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04-05-2012, 05:57 PM   #1
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Need a little equipment advice

Hi I am just starting a photography class and am pretty sure I got some pretty descent camera bodies but I don't know very much about lenses, hence why I'm in the class, but could anyone tell me what would be the best lens to use as an everyday lens for class with my k1000? I have a Kalimar 35-70mm f2.8 pretty sure it's a zoom lense, and a Pentax 50mm f2. Which would be the most versatile? I will be carrying both but we are supposed to have a designated "camera-ready" lens so that we are always ready to take pictures.

04-05-2012, 06:05 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by BradleyDoom Quote
...could anyone tell me what would be the best lens to use as an everyday lens for class with my k1000? I have a Kalimar 35-70mm f2.8 pretty sure it's a zoom lense, and a Pentax 50mm f2. Which would be the most versatile? I will be carrying both but we are supposed to have a designated "camera-ready" lens so that we are always ready to take pictures.
The Kalimar zoom is an ideal general-purpose lens. It's focal-length range goes from a little wide at 35mm to headshot-portrait length at 70mm. The Pentax 50/2 is a little bit faster, for lower-light or faster-action shooting, but it's not really significantly fast. You could look for an inexpensive 50/1.7 or slightly pricier 50/1.4 for faster or moodier shots, but the 35-70 zoom will serve you quite well in most lighting conditions. Have fun!
04-05-2012, 06:09 PM   #3
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I like 35mm as a walk around focal length, but only you can tell what feels best for you, so I'd head out with each of the lenses and just see which feels the most natural. The 50mm f/2 isn't optically fantastic, but it's good enough. Never heard of the zoom before, but fixed aperture zooms tend to be ok, so it's probably about on par, if slightly behind the 50mm.

If you can I'd recommend hunting down a super cheap 28mm or 35mm lens for your k1000. It's a really interesting angle to use, and they're a lot of fun to shoot with.
04-05-2012, 06:11 PM   #4
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The zoom, that f/0.8 is not much but you can also use the 50mm though, it won't really handicap you but you need to look in a different way.
After awhile you learn the framing of the lens and so you start to look actually like a 50mm lens and try to see something intersting while with the zoom you often look for something interesting and adjust the lens to it.

04-05-2012, 06:16 PM   #5
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Zooms by their very nature are the "most versatile" because you can change focal lengths without changing lenses. In general, a "prime" or single focal length lens such as that 50mm 2.0 will provide sharper images, usually (and in this case ) has a faster maximum aperture to allow more light in, and are smaller. However, some of the better zooms rival primes for image quality (IQ).

Some people prefer zooms, some prefer primes. Some like manual focusing and shooting in manual mode, some just want to shoot on the fly without fiddling with settings. There is no right or wrong.

On film, the 50mm is considered a standard lens because it is pretty close to the angle of view of what you see. Whether you want a longer telephoto or shorter wide-angle lens will be determined by what and how you want to shoot.
04-05-2012, 06:22 PM   #6
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The K1000 and 50 f2 is an ideal combination to learn with. Learn what the "view" of the 50 is and make it work for your shooting. Generations of photographers have learned with that combination. Zoom lenses are much more common now, but I think working with a single focal-length for an extended period teaches you how to get a good shot within the limitations of that lens. After a while, get a 35 or 85 lens and do the same with it for a time. Soon you'll know what each length is best at, and will know what to use for what purpose. Then you can also evaluate what zoom range works for your style.
I have around 50 different lenses (only one zoom!) but sometimes when I travel I'll take just a 35 or 50 for a month, and concentrate on making it work for everything.
04-05-2012, 06:57 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by BradleyDoom Quote
Hi I am just starting a photography class...
Do you need zoom lenses? See my post here: LINKY.

The listing has expired but the lenses are still available.
04-05-2012, 08:27 PM   #8
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Another STINKY LINKY? I get the system message:
Dear EyeSpy, you do not have permission to access this page or feature.

04-06-2012, 04:02 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
Do you need zoom lenses? See my post here: LINKY.

The listing has expired but the lenses are still available.
QuoteOriginally posted by EyeSpy Quote
Another STINKY LINKY? I get the system message:
Dear EyeSpy, you do not have permission to access this page or feature.
I don't know what link he thinks he is copying, but it actually is a link to open a post in the marketplace, for which you must be a site supporter
04-06-2012, 06:26 AM   #10
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You'll learn more about photography and composition with the 50mm lens. Whether this matters to you or not is up to you.
04-08-2012, 07:26 PM   #11
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Those of us past a certain age started with 50mm lenses. That's what came with the old 35mm SLRs. There's a lot to be said for starting with a fixed focal length. It takes an extra element out of the equation, allowing you to concentrate on exposure and composition.
04-08-2012, 09:16 PM   #12
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For all those recommending just the 50/2: Yes, using just that single prime is good exercise, good training of eye and brain, good to force one to work on composition etc. But the OP asked, I will be carrying both but we are supposed to have a designated "camera-ready" lens so that we are always ready to take pictures. And much as I like shooting for days with just a single prime, I *must* recommend the 35-70/2.8 as a more "camera-ready lens", suitable for diverse situations.

There's a reason the F35-70 was the kit-lens-upgrade on a generation of Pentax AF film SLRs. It's an ideal focal range for general shooting. The FOV-equivalent for our dSLRs would be about 25-50mm, covering the same medium-wide-to-short-tele neighborhood with a sharp 2x zoom. It's a fine range for both inside and outside work.

Yes, keep the 50/2 handy for suitable situations. But keep the 35-70/2.8 on the camera.
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