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12-10-2013, 08:17 AM   #1
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Lenses - The Cheaper Eight's and Nine's

I'm new around here, and new to the Pentax line, and not very experienced with DSLR's in general, so I've been doing some research. And I came up with this list of lenses called, "The Cheaper Eights And Nines." The lenses on this list are less expensive autofocus lenses that have received an average user rating of 8.00 and up. I set up automated searches for them on eBay. So far, I've found that, in many instances, the forum's average price is quite a bit less than what they're actually asking for or selling for on eBay. I've also noticed that in general the autofocus primes cost more than zooms. Also, many of the used lenses on the list seem to be offered by sellers in Asia, especially Japan. Is this because Pentax is more popular there? I just figure if any of these lenses pops up used and in good shape on eBay I should give it a closer look. But by no means am I talking about buying all of them! LOL

I've noticed that quite a few of the older F and FA lenses still command very high prices. A couple of them still cost $1,000 bucks or more, used. I was hoping to find an older, longer, high-quality lens on the cheap, but it doesn't look like that will be possible!

Regarding manual focus primes, it looks like it would be quicker and easier just to make a list of the ones to avoid! They all seem well-regarded, for the most part.

If you think any of these less expensive autofocus lenses are not in fact good options, or you have any thoughts or suggestions to add, I'd sure like to hear from you!


THE CHEAPER EIGHTS AND NINES (PENTAX AF LENSES, AVERAGE USED PRICE, AVERAGE USER RATING OF 8+)

(Bold Type = 9+ Rating)

$215 F 28mm f/2.8 - 9.38 (Note: how does this lens compare with the similarly priced used but much newer DA 35mm f/2.4?)
$148 F 50mm f/1.7 - 9.18
$146 F 24-50mm - 9.17 (Note: Is this lens really superior to the used DA 16-45 f/4 I just bought for $158?)
$44 F 35-70mm - 8.73 (A great many of these are for sale - why?)
$73 F 35-105mm - 8.43 (None found)
$74 F 35-135mm - 8.40 (None found)
$105 F 70-210mm - 8.45 (Note: This lens is significantly better rated than the DA 50-200, but not really any cheaper)


$197 FA 28mm f/2.8 AL - 8.87
$83 FA 28-70mm f/4 AL - 8.32
$118 FA 28-105mm - 8.64 (Note: Is this a good, less expensive alternate to the 17-70 and 18-135?)
$27 FA 35-80 - 8.27 (Evidently this is the cheapest lens to receive an 8+ rating!)
$197 FA 50mm f/1.7 - 9.65
$244 FA 50mm f/1.4 - 8.87 (Note: Is this lens really inferior to the FA 50mm f/1.7?)
$157 FA 100mm f/3.5 Macro - 8.63 (Note: Is this a rare lens? None found anywhere. I'm thinking it might be a cheap alternative to the DA 100mm macro.)
$107 FA 100-300mm f/4.7-5.8 - 8.71


It appears that some of the most current lenses are the best value, despite their greater cost. I also included the D FA 100mm in the list because as far as I can tell it seems to be the best rated, lowest priced used long prime. Suggestions to the contrary would be welcome!


$180 DA 35mm f/2.4 AL - 9.10
$324 DA 40mm F/2.8 Limited - 9.64 (Note: Will 40mm "XS" version work with K-5?)
$206 DA 50mm f/1.8 - 9.08 (Why bother with the F or FA equivalent?)
$325 DA 55-300mm - 8.64
$468 DA 55-300mm WR - 9.00 (Is the WR version really $150 bucks better than its predecessor?)

$319 D FA 50 f/2.8 Macro - 8.94
$445 D FA 100 f/2.8 Macro - 9.11


Did I miss any good ones? How do the older lenses hold up over time, assuming their previous owners took decent care of them? What's your oldest lens? Has it ever required repairs or adjustments? Do used Pentax lenses often need "re-calibrating" or whatever?


Thanks for giving this list a look and for any thoughts you might like to share!



Last edited by DavidSKAF3; 12-10-2013 at 08:12 PM.
12-10-2013, 08:38 AM   #2
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All those lenses have a good rendering, and are around the most used focal lenght too, in day to day life.

In fact, the real determining factor is YOU and your photographic style and use.

The lenses that you'll choose have to answer a need (otherwise i'll have trouble with LBA - lens buying addiction, which is baaaaaad for the wallet and / or your wife :P ). Look at what you shoot regularly and what you enjoy shooting and buy lenses that will help you in that.

My 2cents.

cheers !
12-10-2013, 08:40 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by aurele Quote
All those lenses have a good rendering, and are around the most used focal lenght too, in day to day life.

In fact, the real determining factor is YOU and your photographic style and use.

The lenses that you'll choose have to answer a need (otherwise i'll have trouble with LBA - lens buying addiction, which is baaaaaad for the wallet and / or your wife :P ). Look at what you shoot regularly and what you enjoy shooting and buy lenses that will help you in that.

My 2cents.

cheers !

Well, I'm just waiting to see which of these lenses pops up used, not planning to buy all of them! LOL Maybe I should point that out!
12-10-2013, 10:15 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by davids8560 Quote
$44 F 35-70mm - 8.73 (A great many of these are for sale - why?)

$324 DA 40mm F/2.8 Limited - 9.64 (Note: Will 40mm "XS" version work with K-5?)
$206 DA 50mm f/1.8 - 9.08 (Why bother with the F or FA equivalent?)

$468 DA 55-300mm WR - 9.00 (Is the WR version really $150 bucks better than its predecessor?)
1. Because it was the kit lens for the SF series. Many were also bought for use with the P series and K1000.
2. Yes the XS will work with the K-5, but it does not have the Lmtd build quality and it does not have a hood. It also has an odd filter thread diameter.
3. Aperture ring. Also, I got my FA for $100 along with a PZ-10 and Tamron 28-200...
4. It also has HD coating. I'm torn about this lens. I've always said they can take my DA L when they pry it from my cold dead hands, or they release a WR version. But I think I'll have my LX CLA'd first. Street price will come down as well eventually.

12-10-2013, 10:19 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
1. Because it was the kit lens for the SF series. Many were also bought for use with the P series and K1000.
2. Yes the XS will work with the K-5, but it does not have the Lmtd build quality and it does not have a hood. It also has an odd filter thread diameter.
3. Aperture ring. Also, I got my FA for $100 along with a PZ-10 and Tamron 28-200...
4. It also has HD coating. I'm torn about this lens. I've always said they can take my DA L when they pry it from my cold dead hands, or they release a WR version. But I think I'll have my LX CLA'd first. Street price will come down as well eventually.

Thanks for your reply! Can you tell me more about what you mean #3, Aperture Ring?


Thanks!
12-10-2013, 10:55 AM   #6
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In no particular order..

The latest coatings are so much better, many older lenses are as sharp but flare can be a problem.
People here have been begging for a 55-300WR for years, so it's worth .5 points just to know it's available!
The FA100/3.5 appears to be a clone of the Cosina/Promaster so it's out there, but more readliy available in off-brands.
I've had several 50-200s and liked them more than 8,45 worth; their problem is the 55-300 is enough better to cast a big shadow.
12-10-2013, 11:01 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by davids8560 Quote
Thanks for your reply! Can you tell me more about what you mean #3, Aperture Ring?


Thanks!
The F & FA have an aperture ring . The DA doesn't. This doesn't mean much if you are only using a DSLR, but older film bodies that don't control the aperture can't use the DA. There are also some who prefer to use the aperture ring in M mode. Old timers set in their ways and opposed to change...
12-10-2013, 11:26 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by davids8560 Quote
So far, I've found that, in many instances, the forum's average price is quite a bit less than what they're actually asking for or selling for on eBay.
Seven years ago, I bought my Pentax-F 50mm f1.7 attached to a K1000 with a flash and accessories, total price $70 including shipping. I sold the K1000 for $50, the flash is in a drawer somewhere. My real outlay doesn't represent today's market price at all. Some people include the "amazing true deal" price in their review, some people don't, and the numbers get skewed.

The ratings aren't perfect. Cheaper lenses rate high for value. Lenses with no current equivalent rate high because there's no comparison. Read the comments for a better idea. In some cases, you have to buy the lens and see for yourself.

Most of the lenses I did not like were not because of image or build quality. The focal lengths did not work for me. I had five or six zooms lenses in the 28mm to 135mm range before finally figuring out I didn't want that focal length range in a zoom.

If you buy at a reasonable price, you can sell at a reasonable price and chalk up small losses to learning.

QuoteQuote:
$157 FA 100mm f/3.5 Macro - 8.63 (Note: Is this a rare lens? None found anywhere)
It's one of a handful of lenses designed and built by someone else, in this case Cosina. It's also sold as a Vivitar, Phoenix, maybe other names. There are manual focus versions and versions for other systems. The lens body is extremely plastic and it feels like it, but optical quality is pretty good.

12-10-2013, 11:41 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
Some people include the "amazing true deal" price in their review, some people don't, and the numbers get skewed.

The ratings aren't perfect. Cheaper lenses rate high for value. Lenses with no current equivalent rate high because there's no comparison. Read the comments for a better idea. In some cases, you have to buy the lens and see for yourself.
I got my FA 28-105 (PZ) for $57 shipped with a broken Z-1. My F 35-135 was $75 with a P-30T and some flashes. This would certainly affect my rating if I were to do a review, but so would the fact that both lenses have produced PPG photos.

The 35-135 is good for video as well. It is a parfocal lens.

The 24-50 is a lens that I have coveted for a long time. I've just never found a good price on one.
12-10-2013, 11:54 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I got my FA 28-105 (PZ) for $57 shipped with a broken Z-1. My F 35-135 was $75 with a P-30T and some flashes. This would certainly affect my rating if I were to do a review, but so would the fact that both lenses have produced PPG photos.

The 35-135 is good for video as well. It is a parfocal lens.

The 24-50 is a lens that I have coveted for a long time. I've just never found a good price on one.


Thanks again for your feedback!


What is PPG? What is parfocal?


Dave
12-10-2013, 12:01 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
It's one of a handful of lenses designed and built by someone else, in this case Cosina. It's also sold as a Vivitar, Phoenix, maybe other names. There are manual focus versions and versions for other systems. The lens body is extremely plastic and it feels like it, but optical quality is pretty good.

Hmm. Should I set up an eBay search to say something like Cosina Phoenix Vivitar Pentax 100 f/3.5?
12-10-2013, 12:02 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by davids8560 Quote
Thanks again for your feedback!


What is PPG? What is parfocal?


Dave
PPG is the Pentax Photo Gallery.

PENTAX : Welcome to the PENTAX Photo Gallery

Parfocal means the focus stays the same when you zoom. Most zoom lenses are varifocal, the focus changes when you zoom.
12-10-2013, 12:12 PM   #13
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Be very careful about price from the database. It's often not representative of real market value (which can fluctuate). some people get their lenses really really cheap. for that reason, when I get the lens too cheap, I don't put the price so as not to skew the info.
12-10-2013, 01:43 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by davids8560 Quote
$44 F 35-70mm - 8.73 (A great many of these are for sale - why?)
$73 F 35-105mm - 8.43 (None found)
$74 F 35-135mm - 8.40 (None found)
Those other lenses are considerably rarer than the F 35-70. I have the F 35-135. I do not believe you can find either of those lense for that price. I paid a little over $100 for it, and it is an excellent lens, every bit as good as the F 35-70. The F 35-70 and F 35-135 I have both really shine with a hood, which is often harder to find, at least in Pentax brand.

QuoteOriginally posted by davids8560 Quote
$325 DA 55-300mm - 8.64
$468 DA 55-300mm WR - 9.00 (Is the WR version really $150 bucks better than its predecessor?)
Since a lot of people are using the DA 55-300 for birding, the answer for most is going to be "YES!". Throw in the new coatings, and I bet you got a top-selling lens. I know I'd like one to replace my DA L 55-300. However, you could throw the DA L 55-300 on there too - its exactly the same lens as the DA 55-300, just with a plastic mount, which makes it much cheaper.
12-12-2013, 03:02 PM   #15
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Just an update here to anyone interested:


After compiling this little list, I found and then went ahead and bid on and won a used Pentax-FA 28-105mm power zoom lens for $67.77 USD yesterday. I really feel like I took a chance on this one, because the seller did not provide any photos of the front and rear elements. The glass could be all scratched up and full of fungus, for all I know! I hope not! The seller has a 100% positive rating though. So it just remains to be seen now. LOL


The seller also had the FA 100-300 lens for sale, but nobody bid on it.


So I'm still looking for a prime and a longer lens to go into my budget minded newbie kit!

Last edited by DavidSKAF3; 12-12-2013 at 08:01 PM.
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