beginner?...

For $300 you should be able to get a Sigma 17-70mm F2.8 - 4.5 and have some change left over. For a beginner, a lens like that which does pretty much everything should be ideal.
This is a good option as it allows some flexibility in composition, is fairly wide for tight spots, long enough for picking out some details, and focuses pretty close.

Oh, and you can use AF lenses in manual mode.

11-24-2012, 10:00 AM   #17
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QuoteQuote:
A single focal length will force her to focus on composition.
Ah, and it's good to "force people"?

I have a number of primes and some are used more than others. Some I won't take my zoom off the camera for. What having one prime and nothing else does is it forces you to shoot in a zone that may or may not be your comfort zone. If your only lens is in a focal length you actually don't like (but don't know that yet", the one prime approach could just put you off photography period. You could go through life not realizing that it's not photography you don't like, it's that lens.

Just being argumentative here, but the notion of having to learn composition with primes is just pure nonsense. What you learn is that you have to stand 6 feet away with a 50 mm lens to get a head shot. You don't learn that you can compress your background and possibly make the head look more attractive by stepping back and using an 85.

I'm going with 18-55 and 50-200.
11-24-2012, 12:34 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Oh, and you can use AF lenses in manual mode.
But it is not quite the same as doing the classic move of turning the lens rings while squinting through the viewfinder

I would also throw in a 35mm film body with a fast M50 and a few rolls of film. Then she try doing some real film photography once she gets the hang of it. Or just have it as an ornament ...
11-24-2012, 12:52 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by top-quark Quote
How is a manual focus 50mm suitable for a beginner? This is the 21st century! We can do better!
It worked for me, 4 years ago I bought a K100D body only and picked up a M 50mm f1.4 from here as a first lens, it helped me learn a lot. It was months before I got a 18-55mm and I still rarely use it.

11-24-2012, 01:09 PM - 1 Like   #20
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I'm going to agree with normhead: 18-55 and 50-200. Just make sure they're the WR variety. Then there are fewer worries about the picture-taking conditions, allowing your sister to get out in the rain or fog for those "I just gotta try this" type of shots. Once experience is gained, then it's time for longer/wider and bigger aperture lenses. If she likes night shots, then a fast fifty will come quickly.

I use this pair as my beach kit, as they're competent (but not great), will maintain the WR of my K5, and are inexpensive (no fear for me about banging them around and putting them in harm's way).

These lenses are easy to pick up used on our Marketplace. If you can get a great deal, throw in the fast fifty (A or better) right away.
11-24-2012, 03:18 PM   #21
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Just get the DA 18-135mm. Versatile, fast silent focusing, WR and no need to change lenses.
11-24-2012, 05:39 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Ah, and it's good to "force people"?

I have a number of primes and some are used more than others. Some I won't take my zoom off the camera for. What having one prime and nothing else does is it forces you to shoot in a zone that may or may not be your comfort zone. If your only lens is in a focal length you actually don't like (but don't know that yet", the one prime approach could just put you off photography period. You could go through life not realizing that it's not photography you don't like, it's that lens.

Just being argumentative here, but the notion of having to learn composition with primes is just pure nonsense. What you learn is that you have to stand 6 feet away with a 50 mm lens to get a head shot. You don't learn that you can compress your background and possibly make the head look more attractive by stepping back and using an 85.

I'm going with 18-55 and 50-200.
Perhaps `force' is too strong... maybe guide her to thinking a little bit more about the process. You compose with your eyes and brain, and I find that having a single
focal length on the camera simplifies the process for me - one less decision to make. I also agree that perhaps having only one focal length, period, might be too restrictive
to a beginner. Maybe 2 or 3 (as the OP originally asked for), in the classic FLs: 35, 50 and either something a little longer, or something a little wider, so she can get a sense
of what she likes.

Ultimately, I suppose that it really depends on what v5's sister is likely to do, or want to do with a camera...
11-26-2012, 12:04 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by msatlas Quote
So according to Pentax K-Mount Lenses and Lens Accessories, while the F 70-210 has 13 elements in 9 groups, the Takumar-F has 10 elements in 8 groups, and not-as-good coatings. Not sure how accurate this information is, but since the F 70-210 can be had for <$100, to me it just makes sense to go for the known-good version.
I believe that site is wrong in this case. They look the same on the outside (yet different from the 70-200 models) so why would they be different on the inside? It would be more expensive to make them different - other than the simple change they made, which was the coating on the glass. See the oldest user review here: Takumar-F 70-210mm F4-5.6 Reviews - Non-SMC Pentax Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

I've owned both and they performed similarly, which is why I kept the cheaper one (the Takumar).

11-26-2012, 12:48 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
They look the same on the outside (yet different from the 70-200 models) so why would they be different on the inside?
A simpler construction, easier to assemble and collimate,
also matching the cheaper 70-200 designs.

Boz Dinitrov's site gives the details for the Tak 70-210:

Takumar-F 70-210/4-5.6
11-26-2012, 07:57 AM   #25
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Yeah, it's a bit of a mystery. There's four lenses that all look pretty much the same on the outside:

Pentax F 70-210
Takumar F 70-210
Pentax F 70-200
Takumar F 70-200

My original point was more that since these lenses may or may not be the same, but the supposedly-best of the bunch (the F 70-210) can still be had for cheap, it makes sense to go for the F 70-210. That's what I did, and I only paid $85 for my F 70-210.

On the other hand, if I can find a particularly cheap example of one of the others, I might pick it up just for sake of comparison.

Actually, DSims, I have an idea. The site we're all looking at lists the weight for all of these lenses as 555g, but if the F 70-210 has more glass it would stand to reason that it might be heavier. How about I weigh mine and you weigh yours, see if we can find a difference?

Last edited by msatlas; 11-26-2012 at 08:05 AM.
11-26-2012, 08:30 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by msatlas Quote
Actually, DSims, I have an idea. The site we're all looking at lists the weight for all of these lenses as 555g, but if the F 70-210 has more glass it would stand to reason that it might be heavier. How about I weigh mine and you weigh yours, see if we can find a difference?
Boz Dimitrov gives 555g as the weight for all,
both the 10-8 and 13-9 formulas.

The latter wouldn't necessarily be heavier,
if it has more but thinner elements.

For example, the second element in the 10-8
is replaced by a cemented pair in the 13-9
that looks to be about the same size.
11-26-2012, 08:51 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Boz Dimitrov gives 555g as the weight for all,
both the 10-8 and 13-9 formulas.

The latter wouldn't necessarily be heavier,
if it has more but thinner elements.

For example, the second element in the 10-8
is replaced by a cemented pair in the 13-9
that looks to be about the same size.
Yeah that 555g weight spec listed on his site is really the only reason why I was thinking the specs might be off. But I see what you mean about different optical designs having the same mass.

I'm curious, are you referring to specific differences in the optical formulas, or is this just an example of how different designs could weigh the same? Any more info like lens diagrams?

I can certainly believe that the F 70-210 is in fact fancier, I'm just trying to find some more info.
11-26-2012, 09:07 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by msatlas Quote
I'm curious, are you referring to specific differences in the optical formulas
Yes, absolutely.

QuoteOriginally posted by msatlas Quote
Any more info like lens diagrams?

I'm just trying to find some more info.
For almost every lens page on Boz Dimitrov's site,
you can click on a link
Technical Specification > Optics > Optical Formula > x elements in y groups
that will give you a little jpeg of the optical diagram,
sometimes with colors or labeling to indicate special features
like aspherical lenses or ED glass.

Try the link I gave in my earlier post (#24)
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/205984-good-le...ml#post2181723
11-26-2012, 01:37 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Yes, absolutely.



For almost every lens page on Boz Dimitrov's site,
you can click on a link
Technical Specification > Optics > Optical Formula > x elements in y groups
that will give you a little jpeg of the optical diagram,
sometimes with colors or labeling to indicate special features
like aspherical lenses or ED glass.

Try the link I gave in my earlier post (#24)
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/205984-good-le...ml#post2181723
Oh hey, neat trick. I look at his site all the time but I didn't realize he had optical diagrams. Maybe I clicked on the links at one point in the past and then forgot.

The F 70-210 has its own diagram, but the Takumar-F 70-210, Takumar-F 70-200 and Pentax-F 70-200 all link to the same diagram.

F 70-210/4-5.6 ED:


Takumar-F 70-210/4-5.6
Takumar-F 70-200/4-5.6
Pentax-F 70-200/4-5.6


I'd say that's good enough info for me. Also the reviews here on the others seem to indicate they're not quite up to the F 70-210.

SMC Pentax-F 70-210mm F4-5.6 Reviews - F Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Takumar-F 70-210mm F4-5.6 Reviews - Non-SMC Pentax Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Pentax-F 70-200mm F4-5.6 Reviews - Non-SMC Pentax Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Takumar-F 70-200mm F4-5.6 Reviews - Non-SMC Pentax Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

The others seem to be more vulnerable to PF than the F 70-210, among other things.

So....yeah go for the F 70-210!
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