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04-02-2008, 06:23 PM   #1
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Looking to build a small aresenal for K100D, is this a good start?

Like the title says I have a K100D with 18-55 kit lens. I'm looking for something to use to take pictures of people. This K100D is my first ever SLR or DSLR camera and I've never bought a lens before so I need some honest advice about whether this is a good all around lens. Not looking to do anything professional and I'm a college student so I don't want to spend out of the ballpark. I will be going to South Africa this summer and I want to pick up this lens and a telephoto lens as well (will worry about that later). So would this be a good start to building a versatile stock?

Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 LENS with one year USA warranty | BuyDig.com, The Internet's Digital Superstore

Also I've got 52mm filters for my stock lens and I see this lens would need 49mm filters, is there some kind of adapter that I can buy to fit 52mm filters onto this lens?

04-02-2008, 06:31 PM   #2
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Absolutely. The FA 50 f/1.4 is the perfect first choice. wait til you see that bokeh.

A good inexpensive long zoom would be a Tamron 70-300 Di for $140 or so. There's a thread about it in this forum, and some really great example shots.

The kit is a very good lens for outdoor use and flash use, and it can be your budget wide angle.

There you go, for under $500, a very nice start and a good travel kit!


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04-02-2008, 06:43 PM   #3
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shogo,
You can get a 49-52mm stepup ring off Ebay for less then $5. This will save you a bunch over buying different sizes of filters. When using film lenses on digital SLR's you can use step down rings without vignetting, because of the smaller field of view. I use step downs to 52mm on my FF telephotos with no issues.

Dave
04-02-2008, 06:43 PM   #4
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While I don't have the 50/1.4 lens myself, it's considered to be one of the best fast 50s around. Being a college student on a budget, this is a really good deal for what you get. See for yourself: Pentax smc P-FA 50mm f/1.4 Lens Sample Photos and Specifications
Pbase.com is great for finding sample images taken with lenses you might be interested in getting.

The Pentax 18-55 kit lens is considered to be one of the best kit lenses among all mounts. Here's a review of it:
Pentax DA 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 AL Lens Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review
I've got one and even though I don't use it very often, I'm still very impressed with the images it puts out.

In the way of telephoto zooms, you've got a wide variety of inexpensive choices ($250 or less new) including the DA50-200, the Sigma 70-300/4-5.6 APO, and the Tamron 70-300/4-5.6. Personally, I have an older (vintage 80s) F70-210/4-5.6 which I really like as the images that come out of it are really sharp. Usually, you can find these used in the $150-200 range.

As for filters, I would recommend that you get a UV filter for each lens and keep it on the lens at all times to protect the front glass from accidental scratching. To answer your question, yes, you can use your 52mm filters with a 49mm filter diameter; you'll need to see about getting a 49-52mm step-up ring. If you're wanting to use filters like polarizers and neutral density filters, then sizing them to fit your largest filter diameter lens makes a lot of sense, money-wise, as step-up rings are a whole lot cheaper than getting more filters to fit every lens you have.

HTH,
Heather

04-02-2008, 07:41 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by hwblanks Quote
See for yourself: Pentax smc P-FA 50mm f/1.4 Lens Sample Photos and Specifications
Pbase.com is great for finding sample images taken with lenses you might be interested in getting.
HTH,
Heather
You're not kidding!

That camera/lens section is fantastic!

Thanks for the tip, Heather.

Mike
04-02-2008, 09:08 PM   #6
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Not to break into the party but I would skip the 50mm unless you need a low light 50mm F1.4 lens and get the Fa 35mm F2, it will give you the 50mm fov on digital, also as there is a new 55mm comming along soon.
04-03-2008, 07:10 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Torphoto Quote
Not to break into the party but I would skip the 50mm unless you need a low light 50mm F1.4 lens and get the Fa 35mm F2, it will give you the 50mm fov on digital, also as there is a new 55mm comming along soon.
Maybe I'm just not seeing it anywhere or I'm looking at the wrong lens but isn't an fa 35mm f2 lens much more expensive?
04-03-2008, 07:28 AM   #8
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Yes and although a very nice lens, I agree with the others. The 50 f1.4 is the best starter lens IMO. 50=$200+/- and the 35mm = $300+/-. As time passes the 35 would be a good choice but the 35mm macro is expected in 2008 and that may be the better choice when it arrives.

So for now go with the FA50mm, You'll love the lens.

04-03-2008, 07:45 AM   #9
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I will concur with the other opinions. The FA 50mm f/1.4 is the lens to get.

IMHO, they should still sell cameras with fast 50mm lenses as the kit lens.

The wide aperture can do things that a zoom lens just can't do -- you just can't get that lovely DOF that a really large aperture produces .. It can make for some lovely photos, and it has a look on its own.

And it can take photos where zooms can't. I like to take candid portraits, and people would quickly tire of my presence if I had to use the flash. Also, you never know, you might be in a museum and want to snap a picture in low light where the flash is prohibited.

I'm sure there are lots of ways people use a fast prime, but like I said, it can do things that other lenses can't. . and for less than 200 dollars, it's a good deal.
04-03-2008, 07:51 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shogo Quote
Maybe I'm just not seeing it anywhere or I'm looking at the wrong lens but isn't an fa 35mm f2 lens much more expensive?
Yes, it's 100 dollars more expensive, and an f stop slower. It would be a nice lens to have, and the FA 50mm can be a bit restrictive if you're indoors and want a wider angle lens, but 100 bucks is a 100 bucks and a full f stop is a full f stop.
04-03-2008, 07:57 AM   #11
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I personally really like my A-50mm f1.7.
04-03-2008, 08:03 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JMS Quote
I personally really like my A-50mm f1.7.
And a whole lot cheaper. Add a M 28mm/3.5 and a M135/3.5 and you are about the same price as the FA 50.
04-03-2008, 08:12 AM   #13
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Pentax (Tamron) 18-250

QuoteOriginally posted by Shogo Quote
I will be going to South Africa this summer and I want to pick up this lens and a telephoto lens as well (will worry about that later).
I would go for the Pentax (or Tamron) 18-250. Especially for holiday type foto's you can't go wrong with it. Image quality is very good. After some time you'll have a better idea what focal length you're using most and can decide to spend money on specialty lenses.

Have a look at this album. Almost all images are shot using my K100d with the Tamron 18-250.
Just a few with my 12-24.
04-03-2008, 09:47 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by regken Quote
And a whole lot cheaper. Add a M 28mm/3.5 and a M135/3.5 and you are about the same price as the FA 50.
Ayup. Substitute the A-28mm f2.8 in for the M28, and you've got my light kit. Usually, I leave the Vivitar 70-210mm at home- that's one beefy lens.
04-03-2008, 05:28 PM   #15
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I could have sworn I saw the 50mm at adorama.com for less.
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