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07-10-2011, 10:25 PM   #1
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Whats a good autofocus prime lens for the kx < $200?

Hey so I'm still relatively new to SLR cameras but want to extend myself passed the kit lenses and get a prime lens. It has to be autofocus as often I dont have time to fiddle around with manual focus (not to mention friends often shoot with my camera). I've been looking into getting a F or FA 50mm f/1.7 but these are hard to find, but usually go for under the $200 from what I've seen. Just considering the alternatives, so what else should I consider getting?

Note: Will be used for portraits, lower light situations (ie late in the day, sunsets and inside) as well as for the occasional recorded video in such situations. Oh yeah and will be using with the pentax K-x.

07-10-2011, 10:31 PM   #2
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there's always the 35mm f/2.4. do you really need the reach of the 50mm?
07-10-2011, 10:32 PM   #3
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Pentax 35mm DA L F2.4 AL Lens 21987 B&H Photo Video
07-10-2011, 10:34 PM   #4
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+1 with the 35mm f2.4 in your price range.

There are only a limited number of AF primes below $200. Either you should consider MF lenses or be prepared to invest more.

A prime lens is a true investment; it does not loose value like a camera body. You will change body every 2-5 years, but are likely to keep your better lenses for much longer.

Food for thoughts....

07-10-2011, 11:30 PM   #5
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Like everybody said a DA 35 2.4 would be a good choice. If you think an F50f1.7 would be more usefull try searching Ebay for old film cameras that might come bundled with one such as SF1,SF1N etc. I got my F50 1.7 with a SF1 for $200 shipped, both in brand new condition but I have seen them go for as low as $135 together.
07-11-2011, 02:09 AM   #6
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Don't forget the crop factor. A 50mm ends up equivalent of 75mm. If you want 50mm equivalent, then you need a 35mm to start with, and the new DA 35mm 2.4 has received good reactions from users, and it should be in budget.
07-11-2011, 06:24 AM   #7
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A second hand FA50 1.4?

I love mine for portraits... Although for general use the Tamron 17-50 2.8 gets a fair bit of usage too...
Used with the K-x both are competent in low-light situations...
07-11-2011, 06:34 AM   #8
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I think it'll be borderline to be able find a used F or FA 50 1.7 for under $200...

I would go with the DA 35 F2.4 as others have pointed out. You can buy them new for @ $180 delivered through Amazon right now and the reviews on this lens sparkle!!! I see used ones but not that often...

BTW - I find that the 50mm's are a bit too long to comfortably use as an everyday lens

07-11-2011, 09:39 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Roob-N-Boots Quote
Like everybody said a DA 35 2.4 would be a good choice. If you think an F50f1.7 would be more usefull try searching Ebay for old film cameras that might come bundled with one such as SF1,SF1N etc. I got my F50 1.7 with a SF1 for $200 shipped, both in brand new condition but I have seen them go for as low as $135 together.
I got my F50/1.7 attached to a K1000. I was in too much of a hurry to complete the transaction to ask why.

Not too many AF primes sell for $200. I can only think of a couple of other ones that come close.

There's a 100mm f3.5 macro made by Cosina. It's sold under the Vivitar, Phoenix and even Pentax brand. It's optically very good, but feels cheap because all of the focusing parts are plastic, the only lens I've seen like that. Also available in manual focus versions. With a little shopping you might find it for less than $200. Get the diopter that allows 1:1 magnification.

There's a Sigma 24mm f2.8. This one is usually sold for over $200 in its AF version, but close enough I think. It's pretty sharp wide open, a very useful focal length, a good companion to a DA-L 35/2.4. Its biggest problem is flare - some reviews are dramatic on this point - but this is a very good lens. Also in manual focus versions, which I have.

You can use the Zenitar 16mm f2.8 fisheye as if it was an AF lens, because at f5.6 or f8, the depth of field is just about everything in front of you. So a potential kit of $200 AF-ish lenses: Zenitar 16mm fisheye, Sigma 24, DA-L 35, F50, Cosina 100 macro, all for less than an FA 31/1.8.
07-11-2011, 09:57 AM   #10
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I can also recommend the DA 35 2.4 - it's the only one you can get new for that kind of money and it's a damn fine lens, I love it!
If you're willing to buy second hand, I've read good things about the Cosina 100mm macro, but it is obviously long. Should be good for portraits - looking to get one myself.
07-11-2011, 10:32 AM   #11
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I have to agree with everyone else - DA 35 2.4. I'd buy one if I didn't already own an FA 35 2.0. That being said, I recently bought an F 50 1.7 on a working P3N body with the hot shoe broken off. I think I like it better than the 35 2.0. I have no idea why an F-series lens was on an A-series camera, but I'm happy it was. Total cost? $20 (yes, $20!). Sometimes patience pays off. Please, don't hate me.
07-11-2011, 11:41 AM   #12
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Even though I'm not a big fan of 35mm on APS-C, just as I don't really care for 50mm on 135/FF with equivalent FOV, I'll also nominate the DA35/2.4 as your best bet. You just won't find any other new general-purpose AF primes for under US$200. Your other budget options in that general-purpose 24-40mm focal range are all old and/or manual and/or zoom and/or 3rd-party. For those, I suggest you look at the lens databases here and check prices at Adorama, KEH, eBay, etc. Good luck!
07-11-2011, 11:46 AM   #13
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I'll add one more vote for the DA35/2.4. As other have stated, it's going to be your best (and in reality only) general-purpose prime for under $200. You can probably get the F50/1.7 for around $200 if you look around and aren't in a terrible rush, but the FOV is going to be a little tight for general use, especially indoors.
07-11-2011, 12:51 PM   #14
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The 35mm f2.4 is good for the autofocus/price/quality part, but the OP wants something for portraits. That is more like the 50-70mm range.
07-11-2011, 02:40 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
The 35mm f2.4 is good for the autofocus/price/quality part, but the OP wants something for portraits. That is more like the 50-70mm range.
Actually, he mentions a few uses, not just portraits:

QuoteQuote:
Will be used for portraits, lower light situations (ie late in the day, sunsets and inside) as well as for the occasional recorded video in such situations.
If he just wanted an AF prime for portraits I would have recommended the F50/1.7 or FA50/1.4 without hesitation. But since he mentioned low light, indoor and video, I thought the 35/2.4 might be more versatile.
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