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03-24-2009, 01:32 PM   #1
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Prime lens, Help me!

Hi all! I just purchased new pentax smc da 55-300mm, and itīs awesome lens, best tele i have had and so cheap!

But now i need help from you guys!
I need recommendations of some prime lens (cheap), but wich has f 1,4 or f 1,8...
I have thought some old manual-focus lenses, but wich one are good?
I really want smooth bokeh and sharp pics...

Is it getting too difficult?

03-24-2009, 01:40 PM   #2
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That really depends on your definition of cheap.

The FA 50mm f/1.4 can be had for ~US$150, for instance. If you're calling the DA 55-300mm cheap, I guess that's a pretty good price.
03-24-2009, 02:05 PM   #3
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Manual focus: the A50/1.7 is fast and cheap and easy to find. If you get one of these, make sure the aperture ring functions properly (there have been reports of failure).

Auto focus: The FA35/2.0 for a fast normal, any of the F or FA 50s for a fast short-tele portrait.

Many of the K and M series and screw-mount takumars are very good but are somewhat more difficult to operate.
03-24-2009, 02:40 PM   #4
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I was just going to say the same thing...

QuoteOriginally posted by troyz Quote
Manual focus: the A50/1.7 is fast and cheap and easy to find. If you get one of these, make sure the aperture ring functions properly (there have been reports of failure).


03-24-2009, 02:57 PM   #5
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Thanx, i guess i go and try to find A50mm. But is there any other good lenses? I allready have 35/2,8mm ltd, so 35/2mm is not my choice.
Maybe some 50mm...
03-24-2009, 04:19 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by troyz Quote
Manual focus: the A50/1.7 is fast and cheap and easy to find. If you get one of these, make sure the aperture ring functions properly (there have been reports of failure).

Auto focus: The FA35/2.0 for a fast normal, any of the F or FA 50s for a fast short-tele portrait.

Many of the K and M series and screw-mount takumars are very good but are somewhat more difficult to operate.
Agree here, but best would be if you could get F/FA50/1.7, they are opticaly identical to the one mentioned above plus you gain AF
good luck
03-24-2009, 04:20 PM   #7
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The only commonly found and not terribly expensive lenses that are faster than f/2.8 are the various 50's (1.4 & 1.7, "A" & "M"), the various 35/2's, and I suppose the M85/2 and the Jupiter 9 (85/2). There are old manual 28/2's too, but they are usually more expensive and harder to find. Then of course there are the even more expensive lenses still in production - DA*55, FA31, FA43, FA77. Although actually, the FA43 is around the same price as the 28/2's - in the $400's.

There are f/2 and faster lenses for Pentax from other manufacturers, but I know little about them.
03-26-2009, 12:29 AM   #8
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And if you are keen as well ... get yourself a K-to-M42 adaptor .. and there's a myriad or Takumar lenses out there that will serve you well too.

I love my Super Takumar and SMC Takumar primes.

03-26-2009, 10:33 AM   #9
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When I survey my faster lenses (f/2 or better) I see (and paid - eBay unless NEW):

PK Vivitar 24/2 - US$108
DA 50/1.4 - $200 (NEW a year ago)
M42 Meyer Orestron 50/1.8 - $42
M42 Argus (Chinon) 55/1.7 - $3
M42 Takumar 55/1.8 - $7.50
M42 Super Tak 55/2 - $20
M42 Helios-44M 58/2 - $19
F-mount Nikkor 85/2 - $9
M39 Jupiter-9 85/2 - $70

All but the DA50 are manual focus; all others but the Taks and later Argus (Chinon) require preset aperture use; all are what I consider good performers, although at 85/2 I use the Nikkor more than the Jupiter (even force-fit to the mount, it works more smoothly). The next fast lenses I'll look for would be 28 and 135 and maybe 20, auto not required, and I'll likely find them for not-too-much-$$$. Yes, good fast manuals are pretty abundant. They take a little more work and time, but greatly reward the effort.
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