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03-19-2013, 03:00 PM   #1
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What Are The Best "All Around" Lenses For A Beginner On A Budget?

I was curious what to some fellow Pentaxians thought were the best lenses for beginners when it comes to ease of use, price, and depth of learning. I've been with my Pentax for a couple years now and in that time I've gathered many lenses, from all different ranges. I'm still a beginner and I still have a lot to learn, not only about how to shoot but the gear involved in helping me get that perfect shot. One thing I've learned great lenses can cost, and for a new shooter who just dropped a good chunk of change on his SLR might be not so quick to drop $5-800 right away for those dream lenses. What are some lenses you love and consider must haves in your bag or on your camera that don't really break the bank? I know this thread is wide open and often times the environment affects the lens choice, but tell me (us) the environment you shoot in and what lens you use. In other words if you shoot landscapes what would you consider a proper start out lens, portraits, food, street, etc. I hope this thread can help myself and some other new/beginner Pentaxians out.

My first and favorite lens which rarely leaves my K-x is....

Pentax F 50mm 1.7

I love this lens it's great in most situations. It sometimes can be a little too close for comfort in cramped quarters but overall I don't have any complaints, and suggest everyone get one of these 50's whether it be the F series or FA.

Let's pretend budget price is under $250


Last edited by vega; 03-19-2013 at 03:18 PM.
03-19-2013, 03:13 PM   #2
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You ask for best all-around lenses for a beginner on a budget, but you don't say what your budget is. I'd be happy to make a couple of recommendations if you give me an idea of your budget.
03-19-2013, 03:16 PM   #3
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If a true beginner came to me for advice about buying a lens for his new camera body, I'd steer him towards the DA 35mm f2.4.
It's a Goldilocks lens--not too long, not too short, but just right.
03-19-2013, 03:18 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by MPrince Quote
You ask for best all-around lenses for a beginner on a budget, but you don't say what your budget is. I'd be happy to make a couple of recommendations if you give me an idea of your budget.
1st post updated imaginary budget price is under $250

03-19-2013, 03:22 PM   #5
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+1 for the 35 2.4.

Although, if you had a kit lens one of the many 70-300's or an 18-200 might also be a thought.
03-19-2013, 03:24 PM   #6
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A 17-70 lens will give you fairly wide for streets or indoors, plus long enough for portraits and picking out some architectural details.

A used Sigma 17-70 can be found from time to time in the Marketplace for your approximate budget. It also focuses fairly closely.

Last edited by SpecialK; 03-19-2013 at 05:15 PM.
03-19-2013, 04:43 PM   #7
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Get an A or M 100/2.8, plus maybe an A24/2.8 or similar. The 100 will give you much of the same experience as having an FA77 Ltd, without spending the bigger money. The A24 will give you a reasonably wide angle with nice Image Quality. Between these and your F50/1.7 you'll have the "budget 3 amigos," somewhat like the FA77, FA43, and FA31 Ltds. These will not only give you good photographs, they'll teach you a lot about what you can do and may want to do with photography. I went from having one set to the other, but I still kept most of the budget lenses (A100 and A50/1.7) because I like their IQ on an absolute basis (not just "for the price").
03-19-2013, 06:02 PM   #8
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The 16-45/4 is a wonderful zoom for its price if you're after a nice lens for the wide end.

03-19-2013, 06:20 PM   #9
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I took a look at your profile. What you currently have is just fine, you are covered for everything from 18 to 300mm. Save the funds for later, for when you decide where your interests lie and what specifically you want to shoot. The lenses you currently have are good for at least a year or two. Don't worry about it - just go out and shoot.

03-19-2013, 06:37 PM   #10
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I think a flash would help most, as your photos are motion blurred and have wron colour balance.
03-19-2013, 07:04 PM   #11
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Thanks for the suggestions so far! And while I have a bunch of lenses, I'm trying to help some others out who may be beginners looking for budget lenses.

@selar thanks I been looking to get a flash but because I'm usually in close proximity to the performers I always feel like a flash is a bad idea due to it annoying/distracting the performer. Do you have a suggestion for a proper budget flash?
03-19-2013, 07:12 PM   #12
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I don't own one and I have never used one but if $250 was my limit and I wanted a prime I would second the motion for a DA 35mm f2.4.

The numbers look right and the value looks good. The FOV perspective is about what I started with so many years ago.
03-19-2013, 07:43 PM   #13
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F 50 1.7 is a great fast fifty. I love all my F series lenses though. The F 35-70 and 70-210 are great budget pickups as well. Aloof these are worth more $$$ than they fetch IMO.
03-19-2013, 07:46 PM   #14
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If 50mm is a better focal length for what you want to shoot you can also consider the DA 50/1.8
There are lots of other great lenses you could find for that price range on the marketplace. Like a good wide-normal zoom in the ilk of the Tamron 17-50 or Sigma 17-70. Look around and you might find what you're looking for.
03-19-2013, 07:58 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by vega Quote
@selar thanks I been looking to get a flash but because I'm usually in close proximity to the performers I always feel like a flash is a bad idea due to it annoying/distracting the performer. Do you have a suggestion for a proper budget flash?
As you have a Kx, try shooting at higher iso first and setting white balance manually or shooting RAW and adjustinng white balance in post processing, if you want to avoid flash. You want a shutter speed 1/250 or faster.
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