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09-02-2009, 09:13 PM   #1
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New to Pentax. 3 lens to buy?

I am have been lurking around the Pentax Forums for about 3 months now reading everything I can and I am ready to take make the jump.
I am going be purchasing a K20d and I plan on getting these 3 lenses. I just wanted to bounce my ideas off the forum before I drop some cash. I plan on taking indoor pics of my 2 year old niece and family gatherings. I would like a good general walk around lens and a good tele for vacation photography (mostly national parks). 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

So for just under $1000 in glass I can cover 17-300 and have a fast prime for low light.

Am I missing anything?


09-02-2009, 09:17 PM   #2
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50 1.4 might be a bit long for indoor lowlight
might want to try to snag a FA35 used instead
09-02-2009, 09:27 PM   #3
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I have both the FA 50/1.4 and the Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.5 and they are really great lenses. And I agree that the 50/1.4 might be too long for indoors, you can find the FA 35/2.0 on ebay.
09-02-2009, 09:42 PM   #4
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All your suggestions are decent for starters.
You should be able to capture most things with that gear.
Hope it works out well for you.

09-02-2009, 09:59 PM   #5
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I'd suggest the same. 50mm is too long for indoors. since you mentioned lowlight, then the FA35 is your best bet. as for a very good telephoto, you can never go wrong with the 55-300mm. it's a great lens and a bargain.
09-02-2009, 10:10 PM   #6

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I think they are pretty good choices, however the FA 50 1.4 stopped down a little is going to be so far better than the zooms and far lighter and versatile enough that you find you never take it off the camera :P

I had a sigma 70-300mm (not as good as the zoom your buying) and the fa50 would produce sharper images if you just zoomed into the picture in photoshop than the 300mm could produce at 100%!

And so, like me, you will then be converted to primes :P
09-02-2009, 10:21 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
50 1.4 might be a bit long for indoor lowlight
might want to try to snag a FA35 used instead

I would definitly agree with this. the 50mm though great in lowlight is not wide enough for indoors. Myself im looking into the FA 31mm 1.8ltd but a good 35mm would be great for indoors as well.
09-03-2009, 02:19 AM   #8
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I would recomend a 10-20,12-24or 10-24 ultra wide zoom before the 50mm.

It might cost a little more but you get a lot more coverage with the extra range.

17 is not all that wide.

09-03-2009, 05:40 AM   #9
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Pardon a brief treadjack, but do you all think the 40 mm Limited is too long for indoor use?
09-03-2009, 06:19 AM   #10
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I would suggest following 3 lense if you can afford them:
Sigma 10-20
It's much more costly than your suggestion but incredibly versatile and quality line up. How do I know? I own it .
Good variation would be:
and DA*60-250

09-03-2009, 06:21 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by DennisH Quote
Pardon a brief treadjack, but do you all think the 40 mm Limited is too long for indoor use?
for 1 or 2 people in normal sized room it's great. Other than that it's quite tight
09-03-2009, 07:15 AM   #12
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I use my DA40 as an indoor portrait lens (if that makes sense). You might not get the whole room, but it's great for capturing expressions because people don't even realize there's a lens pointing at them (my cousin thought it was the body cap).

09-03-2009, 07:18 AM   #13
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I actually find myself happy using my FA50 and FA43 inside to take pictures of my kids. When they see me with the camera they, of course, stop whatever cute thing they were doing to pose for the camera. So with the "long" 50 or 43 I don't have to get quite as close as I would with a 35 or 31, and thus can usually get a shot off before they notice. The K20D shutter almost always gives me way after the first shot.

Obviously group shots are not my personal goal.
09-03-2009, 07:22 AM   #14
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Your proposed kit looks good. I would opt for the da40mm and a manual 50 f1.4.
09-03-2009, 07:56 AM   #15
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Rather than saying that the FA 50 f/1.4 is too long, I would say that you should be aware of its length. For indoors, it's pretty much a portrait length on an APS-C camera, so don't expect much of any background if you are using it. If that is fine with you, then go ahead. If you would like something that will catch more of the surroundings, then you will need to go wider. Something in the 28-35mm range would be considered normal for a K20D, and of course there is always something in between.

So your choices would be:
Go ahead with the FA50 -- $200-$300
Get something like the Sigma 28mm f/1.8 -- $300-$350
Try for a used Pentax 35mm f/2 -- $?-$450 (people seem to be trying to take advantage of demand by asking more than they were new a short time ago).
Get a Pentax Limited 40mm f/2.8 -- $300-$350

Of course there are more possibilities if you extend the list to a different price range altogether, manual focus, older used lenses, or some combination of these criteria.

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