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04-05-2008, 11:32 AM   #1
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The Ultimate IQ for $$$ line-up

Hello,

I am just a modest receptionist in a small hotel but i am starting to be pretty passionate about taking photos.
Anyways, i am starting to get the bad habit of wanting to buy lenses all the time. Since I am broke, i have been trying to read as much as possible in order to figure out a lens lineup that would cover most situations, have very good IQ, and be pretty cheap.

Here is what i have figured out so far:

Pentax M 50mm f1.7 as normal prime (this is the only one i have so far)
Zenitar 16mm f2.8 fisheye for wide angle
Pentax A 28mm f2.8 for something in between the two others
Vivitar Series 1 105mm f2.5 Macro for macro purposes (if i can find one which doesn't look that easy)
and for moderate telephoto (70-80ish range) i am kinda out of guess. I was thinking about putting a limited lense here because i am dreaming of them (one day the 77 will be mine), but maybe i can find something with comparable IQ and a more reasonable pricetag.
Maybe there is some good cheap zoom out there, but i don't think that it is a priority.

What are your thoughts on the problem? Do you find this lineup appropriate?

I know there are some better lenses out there and sometimes i am going to want some AF, but you know, i have to make the best out of what i've got, which is not much.


Last edited by deudeu; 04-05-2008 at 12:36 PM. Reason: mispelled
04-05-2008, 11:39 AM   #2
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in terms of buying lenses, there's no rush to go out there and get them all at once. grab the focal length that you'll use the most and then slowly figure out what you need instead of buying lenses first and changing your style to fit the lenses

the Vivtar Series 1 105mm is not particularly cheap (strictly in terms of price)
might want to add the kit lens on your list ... for about $50, it delivers very good value and you can use it as a backup when you need AF
04-05-2008, 11:48 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
in terms of buying lenses, there's no rush to go out there and get them all at once. grab the focal length that you'll use the most and then slowly figure out what you need instead of buying lenses first and changing your style to fit the lenses

the Vivtar Series 1 105mm is not particularly cheap (strictly in terms of price)
might want to add the kit lens on your list ... for about $50, it delivers very good value and you can use it as a backup when you need AF
I know, i am not really in a hurry. Though i am planing on traveling next year and i would like to have a pretty complete line-up by then.
The order i have listed them is the order i am going to be looking for them. The only difference is that i will most likely buy something in the 70mm range before the macro.

I do have the kit lens. it's alright...
04-05-2008, 11:54 AM   #4
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the vivitar macro has the same optical formula as the kiron and lester dine macros to help broaden your search.

04-05-2008, 12:09 PM   #5
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I would prefer a 50/1.4 over a 50/1.7. Always get the faster lens that you can afford. Since you're just starting out, I would suggest you to go slow. The kit lens is definitely a good starting point.
04-05-2008, 12:34 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by aegisphan Quote
I would prefer a 50/1.4 over a 50/1.7. Always get the faster lens that you can afford. Since you're just starting out, I would suggest you to go slow. The kit lens is definitely a good starting point.
I already got the 50/1.7, the 1.4 is more than twice as expensive (still cheap but you know...).
The kit lens is alright, though i feel pretty limited. I found it too slow, that's why i went for the 50 prime.
Now i just need something wide. The kit lens is just too soft from 18mm to 25mm. This explains the Zenitar choice.
I don't actually need the 28/2.8 since the Kit lens does okay at the focal length. But i figured i could get much better IQ for not much money.
What I will really need is something in the 70mm-90mm range. Any idea on something cheap and with good IQ (i don't care if it's all manual)?

Oh, and i am in no hurry. I just want to have an idea of what to look for, just in case i find a bargain.

Last edited by deudeu; 04-05-2008 at 12:42 PM.
04-05-2008, 01:14 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by deudeu Quote

Oh, and i am in no hurry. I just want to have an idea of what to look for, just in case i find a bargain.
Primes:
M28/3.5- M100/2.8- A or M200/4
Zooms
A35-105/3.5- A or M 70-210/4

$150 would be to much for any of them. The zooms will give you an OK macro lens.
04-05-2008, 01:52 PM   #8
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For your macro solution:

Cheapest:
  • For 1:1 or greater magnification: Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7 on Bellows-K
  • For up to 1:1 magnification: Pentax or Sigma 50mm f/2.8 Macro
  • For up to 1:1 magnification: Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7 on extension tubes

More money:
  • Tamron 90mm (1:1 versions)
  • Vivitar Series 1 100mm Macro


For your tele needs:

Moderate tele prime:
  • MC Jupiter-9 85mm f/2 (ponderous to use, but great IQ)
  • Pentax-M 100mm f/2.8

Moderate tele zoom:
  • Pentax-M (or A) 70-210 f/4
  • Vivitar Series I 70-210 (all except for Cosina versions)

Longer tele prime:
  • Pentax-M (or A) 200mm f/4



Last edited by stevebrot; 04-05-2008 at 02:01 PM.
04-05-2008, 03:05 PM   #9
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Another option for your macro need is just use reverse ring with your 50mm and you will get 1:1 macro.

I would recommend M28/3.5 too, IMHO, it is a better lens than the A28/2.8 though not as fast. Or if you want something wide, there were a couple K24/2.8 for sale in the Marketplace last week, not sure if they are still available.

If you don't mind the weight, A70-210/4 is an excellent lens to own. Otherwise either M100/2.8 or M135/3.5.

For something longer, have a look at M150/3.5 or M200/4. Both are excellent.

cheers
Kenny
04-05-2008, 04:22 PM   #10
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Agree with Kenny & many here - best bang for buck, if you don't mind manual:

Zenitar 16mm or M 28 f/2.8
M 50 f/1.7 (you have)
M 135 f/3.5
M 200 f/4

Excellent, sharp lenses for not too much $.

You could become a very good photographer using just that lineup for years, IMO.

Getting the expensive DA* and limited glass is nice, but some of the funnest times I've had with photography was finding and getting proficient with used M & A manual lenses. Part of what makes Pentax.... Pentax.

If you do want to spring for some AF, the FA 50 f/1.4 ($195 USD) is sensational.


.
04-05-2008, 05:09 PM   #11
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For value, you can't beat Russian glass. The Jupiter-9 85/2 as suggested by Steve, but also the Jupiter-11 135/4, the Tair-3 300/4.5, and so many others...

The Tamron Adaptall lenses are also great (especially the SP series) and used to be cheap, but the increasing demand has driven the prices up -- and the Pentax FA adapter is becoming more expensive than most Tamron Adaptall lenses. There are still some bargains: 28/2.5 wide angle, 135/2.5 compact close-up telephoto, 35-80/2.8-3.8 SP zoom, 60-300/3.8-5.4 SP zoom, etc...

Cheers!

Abbazz
04-06-2008, 11:14 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Abbazz Quote
For value, you can't beat Russian glass. The Jupiter-9 85/2 as suggested by Steve, but also the Jupiter-11 135/4, the Tair-3 300/4.5, and so many others...

The Tamron Adaptall lenses are also great (especially the SP series) and used to be cheap, but the increasing demand has driven the prices up -- and the Pentax FA adapter is becoming more expensive than most Tamron Adaptall lenses. There are still some bargains: 28/2.5 wide angle, 135/2.5 compact close-up telephoto, 35-80/2.8-3.8 SP zoom, 60-300/3.8-5.4 SP zoom, etc...

Cheers!

Abbazz
I did not include any wide-angle solutions on my previous posting, but I have to second the suggestion on the Tamron 28mm f/2.5. I own that lens and it was my main tool for landscapes on 35mm for the 25 years I was shooting only film. Low distortion, sharp, good contrast and color rendition...What more could you ask for? Oh, did I mention that it is compact and light and currently pretty cheap to pick up?

The only bind is the Adaptall-2 mount. I am currently using the PK (non-A) version which is still cheap and can often be purchased as NOS at your local camera shop. The prices for the PK/A version have gone through the roof.

Steve
04-07-2008, 01:11 AM   #13
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What about this kit:

1. Sigma or Tamron 28-70mm f/2.8. Fast lens, good walk around and portrait lens. Primes are better but more expansive if you want to cover a lot of focal ranges.

2. Cheap thyristor flash.

3. Sigma or Tamron 70-300mm for telephoto and macro.

4. Kit lens for wide angle.

5. Fast 50 for low light.


If I'd start allover from the beginning I'd keep this sequence.
04-07-2008, 10:27 AM   #14
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Ditto what Deni said.
I chose the Tammy 28-75 for it's apparent IQ and the little extra on the long end. Was perfectly happy in my choice.
Recently added the Tammy 70-300 he also mantioned but haven't had a lot of fun out with it as of yet since ol' man Winter is just breezing out of here this week - or so it seems. (knock on wood)
04-07-2008, 12:23 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deni Quote
4. Kit lens for wide angle.
I am actually pretty unimpressed with this lens on the wide end. A bit soft...

I am going to check out some sample pictures of the 28-70s right away!
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