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11-15-2009, 06:28 PM   #1
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Good value used prime alternative to SMC-A f/1.4?

I'm looking for a used fast 50mm prime for my K-x to shoot some basketball (the kit 18-55 is forcing me to f4/125/6400 which doesn't freeze the action and has high grain). Ideal case is a SMC A F/1.4, however these are getting harder and harder to find in my <$125 target price. What other alternatives are there from other manufacturers that would still give me auto-aperture ("A" setting)?. I'm a newbie and going full manual metering is a bit daunting. Basically are there other 'A' type lenses from Takumar, Sears etc worth considering.?

Thanks,
Jon.

11-15-2009, 06:33 PM   #2
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maybe look at some of the Soviet lens options? Or scower ebay for brand-x 50mm primes in either a k-mount or m42 (m42 means full manual including setting the aperture).

EDIT: OOPS...dunno how but I missed you were asking for something that was still had an "A" setting on the aperture ring. D'oh!! Anyway, I just ran across this auction ending tomorrow for an A 50mm 1.4...it's at $91 now so who knows if you wait and snipe it might stick within your budget?

http://cgi.ebay.com/SMC-Pentax-A-50mm-f-1-4-Camera-Lens-KA-Works-with-DSLRs_...item414a7b3304

Last edited by brecklundin; 11-15-2009 at 06:54 PM.
11-15-2009, 07:46 PM   #3
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I just got A 50mm 1.7 off ebay for $56, its just a tad slower then the 1.4 but from what I've heard its much more usable wide open. I really like that lens, but I can't compare it to the A50mm 1.4 since I've never owned that lens.
11-15-2009, 07:51 PM   #4
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I use both a SMC Tak 50/1.4 and an SMC A 50/1.7. I will say that it is handy being able to adjust the aperture on the camera, but for the price, the Tak's work just as easily in AV mode. Manually adjusting the aperture, the camera will adjust the shutter. Plus the A 50/1.7 is sharper than the A 50/1.4.

11-15-2009, 07:55 PM   #5
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yeah, if you can't find an affordable A 50/1.4 the 1.7 version would be a good choice.
You might try posting in the wanted section of the marketplace here. I've had very good luck there myself.

cheers
11-15-2009, 07:56 PM   #6
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If you can deal with the totally 80's plastic-and-neon the A-50/1.7 has going on, then that is a great one. Otherwise, I'd go with a Super-Takumar 50/1.4 with an adapter -- works great in Av mode.
11-15-2009, 08:13 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by gti5notrkt Quote
I'm looking for a used fast 50mm prime for my K-x to shoot some basketball (the kit 18-55 is forcing me to f4/125/6400 which doesn't freeze the action and has high grain). Ideal case is a SMC A F/1.4, however these are getting harder and harder to find in my <$125 target price. What other alternatives are there from other manufacturers that would still give me auto-aperture ("A" setting)?. I'm a newbie and going full manual metering is a bit daunting. Basically are there other 'A' type lenses from Takumar, Sears etc worth considering.?

Thanks,
Jon.
PM sent regarding A50/1.4 I am about to list
11-15-2009, 09:42 PM   #8
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Personally I love the Tak more than the A/FA (A and FA is the same lens minus the build/autofocus). I dont use the FA unless I really need the AF.

11-15-2009, 11:04 PM   #9
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Second the recommendation for the A50/1.7 - some like it *better* than the f/1.4.

But FWIW, it takes all of a few minutes to learn to use M mode. Set aperture using aperture ring, hit Green button every once in a while. In a basketball games, you could probably hit the Green button once before the starting buzzer and leave it alone the whole game - it's not like the light changes much.
11-16-2009, 12:44 AM   #10
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If you have a K-x and can stretch your budget a small amount. The Pentax-f 50mm f/1.7 is a great choice.
11-16-2009, 03:59 AM   #11
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If you can put up with manual mode then the old Pentax-K 55mm f1.8 is a very good lens. They don't seem to be quite as well known as the 50mm versions and therefore can be found for lower prices. This was one of the lenses launched with the K mount back in the 1970s so the build quality is top notch with no plastic parts.

If I put my Km into AV mode with a manual lens it shoots wide open, which doesn't seem to be much of a problem with this lens at distances of over a couple of metres. Certainly for a sports event I'd expect it to be fine, and all you need to do that way is focus and shoot.
11-16-2009, 06:44 AM   #12
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I think no one has really answered the OP's question fully.

With respect to other low cost options in the sears and takumar range etc.

In fact, there are not really a lot of lenses with "A" setting from sears that I have seen, and while there are some Takumars (with "A" setting) these are not really that great in terms of performance.

Since the OP does not want to go full manual, and I will discuss that in a moment, the other option is to go screw mount, but this means he will be focusing stopped down, if he is following sports, or shooting wide open if he needs the speed. but he will be able to set the camera to Av mode and shoot.

Now for manual.

What I really don't understand from the OP is why he is afraid of manual. For this application, manual exposure is perfect. he is in a gym, and these are generally designed with very uniform lighting and no real shadows. As a result, he can set his aperture and shutter as he wants, ONCE and forget about it.

To me, it seems the perfect time to learn manual......

Also if he really needs F1.4 to shoot, and is wide open then he can still use a K mount lens without the A, and leave the camera in Av mode, because it will meter and shoot wide open all the time.
11-16-2009, 07:07 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote

Since the OP does not want to go full manual, and I will discuss that in a moment, the other option is to go screw mount, but this means he will be focusing stopped down, if he is following sports, or shooting wide open if he needs the speed. but he will be able to set the camera to Av mode and shoot.
Focusing stopped down is no big deal, especially in that sort of situation where he isn't going to be stopped way down anyway. Here are oodles of dance shots I recently did indoors with Takumar lenses both focused and shot stopped down to f5.6.

Since he is wanting something faster than f4 then he would be stopped down to no more than f2.8, presumably. Even stopped down to f2.8 the viewfinder would be brighter than some more modern lenses (especially if we consider zooms).

For what he says he wants to do and at the settings he wants to do it, a Takumar fills the bill as well as the A lenses and beats the M lenses. I'd suggest an SMC Takumar 55/1.8, a genuine Pentax adapter, and use the remaining half of his budget for a Coke and a hot dog at the ball game.
11-16-2009, 08:00 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote

For what he says he wants to do and at the settings he wants to do it, a Takumar fills the bill as well as the A lenses and beats the M lenses. I'd suggest an SMC Takumar 55/1.8, a genuine Pentax adapter, and use the remaining half of his budget for a Coke and a hot dog at the ball game.
Or just buy the Pentax-K 55mm f1.8, which is the same lens with a K mount. No adapter required and you have basic aperture coupling between camera and lens to allow you to use smaller apertures in manual mode with stop-down metering.
11-16-2009, 09:05 AM   #15
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A note of caution regarding the Pentax-A 50/1.7. While it is a fine lens optically, build issues related to the aperture ring are common. If you intend to leave it on the "A" setting this should be no problem from a practical perspective, but should affect the price you might pay. Be sure and test the movement of the aperture ring at all positions. If it is hard to turn or "jerky", insist on a discount.

Steve
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