Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
05-06-2011, 11:55 PM   #1
New Member




Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 18
Cheap primes for a travelling college student?

In a little less than two weeks I will be going to Europe for the first time! My K-X just arrived with its 18-55 kit lens and a vivitar f2.8 28mm is on its way. I was hoping to stock up on a couple more (2 max) prime lenses for cheap so that I could have a lot of fun with my camera abroad. I figure I will need them most for taking pictures of landscape/architecture and also general pictures in low light. Thus, I was looking at some wide angle lenses and a fast lens like a 50mm 1.7ish lens, but was afraid I wasn't going to get enough zoom.

I'd say overall I'm not looking for the greatest lenses. I just want the ability to take some decent looking shots and mostly have fun while not completely throwing my money away. Thanks in advance for your help!

P.S. i'll be going around Belgium and probably a lot of western Europe. Any suggestions on where I should try to travel to for weekend trips?

05-07-2011, 12:07 AM   #2
Senior Member
northofpolaris's Avatar

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Diamond Bar, CA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 193
Just creep eBay all the time like I do. Sometimes, you'll stumble on some dirt cheap fast 50's. I got a F1.4 at an amazing price. There's also a slew of cheap zoom primes. They're gonna be pretty slow but I picked up a few for around $25. If you see any old manual one made by Sears, they're actually pretty damn good. I have one by Sigma but I haven't used it enough to really tell if I like it or not.
05-07-2011, 05:27 AM   #3
Senior Member
stevbike's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Newbury, Ontario
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 268
Having traveled to the Ukraine myself, the best advise is just watch yourself for your own safety. Having an expensive camera can make you a target for being robbed. Just watch your back and be street smart. There are a lot of nice things to see it that part of the world. A big item for thiefs is your passport. They are worth a lot of money in the black market.

As to lenses, look at on of the Pentax 50mm lenses, the f2 version is not the greatest one to get but you will have a half decent fast lens as a base. Try looking at a cheap 24mm lens. My dad had one in Yashica mount for his old FX-7. The crop factor will take away some of the wide angle effect but it will allow you to get some interior shots of buildings with interesting details features. Try to keep your camera kit down in size so you are not carrying too much stuff.

It sounds like you are looking have a good trip. Just keep safe as well!!
05-07-2011, 05:53 AM   #4
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bronx NY
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,607
Takumars and other screwmount lenses.

QuoteOriginally posted by shinjitsu Quote
In a little less than two weeks I will be going to Europe for the first time! My K-X just arrived with its 18-55 kit lens and a vivitar f2.8 28mm is on its way. I was hoping to stock up on a couple more (2 max) prime lenses for cheap so that I could have a lot of fun with my camera abroad. I figure I will need them most for taking pictures of landscape/architecture and also general pictures in low light. Thus, I was looking at some wide angle lenses and a fast lens like a 50mm 1.7ish lens, but was afraid I wasn't going to get enough zoom.

I'd say overall I'm not looking for the greatest lenses. I just want the ability to take some decent looking shots and mostly have fun while not completely throwing my money away. Thanks in advance for your help!

P.S. i'll be going around Belgium and probably a lot of western Europe. Any suggestions on where I should try to travel to for weekend trips?
All else being equal screwmount lenses will be less expensive than bayonet (K) mount lenses. Outside of e-bay check the Adorama used equipment section and KEH. Both usually have a decent selection. Generally speaking you will probably spend a little bit more but you have the added benefit of a no-questions-asked return policy. With older lenses I consider it a necessity. Also with M42 screwmount lenses you need an adapter. Get the gen-u-ine pentax adapter, many of the cheaper knock-offs will not allow you to focus to infinity. I'm pretty sure it's official name is "Pentax Screw Mount Adapter B". In addition to infinity focus the offical pentax adapter allows you to remove it from your camera w/o a special tool, all you need is a ball point pen or the like to depress the spring.

NaCl(have fun in Belgium and take lots of shots!)H2O

05-07-2011, 09:45 AM - 1 Like   #5
Site Supporter
Ahab's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Oracle, Az
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 739
Your 18-55 for outdoors and a 50 f1.4 for indoors is all you need.
05-07-2011, 09:50 AM   #6
Veteran Member
RioRico's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Limbo, California
Posts: 11,264
Depends what you mean by 'cheap'. The baddest-ass widest affordable lens is the Zenitar 16/2.8, probably around US$200. Your 18-55 is fine for its range; your 28/2.8 is only slightly faster at 28mm wide-open, and stopped-IQ is probably similar, so the Viv 28 may be redundant for a minimal kit. You'll really see a difference with a Fast Fifty: a Tak or A or F 50-55 at f/2 or faster would be a bit more convenient than a K or M. The Tak 55/2 is dirt-cheap and has great optics.

For more reach, a manual 70-80 to 200-210 zoom would be pretty cheap, though older ones won't be quite a good optically as newer (costlier) models. For travel shapshots, a Vivitar or Sears zoom in that range should do quite well. I've used Korean-made (probably Samyang) and Tomioka-made Sears-branded 55-135/3.5 and 70-210/4 zooms (in both M42 and PK mounts) very satisfactorily, and they cost me under US$10 each last year. Most convenient would be one with an A-type mount. And even with such a zoom, you'll find a 135/2.8 very handy; cheap decent ones abound. Again, look for VIvitar, Sears, or (for slightly more maybe) Pentax/Takumar.

So, my suggestions:

* Leave the 28/2.8 home
* Take the DA18-55
* Get a cheap Fast Fifty
* Get a manual 70-210 zoom
* Get a manual 135/2.8, maybe
* If you can afford it, the Zen16 is a wonder!

That way you'll have two extended-range zooms for daylight, and two somewhat-tele primes for dimmer situations, and maybe the fast slightly-fishy Zen for small spaces. Have fun!

Last edited by RioRico; 05-07-2011 at 06:10 PM.
05-08-2011, 08:43 AM   #7
Veteran Member
DaveHolmes's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 1,501
QuoteOriginally posted by Ahab Quote
Your 18-55 for outdoors and a 50 f1.4 for indoors is all you need.
Agreed... If you really feel you need to step up in terms of IQ then the tamron 17-50 f2.8 is a fine replacement of the kit-18-55... and has more flexability than the prime route

QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Depends what you mean by 'cheap'
Also agreed... A good condition used FA50 f1.4 will be well worth the money spent in the marketplace here...
I recently (last week) picked one up and it's deffo a keeper...

The 'A'50mm f1.7 would also be a good buy if you're happy with manual focus...

I had (2 copies) the 'M 50mm f1.7' which can be obtained for peanuts attached to old film bodies... Good cheap way of getting glass...

I'd deffo go for the FA version tho, having tried them out out for a while...
05-08-2011, 03:04 PM   #8
Veteran Member
GerryL's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 2,731
I don't think there are any more cheap Pentax lenses due to backward compatibility and a lot of sellers already know that.
Apart from that sellers know at times that no matter how ridiculous their price may be that there will be some sucker out there who will buy it!
I've observed the prime lenses ("A" 50:1.7) going from a measly $35-$40 to a very ridiculous price now of just under $100..usually from $85-$$95!
Even the cheap Chinons before have become expensive and prices are still going up.
If ever I find a good performing lens, I never make a review anymore since the good reviews are also contributing into driving the prices up.
If I find a gem, I just keep it to myself.
The cheap ones now are the old Pentax AF zooms.
Even the prices of the Takumars are now almost at par or even pricier than the "M" series!

05-08-2011, 04:09 PM   #9
Forum Member
wtf_cowboy's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Houston, Tx
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 51
If you want dirt cheap, spend 10 bucks on an m42 adapter.

That opens the door to a wide wide world of cheap primes.

All manual all the time though.

*edit*

Oops RioRico beat me to it...
05-08-2011, 10:06 PM   #10
Veteran Member
RioRico's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Limbo, California
Posts: 11,264
QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
I don't think there are any more cheap Pentax lenses due to backward compatibility and a lot of sellers already know that.
I'd invite the OP to visit Santa Fe NM where a photo-gear co-op on Cerrillos around 5th St has some pretty cheap Pentax and compatible glass. But that's rather a long drive from Boston MA. Bother...

QuoteOriginally posted by wtf_cowboy Quote
If you want dirt cheap, spend 10 bucks on an m42 adapter.
...
Oops RioRico beat me to it...
Nope, I didn't mention the adapter, that's YOUR good work!

An astounding assortment of high-quality M42 glass is still available at little cost. *IF* you know how to look, that is. (I'm not lucky, just persistent. And cheap.) I should mention enlarger lenses and bellows, and easy mount conversions, but that would be a bit over-the-top here.

So I'll just say that I love using M42's. And Russian M39's (and M42's), mostly captured Zeiss designs and production. Like the fabled Helios-44 58/2, my lens-of-the-day around Santa Fe today, which is still incredibly inexpensive, a near-clone of the legendary Zeiss Biotar. Yeah, we should talk more here about the Russians. [/me refrains from listing my collection]

I'll reiterate my cheap suggestions for the OP:

* take the DA18-55, leave the Viv 28/2.8
* get a Fast Fifty; Takumar's and other M42's give most bang/buck
* get a longer zoom, maybe a Sears (Samyang) 80-200/4 in KAR mount
* if you can afford US$200, get the fabulous Zenitar 16/2.8

Again, I don't recommend primes between 20-45mm because inexpensive ones won't out-perform the kit lens by much. And I reconsidered; forget my suggestion of a longer prime, since a 135/2.8 is only 1 stop faster than a 70-210 or 80-200 f/4 zoom. So my pared-down list is just your kit lens, a Fast Fifty, a longer zoom, and the Zenitar for joy. That's my story and I's sticking with it.
05-09-2011, 04:55 AM   #11
Site Supporter
loco's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Virginia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,841
The A 50 1.7 is excellent and I recently got it off eBay for $61. So, it can still be had "cheap" if you get lucky. I was originally worried about manual focus, but once you get the hang of it, you only miss on about half your shots! LOL! (just kidding)
05-09-2011, 05:37 AM   #12
A-z
Forum Member




Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: London, England
Posts: 93
QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote

I'll reiterate my cheap suggestions for the OP:

* take the DA18-55, leave the Viv 28/2.8
* get a Fast Fifty; Takumar's and other M42's give most bang/buck
* get a longer zoom, maybe a Sears (Samyang) 80-200/4 in KAR mount
* if you can afford US$200, get the fabulous Zenitar 16/2.8
Agreed. I would add that weight is obviously a very important factor when travelling. I would stick with the kit 18-55 and get an M 50 1.7 for low light. If you really really think you need a longer zoom (I dont think it's really necessary but it depends what you like to shoot) I'd actually go with the DA 50-200 over the old manual focus ones just because it's much lighter.

Even better for me personally would be to swap the kit lens for one of the Tamron/Sigma zooms around 17-50 with constant f2.8 - just that one lens would be fine for me traveling.

At any rate, I find wide angles much more useful in cities than long zooms.

Last edited by A-z; 05-09-2011 at 07:17 AM.
05-09-2011, 07:20 AM   #13
A-z
Forum Member




Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: London, England
Posts: 93
QuoteOriginally posted by shinjitsu Quote
P.S. i'll be going around Belgium and probably a lot of western Europe. Any suggestions on where I should try to travel to for weekend trips?
My suggestions for weekend trips close to Belgium would be Amsterdam, Paris and London.

Oh, did I mention Amsterdam?!?
05-09-2011, 07:54 AM   #14
Veteran Member
DaveHolmes's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 1,501
add Prague and Berlin to the list...
05-10-2011, 08:03 PM   #15
New Member




Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 18
Original Poster
Thank you to everyone for all the suggestions! I recently won a M 50mm f1.7 and am very excited. I had looked at the Zenitar and want one really badly, though I have to buy a rail pass for travelling and that cuts the fisheye out of the picture.

Since I leave in 9 days, I do not think I'll be taking more than the kit lens and the 50 I mentioned above (unless I find something locally). I agree with A-z in that if given the chance I'd want to buy a wide angle than a long zoom, but I haven't seen any cheaper than the Zenitar.

Quick questions: will the M50 work without any modifications on my K-X?
@wtf_cowboy or anyone else: where should I buy my m42 adapter? do I need a different one for each different m42 lens?
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, europe, fun, lens, lenses, lot, pentax help, photography, pictures
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Egyptian-American college student finds tracking device on car; FBI reclaims it deadwolfbones General Talk 25 10-20-2010 12:02 PM
College student budget 100-300mm lens? Christemo Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 24 06-16-2010 09:07 PM
K-x or other for college student? justdad Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10 05-13-2010 11:56 AM
Are there any cheap AF primes? Steve Beswick Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 14 10-23-2009 01:54 AM
Need to get a flash.. but what? (College student) skydragoness Pentax DSLR Discussion 31 04-14-2008 10:30 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:39 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top