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02-12-2011, 08:08 AM   #1
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Best lens for 100 dollars

I want to by a used lens for my K200d. I am trying to decide between a Pentax-A 50mm 1.7 or a Pentax 18-55 AL II. I was wondering what everybody thinks. Which one is better for indoor low light use with or without flash.

02-12-2011, 08:12 AM   #2
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If you specify for low light use then the 18-55 loses automatically. It has pretty lousy maximum aperture.
02-12-2011, 08:21 AM   #3
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The 50 but you shouldn't have to pay $100 for it. Patience is a virtue when seeking used lenses.

02-12-2011, 08:25 AM   #4
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Well, one is auto one is manual. First ask yourself which you want first.

02-12-2011, 08:42 AM   #5
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which one would take better indoor pictures
02-12-2011, 08:44 AM   #6
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ebay has 3-4 used pentax-A 1.7 50mm. they are around 95 to 100
02-12-2011, 09:01 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by liukaitc Quote
Well, one is auto one is manual. First ask yourself which you want first.
They're both auto exposure. One is manual focus and the other is auto focus.
02-12-2011, 09:12 AM   #8
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I know that. Do you have experience using both lenses.can you give some pointers beside that one is auto focus and one is a zoom.

02-12-2011, 09:47 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by oldmower Quote
I know that. Do you have experience using both lenses.can you give some pointers beside that one is auto focus and one is a zoom.
My comment was directed to the other fellow. One is a manual focus prime. The other is an autofocus zoom.

Do you already have a lens that is about 50mm? That should give you some idea how useful it would be to you indoors. While 50mm was the "normal" lens focal length in the days of film, with the smaller sensor size on digital cameras it becomes a sort of short telephoto lens which can make it of limited use for indoor shots. Not useless....just limited. Most people find something wider preferable for indoor use.

Are you familiar with the implications the different maximum apertures have on low light photography? The 50/1.7 has a very good maximum aperture, meaning it does a better job in low light situations. the 18-55 when zoomed out to 55mm has a maximum aperture of f5.6, which is roughly three and a half stops slower and not a great choice for low light photography, certainly not without a flash. With a flash is a different story, though.

Essentially, the choice of 50/1.7 and 18-55 is an apples-and-oranges sort of comparison, they're so different.
02-12-2011, 09:56 AM   #10
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thanks for your help. I have a pentax 28-200 now and was trying to film a wrestling match in a high school gym and I couldn't use it because the pics were dark and the kids were to far away to use the flash. So i put on a manual 50mm from kalimar and used my camera in manual mode i got brighter pics but they were blurry catching the action because of the long shutter time over 1/45
02-12-2011, 10:04 AM   #11
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You can pick up a 50 for 76.00 ebay.
02-12-2011, 10:09 AM   #12
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The two lens you suggest are completely different categories, so difficult to compare.

Your suggestion that you are interested in low light/indoor would lean towards the A-50 without flash, but the manual focus may be a pain if you are tracking people etc. With flash is would depend on whether you are talking the pop-up or external flash. The GN on the K200D pop-up flash is only 13, so aperture might still be an issue with flash (bearing in mind that K200 is less than stellar at ISO>400).

I have the 18-55 (pre II version) and M-50 f/1.7, and generally the A/M-50 primes are optically fantastic. That said, they are manual focus. The 18-55 is fairly good over most of the range, although not great and obviously not as fast. I find it most lacking at the 18mm end, and actually quite good at 35-50mm.

I suppose then if you want the versatility of a zoom and AF, then the 18-55 might make sense; while if the low light is important, then the A-50 would be a great (and cheap) option.

BTW: what do you have currently?
02-12-2011, 10:28 AM   #13
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I have a pentax FA 28-200 and a Kalimar all manual 50mm 1.8 I think. I was also looking at pentax 35mm 2.4 which is around 200 dollars.
02-12-2011, 10:28 AM   #14
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Forgive me if it sounds like I'm talking down to you here, but this is the Beginner's Corner, where when giving advice it is best to take nothing for granted.

Are you aware of the way aperture, shutter speed, and ISO interact with each other to give correct exposures? A firm grasp of this can go a long way toward clearing things up. For example, just knowing that you used a 50mm lens and had shutter speeds of about 1/45 doesn't really tell us anything. What ISO were you using? What aperture? Knowing those things would help us help you better. Also, what is the maximum aperture of the 28-200 at 50mm? For example, if you set the 50mm lens to the same aperture you would have had anyway at 50mm on your zoom lens then changing the lens wouldn't make any difference.

You have also run into the phenomenon that probably each and every one of us here has been frustrated by at least once....our eyes are lousy judges of how much light there is, especially indoors. The inside of the gym probably seemed bright enough, after all, you could watch the action. But when you try to take pictures you quickly find out it isn't nearly as bright as your eyes try to tell you it is.

It could very well turn out that the lens you have would be fine and that you just need to increase your ISO and/or keep your aperture more open. The pop-up flash is puny and largely useless, in my opinion. You might better be served by putting the money toward a more powerful external flash. You can pick up a good used one at a reasonable price. Not just any old flash will do, though, so if you decide to give some thought to going that route please be sure to ask for model-specific advice before making a purchase.
02-12-2011, 10:41 AM   #15
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I was just fooling around with the kalimar lens and I dont know how to use correctly with the k200d anyways. I put in av mode first and adjusted AV up or down to make them better. I'm not sure what ISO was but I have it set to 100-400 maybe on manual it doesn't change I dont know. then I changed to to the manual settings to try to fine tune it but I gave up and switched it back to av and adjusted the AV to make it look better.
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