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01-20-2015, 07:49 AM   #1
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First Prime Lens: Pentax DA 50mm f1.8 or Super Takumar 50mm f1.4

Hello everyone!

I've been using my DA18-135 kit lens for a while now and would like to get my first prime lens. I am currently using a Pentax K-5 II and thinking about getting either the Pentax DA 50mm f1.8 or Super Takumar 50mm SMC f1.4. I usually do street shooting and some close ups as well. I can get both of them at roughly around the same price, I am deciding which one I should get...

Thank you.

01-20-2015, 07:55 AM   #2
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If you do a lot of street shooting, I would get the DA 50mm 1.8 because of the autofocus.
01-20-2015, 08:00 AM - 1 Like   #3
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I'll throw a wrench in the works and recommend a wider angle lens. How about a DA 35mm?
01-20-2015, 08:04 AM   #4
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Run the focal lengths on the shots you have already to see if they cluster at a specific range (most do in my experience). For street shooting 50mm on the K-5ii would seem really long to me. When I ran my #s back in the early days of having only zooms I found I was shooting at 18mm, 31-37mm, and 55mm on the 18-55. I got a 35mm Prime and was very happy.

01-20-2015, 08:09 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
I'll throw a wrench in the works and recommend a wider angle lens. How about a DA 35mm?
What he said. I own both, 35mm 2.4 and 50mm 1.8 plus a Pentax A 50 1.7. Autofocus is very useful for street photography, and 50mm is very often too long (at least for me). When I go with a prime, usually in low light situations, I almost always take the 35mm
01-20-2015, 08:10 AM   #6
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Yeah, DA 50mm has modern lens coatings and fast AF, as well as full aperture automation, metering, and even in-camera lens profiles for CA and such. For someone beginning with primes, these might be important. DA 35mm f2.4 is a good choice as well - its winder angle is a little more comfortable to use than 50mm, but they are both great affordable lenses, I would recommend starting with these two.

On the other hand, if you are the kind of person who wants to take some time with each photo, who values a lens' character more than saturated colours with deep contrasts and blazing sharpness, then go experiment with older primes. That Takumar is a good choice. A lot of people also like the Pentax M 50mm f1.7 - it is the design from which the DA 50mm f1.8 evolved. The M 50mm 1.7 is automatic, but it doesn't require an adapter (note that you might need m37 or m42 adapter for Takumar lenses, be sure to check. A good adapter can cost between $25 and $50) and it supports green button metering.
01-20-2015, 10:16 AM   #7
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Consider any of the following primes 15/20/21/24/28/31/35...PF lens reviews will help alot...all depends on your subject people, buildings/structures, or both.
My go to lens for city sturctures/buildings is the 28mm f/3.5 Shift lens...from my days of architecture classes...otherwise I use my 31mm...DA* 16-50 or DA 12-24 serve me best as a city walk around.
All told, and already suggested by others, a 35mm may be your best option. Wish you well in your choice.
01-20-2015, 10:52 AM   #8
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Having a 50mm or 55mm plus a 35mm or 28mm along is my perfect street shooting setup. I'll probably be adding a 24mm to that setup at some point, or a 21mm if I can afford it...

01-20-2015, 12:42 PM   #9
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Considering you are looking at street photography I would also second the idea of the DA 35mm rather than 50mm.

I have both the SMC-A 50mm 1.7 and the DA 50mm 1.8. I love the olde lenses but find the manual focus of the 'A' lens to be difficult in dimmer light And working in dimmer settings is one of the benefits of the fast aperture. I use the DA 50mm 1.8 for a specific purpose where I need the extra magnification and auto focus in dim light under trees where I was missing too many good shots because my manual focus was off with the 'A' lens.

For other walk around uses and indoor uses I find myself wishing I had the DA35 for the wider angle with the faster aperture. My DA 18-135 doesn't always have the aperture speed I want. The DA35mm is probably my next purchase. The plastic body doesn't bother me in the least based on my experience with the DA 50mm

That said, if you decide to stick with 50mm I would recommend the DA 50mm 1.8.

---------- Post added 01-20-15 at 11:46 AM ----------

Just a quick follow up. If you are going to consider other focal lengths I suggest setting your kit lens to 50mm and go out and see how it works. Then make a conscious choice to fix it at 35mm and force yourself to live with that length for awhile. I think you will quickly determine what length your first prime should be.

Good luck finding your perfect first-step into the world of primes!
01-24-2015, 08:47 AM   #10
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Thank you everyone for the help, it meant alot! I think i'll start with the DA 50mm and move to the 35mm after.

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