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04-28-2008, 07:44 PM   #1
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Another what to buy thread

I am hoping to ask for a pentax dSLR & lenses as part of my wedding registry =)

I don't think my future wife to be will let me buy any lenses(we are both starving students), so whatever I buy now had better keep me happy for a very very long time.

So, for around 1000-1500$, which high quality lenses(primes and or zooms) would you buy to ward off the LBA as long as possible? I am currently thinking of getting the DA 18-250 as a walk around, along with a few primes such as a 50 1.4, 35 2.0, and one more perhaps? Any suggestions?

Oh and I noticed that there are a many 50mm lenses such as the 1.4, 1.7, and a macro 2.8. Most people go for the 1.4 because its cheap and almost as sharp as the other ones correct? Also, to get macro, one has to give up speed of the lense?

Also, I hear about how some lenses are better constructed than others. i.e. limiteds are made of all metal. But realistically, how important is that? will a plastic lens like the 50 1.4 be more prone to *breaking* somehow? Or is "better constructed" just another way of saying "heavier"

a lens like the FA 31mm 1.8 limited is around 800$, while a almost as good FA 30mm 2.0 is 300$. The 30 2.0 shoudl be good enough for all but the most discerning photographer right? Is it worth spending 800$ on that one lense rather than a 30 2.0 with something else?

Also, how good is the 16-50 da* compared to FA or DA primes? Would the 16-50 da* possibly take the place of 2 or 3 primes?

The DA primes are generally slower and smaller lenses than the FA primes correct?

If samsung comes out with a full frame camera and somehow full frame dSLRs become the norm, is it reasonable to say that there is a small chance that any DA lens I buy now might not be able to fit the camera body i'll buy in 10 years? So in that case, I should stick with FA lenses?
How useful will an external flash be?(ok, so that one wasn't a lens question)

04-28-2008, 07:55 PM   #2
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DA* 50-135 f/2.8 -- $750
DA 35 Limited Macro f/2.8 -- $500
Tamron 70-300 LD Di -- $130
DA 18-55 II -- $150

Maybe a bit over your budget, but if you stretch just a little you get a great kit.

Good luck, and congrats on your upcoming wedding!



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04-28-2008, 08:08 PM   #3
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jsherman999 has a good suggstion there. I've owned both the 35mm and the 31mm. The 31 is better in ways that are hard to quantify. But the 35 is an awesome lens on it's own.

But I think jsherman999 missed part of your post. Get a K10D if you can find a new one or a K200D if not.
Then:
DA18-55 II
Tamron 70-300 LG Di (this will give you very good macros at 1:2 ratio)
FA 35mm f2
FA 50mm f1.4

The plastic body of the lens is not a huge issue. The focus collar inside is still metal and the outer polycarbonate shell is tough but just doesn't have the same solid feel to it. It will last a lifetime as well with proper care and use.
04-28-2008, 08:24 PM   #4
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Wow. Too many energy drinks or sup'm...

Sherman & Zack, good suggestions...

Anyway, start learning about lenses and research what focal lengths you'll likely use most often. The lenses people lust after aren't always the best ones for you. Example, the DA 77 limited is a fantastic lens, but I have not desire for it as I would use it to little to justify the price tag.

To help you out:
The lens review database on these boards is a great place to start learning about what lenses are of good quality. You will also observe that there are a few of us who are on a budget and have found gems in the lenses that many others would pass over. The trick is to keep them in their sweet spot, and most often that is the typical use you'll put the glass to anyway - instant WINNER!

Another place to glean some useful information, jcolwell.ca - home

Both those sources I've offered should be considered incomplete. There's always more info out there.

Tip: Most photographers find the best utility in owning a prime in each focal range. One wide, one normal, and a telephoto. The kit lens or a Sigma 18-50 EX are great to have on camera at all times, and a good quality zoom that will take you from 50ish to 200mm or better will be useful to substitute for a bag full of lenses if in a situation where changing lenses frequently isn't convenient. The Pentax kit lens is pretty good as kits go and covers the most needed range. They have even improved the resolution recently with the AL II. It should be the lens of choice until you learn more about your equipment.

On the 50s: The 1.4 is generally considered one of the best, followed closely by the A series 1.7, and only marginally bested by the 1.2. The 1.4 is a great all-round mid range lens. Don't shy away from the 1.7, it is fantastic as well. The A series 50mm f2 is also extremely good above f4 and will produce terrific pictures for very little coin.

In my bag I carry a 20 to 30mm wide (currently a 28mm), a 50mm mid, a 135mm telephoto (wish I had a 90mm or 100mm), and a pair of zooms (one kit lens and one long zoom). So far only the zooms are auto focus. I'm a newspaperman from way back and continue to use some glass that is older than many of the photographers here.

How much you spend on lenses is entirely up to you. I have a few lenses that I've spent $70 on brand spankin' new and made a good living from them. You don't have to spend $800 to get good pictures, and I would suggest you don't go there until you're producing high quality results from a less expensive lens and have become supremely comfortable with your skills.

As for the rest, read, read, read. Here and elsewhere gather all the info you can to make educated choices.

Good luck & congratulations on your impending nuptials.

04-28-2008, 08:42 PM   #5
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i'm relatively new but i read a lot about opinions on equipment

QuoteOriginally posted by fannibal Quote
I am hoping to ask for a pentax dSLR & lenses as part of my wedding registry =)

I don't think my future wife to be will let me buy any lenses(we are both starving students), so whatever I buy now had better keep me happy for a very very long time.
Congrats on getting engaged!

QuoteOriginally posted by fannibal Quote
So, for around 1000-1500$, which high quality lenses(primes and or zooms) would you buy to ward off the LBA as long as possible? I am currently thinking of getting the DA 18-250 as a walk around, along with a few primes such as a 50 1.4, 35 2.0, and one more perhaps? Any suggestions?
it helps if you determine your shooting style and then get the right lenses, not the other way around. i think to honestly ward of LBA, get the best, then you never have to think of what could have been. of course this isn't realistic for most people. pentax doesn't have a poor lens in it's current line up (the lenses shown at Pentax Digital SLR Cameras :: Lenses are all excellent). 18-250 should be an excellent walk around, you can get the 50 1.4 cheap if you grab a Manual Focus one with Stop Down Aperture Priority and can be a great low light lens. however, a 18-250 doesn't exactly ward of LBA because you may outgrow it and wish for better quality in all the different focal length ranges.

QuoteOriginally posted by fannibal Quote
Oh and I noticed that there are a many 50mm lenses such as the 1.4, 1.7, and a macro 2.8. Most people go for the 1.4 because its cheap and almost as sharp as the other ones correct? Also, to get macro, one has to give up speed of the lense?
yes. most macro lenses are slower, at high magnifications, the larger aperture makes the depth of field too thin

QuoteOriginally posted by fannibal Quote
Also, I hear about how some lenses are better constructed than others. i.e. limiteds are made of all metal. But realistically, how important is that? will a plastic lens like the 50 1.4 be more prone to *breaking* somehow? Or is "better constructed" just another way of saying "heavier"
the plastic lenses are constructed quite well, but after using a few metal lenses (which are built like lenses of the past), you'll realize the difference in construction.

QuoteOriginally posted by fannibal Quote
a lens like the FA 31mm 1.8 limited is around 800$, while a almost as good FA 30mm 2.0 is 300$. The 30 2.0 shoudl be good enough for all but the most discerning photographer right? Is it worth spending 800$ on that one lense rather than a 30 2.0 with something else?
if you go to Welcome to Photozone!, they review both lenses, the FA35 is a resolution monster. however, a lot of people have complaints about the rendering. the bokeh on the FA31 is supposed to be some of the best, and it is considered one of the greatest primes for any lens. is it worth $500 extra, depends... i sold my FA35 cuz I wanted metal lenses.

QuoteOriginally posted by fannibal Quote
Also, how good is the 16-50 da* compared to FA or DA primes? Would the 16-50 da* possibly take the place of 2 or 3 primes?

The DA primes are generally slower and smaller lenses than the FA primes correct?
the 16-50 is good if you can find a good sample. should be able to replace a 16, 35, and 50 prime fairly well. however, at the wide angles there will be more distortion than a prime and at the long end, not as fast as a fast 50. DA Limited Primes are slower but very compact. No one makes a smaller series of lenses.

QuoteOriginally posted by fannibal Quote
If samsung comes out with a full frame camera and somehow full frame dSLRs become the norm, is it reasonable to say that there is a small chance that any DA lens I buy now might not be able to fit the camera body i'll buy in 10 years? So in that case, I should stick with FA lenses?
nobody knows for sure, there are rumours of a Samsung K-mount FF body... having FA glass is safer, but you miss out on cool things like new digitally optimized coatings, quick-shift focus, SDM lenses ...

QuoteOriginally posted by fannibal Quote
How useful will an external flash be?(ok, so that one wasn't a lens question)
don't have one
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