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01-31-2010, 10:54 PM   #1
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Help with Lens selection, coming from nikon

Hello! I hope it's okay to post here about suggestions on camera lenses.

I have been looking at the K-7 for a while now because the size of the camera (and all its features) really has piqued my interest. It seems to combine some features I like about the E-P1 (small size, in-camera picture effects), D90 (video + great picture IQ), D700 (weather seals) into one package.

Currently, I own d90, d700, and e-p1 (so not a total noob, just pentax one).

What I would like is a lens similar to the 35/1.8 and 85/1.8, but reasonably priced.

So far, I have come up with the 35/2.0 & 70/2.4; are there any others?. It's probably just me, but I just cant seem to find that many Pentax lenses (pentax branded and affordable). Can someone please point out any other lenses around preferred selection.

I have to say that 85/1.8 is one of my favorite lenses (next to 85/1.4), so something close to this would be great.

*I also do realize there is a lens database at the top of the thread, but it has too many trees to really be effective for a noob like me. Would be nice to see all the lenses on one page and separated by prime / zoom.

01-31-2010, 11:39 PM   #2
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for 35mm, there's the K30 (rare), FA31, FA35, DA35. along shorter tele, there's the DA70, FA77, 85/1.4, 85/1.8, 85/1.9 and 85/2.

any of those lenses are great. if you are looking for the cheaper ones, for the 35mm, the FA35. for the shorter tele, the 85/1.9 and f2 are the cheapest.
01-31-2010, 11:50 PM   #3
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Well, you've managed to choose 2 of the weakest points in the entire Pentax lineup as far as affordable lenses go. In terms of new and fully automated Pentax branded lenses you are looking at the 35mm f/2, 35mm f/2.8 macro, 70mm f/2.4 or 77mm f/1.8. All 4 are excellent lenses but I wouldn't describe any of them as affordable compared to Nikon's budget 85mm and 35mm.

There are a couple of affordable second hand options at 28mm and f/2.8, and there are 4 good 50mm lenses (F and FA series f/1.7 and f/1.4) available used.
02-01-2010, 12:26 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. Any recommendations on a place that sells a large variety of pentax lens? Or the usual B&H and Adorama?

02-01-2010, 12:29 AM   #5
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the Forums Marketplace, eBay, Keh, Adorama, and your local craigslist.
02-01-2010, 10:26 AM   #6
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In navigating the reviews, know the basics first: DA are the lenses specifically designed for digital (like your 35/1.8), F & FA are the autofocus lenses originally made for film (but of course work fine with digital, like your 85/1.8), A, M, and K are the manual focus lenses that mount with directly and require no adapter; M42 are the screw mount lenses (also manual) that require adapters. Of the manual focus lenses, the "A" series at least support full exposure. The others do support metering, but you have to control aperture with the aperture ring - the camera can't do it for you.

With this in mind, do check out the "M" 85/2 for another alternative at that focal length, and the "M" 35/2 too. Also, the DA40 and DA35 should at least get a serious look. With SR built in to the camera, you may well find f/2.8 is sufficient for your needs.
02-01-2010, 02:05 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by drewx2 Quote
Hello! I hope it's okay to post here about suggestions on camera lenses.

I have been looking at the K-7 for a while now because the size of the camera (and all its features) really has piqued my interest. It seems to combine some features I like about the E-P1 (small size, in-camera picture effects), D90 (video + great picture IQ), D700 (weather seals) into one package.

Currently, I own d90, d700, and e-p1 (so not a total noob, just pentax one).

What I would like is a lens similar to the 35/1.8 and 85/1.8, but reasonably priced.

So far, I have come up with the 35/2.0 & 70/2.4; are there any others?. It's probably just me, but I just cant seem to find that many Pentax lenses (pentax branded and affordable). Can someone please point out any other lenses around preferred selection.

I have to say that 85/1.8 is one of my favorite lenses (next to 85/1.4), so something close to this would be great.

*I also do realize there is a lens database at the top of the thread, but it has too many trees to really be effective for a noob like me. Would be nice to see all the lenses on one page and separated by prime / zoom.
.


Nikon has three current lenses at a price point that Pentax doesn't quite match right now, and these lenses seem to be what you're after in K-mount - that's the bad news.

The good news is that spending just a bit more bumps you into a unique category that is very tasty, and hard for anyone else to match.

Nikon 85 1.8: This can be had for around $400. The Pentax alternative right now is the FA 77mm 1.8 limited. I have both the Nikon 85 1.8 and the Pentax 77, and the 77 is in the class of the Nikon 85 1.4 - better than the Nikon 85 1.8. (I often categorize my 85 1.8 as being like a Nikon 50 1.8 but longer, with better bokeh. ) The DA 70 2/4 is a very small, *extremely* sharp choice that isn't as fast. See this link. Or, if you want a superb MF alternative : This link.

Nikon 50 1.8D: Cheaply built, maybe the bokeh isn't great, but can be had for $130 or so. Pentax's FA 50 1.4 has better bokeh, but is now up around $300 I think. The DA* 55 1.4 is a superb portrait machine, but is even more expensive.

If you can find an F or FA 50 1.7 for around $185, grab it. Sharper than the FA 1.4 or Nikon 50 1.8 wide open.

Nikon 35 1.8G: Pentax has discontinued the FA 35 f/2 - a crying shame. It's now selling for $350-$400. Built better than the Nikon 35 1.8 with maybe less CA. Just as sharp if not sharper. But it's not $199.

Alternatively, the DA 35 2.8 1:1 macro is a class-leader, but not really 'low-light' for a prime. And it runs around $530. See this link.

The legendary FA 31 1.8 Limited has been called one of the best primes ever made by anyone, but it lists currently at around 1K.

My suggestion for K-7 or K-x kit:

DA 15mm f/4 Limited
FA 35 f/2 or DA 35 2.8 Macro Limited
FA 77 f/1.8 Limited (bite the bullet - it's a special lens.)



.
02-01-2010, 03:24 PM   #8
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Hmm... Thanks for the great suggestions. The M85 (I think thats what it is, possible to get a link to info on it) from the link you posted looks very good (make that extremely good). I don't have a problem with manual lenses either, so I may have to get that.

I also was considering the 77/1.8, but liked the size of the 70/2.4 (makes for a extremely small setup). My only issue with the 70/2.4 is it not being as fast, so I may just pick up the 77/1.8.

In fact, I may just go with your completed set suggestion. I was already eyeing that 15/4 anyhow :P

Thanks

02-02-2010, 03:46 AM   #9
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Any opinions on the Rokinon/Vivitar/Bower/etc. 85/1.4 lenses? Pretty darn cheap. Could save $400-500 and use that money towards a katz eye focusing screen
02-02-2010, 12:43 PM   #11
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Sigma 30mm 1:1.4
Pentax 70mm 1:2.4 Limited

These two will get you sorted.
02-03-2010, 02:09 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
In navigating the reviews, know the basics first: DA are the lenses specifically designed for digital (like your 35/1.8), F & FA are the autofocus lenses originally made for film (but of course work fine with digital, like your 85/1.8), A, M, and K are the manual focus lenses that mount with directly and require no adapter; M42 are the screw mount lenses (also manual) that require adapters. Of the manual focus lenses, the "A" series at least support full exposure. The others do support metering, but you have to control aperture with the aperture ring - the camera can't do it for you.

With this in mind, do check out the "M" 85/2 for another alternative at that focal length, and the "M" 35/2 too. Also, the DA40 and DA35 should at least get a serious look. With SR built in to the camera, you may well find f/2.8 is sufficient for your needs.
I somehow missed this reply until just now. I just wanted to say thank you because this really sorted out the letter system!
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