Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
12-03-2013, 02:14 PM   #1
New Member




Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 6
Hello - help set me up with a new lens

Hello,

My name is Josh and I just bought a K-30 and an 18-55 kit lens WR. I live in New York City and have a new baby. Can't wait to take lots of pictures.

Any suggestions on a good lens for close ups of the little guy? Lots of indoor pictures until the weather gets a bit warmer. I was thinking of picking up an older manual focus prime lens. Last time I touched a decent camera was in high school photography... 12 years ago.

thanks.

12-03-2013, 02:51 PM   #2
Pentaxian
Kozlok's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Albuquerque
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,725
The Sigma 30/1.4 (only available used) is a fantastic indoor portrait lens. If you want something manual, the old K55/1.8 is amazingly cheap, and just a wonderful lens. I carry the 30 and the 55 around together, and they make a nice team. The 55 also comes in an f2 variety, they are the same exact lens with a different aperture stopper. I'd get the 1.8, but I wouldn't pay extra for it or anything! Any of the old Pentax manual prime lenses are mostly pretty good (the Takumars require an adapter, though). Look through the database and you can see most of them score quite highly. I would avoid the old manual zooms until you know what you are doing, and know what you want it for.

Other great choices would include the DA40/2.8 (either limited or XS), FA43/1.9, the FA50/1.4 or FA50/1.7, the DA35/2.4, DA50/1.8, the Sigma 50/1.4 (but it is quite huge!). Any of the macro prime lenses would be fantastic, but sometimes frustrating to work with. The image quality is outstanding, though, with all of them (a short list would be the Pentax 35 Limited, the Sigma 70/2.8, the Tamron 90/2.8, Sigma or Pentax 50/2.8, since you want it for portraiture, I'd probably go with a 50).

If you want to stay with zooms, this kind of quality can be pricy. The Tamron 17-50/2.8 is pretty good, and of course the Pentax 16-50/2.8, also very very good. At the lower end of the price/performance curve, the DA16-45 is much better than the kit lens. The Sigma 17-70 is a big step up from the kit lens also, with a little wider range. It also has a very very nice almost macro mode.

For indoor portraits, I'd pick something on this list that meets your budget. They are all fantastic, and they all have strengths and weaknesses. If you are cash constrained (and with a new baby, most people are!), My recommendation would be to keep the zoom you have, and pick up the DA35/2.4 ~$180, and a K55/1.8 ~$50 (or K55/2).
12-03-2013, 02:52 PM   #3
Moderator PEG Judges
Kerrowdown's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Highlands of Scotland.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 31,383
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new wee man.

These plenty of fine affordable manual Pentax glass out there, just waiting for you to take 'em home.
12-03-2013, 03:09 PM   #4
Senior Member
jaywes's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 235
QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
The Sigma 30/1.4 (only available used) is a fantastic indoor portrait lens. If you want something manual, the old K55/1.8 is amazingly cheap, and just a wonderful lens. I carry the 30 and the 55 around together, and they make a nice team. The 55 also comes in an f2 variety, they are the same exact lens with a different aperture stopper. I'd get the 1.8, but I wouldn't pay extra for it or anything! Any of the old Pentax manual prime lenses are mostly pretty good (the Takumars require an adapter, though). Look through the database and you can see most of them score quite highly. I would avoid the old manual zooms until you know what you are doing, and know what you want it for.

Other great choices would include the DA40/2.8 (either limited or XS), FA43/1.9, the FA50/1.4 or FA50/1.7, the DA35/2.4, DA50/1.8, the Sigma 50/1.4 (but it is quite huge!). Any of the macro prime lenses would be fantastic, but sometimes frustrating to work with. The image quality is outstanding, though, with all of them (a short list would be the Pentax 35 Limited, the Sigma 70/2.8, the Tamron 90/2.8, Sigma or Pentax 50/2.8, since you want it for portraiture, I'd probably go with a 50).

If you want to stay with zooms, this kind of quality can be pricy. The Tamron 17-50/2.8 is pretty good, and of course the Pentax 16-50/2.8, also very very good. At the lower end of the price/performance curve, the DA16-45 is much better than the kit lens. The Sigma 17-70 is a big step up from the kit lens also, with a little wider range. It also has a very very nice almost macro mode.

For indoor portraits, I'd pick something on this list that meets your budget. They are all fantastic, and they all have strengths and weaknesses. If you are cash constrained (and with a new baby, most people are!), My recommendation would be to keep the zoom you have, and pick up the DA35/2.4 ~$180, and a K55/1.8 ~$50 (or K55/2).
He pretty much covered all the lenses you should look into. When my son was born, I utilized my M-50 f1.4 for the most part. Please bare in mind they will grow rather quickly, especially with the sleepless nights and diapers. I'd recommend getting a quality zoom in the next month or two because when they start crawling and then walking, look out. My son is now almost 17months and my younger daughter is 2 months. I now have an a-50 f1.2 for my daughter and Tamron 17-50 f2.8 & 28-70 f4 for my son.


Also a fellow New Yorker too

12-03-2013, 06:32 PM   #5
Site Supporter
SpecialK's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: So California
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 14,633
I would recommend either the DA 35 2.4 (and buy a hood for it), or the Tamron 28-75 zoom.

The first is under $200 new, has excellent IQ and is a sort of normal perspective. The 28-75 has more flexibility, also with excellent IQ, and can be found from time to time used in the marketplace for around $325. The extra reach will let you not have to chase around quite so much, and it gets out to a traditional portrait focal length.
12-04-2013, 06:09 PM   #6
New Member




Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 6
Original Poster
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. It seems too bad that these lenses have focal lengths that seem better suited for full frame cameras. I take it the sigma 30 f1.4 is a really good walk around lense?

In terms of the old manual lenses. IS it worth it to pay a little more for the A lenses as opposed to the M? I understand it that the M lenses require you to meter everytime you take a shot by pressing the green button while the A lens you just have to focus and shoot in aperture priority mode?
12-04-2013, 07:24 PM   #7
Site Supporter
rbefly's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Denver, Colorado
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,030
Lens Choices?

Hello Josh, welcome to the forum!
Lots of good suggestions so far, my favorite for walk-around and indoor candids would be the DA 35m f/2.4AL. This is very close to the 'classic' 50mm standard and is wide enough (on APS-C) for horizontal or vertical portraits. The DA 50mm f/1.8 is a bit narrow (75mm on cropped format) but is very sharp, beautiful bokeh, perfect for head and shoulders portraits and fast enough for low-light. For new lenses, these would be my choices.
The question about M series vs. A series is a good one. As much as I love my 'M's', there's times when I want to click a bit faster but must remember the green button or end up with an overexposed 2nd shot! For this reason and one more, I'm gradually selling most of my M's and getting A's.
The second reason? EXIF data. No recorded f/stop with M-lenses, recorded f/stop with the A's. It may sound like a small factor, but once you start comparing the shot data, the learning curve increases steeply. You see clearly the smallest difference in depth-of-field even a half-stop can make. This, in turn helps you pick out backgrounds better, use bokeh more creatively and generally improves the keeper ratio.
Bear in mind, I still treasure my M's, the build quality, smoothness of focusing and overall feel. But they take time to use properly, and especially with photographing children, time isn't always available!
JMO,
Ron
12-05-2013, 05:06 AM   #8
New Member




Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 6
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
Hello Josh, welcome to the forum!
Lots of good suggestions so far, my favorite for walk-around and indoor candids would be the DA 35m f/2.4AL. This is very close to the 'classic' 50mm standard and is wide enough (on APS-C) for horizontal or vertical portraits. The DA 50mm f/1.8 is a bit narrow (75mm on cropped format) but is very sharp, beautiful bokeh, perfect for head and shoulders portraits and fast enough for low-light. For new lenses, these would be my choices.
The question about M series vs. A series is a good one. As much as I love my 'M's', there's times when I want to click a bit faster but must remember the green button or end up with an overexposed 2nd shot! For this reason and one more, I'm gradually selling most of my M's and getting A's.
The second reason? EXIF data. No recorded f/stop with M-lenses, recorded f/stop with the A's. It may sound like a small factor, but once you start comparing the shot data, the learning curve increases steeply. You see clearly the smallest difference in depth-of-field even a half-stop can make. This, in turn helps you pick out backgrounds better, use bokeh more creatively and generally improves the keeper ratio.
Bear in mind, I still treasure my M's, the build quality, smoothness of focusing and overall feel. But they take time to use properly, and especially with photographing children, time isn't always available!
JMO,
Ron
Thanks Ron. So many considerations to make. After hearing from everyone here it sounds like the DA 35m is a slam dunk. I will grab that one.

After a while of playing with that I will try to expand the stable again. IS there a general feeling that 2.4 isn't fast enough for some indoor portrait stuff? Would this be where a faster 50 would come into good use?

thanks.

12-05-2013, 05:42 AM   #9
Site Supporter
rbefly's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Denver, Colorado
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,030
Fast Fifty?

Hello Josh,
Yes, I (along with many others) believe that everyone should own a fast fifty, you'll see entire threads on that very subject. Usually the suggestion is made to help a newer user learn the basics of manual shooting, both focus and aperture. If you're already using the AV mode (aperture priority) this may be less important, but still helps to slow things down, make conscious decisions about 'how + why' you're using certain settings.
The f/1/7 and f/1.8 fifties are only about 1 stop faster than an f/2.4, but sometimes that single stop makes a difference. It lets you to use a slightly faster shutter speed to avoid camera shake, or perhaps a lower ISO for better overall quality and color rendition. Even those who own a 'fast' zoom (f/2.8, usually) make it a point to carry the fast fifty for the inevitable lower-than-low light situations that come up. Also, you'll find that lenses with lower than f/2.0 max apertures allow you to completely blur out distracting backgrounds, isolating the subject in a way that is perfect for portraits and 'selective focus' shots.
My last suggestion is to keep shooting with the kit zoom and make a note of which focal lengths (on the EXIF data, again!) you seem to favor. All the post-processing apps provide this data and it will help you determine what fixed-focal-length (prime lens) might be in your future. If you're getting lots of great shots around 20-24mm, perhaps a 21mm Ltd would be a good choice. Or, perhaps you're using the longer end frequently and want a bit more 'reach', so a 70mm Ltd or 100mm telephoto would be better. As odd as it sounds, zooms sometimes help us choose primes!
Good luck,
Ron
12-06-2013, 06:57 PM   #10
New Member




Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 6
Original Poster
Awesome. thanks for all the advice. I will make sure to pay attention to the settings in photos I like and don't like.
12-07-2013, 12:20 AM   #11
Site Supporter
Jean Poitiers's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Lost in translation ...
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 16,445
Welcome to PF and "bonjour" from France, joshb ... enjoy the forum and it looks like Ron has given yet again his usual great advice ... hope to see an image or two soon ... Salut, J
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
lens, lots, pictures
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wedding Photogs... Help with OCF set up BethC Photographic Industry and Professionals 10 08-07-2013 05:51 PM
Help on a set up for marco with M42 extension tubes on K-x SFEAR Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 8 03-25-2011 03:17 AM
Misc A Prank set up with help from a Pentax K7 coachteeter Post Your Photos! 3 03-29-2010 09:26 PM
Help Me Set Up My Studio zombieCat Photographic Technique 17 02-18-2010 11:47 PM
Help Please - Remote flash triggering set up with K100D oinkely Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 12 03-27-2009 08:51 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:25 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top