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04-18-2013, 04:17 PM   #1
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Another Newbie (K-30) Lens Question Thread

Sorry if I'm repeating questions that have been asked before. I did do a search, and I did read the reviews on all these lenses, but I'm just learning and don't completely understand all the information I read.

So, I am getting a Pentax K-30 with 18-55mm kit. I realize that it would have been more cost efficient to get the 18-135 kit lens, and I would have loved to have gotten the camera with the 18-135 WR lens, but that was not an option, since I got this camera by redeeming Air Miles. So 18-55 non-WR it is.

I realize that I should spend some time with the camera and see what kinds of pics I take the most and where my kit lens falls short for me before purchasing other lenses. However, I don't want to miss opportunities to grab a lens when it's on sale or when I can get one locally second hand. This is particularly so because I'm in Western Canada, and if I purchase second hand online I'll have to pay shipping and probably customs (if it's from the US).

So, right now, a Canadian store is selling the Pentax DA L 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED for $99, while supplies last, since they're not going to be carrying it any more. From what I can tell, this is a good price for this lens.

Also, someone in my city is advertising a used Pentax-M zoom 75-150mm F4 lens and a used Pentax-M 50mm F1.7 lens for $60 apiece, both supposedly in excellent working order. I realize these can be found for less, but it probably wouldn't end up being less with shipping, etc. I think it would be fun to get an old manual lens or two to play around with, and I'm hoping I might be able negotiate a slightly better price if I buy both lenses. From what I've read, I think I should definitely be considering the 50mm F1.7.

I doubt I'm ever going to be a user who will spend many hundreds of dollars on a lens, but I would like to get a WR lens (probably the 18-135) at some point and hopefully a prime. (I think the M 50mm would act more like a portrait lens rather than a prime on my camera, because of the x1.5 factor, if I'm understanding correctly????)

What I'm trying to figure out is if it is worth my spending $200 on these three lenses, in addition to my kit lens, or if I would be overlapping in terms of what the would do. I realize this isn't a huge amount of $$ as lenses go, but I'd rather not duplicate too much when I could save that money towards a different lens, instead.

To recap:

Will have:
  • 18-55 kit lens (non WR)
Considering:
  • Brand new DA L 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED for $99
  • Used: Pentax-M zoom 75-150mm for $60
  • Used: Pentax-M 50mm F1.7 for $60

Again, I don't mind waiting to get more lenses, and I probably should, but I don't want to miss opportunities to get lenses locally for a reasonable price and then be kicking myself that I missed out.

More info: In addition to taking vacation/landscape photos and photos of my dog, I would like to try some portrait photography of family members and some flowers and still lifes. I'd also like to try some walking around, gritty city kinds of photos. (A prime for this, I'm thinking?) I don't plan to do a lot of sports/action photography, except for the occasional dance recital.

Thanks!

04-18-2013, 05:11 PM - 1 Like   #2
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The DA L covers the M-Zoom. Considered the prices, I would prefer the DA L. Or wait for a good offer for a WR in that range.
The 1.7 in good condition without shipping cost is ok, but if you don't think you need it urgently, I would wait for a good bargain with an A-type instead of the M.

But that's just me.
04-18-2013, 05:35 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Suggestion for you: set your camera to manual focus and try taking a few pictures with your 18-55mm to see whether manual focusing works for you. The M series of lenses have an additional disadvantage in that there is no automatic aperture control. Set your 18-55mm to 24mm. Wide open aperture is F4. Now set the aperture to F8. It actually stays at F4 until you press the shutter. Not so with M series lenses. This means a dark viewfinder. You'll also have to use manual mode and stop down metering. It's simply not very convenient.

The 50-200 DAL is perfectly decent albeit not very sexy and kinda plasticky. Since it's been split from a kit, I'd say that $99 is a bit much. The WR variants of the 18-55 and 50-200 are quite nice and would make a good pairing for your K-30. They're not too expensive either.
04-18-2013, 06:42 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by RKKS08 Quote
The DA L covers the M-Zoom. Considered the prices, I would prefer the DA L. Or wait for a good offer for a WR in that range.
The 1.7 in good condition without shipping cost is ok, but if you don't think you need it urgently, I would wait for a good bargain with an A-type instead of the M.

But that's just me.
Ditto, the old zooms are not up to the level of the old primes. If you buy the DA L 50-200 and use it awhile, you could probably sell it used for at least $80. I think the 50 would give you more fun, but I agree, the A version would be much better. Of course I think if you found a 28 or 35 that would be even better, but that's just an opinion.

04-19-2013, 04:15 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by bibi Quote
Sorry if I'm repeating questions that have been asked before. I did do a search, and I did read the reviews on all these lenses, but I'm just learning and don't completely understand all the information I read.

So, I am getting a Pentax K-30 with 18-55mm kit. I realize that it would have been more cost efficient to get the 18-135 kit lens, and I would have loved to have gotten the camera with the 18-135 WR lens, but that was not an option, since I got this camera by redeeming Air Miles. So 18-55 non-WR it is.

I realize that I should spend some time with the camera and see what kinds of pics I take the most and where my kit lens falls short for me before purchasing other lenses. However, I don't want to miss opportunities to grab a lens when it's on sale or when I can get one locally second hand. This is particularly so because I'm in Western Canada, and if I purchase second hand online I'll have to pay shipping and probably customs (if it's from the US).

So, right now, a Canadian store is selling the Pentax DA L 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED for $99, while supplies last, since they're not going to be carrying it any more. From what I can tell, this is a good price for this lens.

Also, someone in my city is advertising a used Pentax-M zoom 75-150mm F4 lens and a used Pentax-M 50mm F1.7 lens for $60 apiece, both supposedly in excellent working order. I realize these can be found for less, but it probably wouldn't end up being less with shipping, etc. I think it would be fun to get an old manual lens or two to play around with, and I'm hoping I might be able negotiate a slightly better price if I buy both lenses. From what I've read, I think I should definitely be considering the 50mm F1.7.

I doubt I'm ever going to be a user who will spend many hundreds of dollars on a lens, but I would like to get a WR lens (probably the 18-135) at some point and hopefully a prime. (I think the M 50mm would act more like a portrait lens rather than a prime on my camera, because of the x1.5 factor, if I'm understanding correctly????)

What I'm trying to figure out is if it is worth my spending $200 on these three lenses, in addition to my kit lens, or if I would be overlapping in terms of what the would do. I realize this isn't a huge amount of $$ as lenses go, but I'd rather not duplicate too much when I could save that money towards a different lens, instead.

To recap:

Will have:
  • 18-55 kit lens (non WR)
Considering:
  • Brand new DA L 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED for $99
  • Used: Pentax-M zoom 75-150mm for $60
  • Used: Pentax-M 50mm F1.7 for $60

Again, I don't mind waiting to get more lenses, and I probably should, but I don't want to miss opportunities to get lenses locally for a reasonable price and then be kicking myself that I missed out.

More info: In addition to taking vacation/landscape photos and photos of my dog, I would like to try some portrait photography of family members and some flowers and still lifes. I'd also like to try some walking around, gritty city kinds of photos. (A prime for this, I'm thinking?) I don't plan to do a lot of sports/action photography, except for the occasional dance recital.

Thanks!
I'd venture to say there's not much reason to consider the M zoom if you are considering the DA 50-200. With modern zooms, the lens communicates focal length to the camera and thus the camera can set the shake reduction accordingly for whatever focal length you're at. However, with manual zooms, you have to set one focal length, which might not be entirely optimal if you plan on using the entire zoom range. Similar to what RKKS08 suggested, I'd nix the plan to acquire the M zoom and use that money instead to get the WR 50-200.

I've had the M 50/1.7 and it is a fine lens. It is an excellent lens for portraits. Presumably for flowers and still lifes too, but I haven't shot those much / at all.

As for urban photography, something wide would probably be best if you plan on mostly urban landscapes and defunct buildings, that sort of thing. If you're on a budget, the DA 35/2.4 is a great option but might not be wide enough. If you're not planning on photographing people, you might also consider going manual. There are versions of the M 28 and M 35 that wouldn't break the budget.

BTW, terminology correction. "Prime" lens refers to a lens with a fixed focal length. You can have a 15 mm prime lens or a 300 mm prime lens, they're both primes because they don't zoom. Judging from your usage of the word, it seems like you're confusing "prime" with "wide angle."
04-19-2013, 07:05 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I also suggest getting a Pentax-A version over the M if you can. I bought my Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7 on eBay for $68 and the convenience level is much greater. It's just like a modern lens except you focus yourself. Everything else works like normal. The viewfinder is full brightness and the camera controls the aperture when you set the lens to "A" mode, which you'll do once and probably never touch it again.

Now, the balancing point is that there are some really exceptional lenses in the Pentax-M and Pentax-K lines too, but the really great stuff isn't bargain priced so that's not likely to help you at this point
04-19-2013, 10:27 AM - 1 Like   #7
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A great starter setup is the 18-55 and 50-200. If you want to try primes, get an A50 f2. It is not a "great" lens, but it is actually pretty good, and super cheap. You should be able to get one for ~$30, maybe less. You will quickly find out 50 is too long most of the time inside. Outside, it is great. This will eventually make you want a wider prime, but by then, you'll have a full blown case of LBA, and on your way to spending hundreds on lenses.

The K, M and M42 are more difficult to use because of the metering. You have to really want one to put up with it. I have 2 M42 lenses, and a couple of M style, but I wouldn't start there.

If you want an autofocus prime for cheap, get the 35 f2.4.
04-19-2013, 11:06 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Alternately, the Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7 version is significantly better for somewhere in the $60's.

04-19-2013, 09:48 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChooseAName Quote
I'd venture to say there's not much reason to consider the M zoom if you are considering the DA 50-200. With modern zooms, the lens communicates focal length to the camera and thus the camera can set the shake reduction accordingly for whatever focal length you're at. However, with manual zooms, you have to set one focal length, which might not be entirely optimal if you plan on using the entire zoom range. Similar to what RKKS08 suggested, I'd nix the plan to acquire the M zoom and use that money instead to get the WR 50-200.

I've had the M 50/1.7 and it is a fine lens. It is an excellent lens for portraits. Presumably for flowers and still lifes too, but I haven't shot those much / at all.

As for urban photography, something wide would probably be best if you plan on mostly urban landscapes and defunct buildings, that sort of thing. If you're on a budget, the DA 35/2.4 is a great option but might not be wide enough. If you're not planning on photographing people, you might also consider going manual. There are versions of the M 28 and M 35 that wouldn't break the budget.

BTW, terminology correction. "Prime" lens refers to a lens with a fixed focal length. You can have a 15 mm prime lens or a 300 mm prime lens, they're both primes because they don't zoom. Judging from your usage of the word, it seems like you're confusing "prime" with "wide angle."
QuoteOriginally posted by ChooseAName Quote
BTW, terminology correction. "Prime" lens refers to a lens with a fixed focal length. You can have a 15 mm prime lens or a 300 mm prime lens, they're both primes because they don't zoom. Judging from your usage of the word, it seems like you're confusing "prime" with "wide angle."
Thanks for the clarification. Yes, I was confusing "prime" with "wide angle."
04-19-2013, 09:50 PM   #10
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Thanks so much for the information! There's so much to learn.
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