Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-13-2010, 12:30 PM   #31
Pentaxian
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,686
QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
First off I would like to say sorry if my last post came off a bit rude. That was not my intent.
No problem. I try to learn from these discussions, so knowing if I've said something that rubs someone the wrong way is useful feedback.

QuoteQuote:
True, but if someones intended task is portrait photography then it is far more valuable than it ever was in the 35mm era.
Very excellent point!

That's important for the OP to sort out: *why* he's thinking of a 50. if it's just because some blog said everyone needs one, I'm not impressed. If it's because he is specifically interested in portrait photography and wants to get started as cheaply as possible, it's a no-brainer choice, I'd say. So if I call it a "special purpose" focal length, portraits are indeed one of those special purposes. Similarly, I think of a the 100-135 range as being fairly "special purpose" as well - too long for standard portraiture, too short to be all that useful for sports, wildlife or other typical long telephoto uses. But amazing useful for concert photography, so my 100 and 135 tend to be my most used lenses. I'd still call them special purpose, though, and not recommend them to everyone unless I knew they were interested in concert photography or some other application where those focal lengths work well for many people.

QuoteQuote:
I usually suggest the A 50 2.0 for two reasons:
It is the least expensive lens that will meter correctly on DSLR's.
It does not have the aperture ring issues of the A 50 1.7.
Unfortunately, there is no ideal choice. My own comparison as well as conventional wisdom suggests the 1.7 is really quite a bit better than the 2.0 optically, at least up to maybe f/4. So you kind of have to pick your poison: not as sharp at large aperture for the A50/2.0, a higher price tag and potential aperture ring issues for the A50/1.7, and potential metering issues with the M50/1.7.

I will say that the A50/1.7 is common enough that if you're patient and search diligently enough, you should be able to score one for well under $100. On Ebay, for instance, search for cameras, not just lenses, and chances are someone is selling a junker camera with a perfectly good A50/1.7 attached that doesn't show up when just searching on the lens so few people bid. And while I am familiar with the reports of aperture ring issues, and I can feel for myself that mine feels less than solid, I just try to avoid ever moving it off the "A" position so I don't stress it.

As for the M50/1.7, if you have the K20D or K10D, the metering issues would give me pause. On other bodies, there aren't the same issues with the actual metering performance - just the ease-of-use issues (need for stop down metering in M mode). I'm used to that, and part of me thinks it's not such a bad idea for others to get used to working that way and thinking about exposure in that way as well. But that kind of depends on whether you're seeing the 50 being a real workhorse where you couldn't deal with that change to your exposure routine, or primarily for experimentation where it wouldn't matter.

So like I said, pick your poison; the A50/2 does indeed deserve consideration as well.

QuoteQuote:
The point of the exercise I had in mind is to demonstrate the usefulness of the 50mm FOV relative to other lenses. Another way to look at it is to show that it is quote possible to do good work with nothing but a 50mm.
OK, I won't promise you a week, but if I could spend a day out last week with nothing but a 15 and a 500 (*), I can certainly do the same with a 50. So I'll at least go that far.

(*) I cheated and took *one* shot with my 40 because I saw a scene I just really wanted to capture that way. But for my 50 day, I'll take nothing but the 50.


Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 03-15-2010 at 11:01 AM.
03-14-2010, 06:02 AM   #32
New Member




Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Midlands
Posts: 3
As it's nearly 50mm is the 55mm f1.4 DA * lens considered to be adequate/good/excellent?
03-14-2010, 10:30 AM   #33
Moderator
Site Supporter
Blue's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Florida Hill Country
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 17,212
QuoteOriginally posted by A Chap Quote
As it's nearly 50mm is the 55mm f1.4 DA * lens considered to be adequate/good/excellent?
There's no question that the DA* 55mm f1.4 is a quality lens. However, its definitely not "on the cheap."
03-14-2010, 01:03 PM   #34
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,452
To the OP's original question...

The best value in K-mount land would be a Pentax-M 50/1.7. Compact and sharp with excellent build and regularly available for less that $35. A little more expensive, but much more usable would be the Pentax-A 50/1.7. The build on the "A" lens is a little sub-par, but optically it is the same as the "M".

For non-Pentax glass, there are host of lenses that shipped with Ricoh, Chinon, Cosina, Vivitar, and various house-brand cameras. These are all very inexpensive ($10-$30). The rule of thumb would be that if the build is good, the performance is probably not too bad either!

Open the door to the M42 world and there are a host of options in both Pentax and non-Pentax glass, most of which can be had for under $30. Two of my favorite lenses are brand-X M42 (Auto-Rikenon 50/1.8 and Helios 44M 58/2).

As mentioned above, it is often cheaper with 50mm lenses to buy the lens with camera attached.

In regards to the utility of the focal length...it is all a matter of taste. I use my 50s for portraits, floral, and table-top photography on my dSLR. The narrow DOF really helps for that kind of shooting.

Steve

(Has two handfuls of fast 50s at last count...)

03-15-2010, 06:03 AM   #35
Veteran Member
tokyoso's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Tokyo
Photos: Albums
Posts: 723
QuoteOriginally posted by A Chap Quote
As it's nearly 50mm is the 55mm f1.4 DA * lens considered to be adequate/good/excellent?
it's definitely top-of-the-line, the buy-it-and-forget-about-the-rest fast 50/55...
03-15-2010, 07:44 AM   #36
Senior Member




Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Blacksburg, VA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 284
Original Poster
I'm a little bit ebay handicapped.... Can someone give me an example of how to do a search to find all of these inexpensive 30/50/55 fast primes? I have the K mount adapter...

Thanks again for all the help,

Ken
03-15-2010, 07:48 AM   #37
Moderator
Site Supporter
Blue's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Florida Hill Country
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 17,212
QuoteOriginally posted by Javaslinger Quote
I'm a little bit ebay handicapped.... Can someone give me an example of how to do a search to find all of these inexpensive 30/50/55 fast primes? I have the K mount adapter...

Thanks again for all the help,

Ken
just search for Takumar 50mm f1.4 or Takumar 35mm f2 or 55mm f1.4 m42 or 55mm f1.2 m42. Other options would be to search for Tomioka 55mm as well as Yashinon 55mm f1.4 or f1.2.

Edit: Example http://cgi.ebay.com/For-Pentax-55mm-F1-2-by-Yashinon-M42-screw-mount-Lens_W0...item3efdaa3818
03-15-2010, 09:02 AM   #38
Ira
Inactive Account




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Coral Springs, FL
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,216
I can only present the perspective of an old fart from the heyday of film, recently gone to DSLR. Had a short, meaningless relationship with a Dimage a few years back, but he who is without sin cast the first stone. Like YOU never owned a Polaroid Swinger, huh!?

I own two Super Tak "standard" primes (50 1.4 and 55 1.8), and since I've had the kx (maybe 3 weeks), the 50 has been on there 90% of the time.

Now mind you, I'm not good enough to say it's the FOV it provides me, and I'm sure not good enough to say it's the quality of the glass, because I'm not good enough to make the lens look as good as I know it is. But for 50 bucks for the 1.4 (around what I paid awhile back), this is what the 50 gives me:

1) Fantastic optics and bokeh, and one day I'll learn to actually MAKE bokeh when and the way I want.

2) Rock solid construction.

3) Do I have to say fast?

4) A focal length which is just enough longer than the standard FOV on film which I'm used to, and makes me think about grabbing the wider shots.

5) The intimate experience of controlling EVERYTHING, with no whirring of autofocus motors. (And my batteries are the happiest kids on the block.)

6) Just brings me back to the old days, and although I know that's not for everyone, when you're older like me, it's a really good feeling.

03-15-2010, 11:04 AM   #39
Pentaxian
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,686
I generally search "pentax 50mm lens" and "pentax 50 lens" to get a manageable number of hits (replace 50 as appropriate, of course). There will be poorly describe items that don't show up,so when hunting for something more rare, I'll expand, but for finding a 50, those searches should give you hundreds of options on any given day.
03-16-2010, 01:51 AM   #40
Veteran Member
tokyoso's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Tokyo
Photos: Albums
Posts: 723
some very nice folks may give you one for free at garage sales.
03-16-2010, 03:21 AM   #41
Senior Member




Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 206
Occasionally, you can find a M 50mm 1.4 in good shape for under $75.

There is one on ebay right now for $65 + $10 shipping:
SMC Pentax-M 1:1.4 50mm--great shape! - eBay (item 110507558124 end time Mar-22-10 16:10:34 PDT)

I had an A 50 1.7 and recently switched to the M 50 1.4 without any regrets. If you are ok with using stop down metering I think you will like the 1.4 better than a 1.7

Good luck!
03-16-2010, 04:31 AM   #42
Veteran Member
RioRico's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Limbo, California
Posts: 11,264
You know of course that the real sufferers/enjoyers of LBA are NOT going to reveal their lens acquisition secrets. The competition can be much too fierce. So you'll hear, "Oh yeah, search eBay for PENTAX LENS" and "look in pawnshops and thrift shops and garage sales" and stuff like that. Ha. The reality is much deeper, much darker. I'm talking ARCANE, or worse. Hidden rituals. Blood sacrifices. The surrender of the will to dark, cryptic forces. Use of a thesaurus. And more. But that's all I dare to say now. Beware, lest LBA twist you into unrecognizable forms.
03-16-2010, 05:17 AM   #43
Ira
Inactive Account




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Coral Springs, FL
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,216
QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
You know of course that the real sufferers/enjoyers of LBA are NOT going to reveal their lens acquisition secrets. The competition can be much too fierce. So you'll hear, "Oh yeah, search eBay for PENTAX LENS" and "look in pawnshops and thrift shops and garage sales" and stuff like that. Ha. The reality is much deeper, much darker. I'm talking ARCANE, or worse. Hidden rituals. Blood sacrifices. The surrender of the will to dark, cryptic forces. Use of a thesaurus. And more. But that's all I dare to say now. Beware, lest LBA twist you into unrecognizable forms.
It's even worse when you're married and your wife gives you that look when she senses your LBA is kicking in.
03-16-2010, 05:57 AM   #44
Inactive Account




Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Ames, Iowa, USA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,965
Some of us envision the world more tightly cropped than others. I'm on the tight cropped side. I tend to take portrait type snapshots inside.

Which are you, cropped or wide? You can get an idea from reviewing the photos you've taken with your kit zoom. Then you'll know if you'd prefer 50 or 40 or 30.

My prime lenses include 28:2.8, 50:1.7, 85:1.4, of these I use the 50 most often - I don't think I've *ever* used the 28 for other than testing.

The maximum speed required depends in part on your camera's maximum usable ISO. Unless you really want THIN depth of field, F:2 is probably fast enough for a K-x, I find F:1.7 fast enough for a K100D.

Old Dave
03-16-2010, 06:22 AM   #45
Veteran Member
tokyoso's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Tokyo
Photos: Albums
Posts: 723
tightly cropped ftw, love these portraits shots w/ tamron 70-300 @300mm

4th. Season - a set on Flickr


why not? the 28 appears to work rather nicely in street scenes
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
k-mount, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Any cheap 200mm fast cheap prime suggestions? tr13 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 32 03-08-2013 02:30 AM
Possible Solution for Fast, Cheap(er), Normal Prime? Biro Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 3 01-10-2010 03:40 PM
For Sale - Sold: M 50mm f/1.7 - cheap intro to the glory of fast primes! Finn Sold Items 8 12-04-2009 02:27 PM
Cheap, fast wide angle PK Petri 2/28mm ovim Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 2 08-22-2009 10:21 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:47 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top