Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
09-04-2010, 01:44 AM   #1
Senior Member

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Antioch, CA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 197
Best prime lens for beginner? (28/50mm)

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!

09-04-2010, 01:59 AM   #2
Veteran Member

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SE Michigan USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,184
DA 40 Limited...

Hands down... slam dumk... no question... Get it!
09-04-2010, 03:20 AM   #3
Veteran Member
twitch's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,571
DA40. Get one.
09-04-2010, 03:43 AM   #4
Senior Member
paugie's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Quezon City, Philippines
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 168
you have the kit, 18-55.
then get a focal length outside that.
get a DA70. not so expensive, but a great lens

09-04-2010, 04:04 AM   #5
Site Supporter
Site Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Gladys, Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 22,554
Pick a DA limited based on a focal length that you like to shoot or something that you would like to shoot but can't. I would suggest the DA 35 as it gives the macro option(, the DA 15 is wider than what you have and if you like to shoot landscapes can be amazing( Photos from the other DA limiteds are shown here ( I think any one of these lenses offers a lot. My personal favorites are the DA 35 and DA 70.
09-04-2010, 04:14 AM   #6
Zav's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,367
Wait for the photokina. New primes will be announced.
09-04-2010, 09:41 AM   #7
Senior Member

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Antioch, CA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 197
Original Poster
Ah I should hve been more specific. I was hoping for an older, and cheaper, manual prime
09-04-2010, 09:46 AM   #8
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
boriscleto's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: North Syracuse, NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 15,343
Why not both? You should be able to get a Pentax-M 28 3.5 and a Pentax M 50 1.7 for about $100. Look for a third party lens. Vivitar 28s are plentiful and cheap. I got an Auto Sears MC 50 1.7 for $10. I think it's as good as the M 50 1.7.

09-04-2010, 09:55 AM   #9
Veteran Member
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,686
The question is impossible to answer until *you* figure out what kind of focal length you feel would be most useful to *you*. For me personally, the focal lengths where I feel I get the most benefit from having a prime rather than the kit lenses are in the normal (say, 28-40) and medium telephoto (say, 100-135) ranges. In both cases, the primary advantage for me being the larger aperture, allowing faster shutter speed. The "normal" lens for basic candids and other snapshots, the telephoto for my concert photography. Others, though, are more interested in portraits, and for them something in the 50-100mm range might make more sense.

If all you have is the 18-55, I'm inclined to suggest a 135mm just so you've have *something* telephoto. Although it's rather likely you'll eventually decide to get a telephoto zoom like a 50-200, 55-300, 70-300, etc - but still, I personally would never want to be without a faster telephoto.

The other lens I'd think about would be something like the M35/2 - not a commonly discussed lens, but one that seems like a very natural choice to me, as it's a pretty good compromise between cheap and fast. I'd also suggest really looking at your use of your kit lens to see if you think you'd be better served with something a little wider (most of my landscapes are closer to 28) or a little longer (most of my candids are closer to 40). A 28/2.8 and/or the M40/2.8 could also be good choices.
09-04-2010, 10:01 AM   #10
reeftool's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Upstate New York
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,870
I would recommend that you go through all your shots with the kit lens. What zoom setting are you using the most? Pick something in that size range or within a few mm of that size. Every lens mentioned is a very fine lens but you won't be happy with your purchase if it is a size you won't use much. If you find the 18mm of the kit lens not wide enough or if you are cropping all your shots taken at 55mm, then the shorter or longer primes might be in order. There are hundreds of examples of what these various different primes can do all over the forum.
09-04-2010, 12:45 PM   #11
Inactive Account

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Coral Springs, FL
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,216
Super or Super Multi Coated 50 1.4 M42 Takumar with M42 adapter.

Lens, 75 to 100 bucks.

No question.
09-04-2010, 12:56 PM   #12
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,523
I have to echo Marc's reasoning here. With using the kit, you should be starting to have some inkling about what you most enjoy about photography. Landscapes, portraits, kids - grandchildren, architecture, sports, travel, and/or ?????? Looking through your past images will certainly help. So, based on what and how you use the camera, that will point you to the general area that a prime may be of most use to you.

You do not have a general use yet, and just want a prime? Then, you are following the whims of everyone else. Then, find something very inexpensive, to scratch the itch, an older M 50mm f2 for under $30 or a Tokina 28mm f2.8 for around $20 or under (either of which might just come with a older film body attached).

Even with a good idea of the focal length area that appeals to you most, then there is manual, automatic, autofocus, new glass, old glass. Regular lens or specialty (fish eye)? Pentax, or third party - Sigma, Tamron or some super premium like Zeiss...

Last edited by interested_observer; 09-04-2010 at 01:04 PM.
09-04-2010, 01:36 PM   #13
Veteran Member
RioRico's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Limbo, California
Posts: 11,264
I'll back boriscleto. Sears or Focal (K-Mart) or Ricoh primes are cheap and good and are mostly in K-mount so no adapters are needed. An autofocus zoom makes it easy to take pictures. A manual prime teaches you to see. Popular cheap focal lengths include:

* 28/2.8: great for sea- and land-scapes
* 35/2.8: equivalent to 'normal' film lenses
* 50-55mm, f/1.7-f/2: a good Fast Fifty ***
* 135/2.8: a good usable short telephoto

These can often be found for ~US$20 each. Some may say KR on the side, and may thus have the infamous Ricoh Pin that is easily removed. Some newer nameless K-mount primes are by Cosina and are rather good and cheap.

As Marc said, see which focal lengths you use your 18-55 at. But using fixed primes in that range just ain't the same experience, especially a Fast Fifty. I really recommend a cheap 135mm too, so you can see what a bit more reach can do. Have fun!
09-04-2010, 01:57 PM   #14
Senior Member

Join Date: May 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 208
I will quite arbitrarily suggest the Pentax A 28/2.8 and the Cosina (variously branded Pentax, Phoenix or Vivitar) 100/3.5 Macro (1:2, 1:1 with included adapter) -- the latter is available with or without the A aperture setting.

These two lenses are both reasonably priced, widely available, and provide a normal and a telephoto in very traditional FOV and with high IQ. QED.

Of course, your goals may differ.
09-04-2010, 04:08 PM   #15
Senior Member

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Antioch, CA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 197
Original Poster
Vivitar 28mm f/ 2.8 Wide Angle For Pentax - eBay (item 320584671969 end time Sep-11-10 16:37:00 PDT)

how is this?

  • 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!
camera, lens, pentax help, photography
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Beginner: Which lens to start with 18-55 or 50mm? ninemm Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 35 08-25-2010 08:10 AM
Sears prime 50mm lens rmendez84 Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11 03-27-2010 08:54 AM
Good 50mm prime lens? raver1414 Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 6 12-11-2009 02:48 PM
Hood for 50mm prime lens? iht Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 52 08-25-2009 07:58 PM
FA 50mm D 1.4, Helluva Prime Lens shutterpuppy Post Your Photos! 2 01-04-2009 09:23 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:39 AM. | See also:, 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?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]