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06-27-2007, 03:35 PM   #1
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NooB with lens questions

I'm researching purchasing my first lens (that wasn't included with my K100D body), and I would appreciate a little help and guidance.

First, how do I find out the type of mount my camera has? I have seen "K" and "DA" and I'm not sure what they mean or the differences.

Also, what should I look for in a lens? I understand the difference of a fixed and zoom lens. Macro, telephoto, and the sort. What I'm wondering is more along the lines of brands I should and should not look at.

My goal is to find something in the 50mm to 200mm telephoto zoom range, and would like to find a deal on e-bay. My problem is I don't have enough experience to know what I'm really looking for or at.

Any advice is appreciated,

07-01-2007, 11:58 PM   #2
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All Pentax lenses are K mount. DA/FA/F/A/M/K are just different types of lenses available for Pentax SLR cameras. Here is quick run reivew:
* K - the very first K mount, manual focus + manual aperture
* M - the miniturization of K lenses, manual focus + manual aperture
* A - manual focus, Auto aperture
* F - first version of Auto focus lens + auto aperture
* FA - 2nd generation of AF lenses + auto aperture
* FAJ - AF lenses without aperture ring + aperture set in camera body
* DA - digital only lenses

As to what brand to get, Pentax is a very good start =) Sigma and Tamron are the two biggest 3rd-party manufacturers. There are also Tokina, Vivitar, plus a few others that produce quite good lenses too.

Pentax DA50-200 is the lens to get in the range of 50mm to 200mm (or the Samsung version). Sigma has got a 55-200mm if I remembere correctly and I have heard that's not too bad either.

07-02-2007, 01:11 AM   #3
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Kenny is absolutely correct Pentax has been using their own mount for more than 30 years (K mount) any and all lenses that fit all Pentax cameras will have the K or KA mount designation However there are some lenses with the KA mount designation that have a problem mounting to your Pentax camera. Pentax made lenses for other cameras that were very much like their K mount but not quite. If you get one of these lenses don't force the lens if it doesn't fit in the mount right. There are ways to make them fit by removing or filing down the locking pin. Other then these lenses You would have no problem buying a K, M, A, F, FA, FAJ, or the DA lenses.

In the 50 -200mm range I have to recommend the Pentax DA 50-200mm, It's a great lens and renders really great colors and has a nice DOF. I have used this lens on the my DL as a walk about lens and have never been sorry I purchased it. Here's a small sample of what the lens can do.

I hope this helps.

Last edited by Photo Tramp; 07-02-2007 at 01:24 AM.
07-02-2007, 01:19 AM   #4
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I don't know why the images will not show up but I will try and post some later.

Ok I guess I'll have to take them out of the gallery shots. Seems like the Photobucket link isn't working.

hope this helps.

Last edited by Photo Tramp; 07-02-2007 at 01:30 AM.
07-02-2007, 12:50 PM   #5
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Please remember that the FAQ forum is not intended to be a user help forum. I don't know why this thread hasn't already been moved by other of the moderators...

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07-02-2007, 02:07 PM   #6
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I would suggest the DA 50-200 lens from Pentax as well. It has rapidly become my favorite lens and I find it stays on the camera most of the time. Even if you purchase the lens direct from a camera store it is still a very good buy for the money.

This example is from the Canada Day Celebration in Langley, BC. The unusual background is the owners hair as the bird was riding around on his shoulders.

Pentax DA 50-200 at 200 mm F9.5 1/350 in Automode. Taken from about 15 ft away

Last edited by BrianK; 07-02-2007 at 02:15 PM.
07-02-2007, 02:29 PM   #7
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Thanks for the information everyone.
I appreciate it.
07-02-2007, 07:12 PM   #8
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DA 50-200 all the way for your desired zoom range - with the current $50 rebate it's an unbeatable deal in terms of "bang for the buck".

Look at bjsmith's airshow thread and my airshow thread (not much in mine yet, still haven't finished PPing everything and posting it, there's just three highly compressed JPEGs that don't really do the lens justice) for some more examples of what the DA 50-200 can do.

07-03-2007, 12:15 PM   #9
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Get the DA 50-200 - it is the best for the price and has one very important (and often overlooked) feature - you can disengage the AF by turning the focus ring - great for touching up the focus or for fast moving objects.

The old F 80-200 f4.7 is also a sleeper - you can still find it new at some stores, and it sells for under $90 new and sometimes less than $45 used. It is slower than the 50-200, does not allow you to disengage the AF, but it does focus faster, does not extend when zooming (less chance of dust getting in), and the F model has the metal lens mount (not sure of the FA model - think that one is plastic).


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