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05-04-2011, 06:21 PM   #1
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Budget lenses?

I am starting to get more into photography, I have a k2000 with the lens kit and I have a smc pentax A 50mm f2 manual focus lens. I want to get more lens but I am on a tight budget and can't afford the awesome ones you guys use. do you know any you could recommend. dont care if they are third party or older lenses

05-04-2011, 06:50 PM   #2
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It always helps to start with an idea of what focal lengths you need. If you got both the 18-55 and a telephoto zoom with your camera, you probably won't improve on those without spending a lot of money, so it will mostly be primes where you can do well for cheap. If you didn't get a telephoto zoom, the Tamron 70-300 is generally considered a good deal, as is the Sigma version. See the Lens Review database on this site for tons of opinions on those and other lenses, but really, you could do worse than to flip a coin between those two.

For primes, the ones I usually recommend as being useful, easily available, and relatively cheap (under $200) include:

K24/2.8
M or A 28/2.8
M35/2
M40/2.8
M or A 50/1.7
M100/2.8
M135/3.5
M200/4

Reviews of all can be found in the Lens Review database, but they won't tell you you much beyond the fact the fact that they are all pretty good and pretty cheap. Some are usually under $100 - the M28/2.8, M50/1.7, M135/3.5, and M200/4.
05-04-2011, 06:52 PM   #3
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35mm f2.4 is a cheap AF prime thats pretty sharp for around $200 new.
05-04-2011, 06:56 PM   #4
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thanks for the replies!!!

05-04-2011, 07:22 PM   #5
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You need to give more info on what you want to shoot.

The 35mm is within the range of the kit lens, so you don't really gain a whole lot with that focal length (yes image quality is better and it's a little faster). Also, it is relatively close to 50mm, which you also have.

As Marc said, the Sigma and Tamron 70-300's are toss-ups. The Pentax 55-300 (either variety) will provide better image quality, but it does not have the close- focusing ability (they call it "macro" on zooms though it is not really...) of the other two.
05-04-2011, 07:47 PM   #6
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If you are using an A50mm F2, then when you say tight budget, I'm thinking you mean under $50. If so, and if you are willing to be patient and look around, then you may want to consider:
  • M50mm F1.7 is definitely improvement from the A50, but may not be the biggest bang for the buck
  • SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm F:3.5-4.5 - This is a really nice lens you should be able to find for $30 (maybe on an old SF1 camera). In addition to a little extra length, it also has macro capabilities.
  • If you can afford a little more and want to expand your range a lot, I think the DA-L 55-300mm is a great option
05-04-2011, 08:07 PM   #7
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in my opinion, i say you shouldnt get any new lenses because you're starting out. instead, learn to use what you have until you get good enough to know exactly what your current lenses lack for your style of shooting and then buy a new lens that would satisfy what you're missing/in need of. The kit lens imo is a great lens to start out with, the pentax kit lens is pretty sharp and awesome for anything that doesnt need the speed. My first lens outside of the kit lens was the M version of the 50 f/2 and i still use that lens for most of my shots today, despite owning several other lenses.
05-04-2011, 08:18 PM   #8
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A flash may be the best bang for the buck (a manual one like the old vivitars, or the made-for-strobist lumopro).
It'll start you into lighting and will enable the usage of your available lenses soft spot in almost any condition....The lumo or a YN560 (better the former for quality control reasons), a cheap radio trigger, a modifier like a 60 inch convertible umbrella, the tripod and umbrella head may be around the 200$. If you go with the old Vivs you may get two or sensibly reduce the cost of the kit... and if you hunt it down used you may get a fine strobist starter kit for a great price.

05-05-2011, 10:12 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by LynnyD Quote
I am starting to get more into photography, I have a k2000 with the lens kit and I have a smc pentax A 50mm f2 manual focus lens. I want to get more lens but I am on a tight budget and can't afford the awesome ones you guys use. do you know any you could recommend. dont care if they are third party or older lenses
I think this is a somewhat common approach. Photography should be fun and an expression of creativity; not whether your lens and camera are awesome. Especially when you are not sure of any expectations of your desires. And budget lenses does not have to mean lenses made by a third party. There are some good lenses made by Pentax as well as others that can be found in many price ranges, including the frugal range.

Maybe help us narrow down your search a little by providing us with information on what you hope to photograph most and you will receive lots of good suggestions to consider. There are plenty of members here who have many low budget lenses. We could spew recommendations all darn day but to better serve you, help us narrow it down a bit more.
05-05-2011, 12:00 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nowhere Matt Quote
I think this is a somewhat common approach. Photography should be fun and an expression of creativity; not whether your lens and camera are awesome. Especially when you are not sure of any expectations of your desires. And budget lenses does not have to mean lenses made by a third party. There are some good lenses made by Pentax as well as others that can be found in many price ranges, including the frugal range.

Maybe help us narrow down your search a little by providing us with information on what you hope to photograph most and you will receive lots of good suggestions to consider. There are plenty of members here who have many low budget lenses. We could spew recommendations all darn day but to better serve you, help us narrow it down a bit more.
thanks matt, well I will taking pictures of people, scenery (like the beach, sunrise) and a lot of vehicle photoshoots
05-05-2011, 02:59 PM   #11
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A28mm f2.8 or similar. It can usually had for less than $100. If you are comfortable with Manual Exposure (M mode) then the M version can be had for less.

05-05-2011, 03:14 PM   #12
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I'm also in a similar position, but I purchased the K-r with both kit lenses. After that, I bought the M 50/1.7, and I'm loving it! I much prefer the metal build of it and the feeling of the manual focus is just so addicting. Also, having the f1.7 is much better for me, as I seem to take most of my photos in low light.

I would like a wider lens for some more all purpose use (especially group photos around, say, a dinner table) but would also want something that would serve me well enough in low light. I am also on a tight budget, hence the M 50/1.7 was perfect for me. I've read the posts above and seen a few lenses, but are there are recommendations on a wider lens with decent low light performance and a similar price to the M 50/1.7?
05-05-2011, 03:19 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by LynnyD Quote
thanks matt, well I will taking pictures of people, scenery (like the beach, sunrise) and a lot of vehicle photoshoots
That's pretty generic. Really, you'll just need to gain some experience with the kit lens(es) to get a better feel for what focal lengths interest you personally, then you can check out the list I posted to see which specific prime might suit your needs.
05-05-2011, 03:33 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by bakamera Quote
I'm also in a similar position, but I purchased the K-r with both kit lenses. After that, I bought the M 50/1.7, and I'm loving it! I much prefer the metal build of it and the feeling of the manual focus is just so addicting. Also, having the f1.7 is much better for me, as I seem to take most of my photos in low light.

I would like a wider lens for some more all purpose use (especially group photos around, say, a dinner table) but would also want something that would serve me well enough in low light. I am also on a tight budget, hence the M 50/1.7 was perfect for me. I've read the posts above and seen a few lenses, but are there are recommendations on a wider lens with decent low light performance and a similar price to the M 50/1.7?
FA 31 Ltd is f1.8.. not exactly a budget lens though. There are a bunch of standard zooms that are f2.8, some wider primes are harder to find like the FA 14mm f2.8
05-05-2011, 03:37 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by bakamera Quote
...I would like a wider lens for some more all purpose use (especially group photos around, say, a dinner table) but would also want something that would serve me well enough in low light. I am also on a tight budget, hence the M 50/1.7 was perfect for me. I've read the posts above and seen a few lenses, but are there are recommendations on a wider lens with decent low light performance and a similar price to the M 50/1.7?
The various 28mm f2.8 lenses don't seem to be fast enough at first, but remember you can use a slower shutter speed at 28mm. You can maybe find a Pentax-M 28mm f2.8 for around the same $50-60 as an M50/1.7. I like the A version too but it's priced more like the A50/1.7.

Now that everyone knows the secret, Vivitars with KA mount aren't going for $10 and a free Pentax MG any more. The ones with less popular makers like Cosina and Bauer are not too bad, though, and the A setting makes using the popup flash way easier.

If you aren't convinced that f2.8 is fast enough, I was kind of surprised to see a Vivitar/Kiron 28mm f2 lens sell in the marketplace for $80. I have one of these and it's great. Make sure the aperture blades don't have oil on them, but $30 for a whole stop faster is a bargain.
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