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02-04-2014, 02:04 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by ausmoose Quote
Wow! A lot more responses than I was expecting, just overnight! (for me) Thanks to everyone for your suggestions and sample photos - I read through your posts now and I'll look at them more closely later and see what I want. Looks like there's a lot of choice, and thanks for narrowing down my choices slightly. Gazonk - the focal length I'd like would be about 15 maybe? Yes I really want to DA 15ltd but it's way beyond my price range so I'll have to save that one until I have a bigger budget.

Thanks again for some awesome responses! Really appreciate it
The DA 16-45 is slightly wider than your 18-135 and a constant F4. It is usually available for less than $250.

02-04-2014, 02:10 PM   #17
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I am going to second third and fourth the M/50 1.7. Such an amazing piece of glass. Best thing for you to do is keep your eyes on the marketplace here. There are so many good people here selling nice equipment that has been taken care of and you get good prices.
02-04-2014, 02:13 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
The DA 16-45 is slightly wider than your 18-135 and a constant F4. It is usually available for less than $250.
$250 new or used? ($250's a bit out of budget at the moment - maybe a future buy?)

And thanks j2photos for your input too. I do want to get that lens, with all these people recommending it
02-04-2014, 02:17 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by ausmoose Quote
$250 new or used? ($250's a bit out of budget at the moment - maybe a future buy?)

And thanks j2photos for your input too. I do want to get that lens, with all these people recommending it
That's used (KEH price). The 16-45 was discontinued some years ago.

02-04-2014, 02:18 PM - 1 Like   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
That's used (KEH price). The 16-45 was discontinued some years ago.
Ok thanks, it will have to be something to look forward too - I spent all my spare money when I bought my camera in November
02-04-2014, 02:37 PM   #21
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A lot of folks like the F35-70. It can do macro stuff & is under $50 used in the US. I dunno about in Aus though.
02-04-2014, 03:40 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by ausmoose Quote
$250 new or used? ($250's a bit out of budget at the moment - maybe a future buy?)

And thanks j2photos for your input too. I do want to get that lens, with all these people recommending it
One trick that I've found useful if you prowl FleaBay or thrift shops or where ever is to not look for the lens itself, but for a used beater camera that may have the lens attached to it.

I picked up a Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4 for $12 that way. Granted, I don't expect to do that again soon, but it gives an idea of whats out there.

Also, don't limit yourself just to Pentax 50's. The 50mm design was so easy to make and hard to screw up its actually kind of difficult to find a truly bad copy of one unless it was beat to hell after the original purchase way back when. You can actually buy a brand-new 50mm online from a company called Horus Bennu (I think...) that's supposedly as good as any of the vintage ones, and last I looked it was well under a hundred bucks new from China.
02-04-2014, 04:12 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by dansamy Quote
A lot of folks like the F35-70. It can do macro stuff & is under $50 used in the US. I dunno about in Aus though.
It's cheap in Europe too, and well worth it. It was the kit lens for the SF7/SF10 and can often be found on used bodies (those aren't exactly in high demand).


regards
Jan

02-04-2014, 04:20 PM   #24
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Good luck on your hunt for inexpensive M series glass. If you don't mind the extra effort of manual focusing and no AE they can produce some good results with some time and effort. I have a lot of M series lenses from my film days. I liked them so much I just can't seem to let them go. I any case the old M 400/5.6 is my personal favourite and currently most used M series lens. I find it works well for birding. I wrote a review on this lens which covered my learning curve with it for a little over a year.

SMC Pentax-M 400mm F5.6 Reviews - M Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

If you are interested in an entry level lens for birding you won't do much better than this one. The 400mm focal length is, in my opinion, entry level for a birding lenes. Yes you can get good shots with shorter lenses but you have to work a lot hard to get close to your subject. At 400mm you will have enough reach to get shots just not possible with a shorter lens. While this lens isn't inexpensive it is by super telephoto standards. Keep your eyes open for one. They show up from time to time for under $300.00.

Tom G
02-04-2014, 06:44 PM   #25
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I'm not seeing the appeal of the M vs. A lenses, except the undeniably more physically appealing construction of the Ms. The As are definitely more convenient to use - particularly if you don't always use maximum aperture. And if the cost differential isn't that much, F lenses are certainly preferable to A, although usually in the oft-cited 50mm cases, the cost jump is greater from A to F than from M to A.
02-04-2014, 06:53 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
I'm not seeing the appeal of the M vs. A lenses, except the undeniably more physically appealing construction of the Ms. The As are definitely more convenient to use - particularly if you don't always use maximum aperture. And if the cost differential isn't that much, F lenses are certainly preferable to A, although usually in the oft-cited 50mm cases, the cost jump is greater from A to F than from M to A.

In my experience the M lenses produce better quality pictures than the A lenses. Also the build quality of an M lens more often than not is better than an A lens. A lenses feel plasticy. Turning an aperture ring doesnt bother me at all.

Last edited by j2photos; 02-04-2014 at 07:04 PM.
02-04-2014, 06:59 PM   #27
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I've had quite good luck with Quantaray, which is generally Sigmas rebadged (though sometimes Tamrons or others). I'm among many here who really like their 28-90mm 1:2 macro lens, often available via auction for well under $50us - I think mine was about $30. I also like their old 100-300mm f/4.5-6.7, pretty slow at the long end but focuses faster than the DA 55-300 with enough light. Few people deliberately seek out Quantaray, so bidding or buying can be more relaxing than big brands!

quantaray reviews on pentax forums
02-04-2014, 07:20 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by j2photos Quote
In my experience the M lenses produce better quality pictures than the A lenses. Also the build quality of an M lens more often than not is better than an A lens. A lenses feel plasticy. Turning an aperture ring doesnt bother me at all.
As I said in my post the Ms are undeniably more physically appealing (as are the old screw-mount Takumars), but I'm not aware of them having better optical quality. There might be specific example, of course - does anyone have any?
02-04-2014, 07:28 PM   #29
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I dont think I have a side by side comparison but my M50 1.7 was optically superior to my A50 1.7 leading me to sell the A variant.
02-04-2014, 07:39 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by j2photos Quote
I dont think I have a side by side comparison but my M50 1.7 was optically superior to my A50 1.7 leading me to sell the A variant.
M, A, F, FA, all the same optically.

Aperture automation adds several benefits, like flash automation. The F and FA add autofocus and have a recessed front element, practically a built-in lens hood. The FA also adds the MTF program line in Hyper-Program mode.

Last edited by boriscleto; 02-04-2014 at 07:44 PM.
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