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05-24-2012, 09:21 PM   #1
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What lens should I buy for around 75$

Good day,

I have a dilemma, that is kind of presented in the title.
First of all, I am a complete novice to photography (just look at my pics) . But I wanted some good ol' lenses.
I gotten my eyes on a Helios 44K-4, and on a Helios 77k-4.
Can I get any help regarding the two? Which is better and why? Or at this price range, could I get a Pentax old Prime (with the same quality) ?
Do this lenses appeal only to macros?

Thank you!

05-24-2012, 09:33 PM   #2
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What focal length are you looking for is the key question, also, is speed important, or is flexibility up your aisle? You can get a used 18-55 DAL II 3.5-5.6 for under 75. You can certainly get a pentax M50 F1.7 for under 75. I was able to snag a takumar Super-Multi-Coated 50mm 1.4 for under 75 (that's tough though). Takumar K 28 f2.8 for under 50. Sears 50mm F1.4 k mount for ~50, sears 135 F2.8 for 30 ish. I got a helios 44-2 for < 40. Great lens. No experience with the 44k-4 or 77k-4. The thing to consider with the takumar non-k and helios non-k lenses are the 20-30 official pentax adapter, or ~5 chinese (infinity) adapter (REMOVE THE SPRING).

So, really, there is a lot of manual glass you can get in various focal lengths, and you can get the modern kit lens. There are a bunch of FA zooms you can get (though the quality on them is debatable - some like, some dislike, I've yet to experience).

---- edit ----
forgot to mention the 50mm F3.5 industar 50-2 (m42) i've got on the way. 29.99 shipped, with hood.

Last edited by pezmaker; 05-25-2012 at 07:14 AM. Reason: oops, forgot the industar
05-24-2012, 09:34 PM   #3
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I don't have any experience with either of those russian lenses, but all I can say, for the money the M50 1.7 cannot be beat.
05-24-2012, 09:41 PM   #4
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I forgot to mention I use all of my manual glass that I bought for 75 or less (I don't think I've spent more than that on any one piece, typically less than 50) far far far more often than my 18-55 WR or my 28-200 takumar. In fact, I almost never use either of the AF lenses. The 35 DA F2.4 is a different story. It's a cheap plastic lens, but I swear they sprinkled pixies into that thing (not pixie dust, dried, ground up pixies...).

05-24-2012, 09:42 PM   #5
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The Helios-44K-4 58/2 should be a good deal, if that's the focal length you want. I can't comment on the Helios-77; I've never used one. As @kaiserz said, the SMC-M 50/1.7 is a superior lens and a great deal. If you want a very sharp small AF zoom, the SMC-F 35-70/3.5-4.5 is great, and also has near-macro focusing.

But it all depends on what you want to do. Are you sure of the focal length(s) you want?

And: are you lucky? A few weeks ago I bought on the Marketplace here for US$70 total, including shipping, two A-type (MF) Vivitar Series 1 zooms: the Cosina-made 19-35/3.5-4.5, and the Komine-made 70-210/2.8-4. Yes, I was lucky. Those two plus my F35-70 almost replace my DA18-250 superzoom. So, take whatever bargains you can.
05-24-2012, 10:14 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by kaiserz Quote
I don't have any experience with either of those russian lenses, but all I can say, for the money the M50 1.7 cannot be beat.
Another vote for the M50 1.7

Take a peak in my album. I just posted three pics from today. I picked up my M50 for $30 from a pawnshop. Love it. Find that I'd rather play around with it vs. my DA 40. The DA 40mm takes some beauty shots as well. Manual lens just seem fun to play with.
05-24-2012, 10:26 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Matt Quote
Another vote for the M50 1.7
Another vote for this gem of a lens... I bought one for 40EURO some 2 years back. This is so sharp and a must have if you want to shoot videos. BTW You can get this under 75$.

Cheers
Guna
05-24-2012, 11:10 PM   #8
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A50/1.7 if you can get it for that price. It could be about $10-15 more than your $75 budget - not sure of the exact current pricing.

However, M50/1.7 is essentially the same lens for less money, but you loose the A setting.

Also, although it's not a prime, pick up a Tak version of the F70-210/4-5.6. I got mine for around $65. It's not only better than the DA 50-200, it's better than the DA 55-300 (which is a good lens).

Finally, I think the A24-50/4 is close to your budget, and it's certainly nicer than the DA18-55.


Last edited by DSims; 05-24-2012 at 11:27 PM.
05-25-2012, 03:22 AM   #9
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Yet another vote for the A50/1.7, it's one of my favourite lenses and taught me a lot.
05-25-2012, 03:52 AM   #10
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Agree with A 50 f1.7 - I have one and its good. For another cheaper option the SMC Takumar 55 f1.8 is a real gem - love it!
05-25-2012, 05:59 AM   #11
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I think you're a little mislead by what you call "macro". Minimum focusing distance on the Helios 44 is 0.55m, so that's almost no good for a close-up shot, at least in my experience. I have some Helios lenses, and while they're extremely nice for portraits, I don't think you'd like one as an all-time lens. In this regard, the SMC Pentax 50/1,7 is a much better all-around performer.
By the way, don't get fooled by the prices you see, you can get much cheaper

@Dave: What Industar 50mm f/2? Or are you talking about the 50-2 50mm f/3.5?
05-25-2012, 06:28 AM   #12
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One option that will give you some macro as well is grab a super tak 55 1.8 or 50 1.4 and a set of cheap m42 extension tubes. you can probably even get yourself a spotmatic for your $75
without the tubes they are both stellar lenses, with the tubes they perform well for macro

and the tubes can be used on any m42 you buy
05-25-2012, 07:13 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcobain1992 Quote
@Dave: What Industar 50mm f/2? Or are you talking about the 50-2 50mm f/3.5?
*smacks forehead* yes, this would be the one I'm referring to... d'oh! Updated my post. THanks
05-25-2012, 07:16 AM   #14
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If you have a look at the marketplace for not much more money there is a very good m series starter kit i saw BTW
05-25-2012, 08:18 AM - 1 Like   #15
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For macro, the Industar-50/3.5 (preferably the 50-2 version) on M42 macro tubes is a long-time favorite, and IMHO gives somewhat better results than putting tubes behind an M or A 50/1.7, or an SuperTak 55/1.8 or 55/2, or a Helios-44. But a problem with the Industar for general photography: finding a hood, or even a lens cap! Its front thread is 33mm. Good luck!

Anyway, many good possibilities have been mentioned: the SMC 50/1.7s, SuperTak 55s, and Helios 58mm are all fine bargain Fifties. I still recommend the F35-70. But @urssu, we still need to know what focal length(s) you may be interested in. Otherwise, we'll just trot-out our favorites as per usual. Give us some guidance, please!

And just out of curiosity: does urssu mean "you are Sonoma State University"?
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