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07-13-2016, 08:37 PM   #1
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Need Basic Lens Advice--this one or that one?

I recently got a large bag. Ever since I got into digital SLRs I've traveled light, with one camera, 2-3 lenses, and a flash, Now I can carry a very large kit, which I always did in my film days. (Just because!)

I'm really a true amateur when it comes to the technology and understanding of lenses, so keep that in mind, please. I have a DA 18-55 kit lens, which I think is fine but so-so. I usually carry a very old, non-autofocus but Vivitar Series 1 24-70 with A setting, which is similar in focal length since it is a 35mm lens. I also have an old 35mm Takumar A 28-80 that I inherited from my late father a few years back. I've really never used it since the focal length is so close to my Series 1 Vivitar. So I don't really know how well it will do compared to that lens. My dad got some good photos using it with his Super Program decades back.

I know the answer of which lens to carry can really be answered by using both of the old manual lenses on similar subjects and choose based on that. But I want to know if there might be anything I might be missing as far as camera operation with these lenses, or with comparison between the two that serious lens folks might tell me? I have no issues with manual focus lenses or with giving up options that the DA lenses give me. It just brings me closer to my roots. I'll carry my DA lenses anyway because I have room, will sometimes need the speed of using them, and will want to have the full capabilities of my cameras and flash, but no sense carrying near duplicate manual focus lenses, if that's what they are.

Thanks,

Mark

07-13-2016, 09:20 PM   #2
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Not having the other two lenses, all I have to offer is that my 18-55 kit lens has produced remarkable photographs. So much so that even for now owning more highly regarded lenses, I am not going to let go of my copy.
07-13-2016, 09:31 PM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mark Freburg Quote
I have a DA 18-55 kit lens, which I think is fine but so-so. I usually carry a very old, non-autofocus but Vivitar Series 1 24-70 with A setting, which is similar in focal length since it is a 35mm lens.
The part I highlighted makes me wonder if "crop factor" has confused you. If you try an 18-55 and 24-70 on the same camera you'll see a noticeable difference in field of view.

As for your Vivitar 24-70 and Takumar 28-80, see links to user reviews below.
Takumar-A 28-80mm F3.5-4.5 Reviews - Non-SMC Pentax Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Vivitar 24-70mm f/3.8-4.8 Series 1 Lens Reviews - Vivitar Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
07-13-2016, 09:51 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quartermaster James Quote
Not having the other two lenses, all I have to offer is that my 18-55 kit lens has produced remarkable photographs. So much so that even for now owning more highly regarded lenses, I am not going to let go of my copy.
I second this. I have read that Pentax Kit lenses are superior to other brands kit lenses. I actually shot my first 3 wedding using my 18-55 and 50-200 kit lenses. No complaint from the customer. I don't know what budget you have or what type of shooting you do but I would opt for more reach. Maybe a DA 50-200 WR lens (that would be great if you have a weather sealed camera body. It is not the sharpest lens in the world but should be as good as your 18-55 kit as far as IQ. You can get them new for around $100 on ebay. If you have a larger budget I would recommend a DA* 50-135. This is the sharpest lens I have ever ever owner since I got my first Pentax in 1985.

07-14-2016, 02:43 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quartermaster James Quote
Not having the other two lenses, all I have to offer is that my 18-55 kit lens has produced remarkable photographs. So much so that even for now owning more highly regarded lenses, I am not going to let go of my copy.

Thanks for your reply, James. I have been happy with my 18-55 kit lens on my K100D, have not used it on my "new" (and exciting ) K10D, but I won't get rid of it either. I just like my old lenses because I think a nice lens, as long as it works on a newer camera, is still a nice lens.


--Mark

---------- Post added 07-14-16 at 02:51 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
The part I highlighted makes me wonder if "crop factor" has confused you. If you try an 18-55 and 24-70 on the same camera you'll see a noticeable difference in field of view.

As for your Vivitar 24-70 and Takumar 28-80, see links to user reviews below.
Takumar-A 28-80mm F3.5-4.5 Reviews - Non-SMC Pentax Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Vivitar 24-70mm f/3.8-4.8 Series 1 Lens Reviews - Vivitar Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

Thanks for the reply, DeadJohn. Yes, the kit lens is much wider at 18mm (and shorter), as the crop factor makes my 24-70 effectively a 38-105. I'm sorry. What I was really comparing the Vivitar to was the Takumar 28-80. I have another longer focal length DA kit lens also and I should have included it in my comments as well, as between them they cover the focal length of the two manual lenses and more. I composed my initial message while half asleep, I think.

Thanks for the links to the lens reviews. I have not figured out how to find everything here yet.


--Mark

---------- Post added 07-14-16 at 03:02 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by macman24054 Quote
I second this. I have read that Pentax Kit lenses are superior to other brands kit lenses. I actually shot my first 3 wedding using my 18-55 and 50-200 kit lenses. No complaint from the customer. I don't know what budget you have or what type of shooting you do but I would opt for more reach. Maybe a DA 50-200 WR lens (that would be great if you have a weather sealed camera body. It is not the sharpest lens in the world but should be as good as your 18-55 kit as far as IQ. You can get them new for around $100 on ebay. If you have a larger budget I would recommend a DA* 50-135. This is the sharpest lens I have ever ever owner since I got my first Pentax in 1985.
Thanks for your reply, Macman. I have little budget and other hobbies as well, but have been known to save, and to buy used. I recently bought a new Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens, though, and with only a little shooting so far it seems nice for my amateur desires. I don't have a need for a longer telephoto length at this time.

This thread seems to be getting slightly off my desire to use my older non-autofocus manual lenses. I may not yet have reached the audience who still likes old glass. Macman, we go back to our first Pentax cameras to around the same era (my first was an ME although I ended up with a couple older models eventually). Have you abandoned all the old lenses for nothing but DA lenses? Since you are a professional I can understand the need for DA lenses, but even a pro often shoots for pleasure, where time is not important and having more manual input seems like a fun pastime. Or not?


--Mark

Last edited by Mark Freburg; 07-14-2016 at 03:03 PM. Reason: forgot to sign my name at end
07-14-2016, 03:08 PM   #6
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One thing you'll lose with the 35mm A lenses, is the ability for the camera to do in camera lens corrections. you also lose that ability in a raw converter such as DXO which does very specific lens corrections. This ability is the main reason I use both DXO and mostly all modern glass these days. That doesn't mean I don't own some old A lenses that I like or some old FA lenses, just means I tend to go with the stuff optics pro has profiles for first. You camera also has profiles for all the modern lesnes. I think FA onward, but definitely DFA and DA .

While I turned my nose up at the kit lens when looking for a WR normal zoom, I definitely didn't think it was junk. I just wanted the best possible option I could find and the 16-85, other than being as slow as the kit lens, seemed to fit the bill perfectly for 3x the price!

The main reason to use those old A lenses is you like the results, you like manual focus, you like the additional speed (you didn't list the apertures).
07-14-2016, 07:04 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mark Freburg Quote
Have you abandoned all the old lenses for nothing but DA lenses?
I have a Pentax M 50 1.7 and a Pentax M 100 2.8. I still use then from time to time. My vision has gotten so bad that I have a hard time with manual focusing unless I am outside in daylight.
07-14-2016, 07:31 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mark Freburg Quote
Thanks for your reply, James. I have been happy with my 18-55 kit lens on my K100D, have not used it on my "new" (and exciting ) K10D, but I won't get rid of it either. I just like my old lenses because I think a nice lens, as long as it works on a newer camera, is still a nice lens.


--Mark

---------- Post added 07-14-16 at 02:51 PM ----------




Thanks for the reply, DeadJohn. Yes, the kit lens is much wider at 18mm (and shorter), as the crop factor makes my 24-70 effectively a 38-105. I'm sorry. What I was really comparing the Vivitar to was the Takumar 28-80. I have another longer focal length DA kit lens also and I should have included it in my comments as well, as between them they cover the focal length of the two manual lenses and more. I composed my initial message while half asleep, I think.

Thanks for the links to the lens reviews. I have not figured out how to find everything here yet.


--Mark

---------- Post added 07-14-16 at 03:02 PM ----------



Thanks for your reply, Macman. I have little budget and other hobbies as well, but have been known to save, and to buy used. I recently bought a new Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens, though, and with only a little shooting so far it seems nice for my amateur desires. I don't have a need for a longer telephoto length at this time.

This thread seems to be getting slightly off my desire to use my older non-autofocus manual lenses. I may not yet have reached the audience who still likes old glass. Macman, we go back to our first Pentax cameras to around the same era (my first was an ME although I ended up with a couple older models eventually). Have you abandoned all the old lenses for nothing but DA lenses? Since you are a professional I can understand the need for DA lenses, but even a pro often shoots for pleasure, where time is not important and having more manual input seems like a fun pastime. Or not?


--Mark
Oh! I have and use plenty of old glass. Guess I really just don't understand what the question is beyond the answers already provided.

07-15-2016, 09:31 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mountain Vision Quote
One thing you'll lose with the 35mm A lenses, is the ability for the camera to do in camera lens corrections. you also lose that ability in a raw converter such as DXO which does very specific lens corrections. This ability is the main reason I use both DXO and mostly all modern glass these days. That doesn't mean I don't own some old A lenses that I like or some old FA lenses, just means I tend to go with the stuff optics pro has profiles for first. You camera also has profiles for all the modern lesnes. I think FA onward, but definitely DFA and DA .

While I turned my nose up at the kit lens when looking for a WR normal zoom, I definitely didn't think it was junk. I just wanted the best possible option I could find and the 16-85, other than being as slow as the kit lens, seemed to fit the bill perfectly for 3x the price!

The main reason to use those old A lenses is you like the results, you like manual focus, you like the additional speed (you didn't list the apertures).
Takumar is a F1:3.5-4.5 The Series 1 is a F1:3.8-4.8

Hey everyone, I'm a camera bumbler for 40-50 years, and I have to think a bit before I figure out what I'm doing, but I eventually am pleased with what I get, as my expectations are reasonable, and as an amateur I only have to please myself. If that sounds like an excuse for shoddy photography it isn't. I can tell crap pictures from good ones. Most of it is in the photographer's eye rather than in the equipment. My K1000 and MX took great photos without a computer on board. I'm slow to take up new technology. To that end, I'm not even sure what "in camera lens corrections" means. I can set the focal length of my older manual lenses in my cameras. With an "A" setting the apertures are changed automatically. Not sure what else I'm looking for? If I'm shooting RAW I am likely going to use one of my DA lenses, as I going to be going for something specific that has caused me to use RAW, which I almost never use.

So, thanks for the input, Mountain Vision. If you could help educate me a little more and let me know what "in camera lens correction" means I'd sure appreciate it. Also, "DXO?"

--Mark
07-15-2016, 10:16 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by macman24054 Quote
I have a Pentax M 50 1.7 and a Pentax M 100 2.8. I still use then from time to time. My vision has gotten so bad that I have a hard time with manual focusing unless I am outside in daylight.

I have the same problem with vision, Macman, but I tend to trust the focus confirmation the camera gives me, and really, if it's stuff where I need to hurry, I use the DA lenses and never look back. (I can cover APS-C range of 18-300 with DA lenses.) But when I'm all alone and taking photos for fun--which I vastly prefer to "snapshooting" , I'm likely outdoors and can take my time. Out come the manual lenses. I took the photo below with the manual Series 1 24-70 on my K100D of a cemetery gate. I boosted the color saturation in Paint Shop Pro Photo but it was all there originally, just less vivid.

I'll make a confession. I do enjoy making still life shots of some of my other hobby gear, and I bit the bullet there a few years ago and bought the best (at the time) Canon point & shoot, a Power Shot G9. It has live view and I can wear my reading glasses, and so get pretty good focus up close. It also is good for things like indoor family gatherings where I just can't muster up the interest to take snapshots using my DSLR set on program or auto, but only because it has a viewfinder. (I won't be one of those people who holds a camera out at arm's length like a cell phone camera. The G9 has everything a DSLR of the time (a few years ago) had, feature-wise (even shoots in RAW), except for interchangeable lenses (it does zoom), and the minimum aperture craps out at F8, so it is not very good for anything requiring action. But it's a nice supplement to my two DSLRs, and helps my vision issues. Use what you need when you need it.

--Mark
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07-15-2016, 10:20 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quartermaster James Quote
Oh! I have and use plenty of old glass. Guess I really just don't understand what the question is beyond the answers already provided.
Those reviews were very helpful indeed--you nailed it for me there!
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