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08-21-2013, 10:22 PM   #1
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~$200 Portrait Lens - New Baby Coming Soon

Hi all! I've got a Pentax K-r with the kit lens. I have an old manual focus 50MM F/2 lens which I love for portraits, but the manual focus makes it really hard to use. We are expecting a little girl very soon, due 9/10, and so of course I'll be taking lots and lots and lots (and lots) of pictures! But I think I could really benefit from a good portrait lens with auto-focus. Any suggestions on some good options for under $200?

Thanks in advance!

08-21-2013, 10:29 PM   #2
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Pentax smc DA 50mm f/1.8 Lens22177 B&H Photo Video
08-21-2013, 10:37 PM   #3
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Thanks! I just stumbled across this one at Adorama for the same price. Seems to be a good price on this lens right now with a special rebate?
08-22-2013, 04:57 AM   #4
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You won't do better in the new market. If you're willing to go used, the F50 f1,7 is a pretty common lens and sells for about 200$ in the marketplace. It is sharper than the DA50 by all accounts, though they both are fine lenses.

If you're willing to spend a bit more, a lens like the DA40 Limited sells for about 250$ used, and it's a fantastic tool. I replaced my F50 with that one because I desired a slightly wider field of view (and even better IQ).

08-22-2013, 05:06 AM   #5
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Fantastic Fifty?

Hello pdxfive,
Your link took me to the home page of Adorama, but not a specific lens. If you're looking at the DA 50mm f/1.8, I second Boris' recommendation. I bought one on sale for $181 a couple of weeks ago and really enjoy using it. Like you, I had trouble fast-focusing with my M-series fifties, but the DA has made me remember how much fun this size (and speed!) can be. The fact that it's equal to a 75mm in 35m terms (digital crop factor) makes it handy for low-light portraits as well as many other types of shooting. Another good choice is the 'Plastic Fantastic' DA 35mm f/2.4AL. This is roughly equivalent to a 50mm in 35mm, so is a more 'normal' focal length. Either one would be a good choice.
There's dedicated threads for both lenses with lots of sample shots, on the Lens Club forum.
Ron
08-22-2013, 05:54 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
If you're willing to spend a bit more, a lens like the DA40 Limited sells for about 250$ used, and it's a fantastic tool. I replaced my F50 with that one because I desired a slightly wider field of view (and even better IQ).
The XS version of the DA 40 sells for $245 new.

Pentax SMCP-DA 40mm f/2.8 XS Lens for Digital SLR Cameras - Black 22137
08-22-2013, 06:17 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pdxfive Quote
Thanks! I just stumbled across this one at Adorama for the same price. Seems to be a good price on this lens right now with a special rebate?
Yes, it appears it is the best price now, since Pentax reneged on their sale last week.

08-22-2013, 06:18 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
+1

Best bang for the buck.

08-22-2013, 07:10 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by tomwil Quote
Yes, it appears it is the best price now, since Pentax reneged on their sale last week.
Pentax didn't reneg on anything. Their contracted vendor made a mistake and did not fix it in a timely manner. The price is still valid if you buy the lens with a new SLR. Hopefully they will go in a new direction with their US web store.
08-22-2013, 07:45 AM   #10
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For an infant, pretty much any fast lens will do for portraits. Even your M 50/2.

When she's a little older, and starts running around, then you'll want a decent autofocus lens with a wide aperture.

The 50/1.8 is probably good, as others have said.

You may want to consider a zoom, though. When kids are running around, if you're stuck at one focal length, it means you'll be running around too (or resigning yourself to having minimal control over framing).

I'd look at a used f/2.8 zoom, such as the Tamron 17-50/2.8, or a Tamron/Tokina/Sigma 28-70/2.8, 28-75/2.8. They're usually a bit over $200 used, but are very good versatile lenses.
08-22-2013, 08:42 AM   #11
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Does the KR support catch in focus? Even these old eyes seems to be able to use that feature fairly well. That may require an A series lens.
08-22-2013, 09:27 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Colbyt Quote
Does the KR support catch in focus? Even these old eyes seems to be able to use that feature fairly well. That may require an A series lens.
Catch in Focus works with any lens that shorts the right contacts. As long as the base of the lens is wide enough, and isn't painted, CiF will work. Some M42 lenses (many Takumars) aren't wide enough, and some third party lenses and adapters don't have a bare metal base. Foil tape can be used to short the correct pins.
08-22-2013, 10:10 AM   #13
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While not as fast as the suggested 50, I REALLY like the Pentax F35-70. If you look in the lens review here in Pentax Forum, you'll see I am not alone. The lens is sharp, autofocus is fast and the lens can be obtained for under US$100. The focal range is also very nice for most family events with a normal to moderate telephoto range. Its macro (okay, close focus) capabilities also come in handy.
08-22-2013, 06:57 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the input!

One more question: The lens I have now is an SMC Pentax-M, says "ASAHI OPTICAL CO" on the front. It's a 50mm, manual focus and manual aperture ring.

Am I going to get the same field of view with the DA 50mm f/1.8 as I do with the 50mm I have now? Or will it be more zoomed in because the DA is designed for APS-C and the old lens was designed for 35mm film/full frame? I like the field of view with current lens, but it does get a little tight at times, especially for indoor shooting, so I want something with the same or wider field of view, definitely not tigher or more telephoto
08-22-2013, 07:08 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by pdxfive Quote
Am I going to get the same field of view with the DA 50mm f/1.8 as I do with the 50mm I have now?
Yes. Even though it is labeled a DA it still has a more or less FF image circle...

Crop factor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

QuoteQuote:
This ratio is also commonly referred to as a focal length multiplier ("FLM") since multiplying a lens focal length by the crop factor or FLM gives the focal length of a lens that would yield the same field of view if used on the reference format. For example, a lens with a 50 mm focal length on an imaging area with a crop factor of 1.5 with respect to the reference format (usually 35 mm) will yield the same field of view that a lens with a 75 mm focal length will yield on the reference format. It is important to note that the focal length of the lens does not change by using a smaller imaging area; the field of view is correspondingly smaller because a smaller area of the image circle cast by the lens is used by the smaller imaging area.
The focal length of the lens does not change from format to format. Just the field of view.

Last edited by boriscleto; 08-22-2013 at 07:15 PM.
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