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03-01-2013, 11:53 AM   #1
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Very limited budget, help me choose a manual lens.

So I have a budget of about $50 with a little bit of leeway but not much. I understand this severely limits my options but hey, it's all I have. It's actually the amount my parents have set as a birthday present so I'm just looking to get the most out of it

With that said, what lens would you choose? I currently own an 8mm fisheye, DA 35mm 2.4, and a super takumar 55mm 1.8(that makes my k-r mirrorflop unfortunately). I'm trying to cover my focal lengths with a nice amount of primes. My 35mm isn't particular sharp corner to corner so I do find myself missing out on some landscape shots. I also wouldn't mind something in the 135 or 200mm length. So really I guess what I'm looking for is either a nice manual landscape lens, medium telephoto, or maybe even a macro!

I know there's probably a lot of these threads that pop up all the time so I appreciate you guys reading this and any advice/suggestions would really help!

03-01-2013, 12:16 PM   #2
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Corey, are you committed to getting a lens with the money?
If not, have you considered a tripod?
Coupled with the right software (available free),
that would let you try stitching (with either your 35mm or 55mm primes)
for those landscape shots.
03-01-2013, 12:21 PM   #3
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I've actually got a tripod and the problem isn't the focal length with the 35mm, it's just the general unsharpness of the lens for landscapes. I'm looking at the helios 44-2 and I'm really thinking about getting that one.
03-01-2013, 12:22 PM   #4
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The DA 35/2.4 should be sharp throughout. It is a very versatile lens and a very useful APS-C focal length. You seem to be indecisive as to your next lens purchase as you mention landscapes, which need wider angled lenses, but then talk about 135, 200mm and macro lenses. An M 200/4 lens would fit in your budget, but what do you intend to shoot with it? I'd echo the tripod suggestion if you don't have one and use it for landscapes shooting with something like the kit DA 18-55 lens, which is very good at f/8.

03-01-2013, 12:26 PM   #5
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Just saw your reply. The Helios series lenses are interesting beasts. Quite different construction and bokeh being Russian designs, but good in certain circumstances. They aren't quite wide enough for landscapes, so the kit lens may be more appropriate for you. It's actually very good in the 18mm to 30mm range at f/8 if you can manage the barrel distortion at the wide end alright.
03-01-2013, 12:27 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by csmoore Quote
. I'm looking at the helios 44-2 and I'm really thinking about getting that one.
In terms of what you can do with it,
that might be too much like the Tak 55.

BTW, can you explain the mirror problem with that lens?
03-01-2013, 12:34 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
In terms of what you can do with it,
that might be too much like the Tak 55.

BTW, can you explain the mirror problem with that lens?
I have an AA adapter coming from china so it will hopefully fix the problem, but I made a thread about it and you can see the details of the problem there. https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-r/213404-dreaded-mirror-flop.html
03-01-2013, 12:37 PM   #8
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I have a Helios 44-2 and a DA 35mm f2.4. The Helios is an interesting lens, but it is what I would call.. artistic. You won't get classical sharp shots and the edges are worse than the DA 35mm. But you don't really need very wide for landscapes. You can get a 24mm or 28mm, there are plenty of used manual lenses of this focal length. Honestly, fixing that Takumar's problem would be a great solution. Or learning to get the most out of that 35mm.

03-01-2013, 12:47 PM   #9
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The kit lens is the best bang for your buck at the wide end, bar none. Pick one up cheap in the PF marketplace...and I'm not just saying that because I'm selling a couple.

I totally get the impulse for primes...I much prefer them myself, but cheap and wide is a challenge. You mentioned going longer. You can get an M or K 135/3.5 for around $50 on KEH, or a 200/4 for a bit more as I recall.
03-01-2013, 12:51 PM   #10
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I don't think I can be easily convinced to get a kit lens, even if it makes the most sense haha. The Takumar 28mm 3.5 looks really nice though

Last edited by csmoore; 03-01-2013 at 01:18 PM.
03-01-2013, 12:53 PM   #11
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Was your 35/2.4 purchased as new in the last year (I see you joined in Nov 2012)? If so, send it in to CRIS for warranty repair. No need keeping a lens with problems. You will need the receipt showing the date of purchase. I also think that the kit lens is a good suggestion. It is a good lens - all of the models have merit. The kit is the easiest and least inexpensive way to get to around 18mm for landscapes.

You can also defish your 8mm fisheye, with post processing software. You will loose a bit of width, but its pretty straight forward. There is a lot of software around to help that is also inexpensive or free.

You can also stitch as previously posted. You can also stitch several fisheye shots together.

Try Microsoft ICE if you have not already.
03-01-2013, 12:53 PM   #12
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1. Something (my own experience) makes me tend to believe that your supposed problem with mirror flop is not actually mirror flop. But I may be wrong.
2. Helios 44 is not a landscape lens. It performs bad at infinity, and not all copies are adjusted properly for infinity (some focus well past the infinity mark).
3. The 35/2.4 should produce very sharp pictures.
4. With some patience, you should be able to snatch an M28/2.8 or 3.5 for less than $50.
5. 200mm is a very underappreciated focal length in Pentax mount. You can get them really cheap.
6. Macro lenses tend to be expensive.
7. Actually things like light do matter in the final picture, and to a very large extent. Lenses aren't everything.

Last edited by kcobain1992; 03-01-2013 at 01:07 PM.
03-01-2013, 01:06 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by csmoore Quote
I don't think I can be easily convinced to get a kit lens, even if it makes the most sense haha. The Takumar 28mm 3.5 looks really nice though
I love, love, love the Tak 28/3.5. Can't go wrong there!
03-01-2013, 01:09 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Was your 35/2.4 purchased as new in the last year (I see you joined in Nov 2012)? If so, send it in to CRIS for warranty repair.
The problem is actually with the takumar 55mm 1.8, not the 35mm. But thanks for the suggestions!

QuoteOriginally posted by kcobain1992 Quote
3. The 35/2.4 should produce very sharp pictures.
Yeah the 35mm takes fantastic pictures and it's the first lens I've ever owned. I definitely don't take it for granted but with my experience, and others too, it doesn't produce very sharp images at infinity, which is ultimately I think what I'm looking for. I can't really go wrong with the takumar 28mm 3.5 so I'll be trying to pick one of those up
03-01-2013, 01:19 PM   #15
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Just offered a guy $50 for a 28mm 3.5 "$50 shipped is unrealistic and insulting

Basic life lesson here, if you can't afford to pay market value then either find a better deal or save up more money until you can afford it."

What a jerk, haha.
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