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04-09-2010, 12:29 PM   #1
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Looking for advice on a low light lens.

Hey folks, I'm considering getting a Pentax K-X, especially after comparisons to the equivalent Canon and Nikon, plus I got to play with one recently. However, I need low light photography for Theatre Lighting and I can't seem to find an equivalent to the Canon 50mm 1.8.

What I need is something around 50-55mm, and somewhere around 1.8 or 2.0. Also, can't spend much more than $200-$300. I don't care so much if it's an off brand as long as it's good quality, but I can't really find anything like this after some quick googling, so I turn to you all for your opinions, reviews, links or whatever you have.

Thanks in advance,

LightingGuy

04-09-2010, 12:43 PM   #2
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While google is a good start you should look at the forum's lens review database:

Pentax Lens Review and Specification Database - Main Index

It is also serachable so you can just input a Focal Length and find all the lenses listed that have been reviewed.

50mm Pentax lenses: Pentax Lens Review and Specification Database - All Products

50mm Other Lenses: PentaxForums.com Third-Party Lens Review Database - All Products

Here are a couple 50mm adjacent lenses that you might want to consider:
Pentax Lens Review and Specification Database - 43mm F1.9 Limited
PentaxForums.com Third-Party Lens Review Database - 58mm f1.4

Good luck!
04-09-2010, 01:10 PM   #3
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you might check the marketplace

basically I would go for a 50 1.4, IMO the best ratio price/utility on digital
04-09-2010, 01:26 PM   #4
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FOr autofocus, you can't go past the FA 50, but if AF i not a must there is a fistful of MF 50-55mm lenses available that could fit the bill - check the lens database for more options...

04-09-2010, 01:32 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
FOr autofocus, you can't go past the FA 50, but if AF i not a must there is a fistful of MF 50-55mm lenses available that could fit the bill - check the lens database for more options...
There's several in that category though . . . F 50mm f1.7 & f1.4, FA 50mm f1.7 & f1.4. Plus there is the DA* 55mm f1.4 and the FA 43mm f1.8 ltd.
04-09-2010, 01:52 PM   #6
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FA50/1.4 sells for $350, so on the high side of your budget, but similar to Canon's 50/1.4. Too bad Pentax no longer offers a 50/1.7 to have a cheaper option, but as mention, if you go to MF as many of us do, a ton of options open up, many $20 or less.
04-09-2010, 02:30 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by LightingGuy Quote
Hey folks, I'm considering getting a Pentax K-X, especially after comparisons to the equivalent Canon and Nikon, plus I got to play with one recently. However, I need low light photography for Theatre Lighting and I can't seem to find an equivalent to the Canon 50mm 1.8.

What I need is something around 50-55mm, and somewhere around 1.8 or 2.0. Also, can't spend much more than $200-$300. I don't care so much if it's an off brand as long as it's good quality, but I can't really find anything like this after some quick googling, so I turn to you all for your opinions, reviews, links or whatever you have.

Thanks in advance,

LightingGuy
with K-x, you can just bump up the ISO to about 3200-6400. I went to a concert recently and quite a few ladies use the K-x that way with 18-55 kit lens.

took this shot a while ago @ ISO6400 1/40 18mm with kit lens when I first bought it. it was pitch dark...


Last edited by tokyoso; 04-09-2010 at 02:40 PM.
04-09-2010, 02:31 PM   #8
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The Pentax FA50mm f1.4 and Nokton 58mm f1.4 would be two lenses to consider seriously for low light. Their price with K-mount (as new lens) is about the same at Adorama.com (~US$350), although slightly above the upper bracket of your price range. Second hand prices will be lower.

The FA50mm is AF. The Nokton is MF. Their reviews are at photozone.de:
+ "The Pentax SMC-FA 50mm f/1.4 is an oldie but a goodie. [...] Regarding its very low price tag it remains a highly recommended lens. " Pentax SMC-FA 50mm f/1.4 - Review / Lab Test Report
+ "The [Nokton] build quality of the lens is superb. [...] The lens is absolutely beautifully crafted and a joy to use despite the lack of AF." Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II - Review / Test Report

I needed a low-light lens of my K-7. Between these two lenses, I chose the Nokton 58mm. I am delighted by the superb Image Quality, and excellent low light performances.

Hope that the comment will help...


Last edited by hcc; 04-09-2010 at 05:18 PM.
04-09-2010, 04:51 PM   #9
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You already have good advice but I would add on thing: even if you need to pay more, get a lens you will never need to repalce. A fast 50 is for life.
04-09-2010, 05:44 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by tokyoso Quote
with K-x, you can just bump up the ISO to about 3200-6400. I went to a concert recently and quite a few ladies use the K-x that way with 18-55 kit lens.

took this shot a while ago @ ISO6400 1/40 18mm with kit lens when I first bought it. it was pitch dark...

That seriously is ISO 6400? I can see a little bit of visible noise near the corners, but wow!
04-10-2010, 05:06 AM   #11
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Consider a used FA50 f/1.4 from our marketplace here...they typically go for $225-$250 now, or if you can shop around a little see if you can find a used FA50 f/1.7, F50 f/1.4 or F50 f/1.7. These lenses typically fall in the $100 -$150 range, are AF lenses, genuine Pentax gear, and are all well regarded lenses.

c[_]
04-10-2010, 05:12 AM   #12
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Yeah there are plenty of fast 50's to chose from, the older ones can be had for bargain prices and the iq's are excellent.
04-10-2010, 05:28 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jct us101 Quote
That seriously is ISO 6400? I can see a little bit of visible noise near the corners, but wow!
yeah dude, i took that shot with the camera on 200-6400 auto iso (camera chose 6400), +1 Exposure Compensation, 18mm, 1/30. it was pitch dark, took the shot, went back home and plugged it into my computer, it came out looking much different from what i expected. thats tokyo tower lighted up in the background, cant see too well due to my amaturish exposure.
04-10-2010, 08:22 PM   #14
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Thank you everyone for the great advice! I think I'm going to end up with the FA 50mm 1.7 since it looks to be the right lens at the right price.
04-11-2010, 04:10 AM   #15
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Come back to us with some shots from the K-x plus FA50. I am sure there is little you won't be able to do with that combo!
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