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02-20-2018, 10:35 AM - 1 Like   #16
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I like the idea of the list, but anyone would be overwhelmed by its length. To narrow it down, start with your interests: prime or zoom, AF or MF, other features you want. Some lenses are really easy to find, so identify those first. Primes at 28, 50 and 135 are common enough. Zooms around 28-80 and 70-200 are easy too. If you don't exactly know what you want, get the one of those that sounds most interesting and see what it's like.

Buying a lot of lenses can be useful. You just have to commit to using them enough to see if they work for you, and selling the ones you don't want. Not that I am a stellar example of this. I might have bought as many as 15 different 28mm lenses, still have maybe 5, and only use one. I did learn a lot about 28mm lenses. ( @Hoze, I don't think the Pentax M 28mm f3.5 is bad at infinity.) It takes some time to do this.

I think it's a good time for APS-C shooters, because of people buying the K-1 and selling DA lenses. I bought a couple of lenses recently at what I thought were good prices.

---------- Post added 02-20-18 at 10:55 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jawats Quote
Here's one with the Promaster (handheld - tripod might make a difference)...


One with one of my 50mm manuals (don't have the data at hand...):



Also, Promaster is to be used for daughter's softball games / practice. Thoughts on that?
Some purple fringing, odd out of focus highlights in the corners, looks low in contrast. I'd bet on the Rikenon.

Any lens at 300mm is going to need some skill at handholding. The Promaster is f5.6 there and it'll be a little better (sharper, more contrast) at f8 to f11. And you're shooting action, so you want some reasonable shutter speed. You probably need 1/250 or faster shutter speed, depending on how steady you are. That will mean some higher ISO to make it all work. If you can back off of 300mm to 200mm, the lens might have better quality and handholding will be easier.

02-20-2018, 11:13 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
Any lens at 300mm is going to need some skill at handholding. The Promaster is f5.6 there and it'll be a little better (sharper, more contrast) at f8 to f11. And you're shooting action, so you want some reasonable shutter speed. You probably need 1/250 or faster shutter speed, depending on how steady you are. That will mean some higher ISO to make it all work. If you can back off of 300mm to 200mm, the lens might have better quality and handholding will be easier.
So, maybe ditch the Promaster and stick with the 55 - 200 Pentax?

Also / or, any other zoom rec's in the 50 - 400 range to replace both?
02-20-2018, 11:14 AM   #18
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Are you making this wish-list for yourself or for others to reference?

Looking at your current list of lenses I would recommend selling some of them first before considering buying more. I see three 50mm lenses, all manual. You have three lenses that cover the 18-75mm range and two lenses that cover 50-300mm. They all overlap each other. Trimming down your lenses makes you think about what you really want to pursue vs. what you can easily buy for cheap for fun.

Otherwise, I would say start off with the DA 35mm and DA 50mm. Those two lenses are slightly more than $100 but they will keep you busy enough to forget the long list of lenses.
02-20-2018, 11:20 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
Are you making this wish-list for yourself or for others to reference?

Looking at your current list of lenses I would recommend selling some of them first before considering buying more. I see three 50mm lenses, all manual. You have three lenses that cover the 18-75mm range and two lenses that cover 50-300mm. They all overlap each other. Trimming down your lenses makes you think about what you really want to pursue vs. what you can easily buy for cheap for fun.

Otherwise, I would say start off with the DA 35mm and DA 50mm. Those two lenses are slightly more than $100 but they will keep you busy enough to forget the long list of lenses.
Well, I started off wanting to make a good sub-$100 list for newbies like myself. However, it's become the former rapidly, so I'm just going with it and learning.

02-20-2018, 11:39 AM   #20
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I dont know about all those lenses, but here is a short list of lensed I do know and do recommend, according to the criteria:

- Pentax M 50mm f/1,4 and f/1,7 versions
- Helios 44 58mm f/2,0 (not sure wich variety)
- Zenitar 16mm f/2,8 (I got mine at a bargain price below 100$, but it usually cost more)
- Chinon 135mm f/2,8
- Pentax DA 50mm f/1,8 (campain prices usually just below 100$)

All of these are full frame lenses.
02-20-2018, 11:44 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by jawats Quote
Also / or, any other zoom rec's in the 50 - 400 range to replace both?
Under $100?

I have the Sigma APO AF Macro 300 F4, that I recently got. Really love it, but definitely not under $100.
02-20-2018, 11:55 AM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by jawats Quote
So, maybe ditch the Promaster and stick with the 55 - 200 Pentax?

Also / or, any other zoom rec's in the 50 - 400 range to replace both?
I only used the Promaster briefly so I don't know which is better. It isn't that bad because of your moon photo. If you have a tripod, you can compare them quickly yourself. Set up with the 50-200 at 200 and a detailed target about as far away as you'd be at a softball game. Take a test shot at f8 to make sure your exposure is pretty good. Use M mode with those settings so both lenses use the same settings. Set the drive mode to 2 second delay, which automatically disables SR. A remote shutter release is a good idea. Focus very carefully with magnified live view (press Info several times in LV). Focus has to be really good for the best comparison. Take a shot, then switch lenses. Set the Promaster to get the same frame as the 50-200 image - maybe not exactly at its 200mm mark. It's easier to compare images if they are the same size. Then focus carefully and shoot. Look at both images at 100% on your computer, in the center and corners.

The DA 55-300 is supposed to be pretty good and the L version is often less than $100 in the marketplace. There are several other variations. I think if I wanted something better than that, I'd first gather $750, because that seems to be where the very good lenses are. You might have some leftover from $750 afterwards, but don't count on a lot.
02-20-2018, 12:01 PM   #23
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I have a hunch that the Promaster 70-300 is about as good / bad as the 50-200. I could see keeping the Promaster and selling the 50-200 just to get more used to telephoto lenses. Eventually upgrading to something like the 55-300 from Pentax might make sense if you find that you use those focal lengths often.

I feel like we have these sorts of threads a lot. Maybe an article about this sort of subject with a lot of group editing and submissions would make sense?

02-20-2018, 12:07 PM   #24
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Okay, all. Here's what I did. I made a list of lenses I have, and plan to sell the following:

Gemini MC Auto Zoom, F3.5-4.5 28-75mm
Ricoh Rikenon-P F1.7 50mm
SMC Pentax-A F3.5-5.6, 35-70mm
SMC Pentax-A F2 50MM
(1) Pentax SMC-DA F3.5-5.6 18-55mm

I haven't decided between these two yet, as they have similar ratings and prices. I will have to experiment more with them. Ideally, I'd like to get (as recommended) a faster lens which covers the 50 - 300mm ranges (or someplace similar).

Promaster LD Tele-macro F4-5.6, 70-300mm
Pentax DA-L ED WR 50-200mm

I suppose if I sold all of these, I could get one of the following, which seem to have great ratings (and if I found a good deal):

SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED
HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR
HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE
Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM (Contemporary)
Sigma 170-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG
Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO Macro Super "goldline"
Sigma 75-210mm ZOOM-K III Multi-Coated f3.5-4.5
Tokina AT-X 828AF PRO 80-200mm F2.8
Tokina AT-X SD 100-300 f/4
Tokina AT-X SD 80-200mm f2.8

If I'm looking for better image quality at a longer range, I would want a smaller F stop, correct? (Well, and better glass and quality overall, too). So, Of these, the F3.5s and F2.8 would be faster, no (aside from 200 vs 300mm) than the Promaster?
02-20-2018, 12:47 PM - 1 Like   #25
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Rabbit hole.

P.S. my copy of the M 28/3.5 is awesome at infinity.
02-20-2018, 12:57 PM - 1 Like   #26
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Okay, my new suggestion is to sell everything but your preferred 18-55 that you already have, the M 50 1.7 that you already have, and the Promaster 70-300 that you already have. Use the money to buy a tripod. Nothing special. Go shooting and see about how good you can do with what you've got.
02-20-2018, 12:58 PM - 2 Likes   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by jawats Quote
Okay, all. Here's what I did. I made a list of lenses I have, and plan to sell the following:

Gemini MC Auto Zoom, F3.5-4.5 28-75mm
Ricoh Rikenon-P F1.7 50mm
SMC Pentax-A F3.5-5.6, 35-70mm
SMC Pentax-A F2 50MM
(1) Pentax SMC-DA F3.5-5.6 18-55mm

I haven't decided between these two yet, as they have similar ratings and prices. I will have to experiment more with them. Ideally, I'd like to get (as recommended) a faster lens which covers the 50 - 300mm ranges (or someplace similar).

Promaster LD Tele-macro F4-5.6, 70-300mm
Pentax DA-L ED WR 50-200mm

I suppose if I sold all of these, I could get one of the following, which seem to have great ratings (and if I found a good deal):

SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED
HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR
HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE
Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM (Contemporary)
Sigma 170-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG
Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO Macro Super "goldline"
Sigma 75-210mm ZOOM-K III Multi-Coated f3.5-4.5
Tokina AT-X 828AF PRO 80-200mm F2.8
Tokina AT-X SD 100-300 f/4
Tokina AT-X SD 80-200mm f2.8

If I'm looking for better image quality at a longer range, I would want a smaller F stop, correct? (Well, and better glass and quality overall, too). So, Of these, the F3.5s and F2.8 would be faster, no (aside from 200 vs 300mm) than the Promaster?
Hmm ... some of those lenses are definitely beyond the $100 mark you set earlier.

Instead of making a broad list I would create a well defined search on eBay. That will give you a pretty good idea of what is available. Be ready for a massively long result. There are literally thousands (upon thousands?) of K-mount and M42 lenses out there for about $100.

The best way to go about a list like this is to know what you want to shoot and in what style. Street photography? Vacations? Portraits? Landscape? Architecture? Let the task drive the selection of the tool. It's far, far better to have a few really good lenses of specific focal lengths/ranges vs lots of mediocre lenses to cover every focal length/range in order to feel "complete".

I have two kits, one of primes and one of zooms for a total of seven lenses. Upgrading a lens in either kit means an "old" one has to go.

Consider the future too. If you are going to stick with APS then there's no need for bulky full frame lenses. I always imagined myself shooting FF one day and I knew Pentax would release a K-1 camera. No way of avoiding that. All of my lens purchases had that in mind. When the K-1 came out I was ready to go from day one.

I think something like the DA 35 + DA 50 + DA 18-135 + DA 55-300 = everything you need to get started. The primes are for lower light settings and the zooms will work in good light.

After that I would recommend getting one or two manual flashes. If that doesn't keep you busy ...
02-20-2018, 01:08 PM   #29
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Did we ever hear about what he likes to shoot? What lenses that he owns does he like using and why? I shouldn't have suggested a DA 15; I don't know what he's trying to do. Like with me, how I like street shooting and taking pictures in cities, lenses like the DA 15 is great because it's wide and the starbursts that can be made with it and it's small, along with the 18-135 because it's so versatile. A 55-300 sounds nice but I don't know when I would use it.

I don't know what jawats is really interested in. Maybe this has been shared and I'm forgetting it.
02-20-2018, 01:20 PM - 2 Likes   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by jawats Quote
Jupiter-37A 135mm f/3.5

Jupiter 11 135mm F4

Jupiter 11A 4/135 135mm F4

Mir-1 (Mir-1A, Mir-1B, Mir 1V) 37mm F2.8

Helios 44-3 58mm f2 MC

ZENIT HELIOS 44M-6 MC 58mm f2

KMZ 50mm 1.7 Zenitar-M

Helios 77M-4 MC 50mm F1.8

Industar-61 L/D 53mm f2.8

Industar-50 50mm F3.5

Helios 44-2 58mm F/2

Helios 44 (KMZ) 58mm f/2 (M42, 8 blades)

Helios - 44M 58mm f2

Zenit MC-Helios 44K-4 (KMZ) 58mm F2

Helios 44M-7 (Valday) 58mm, F/2

LZOS Jupiter-9 MC 85mm f/2 M42
I can comment best on this subset, given my interest in Soviet glass

Generally, when choosing screw-mount lenses, go for the M42 mount versions (not M39 with adapter, or M39 adjusted for infinity focus - i.e. modified!). Some, you can tell by the model number... Industar-50 is always M39 for SLR or rangefinder, Industar-50-2 is M42; Helios-44 is always M39, 44-2 is always M42... others, you need to check the sale listing details. M42 mount lenses should focus to infinity without requiring modification, using a non-flanged M42 adapter. M39 SLR models can be modified to focus to infinity on a Pentax camera, but the difficulty of modification varies considerably by lens, and is often irreversible. For that reason, I don't advocate the practice. M39 rangefinder lenses won't work at all on SLR and DSLR cameras (well, you can use them for extremely close focus work within a very limited range - but really, you want to avoid them).

If you're interested in the Mir-1, go specifically for that model - not the 1B / 1V. Late 1960s to early 1970s versions are best. Later models vary wildly, but are generally not all that great optically and need to be stopped down to around f/8 for acceptable results. Also bear in mind that if you focus the Mir-1, 1B or 1V at or near infinity, there is a risk on some cameras that the mirror will hit the surround of the rear element. The lens will likely be fine, but it can damage your camera's mirror.

Watch out on the Helios-44-3 - the copies I've come across won't work when fitted to a Pentax camera with M42 adapter, as the base of focusing ring sits lower than the mount, and will foul the camera's lens mount. Some later 44-3s were apparently different, but I've never owned one so can't say for sure.

Regarding the Helios 44-2, 44M and 44M-4, 5, 6 and 7... the cheapest is the 44-2 and it's a great lens, but when used with a non-flanged adapter, the cut-outs on the adapter and the camera's lens mount electrical contacts will be exposed which can lead to light leaks and dust / dirt on the contacts. The 44M-4, 5, 6 and 7 are all very similar, with slightly different levels of optical performance - most require a simple and reversible modification to hold the diaphragm pin down, so they can operate as manual aperture lenses (this holds true for all M42 lenses with auto-only aperture). The 44M is switchable between auto and manual aperture, requires no modification, and is therefore the easiest to adapt and work with. Helios-44M-7 is quite rare and there are many fakes for sale, where unscrupulous sellers have taken lenses like the 44M-4 and replaced the decorative ring on the front with a newly printed one saying 44M-7, selling them for inflated collector prices. Others are "franken-lenses" made up from parts and optics of others. My advice would be to stick to the 44M-4, 5 or possibly 6 (though I've seen a couple of fake 6's too).

There are numerous other Soviet lenses not on your list that fit within your cost criteria. If they interest you, PM me and I'll help

Last edited by BigMackCam; 02-20-2018 at 05:29 PM.
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