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11-15-2009, 03:33 PM   #16
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i found one at 120 euros, which does not seem to horrible. But since that same lens was 90 euros yesterday on the same ad site, i guess there's a hell of a lot of people interested.

11-15-2009, 05:04 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by mr. jef Quote
Still, the mind wonders, and i thought that maybe, since the 21mm and below range does not seem to hold any cheap-compact-good-wonders (and i fear the use of the Zenitar might just be too limiting)
Man, it's quite the search, i'm wondering with what i'll end up eventually.
The cheapest/best-value compact sub-28mm lens is any of the DA / DA II / DA-L 18-55 lenses.

You can find them for about $50-$75 in the PF Marketplace, which is as cheap as you can get in that range. The best one is the DA II, as it has the best combination of optics and function (hood, quick-shift, focus-scale). The DA-L's are flooding the market as K-x buyers are starting to sell them.

Those lenses are best in the 18-35mm part of their range so they are a focal-length complement to your current 28mm and 50mm lenses. They also focus down to 1:3 at their long-end which is a nice pseudo-macro option for close-ups.

They aren't that big. The Zenitar is 50mm long / 295g. The 18-55 is longer (68mm) but lighter (220g w/o hood).

The Zenitar is another cheap/good wide lens. Far from limiting, it's limitless. It's a good complement to the the 18-55 because the field of view is much much wider. A 16mm fisheye is closer to a 12mm rectilinear lens (both ~100 degrees).

Examples:
DA-L 18-55 @ 18mm:
Zenfolio | David Anthony | Random 080329 - Pentax DAL18-55mm lens test
Zenfolio | David Anthony | Random 080329 - Pentax DAL18-55mm lens test

DA-II 18-55 @ 18mm:
Zenfolio | David Anthony | Babysitting Lila 090822
Zenfolio | David Anthony | Babysitting Lila 090822

Zenitar 16mm:
Zenfolio | David Anthony | il Giardino e Casa di Fornasier
Zenfolio | David Anthony | Ching-Jing Farm, Taiwan
Zenfolio | David Anthony | Ching-Jing Farm, Taiwan
11-15-2009, 06:53 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by mr. jef Quote
I just wondered if it focuses to infinity (or only with a special adapter, and in that case, which one would that be?).
Any M42 lens will focus to infinity on a K-mount camera, provided you use a suitable adapter. You need to get one without a flange. A number of the wrong ones are being sold, so beware.

If the adapter is a genuine Pentax M42->K-mount adapter, you'll be fine.
11-16-2009, 12:01 PM   #19
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thanks for the m42 info.
And Dave, great pictures for showing what these lenses can do, i felt quite tempted already by just getting the kit zoom (perhaps the weathered version, seems like a nice travel companion), but then again it felt a bit like a cop out - but that might be plain silliness.
Anyway, i have a fine deal on an M 24-35, i'm just going to check that out (i like it's looks and my belief in the m series is quite strong), if we don't get along very well i'll continue the quest. It's extremely hard to find info on this old M zoom, mystery seems to surround it. We'll see what it does.

11-16-2009, 12:12 PM   #20
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Bear in mind that your camera asks you to input the focal length when using manual lenses. This makes zooms something of a pain, to the extent that I'll only buy manual primes. I have three good auto focus zooms covering 18-300mm between them (DA L 18-55, FA 28-90 and F 100-300), total cost of the latter two was around 100 while the first is the kit lens that came with my Km.

The kit 18-55mm is a very good lens:



No post-production, just Auto Picture Mode for a quick snapshot from the Land Rover window!

Last edited by Dangermouse; 11-16-2009 at 12:15 PM. Reason: Reread previous post
11-16-2009, 12:45 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dangermouse Quote
Bear in mind that your camera asks you to input the focal length when using manual lenses. This makes zooms something of a pain, to the extent that I'll only buy manual primes. I have three good auto focus zooms covering 18-300mm between them (DA L 18-55, FA 28-90 and F 100-300), total cost of the latter two was around 100 while the first is the kit lens that came with my Km.
.

Yes, MF zooms are less convenient because of the need to dial in a distinct FL each time you zoom to take advantage of SR.

To the OP, I'd suggest just spending a little bit more and getting the DA 16-45 - in the end, you'll be much happier. That lens is truly a dependable WA choice that will give you years of sharp, colorful images at 16mm, and f/4 constant just ends up being useful in a lot more lower-light situations.


.
11-17-2009, 12:03 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
To the OP, I'd suggest just spending a little bit more and getting the DA 16-45 - in the end, you'll be much happier. That lens is truly a dependable WA choice that will give you years of sharp, colorful images at 16mm, and f/4 constant just ends up being useful in a lot more lower-light situations.
What Jay said.
11-17-2009, 02:00 PM   #23
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Excellent advice given in the above posts!

I want to second a few comments:
  • The 18-55 kit lens is the most cost affective wide angle option
  • The Zenitar 16/2.8 fisheye is a great lens. I bought mine to use as a landscape lens on my K10D and have had a great time using it with my 35mm film bodies as well. The line bending qualities depend heavily on camera angle and the position of the lines relative to the lens axis. It is also light and compact.
  • The Jupiter-9 85/2 is well worth owning. I have the Pentax-FA 77/1.8 Limited and continue to shoot with and like the results from both lenses. 'Nuff said?
  • The Helios 44M 58/2 (and others of the Helios 44 series) is a cult classic and rightly so. It is a great focal length for portraits on APS-C cameras and renders in a manner that eerily similar to the FA 77/1.8 limited. Did I mention that I only paid $15 for mine? Again...'Nuff said?

Here are a few links to images taken with these lenses:

DA 18-55/3.5-5.6
Flickr Photo Download: Neptune Pool, Hearst Castle
Flickr Photo Download: Frog Sculpture, Cambria CA
MC Zenitar 16/2.8 Fisheye (on 35mm film)
Flickr Photo Download: So long and thanks for all the fish...
http://www.aracnet.com/~brothers/images/79930029.jpg
MC Zenitar 16/2.8 Fisheye (APS-C on K10D)
Flickr Photo Download: This one stands out
Flickr Photo Download: Farewell to Orpheus...
http://www.aracnet.com/~brothers/images/IMGP1542.jpg
http://www.aracnet.com/~brothers/images/IMGP8033.jpg
http://www.aracnet.com/~brothers/images/IMGP8023.jpg
MC Jupiter-9 85/2
http://www.aracnet.com/~brothers/images/IMGP5630.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/28796087@N02/3197842083/sizes/o/
http://www.aracnet.com/~brothers/images/IMGP4831.jpg
Helios 44M 58/2
http://www.flickr.com/photos/28796087@N02/3797331280/sizes/o/
http://www.aracnet.com/~brothers/images/IMGP1865.jpg
http://www.aracnet.com/~brothers/images/IMGP2253.jpg
http://www.aracnet.com/~brothers/images/IMGP2250.jpg
Flickr Photo Download: Who Needs Stained Glass?
That should be a good sampling. Aren't you glad that I opted to post the links rather than the images!?

Steve


Last edited by stevebrot; 11-19-2009 at 05:03 PM.
11-19-2009, 10:42 AM   #24
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Very nice samples indeed Steve, I'm quite pleased to see the possibilities of the Zenitar, it looks like a nice lens indeed. I might have a friend from Russia coming over for Christmas, maybe i'll ask her to bring me some eastern glass. That Helios looks like good times as well - even though i took my 50 1.7 out yesterday, and everything it does is more than ok with me, so i suppose i don't need another lens in its focal range.
But man, it's hard to listen to the need argument, just today i picked up an M 135 3.5 for 25 euros, even though i am very much convinced that that is way too long a focal range. I might be needing medical assistance soon...
11-19-2009, 01:28 PM   #25
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The M 135mm is a fine lens, and that was a good price for it. Don't discount it too quickly - if you ever do a bit of sports photography or go to a concert then the focal length and speed will be very handy.
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