Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-20-2016, 03:22 PM   #1
Forum Member




Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 57
Get car show lens on a tight budget or use owned one?

Hey all, I've picked up tickets to an outdoor car show in St. Petersburg, FL in April, and I will only be able to bring one (maybe two) lens with me when I go. I have no idea what to expect in terms of layout, but since it's a city setting, I'm expecting it'll be mostly cars lined up in rows or parked on the streets. I'm looking for suggestions on what I should bring, or if I should consider buying a cheap prime (new or used). I have the following lenses:

- Pentax DA 18-135mm WR
- Pentax F 35-70mm "macro" lens (has a macro setting, but not a true macro in terms of max magnification)
- Minolta MD Celtic 28mm f2.8 prime (Never really tested this one thoroughly, but aperture doesn't work right on the adapter I have, so I'd have to stick to one setting all day)
- Pentax FA 80-320mm - a REALLY bad choice for up close but I'm including this for completion

So I was thinking potentially the 18-135mm just because it goes to a wide angle (plus weather sealing is nice in case it rains), but I was also considering buying a cheap prime (~$150). Would something in that price range have a better quality than the 18-135mm zoom? If so, can anyone suggest one? I'm not 100% against MF, but I would prefer AF, and also something that doesn't require an adapter.


Last edited by fullmental; 02-20-2016 at 03:35 PM.
02-20-2016, 03:39 PM   #2
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
jatrax's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Washington Cascades
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,337
QuoteOriginally posted by fullmental Quote
Would something in that price range have a better quality than the 18-135mm zoom?
In short, no. The 18-135 is not perfect but it is very good, and certainly better than anything you will get for that budget, except possibly some manual focus primes.

Take a look at the Samyang UWA lenses. You might find something there that would work.
02-20-2016, 03:45 PM   #3
Forum Member




Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 57
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
In short, no. The 18-135 is not perfect but it is very good, and certainly better than anything you will get for that budget, except possibly some manual focus primes.

Take a look at the Samyang UWA lenses. You might find something there that would work.
Hmm, I guess that's what I expected to hear. I was able to find an okay-looking Vivitar 28mm MF, but otherwise not much in the sub-35mm category. I suppose it doesn't help that you didn't often find those types of lenses in the film era either. Thanks for the input.
02-20-2016, 04:09 PM   #4
Imp
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
Imp's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Washington, DC
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,561
QuoteOriginally posted by fullmental Quote
- Pentax FA 80-320mm - a REALLY bad choice for up close but I'm including this for completion
I've got one for sale if you want it!

I used it for birding... never for cars. I don't know if that's really the best lens for a carshow, but... if you want one...

02-20-2016, 04:18 PM   #5
Pentaxian




Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Sydney
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 637
Go wide for cars. This is with the HD DA15.
Wide angle distortion can flatter cars. I think they look swoopier.
02-20-2016, 04:23 PM   #6
Forum Member




Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 57
Original Poster
^I sure would love to know where you got one of those beauties for just $150!

QuoteOriginally posted by Imp Quote
I've got one for sale if you want it!

I used it for birding... never for cars. I don't know if that's really the best lens for a carshow, but... if you want one...
That was a list of lenses I own haha. I said it was a bad choice because no way I fit a whole car at 80mm from 3 feet away
02-20-2016, 04:25 PM   #7
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
c.a.m's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,512
Hi,

I have shot at outdoor car shows -- local 'cruise nights' -- using both the DA 18-135 and the F 35-70. Both lenses worked well in this setting and I was happy with the results. However, depending on your shooting style and requirements, you might do better with the wider angle of the 18-135mm lens. I tend to concentrate on the unique details of autos, so I'm usually shooting at relatively longer focal lengths (e.g., 35mm plus).

Here's a sample with the Pentax-F 35-70mm.

- Craig


02-20-2016, 04:26 PM   #8
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
jatrax's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Washington Cascades
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,337
QuoteOriginally posted by fullmental Quote
I was able to find an okay-looking Vivitar 28mm MF, but otherwise not much in the sub-35mm category. I suppose it doesn't help that you didn't often find those types of lenses in the film era either.
There should be lots of manual 28mm lenses available that was quite common in film. But 28mm is not particularly wide on APS-C, and I doubt anything in your budget will be any better than the 18-135 stopped down a bit.
Remember the 18-135 is very sharp in the center, not so much on the edges. So stop down a bit, and shoot a bit wide and crop.

If I were serious about car shows I would try the DA 12-24 or even the DA 10-17 FE. But you won't find either of those in your budget.

You might look at the Samyang 8mm FE, I have it and can be fun to work with.

02-20-2016, 04:30 PM   #9
Forum Member




Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 57
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
There should be lots of manual 28mm lenses available that was quite common in film. But 28mm is not particularly wide on APS-C, and I doubt anything in your budget will be any better than the 18-135 stopped down a bit.
Remember the 18-135 is very sharp in the center, not so much on the edges. So stop down a bit, and shoot a bit wide and crop.

If I were serious about car shows I would try the DA 12-24 or even the DA 10-17 FE. But you won't find either of those in your budget.

You might look at the Samyang 8mm FE, I have it and can be fun to work with.
Hmm, okay. The Samyang looks to be a bit difficult to find at my price point. What if I were to increase my budget to around $400? Could something get done then? I could possibly manage that, but it would involve cutting my budget on a different purchase I was going to make (unrelated to photography). For that price I'd be okay with getting another zoom or a prime, either or. I think I have things covered in the cheap and lower quality zoom range though

QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
Hi,

I have shot at outdoor car shows -- local 'cruise nights' -- using both the DA 18-135 and the F 35-70. Both lenses worked well in this setting and I was happy with the results. However, depending on your shooting style and requirements, you might do better with the wider angle of the 18-135mm lens. I tend to concentrate on the unique details of autos, so I'm usually shooting at relatively longer focal lengths (e.g., 35mm plus).

Here's a sample with the Pentax-F 35-70mm.

- Craig


That looks pretty good for the 35-70mm. You would be right that I'm leaning more towards wide angle, though the benefit of the 35-70 is that it's small enough I could fit it in my pocket if desired. I might just take it along now as a second lens, thanks!

Last edited by fullmental; 02-20-2016 at 04:37 PM.
02-20-2016, 05:05 PM   #10
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
Riggomatic's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Auburn, Indiana
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,097
If you're going to bump the price up to $400, then you're in the range of a new HD DA-15, or used HD DA 16-85.
02-20-2016, 05:05 PM   #11
Pentaxian At Large
Loyal Site Supporter
robgski's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,373
I don't know what kind of style you are going for re Macro, but of the lenses you own, I'd recommend the 18-135mm. You will want to be able to take in both long full body shots, as well as details, and of the zooms you list, that is the best choice. Car shows are usually well lit, so you don't need the fastest lenses. The other reason I like the zoom is because if you don't know the layout of the show, you don't know if you will be able to get close to cars, or have to zoom in past the velvet ropes to get details.

For US $305, you can buy the 10-17mm brand new, and if you are searching for a lens that is both a fisheye and a UWA, this is the one I recommend. Consider renting a 10-17mm if you don't want to buy it outright. I have used that for car shows, rented it 3x from Borrowlensescom and I love both that lens and the rental service. I have only held off from buying it because I got a deal on the 8mm which satisfies my fisheye needs and I already owned a 17mm. This was taken near the 17mm end of the lens.
[IMG][/IMG]
And this is at the 10mm end
[IMG][/IMG]

I was just at a car show today, with a Rokinon 8mm, A short focusing distance can be important if the cars are close together, or there is not a lot of room to back up and take the whole car in the frame.
[IMG][/IMG]

I look forward to seeing your pictures!

Last edited by robgski; 02-20-2016 at 05:32 PM.
02-20-2016, 05:29 PM   #12
Forum Member




Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 57
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by robgski Quote
I don't know what kind of style you are going for re Macro, but of the lenses you own, I'd recommend the 18-135mm. You will want to be able to take in both long full body shots, as well as details, and of the zooms you list, that is the best choice. Car shows are usually well lit, so you don't need the fastest lenses. The other reason I like the zoom is because if you don't know the layout of the show, you don't know if you will be able to get close to cars, or have to zoom in past the velvet ropes to get details.

For US $305, you can buy the 10-17mm brand new, and if you are searching for a lens that is both a fisheye and a UWA, this is the one I recommend. Consider renting a 10-17mm if you don't want to buy it outright. I have used that for car shows, rented it 3x from Borrowlensescom and I love both that lens and the rental service. I have only held off from buying it because I got a deal on the 8mm which satisfies my fisheye needs and I already owned a 17mm. This was taken near the 17mm end of the lens.
[/url][/IMG]
And this is at the 10mm end
[/url][/IMG]

I was just at a car show today, with a Rokinon 8mm, A short focusing distance can be important if the cars are close together, or there is not a lot of room to back up and take the whole car in the frame.
[/url][/IMG]
Oh interesting, I had no idea you could rent lenses that cheaply! The 10-17mm can be had for $45 for 3 days (incl. shipping to and from), damn good deal if you ask me. Thanks for suggesting it, I'm pretty sure I'm going to go for a rental at that price, it'll let me test it out at a show before I decide to commit to such an expensive lens.
02-20-2016, 05:29 PM   #13
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
RGlasel's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Saskatoon
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,870
QuoteOriginally posted by fullmental Quote
So I was thinking potentially the 18-135mm just because it goes to a wide angle (plus weather sealing is nice in case it rains), but I was also considering buying a cheap prime (~$150).
Are you going during the day or in the evening? There is a cheap prime, the DA 35 AL, that will give you another stop and a third of light compared to the 18-135. Based on a small car show I went to last year, 31mm-40mm was the focal range that worked best for me. I didn't have the DA 15 Ltd at that time, but I only took one picture at 18mm, to show the rows of cars on both sides of a parking lot. For the most part the cars were closely parked side by side and if I wanted to get all of one car only, I had to stand in front or behind that car with a little distance between me and the car.
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-30  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-30  Photo 
02-20-2016, 05:37 PM   #14
Forum Member




Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 57
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
Are you going during the day or in the evening? There is a cheap prime, the DA 35 AL, that will give you another stop and a third of light compared to the 18-135. Based on a small car show I went to last year, 31mm-40mm was the focal range that worked best for me. I didn't have the DA 15 Ltd at that time, but I only took one picture at 18mm, to show the rows of cars on both sides of a parking lot. For the most part the cars were closely parked side by side and if I wanted to get all of one car only, I had to stand in front or behind that car with a little distance between me and the car.
It would be between 10 and 4 on a sunday afternoon in FL, so unless it's cloudy/rainy it should be quite bright. Sunset should be around 8pm that time of year.
02-20-2016, 05:44 PM   #15
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
RGlasel's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Saskatoon
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,870
QuoteOriginally posted by fullmental Quote
It would be between 10 and 4 on a sunday afternoon in FL
Reminds me of a song by Queen, Lazing On a Sunday Afternoon. I don't want to discourage you from having some fun with a DA 10-17, but bring your 18-135 along for "normal" car pictures.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
18-135mm, car, k-mount, lens, macro, pentax, pentax lens, slr lens, terms
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Getting permission to photograph a car at a car show Black Magic Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 16 07-08-2019 07:17 PM
Yet another lens advice request: Wide prime or zoom or ? on a budget mgvh Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 43 08-06-2014 09:03 AM
Smc M 50mm f/1.4 or Smc 55mm f/1.8 on a tight budget! daniekr Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 15 11-08-2011 12:23 AM
Need some lens advice - Tight Budget fvalduga Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 8 02-28-2009 08:43 AM
I need lens and am on a tight budget Branimir Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 13 09-07-2007 02:10 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:15 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top