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08-28-2014, 02:58 PM - 1 Like   #16
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Honestly (and this is from someone who is a prime fanatic, and has owned all the focal lengths from 15mm to 200mm in old, and new variants), old manual focus pentax lenses are great from 50mm plus (50mm, 55mm, 85mm, 100mm, and 135mm focal lengths are great in either pentax or takumar flavours - it's unlikely you'll find a dud), but they get progressively worse as you get wider. (40mm, sharp, can't focus to infinity, crap bokeh. 35mm, outclassed by da lenses. 28mm, sharp, but apart from f2.0 version, has bad bokeh and dull rendering. 20mm, constantly flares horribly [only tried f2.8 version, never tried f4], da21 is better in every way. 15mm, ok, massive, flares horribly, da15 kicks it's arse)

There are some 'ok' wider primes from the old pentax days, but generally they are outclassed by their modern counterparts, and are best kept for use on film slrs. The 'a' variants tend to be quite pricey, and the quality of older k and m variants depends on their condition (which varies quite wildly). You could easily end up buying 3 versions of the same lens before you find a good one.

But how will you know whether it's a good one, unless you've had experience of one you know to be good?

The m42 28mm 3.5 is a 'good' lens, but it is not as good as the da 35 f2.4 on a dslr (you'll also need a m42 to k adapter to use any m42 lenses). Start with a da 35mm (which is the 'normal' focal length on digital, f2.4 for low cost, macro for something truly special). It's a focal length that should be versatile enough to handle portraiture, landscapes, and astro photography. It's good. It's cheap. It'll last you ten years at least. It'll give you a good baseline for where to go next....

08-28-2014, 03:16 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by robthebloke Quote
Honestly (and this is from someone who is a prime fanatic, and has owned all the focal lengths from 15mm to 200mm in old, and new variants), old manual focus pentax lenses are great from 50mm plus (50mm, 55mm, 85mm, 100mm, and 135mm focal lengths are great in either pentax or takumar flavours - it's unlikely you'll find a dud), but they get progressively worse as you get wider. (40mm, sharp, can't focus to infinity, crap bokeh. 35mm, outclassed by da lenses. 28mm, sharp, but apart from f2.0 version, has bad bokeh and dull rendering. 20mm, constantly flares horribly [only tried f2.8 version, never tried f4], da21 is better in every way. 15mm, ok, massive, flares horribly, da15 kicks it's arse)

There are some 'ok' wider primes from the old pentax days, but generally they are outclassed by their modern counterparts, and are best kept for use on film slrs. The 'a' variants tend to be quite pricey, and the quality of older k and m variants depends on their condition (which varies quite wildly). You could easily end up buying 3 versions of the same lens before you find a good one.

But how will you know whether it's a good one, unless you've had experience of one you know to be good?

The m42 28mm 3.5 is a 'good' lens, but it is not as good as the da 35 f2.4 on a dslr (you'll also need a m42 to k adapter to use any m42 lenses). Start with a da 35mm (which is the 'normal' focal length on digital, f2.4 for low cost, macro for something truly special). It's a focal length that should be versatile enough to handle portraiture, landscapes, and astro photography. It's good. It's cheap. It'll last you ten years at least. It'll give you a good baseline for where to go next....
Thank you older lens can be yellowed right? That's one thing to look out for. . And scratches and mold and oil too.
08-28-2014, 03:23 PM   #18
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Ok, so here would be my list of recommendations for manual focus K mount lenses that are worth buying.... (In order of cheapness)

135mm f2.8 takumar. Cheaper than the pentax variant, it doesn't have the 'a' contacts, but is a good lens. The focal length is a bit too long to be everyday useful.

Pentax-m f2.8/3.5. They are ok, but nothing that will blow you away (they are at a focal length where you want bokeh on dslr, but they really aren't designed for that)

Pentax-m 50mm f1.4, or pentax-a 50mm f1.7. They should be about the same price. The 1.4 is better, but with the 'a' contact 1.4 is pretty expensive. The da 50mm f1.8 can be found fairly cheap 2nd hand, which is probably a better bet (wins on the usability front).

Pentax 55mm f1.8 'k'. Nice lens, probably better to buy the da50 though.

Pentax-m 100mm f2.8 non-macro, or 85mm f2.0/f1.8. You'll pay a premium due to the rarity of them, but they are very nice! . (The 85mm lenses can be very expensive)

Pentax 50mm or 100mm macros. Tend be be pricey, autofocus versions can be found for almost the same price.

---------- Post added 08-28-14 at 11:31 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by when-daybreaks Quote
Thank you older lens can be yellowed right? That's one thing to look out for. . And scratches and mold and oil too.
They can be yellowed, but that's less of an issue compared to:

* lens has been dropped once before, and is now decentered - the most common problem.
* smc coating has been removed from front element due to over zealous cleaning - flares are common.
* fungus - can be a costly repair, and may have damaged coatings (so a sale may list no-fungus, but the damage may have already been done from a previous infestation).

In my experience, scratches and oil are less common in your average eBay sale (sellers tend to list those faults), but ymmv.

---------- Post added 08-28-14 at 11:35 PM ----------

Just buy a da 35mm f2.4 as your first lens, it's unlikely you'll find a bad second hand copy (they were being given away with k-3's a little while ago, so I've seen a lot on sale from 'pro' users who already have the limited version)

Last edited by robthebloke; 08-28-2014 at 03:35 PM.
08-28-2014, 04:04 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by robthebloke Quote
Ok, so here would be my list of recommendations for manual focus K mount lenses that are worth buying.... (In order of cheapness)

135mm f2.8 takumar. Cheaper than the pentax variant, it doesn't have the 'a' contacts, but is a good lens. The focal length is a bit too long to be everyday useful.

Pentax-m f2.8/3.5. They are ok, but nothing that will blow you away (they are at a focal length where you want bokeh on dslr, but they really aren't designed for that)

Pentax-m 50mm f1.4, or pentax-a 50mm f1.7. They should be about the same price. The 1.4 is better, but with the 'a' contact 1.4 is pretty expensive. The da 50mm f1.8 can be found fairly cheap 2nd hand, which is probably a better bet (wins on the usability front).

Pentax 55mm f1.8 'k'. Nice lens, probably better to buy the da50 though.

Pentax-m 100mm f2.8 non-macro, or 85mm f2.0/f1.8. You'll pay a premium due to the rarity of them, but they are very nice! . (The 85mm lenses can be very expensive)

Pentax 50mm or 100mm macros. Tend be be pricey, autofocus versions can be found for almost the same price.

---------- Post added 08-28-14 at 11:31 PM ----------



They can be yellowed, but that's less of an issue compared to:

* lens has been dropped once before, and is now decentered - the most common problem.
* smc coating has been removed from front element due to over zealous cleaning - flares are common.
* fungus - can be a costly repair, and may have damaged coatings (so a sale may list no-fungus, but the damage may have already been done from a previous infestation).

In my experience, scratches and oil are less common in your average eBay sale (sellers tend to list those faults), but ymmv.

---------- Post added 08-28-14 at 11:35 PM ----------

Just buy a da 35mm f2.4 as your first lens, it's unlikely you'll find a bad second hand copy (they were being given away with k-3's a little while ago, so I've seen a lot on sale from 'pro' users who already have the limited version)
Wow great list .. Thanks for all the tips I'll definitely bookmark this page for future reference!

08-28-2014, 04:46 PM - 1 Like   #20
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In fairness, I should probably counter that with what I think are the best value for money lenses (when buying 2nd hand), and not in the order of cheapness....

Fa 43mm limited. Da21mm limited. These are the most unloved limiteds, and will often sell for 'bargain' prices. I've seen the fa43 sell for 250 in auction recently (costs 599 new in the uk), and the da21 sell for 190 (399 new).

Da40 limited. They are awesome, and the most commonly found limited on eBay, which means you can grab a bargain at auction (I've seen good copies sell for 150, new price 310).

Da35 f2.4 and da50 f1.8. Have been given away with cameras recently, so pristine condition lenses are easy to find. Find one in auction, and you'll find a bargain.

Fa31, second hand prices tend to be about 600 to 700 (new price, 1000)

Fa77. 2nd hand prices are always the same, 500 to 550. (799 new). Worth every penny, but the price means that bidding wars that drive up prices are unlikely.

Dfa 100mm, non-wr, and dfa 50mm. 150 ish (300 new). It's also worth searching for the Samsung versions of these lenses! (Which so long as they aren't nx mount, are just rebadged pentax lenses)

The remaining da limiteds, and fa primes tend to hold their value quite well (because few people want to part with their copies, which makes them rare finds on eBay).

---------- Post added 08-29-14 at 12:48 AM ----------

And yes, they are all more expensive than cheap manual primes, but you get what you pay for.... (quality not quantity!)
08-28-2014, 07:18 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by robthebloke Quote
In fairness, I should probably counter that with what I think are the best value for money lenses (when buying 2nd hand), and not in the order of cheapness....

Fa 43mm limited. Da21mm limited. These are the most unloved limiteds, and will often sell for 'bargain' prices. I've seen the fa43 sell for 250 in auction recently (costs 599 new in the uk), and the da21 sell for 190 (399 new).

Da40 limited. They are awesome, and the most commonly found limited on eBay, which means you can grab a bargain at auction (I've seen good copies sell for 150, new price 310).

Da35 f2.4 and da50 f1.8. Have been given away with cameras recently, so pristine condition lenses are easy to find. Find one in auction, and you'll find a bargain.

Fa31, second hand prices tend to be about 600 to 700 (new price, 1000)

Fa77. 2nd hand prices are always the same, 500 to 550. (799 new). Worth every penny, but the price means that bidding wars that drive up prices are unlikely.

Dfa 100mm, non-wr, and dfa 50mm. 150 ish (300 new). It's also worth searching for the Samsung versions of these lenses! (Which so long as they aren't nx mount, are just rebadged pentax lenses)

The remaining da limiteds, and fa primes tend to hold their value quite well (because few people want to part with their copies, which makes them rare finds on eBay).

---------- Post added 08-29-14 at 12:48 AM ----------

And yes, they are all more expensive than cheap manual primes, but you get what you pay for.... (quality not quantity!)
Got it! Wow I got so many tips and lens reviews and suggestion today. This place is great. Thanks a bunch
08-31-2014, 09:40 AM - 1 Like   #22
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Bonjour from France and welcome to PF, when-daybreaks ... Hope to see some images soon. Salut, J
08-31-2014, 11:18 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jean Poitiers Quote
Bonjour from France and welcome to PF, when-daybreaks ... Hope to see some images soon. Salut, J
Merci for the welcome Jean Poitiers, Have no fear there will be pictures!! .. Just as soon as I have my camera. and my names Bethanna

08-31-2014, 11:29 AM - 1 Like   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by when-daybreaks Quote
Merci for the welcome Jean Poitiers, Have no fear there will be pictures!! .. Just as soon as I have my camera. and my names Bethanna
Looking forward to them, Bethanna.
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