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01-19-2013, 02:55 AM   #1
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Manual Lens

Hello everyone, I'm a newbie on Pentax forum as well as in DSLR world. I ordered a yellow K-01 with DA 40mm XS and was waiting for its delivery (yay!)

However I just came across a good deal of an M 50mm f1.7 lens. Didn't plan to buy any further lens/accessories yet as I'm still a beginner but it's quite cheap and its review seems to be extremely positive so I'd like to ask if:
- it is that necessary to have this lens while I already have the 40mm f2.8 pancake lens?
- *A lens will be much more suitable for newbie than *M?

Some advice and I'd appreciate it loads

Ps. Why the *bumblebee K-01 with pancake lens is so expensive and hard to find in the UK? Honestly look at US price and I feel miserable already

01-19-2013, 08:20 AM   #2
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I wouldn't bother. What you have sounds great. The old 50mm is probably very soft at F1.7/2 whereas new lenses seem to be quite good at max aperture. All the pros say get lots of experience with a prime lens like your 40mm before adding to your arsenal. Cheers!
01-19-2013, 08:27 AM   #3
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Hmm, if I only had two lenses, it wouldn't be a 40mm and a 50mm, as they are so close in focal length. M50/1.7s are as fairly common; if you wait, there will be other good deals later.

That said, the M50/1.7 is a nice lens - small and sharp, with great color. Having one auto-everything lens and one manual-everything lens could be a useful learning tool. If you are planning to do more with manual lenses, the M50 is a good starting point (or in other words, a "gateway drug to Lens Buying Addiction" ). It depends on what you want to do with your photography.

Regarding M versus A lenses, A-series lenses let you set the aperture from the camera, and the only thing you have to do manually is focus. With M lenses, you have to set the aperture on the lens and use the Green Button to manually meter - it has to do with how much information the lens passes to the camera body. There are additional steps that have to be taken on every shot. It's time consuming, but again, it's a good learning tool.
01-19-2013, 08:56 AM   #4
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Whelp I have a K-01 and DA 40mm XS and M 50mm f1.7.
The DA 40 is really sharp and has great AF. The 50mm has its perks, though. It has an aperture ring and distance scales. It is also has a bigger max aperture, which is great for low light situations. I think this is a great lens for a newbie to learn classical photography techniques and how to use manual lenses. If you can get it for a good price, i'd say go for it. Also, don't worry about it being manual. The K-01 has focus peaking which will help with manual focusing and you can use zone focusing techniques.
Though, maybe a manual 28mm would be more interesting for you, because it would also have a significantly different focal length. The thing is, with a 50mm you almost can't go wrong and most are good wide open and great if you stop down one or two stops. Be sure to get a hood for your old lenses btw, they have different coatings and a hood will improve its IQ.

01-19-2013, 08:58 AM   #5
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Nothing wrong with adding a few manual lenses, they let you grow and experiment. The 40 and 50mm and very close in focal length and for that reason the 50mm would not be my first choice. On the other hand it is f/1.7 which lets you play with depth of focus more.

When just starting out, if you do not have manual lens experience (from film camera perhaps) then I would suggest you stick with the 'A' series or newer. Everything will be the same exposure wise, just the focus is manual. Try looking for either a Pentax-A 28mm or a Pentax-A 135mm. They will both be much more expensive than the 'M' lenses but I think worth the extra.
01-19-2013, 10:43 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone! Seeing your advice below I guess the best option would be to play around with the 40mm lens first and see my further needs. Still having a hard time suppressing an urge to grab one though; maybe I'm a bit too excited and having an OMGBuyEverything mindset atm...(wallet just hates me)

Btw I just notice that A lenses can be put to manual settings too. A clear win-win situation here?
01-19-2013, 10:59 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by gbeaton Quote
I wouldn't bother. What you have sounds great. The old 50mm is probably very soft at F1.7/2 whereas new lenses seem to be quite good at max aperture. All the pros say get lots of experience with a prime lens like your 40mm before adding to your arsenal. Cheers!
Some would argue that the older lenses were sharper with higher colour contrast! The (cheaper) 40mm lens as supplied with the K-01 is not as good as the original L series 40mm f2.8 (personal experience), nor should it be at a 1/4 of the price, it's still a good lens. Even older 50mm lenses are at least as good, the old f1.2 (rare) was not quite as good as my favourite the old f1.4 A series, the f1.7 and f2 lenses were just cheaper, slower versions, but every bit as good, all used the same optical configuration as do the current ones.

With M series lenses you can only use them with stop down metering and in Aperture Priority or Manual Mode (you alter the aperture using the aperture ring on the lens). With A series lenses the camera can control the aperture with the aperture ring in the 'A' position, so you can use any Mode.

They also have the advantage of being able to focus at full aperture with a brighter view and the narrow depth of field, if it's in focus at f1.4 it certainly is at any smaller aperture, wide apertures really help in low light even with focus peaking. Large aperture lenses also have the advantage of a narrower depth of field for those 'selective focus' shots where the subject is sharp, but the background blurred.


Last edited by ChrisJ; 01-19-2013 at 11:07 AM. Reason: Addition

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