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05-10-2009, 12:02 AM   #31
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The fast fifty is still the way to go IMO.
If you have a fast 35, that's fine.
But if someone new to it all wants to learn the most, and has no other lens than the kit, the fast 50 is budget-friendly yet very versatile. Combined with Pentax's kit lens, you have quite a decent initial setup.

My bias to the fast 50 is it's the fastest lens for the money.
Which other auto-focus f/1.4 lens out there is <$US200?

05-10-2009, 12:44 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
The fast fifty is still the way to go IMO.
If you have a fast 35, that's fine.
But if someone new to it all wants to learn the most, and has no other lens than the kit, the fast 50 is budget-friendly yet very versatile. Combined with Pentax's kit lens, you have quite a decent initial setup.

My bias to the fast 50 is it's the fastest lens for the money.
Which other auto-focus f/1.4 lens out there is <$US200?
A fast 50 was mentioned in my initial post, and I consider it to be somewhat of a "kit" lens

However, you're limiting yourself to one focal length. You've got all sorts of focal lengths available to you at practically nothing with a kit lens. It's not all about the aperture.

Again, this was all stated in my initial post
05-10-2009, 04:55 AM   #33
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Still not the same IMO.
I'm not sure a lot of people will get the shots they want with the kit lens, unless its just landscapes we're talking about.

I won't go into how the fast 50's better in many ways than having Pentax's kit lens, but I do think having a fixed focal length lens makes you think much more about composition, and enables creativity that the kit lens cannot offer.

Although, I get it that everyone's different.
05-10-2009, 05:18 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
The fast fifty is still the way to go IMO.
If you have a fast 35, that's fine.
But if someone new to it all wants to learn the most, and has no other lens than the kit, the fast 50 is budget-friendly yet very versatile. Combined with Pentax's kit lens, you have quite a decent initial setup.

My bias to the fast 50 is it's the fastest lens for the money.
Which other auto-focus f/1.4 lens out there is <$US200?
"Fast 50" is not a nickname for the FA50/1.4, you know.

Back to the topic at hand:

Was the 50/1.4 ever really a "kit" lens? I believe it was offered for sale in conjunction with bodies, but generally as an upgrade option from a 55/1.8 or 50/2 or some such.

I make extensive use of a kit lens, the SMC Takumar 55/1.8. It is simply a fine piece of glass.

05-10-2009, 05:28 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by soccerjoe5 Quote
"I just felt like letting that out and I want to tell new people that a kit lens, or WHATEVER lens, Limited or not, is perfectly fine as long as you get the photos YOU want."
I am glad you started this discussion and understand you argument. I just happen to disagree with it after exploring the logic. To wit:
A. Any lens is good so long as you get your shots
B. But you can't get your shots without a particular lens, therefore
C. Any lens is not good enough

I think the kit lens can take great shots, no doubt. Any lens can. Stating this is a truism that gets us no further. The problem is that the kit lens will also lose many shots. Worse, it simply doesn't demonstrate the range of expression possible with an SLR. This is evident by how quickly newcomers get frustrated with it and come here asking for help.

I would prefer that the FA50 came with the body as the default kit. That would show Pentax really is committed to photography, as they keep saying. They wouldn't just be following the pack. Supplying a fast prime would send a strong signal.

Being "limited" to a given focal length still permits one to use all the techniques of photography and to shoot in all types of light. Being limited in aperture does not. Sure people will still want to augment their initial kit prime, but not replace it and throw it in the bin. (When have I ever used the kit since I replaced it? Never.) That's a big difference.

Certainly one needs more than one focal length eventually, but in the meantime lots of great shots can be taken, and many of the limitations of a prime can be overcome by shifting perspective. But it's impossible to fake three stops more light.

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
these days I use a Pentax K 50mm f/1.2 - I use it more than I use the FA31 or the FA77 because of it's sheer versatility- and it's spectacular resolution at wider apertures.
I use the Vivitar/Komine 28/2, K50/1.2 and FA77/1.8 (with optional diopter lens) in much the same way as I might have in film days. plus ša change.
05-10-2009, 05:28 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by soccerjoe5 Quote
A fast 50 was mentioned in my initial post, and I consider it to be somewhat of a "kit" lens

However, you're limiting yourself to one focal length. You've got all sorts of focal lengths available to you at practically nothing with a kit lens. It's not all about the aperture.

Again, this was all stated in my initial post
Right Diego.

With a kit lens you can zoom from wide angle to short telephoto with relative ease.

Yes, the aperture will change, but that is when the begining photograper notices the changes and will adjust.

That is what seperates the snapshooter who uses the *Green* mode and the true photographer who will use everything at his/her disposale to get the shot she/he envisions.
05-10-2009, 05:29 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Still not the same IMO.
I'm not sure a lot of people will get the shots they want with the kit lens, unless its just landscapes we're talking about.

I won't go into how the fast 50's better in many ways than having Pentax's kit lens, but I do think having a fixed focal length lens makes you think much more about composition, and enables creativity that the kit lens cannot offer.

Although, I get it that everyone's different.
A kit lens can also offer creativity that a 50 cannot provide

QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
"Fast 50" is not a nickname for the FA50/1.4, you know.

Back to the topic at hand:

Was the 50/1.4 ever really a "kit" lens? I believe it was offered for sale in conjunction with bodies, but generally as an upgrade option from a 55/1.8 or 50/2 or some such.

I make extensive use of a kit lens, the SMC Takumar 55/1.8. It is simply a fine piece of glass.
It'd be awesome if a 50ish equivalent would be offered as a kit lens.
05-10-2009, 05:36 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I tend to agree with Diego, too. I can see the value in skipping the kit lens if you know for sure what you'd want to upgrade to, but that's part of the problem - few DSLR newcomers know. And they'll get all sorts of conflicting advice from well-intentioned people here:

- "18-55 is OK but not sharp enough - get the 16-45 instead"
- "18-55 is OK but not fast enough - get the 16-50 instead"
- "18-55 is OK but slightly sharper, slightly faster, and slightly longer is better - get a 17-70 instead"
- "changing lenses sucks - get a 18-250 instead"
- "zooms suck - get a prime or two instead"

All of these are perfectly sound pieces of advice - *if* you happen to share the priorities of the person giving the advice. Some will be frustrated with the sharpness or the kit lens, some with its speed, some with its range - and some will wonder why others are frustrated with that seems to be a perfectly good lens. How is any newbie to know which of these applies to him? For under $100, I know a great way to find out: get the kit lens and see for yourself. Will you end up wanting to replace it later? Maybe. But the same is true if you end up taking any of the suggestions above - you might decide the 16-45 isn't long enough, the 16-50 or 17-70 too big and not long enough, the 18-250 too much of a compromise, primes too limiting, etc. Basically, there's no way to know which direction any given person will want to go, so why spend more money than in that first stage of figuring out what road you want to be on?
This is my main point for recommending sticking to the kit lens for a while.

QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote

Being "limited" to a given focal length still permits one to use all the techniques of photography and to shoot in all types of light. Being limited in aperture does not. Sure people will still want to augment their initial kit prime, but not replace it and throw it in the bin. (When have I ever used the kit since I replaced it? Never.) That's a big difference.

Certainly one needs more than one focal length eventually, but in the meantime lots of great shots can be taken, and many of the limitations of a prime can be overcome by shifting perspective. But it's impossible to fake three stops more light.
I believe that being limited in anything helps you think out of the box, making you a better photographer, aperture included

05-10-2009, 05:40 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
Just my personal gripe with fast fifties but I do think that they're not good fov for newbies unless you're really into portraits. SMC tak 50 is still the best lens in my toolshed but I keep finding resons not to use it because of the FOV. Yes, yes, I've seen all kinds of shots made with the fast fifty on crop sensors, but it's just not my focal length, and I suspect this true for most people as well, otherwise the kit lens in the film world would be a 75mm. A fast 35 would be ideal imho... if one as small, cheap and fast as the fifty exists, maybe one day.

my 2c

Nikon just came out with their $199 MSRP 35 f/1.8G, and excellent little D-normal 'kit' prime just for this reason.

It's sold out almost everywhere and Nikonians are in a panic trying to get one, paying gouged prices, etc. It works on the D40/D60, unlike the $120 50 1.8D.

I'm doing my part by posting images from it to make them pay for procrastinating.







It would be nice to see a new $199 Pentax DA 35 f/1.8 with an ED element also.


.
05-10-2009, 05:53 AM   #40
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Yeah at one point I even thought of snagging my friend's D80 just for this lens... but I thought those funds can go to the 31 or K20D instead. Good move by nikon here. Maybe Pentax can break the market by actually releasing the DA 30 and making it 200-250$ weathersealed lens with SDM!
05-10-2009, 06:17 AM   #41
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Some persepective. Compared to 99% of the equipment being used, the kit lens takes darn good photos.

I was, for 20 years, afflicted with LBA and found it "necessary" to carry so many (Pentax) camera bodies and lenses traveling that one day in the 90s, I stopped strapping on 20 lbs of aluminum and glass, and virtually stopped carrying an SLR. Ten years ago, I put my toe in the digital water, and was not unhappy with the quality from that p&s. When I bought my K10d, I was prepared by years of film and primes to be disappointed, but I was actually blown away by what you got from the maligned featherweight kit lenses--compared to the p&s. For about a year, I used only the kit lens, its longer sibling and an old Kiron 28mm F2 (for indoors). The biggest variables in sharpness and quality are not the lenses, and there is a lot to be said for simplicity and light weight.

I'll admit to creeping back into the LBA now, because I fell in love with the Limiteds, with their small size and quality. My new "simple" setup is often a pancake 40mm, plus a DA 21mm and/or FA 77. It gets an SLR into a waist pack, and may head off my getting fed up with the luggage again.
05-10-2009, 06:43 AM   #42
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I agree about the fast 30-35 DA L. One of my favorite indoor lenses is the Kiron 28mm F2 A, but because it is an 80s era film lens, it is almost as large and weighs noticeably more than the kit zoom. It would be terrific if Pentax could squeeze another stop out of the 35mm DA L, perhaps losing the macro. The 31 looks like super glass, but we shouldn't have to shell four figure money and lug 3/4 lb. to get a fast lens with a ~50 degree FOV.
05-10-2009, 06:47 AM   #43
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I recently swapped from canon to pentax and got the 18-55 kits lens and really have no complaints, if i was using a canon kit lens they are just really soft, i think canon and nikons design them that way so you blow every dime you earn on their glass, when i was in school i had a mamiya 645 AFD II with just an 80mm and 150mm if you wanted to zoom it was on foot, it really taught you how to think on your feet litteraly.
as for the pentax kit lenses i did a few portrait tests here at home and both lenses where sharp and clear at f/8 using profoto strobes, so i am def not going to complain, i do want more fast glass but i instead ordered manual focus fast glass primes.

i would def reccomend begginners start out as this original poster stated it is a great way to learn what you are going to shoot ect.... you may never need a fast lens or you might end up needing all fast glass.
05-10-2009, 07:59 AM   #44
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I luv the kit lens...

Let's get the kit lens into perspective. It is a starter lens that the camera company has to bundle with the camera body for the photographer to start his or her DSLR journey. Even though it is produced in the thousands and probably dirt cheap to produce, nonetheless it does constitute a cost for the camera company. It offers a versatile range of focal lengths that can cover a wide range of subjects. It may not offer the limited DOF effects from having a large aperture or a constant aperture or a short enough minimum focusing distance like that of a prime lens, but it still is the cheapest wide angle AF lens around. Sure a lens like the FA 50mm f/1.4 is good, but considering the DA 18-55mm is mostly bundled free or costs next to nothing, and trounces the equivalent kit lenses from Nikon and Canon, the kit lens is outstanding both in value and performance. To me the true test of a good photographer is if he or she can produce stunning images with only a kit lens. This is perhaps the ultimate photographic challenge because just about everyone can get hold of one and since everyone is using the same lens, the only variable is the photographer...

My tribute to the kit lens...



05-10-2009, 08:10 AM   #45
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I'm one for a cheap, fast, light 30-35 designed for DA. Doesn't have to be a limited or all metal, one like the Nikkor would be great. That would make a fantastic kit lens and would be a great way for Pentax to differentiate themselves from the rest and BE INTERESTING.

Great photos Jay and Dennis
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