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08-07-2008, 09:01 AM   #1
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zoom lens for Program Plus

My wife came with a Program Plus and some 49mm lens which I assumed was the stock one. I would really like a modest range zoom lens both for more closeup and more zoomed shots. I was going to buy this

http://www.keh.com/OnLineStore/ProductDetail.aspx?groupsku=PK079990025520&br...&GBC=&GCC=&KW=



but I found anoter forum thread that said these were old, cheap lenses that were bad. I'm a hobbyist and all but I don't want a lens that will make my photos unsharp, because as a newbie I'm a stickler for sharpness. At such an affordable price (I can't afford more than $50usd), should I just steer clear?

08-07-2008, 09:51 AM   #2
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Here's some reviews of that F35-80 lens Pentax Lens Review Database - 35-80mm F4-5.6 - doesn't seem to be very good. There are plenty of good cheap lenses, for example the FA28-70/4.

Check out the lens reviews part of the forum for more info.
08-07-2008, 09:51 AM   #3
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KEH Camera: Pentax Manual Focus - Zoom Lenses - 35-70 F3.5-4.5 SMC A MACRO (49) 35MM SLR MANUAL FOCUS ZOOM WIDE ANGLE LENS
might be a better choice - although 'ugly' may be a bit too decrepit.

The issue is that you want an K-A zoom, and most of the Pentax ones KEH has at the moment are M, or more expensive, or 'ugly'

The good news is that there are many K-A mount third party zooms listed.
this one for example
KEH Camera: Pentax Manual Focus - Non-Mfg Zoom Lenses - 28-70 F3.5-4.5 TOKINA MACRO SD A (52) /2 TOUCH WITH CAPS 35MM SLR MANUAL FOCUS ZOOM WIDE ANGLE LENS
08-07-2008, 10:47 AM   #4
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Why not get a 50mm and split the difference?

08-07-2008, 11:31 AM   #5
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Well the lense I have is 50mm. I just wanted a zoom lens to use as my 'normal' everyday lens, cause some shots I can't sneaker-zoom far enough because of the size of the room is too small, or the squirrel is skittish, etc.

What's K-A mean?

Are there other good places to buy used lenses I should know of? I tried the local B&M store.
08-07-2008, 12:50 PM   #6
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Sorry I'm pretty new to photography. I had to have my wife help me load the film the first time. So I'm not really up on all the numbers and stuff.

I did a little more research and found out that the K is the 'mount type' and A means it works with my Program mode. Did I get that right?

The lens I have now says 'SMC Pentax-A 1:1.7 50mm'

From what I can tell it's a pretty highly regarded lens. Should I just forget about being able to replace it with a good-quality zoom on such a low budget?
08-07-2008, 02:11 PM   #7
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Bad what's bad, my MZ-50 had it AF-nephew as a kitlens, never came off(note: i only use bw film in that camera.)

Here's a example of what your lens can do: getting in tune on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
(more in the same stream)
08-08-2008, 09:11 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by BetterSense Quote
Sorry I'm pretty new to photography. I had to have my wife help me load the film the first time. So I'm not really up on all the numbers and stuff.

I did a little more research and found out that the K is the 'mount type' and A means it works with my Program mode. Did I get that right?

The lens I have now says 'SMC Pentax-A 1:1.7 50mm'

From what I can tell it's a pretty highly regarded lens. Should I just forget about being able to replace it with a good-quality zoom on such a low budget?

You're correct with the mount type - for easiest use, you should look for a lens with the k-a mount. These lenses have an 'A' setting on the aperture ring and work with the program mode on your camera.

The 50mm is an extremely good lens, few if any zooms will match it. However, we're lucky in that excellent photography (rather than pixel/grain peeping) can be supported by many zooms.

What is your budget? The two examples I dredged up should be decent lenses. The f/4 constant aperture zoom KEH has is supposedly even better, but costs nearly $100. Maybe too much?
KEH Camera: Pentax Manual Focus - Zoom Lenses - 35-70 F4 SMC A (58) / 2 TOUCH WITH CAPS 35MM SLR MANUAL FOCUS ZOOM WIDE ANGLE LENS

"constant aperture" simply means the lens stays f/4 through its range. Other zooms will have a faster aperture at the wide end, and get slower as you zoom towards tele. The lens you asked about starts at f/4 and ends up at f/5.6. The Pentax and Tokina lenses I noticed start at f/3.5 and end at f/4.5.

You can of course go the ebay route, just make sure the lens has the 'A' aperture setting... and there are loads of them out there.

The general rule of thumb seems to be: lenses in this range that end up in the f/5.6 range are built to a price point and will likely be disappointing. The next couple of grades up - the lenses that start at f/3.5 or f/2.8 at the wide end and do not go to 5.6 at tele- are likely to perform much better. And at used prices, you don't really pay a premium for that performance.

08-08-2008, 09:20 AM   #9
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Cool. Yes, $100 is pretty much out of the budget (film and processing is expensive enough!)

But thanks on the info. I'm not sure I'll do anything at this point. I'm not going to carry around multiple lenses so if I got a zoom it would stay on the camera as my primary lens (or should I say everyday lens).

However if the lens I have is a good lens, I'll probably stick with it for a few more rolls. Reason being that I'm still experimenting with depth-of-field, and I want to keep the big aperture. I tried taking some pictures last roll on manual with the smallest aperture that gave proper exposure, and then one of the same subject with the fastest shutter speed possible, and I didn't note much difference. Yet I keep seeing photos with both the foreground and background blurred and I want to duplicate that, at least enough to know that I can.
08-08-2008, 02:01 PM   #10
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I have used the 35-80 for years

Its a good lens. Yes its cheap but its still good.

Don't believe what you read on the internet.


Dave
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