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11-16-2009, 06:12 PM   #1
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zoom or not

hello i have a k100d with the kit lens 18-55 and 75-300. i would like to get another lens with a faster f-stop. i mostly take pictures of my kids. i know there are a thousand differant ways of looking at this. i need a good all around lens for good fast pictures. what do yall suggest ? thanks

11-16-2009, 06:24 PM   #2
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Tamron17-50 2.8 and the FA 50 1.4 work for me.

Most people confuse the "fast" with more light or the ability to stop action. The former is only partially true, especially with photographing kids; the latter is not true at all.

The very shallow DOF of anything below f/2.8 usually results in softer images, more difficulty finding focus, and tracking moving subjects. The fast 50/1.4 I use for mostly static scenes. The Tamron, paired with a bounce flash (AF-360FGZ) works very well indoors and in challenging light and is especially good at freezing the "fast" action. The zoom action is very useful and the IQ excellent. The fast 50 is better at capturing mood without the necessity of resorting to flash. I find the zoom to be more versatile because you often want to capture the wider angle with kids to see what they are seeing in the same frame, without having to walk back 10 metres.

Pentax really needs an inexpensive 30mm f2.

Last edited by Aristophanes; 11-17-2009 at 06:28 PM.
11-16-2009, 07:33 PM   #3
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I'd go with an FA 50mm f/1.4 -- by far the best bang for your buck in the Pentax lineup. Their fastest, (arguably) sharpest, cheapest prime.
11-16-2009, 11:55 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Finn Quote
I'd go with an FA 50mm f/1.4 -- by far the best bang for your buck in the Pentax lineup. Their fastest, (arguably) sharpest, cheapest prime.
I'd take the F/FA 50mm/1.7 over it if you can get one, I'd say its an even better bang for the buck than the FA 50mm/1.4 and is sharper and cheaper.

Nevertheless, I'd agree with Aristophanes that faster does not mean easier to get sharp pictures. I'd personally take a Tamron 28-75mm/2.8

11-17-2009, 02:20 AM   #5
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Indeed the FA 50/1.4 is excellent value, but also hard to beat in quality, but for shooting kids, a zoom does help. If you're fast on your feet and able to chase your kids to zoom with your feet, the fast fifty is the way to go.

Otherwise the Tamron 28-75 is an excellent and fast choice.
11-17-2009, 08:30 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Indeed the FA 50/1.4 is excellent value...
At $200 the FA 50/1.4 was an excellent value, for $360, it is not the best value out there Amazon.com: Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 Lens: Camera & Photo.

Why not consider getting a good flash with a diffuser?
11-17-2009, 08:35 AM   #7
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fa 50 or bust
11-17-2009, 06:15 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by superfuzzy Quote
At $200 the FA 50/1.4 was an excellent value, for $360, it is not the best value out there Amazon.com: Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 Lens: Camera & Photo.
Oh crap! I didn't realize they'd gone up that much. I got mine new from Amazon a couple of years ago for about $180, and I assumed things hadn't changed much. Whoops.

11-17-2009, 07:05 PM   #9
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Because I find 50mm too long for most candid shooting purposes (OK, if a little short, for portraits), and because I agree that below f/2.8 you aren't necessarily doing yourself any favors for candid photography, I prefer and recommend the DA40, which is comparably price, tiny, and focuses very quickly too. The Tamron 28-75 would also be a great choice is you do decide on a zoom. But the much smaller/lighter DA40 appeals to me more.
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