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09-03-2009, 08:10 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by usrbrv8 Quote
So I thought:
1. Pentax SMCP-FA 50 1.4 for indoors low light
2. Sigma 17-7- f2.8-4.5 as a good walk around lens at a good price ( the pentax 16-50 is out of my price range and I want a little more zoom)
3. Pentax 55-300 f4-5.8 good tele for the price
I like your choices, although I'd plop for the DA 17-70 over the Sigma for its constant aperture and better IQ.

I know a lot of people find 50mm too long for shooting in a house. I definitely don't. I am comfortable shooting candids from that distance. With the FA 35, I feel like I'm sticking the camera in peoples' faces. Plus a 50mm has the perspective commonly accepted as portrait range.

I strongly urge you to stay with your idea for a really fast lens. F2.8 is not sufficient for a lot of low light situations IME.

Finally, a Raynox DCR-150 is a great inexpensive addition for real macro capability (as opposed to the close-focus ability of some so-called "macro" lenses).

Best of luck with your purchases.

09-03-2009, 08:15 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Finally, a Raynox DCR-150 is a great inexpensive addition for real macro capability (as opposed to the close-focus ability of some so-called "macro" lenses).
Which would be the more apropriate choice to mate with a FA50? The raynox 150 or 250?
09-03-2009, 09:03 AM   #18
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I think you've assembled the best starter kit under 1000$. If you get used then the cost will be more like 850$ instead of 1000$. Buying a used sigma might be risky though. If you can squeeze in the DA 10-17 you'll have a really fun kit with almost no overlap.

If you want to cut costs get the F50/1.7 with a broken filter ring, might be as cheap as 80$, or any of the manual focus versions. Another alternative to the FA 50 is FA 43, which is alot more money but will still be under 1000$ if you get everything used.

FA 50 would be good with both raynoxes but the 150 is more manageable to use due to the longer focusing distance. What these adapters shine in though is with zooms, and the DA 50-200 is a perfect couple for both raynoxes, not sure with the DA 50-300.

If money is of no issue:
DA 12-24
DA 16-50
DA 50-135
DA 60-250

Or
FA 31, 43, 77
DA 60-250

Of course, if DA 60-250 is cheap, everyone and their grandmother would have one

Last edited by Andi Lo; 09-03-2009 at 09:08 AM.
09-03-2009, 09:42 AM   #19
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You can also consider the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 for indoor low-light.

09-03-2009, 12:51 PM   #20
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Thanks

I just want to thank everyone for all of the advice. I think I will be making my first purchases this weekend (k20d and sigma 17-70). I thought hard about the pentax 17-70 but from the reviews / pics I have seen, I like color from the sigma and I like having 2.8 at 17, so in lower light I can try at 17 before I have to switch lenses.

Then next pay check I will pick up the pentax 55-300 and then I think I am going try to find both the pentax 50 1.4 and pentax 35 2.0 used.

thanks again
09-03-2009, 05:35 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by usrbrv8 Quote
I just want to thank everyone for all of the advice. I think I will be making my first purchases this weekend (k20d and sigma 17-70). I thought hard about the pentax 17-70 but from the reviews / pics I have seen, I like color from the sigma and I like having 2.8 at 17, so in lower light I can try at 17 before I have to switch lenses.

Then next pay check I will pick up the pentax 55-300 and then I think I am going try to find both the pentax 50 1.4 and pentax 35 2.0 used.

thanks again
This sounds like a good plan, but I can't understand why you prefer the Sigma colours ;~). I believe you'll notice the colours from the 55-300 are different, and more like the DA 17-70. But everyone has their own take on this hobby, so whatever floats your boat.

Regarding Raynoxes; The 250 has about 4" working distance (roughly 1/2 the 150's). I'd say the 250 is better on the 50mm, and the 150 is better on the 55-300. The 150 doesn't provide enough magnification with the FA 50, IME. Even with a 250 on the FA 50mm, it's not a real macro setup. I suspect the 250 mounted on the Sigma 17-70 will get you to 1:1 macro. The 150 on the Sigma with its close focus ability would be an interesting combo.

The 250 is pretty hairy at 300mm, but strong magnifications can be fun. Mounted on the 55-300, the 250 vignettes very strongly throughout the midrange focal lengths. The 150 on the 55-300mm will get you to 1:1, less than 1:1, and well beyond 1:1, with a longer working distance and more flexibility. It's a judgement call. I originally bought the 250, then the 150. They both have their strengths. I use the 250 on my primes and the 150 on my zooms. If it were my choice, given your lens choices, I'd go with the 150.

PS The Sigma 17-70 would need a 72-67mm step-down ring to hold a Raynox. I haven't heard of anyone using a raynox with this lens, but the 150 would be less likely to vignette.

Last edited by audiobomber; 09-03-2009 at 05:44 PM.
09-03-2009, 08:23 PM   #22
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You dont "need" a step down ring for the raynox since it comes with that pinch on ring. In the end I prefer the ring, but YMMV. Thanks for confirming that 55-300 works okay on the 250.
09-03-2009, 09:50 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
You dont "need" a step down ring for the raynox since it comes with that pinch on ring. In the end I prefer the ring, but YMMV. Thanks for confirming that 55-300 works okay on the 250.
The Raynox adapter fits 52mm to 67mm lenses. The Sigma filter size is 72mm, so it will need a step-down to mate with the Raynox adapter.

The DCR-250 works with the 55-300... sort of. It vignettes very strongly everywhere except at the extreme ends of the zoom range. So you can get 1:2 macro and over 2:1 macro, but not 1:1 macro. It's not a good match unless you're going for very high magnification (2.7:1).

09-03-2009, 10:43 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
The Raynox adapter fits 52mm to 67mm lenses. The Sigma filter size is 72mm, so it will need a step-down to mate with the Raynox adapter.

The DCR-250 works with the 55-300... sort of. It vignettes very strongly everywhere except at the extreme ends of the zoom range. So you can get 1:2 macro and over 2:1 macro, but not 1:1 macro. It's not a good match unless you're going for very high magnification (2.7:1).
Ah I see, thanks for the clarification....

on the 250 / 55-300, that's why I said 'okay' rather than good. Sorry if it doesnt come across clearly
09-04-2009, 03:50 AM   #25
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Awesome choise of lenses for the starters.

People already pointed out that FA50 is tad short indoors.

Sigma 30\1.4 makes a 45mm fast normal prime on crop, and believe me you really want that.

If I had not FA31 Limited, I would go for the Sigma myself.
09-04-2009, 04:47 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by usrbrv8 Quote
1. Pentax SMCP-FA 50 1.4 for indoors low light
2. Sigma 17-7- f2.8-4.5 as a good walk around lens at a good price ( the pentax 16-50 is out of my price range and I want a little more zoom)
3. Pentax 55-300 f4-5.8 good tele for the price
Coming late to the thread I will only repeat that this is a very nice looking kit for the money. It seems you have done your homework.

Some suggest the 50mm will be too tight indoors. That may be true, but if you like getting details in low light it is wonderful. Sacrificing a stop to move to 35mm will not help your situation, IMO, since that is still too tight on a cropped sensor. Still, you have the 17-70 zoom for wider work.

Now, if I had $1000 and needed to start over, these would be my three choices:

1. The FA 77, a perfect portrait lens that is also suitable for shooting performances, picking out details in architecture, etc. and moderate tele work (like shooting people across a room without them noticing).

2. A manual Vivitar/Kiron/Komine 28/2 that can be used very nicely at f/2.8 and provides a "normal" field of view with close focus ability. Perfect for groups, landscapes, street shots, etc.

3. A screw-on 49mm macro adapter that turns the FA77 into a fine lens for extreme close-ups.

I can live without telephoto though I have the DA55-300mm and think it is a fine choice.
09-04-2009, 05:07 AM   #27
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Sigma 17-70 is a great lens IMO for the money, not worth lashing out the extra on the Pentax, unless SDM is an issue.

I'm also going to throw my hat in the ring for the Sigma 30mm f1.4 Great lens indoors and almost the perfect focal length, and I'd also buy an old M series 50mm 1.7 for a bit of fun and that extra reach.

I'd buy

17-70 + 55-300 + 30 + manual 50mm (cheap as chips!)

or

the expensive option

10-20 ( I sold mine - didn't use the ultra wide much.) DA 16-50 FA 50 DA 70/FA 77/50-135 + Tammy/Sigma 70-200 2.8 - because the DA * 60-250 is waaay expensive now.
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