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05-29-2010, 09:17 AM   #1
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Newbie lens quest...

Hi everybody!

I'll give you a list of my gear, just to set a starting Point for my lens-Quest.

I bought an istDL a couple of years ago, along with a 16-45 f4.0 zoom.
And just some weeks ago I FOUND some lenses from my fathers old pentax stock along with an original and unused Pentax m42 adapter.

So I have m42s:
SMC takumar 50/f1.4
SMC takumar 135/f2.5
Vivitar 35/f1.9
Vivitar 90/f2.8 makro

K-mount:
m 50/f2.0
FA 28-200 3.8-5.6 zoom
some EXACTA 500mm MirrorTele with fixed f8 (suspected for being useless)
and the mentioned DA 16-45 f4 ED-AL

So here the quest:
how to work you way up the ladder and where to look?
for stills and Vids (mostly in lowlowlight) with the DL and most likely the K-7 or its successor.
I suspect the two m42 to be already very good...

The top seems to be
Leica converted to Pentax Mount. hmmm. yep, pricey. not yet...

Could you tell where to look among the pentax lenses and the other „top“ brands?
like Zeiss, Voigtländer (?) ...

Main goal is: great performance under ridiculuos circumstances..


thank you
Dr.

05-29-2010, 10:18 AM   #2
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if that's your goal, then turn to Pentax limiteds, star lenses, or those takumars you mentioned.

Check our lens database to see the technical specs as well as what our members have to say about them: Pentax Lens Review Database - Lens Listings

And see here for voigtlanders: PentaxForums.com Third-Party Lens Review Database - Lens Listings
05-29-2010, 10:53 AM   #3
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In addition to Adam's suggestions above, also look at:
Tamron:
28-75 F2.8 PentaxForums.com Third-Party Lens Review Database - Tamron Macro SP AF28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Lens Reviews
17-50 f2.8 PentaxForums.com Third-Party Lens Review Database - Tamron SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 XR LD ASPHERICAL (IF) Lens Reviews

Sigma:
70-200 F2.8 PentaxForums.com Third-Party Lens Review Database - Sigma APO EX 70-200mm f/2.8 Lens Reviews

There are others, but the three above are almost universally recognized as being superior in every way. Of the three, I only own the Tammy 28-75 but the other two are near the top of my "Lust List"

NaCl(top spot on the list belongs to the Pentax FA* 200mm macro)H2O
05-29-2010, 01:39 PM   #4
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I would second the Tamron 17-50 if you want to stick to zooms within the wide-normal range within a budget... if you have a bigger budget then the DA* 16-50 and 50-135 are great candidates too... but all the hype around the SDM issues kept me away so far... and then there is the whole Limiteds line up when you want to work with a compact package... but all Pentax lenses seem to be ridiculously priced in Germany...

05-29-2010, 02:19 PM   #5
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Your M42s are the top of the heap! Great stuff!

I never even heard of a 35 1.9.

You could probably get $300 to $400 for that on eBay.
05-30-2010, 12:55 AM   #6
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hey, that's fast answers! thank you.

budget restricts me to used gear.
If I was to film with a K-7 in a club (Livemusic) I had to use MF and fixed Aperture anyway, so even a m42 would have sufficient controls...

Primes welcome.

So If I have a splendid 50 f1.4 with that takumar, what' playing in that league?
Do I have to spend big buck on Limiteds, Zeiss or even Leica or are there older gems that I should try to get first?
06-01-2010, 05:00 PM   #7
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You have some superb glass there, especially all the M42s. Where you go from there depends on what you want to do, how much you want to spend, what you want to schlep around, etc. Suggestion: shoot what you have. Constantly. Find out what each lens can and can't do. Then see what you want to do that you can't do with what you have. Oh yeah, converting a Leica lens to a Pentax is possible, and a pain, and expensive, and is IMHO only worthwhile if you own expensive Leica glass.

Great manual lenses are still cheap on eBay. I just saw a Minolta 50/1.4 go for under US$50, a Takumar 55/2 for US$6. Many Russian/FSU lenses are cheap and brilliant. Some Russkies to look for include the apochromatic Industar-50/3.5, the Helios-44 58/2, the Helios-40 85/1.5 or Jupiter-9 85/2, a Tair or Jupiter 135. Even some Takumars are still bargains. Some slower lenses are deadly sharp -- the Tele-Tak 200/5.6 is amazing. Faster, close-focus primes can be quite dimensional -- my Isco Westron 35/2.8 is almost Leica-like. And many old Nikkor lenses can be easily modded for a Pentax mount.
06-03-2010, 03:14 AM   #8
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Hey Rio Rico,

thank you for your reply, I guess Ill just keep shooting until I learn and know what exaktly I need to be better... the Vivitar 1.9 for example is strange... lens flare, I can see the aperture burned into dark areas when expose a little longer...


CU
Dr.

06-03-2010, 05:57 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by DrDespair Quote
I guess Ill just keep shooting until I learn and know what exaktly I need to be better...
That's exactly what you need to do because the lens set you have is pretty darned good overall. Regardless of price, you're not going to gain a lot in lens quality over what you already have. What you're really looking at is convenience.


QuoteQuote:
...the Vivitar 1.9 for example is strange... lens flare, I can see the aperture burned into dark areas when expose a little longer...
If you're not using lens hoods, you need to start. They'll help you get the most from your lenses.
06-03-2010, 06:26 AM   #10
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Yeah, lenshoods.. if i had any for these...

Well, the vivitar is extreme. The Aparture thing is not the flare, its right in the middle, unsharp and covering half the picture (depending on size of aperture.)

nvermind, I'll get lenshood timt after time. just got my a pro tripod....
06-03-2010, 07:46 AM   #11
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Depending upon how you shoot, lenshoods could be critical. ANY light that's striking the front element of your lens is stealing contrast and sharpness.
06-03-2010, 09:17 AM   #12
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Without knowing much about anything it has been my impression that Zeiss glass is really expensive, though good, and Leica glass cost a hell of a lot more than Voigtländer.


Which would make only the Voigtländer a working alternative for me.

And their SL II-lenses is available with Pentax mounts to.


Looked a little at Sony cameras but yeah, Zeiss lenses may be good but there's no way I could afford that anyway =P



Sigma looks like the best deal though , widest selection, lenses for everything, good prices and the EX range seem to get good ratings so why not

All your M42s seem to be awesome =p


Would it be possible to create an upgraded M-mount where all M-mount lenses worked but there you also got working AF with new lenses designed for your upgraded M-mount? =p, that would seem like the perfect EVIL solution. Or not? (Shorter flange and adapters work to I guess .. But standards are good.)
06-03-2010, 09:20 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by DrDespair Quote
Do I have to spend big buck on Limiteds, Zeiss or even Leica or are there older gems that I should try to get first?
I think there are plenty of reasonable priced used lenses of all brands.

This one looks like a cutie:
Voigtlaender - 35 mm / F 1,4 Nokton
06-03-2010, 12:08 PM   #14
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Something else: I see that your widest is the FA 28-200 zoom, which ain't very wide nor fast. When I researched buying my first dSLR (the K20D) a couple years ago, I asked myself: What do I want to do that I can't do with what I have now (a Sony DSC-V1 P&S)? The answers were: ultrawide, ultralong, and low light. I especially wanted to go wide, and the DA10-17 fisheye zoom is what drove me to Pentax.

So depending on your preferences and obsessions, you might want to consider a 10-20mm or 12-24mm zoom, and/or a fast 14mm or 15mm prime, and at least a fast 24mm. An (underrated) 18-55mm kit zoom (<US$50) will give you an idea of wider FOVs than what you have. I could use some better wide lenses, but I get by with the DA10-17 and Zenitar 16/2.8 fisheyes, Lentar (Tokina) 21/3.8 (usually stopped down to f/8 for maximal DOF), Vivitar 24/2 (a gem). Maybe a Sigma 8-16 is in my future...
06-04-2010, 11:24 AM   #15
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Hi RioRico,

actually my widest is my 16-45 Zoom.
I use it quite often because It can focus on something almost touching the lens...
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