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02-12-2014, 11:11 PM   #1
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Help me in deciding my next lens :)

I have just returned by Samyang 85 1.4 due to aperture spring issue. And, i dont want to buy that again.. as i heard it is a common issue with this lens (I live outside US and difficult to return it everytime )

Now, i want to invest in a new lens.. but not sure which one. Below are my current lenses

Pentax 16-45 f4
Pentax SMC M 50mm 1.7
Pentac DA 55-300
and bunch of m42 50mms from various brands

I always wanted to try ultra wide lens... but after buying 16--45, i kind of didn't like that and if possible want to switch it with sigma 17-50 f2.8 -> thats one option

I really liked the m 50mm 1.7, but the only con is the manual focus.. I am shooting parties these days and it is very difficult to focus in the low light. So, i want to invest in auto focus.. but not sure which lens will be optically identical as the SMC.. FA 50mm 1.4 ?

I also want to try my hand at portraits, that is the reason i bought samyang.. too bad it didnt work out. Are there any other lens which are as good as this one ?

Finally, my budget is 500$. and, i want to invest in a lens which will stick with me for some time. Please, suggest

02-13-2014, 12:02 AM   #2
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There can be only one answer:

FA77 Ltd. The lens you should have bought instead of the Samyang.

---------- Post added 13-02-14 at 06:05 PM ----------

Ooops ! i just saw the budget.

In that case there is only 2 answers, and the other one would be DA70 ltd, "the lens you should have bought instead of the Samyang, since like me, the budget cannot extend to the FA77 ltd.
02-13-2014, 12:44 AM   #3
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Don't you like the DA16-45 or don't you like the wider view it gives? If the latter, I would not change the 16-45/4 for the 17-50/2.8 unless you need the faster speed; after all, you don't have to use 16mm.

Second hand DA70Ltd for portraits?

DA50/1.8 might also work for portraits and will be the AF replacement for the M50/1.7. You might even have money left for the DA35/2.4 or some other goodies like flash or tripod (if you don't have those)
02-13-2014, 01:46 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by steve1307 Quote
There can be only one answer:

FA77 Ltd. The lens you should have bought instead of the Samyang.

---------- Post added 13-02-14 at 06:05 PM ----------

Ooops ! i just saw the budget.

In that case there is only 2 answers, and the other one would be DA70 ltd, "the lens you should have bought instead of the Samyang, since like me, the budget cannot extend to the FA77 ltd.
Wish I could buy the FA77 ltd I don't know much about DA70 ltd. My only concern is, i am going to buy another prime, it should be as good 50mm 1.7, it really is a gem

Thanks for getting back to me, I will try to find out more about DA 70.

---------- Post added 02-13-14 at 02:29 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
Don't you like the DA16-45 or don't you like the wider view it gives? If the latter, I would not change the 16-45/4 for the 17-50/2.8 unless you need the faster speed; after all, you don't have to use 16mm.

Second hand DA70Ltd for portraits?

DA50/1.8 might also work for portraits and will be the AF replacement for the M50/1.7. You might even have money left for the DA35/2.4 or some other goodies like flash or tripod (if you don't have those)
Probably I didn't like the 16-45. I never tried any other wide lens, so I am not sure how they look, but I didn't like the 16-45. I took better landscape shots with 55-300 for some reason my copy doesn't produce typical pentax colors, especially at 16mm

Still, I need a walk around lens. The reason opting for 2.8 is I am hoping that the bokeh will be better and I can use it while shooting kids.

---------- Post added 02-13-14 at 02:31 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mourya Quote
Wish I could buy the FA77 ltd I don't know much about DA70 ltd. My only concern is, i am going to buy another prime, it should be as good 50mm 1.7, it really is a gem

Thanks for getting back to me, I will try to find out more about DA 70.

---------- Post added 02-13-14 at 02:29 PM ----------



Probably I didn't like the 16-45. I never tried any other wide lens, so I am not sure how they look, but I didn't like the 16-45. I took better landscape shots with 55-300 for some reason my copy doesn't produce typical pentax colors, especially at 16mm

Still, I need a walk around lens. The reason opting for 2.8 is I am hoping that the bokeh will be better and I can use it while shooting kids.
btw DA 50 or FA 50 ?

02-13-2014, 05:25 AM - 1 Like   #5
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FA50 1.4 for the budget or half that losing only half a stop. Get a hood.

The F 50 1.7 is my most frequently used lens. I got lucky at a yard sale and it was only five bucks and I'm hard put to spend the big bucks for another half stop.
02-13-2014, 06:39 AM - 1 Like   #6
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If you can't focus in low light, the camera won't be able to autofocus either, unless you have a k5ii or a k-3.

One lens not on your list is the Sigma 17-70. Very nice walk around, and in budget. Sell the 16-45 and use the funds for a DA50/1.8. You will improve your kit quite a lot.

Also, the 18-135 is a great lens for the rainy season, so give that some thought, too.
02-13-2014, 06:46 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Portraits should be OK with that 50mm 1.4 lens, though the 70mm pancake is tough to argue against.

You might consider something like the 21mm if you want a wide prime. It's not super-wide. The ultra-wide lenses like the Sigma 8-16 are all going to give you "unique" perspectives. I have a 10-17 fisheye, which is an UWA at 17, and have rented the 8-16 and they're both very very different. You need to research the images these lenses can produce to see if they're even close to what you want.
02-13-2014, 08:04 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Do you have an external flash? It works nicely with all your lenses, opens a lot of new doors and possibilities, and especially helps you with the 16-45's barrel extension behavior. If you want to stick to a lens, I would say you have a few options in your budget either a fast normal zoom from sigma or tamron or a DA limited prime (15, 21, or 70) your choice.

02-13-2014, 10:45 AM   #9
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The Sigma 17-70 shows up in the marketplace from time to time. Fairly wide, long enough for portraits or detail, semi macro mode. Something like it is what I call a walk-around lens.

Last edited by SpecialK; 02-13-2014 at 11:23 AM.
02-13-2014, 03:12 PM   #10
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For a portrait lens, try to get an idea of your favorite focal length first. Let's say your idea of a portrait is just a head shot, you are fairly comfortable working 2-3 meters from a subject, mostly indoors. Or five meters away, outdoors, whatever. See what focal lengths you've used for other shots, whether those were from a distance that felt right and had good framing. Or use a zoom like the 55-300 to see what different focal lengths look like in the viewfinder.

With a focal length or range of focal lengths, it is a lot easier to narrow down the lens choices. A hard budget number rules out a lot. Primes only come in a few lengths, so you are probably looking at 50, 55, 70, 77, 85, 90, 100, etc. That's sort of 3 groups: the first two are mostly older designs as 35mm film normal, with some new designs. The 70 to 85s are mostly intended for portraits. The 90-105 range is mostly macros.

You can use a depth of field calculator to see what apertures work at distances you like. People are within a certain size range so if you know distances and what you want in focus, it's just math.
02-13-2014, 09:18 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mourya Quote


Probably I didn't like the 16-45. I never tried any other wide lens, so I am not sure how they look, but I didn't like the 16-45. I took better landscape shots with 55-300 for some reason my copy doesn't produce typical pentax colors, especially at 16mm

Still, I need a walk around lens. The reason opting for 2.8 is I am hoping that the bokeh will be better and I can use it while shooting kids.

---------- Post added 02-13-14 at 02:31 PM ----------

Now that is really surprising to me. Could you have a defective lens? My 16-45mm DA is practically glued at 16mm and it produces great colors.

If you like longer look for landscapes, I think 70mm F2.4 is a very good choice. The lens is supposed to be excellent, is small, light and within your budget, when bought used. 105mm is a useful focal length for medium to small landscapes and also for portraits. Another good purchase is to get a normal prime, for example the DA 35mm F2.4.

I am baffled about the problems with color. Could you post an example?
02-14-2014, 12:00 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
For a portrait lens, try to get an idea of your favorite focal length first. Let's say your idea of a portrait is just a head shot, you are fairly comfortable working 2-3 meters from a subject, mostly indoors. Or five meters away, outdoors, whatever. See what focal lengths you've used for other shots, whether those were from a distance that felt right and had good framing. Or use a zoom like the 55-300 to see what different focal lengths look like in the viewfinder.

With a focal length or range of focal lengths, it is a lot easier to narrow down the lens choices. A hard budget number rules out a lot. Primes only come in a few lengths, so you are probably looking at 50, 55, 70, 77, 85, 90, 100, etc. That's sort of 3 groups: the first two are mostly older designs as 35mm film normal, with some new designs. The 70 to 85s are mostly intended for portraits. The 90-105 range is mostly macros.

You can use a depth of field calculator to see what apertures work at distances you like. People are within a certain size range so if you know distances and what you want in focus, it's just math.
That's a nice suggestion. I will try that this weekend. I guess I shoot mostly between 70-120 range with 55-300 zoom. One more thing is I shoot different subjects.. horses, kids, farm animals, I guess it is difficult to find a prime length to fit all or not ?
02-14-2014, 07:03 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mourya Quote
I have just returned by Samyang 85 1.4 due to aperture spring issue. And, i dont want to buy that again.. as i heard it is a common issue with this lens (I live outside US and difficult to return it everytime )

Now, i want to invest in a new lens.. but not sure which one. Below are my current lenses

Pentax 16-45 f4
Pentax SMC M 50mm 1.7
Pentac DA 55-300
and bunch of m42 50mms from various brands

I always wanted to try ultra wide lens... but after buying 16--45, i kind of didn't like that and if possible want to switch it with sigma 17-50 f2.8 -> thats one option

I really liked the m 50mm 1.7, but the only con is the manual focus.. I am shooting parties these days and it is very difficult to focus in the low light. So, i want to invest in auto focus.. but not sure which lens will be optically identical as the SMC.. FA 50mm 1.4 ?

I also want to try my hand at portraits, that is the reason i bought samyang.. too bad it didnt work out. Are there any other lens which are as good as this one ?

Finally, my budget is 500$. and, i want to invest in a lens which will stick with me for some time. Please, suggest
I don't think you really know what you want. You bought a Samyang but say you don't like manual focus, so don't buy another manual focus lens. After you know your camera better you may be able to MF in the future, but stay with auto focus now. I would suggest that you by the best lens you can afford, it sound like you have a lot of needs that you want to cover. By the way the 55-300 is a great landscape lens, it may do well for portraits too with good lighting. Ultrawides are fun, but you do have to learn how to use them, I have the Tamron 10-24 and use it a lot, I really don't know how it compares to the Pentax and the Sigma zooms. I would still like to get the 15 and 21 primes someday. Good luck with whatever you decide on.
02-14-2014, 08:50 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
I don't think you really know what you want. You bought a Samyang but say you don't like manual focus, so don't buy another manual focus lens. After you know your camera better you may be able to MF in the future, but stay with auto focus now. I would suggest that you by the best lens you can afford, it sound like you have a lot of needs that you want to cover. By the way the 55-300 is a great landscape lens, it may do well for portraits too with good lighting. Ultrawides are fun, but you do have to learn how to use them, I have the Tamron 10-24 and use it a lot, I really don't know how it compares to the Pentax and the Sigma zooms. I would still like to get the 15 and 21 primes someday. Good luck with whatever you decide on.
yes.. I really don't know what i want.. that's why I am here btw, I sold Samyang because it was defective.. but I am keeping my other manual lenses.. I really love them, I have like 6 manual primes with me. But, sometimes they don't cut the deal especially when shooting horses, kids.. I would prefer AF. Again, I am new to ultra-wide and like you said, I may need to learn how to use them.. before buying 16-45, 55-300 was my walk around lens and I used it for almost everything
02-14-2014, 08:53 PM   #15
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I only got a 18-55 kit lense
You be the judge :P
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