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01-09-2011, 02:51 PM   #1
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lens question help

I have a pentax k2000 + kit lens, I was going to buy a SMC PENTAX M 50mm 1:1.7 PRIME Lens but I was wondering if i would be able to just switch lens or will i need some sort of adapter to make the lens compatible.. im a noob.

01-09-2011, 03:05 PM   #2
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No need for an adapter. See here how to use this lens: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/110657-how-use-manua...7-k-x-etc.html

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01-09-2011, 03:16 PM   #3
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thanks for the quick reply!
01-09-2011, 04:02 PM   #4
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K20D - Looking for Good Older Inexpensive Portrait Lens

I don't have the cash to drop $600 to $800 for a new lens. I've got my kit lens and I'm learning how to shoot with it. However, would like to get in on some bargains with the older lenses. Could some one point how some tips and point me in the right direction?

01-09-2011, 04:31 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by glee46 Quote
I don't have the cash to drop $600 to $800 for a new lens. I've got my kit lens and I'm learning how to shoot with it. However, would like to get in on some bargains with the older lenses. Could some one point how some tips and point me in the right direction?
The best thing you can do is decide on what focal length might be useful. If you set your kit lens to 50mm, that is the field of view an older 50mm lens will give you. Is that too wide for portraits? If so, you need to consider an 85mm or 100mm lens. Pentax didn't sell many 85s, and 100 is pretty long, so a lot of people end up with a 50mm lens.

If you don't yet understand the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO in regards to a correct exposure, I'd recommend that you do some reading on that first. Plenty of resources within this forum, or I always recommend Understanding Exposure, by Peterson, as a great book.

Once you decide on a focal length, sort thru the lens reviews on this website to get a feel for what is available, and go from there.
01-09-2011, 04:47 PM   #6
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One small note - if you can get the later "A" version of the same lens ($50-90 depending on luck) it'll behave exactly like a modern lens in the various camera modes except for being manual focus.

The M version requires some extra work to use - not necessarily a bad thing, but worth knowing.
01-09-2011, 04:51 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by glee46 Quote
I don't have the cash to drop $600 to $800 for a new lens. I've got my kit lens and I'm learning how to shoot with it. However, would like to get in on some bargains with the older lenses. Could some one point how some tips and point me in the right direction?
In general it is hard to go wrong with Pentax A-series lenses if you are fine with manual focus. M and K series lenses are of similar optical quality but bit more manual (see: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/p...7-k-x-etc.html) but then cheaper than the A-series lenses. For all these check out the lens review database: Pentax Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database.

As for a portrait lens with a Pentax DLSR a 50 or 55mm should do fine. [edit: as for a cheap and interesting piece in the focal length there is the Helios 44M 58mm 1:2 M42; this would need an M42 adapter, though].

Last edited by jolepp; 01-10-2011 at 01:57 AM.
01-10-2011, 05:48 PM   #8
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There are portraits and then there are portraits, as we say in my country. Do you mean formal sittings for head-and-shoulders (H&S) shots, or in some structured context, or grabbing snaps of people running around, or what?

At one time my job entailed shooting many (in)formal portraits in various formats from half-frame 35mm film (the size of your dSLR sensor) up to 6x6cm medium-format film. My favored focal length in all formats was 80mm, which gave the right amount of roundness. Shorter lenses meant working closer and maybe getting some facial distortion; longer lenses meant working further away and 'flattening' the features.

Sometimes we want such distortion or flatness and sometimes we don't. I would use a 1000mm mirror lens for portraits... at a mafiya funeral, from a safe distance! Or I might use a 16mm fisheye or ultrawide to show a subject in their close context. So when you ask about a portrait lens, you should let us know just what kind of portraits you're interested in.

With your dSLR, a 50mm or 55mm or 58mm lens would do nicely for H&S work from a comfortable distance; autofocus and even auto-aperture aren't necessary, not if you control the sitting and the light. A shorter lens like 24mm or 28mm would be good for full-body portraits. For facials (full-face shots), especially from further back, especially if you want the features flattened a bit, a 100mm or 135mm is the tool. As suggested, you can get an idea of which focal lengths work for you by trying your kit lens at various settings. Good manual 28's, 50-55-58's, and 135's, are still dirt cheap.

But, what is your idea of a portrait?

01-10-2011, 09:09 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by glee46 Quote
I don't have the cash to drop $600 to $800 for a new lens. I've got my kit lens and I'm learning how to shoot with it. However, would like to get in on some bargains with the older lenses. Could some one point how some tips and point me in the right direction?
To use the cheapest lenses, you need two skills. One is manual focusing. The second is getting your subject to stay still long enough to get the focus right.

The 50-55-58mm range has a lot going for it. You can practice with the kit lens to see what the framing and distance would be. There are a lot of lens choices here too, and they're f2.0 or faster. The Pentax-A 50mm f1.7 has a good performance/feature/price balance. I like the SMC Pentax 55mm f1.8 but it has no A setting. With an M42 adapter, you can get the almost identical SMC Takumar 55mm f2.0 pretty cheap.

For longer focal lengths, prices really jump around. I have an 85mm but I think today, any 85mm costs about 3 times what I want to pay. Maybe take a chance on the new Samyang/Bower/Vivitar/Rokinon 85mm f1.4, $275-350. A pretty good substitute is a 90mm macro lens, like a Tamron SP 90mm f2.5 Adaptall-2. You'll have to find the PK-A adapter, but for maybe less than $200 for lens+adapter, it's a useful combo. If you have any macro interest, it's easier to justify.

I have a Takumar 105mm f2.8 that's nice, and very compact. The Pentax-M 100mm f2.8 is similar and easier to find. If you have no interest in macro, these are a lot smaller than macro lenses with similar specs. Lenses with A contacts are not very common.

On 35mm film, lots of people used 135mm f2.8 lenses for portraits. They still work fine with two caveats. One is the vast majority are basic K mount, no A contacts. The other is minimum focus distance, often around 5 feet. It works in a large room, but in a smaller space, it doesn't.
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