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11-06-2014, 09:45 AM   #1
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New K3 owner with a lens ?...

Hi everyone. I just ordered my wife a K3. She will be using it for mainly portrait shots (i.e. birthdays, family photos, baby pics) with a possibility of weddings in the future. As I'm definitely a newb when it comes to photography. I've read quite a bit on the more technical aspects but it's pretty hard to understand just by reading and as I've never done any photography I was wondering if I could get some input from some more experienced photographers as to what would be a good high quality lens to start out with for these situations that wouldn't break the bank? Any and all input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

11-06-2014, 10:02 AM   #2
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A classic portrait for APSC is 50mm. The DA50 f1.8 is a great choice. I don't have one, myself, but if I focused more on portraits I would absolutely buy one. It lets you stay a bit farther from the subject than something in the 35mm range would, which can let some subjects relax a little. The 35 and wider let you work in a small room too, where 50mm can get pretty tight.

For full-body, though, you'll want wider - maybe the DA35mm 2.4 is a good starting point though I really like the DA21mm ltd. for casual pictures.
11-06-2014, 10:05 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Johnboyas Quote
Hi everyone. I just ordered my wife a K3. She will be using it for mainly portrait shots (i.e. birthdays, family photos, baby pics) with a possibility of weddings in the future. As I'm definitely a newb when it comes to photography. I've read quite a bit on the more technical aspects but it's pretty hard to understand just by reading and as I've never done any photography I was wondering if I could get some input from some more experienced photographers as to what would be a good high quality lens to start out with for these situations that wouldn't break the bank? Any and all input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Hi and welcome to the forum!
There is a recent thread you might want to look at, regarding budget portrait lenses:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/58-troubleshooting-beginner-help/277166-p...ns-budget.html

As far as rules of thumb go, I'd suggest you to buy a "prime" (i.e. fixed focal length, as opposed to "zoom"), in the range 35mm - 100mm and with a low f-number (which means that you can have less depth of field and blur the background, also you gather more light and can lower the shutter speed and avoid motion blur if your subject isn't perfectly still), let's say around f/1.7 to f/3.5.
11-06-2014, 10:09 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Johnboyas Quote
what would be a good high quality lens to start out with for these situations that wouldn't break the bank?
QuoteOriginally posted by Johnboyas Quote
She will be using it for mainly portrait shots (i.e. birthdays, family photos, baby pics)


If you want a zoom:
Tamron 28-75 [or Tamron 17-50 if she will be shooting a lot in cramped indoor spaces]. They probably cost about 499 dollars new or look in the second-hand marketplace on this forum.


If you are looking for something cheaper get a prime lens:
Pentax 50mm 1.8 for portraits for under 180 dollars and probably quite a lot cheaper this Thanksgiving sales. If she likes using it, she could add a 35mm lens also for about the same price. Pentax 35mm f2.4 lens

11-06-2014, 10:23 AM   #5
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As Pentax has no full frame bodies, portraits are a bit more problematic than just the lens. The upside to this is that you'll generally have a bit more leeway in getting sharp focus due to DOF perks. I'd second a 50mm lens of some kind as a beginning portrait lens, but add in some money for Adobe Lightroom (the cheapest, best editing software around) and a class on using it, maybe from Lynda.com - they have tons of classes over there. The benefit is that once you master post-processing all the stuff you can "only" do with full frame cameras gets rather small.
11-06-2014, 10:24 AM   #6
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You've gotten some good advice on portrait so far...I would like to add the 43mm fa prime to the list...but as far as weddings go....working with a prime, which as you are new,,,means it is a fixed distance, rather than a zoom which allows the photographer to vary the frame, is very difficult. so while prime lenses will make the best portraits, she would be wanting a zoom before she could shoot a wedding.....and she would definitely want a wider andled zoom so as to be able to capture wid shots ...ie., in the church or family photos....Sigma new art lens the 18-35 1.8 would be a great choice for that...there is an extensive new revew on this site.....also the sigma 17-70 might be good, with more range, but not as sharp quality....
11-06-2014, 10:53 AM   #7
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What sort of budget? I would definitely get the da50/1.8 if you are testing the waters still. Down the track you will want to look at the Da*50-135/2.8, especially if you get serious about weddings and also the Da*55/1.4 and Fa77/1.8 limited with one of the 16,17-50/2.8 zooms on the wide end. 43ltd is super nice for small groups/ half body shots with special pixie dust rendering.
11-06-2014, 10:59 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the great input so far. My budget is probably $200 or less but possibly more. Another way of putting my question would be; If you could only have one prime and one zoom lens to cover all your possible photography what would they be?

11-06-2014, 11:19 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Johnboyas Quote
Thanks for all the great input so far. My budget is probably $200 or less but possibly more. Another way of putting my question would be; If you could only have one prime and one zoom lens to cover all your possible photography what would they be?
50 mm F2 or better prime.
18-135mm WR zoom. The zoom will cover most of the situations that you will come across. You can also use the metadata to figure out what prime lenses you will use most.
11-06-2014, 11:32 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Johnboyas Quote
Thanks for all the great input so far. My budget is probably $200 or less but possibly more. Another way of putting my question would be; If you could only have one prime and one zoom lens to cover all your possible photography what would they be?
I'll say 35mm (normal prime) and a 55-300mm, but then you'd lose wide angle capabilities.
Or a 18-55mm and a 200mm-ish prime, but then you'd have a low(er) quality zoom in the range you use the most...
One can also try with a more expensive/quality option in the wide-to-normal range (16-45mm, 16-50mm...)
11-06-2014, 11:38 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Johnboyas Quote
My budget is probably $200 or less but possibly more

In that case , just get one zoom and be done with it. Get a second-hand Tamron 17-50 f2.8 lens. You could probably get if for about 275 dollars used.
11-06-2014, 12:05 PM   #12
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If you're comfortable with manual focus, get an A50 f1.7 for your set piece portraits. On a tripod or hand-held with good lighting this lens is a winner. With practice, you may not miss autofocus. That's inexpensive.

Another option is the DA 16-45 - this lens delivers above its price and is a very good range indoors. it's sharper than the kit lens, and available for less than $200 used.

Third option - look for some of the older autofocus Promaster series zoom lenses. The 28-105 I found for $35 is VERY good, and quite sharp at 70mm. You'll need an aftermarket hood, the screw-in rubber ones are fine.

Granted, the Tamron 17-50 probably renders all of this moot - except the A50, which is still worth buying.
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