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03-24-2010, 09:56 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrApollinax Quote
When I was starting out and I started researching lenses what i took away from a lot of the forums is this:

1. Get a Normal Prime (50mm)
2. Have a dedicated Macro if you are going to do macro
3. Have a wide angle lens

So far I have the first two and and I'm using my 18-250 (which replaced my kit + 70-300) for wide angle. Good luck with your search!
Well, on APS-C dSLRs a Nifty Fifty isn't quite 'normal', it's a short tele and great for portraits. True 'normal' (but usually considered a wide normal) is 28mm; 35mm is a long normal. 24mm is a moderate wide. 135mm is a useful tele. All of those (manual) are plentiful and cheap at f/2.8, and usually quite sharp -- faster and crisper than most zooms. Like an AmEx card, I don't leave home without them. And my 58/2 and 85/2, of course. And the DA 18-250 and 10-17, and FA 100-300. And a few other manual primes. And a pack llama, to schlep it all.

IMHO a modern macro lens is essential when shooting flash. IMHO for non-flash work, manual primes on tubes and/or bellows are great, flexible, and cheap. I'm cheap. But there may be a WR macro lens in my future, if a rich relative dies soon enough.

03-24-2010, 10:07 AM   #17
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zoom = DA 16-50mm, prime DA 40mm
03-24-2010, 10:08 AM   #18
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let me clarify that when I was looking 50mm/Normal Prime were being used interchangably. I know that on a crop sensor a 28mm or 35mm would be closer to normal. however I will say that the abundance of options with the 50mm FL make it the one Prime FL everyone should tryout. My first 50mm was an A50 1:2 I got on the cheap to force me to learn how the different aspects a lens effect my images. Best retun on investment I have gotten out of all my lenses because of that
03-24-2010, 04:58 PM   #19
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Thanks for all the suggestions....I certainly don't have the money for the DA lens mentioned earlier. Manual focus shouldn't be a problem for the types of things I'll be shooting. If need be I will always have my kit lens if I need to shoot something that is moving. Plus I am sure in the future I will get something else as well. I will check around on ebay for some older K mount manual focus and see what I come up with.

03-25-2010, 04:34 PM   #20
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Anyone have any suggestions for a somewhat cheap lens in the 100-300 range? I think I am going to go ahead and pick up some version of the 50mm and maybe something between 50-100 too.
03-25-2010, 05:13 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by timstone Quote
Anyone have any suggestions for a somewhat cheap lens in the 100-300 range? I think I am going to go ahead and pick up some version of the 50mm and maybe something between 50-100 too.
SMC K/M 135/3.5 or you could get yourself a cheap Pentacon preset 135/2.8 which is a great lens for only $100. although these are manual focus lenses.
03-25-2010, 05:53 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by timstone Quote
Anyone have any suggestions for a somewhat cheap lens in the 100-300 range? I think I am going to go ahead and pick up some version of the 50mm and maybe something between 50-100 too.
Between 50-100, the best may be the Helios-44M 58/2, usually M42 but sometimes PK. Often quite cheap, like around US$25. Next would be the Jupiter-9 85/2, usually M39 or M42, hopefully under US$100. With 135s, slower is often sharper -- my gold standard is a Jupiter-11 135/4, also M39, under US$50. Cheaper faster 135s may not sharpen-up until they get to f/4-5.6. Hey, do I like Russian lenses?

Up at 200mm (and all M42), besides the monstrous but superb Jupiter-21M 200/4 (950g, US$25 NEW! on eBay), my favorites are... Pentax! The Super-Tak 200/4 (560g, US$37) is faster than the Tele-Tak 200/5.6 (410g, US$29) but that little guy is a gem! Also exceptionally good, and underrated, is the FA 100-300/4.7-5.8 (the light silver plastic one, not the heavy black metal one). Mine was US$120 but they often go for less. I was just unlucky. Read the reviews in the lens database.
03-25-2010, 05:57 PM   #23
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I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the Tamron 17-50/2.8 as a good alternative to the *16-50. Used, they can be had for well under $400. Another excellent option is the Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.5; I had this when I had Pentax and it was my most used lens. It's so versatile in that you can do everything from landscapes to portraits to close-up--almost half life size (1:2.3). Like the Tammy, it can also be had for under $400 used.

Since you mentioned wanting a longer lens, I've got a couple of good recommendations--the DA55-300 and the Tamron 70-300. I had the 55-300 and I was amazed at the results I was able to get from a $300ish lens. IMO, the only thing Pentax could do to make it better would be to give it weathersealing. The Tamron can be had for under $200 new and is also an excellent value for the money. Between the 2 though, I'd save up the extra $100-150 and get the Pentax--it's that good.

HTH,
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03-25-2010, 06:01 PM   #24
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So basically I should get myself a screwmount adapter? I won't mind the manual focus on a prime lens...don't know if I could handle it on a zoom. Would it make a difference if the adapter was made of plastic or metal??
03-25-2010, 06:14 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by timstone Quote
So basically I should get myself a screwmount adapter? I won't mind the manual focus on a prime lens...don't know if I could handle it on a zoom. Would it make a difference if the adapter was made of plastic or metal??
The only screwmount zoom I would recommend would be a Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm, versions 1, 2 or 3. But they're heavy. Most other screwmount zooms just don't measure up to more moderns zooms, and that's a fact. It's one area where technology has improved tremendously. I do strongly recommend the (autofocus) FA 100-300 I mentioned above.

All M42-PK adapters are metal. (M39 lenses need a separate little adapter ring - cheap, but avoid the cheapest.) There is great debate here over the merits of various M42-PK adapters, with some swearing by the Official Pentax and swearing at all others. I use all three sorts with no problems.

1) Official Pentax. Expensive now (US$50-100 in some places). Safe but a bit annoying, to me anyway. Leave it on your camera when interchanging lenses.

2) 3rd-Party clone (HA!) of the Official Pentax. Common brand is Bowers. THE SCREW AND RETAINING CLIP MUST BE REMOVED or you will go apeshit. Much less expensive, around US$10. I use ten of them, left on lenses.

3) 3rd-Party flanged adapter. Saafe; often around US$10. You lose infinity focus. On some long teles and other lenses that focus past infinity, no problem. I use this more and more for close-up shots where I don't WANT infinity in focus. It also (safely) shorts the lens contacts, enabling Catch-In-Focus.

That's an overview. Lots has been written about this stuff here. Enjoy.
03-25-2010, 06:28 PM   #26
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I was just planning on getting the adapter from ebay so I'm gonna go as cheap as possible. I will start looking at the Helios 58 on ebay...I did glance real quick after I read your post but I didn't look at them too closely.
03-25-2010, 06:34 PM   #27
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I recommend the DA 21mm, classic view angle on the APS-C
03-27-2010, 10:38 PM   #28
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Alright I wanted to bump this up. I think I'm purchasing a 50 f1.7 from a member here and when I get paid this coming Friday I think I may splurge on an auto focus lens. I'm not sure what though. There have been a lot of votes for the DA 16-50, but I think I also remember seeing it for around $700...which I won't have that much to spend...I was thinking I would have around the ballpark of $400-500.

So...if I were to keep my kit lens....it's not really a terrible lens honestly...and it matches my white K-x to boot

Any other suggestion for a lens that produces a good sharp picture time after time?

Oh...and I also have no use for WR since my camera isn't
03-28-2010, 01:05 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by timstone Quote
Any other suggestion for a lens that produces a good sharp picture time after time?
Ah grasshopper, the picture is only as sharp as the photographer.

It's time to repeat my mantra. Ask yourself: 1) Where do I want to go? 2) What will get me there? 3) How much will I spend to be happy? Or, paraphrasing: What do I want to do that I can't do with what I have now, and what will it take to do it?

Don't think of lenses. Think of the pictures you want to take and make. Panoramas, portraits, closeups, landscapes, action, drama, all call for various tools. Think about what you're willing to do to make and take those pictures. Power tools or hand tools? Snapshots or thoughtful compositions or detailed image constructions? Wild or mild or somewhere else? Over the edge, maybe?

I decided that what I couldn't do with my good P&S were: ultrawides, long reach, and low light. So I got a fisheye zoom, superzoom, and Fast 50, and those are still what I use most (despite LBA). And a good flash. And a tripod, and remotes. And then I accumulated a set of good cheap manual primes, mostly costing US$3-30 each. The AF zooms are good for flexibility, traveling light. The primes are good for forcing me to look closely and work at a picture. Different work, different tools.

For more on good sharp lenses, look here: Pentax Lens Review and Specification Database - Main Index
Have fun.
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