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03-19-2007, 08:17 PM   #1
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Noob question- budget conscious lens purchases

OK, I'm so new to DSLRs I have not even got the camera in hand yet, but I know soon I will grow tired of the standard kit lens that my new (to me) *ist DS has.

I know a little about lenses and optics, but next to nothing about Pentax lenses.

So the questions:

For general wild life, moderate action shots, event shots, what type of lens would you suggest? (event shots would be concert type. I work in a church that has about 2000 seats, and we do some concerts and other events in there.)

I'm figuring a short tele? but how big? And more importantly, what's the best bang for the buck on one?

I'm drawn to a tele because the longer lens length might lend itself to "effect" shots using a shallower depth of field. I've created that effect often with video cameras...

Opinions?

slinky

Edit: saw the SMC Pentax-DA 50-200mm ED reviews... sounds like a good buy.


Last edited by mediaslinky; 03-19-2007 at 08:39 PM.
03-19-2007, 09:46 PM   #2
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If you're looking for a cost-effective lens, go for the DA 50-200mm. It produces nice and sharp photos and is really compact, so the only drawback would be the slow speed (F4-5.6). It also comes with a hood and does a great job of eliminating aberration.

I've only used it a handful of times, but here's a sample shot:



A second taken with the FA* 80-200mm F2.8 for comparison:



And a third taken with the FA* 300mm F4.5:



As you can see, there are small differences in bokeh between the lenses, but nothing major. The 50-200mm would be a good pick unless you're looking for a pro lens, in which case you should wait for a DA* or look for a (better ) FA*.

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03-19-2007, 10:50 PM   #3
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There are some nice primes and you seem to do alot of indoor work.

135mm and 200mm primes are some good lengths to check out.

I have a 135mm f2.8 and a 200mm f3.5 and they do wonders indoors.
03-20-2007, 06:53 AM   #4
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My first lens (other than the kit lens) was the FA J 75-300.

When I contemplated picking up a prime telephoto (135mm) I spent an entire day shooting with the zoom at 135, just to see how that focal length would fit with my needs. It turned out that it would fit well, and I purchased a 135 prime.

Before spending money on primes that you may later find you don't have much actual use for, you may wish to try that sort of test with a zoom.

03-20-2007, 07:22 AM   #5
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If you are going really budget consious, you can find some steals on e-bay and even here in the FS section of this website.

I posted one shot using an old 135mm MF Sears (or was it Gemini?) lens on this thread. I bought the Sears lens for $10 CDN! I also have a shot using the FA 80-200 there as well.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/4580-lens-suggestions-ist-ds.html

Hope that helps.
03-20-2007, 08:15 AM   #6
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Thanks for the examples and tips.

Since no question is a dumb one, I want to make sure... a "Prime" lens is a fixed focal length? Is that right? I've seen some of those around.

I'm eager to play with my new camera. Friday I should have it and it will be a warm partly cloudy weekend....
03-20-2007, 08:20 AM   #7
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Slinky - I just realized if you are going after the lenses used without an "A" on the aperture ring, there should be a way to allow them to be used with your camera. You have to dig through the menu though. Just a heads up before you bolt that old lens on and find out that your camera isn't working right. I just don't have the manual or my K100 in front of me at this very moment.


To answer your question - yes. prime is fixed focal length.
03-20-2007, 08:29 AM   #8
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Right, I remember reading about that in my research. There's some menu thing that allows older lenses to be manually used, or something. Thanks to the pdf file I got from another post there's a list and discussion on page 179 (and following) of the manual. I'd seen similar online somewhere.

By the way, MO, that middle image shot with the 80-200mm is stunning.

03-20-2007, 09:24 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by mediaslinky Quote
OK, I'm so new to DSLRs I have not even got the camera in hand yet, but I kno (event shots would be concert type. I work in a church that has about 2000 seats, and we do some concerts and other events in there.)
All the above comments are valid. I've shot a few concerts and events in our church and I use mostly:
1) 100mm/2.8 for close-up face concert work. Sometime I might pick up a cheap 135/2.8 for a bit more reach.
2) 50/1.7 for < 3/4 body shots,
3) 18-55 for wider stage shots.

Where possible, I like to get between the audience and the stage.

Enjoy your new camera. Shoot lots.
03-20-2007, 11:58 AM   #10
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If you really want good lenses that are cheap, then try this link:
The Unofficial Guide to Ricoh SLR Cameras and Rikenon Lenses
I am not sure if they are fully automatic, but I have a Rikenon 35-70mm and it works well with my K10.
I have not tried many photos with it but here is some pics of how the lens performs on my old Ricoh 35mm camera:



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