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11-20-2010, 08:00 AM   #16
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There are no essential lenses

11-20-2010, 09:05 AM   #17
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You loaded a barrel full of bullets. Since you don't really have a designated idea of what you will shoot. Essentially to get your feet warm in the pool. I'd suggest the kit lens with 55-300. As the starter. Followed by the new DA 35mm 2.4 seems like a cheap bang for the buck that will let you experience a prime lens. That should get you started until you really figure out what you like to take pictures of. If not the DA35mm I'd go with a 50mm F1.7 or 1.4. It's a cheaper alternative but less versatile indoors or in small rooms I mean.

From there let the LBA begin.
11-20-2010, 12:44 PM   #18
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Something wide, something wider (because the first is not wide enough), and something else. Good luck!
11-20-2010, 01:56 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Impartial Quote
Quite true. 10-12 is quite a different perspective from 14-16, from where I stand.
I realized that after the fact but decided to let the poll go anyway

Overall I think the results do show what a good baseline kit is for someone who has not yet specialized

11-20-2010, 02:18 PM   #20
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A fast prime lens at the classic 50mm length is a must. That will be 35mm for APS-C. So either the 35mm macro or the new DA 35 should be in your list. This can be your walk-around lens. Other options with slightly longer and shorter lengths are - DA40 and FA31.

Then you have to decide how much you are shooting at the wider end. And whether you want to go for a prime or a zoom. DA star 16-50 is good and versatile. So are DA 21 and DA 15.

Portrait lens is another category. Many choices here - DA 70, FA 77 or may be even the 100 macro.

Telephoto lenses will be next. DA 55-300 is an affordable option there. Quality is OK but not great. You can look at the DA Stars for better quality.

So you have many many choices here. My advice will be to buy the 35 now, and shoot many pictures with it. Then build your collection slowly.

I have the following setup:

1. DA 15
2. Voigtlander Ultron 40 SLII (I did not have the new DA 35 available back then)
3. DA 70
4. DA 55-300.

cheers,
11-20-2010, 04:30 PM   #21
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There have been some excellent advices/comments so far. Practically, your "essential lenses" are the lenses that you need.

What are your needs ? What do you shoot ? How ? You did not gave us much information.

I travel a lot worldwide, and I want a small, light photo travel kit.

My essential lenses are:
- the DA18-250mm, and
- a fast prime around 50mm f1.4.

The DA18-250mm is the perfect all-around lens with a great flexibility and a very good IQ for the focal length range.

I complement the DA18-250mm by a fast prime (Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4) that fulfills two purposes: the low light conditions when the DA18-250mm does not excel, and a few unusual situations when the oustanding IQ of the Nokton is a "knocker".

Food for thoughts....
11-20-2010, 06:54 PM   #22
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My first set I got to cover most stuff was the DA16-45 f/4 followed by the DA55-300, I then found a nice FA50 f/1.4 for a good price. These 3 lenses were my travelling kit, they had a nice range and the 50 was good for portraits and available light photography. They are all a step up from the typical kit stuff and will form a good basis to expand into more specialised areas.
11-20-2010, 07:16 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
There have been some excellent advices/comments so far. Practically, your "essential lenses" are the lenses that you need.

What are your needs ? What do you shoot ? How ? You did not gave us much information.

I travel a lot worldwide, and I want a small, light photo travel kit.

My essential lenses are:
- the DA18-250mm, and
- a fast prime around 50mm f1.4.

The DA18-250mm is the perfect all-around lens with a great flexibility and a very good IQ for the focal length range.

I complement the DA18-250mm by a fast prime (Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4) that fulfills two purposes: the low light conditions when the DA18-250mm does not excel, and a few unusual situations when the oustanding IQ of the Nokton is a "knocker".

Food for thoughts....
QuoteOriginally posted by robbiec Quote
My first set I got to cover most stuff was the DA16-45 f/4 followed by the DA55-300, I then found a nice FA50 f/1.4 for a good price. These 3 lenses were my travelling kit, they had a nice range and the 50 was good for portraits and available light photography. They are all a step up from the typical kit stuff and will form a good basis to expand into more specialised areas.
I think both of these are great setup. because you have to keep in mind that swaping lens can get annoying really really quick (along with carrying extra lens around).

DA16-45 f/4 is like 550
FA 50 is also alot (i know the M/A manual version is around 100)
DA 55-300 (maybe cheaper to stick with the 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED with the lens kit)
Lens kits also comes with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL... again not the best thing in the world but 2 of those lens for ~200 is much cheaper than a DA16-45
DA18-250mm (another 550)

So I say grab the k-x kit for 700 that comes with 2 kit lens, then grab a fast prime (50mm or 35mm) and call it a day, if you want to upgrade, if you can some how manage to split the package (body/lens) I think you might even make money off it .

11-20-2010, 08:04 PM   #24
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Don't cheap out. Go for the gold...

Shoot your kit lens and save your money for an FA 31/1.8. Build your kit around the 31...

As I said in another post, if I was given a 'do over', I'd start with a 31. Its a special lens with a 'go slow' learning curve. To find its groove and fine tune your shooting style, use it exclusively everyday for a year. Toward the end of that year, add the D FA 100/2.8 Macro WR for use with longer/closer subjects. Shoot this pair everyday for another year. This 31/100 combo should satisfy 98% of your everyday situational needs. Lastly, add the DA 15 limited for UW settings.

Of all the lenses in my kit, these three are my 'go to's'. Since I also like to photograph birds, I have a DA 300/4. I enjoy the 300 immensely, but consider it a niche, or accessory lens.

In a nutshell, I recommend a 15/31/100 core kit. Each of these lenses have distinct personalities. They will be serve you well into the distant future. Once you learn what each can do, then add a lens that meets the needs of any niche subjects that may attract you fancy.

...my 2 cents...
11-22-2010, 11:28 AM   #25
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To start with, keep it simple. If you get a camera with the kit zoom lens (or maybe with two of them), use it/them and don't get another lens until you are finding the limits with what you have. It's easy to recommend lots of lenses when someone else is paying!

Also remember that all the old K-mount lenses can be used - the ones without an 'A' on the aperture ring are a bit more complicated - but if you want to experiment then second-hand lenses from Ebay will be a cheap way to do it so long as you don't pay over the odds (check the completed listings) and are willing to get to grips with manual focus. You can even use the old 42mm mount lenses but you need an adapter to do so.
11-25-2010, 07:43 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
There are no essential lenses
Nice! Nothing is generically essential.

What I would recommend for great glass that covers most focal lengths....

Start with the kit lens. Not the best but pretty good.

at 55mm I would recommend the Helios 55mm, a Zeiss copy. I got one for $25 ($20 for shipping) from the Ukraine and it is truly GREAT glass. It's M42 so you need an $8 adapter.

Above 55mm, a Tak 135mm is a good bet. Even the 135mm Bayonet f2.5 is pretty good and can be had for cheap.

Beyond that, the M42 Tak 200mm is super glass and can also be purchased for not so much.

Above 200mm it can get pricey.

Good Luck.

Just my 2 cents....
11-25-2010, 08:03 PM   #27
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If you aren't sure about telephoto, you might want to try a super-cheap manual tele from the yesteryear. They are NOT great, but very cheap and I think the value of finding out whether you even like 100mm + focal lengths is worth the price of admission (approximately 20 dollars).

They come in all shapes and sizes, but I am talking about an old 70/80 - 200/210. My 80-200 is my least-used lens, but it was a good thing to buy because with it, I discovered I don't really care to shoot over 100mm on digital.
.
11-25-2010, 10:09 PM   #28
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It's tough for anyone to recommend if you don't say what your 1-2 year lens budget is or what you like to shoot. The 18-135 sounds like an excellent idea if you don't mind a large zoom on your camera. Unless you have a lot of money and can get a fast 30-40mm lens then a fast fifty is probably essential. Even an M 50mm f2 is a 3 stop improvement for around 30US. Or you could get an A 50 f1.4 for 100+. If you want a cheap telephoto that wasn't a zoom then you could get a takumar or M 135mm. The image quality is very good but they are really common so they are in the 40-60US range.

FWIW - the new 35mm looks like it might be an essential lens for the budget conscious that likes primes.
11-29-2010, 12:15 PM   #29
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Thanks everyone! There's a lot of great suggestions and such in these two pages.

I've used a few really old film lenses from my wife's K1000 as a starting point. Specifically a 50mm F2, 28mm F2.8 and 70-200mm F4.
I purchased the more current Pentax 50-200mm weather sealed lens since then. I'm finding I need something wider and faster for indoors shooting. Probably a more modern 28mm.

I've also been looking at the DA* 16-50mm F2.8. I know its more of a pro lens, but it sure nice to start with the good stuff.
11-29-2010, 09:47 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
Shoot your kit lens and save your money for an FA 31/1.8. Build your kit around the 31...

As I said in another post, if I was given a 'do over', I'd start with a 31. Its a special lens with a 'go slow' learning curve. To find its groove and fine tune your shooting style, use it exclusively everyday for a year. Toward the end of that year, add the D FA 100/2.8 Macro WR for use with longer/closer subjects. Shoot this pair everyday for another year. This 31/100 combo should satisfy 98% of your everyday situational needs. Lastly, add the DA 15 limited for UW settings.

Of all the lenses in my kit, these three are my 'go to's'. Since I also like to photograph birds, I have a DA 300/4. I enjoy the 300 immensely, but consider it a niche, or accessory lens.

In a nutshell, I recommend a 15/31/100 core kit. Each of these lenses have distinct personalities. They will be serve you well into the distant future. Once you learn what each can do, then add a lens that meets the needs of any niche subjects that may attract you fancy.

...my 2 cents...
I'm indeed considering this as my AF kit (although I will probably go for the DA21 instead of the DA15). And yes, your absolutely right that the FA31 is not everybodies friend. It's actually a beautifull bitch that needs taming.
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