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09-04-2010, 04:25 PM   #16
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The seller knows nothing about lens mounts. It's a Minolta MD mount, not Pentax. The only other thing I can say about it is it's made by Bauer.

09-04-2010, 04:35 PM   #17
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Ahhh thanks for the warning. I was actually looking at this:
Customer Image Gallery for Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8-4.5 SLD Aspherical DC Optical Stabilized (OS) Lens with Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) for Pentax Digital SLR Cameras

I like he range o the kit lense but would prefer better pictres in low light. How is this?
09-04-2010, 05:05 PM   #18
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Is this a manual focus lens? If you are interested in those (I tend to like them) then consider M42 mounts as well. You can get really nice Pentax Takumar lenses or even Russian or East German lenses. Other brands to look for are the older Vivitar as well as Tokina primes. For what it is worth, I like my Super Takumar 35 3.5 over my Vivitar 28 2.0. Both great lenses, just do not grab the 28 focal length that often.
09-04-2010, 05:19 PM   #19
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When I see the title "best prime lens for beginner" the first thought that came into my mind is one that is cheap and has a big aperture (eg f2.8, f2.0 or smaller) because it allows you to play with depth of field and learn more about photography.

To satisfy the both cheap and big aperture criteria, you will need to look at manual focus lenses. Get an Pentax-A lens if you want automatic metering. As to which focal length, it is really up to what you shoot but the cheapest will probably be a 50mm.

Cheers
Kenny

09-04-2010, 07:54 PM - 1 Like   #20
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I have been going through this same thing for a little while now. I have been using an ist D and lately and ist DS for a few years, and lazily the kit zooms and an FA zoom telephoto. I was always less than thrilled with my pictures. I had old pentax lenses from years ago, and I finally dug them out and also bought a few others. I can't believe I was so lazy for a few years.Your product is so much better with the fixed lengths. Here are some observations I've made. I'm not expert, this is just what I've observed so far trying to do what you are thinking.

1) 50mm's - I have made a series of shots with a pair of M50/1.7's and one A50/2. I can find no real difference in the contrast and image between any of them. For the price and slightly more functionality, I'd get an A50/2 to start. I think they suffer only from the lack of cachet of not being "sub-2." Seems like an excellent lens to me. If I get a good deal on an A/1.4 or something, sure, I'll step up, but that A/2 works really well.

2) I just got a K50/4 macro. OMG. This is one amazing lens. Sharp. I have done no head-to-head tests yet, but from the first results I don't see a huge difference vs. the other 50s above f5.6 in contrast and image. The sharpness is amazing, and the macro feature is so much fun. As a daytime camera it's really, really neat. The sharpness also pays off in the viewfinder. It is nowhere near as hard to focus as the others. You know when it's on even without an aftermarket focusing screen. I want to get a doubler for this so I can use it in macro and telephoto and extends its usefulness. This is going to be my 80% of the time lens, the one married to the camera. You can't do those narrow DOF creative shots with this, but boy does it do everything else well.

3) I have two Pentax 28s (the 2.8 and 3.5). They take great pictures but I still prefer the 50s for walking around. I grew up with SLRs and I just expect to have to move about to frame a picture. Sometimes you obviously can't do that, but an inexpensive 18-55mm kit zoom is not bad for those situations.

4) The off brand zooms (Hanimex (Cosina oem) and the branded Sears, (Toyo I think it is oem the one I have) etc.,) are not impressive - about the same quality as a kit zoom or other autofocus zoom in my opinion. I would not bother with manual focus zooms. I am sure there may be something exceptional out there from the top-flight makers, but I would not mess much with a zoom that closely overlaps your kit. It likely won't outperform it.

5) I like a fixed telephoto, and 135mm is good for that on digital. At the moment, I just have cheap Hanimex 135/3.5 and it works well for the occasional time I use that. I used to have a Pentax M 135/3.5; don't know what happened to it. Eventually I will get a Pentax and compare head to head. But for as cheap as these are, just get an off-brand 135mm to play with.

So I would say grab a Pentax-A 50/2 first. They are incredibly easy to find and much cheaper than most others. If you ever find a K50/4 macro affordably, grab that.
09-04-2010, 08:00 PM   #21
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It would probably be suitable if you have a camera that it fits. The lens however is for a Minolta..

If you want a 28mm you cannot go wrong with one of the Pentax offerings. Older Vivitars are quite nice too, especially for the money.

For a 50..

smc pentax-m 1:1.7 50mm - eBay (item 140449412334 end time Sep-07-10 16:46:28 PDT)

09-04-2010, 08:11 PM   #22
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QuoteQuote:
For a 50..
Somebody should hit that BIN price. That's a good deal. If I did not have two of those, I sure would.
09-04-2010, 08:27 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by SirJangly Quote
Hey guys! There are so many choices on ebay I only have the kit lens right now, and would like a prime lens. What are some suggestions, and hopefully links, to lenses that'd be great? Thanks in advance!
With a seemingly infinite amount of choices, you'd probably be better off setting some objectives for yourself first. ie. portraits(close-up or candids?), General purpose(macro or close focus?), wild bokeh? colors? ultimate sharpness? not to mention price, AF or MF, adapter or K mount? and so much more...

09-04-2010, 09:04 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
It would probably be suitable if you have a camera that it fits. The lens however is for a Minolta..

If you want a 28mm you cannot go wrong with one of the Pentax offerings. Older Vivitars are quite nice too, especially for the money.

For a 50..

smc pentax-m 1:1.7 50mm - eBay (item 140449412334 end time Sep-07-10 16:46:28 PDT)

I picked it up. Now I think I will get a 135mm to play with, and go from there. Any similarly priced 135mm I should go for?
09-04-2010, 09:06 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
With a seemingly infinite amount of choices, you'd probably be better off setting some objectives for yourself first. ie. portraits(close-up or candids?), General purpose(macro or close focus?), wild bokeh? colors? ultimate sharpness? not to mention price, AF or MF, adapter or K mount? and so much more...
Not sure what I am going for, I am totally new to all of this. I do like the bokeh effect, and prefer sharp images also. I also enjoy vivid colors. Ugh, I want everything lol
09-04-2010, 09:23 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by SirJangly Quote
Ugh, I want everything lol
Well I think that's quite common(see: LBA). However you didn't mention costs... At which point, if money were not an issue, then I'd say have a look at the Pentax limited line of lenses which are spectacular performers. Otherwise... we'll be opening Pandora's box with the low cost vintage stuff
09-05-2010, 05:47 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by SirJangly Quote
I picked it up. Now I think I will get a 135mm to play with, and go from there. Any similarly priced 135mm I should go for?
I have a Pentax M 135mm f3.5 we can talk about but send me a PM for that. I won't be discussing the sale of That lens any further here other than to say that as 135s go, it is a nice compact lens that I think, is underrated.

However, Johnbee is correct. You should probably define some parameters as to need. Otherwise, you're going to end up with a cabinet full of lenses you never use. I understand if you're brand new at this and probably like a kid in a candy shop (I know I was). As to finding lenses, don't over rule looking for complete film camera outfits. Don't over rule getting an M42 adapter from Pentax and playing with the Takumar screw mount lenses (that fit the spotmatics).

Since you are playing with the M type lenses, spend some time learning what your camera meter is telling you and how to interpret it for your scene. It doesn't matter what type of camera or lens you are using, this is something I would recommend anyway. Spend some time studying how the different aperture settings AND distance to subject affect your Bokeh (since you mentioned it). Set your camera to M and turn off AF to get the feel for using manual lenses. The only difference will be how you set the aperture. When you get your 50mm, find the function in the custom menu that says "Using Aperture Ring" and set it to Yes and while you're at it, turn on "Catch In Focus". On the K7, these are options 37 and 35 respectively.

Then spend some time learning how to post process, even in camera, to get your desired effects. Even if you choose not to use them right away, I would be shooting RAW+ just so you have what is basically the photo negative for your pictures.

09-05-2010, 08:58 AM   #28
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Warning...

QuoteOriginally posted by SirJangly Quote
Ah I should hve been more specific. I was hoping for an older, and cheaper, manual prime
You are flirting with mediocrity.

Unless you really, really, enjoy camera/lens experiments that involve fussing and fiddling around with your gear, you will NOT be happy. Don't waste your time, energy, or money... trust me, get the DA 40 Limited AND LR3.2. Spend next year learning LR3.2 using the images generated by the DA 40. After that time, you will be grounded technically and better able to think about next steps, adjusting your kit, etc. There are no short-cuts, no easy paths, no tricks, no low-road options... If you seek excellence, it takes more that just practice, it takes perfect practice. Anything less than a modern, digitally tuned, Limited lens will handicap your progress. Currently, the DA 40 offers the best bang for the buck in the Pentax line. Get it!

...my 2 cents...
09-05-2010, 09:28 AM   #29
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This is a slight tangent, but since the last poster has turned back to autofocus (and the OP didn't specify at first) I wanted to weigh in on the 'best beginner AF prime' discussion.

My first AF prime was the DA 40, which is an excellent lens (and I know many would plug the AF fast fifties here), but for sheer photographic range I would strongly recommend the FA 35/2. I know some of you will say 'discontinued' but I recently became aware that the identical Sansung-branded version is in fact still in distribution channels. So the 35/2 is a real option.

(I don't know why I thought the Samsung versions were only of zooms, but the 35/2 and the non-WR 100 macro were also Schneider-Kreuznached, which makes for wider availability if not always a better price. Another aside: the Samsung 18-250 is not an option I have often seen referenced by walkaround zoom enthusuasts.)

I know the technology partnership is over and these sources will dry up, but we might as well be aware of them while they last.

Last edited by Impartial; 09-05-2010 at 09:51 AM.
09-05-2010, 11:26 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by SirJangly Quote
Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8-4.5 SLD Aspherical DC Optical Stabilized (OS) Lens with Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) for Pentax Digital SLR Cameras

I like he range o the kit lense but would prefer better pictres in low light. How is this?
f//2.8 - f/4.5 for the Sigma versus f/3.5 - f/5.6 for the Pentax - that's only half a stop improvement. Not worth it in my opinion.
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