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02-05-2014, 01:39 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Truth in advertising here, when you recommend an older lens, tell us what's been improved since it was released. Assuming a guy happy with a DA 18-135 with it's quick silent AF, correction for CA and fringing is going to be happy with an M series lens, might be a bit of a reach.
I also manual focus, so I am used to that.

02-05-2014, 01:45 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Having a few M and A lenses, I have to say.. "I wouldn't use an M or A lens unless I couldn't get an AF lens", is a perfectly understandable opinion. AF is a wonderful thing. There are times with small birds when I have to take the A-400 off the camera and shoot with the much shorter 60-250, because the choice is AF or no images, because I can't lock focus as fast as the AF system does. When these kinds of conversations degenerate into endless discussions on the values of non-AF lenses, it can become a little pointless.

Our one F lens, an F-80-210, shakes the whole camera when the AF comes to a stop, and practically rips the camera out of your hand. All these older lenses can suffer from purple fringing and uncontrolled CA. It's nice having a few non AF lenses around, but I certainly wouldn't recommend getting them first.

Truth in advertising here, when you recommend an older lens, tell us what's been improved since it was released. Assuming a guy happy with a DA 18-135 with it's quick silent AF, correction for CA and fringing is going to be happy with an M series lens, might be a bit of a reach.

How could you not be happy with an M lens? Isnt the point of this to get a good photo? Many of the M lenses are far superior to what we can buy today (optical quality) Why would you rely solely on AF when we all know that there can be front focus and back focus issues involved with AF sysetms, wouldnt you much rather rely on yourself to focus it? We have not always had AF. Once you get REALLY used to a MF lens its hard to go back to AF because you dont want to leave the mistakes up to the camera.

I dont know about you, but in the end I want a good picture and I am going to go with whatever lens fits my situation that will give me the best photo, be it auto focus or not.

Last edited by j2photos; 02-05-2014 at 01:53 PM.
02-05-2014, 01:46 PM   #48
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Was a 50mm just so stupid simple to make & impossible to screw up that everybody made at least 2?
02-05-2014, 01:46 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
And I sold the M because I had acquired an Auto Sears MC 50/1.7 (Chinon clone), that I considered to be just as good, and had 2 A 50/1.7s and an A 50/1.4.

I also have a FA 50/1.7 and another M 50/1.7 somehow found its way into my collection (I seem to remember it was attached to a KX and the two only cost $25)...

Not quite perfect because the focus points are different...

Sears @ 1.7 & 2.8
Attachment 205407

Attachment 205408

Pentax A
Attachment 205409

Attachment 205410

Pentax M
Attachment 205411

Attachment 205412
Thanks for all these example photos. Really appreciate it. The different lenses all seem to produce similar results, at least when I look at the photos.

02-05-2014, 01:50 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by ausmoose Quote
I also manual focus, so I am used to that.
People pay for AF for a reason. Is that less confusing?
02-05-2014, 01:56 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
People pay for AF for a reason. Is that less confusing?
Ok. It just seems a lot of people are happy with their MF lenses, and if it's cheap enough, I'm more than happy to give one/multiple a try.
02-05-2014, 02:01 PM - 1 Like   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by dansamy Quote
Was a 50mm just so stupid simple to make & impossible to screw up that everybody made at least 2?
I think that is correct, When I used to refurbish them the M and A series were so easy to get apart and clean. Just a simple simple design.
02-05-2014, 02:24 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by ausmoose Quote
Ok. It just seems a lot of people are happy with their MF lenses, and if it's cheap enough, I'm more than happy to give one/multiple a try.
Some of us don't see well enough to do a lot of MF work. I've been in the -5.xx for at least a decade. In another 5 years or so, I'll be hitting bifocals.

02-05-2014, 02:32 PM - 1 Like   #54
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There is also the "I don't want to screw around manually focusing this crap" factor.

This is one reason why when I'm off with the kids I have at the very least an A and in most cases an AF on my camera. Sometimes you need less thinking and more "let the camera deal with it" speed going on.
02-05-2014, 04:56 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
I can't believe no one mentioned the F 35-70 Macro zoom. For Under $40 it's sharp, fast auto focus, and fun to use. Check out the review here. SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5 Reviews - F Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
I totally agree about the F35-70. I bought mine for 50 last year - very sharp and excellent colours. Another hidden gem is the FA80-320. I found one for 80 last year and have used it a lot for sports - just this evening I took night-time pictures without flash (very high ISO!) with great results. You might consider the A-lens as an easier to use version of the M lenses.
02-05-2014, 10:58 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by ausmoose Quote
Ok, so I've only got one lens at the moment (18-135) and would like to get another one/some more. I'm on a very tight budget so can't get anything fancy, and the M series seems to suit my needs since it seems you can get them fairly cheap second hand.

I'd like:

A macro lens
A landscape lens (yeah I'm kidding myself these are way too expensive)
A portrait lens
A wildlife lens (kidding myself again since these are SUPER expensive, but it would be nice)

So, any recommendations for good, cheap lenses and where I can buy them from? Australia has less options than somewhere like the US, but I've searched a little on the forums buying area and on eBay Australia. Are there any really amazing M lenses that people can recommend for me? Doesn't really matter if they don't really fit the above categories (which are pretty much the whole range anyway). Thanks SO much

Macro lens - any MF macro lens (Vivitar 55/2.8 macro is very good)
Landscape (or rather Wide angle ) - On a budget, stick to the kit lens (or your 18-135); else DA16-45; a bit more then just get a used Sigma 10-20
Portrait lens (or likely short tele) - Samyang 85/1.4 (if you can do MF and don't mind size); Any 85mm f1.8, f1.9; f2
The 18-135 at the longer side does fine too imo.
Else, any fast 50mm.
Wildlife (or long lens) - DA55-300 (but not going to be a serious lens for this imho)
02-06-2014, 09:21 AM   #57
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This is a very interesting thread that I'm paying attention to, as I'm in a similar situation - always trying to find a way to get better images without spending much
I have some sub-100 dollar suggestions, based on my limited experience....

QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
A macro lens
A landscape lens (yeah I'm kidding myself these are way too expensive)
A portrait lens
A wildlife lens (kidding myself again since these are SUPER expensive, but it would be nice)
For macro (or semi-macro), I have a 52mm Sigma Achromatic Macro lens that I can attach to my Rikenon XR 50mm f/1.4, or my SMC-A 135mm f/2.8 - depending on the magnification I'm looking for. My Pentax AF280T flash that tilts down is a definite help for closeups! I'm sure most people here have much nicer close-up setups, but mine was cheap (both the flash and the Sigma Achromatic Macro lens were given to me, and can be found very cheaply on Ebay anyway). The kit lens (18-55) has a 52mm filter size as well, so I'm going to try the Achromatic lens with it at some point, as well. I just haven't had time yet.
Achromatic lenses have advantages over extension tubes (you don't lose much light), and disadvantages (supposed to be slightly less sharp, though to me honestly that hasn't been an issue - with the 50mm in particular it's been super sharp with the lens at f/11).

For cheap landscape (under 100 dollars), the Pentax DA 18-55mm (except the first version) is the best bet. It works nicely at around 22-28mm, stopped down to around f/8, and then you can always enhance contrast in PP. If you need wider than 18 then budget is out of the question - the most reasonable price would probably be on the old Pentax DA 16-45 f4 - sharp corner to corner and good colors, which is what you need for landscape, but it sells for over 200.

For portraits, like most people said, the cheap 50mm lenses will do fine. It's hard to find a bad 50mm Pentax, but the M 50 1.7 is of course very cheap and highly recommended, so you can't go wrong with that. I love mine.
But I'd also like to add the kit lens as a viable portrait option. As I've said in another thread, I've taken some excellent portraits of my wife when we were out on vacation, and I was surprised when I saw that I had used the 18-55! I think that around the 40-50mm range, this lens really excells. Of course it needs a lot of light and it needs to be stopped down - so no artistic, blurred background shots. But good portraits still. It can also give good results at home with a flash bounced on the ceiling, it can also work very well, but I usually end up using my DA 35 2.4 for those kinds of shots since I got that.

For wildlife, if you are mostly going to go out during daylight hours, and don't mind a slow lens - the Pentax FA 100-300mm f/4.7-5.8 has a lot of fans, and can be had for around 100 dollars. Sigma and Tamron make 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 lenses but each has its problems - the Sigma is a bit soft at the tele end, and the Tamron, while being sharper, has a lot more Chromatic Aberrations (CA). Both sell very cheaply though, as low as 50-60 dollars sometimes, which makes them very tempting to just try out, and sell if you don't like them.
02-06-2014, 12:32 PM   #58
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I am still looking for a super wide angle lens but... I still use my kit 18-55 and old Pentax 50mm f2 and Cosina 200mm f4 at times when I am feeling nostalgic.

I went online and found a new Tamron 28-75 F2.8 for about $300-350...

Photo
Photo
Photo


Found a used Sigma 170-500 APO DF for about the same at a camera store for about $300. I had some focusing issues but the in camera tweaking helped improve my photos. Its a long lens, and seems to work best at F8.

Photo taken after I tweaked my focusing in camera
photo

Before I realized I had an issue..
First photo with lens
Photo
Photo
Photo

Me being a photo newb I feel these lenses work great for what I use them for most of the time.
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