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11-20-2008, 12:05 PM   #16
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I lot of people like the 50x1.4

What's the exact purpose of a lens with such a limited focal range, aka none at all?

11-20-2008, 01:06 PM   #17
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QuoteQuote:
I lot of people like the 50x1.4

What's the exact purpose of a lens with such a limited focal range, aka none at all?
Zooms usually are the most attractive lens for newcomers to DSLR especially if coming off a point and shoot with a fixed zoom.


You will need to read up and try some of the primes for yourself to find out what attracts people to them



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11-20-2008, 01:42 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by steVo_k200d Quote
I lot of people like the 50x1.4

What's the exact purpose of a lens with such a limited focal range, aka none at all?
f1.4 = low light capability. Most folks here will refer to this as "speed" or "fast" lens. The lower the f, the 'faster' the lens - the wider the aperture to allow more light in.

You'll notice most zooms are around f4/f5.6 etc.. with the expensive being at best f2.8

Also, a 50mm is equivalent to what is known as a portrait lens (85mm) in the 35mm film world. An 85mm is generally deemed a good/best focal length for head and shoulder shots.

Also, for the price of 50 1.4 or 1.7 you can't beat it. I'm not aware of any zooms that are below f2.8 (let alone f2.0)
11-20-2008, 02:54 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by steVo_k200d Quote
I lot of people like the 50x1.4

What's the exact purpose of a lens with such a limited focal range, aka none at all?
As was said, the wide aperture is a lot of the attraction. Remember those shots with the background out of focus? The wider the aperture used, the smaller the depth of field and the easier it is to put part of the image out of focus (sometimes too easy). Experimenting with a lens with a wider range of apertures and no choice of focal lengths also helps you to learn a bit faster.

Another thing is that though zooms can be very nice, the sharpest prime lenses are always sharper than the sharpest zooms.

11-20-2008, 08:17 PM   #20
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Also size and price: a single focal length lens (aka "prime") that does f/2.8 will always be *way* smaller and lighter than a zoom that does f/2.8, and usually way cheaper too.
11-20-2008, 11:04 PM   #21
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Hmm. It's cheap for sure but maybe not cheap enough for me to pick it up right away, unless you guys think I'd be getting a ton of use out of it.
11-21-2008, 03:47 AM   #22
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Well, if you can't spend that much money right now, the kit lens will work for you (it has for me) especially if you're a beginner.

I'd go for the 55-300mm instead of the 50-200mm though, the former has better reviews.

Though if were you, I'd get a Sigma 17-70mm instead. It's faster by one stop, a bit longer and has a "macro"-lite ability.
11-21-2008, 07:13 AM   #23
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I too was a beginner and guess what? my first dSLR happened to be the K200D!

You'll definitely be getting nice usage rates with the sigma 17-70mm on your overseas trip, which a lot of people on here seem to love for the price you pay (just a tad more than what you had in mind). At 17mm on the sigma, it is more than enough for landscapes for your trips and at 70mm, good enough for them close ups. I still have my kit lens but will soon pawn it off on ebay for another lens (50mm FA f1.4), not a bad lens but the Sigma 17-70mm and its macro capability has replaced it for good.

In saying so, I started off with the kit lens, and a few days later opted for a 50mm SMC-M f1.7 on ebay. Although the lens is a manual, as someone has mentioned already, it will accelerate your skills in taking pictures with a bit more knowledge and I can certainly vouch for that! Ever since, I've been using the 50mm M f1.7 far more often than the zoomies and plan to move onto the great 50mm FA f1.4.

So final conclusion, go for the sigma 17-70mm if your budget can stretch that far.


11-21-2008, 11:26 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by steVo_k200d Quote
Hmm. It's cheap for sure but maybe not cheap enough for me to pick it up right away, unless you guys think I'd be getting a ton of use out of it.
If you intend to take pictures indoor without flash, you definitely need a fast (large maximum aperture) lens, and the FA50 is the cheapest fast AF lens you can get. The fact that happens to be a very good one too is nice. But if you don't feel like spending $200 to be able to shoot in low light, $20 and a visit to your local pawnshop (or a few minutes/hours combing through the Marketplace forum here, or Ebay, or craigslist) should get your a manual focus 50 (the 1.7 versions are probably the best value) that would be every bit as good.

Of course, you can *try* taking low light pictures with the kit zoom(s), but I pretty guarantee you'll be back soon enough wondering why the results are so blurry. You just can't get a fast enough shutter speed at f/5.6 or even f/4 - not even with ISO cranked up to 1600.
11-21-2008, 02:52 PM   #25
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I'd say if you can spare the $200 for the FA 50mm 1.4 you should definitely get it. You absolutely won't be disappointed. Sometimes the kit lens just doens't cut it. The wide aperture is invaluable, plus the images the lens produces are amazing, in general.

Another good option in a similar price range as the FA 50mm is the Sigma EX DG 50mm 2.8 macro. It costs about $270 and is faster than the kit lens. It also offers 1:1 macro and is high quality for the price. If you're interested in closeups its the cheapest option for a new lens that goes to 1:1.

Also, the manual focus options for pentax are huge, and a fast lens can be had for significantly less that a new fast lens would cost. Really, even though you're a newcomer, I think having a lens faster than 3.5 will be of great benifit. You'll miss fewer shots, plus you can get the subject in focus, background out of focus effect that you, and most others love.

I got my K10D last year at about this time and got the kit lens when I bought it. I also had a 28-300mm Tamron lens and a 35-80mm Pentax from my film days. In December last year I went to Hawaii and I figured that the lenses I had would cover what I wanted to shoot. In general, they did and did an alright job. The kit lens stayed on the camera most of the time and was generally great, and when I put the 28-300mm on it did well too. However, I also found myself missing ALOT of shots in low light. Walking on wooded trails and trying to take shots as dusk neared left me yearning for alot more from my lenses, because most pictures would be blurry. I was actually gonna buy a faster lens while I was there, but I couldn't find a shop in the area that carried Pentax, and shipping to Hawaii was terrible. So I just settled, and shot within my means.
11-22-2008, 04:40 AM   #26
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Well, I got the camera and the dual lens kit today. So far I haven't really had an opportunity to try it out but i'm hoping to take some shots in the next week. I'm trying to track down a manual focus prime on eBay too. It looks like it would definitley be a nice thing to have.
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