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02-19-2010, 06:43 AM   #1
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I am new, so, What are the MUST HAVE lenes?

I just got my Pentax and I have 2 lenses so far. I have the 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL and also a Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG Macro...

So, I needs your help..I am new to the DSL and Lenses world, so I really don't get all the specks yet, like what does F3.5-5.6 mean? Please be kind..

Also, I hear a must have lenses is the 50 mm f 1.4??

I love taking indoor and outdoor Family shots. Wedding and Baby's I would like to do also..Thanks ..

02-19-2010, 06:51 AM   #2
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Wow, that's a really general and wide ranging request. I suggest going to the 'Beginner's Corner Q&A' and reading up all you can in there first. When you've done a bit of homework, you'll be in a better position to re-ask a more focused question.
02-19-2010, 07:13 AM   #3
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As Alex mentioned your question is very general, but I try to give some advice from my point of view:

- Your 18-55mm kit lens is quite good lens for the outdoor family shots.
- It will be too slow for most indoor use, where you might be better off with FA50mm f1.5 or a wider lens like FA31mm f1.8 if your budget allows it.

- I think you should keep away for the moment from wedding and baby photography (if you're thinking of getting paid jobs) until you are comfortable with your equipment and knowledge.
02-19-2010, 07:20 AM   #4
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The MUST HAVE lens is the one you will actually use…

That means, you should use what you have for a while. Then look at your images and consider those images you were not able to take. This will show you, which lens you miss in your line-up. If you are shooting a lot inside with low light levels, you certainly would wish for a fast prime (fixed focal length) lens. But whether this be the FA 50/1.4 or perhaps a shorter focal length (like a 35/2.0 or a Sigma 24/1.8 etc.) is a question, which can only be answered seeing, what kind of images you produce.

You may well find, that the kit lens will not have a wide enough angle of coverage, if you shoot vast landscapes or architecture. Then a real wide-abgle lens would be a sensible addition.

And lastly (just to pick out the three most important lens categories), you may find, that even a 300mm lens is too short, if you photograph birds adn then you would need a much longer tele lens.

But really, at the moment, without knowing, where your existing lenses would limit your photographic work, nobody could give a well-founded and sensible advice.

There is simply no universally agreed "must have" lens, as this boils completely down to personal shooting style and goals.

Ben

02-19-2010, 07:34 AM   #5
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Thanks Ben. I guess i want a fast lenses for general Portrait use and outdoor use. I heard the 50 mm f 1.4 is what i should get..What do u think?
It has to be the lenses I use the most, by the way
02-19-2010, 07:42 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Softsoap Quote
Thanks Ben. I guess i want a fast lenses for general Portrait use and outdoor use. I heard the 50 mm f 1.4 is what i should get..What do u think?
It has to be the lenses I use the most, by the way
If portraits are your aim, than a 50mm would be a good choice for the Pentax DSLRs, though if you ever consider using film, it would be a bit too short. Personally I prefer something in the 80-85mm length for portraits, even on a DSLR. This is a personal thing. It gives me a bit more working distance, which helps the modell to relax. But obviously enough, the longer the focal length, the more working distance you really need and that can be difficult, especially indoors.

Said all that, I find a 50/1.4 indispensible for my work.

Ben
02-19-2010, 07:49 AM   #7
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Ben,
How is a smc pentax-m 28mm f2.8?...Just asking.
I saw some Frames with this lenses. Close ups, very nice.
02-19-2010, 07:49 AM   #8
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if you have a pentax, you "must" have a Pentax-M 50mm F2 lol

02-19-2010, 07:50 AM   #9
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Seriously I agree with some of the other answers on this forum. I think there should be a general rule that all first-time DSLR buyers shouldn't buy any lenses beyond the kit lens for 6 months. It's possible to waste a fantastic amount of money on what you don't really need, or what isn't really the best answer to your needs. You really have to get your head around the basic concepts and find out what your needs are in practice before you make sensible choices. I speak from personal (and expensive) experience - and even I had the benefit of many years of film photography with a Canon SLR before I went digital and moved over to Pentax.

'General portrait and outdoor use' is too vague. The kit lens is fine for general outdoor use. What specific limitations have you run up against?

Why do you think you need to buy a 50mm 1.4? It's a great lens, but I sold mine because I rarely used it. That's my point, basically.
02-19-2010, 08:05 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by timo Quote
Seriously I agree with some of the other answers on this forum. I think there should be a general rule that all first-time DSLR buyers shouldn't buy any lenses beyond the kit lens for 6 months. It's possible to waste a fantastic amount of money on what you don't really need, or what isn't really the best answer to your needs. You really have to get your head around the basic concepts and find out what your needs are in practice before you make sensible choices. I speak from personal (and expensive) experience - and even I had the benefit of many years of film photography with a Canon SLR before I went digital and moved over to Pentax.

'General portrait and outdoor use' is too vague. The kit lens is fine for general outdoor use. What specific limitations have you run up against?

Why do you think you need to buy a 50mm 1.4? It's a great lens, but I sold mine because I rarely used it. That's my point, basically.
Well see, I said I was new, which Means, I don't know what the hell I am talking about!..LOL
I want a awesome fast lenes for my Pentax k-x, that i can use in low light and in regular settings. I do like the kit lenes. I just heard the Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 is a really sharp and clear fast lenese. So, I was wondering If it should get one. Then That would be my lense to use most.
02-19-2010, 08:32 AM   #11
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Hi Softsoap

As other's have stated above...answering your question (which is a good one) is actually quite difficult to do. Please keep in mind that this is an enthusiast forum and those that hang out here are often lens collectors, etc. and will view your question in a much different way than what you've actually intended.

With that said...here's the best advice I can give you (which has already been given). Take your new camera and the lenses that you have now and plan to use them for the next year. Make no additional purchases and plan to use that time getting to know your camera inside and out (and by this I don't mean just reading the manual), learn the basics (i.e. what an f stop means and does), and learn the capabilities of the lenses you have.

Once you've done this you will begin to get a deeper understanding of lenses (i.e. why two lenses that seem so similar in specs have a large difference in price e.g. DA55 1.4 vrs FA50 1.4) so that you can appreciate the subtleties. With time you will also become familiar with what YOU like to shoot (i.e. what energizes you), and what focal lengths YOU like to use. This is where you will find your answers...

All things being said, your question is a good one, but when you begin peeling the layers back you will find that this is a very difficult question to really answer.

I hope this info helps...

c[_]
02-19-2010, 08:47 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Softsoap Quote
Ben,
How is a smc pentax-m 28mm f2.8?...Just asking.
I saw some Frames with this lenses. Close ups, very nice.
That's an interestig lens, so to say. The only, that always missed from my line-up in film days and I never really thought I need one. I bought the A-version for the DSLR - and I have never used iot! I prefer the faster 31mm instead.

Ben
02-19-2010, 08:58 AM   #13
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I had a similar set up when I bought my K10 2 years ago. The 18-55 kit lens is good and versitle but I had little sucess with my relatively slow Tamron 70-300mm lens sold to me by the store. I took the time to learn to use my camera and then the two lenses. While that didn't take 6 months it did take time. I found that I needed a faster lens - smaller f numbers - than either lens had for indoor shooting and that I needed wider angle lenses and became quite interested in the Pentax DA 10-17 fisheye lens. So my first new lens purchases were the DA 10-17 and the FA 50 f1.4 lenses. Basically, after learning to use my camera, I had identified a need to go beyond my existing set up and did so. I think that is was a lot of us do, most of my lenses purchased since then have been the result of seeing the work of others with this or that lens and identifing a need that my photo bag doesn't currently have the answer too. Bottom line here is that there is no list of must have lenses, there is only the lenses that you need at the time.
02-19-2010, 09:28 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by timo Quote
... It's possible to waste a fantastic amount of money on what you don't really need, or what isn't really the best answer to your needs. You really have to get your head around the basic concepts and find out what your needs are in practice before you make sensible choices. I speak from personal (and expensive) experience ...

Why do you think you need to buy a 50mm 1.4? It's a great lens, but I sold mine because I rarely used it. That's my point, basically.
As a newbie who just wasted $$ purchasing (and then selling) a great lens that just didn't suit my needs, I second this advice.

I just sold a two-week old Sigma 30/1.4, after realizing the DA Ltd 35/2.8 Macro was really the lens I need. After struggling with the slowness of my DAL18-55, I knew I needed a faster lens. What I didn't realize, is that F2.8 is fast enough, and I really need close focusing, too. Both are really nice lenses, but the Sigma 30 just didn't focus close enough, and the DA35 is a great all-around lens for me. The DAL18-55 focuses pretty close, but it just isn't fast enough in many situations (for me).

I learned a lot from rushing to assume I needed an F1.4 lens, but it cost me a small bundle, too.
02-19-2010, 09:40 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Softsoap Quote
I want a awesome fast lenes for my Pentax k-x, that i can use in low light and in regular settings. I do like the kit lenes. I just heard the Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 is a really sharp and clear fast lenese. So, I was wondering If it should get one. Then That would be my lense to use most.
It *is* a very good lens. But until you understand what all the numbers mean, you won't understand why it probably *won'*t actually be the lens you most. Since it's 50mm only and not a zoom like your existing lenses, it's more of a special purpose lens, not a general purpose one like your 18-55.

I *highly* recommend visiting a library or bookstore or spend some time with Google and learn the basic of photography before buying any additional equipment you may or may not end up using. Actually, it would be good to read up on the subject even if you don't plan to buy any additional equipment - understanding the basics of photography is necessary to get the most out of what you already have,
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