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04-22-2013, 10:48 PM   #1
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Just one more....

I have finally understood how good Pentax lenses are. Here’s my story till now.

I’ve had the K100D Super for a year now but got only the body used.I had my dad’s FA 28-200 lens that was more like ummm….err ok.

I then purchased the Vivitar MC 50mm 1.7 ($50) and suddenly photos got a lot better. But having a full manual lens to shoot kids was too difficult. So then came the kit lens off keh.com for $80. This was a refreshing relief as I could finally use the Auto mode and keep clicking.

But the troubles began again with the low light situations. Too much noise with the kit lens and though the Vivitar was good for low light, adjusting the aperture, then shutter, then trying to focus and shoot kept disappointing. And the Vivitar goes too soft at 1.7.

So then got an SMC Takumar 50mm/1.4 from ebay India for $85. I know I paid too much for it as it was in bargain condition but the glass looked ok. No luck finding a Pentax M42 adapter as they are out of stock everywhere. So picked up a Chinese adapter off amazon.com which fit well but the Tak stops about quarter a turn before the top. Focusing is a pain and it does not work well in the Autosetting. Manual settings again need a lot of work and most photos are blurred.

Then found a Pentax zoom A 35-105 lens again in reasonable condition for $90.This gave great snaps in daylight. Better than the kit lens. All I had to do was focus and let it work. But the problems came in macro mode as it has a minimum 5 foot distance required.

Frustrated, I finally ordered the used Pentax A 50mm/1.7 from “s4int” on this forum. And wow! The lens looks almost new, is in perfect condition and finally, just finally, photos are coming out awesome! I am in photography heaven. The lens is light, focuses like a dream and the photos dreamier. Most of all, I am very happy to have a lens that looks new and feels new.

I will be selling my Tak soon to recover some of the money. I would like the gentlemen (and ladies) on this forum to suggest me just one more lens to complement the A 50mm if you think I should have it as part of my collection. I love shooting portraits and enjoy the sharpness and clarity of a prime. I understand that auto focus lenses are a lot more expensive and so would be good with a manual focus lens too.

Thank you for reading.


Last edited by aquashankar; 04-22-2013 at 11:02 PM.
04-22-2013, 11:52 PM   #2
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"...just one more lens" is the confirmation that you have full blown LBA of which there in no known cure. I too have told myself that if I only had one more lens I would stop. Trying to work out which out of therapy or LBA is cheaper.
04-23-2013, 12:02 AM   #3
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Ok. I need to see if I will stop now. Let me just ask this. What I want to know is If the A 50mm/1.7 is as good as it can get for that price. Its the best I have till now and will be a permanent fixture unless there is anything else to make a collection complete. I have read on other sites that photographers go through LBA before mostly settling on 1 Prime lens to do all their daily shooting. Some have 2 lenses, a 24mm and a 50mm. Ultimately, other lenses go into cold storage. The 35-105 is a quirky lens.

But after reading your reply, I need to take a deep breath and stay off the Buy/Sell of this forum. Some deals are too good to be true
04-23-2013, 12:16 AM   #4
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The A24/2.8 is nice, and so is the A (or M) 100/2.8 (non-macro). They are worthy companions to the A50/1.7 - kind of like the "budget 3 amigos" (in place of the FA Ltd lenses).


Of course the FA Ltd.s are faster and have AF, and you can do a little bit more with them, but the image quality of these A-series primes is not far off, for a much lower price (which is why I still have 2 of them).


Last edited by DSims; 04-23-2013 at 12:21 AM.
04-23-2013, 12:56 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Timd Quote
LBA of which there in no known cure
Resistance is futile.
04-23-2013, 04:49 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
The A24/2.8 is nice, and so is the A (or M) 100/2.8 (non-macro). They are worthy companions to the A50/1.7 - kind of like the "budget 3 amigos" (in place of the FA Ltd lenses).


Of course the FA Ltd.s are faster and have AF, and you can do a little bit more with them, but the image quality of these A-series primes is not far off, for a much lower price (which is why I still have 2 of them).
Thank you for the suggestion on the A 24/2.8. But I think I'll now wait for a while as you have also mentioned that the image quality of the A series is anyway very good for its price. Besides, won't the f2.8 be average in low light as compared to the 1.7?
04-23-2013, 11:42 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by aquashankar Quote
I love shooting portraits and enjoy the sharpness and clarity of a prime. I understand that auto focus lenses are a lot more expensive and so would be good with a manual focus lens too.
If you like portraits, you'll love an 85 mm lens. I have the M 85/2 and it's my favorite. Unfortunately it's a pretty rare lens. Rokinon/Samyang/Bower make a modern 85 mm f/1.4 that's manual focus only (but being "modern" you can use it in Av mode). Those are pretty economic lenses and I would've gotten one of those if I didn't think I'd constantly be second guessing myself for not getting the M 85/2.
04-23-2013, 12:06 PM   #8
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Perhaps an M or A 100mm macro? Outstanding glass, not autofocus, but would double as a telephoto or portrait lens (if you set up a fair distance from your subject). There are other older longer-ranged macros out there, too.

One of the Vivitar 28mm lenses would be tempting, though you have to know what you're getting.

04-23-2013, 12:22 PM   #9
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I'd look for the Sigma Super Wide II 24mm f/2.8. There are two versions, one with manual focus (worth about $100) and one with autofocus (worth about $200). Both have the A setting on the aperture ring.

It's one of the best in terms of price/performance ratio at that focal length. If you want something wide, it's an excellent choice. It's too wide for portraits, but I'd say your A 50 f/1.7 has you covered for that. What are you going to do if you want to shoot landscapes?
04-23-2013, 12:49 PM   #10
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You need something longer like a M120/2.8; absolute little beauty. Than you will have a gap between 50 and 120mm that you can fill with one of the various 85mm Tak offerings; a must have as well.

After that you can come back and we will happily fuel your LBA a bit more

QuoteOriginally posted by aquashankar Quote
but the Tak stops about quarter a turn before the top
More or less normal; I have two original Pentax adapters and none of my M42 lenses 'end at the top' (11 o'clock or so). Does not effect the working.
04-24-2013, 05:35 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChooseAName Quote
If you like portraits, you'll love an 85 mm lens. I have the M 85/2 and it's my favorite. Unfortunately it's a pretty rare lens. Rokinon/Samyang/Bower make a modern 85 mm f/1.4 that's manual focus only (but being "modern" you can use it in Av mode). Those are pretty economic lenses and I would've gotten one of those if I didn't think I'd constantly be second guessing myself for not getting the M 85/2.
The 85mm would mean that my images would get cropped even further. I think the A 50mm serves me well. I can always move in closer for a close up portrait.

QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
Perhaps an M or A 100mm macro? Outstanding glass, not autofocus, but would double as a telephoto or portrait lens (if you set up a fair distance from your subject). There are other older longer-ranged macros out there, too.

One of the Vivitar 28mm lenses would be tempting, though you have to know what you're getting.
Thank you for the Vivitar 28mm suggestion. The lenses look economical to purchase but I may hold off now unless I can use these to shoot landscapes. I am using the 35-100mm A lens in macro mode as a medium telephoto lens. The macro mode also works well on it.

QuoteOriginally posted by scratchpaddy Quote
I'd look for the Sigma Super Wide II 24mm f/2.8. There are two versions, one with manual focus (worth about $100) and one with autofocus (worth about $200). Both have the A setting on the aperture ring.

It's one of the best in terms of price/performance ratio at that focal length. If you want something wide, it's an excellent choice. It's too wide for portraits, but I'd say your A 50 f/1.7 has you covered for that. What are you going to do if you want to shoot landscapes?
This was exactly my point initially because I use only the kit lens to take landscapes. Its not bad but not great either. The Prime’s quality is just too good. And the Pentax A 24 or 35mm all seem quite expensive.

QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
You need something longer like a M120/2.8; absolute little beauty. Than you will have a gap between 50 and 120mm that you can fill with one of the various 85mm Tak offerings; a must have as well.

After that you can come back and we will happily fuel your LBA a bit more [IMG]file:///C:\Users\vkannan\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image001.png[/IMG]


More or less normal; I have two original Pentax adapters and none of my M42 lenses 'end at the top' (11 o'clock or so). Does not effect the working.
Thank you J but I think I’m good for now on the need for another lens. Regarding the Tak, I can only use it in Auto mode and the focusing is never good. It should be so difficult to focus on the Tak when I can focus easily with the A 50mm 1.7. That’s the part I never understood. The photos also come out either over or under exposed.
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