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12-07-2014, 02:57 AM   #1
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choosing indoor natural light lens


I recently made the jump from a point and shoot camera to a dslr, k-5 IIs. I would like to buy a lens that I can use indoor with natural light or low light and that can focus fast.
from what I've read I think I need to go with a 35mm lens or below. any thoughts on this is greatly appreciated.

12-07-2014, 06:24 AM   #2
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Hi. According to other older threads and reviews it seems that sigma 18-35 f 1,8 could be a good choice if its F lenght is ok for your purposes.
12-07-2014, 07:01 AM   #3
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If you're coming from a P&S and you want an "indoor" (fast) and fast-focusing prime lens that will not break the bank, the DA35/2.4, arguably the most popularly reviewed lens may be your best bet. It's good value, relatively small, bright and light. w

Now, if budget isn't a problem, the FA31 Ltd will be your best choice. Though in all honesty the DA35 can probably conservatively do 60% to 70% of what FA31 can do at almost 10% of the price!
12-07-2014, 07:11 AM - 1 Like   #4
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The K-5 is excellent at high ISO, so you don't necessarily need to shoot at an especially wide aperture indoors. However it does help to have a lens that is around f/3.5 or faster just so you get a reasonably bright image in the viewfinder (the stock focusing screen doesn't get brighter with a faster lens than this) for composing your images.

In small rooms if you're trying to capture the entire scene you will indeed want something fairly wide. 35mm isn't actually wide on your camera; it's what we call a "normal" field of view. However, if you're after portraits or other detail shots then 35mm or even 50mm can work well indoors. An FA 50 f/1.4 or f/1.7 won't break the bank (especially if you buy used) and might fit the bill. bm75's suggestion is undoubtedly a good one, however that is a big expensive lens. The newer Sigma 30/1.4 is another choice to consider, priced in between the previous two options I mentioned. Unfortunately, from the review on this site, the autofocus performance is not so good. The FA31 would be a fantastic choice but very expensive indeed.

12-07-2014, 08:55 AM   #5
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If you are shooting things that don't move buy a tripod.
12-07-2014, 11:04 AM   #6
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IMHO if "indoor" means real estate or something connected with (i.e. auctions or law estimations) a single 35 mm prime (consider we are in APSC system) would be too long for rooms and interiors and too short for details. I would prefer da 21 or da 15 considering that a larger FOV is needed just to be able of correct perspective distortion (obviously there's a partial cut off of the frame). Obviously if "indoor" means studio works ..the lens you need would be completely different! But I'm not a professional photographer, so....that is just the way I would think given the question!
Best regards!
12-08-2014, 03:12 PM   #7
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It would seem like something like the Pentax 16-50 f/2.8 or Tamron or Sigma equivalents (17-50 f/2.8) could be good for what you need with some room. They are all pretty good lenses that give you a little bit of room by being zoom lenses that happen to be sharp. I'm not sure they focus as fast as what you are looking for, but they aren't bad. The 15 mm or a wider angled zoom would be good if architectural photographs are your need. For people, however, you definitely don't want anything much wider than 20 mm. Distortion starts to be an issue.
12-08-2014, 03:50 PM   #8
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Although many Pentaxians prefer and recommend prime lenses (that is, those with a fixed focal length) for their (usually) higher image quality, a good zoom might be more suitable for your needs if you are new to a DLSR. The versatility of a zoom in the wide-normal range also lets you shift between shooting individual portraits and group shots of people, or shooting a whole room or just one thing in it, without having to carry multiple lenses and change between them.

For use indoors and in low light, you need a lens with a relatively wide aperture (say f2.8 or wider) - what is referred to as a fast lens. The ones emalvick mentions are popular choices and would serve you well. They can each produce professional quality images. The Tamron 17-50 is highly regarded and very good value. The Pentax DA*16-50 is heavier and more expensive, but it is weather-resistant which is handy when you go outdoors, and the extra 1mm of width does matter. The reviews and sample photos will help you choose.

Having said that, I wouldn't discourage you from also getting a prime or two. The DA35 is cheap, sharp and versatile - it makes a great introduction to primes. Likewise the various "fast 50s", such as the manual-focus Pentax-A 50 f1.7 or the current Pentax DA 50 f1.8. They are light-weight, compact and fast. Many people complement a wide-normal range zoom with a prime or two.

If you have more specialist needs (like shooting the whole interior of a cathedral), you might need something wider than 16mm or 17mm. That takes you into a different class of lens known as an ultra-wide angle (UWA). They are great fun, but because of the distortion produced by such wide angles, there is quite a learning curve (pardon the pun) in using them.

And welcome to the forum.

12-13-2014, 07:55 PM   #9
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Thank you everyone for the insightful feedback . I am mainly using this for family gatherings.
01-18-2015, 01:31 PM   #10
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12-24mm ?

How about Pentax SMC DA 12-24mm/f4.0 wide-angle zoom lens?
01-18-2015, 02:21 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by alsorto Quote
I think I need to go with a 35mm lens or below
Don't rule out a good "nifty fifty"
01-18-2015, 09:55 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
Don't rule out a good "nifty fifty"
Unless you have huge indoor rooms, a nifty fifty might be a little long.
01-19-2015, 03:13 AM   #13
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Even if i used it on that purpose for a while, i found my fa 50 1.7 to be a bit too long for close portrait indoor in natural and low light, with kido running around. A shame since it s a pretty fast , light and sharp low light lens... but its still usable for that purpose i guess.
Went for a sigma 30 1.4 art, twice the price and weight, not so sharp on the corner under f4, but faster, lower minimum focus and pretty silent autofocus (doesnt make much difference since i have a noisy k30 sadly)

Overall the da35 is cheap, light and sharp choice obviously, but i just wanted a faster lens than my fa50 for arty purpose.
01-19-2015, 10:51 AM   #14
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I have a Sigma 28mm f1.8 which is quite good. Not super-wide, but pretty good indoors. Their 30s are supposed to be nice, too. They're a bit pricier than the DA 35mm, though.

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