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12-26-2014, 05:47 PM   #1
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Christmas Lens purchase delemma

a few months ago , I managed to get my hands on the original K5 , and purchased a cheap $30 old 70-210 manual lens until i could afford better (I don't have a job at the moment) However , Now that Christmas has rolled around I have some money , But I'm torn on what to do as It's only $400 AUS


Initially , the idea was to purchase a Pentax smc DA 50mm prime , and the Rikinon 85mm prime.


However , Now , I have my eyes Cast Towards the Pentax 55-300 HD. this lens has been praised by quite a few people


Now I'm not sure if I want two primes , Or a really nice weather proof zoom , as there are pros and cons to both Items
(eg primes are better quality at their fixed focal length)

I mean right now I feel like all 3 , It would be nice if you guys could give me a few tips and recommendations so I can make up my mind.

PS , here are the Items at the prices They are currently , if you guys find a better price , That'd be handy too

Pentax smc DA 50mm f/1.8 Lens | DigiDIRECT Australia

Amazon.com : Rokinon 85M-P 85mm f/1.4 Aspherical Lens for Pentax (Black) : Camera Lenses : Camera & Photo

Pentax HD DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR Lens | Lenses Dirt Cheap Cameras


cheers , hope you guys can help me out

12-26-2014, 06:33 PM   #2
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Welcome Aboard. What do you tend to shoot? Street, sport, family, etc.? If I were tight for cash I would stay with manual focus lenses because their optics can be excellent and the prices can be very reasonable - best of both worlds. I had a K300 out tonight attached to both my Q (functions as a 1650mm lens) and my K-01. I also took some photos of my daughter with my Vivitar 85/1.4, which is MF, on my K-01. The K300 was <$200 but the modern DA* version is around $1100. I have a terrific little manual focus 28/2.8 that cost me $15 and is a gem.
12-26-2014, 06:54 PM   #3
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The Pentax Web Shop has the 55-300 for $449 (https://www.pentax.com.au/product/pentax-da-smc-55-300mm-f4-58-ed-wr-lens) which is cheaper than any Australian re-seller that I know of. I believe that cost includes postage. But I agree with Docwrm - manual focus lenses can be very good value and give excellent image quality.
12-26-2014, 06:57 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by PJ1 Quote
The Pentax Web Shop has the 55-300 for $449 (https://www.pentax.com.au/product/pentax-da-smc-55-300mm-f4-58-ed-wr-lens) which is cheaper than any Australian re-seller that I know of. I believe that cost includes postage. But I agree with Docwrm - manual focus lenses can be very good value and give excellent image quality.
If you really need AF than I've also picked up some Quantaray 28-90 Macro lenses in the past for a song that were pretty nice. The F35-70 is a terific little AF lens that here in the US goes for anywhere from nothing to $45 or so. There are a lot of F and FA lenses that are out of fashion that do a very nice job and don't cost much if you really need AF.

12-26-2014, 07:02 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Floyddewar8 Quote
a few months ago , I managed to get my hands on the original K5 , and purchased a cheap $30 old 70-210 manual lens until i could afford better (I don't have a job at the moment) However , Now that Christmas has rolled around I have some money , But I'm torn on what to do as It's only $400 AUS


Initially , the idea was to purchase a Pentax smc DA 50mm prime , and the Rikinon 85mm prime.


However , Now , I have my eyes Cast Towards the Pentax 55-300 HD. this lens has been praised by quite a few people


Now I'm not sure if I want two primes , Or a really nice weather proof zoom , as there are pros and cons to both Items
(eg primes are better quality at their fixed focal length)

I mean right now I feel like all 3 , It would be nice if you guys could give me a few tips and recommendations so I can make up my mind.

PS , here are the Items at the prices They are currently , if you guys find a better price , That'd be handy too

Pentax smc DA 50mm f/1.8 Lens | DigiDIRECT Australia

Amazon.com : Rokinon 85M-P 85mm f/1.4 Aspherical Lens for Pentax (Black) : Camera Lenses : Camera & Photo

Pentax HD DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR Lens | Lenses Dirt Cheap Cameras


cheers , hope you guys can help me out
The lenses you have listed are so different in their focal length and other key specs. Not knowing what subject you shoot or are most interested in, It is hard to make a recommendation.

If I had to have one lens and for an all-a-rounder, I would probably get a used Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and have some money left over for an accessory or two. If you want something longer, then the 55-300 might be the lens. Again it is hard to pinpoint what might be most useful for you unless you share more info about your shooting style and subjects of interest.
12-26-2014, 07:07 PM   #6
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Let me share my lens journey... when I first started taking pictures I wanted LONG lenses... the longer the better. I've even had that 55-300 you were talking about. At first they didn't make em long enough for me. I wanted a 1000mm f2.8 if they made it...but not too long after gaining some experience I found myself shooting more wide than long. I bought a 17-50mm f2.8 and that one did me right...

BUT then I wasn't quite there yet...Next thing you know I bought a Limited prime... after that I was spoiled forever. Now I own one zoom lens and it doesn't see much use.

Now I own all prime lenses. I like it a lot better. It's enjoyable. It does have some trade offs but I like it. Truth be told I could take an around the world trip with two lenses. 43mm and 31mm.

I would say you have to develop your own style and decide what kind of things you would like to shoot and how you would like to do it and then choose from there.

All I know is I started out trying to max out a 300mm lens and now I could walk around all day with a 28mm to 35mm focal length. I can say I have evolved. A LOT.

Try to tell us what you want to shoot... and what kind of images you want to emulate...show us that then we can help you with lenses. Style determines lenses for the most part.
12-26-2014, 07:09 PM   #7
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Yeah , you do have a point there , I guess right now , I tend to take portraits/macro more right , so maybe i could purchase the primes , and then purchase another zoom later when i want to do landscapes?
12-26-2014, 07:12 PM   #8
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wait , sorry , just released that if i picked the right prime could do some nice landscapes anyway

---------- Post added 12-27-14 at 01:14 PM ----------

oh , and if it helps , I'l upload a couple of shots I've taken with the old 70-210 to give you an idea on what i like photographing

12-26-2014, 07:20 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Floyddewar8 Quote
wait , sorry , just released that if i picked the right prime could do some nice landscapes anyway

---------- Post added 12-27-14 at 01:14 PM ----------

oh , and if it helps , I'l upload a couple of shots I've taken with the old 70-210 to give you an idea on what i like photographing
good idea with the upload.
12-26-2014, 07:32 PM   #10
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(might be out for an hour or two , so don't expect me to reply to the posts you guys make until later ok?)
12-26-2014, 07:34 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
Let me share my lens journey... when I first started taking pictures I wanted LONG lenses... the longer the better. I've even had that 55-300 you were talking about. At first they didn't make em long enough for me. I wanted a 1000mm f2.8 if they made it...but not too long after gaining some experience I found myself shooting more wide than long. I bought a 17-50mm f2.8 and that one did me right...

BUT then I wasn't quite there yet...Next thing you know I bought a Limited prime... after that I was spoiled forever. Now I own one zoom lens and it doesn't see much use.

Now I own all prime lenses. I like it a lot better. It's enjoyable. It does have some trade offs but I like it. Truth be told I could take an around the world trip with two lenses. 43mm and 31mm.

I would say you have to develop your own style and decide what kind of things you would like to shoot and how you would like to do it and then choose from there.

All I know is I started out trying to max out a 300mm lens and now I could walk around all day with a 28mm to 35mm focal length. I can say I have evolved. A LOT.

Try to tell us what you want to shoot... and what kind of images you want to emulate...show us that then we can help you with lenses. Style determines lenses for the most part.
Primes are great, I own a couple But when I am watching my son on the pitch and want to take action photos I don't use my 43, as much as I think its a terrific lens, I use either my Tamron 70-200/2.8 or in the future I hope my Sigma 150-500. Different tools for different tasks. I like photos of my son's face as he scores, the 43 or even my 85/1.4 isn't going to get that shot, but the Tamron or the Sigma might - and if it doesn't its usually user error
12-26-2014, 07:58 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Primes are great, I own a couple But when I am watching my son on the pitch and want to take action photos I don't use my 43, as much as I think its a terrific lens, I use either my Tamron 70-200/2.8 or in the future I hope my Sigma 150-500. Different tools for different tasks. I like photos of my son's face as he scores, the 43 or even my 85/1.4 isn't going to get that shot, but the Tamron or the Sigma might - and if it doesn't its usually user error
That was kind of my point... not everyone is doing the same thing with their photography. There isn't a 'right or wrong' answer. It's all dependent upon what the goal is... as you stated.... 'right tool for the right job'...

The question is, I think most people who ask these kinds of questions (like the OP) are not asking 'which 17-50 is best in terms of sharpness and reliability' but rather are more along the lines of not really knowing what they want. They quite simply haven't determined their own intent yet.

I own a Tamron 70-200.... I don't have anything against zooms... If I could have everything I ever wanted I would have a whole lot more lenses....

I was just trying to say that the more you try the more you learn and it's ok to change and evolve. The more one sharpens up 'purpose' then the easier it becomes to answer these 'which lens' threads...
12-26-2014, 08:02 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
That was kind of my point... not everyone is doing the same thing with their photography. There isn't a 'right or wrong' answer. It's all dependent upon what the goal is... as you stated.... 'right tool for the right job'...

The question is, I think most people who ask these kinds of questions (like the OP) are not asking 'which 17-50 is best in terms of sharpness and reliability' but rather are more along the lines of not really knowing what they want. They quite simply haven't determined their own intent yet.

I own a Tamron 70-200.... I don't have anything against zooms... If I could have everything I ever wanted I would have a whole lot more lenses....

I was just trying to say that the more you try the more you learn and it's ok to change and evolve. The more one sharpens up 'purpose' then the easier it becomes to answer these 'which lens' threads...
Certainly. That is why I asked what he likes to take photos of, to help narrow down an appropriate recommendation for him.
12-26-2014, 08:31 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
Let me share my lens journey... when I first started taking pictures I wanted LONG lenses... the longer the better. I've even had that 55-300 you were talking about. At first they didn't make em long enough for me. I wanted a 1000mm f2.8 if they made it...but not too long after gaining some experience I found myself shooting more wide than long. I bought a 17-50mm f2.8 and that one did me right...

BUT then I wasn't quite there yet...Next thing you know I bought a Limited prime... after that I was spoiled forever. Now I own one zoom lens and it doesn't see much use.

Now I own all prime lenses. I like it a lot better. It's enjoyable. It does have some trade offs but I like it. Truth be told I could take an around the world trip with two lenses. 43mm and 31mm.

I would say you have to develop your own style and decide what kind of things you would like to shoot and how you would like to do it and then choose from there.

All I know is I started out trying to max out a 300mm lens and now I could walk around all day with a 28mm to 35mm focal length. I can say I have evolved. A LOT.

Try to tell us what you want to shoot... and what kind of images you want to emulate...show us that then we can help you with lenses. Style determines lenses for the most part.
Interestingly, the exact opposite happened to me. I started my journey with a Canon body and a bunch of lenses that were (very kindly) gifted to me. Most were zoom lenses, but I gravitated to the 50 f1.4. I then picked up some Canon primes and culled the zooms. I mostly utilized the 24 f1.4L and the 50 f1.4 but ended up selling the system off because it wasn't meeting my expectations. That was three or so years ago.

I then moved to an Oly mirrorless system and only shot primes. I only shot primes on my 135 bodies as well. Eventually, I got over my prime phase and picked up some high quality zooms that blew my mind with their IQ. What it comes down to is what you want to carry. My opinion is that you shouldn't buy into the "prime hype" - do the research yourself and consider what you truly need in a lens. I shot primes for years and realized that I was giving up flexibility for a larger aperture that I was never going to use. The numbers game isn't everything.
12-26-2014, 08:40 PM   #15
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Have you thought about the DA 18-135? I know some people pooh-pooh it because it is a super zoom and a high end kit lens but you may find the focal range useful. It will never match the quality of a prime or a smaller focal range zoom but it's not a bad lens at all. You can get some great shots with it! Portraits, landscapes, walk-around work... it won't do macro though.
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