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03-18-2015, 08:19 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
The difference between 2.4 and 1.8 is almost twice the light for the 1.8.
Just to be clear - a 1 stop difference is twice the light without saying that it seems a bit more than it is. Given the high ISO options in modern DSLR's I find 1 stop to be almost nothing.

---------- Post added 03-18-15 at 11:26 AM ----------
QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
my plan (for the moment and always available for revision) is to buy the DA 50mm f 1.8, which will leave a bit of the budget left to buy wider angle manual prime to play with....
Very rational plan. I like my DA 35 but would not want to use it as my widest prime. I have a DA 15 however. This is why I suggested the DA 21/DA 50 combo as a possibility but the DA 21 is out of budget for now so saving up makes sense. The DA 35 is pretty amazing also so keep it in mind if you go prime crazy. Great review of it here: Pentax DA 35mm F2.4 AL Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews


Last edited by UncleVanya; 03-18-2015 at 08:30 AM.
03-18-2015, 11:50 AM   #32
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Or you could just buy a 28mm , a 35mm , and a 50mm.....buy 3 manual lenses and give it a go ! Probably wouldn't spend over $100 if your very careful on Ebay.
03-18-2015, 12:04 PM   #33
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lol you will want more lenses anyway, just get started.

Of course, FA 31mm ltd is more impressive than DA 35mm f2.4, but it costs a whole bunch more. I don't know of any newbie buying such expensive lenses at the start. We all start with affordable 35mm and 50mm primes, then work our way up as we develop our skills. And yes, FA 35mm f2.0 has a few more features than the DA 35mm f2.4. And the DA 35mm f2.8 macro limited is an amazing lens, with true 1:1 macro capabilities, but even though its price is fair, it is not cheap. DA 35mm f2.4 is the place to start. You can buy it used if you want to save a little more, but you risk getting a less-than-perfect copy. Its good to buy for a reputable source like Keh.com, Adorama, or the Marketplace on these forums.
03-18-2015, 02:05 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
lol you will want more lenses anyway, just get started.

Of course, FA 31mm ltd is more impressive than DA 35mm f2.4, but it costs a whole bunch more. I don't know of any newbie buying such expensive lenses at the start. We all start with affordable 35mm and 50mm primes, then work our way up as we develop our skills. And yes, FA 35mm f2.0 has a few more features than the DA 35mm f2.4. And the DA 35mm f2.8 macro limited is an amazing lens, with true 1:1 macro capabilities, but even though its price is fair, it is not cheap. DA 35mm f2.4 is the place to start. You can buy it used if you want to save a little more, but you risk getting a less-than-perfect copy. Its good to buy for a reputable source like Keh.com, Adorama, or the Marketplace on these forums.
I'm actually more inclined to buy used from a reputable marketplace seller since I trust them to assess if the lens is good or garbage.

03-18-2015, 02:21 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
mostly, yes, but probably not on your level - I shot 35mm film through an Olympus bridge camera for a dozen years before moving to digital with a series of Fuji bridges and point & shoots before my K-50...

budget right now is probably about $200 for my first prime - I don't want to spend a ton to find out that I'm not going to like working with a single focal length...



so, given that and everything that has been shared here (thank you, to all who have contributed), my immediate plan is to buy a 'plastic fantastic' DA 50mm and go from there.... if I like shooting with it, I'll keep an eye out for a longer prime to expand my palette...


I'm not trying to influence your decision but in case you have thought of it, the 35mm is closer to the "normal" perspective of the 50mm on a film camera. The 50mm will give you a narrower field of view and higher magnification. Either way you get a lot of lens for the money and you can't really go wrong. Happy Shooting.
03-18-2015, 02:25 PM   #36
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You could always get a SMC Pentax "F" 35-70 Zoom for about $50 ! I doubt anyone here will argue that its a good lens. Its my latest acquisition and I really really like it ! Plus you get a good pseudo Macro to play with at the 70mm end.....Just a thought
03-18-2015, 02:32 PM   #37
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I've had my K-50 for less time than you, and I purchased a 50mm f1.8 with it. I kinda wish I had got the 35mm instead because I don't find myself needing the 50 very often. It just isn't the right focal length in many cases where I would like to have a bit wider field of view. I'm still glad I have it, as it can do great things, I just haven't really needed it yet. I am planning on doing some portraits though and the large aperture might give me an advantage in blurring the background. We'll see.
03-18-2015, 02:40 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
budget right now is probably about $200 for my first prime - I don't want to spend a ton to find out that I'm not going to like working with a single focal length... so, given that and everything that has been shared here (thank you, to all who have contributed), my immediate plan is to buy a 'plastic fantastic' DA 50mm and go from there.... if I like shooting with it, I'll keep an eye out for a longer prime to expand my palette...
Excellent choice. It has the modern virtues of fast AF and good resistance to flare and CA, coupled with a long optical heritage. Great value. Very good for portraits, and for details. It requires very little correction in PP too, as there is minimal distortion. Someone called it the "poor man's limited" and there is something in that.

If you find you need more width, try a panorama. Plenty of free software to stitch it for you.

I found the sharpness of my first prime (A-50 f1.7) a revelation after using only zooms.

Enjoy.

03-19-2015, 02:49 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I'm actually more inclined to buy used from a reputable marketplace seller since I trust them to assess if the lens is good or garbage.
I am testing out this piece of advice by contacting two sellers in the marketplace......
03-19-2015, 03:14 AM   #40
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Good luck!

Looks like you have plenty of advice already. Just to add my two cents, I think both the DA 35 f2.4 and the DA 50mm f1.8 are nice lenses, particularly considering the prices they are offered for right now. It would probably be worthwhile for you to review photos that you have taken and see what focal lengths you seem to shoot at most. If you are at 18mm all of the time, then maybe you need to look at a wide angle prime down the road. On the other hand you are shooting at the longer end of things, then you need to keep that in mind.

Primes basically give you lenses with faster aperture (let more light in), better sharpness, and smaller size than similar zooms. I find that shooting with one also tends to push you a little more creatively, as you have a lot less tendency to stand in one spot and just zoom in and out. You'll think more about framing and composition with a prime than with a zoom.
03-19-2015, 07:23 AM - 1 Like   #41
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When I went hunting for a couple lenses to fill my prime gaps I grabbed the Samyang 35 and 85 f/1.4's. They're both manual lenses (with 'A' settings), but I mostly shoot old manual stuff anyway so the learning curve is somewhat less for me with them.

I'll go anther route and suggest a good wide range zoom (18-135 pops to mind). Use it for a while, then go back and look at what focal lengths you gravitate to with it, then go for your primes based on that.

Thats why I grabbed the two I did, I tended to shoot 35 and 85(ish) a lot with my zooms, and I lacked primes in those lengths.

As far as lens speed goes, faster tends to be better. This isn't because you want to shoot the things wide open, its because most lenses when stopped down an exposure or two tend to get sharp. This means the 1.4's will be sharp at f/2.0. where that 2.8 will get sharp at f/3.5. That a BIG difference.

Of course the ability to shoot night shots with shorter exposures helps as well. I experienced that just the other night when the aurora decided to show when it was 20 degrees out with gale winds. My Sigma 10-20 f/3.5 failed me because the wind was strong enough to buffet the tripod, and 3.5 was forcing exposure times in the ~15-30 second range.

I popped my 35mm f/1.4 on, same settings save for aperture, and was able to get my sole keeper of the night because the wind ebbed for a moment and I snuck a shot in wide open (f1.4) in under 10 seconds.

Again, lens choice really depends on what you intend to use it for.

Speed isn't everything, unless it is. Weight isn't everything, unless it is. Cost isn't everything, unless it is. Figure out what your needs are, set yourself criteria based on that, then do your hunting around.

Also, don't be afraid to buy old and cheap if you are fence sitting on a lens. See if the focal length works for you, then upgrade. Nothings more annoying then dropping a couple hundred bucks on a lens then winding up keeping it as a paperweight because you discovered you dislike that focal length.

---------- Post added 03-19-15 at 10:28 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Dlanor Sekao Quote
You could always get a SMC Pentax "F" 35-70 Zoom for about $50 ! I doubt anyone here will argue that its a good lens. Its my latest acquisition and I really really like it ! Plus you get a good pseudo Macro to play with at the 70mm end.....Just a thought
Echoing this. That 35-70 is amazing for what looks like a crap short zoom. Its the only zoom I own I'd place the 'stack of primes' label on.

Thats it in the center. For size comparison, thats the kit 18-55 lens far right, and the abovementioned 35mm Samyang (Bower) looming menacingly overhead.

Last edited by Sagitta; 03-19-2015 at 07:31 AM.
03-19-2015, 08:50 AM   #42
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I am considering the Pentax 35-70 lens as a second purchase.... a couple of other lenses have caught my eye as well .....

it's not a prime, but a Tokina 19-35mm lens is my current fascination...
03-19-2015, 08:57 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
I am considering the Pentax 35-70 lens as a second purchase.... a couple of other lenses have caught my eye as well .....

it's not a prime, but a Tokina 19-35mm lens is my current fascination...
That's a good lens...BUT.....Good luck finding one in the USA ! It seems they all moved to Japan !
You will not go wrong with the F 35-70. Its not wide on APS-C but for what it is you simply cannot go wrong. I have 2 and don't plan on selling ever.
The "F" 17-25 and the "F" 24-50 are also very very good but cost much more.......WIDE equates to $$$$ !
03-19-2015, 09:22 AM   #44
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One of the 40mm f2.8 pancakes, if you can find one at a good price, is a worthy consideration. Among other things, it turns your DSLR into an oversize compact, is reasonably fast (certainly no slowpoke), keeps travelling weight down, and makes pulling it out of a camera bag or other confined container and shooting it one-handed a breeze. This will, if nothing else, get you taking more pictures, and it also enables you to use quite small tabletop tripods for timed or remote-release "hands free" shots without the risk of the camera tipping forward. True, it is a bit narrower in APS-C field of view terms than the "standard prime" FOV (30-35mm is better), but its compactness has definite advantages.

If you buy the 40mm f2.8 Limited, you may wish to set aside the unusual screw-on lens cap, fit a basic "plain" filter for protection, and add a pinch cap. This is what I did.

My favourite prime is the 35mm f2.8 Macro, but that's admittedly expensive and I bought it for work, where it's needed. BUT it is a damn good lens.
03-19-2015, 09:53 AM - 1 Like   #45
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MS Ice is a real help. I would recommend it. It can stitch non tripod panos quite easily.
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