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05-20-2010, 07:10 AM   #1
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Must have lens(es)?


I'm gonna buy my first Pentax, K-7, in a week or two.
I was thinking of wait for a while to see if a new Pentax was launched soon, the K-7 is a year old now. But there will always be something new...

I've been reading some reviews about the kit lens, and i'm gonna stick with it for a while.
Planing to buy the 16-50 at a later time.
Also thinking of a wide lens and the 60-250 after a while.
Time will show.

I'm fascinated that I can use all Pentax lenses on the K-7. Or am I wrong?

I would really like some primes, up to 100mm for the time being.

The FA 77mm or DA 70mm would be great.

A 50mm is a must have, but which is the best?
Many choises...

Something around 30mm would be great too, any recommendations?

I'm grateful for all help!


05-20-2010, 07:18 AM   #2
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Must haves? Pentax shines with primes. I'd get the FA77 and the FA31.

You'll find you can use just about any Pentax lens on your new K-7, though some of course will need an adapter.
05-20-2010, 07:23 AM   #3
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Man will I soon have the mediocre, manual focus, mid range zoom for you?

That's a little joke.
05-20-2010, 08:17 AM   #4
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I got my K10D with the 18-55 standard lens, but I immediately bought the 18-250. After owning it for a year I took a look at the shots I had been taking and noticed I did not shoot much in the mid-range but most at wide angle and then another 25-30% at around 200mm. I then knew what primes to look for. My general walk-around-lens is still the 18-250 though.

05-20-2010, 08:30 AM   #5
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I'd say take a step back for a second, get the camera with kit lens AND an old manual focus 50/55mm. I suggest the M 50mm F/1.7 or K 55mm F/1.8.

Not only are these great lenses, but they will help you to learn about photography as you use them. Also they can be had for under $100

If you realize you want more reach than you can look into several cheap options to start with like a DA 55-300mm or if you become in love with primes like me an old 135mm/200mm (M series ones go for under $100 and are great).

If you realize your want something like you said around 30mm than again buy an old M/K 28mm F/2.8 or F/3.5.

Before buying all this expensive equipment I suggest buying some good old lenses and really get a feel for everything. Than you can sell or keep them when you think your ready and buy those beloved limited lenses or DA* zooms

They aren't going to magically make your images amazing though, so keep that in mind
05-20-2010, 08:34 AM   #6
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Maybe consider the FA 43 Limited instead of a 50 (although I have the 43 and two 50mm's). Most of my lenses are primes with the exception of three zooms (16-45, 16-50 and 70-300) and I'm thinking of selling my 16-50 soon here on the marketplace (takes really nice pictures though).

What wide lenses are you considering?

If you'd like something around 30, and money isn't too much of an issue go with the FA 31 Limited.
05-20-2010, 02:48 PM   #7

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QuoteOriginally posted by Hufseking Quote

A 50mm is a must have, but which is the best?
Many choises...

Something around 30mm would be great too, any recommendations?

The Pentax 50mm f1.2, f1.4, and f1.7 are all terrific lenses, you can't go wrong with any of them.

The FA 31 is the best Pentax lens around 30mm, but it's also rather expensive. The K-series 28mm f3.5 is the best alternative under $150, but it can be hard to find. The M series 28mm f2.8 is cheap and easy to find, but it's not much better, in terms of sharpness and IQ, than what you'd get with your kit lens.

05-20-2010, 03:30 PM   #8
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The M28/2.8 might not be a *ton* better than the kit lens at that focal length, but that's in part because the kit lens is already pretty good in that range. Mostly, the reason to get the M28/2.8 would be because it is at least a stop faster. Also, it's a lot smaller, if you're thinking of going out with a coupe of primes as a way of cutting down bulk.

As for 50's, they are probably close to a hundred existing threads here and in the lens forum, so do peruse those. Standard advice is usually to avoid the f/2 versions are being noticeably weaker than the others, to go for "A" versions where possible so you can at least get exposure and flash automation, and to have no qualms about "settling" for an f/1.7 or f/1.8 lens rather than f/1.4 or f/1.2, as optically they're going to be just as good and the difference in speed is rarely going to matter.
05-20-2010, 11:05 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hufseking Quote
A 50mm is a must have, but which is the best?
Many choises...
A 50mm is NOT a must have. Why would it be?

Where this comes from, in my opinion, is that it is (or used to be) the cheapest way to get a fast lens as they used to be the 'kit lens' in the very old days and therefore usually don't cost you an arm and a leg.

Please note that I don't say that they are not useful for certain photos, but something around 30mm to 35mm is far more universal.

Having said that, just get the kit lens and see where it limits you (basically as yeatzee says) and start shooting. See where it limits you and take purchase decisions based on that.

You want longer or wider or faster or ... (or all of that). That is what the 'must haves' are

Last edited by sterretje; 05-20-2010 at 11:13 PM.
05-21-2010, 04:52 AM   #10
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The important question is what focal length works best for you. I like wider myself and have the DA 35 and 40 mm. The FA 50 that I owned just felt too long and I ended up selling it. On the other hand, my wife would far rather shoot longer and she enjoys shooting with our DA 50-135 and DA 70.

I think the main reason why people complement 50s so much is that they are the cheapest way to get a sharper, wider aperture lens. Just a lot of them left over from the era when SLRs would come with a 50 as the kit lens. If you want to get to f1.7 or f1.4, there isn't a cheaper way than a manual focus 50.

The auto focus options at 30mm would be the Sigma 30mm, DA 35, FA 35 and FA 31. Any one of those would probably be decent. The Sigma is a little faster, but some talk about it being soft. The DA 35 is what I own and it is a sweet little lens.
05-22-2010, 03:53 AM   #11
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I would second the thought that you use the kit lens, or a flexible zoom, and then see at what focal lengths you shoot most in different situations (indoors, portraits etc)... and then you can spend the money better on some of the great primes ...
05-22-2010, 08:24 PM   #12
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Asking other's opinions is always helpful but if you're going to wait anyway, my suggestion would be to get the two lens K-7 kit and shoot a few thousand frames. Look at your exif data and see what focal lengths you normally use. The kit lenses are weather sealed, so will always be handy to have as backups outdoors. The other option is the 18-250, which is even sharper for half of its range than the kit lenses. That's what I chose with my K20D and members of my photo club have been surprised at the quality I've managed with that lens.

I've gone back and looked at my keepers for the last year and they fall into some well defined focal length ranges. A good third of my shots are taken at 18mm. That tells me my next lens will be a wide angle. Another quarter runs in the 30-40mm range. Given the crop factor that's pretty much what used to be called a normal focal length. I'm looking at the FA 35mm F2. That's the one place where I want a fast prime because many of those shots are indoors. I've already bought a 2.8 100mm macro, which covers one of the other two groupings. The last one in the near future will be a long telephoto.

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05-22-2010, 08:45 PM   #13
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What mysticcowboy said......

Everyone is going to give you their opinion, however you are going to be shooting the images that appeal to you. So, only you will be able to determine what your needs will be. As mystic said, you find that out by going back and seeing what you actually shot, and what interests you and what you wish you had to take the shot that you could not.

The kit lenses are very good and reasonably inexpensive. They give you the means of figuring out what interests you. Do not underestimate them. They have limitations, but you can work around most of them. They will guide you to your future purchases. Then again - for a lot of folks, they just might cover everything you feel you need.

05-22-2010, 08:58 PM   #14
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A must prime lens (IMHO) is the Sigma 30mm f1.4, and the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 for a mid zoom.
BTW, get a boatload of older Pentax primes for the fun and experience of the "old" film days.
05-24-2010, 08:02 AM   #15
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I think before looking into "must have" lenses you need to consider fully the design of a lens kit.

In my mind you must have a range from 10mm to 200mm with asuch as possible at F2.8 and a means to get to 400+mm of you want to do wildlife.

How you get this is as varried as the number of forum members. Most will recomend what they have but this is not the same as what works for you.

As you start shooting you will begin to develop your own tastes in the hobby but don't forget about covering the entire range. Your tastes at the onset will determine which lenses you will get first, that is all

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