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01-14-2011, 11:53 AM   #1
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Finding Old but Good Lenses: Hints please..

Before getting a DSLR, I do a little research about lenses. I found that ONLY Pentax give honor to their young camera models enjoy the novelty of the good 'ol glorious lenses. This is the fact that made me choses Pentax.

..but being someone with no experience whatsoever in this huge world of lenses, I really need an advice or two

01-14-2011, 12:15 PM   #2
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Advice 1: Pentax Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database
Advice 2: Third-Party Lenses for Pentax - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database
01-14-2011, 12:18 PM   #3
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advice number 3: shoot with your kit lens(es) and learn to use the camera, then review where you shoot (what focal length) and let that guide your early Prime purchases, it will save you buying a lens you never use
01-14-2011, 12:37 PM   #4
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1) Buy the Pk to M42 screw mount adapter.

2) Buy a 50 1.4 Super Takumar or Super Multi Coated Takumar. (The 55 1.8 is cheaper and excellent too.)

3) Go have fun!

01-14-2011, 12:49 PM   #5
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My advice is general but still useful.

I think it's important to understand the limitations first. A Pentax-M 50mm f1.7 is a great lens, but requires manual focus, M mode, using the aperture ring and metering with the green button. If you can't work that way, it's not a great lens for you. It may be worth just buying this one lens as an experiment, to see how it works for you.

Then you need an education on the lenses that work on your camera, so you can ignore the ones that won't work. K-mount lenses work without an adapter. Be aware of the Ricoh pin, which is a problem on a handful of lenses. A few lenses need to have the light shield modified or removed to mount. The M42 mount lenses also work with an adapter. T-mount lenses work with an adapter too. Other mounts can work with easy or difficult modifications. Tamron, Vivitar and Soligor made lenses with interchangeable mount systems that can work too, with the right adapters.

Buying lenses will be harder given your location. Shipping and customs may rule out some deals. You should also be aware of fungus and oil on aperture blades. They are more of a problem in the tropics.

Try to learn as much as possible about a lens before buying. Research is easy for Pentax, maybe harder for other brands. You should know if a lens is common or rare, how it compares to similar lenses and how it should work.

You should have an idea of what you need. If you know you need a great macro lens, and don't use wide angle a lot, you can stop looking at those cool Vivitar 20mm f3.8 primes and save your money for the macro.

Some lenses just aren't worth buying. If you buy a lot of lenses, you'll end up with enough old 70-200mm MF zooms, 135mm primes and film cameras to fill a box.
01-14-2011, 12:52 PM   #6
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I've been there, off course ..even months before I join this site as a member.. THIS database is what makes me choses Pentax..and THIS database that's driving me crazy!

QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
advice number 3: shoot with your kit lens(es) and learn to use the camera, then review where you shoot (what focal length) and let that guide your early Prime purchases, it will save you buying a lens you never use
Thanks eddie, I can assure you that this learning is on the way
A few days after I got my K100DS, a friend of mine sold his SMC M 50mm 1.4 for like $30 (was it a good buy?). The lens has one speck of fungus (is it okay?), gosh the result images stuns me. But wide open often it gives 'too bright' images (is this common?).

I suppose my tittle question should be more specific, but above (?) questions is the kind of what I had in mind.
01-14-2011, 01:10 PM   #7
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i would have snapped up an m 50 1.4 at that price, iif the speck of fungus was small it was still a good deal, but in a tropical environment fungus can spread quickly (store it in an air tight container with a silica pack though and it would likely halt the growth for now)
it would be easy to over expose at 1.4 in any well lit area (not to mention a bugger to get the right focus) easy to contend with by lowering ISO increasing shutter speed though.
an smc m 50 f1.4 in my neck of the woods is rarely available for less than $80-100 (and is frequently more) if it is fungus/oil/haze free unless you are lucky.

A Ka will be even more (in fact they are usually so high i makes more sense to look for an F or FA as they are close in price sometimes to where people value the Ka

this should give you a quick read on current values

http://photography.shop.ebay.ca/Lenses-Filters-/78997/i.html?Lens%2520Brand=...=p3286.c0.m282
01-14-2011, 01:55 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
My advice is general but still useful.

I think it's important to understand the limitations first. A Pentax-M 50mm f1.7 is a great lens, but requires manual focus, M mode, using the aperture ring and metering with the green button. If you can't work that way, it's not a great lens for you. It may be worth just buying this one lens as an experiment, to see how it works for you.

Then you need an education on the lenses that work on your camera, so you can ignore the ones that won't work. K-mount lenses work without an adapter. Be aware of the Ricoh pin, which is a problem on a handful of lenses. A few lenses need to have the light shield modified or removed to mount. The M42 mount lenses also work with an adapter. T-mount lenses work with an adapter too. Other mounts can work with easy or difficult modifications. Tamron, Vivitar and Soligor made lenses with interchangeable mount systems that can work too, with the right adapters.

Buying lenses will be harder given your location. Shipping and customs may rule out some deals. You should also be aware of fungus and oil on aperture blades. They are more of a problem in the tropics.

Try to learn as much as possible about a lens before buying. Research is easy for Pentax, maybe harder for other brands. You should know if a lens is common or rare, how it compares to similar lenses and how it should work.

You should have an idea of what you need. If you know you need a great macro lens, and don't use wide angle a lot, you can stop looking at those cool Vivitar 20mm f3.8 primes and save your money for the macro.

Some lenses just aren't worth buying. If you buy a lot of lenses, you'll end up with enough old 70-200mm MF zooms, 135mm primes and film cameras to fill a box.
General is exactly what I need! Thanks

QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
1) Buy the Pk to M42 screw mount adapter.

2) Buy a 50 1.4 Super Takumar or Super Multi Coated Takumar. (The 55 1.8 is cheaper and excellent too.)

3) Go have fun!
I have one M42 to PK adapter coming to me this instance. I ordered it 2 days ago ..and yes, I'm having fun everyday with my 1.4. Not a day missed without taking a few pics with this gem

QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
i would have snapped up an m 50 1.4 at that price, iif the speck of fungus was small it was still a good deal, but in a tropical environment fungus can spread quickly (store it in an air tight container with a silica pack though and it would likely halt the growth for now)
it would be easy to over expose at 1.4 in any well lit area (not to mention a bugger to get the right focus) easy to contend with by lowering ISO increasing shutter speed though.
an smc m 50 f1.4 in my neck of the woods is rarely available for less than $80-100 (and is frequently more) if it is fungus/oil/haze free unless you are lucky.

A Ka will be even more (in fact they are usually so high i makes more sense to look for an F or FA as they are close in price sometimes to where people value the Ka

this should give you a quick read on current values

New and used pentax 50mm, Lenses on eBay.ca
Will you believe if I tell you that yesterday in my local internet-based marketplace (quite similar to this site's) a SMC M 50mm 1.2 an a M 50 1.7 popped out and sold for merely $100 for the 1.2 and $30 for the 1.7 (prices are still negotiable) ? The seller puts it at noon and sold only 2 hours later, and I missed it for just like 30 minutes! God, I just hate to be me! The 1.4 itself is quite common here. At this moment, there is at least three or four M 1.4 lying around still waiting for buyer at $40 - $50. I don't see AF primes, though.

01-14-2011, 02:05 PM   #9
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minahasa

the advise dave and eddie have given is pretty good.

- learn your camera with the kit lens
- try MF, you have a head start with the 50/1.4 and the spec of fungus still is not too bad for $30
- KA mounts will allow more automatic functions on the camera.

WRT the 50/1.4 and " images are too bright" what camera did you try and how did you meter,.

ALso note, some pentax bodies, while they do meter, have errors that can be a little frustrating when using manual lenses, in this respect A series are better because the auto aperture and lens data is used by the camera to correct the errors. Not to disuade you but for the Manual aperture lenses but you can easily test exposure by using a well lit block wall as a test target and then look at the histogram or use an image editor to measure the greyscale value, to understand the metering error as a function of aperture.

After all of the above, use your experience to point you towards lenses you need. Note however,old lenses wider than 24mm are not easily available at good prices, and there are some new manual focus lenses from Samyang that appear quite good, and at reasonable prices. They make an 8mm fisheye, a 14m , 35mm F1.4 and 85mmF1.4 all available in KA mount


As to where to find them, look at second hand shops, thrift stores, In canada garage/yard sales, pawn shops, etc.
01-14-2011, 02:06 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by minahasa Quote
General is exactly what I need! Thanks



I have one M42 to PK adapter coming to me this instance. I ordered it 2 days ago ..and yes, I'm having fun everyday with my 1.4. Not a day missed without taking a few pics with this gem



Will you believe if I tell you that yesterday in my local internet-based marketplace (quite similar to this site's) a SMC M 50mm 1.2 an a M 50 1.7 popped out and sold for merely $100 for the 1.2 and $30 for the 1.7 (prices are still negotiable) ? The seller puts it at noon and sold only 2 hours later, and I missed it for just like 30 minutes! God, I just hate to be me! The 1.4 itself is quite common here. At this moment, there is at least three or four M 1.4 lying around still waiting for buyer at $40 - $50. I don't see AF primes, though.
those are great prices, with shipping of course it would make no sense for me to pursue one from there.
damn a 1.2 ( i assume you meant the K there is no M 1.2 I know of) for $100, you hardly ever see one even come up here and the average price people paid in the reviews section is $338
01-14-2011, 02:28 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
those are great prices, with shipping of course it would make no sense for me to pursue one from there.
damn a 1.2 ( i assume you meant the K there is no M 1.2 I know of) for $100, you hardly ever see one even come up here and the average price people paid in the reviews section is $338
My bad, K is correct. This is the pic the seller gave:



Well, to be honest, the 1.2 don't show much here either. But the 1.4, like I said, are like a ton

The funny thing is, in search for an 'all-round' lens, a week ago I had to purchase a Sigma from the US (from ebay). It cost me $30 for shipping, and it's not even arrived yet. Like I said, the AF's are the ones that hard to find here.
01-14-2011, 02:40 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
minahasa

the advise dave and eddie have given is pretty good.

- learn your camera with the kit lens
- try MF, you have a head start with the 50/1.4 and the spec of fungus still is not too bad for $30
- KA mounts will allow more automatic functions on the camera.

WRT the 50/1.4 and " images are too bright" what camera did you try and how did you meter,.

ALso note, some pentax bodies, while they do meter, have errors that can be a little frustrating when using manual lenses, in this respect A series are better because the auto aperture and lens data is used by the camera to correct the errors. Not to disuade you but for the Manual aperture lenses but you can easily test exposure by using a well lit block wall as a test target and then look at the histogram or use an image editor to measure the greyscale value, to understand the metering error as a function of aperture.

After all of the above, use your experience to point you towards lenses you need. Note however,old lenses wider than 24mm are not easily available at good prices, and there are some new manual focus lenses from Samyang that appear quite good, and at reasonable prices. They make an 8mm fisheye, a 14m , 35mm F1.4 and 85mmF1.4 all available in KA mount


As to where to find them, look at second hand shops, thrift stores, In canada garage/yard sales, pawn shops, etc.
I have K100DS with no green button, but I uses M mode and push the AE-L button every time. Is there a better way?

I don't have any A lens yet, but I'm looking forward to have one. Sometimes the all-manual of M 1.4 still bothers me. Anyhow, as the M series is easy to get here, the A's are not, and literally priced more.

I, however, still have limited budget when it comes to purchasing such 'exotic' lenses like Samyang.
01-14-2011, 05:01 PM   #13
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If I may be immodest... I wrote this article a while back: Pawnshop Lenses (and other used lenses) -- A Buyers Guide which is about evaluating used lenses. It is not so much for deciding what to buy online, but what to look for when you have a lens in your hand. Good luck!
01-14-2011, 08:28 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
If I may be immodest... I wrote this article a while back: Pawnshop Lenses (and other used lenses) -- A Buyers Guide which is about evaluating used lenses. It is not so much for deciding what to buy online, but what to look for when you have a lens in your hand. Good luck!
This is it! Exactly what I need, thanks

Edit:
Something wrong with the link

Last edited by minahasa; 01-14-2011 at 09:53 PM.
01-15-2011, 11:24 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by minahasa Quote
Edit:
Something wrong with the link
Hmmm, I just clicked it and it worked. If you can't get there directly, go up the folder tree to PENTAX FORUM, then scroll down to PHOTOGRAPHY, past GENERAL PHOTOGRAPHY, to PENTAX PHOTOGRAPHY ARTICLES, and you'll see my article in there. Good luck.
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