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02-20-2018, 01:57 PM - 2 Likes   #31
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Well thats quite a "desireables" list, and as an old hand (sucker) for picking up lenses with a bit of a rep to have a look-see, you've done a good job of selecting good 'uns from the review listings. But from a practical point of view IME that list can rapidly be slashed ...

- first off the lens reviews are not very objective, too many "reviewers/reviews don't really say much more than that the purchaser is rather inclined to be happy with the purchase - classic confirmation bias. And the 1-10 ratings don't really work, apart from the sprinkling of "pissed off" reviews hardly anyone goes below a 7. The plums amongst the plums are the ones to go for, with a solid 9-ish+ from 8 or more reviews.
With that in mind most of the zooms in your list for example can be ditched as merely ok lenses. There's a lot of truth to the suggestion that every lens is good at f8. Technically speaking I can suggest zooms only really got fully up to speed in/after the 1980's - the tamron adaptalls are a good case in point. The exceptions are well worth pursuing however, once you've figured out what those are, from both a photographic and an historic point of a view eg vivitar series 1. Also note that lenses like the tokina 70-210mm f3.5 are the same/very similar to the vivS1, being the VS1 v.2 precursor - quite a bit of that sort of duplication in the list. Also lenses like the kiron 80-200mm can be ditched as merely the cheaper kiron 70-210mm zoomlock, which is the one to go for. That basically leaves just a handful of best of the best like the tamron sp 35-80, 60-300mm, VS1's, etc.
- In any case I would point you towards primes rather than zooms. If you're going to get a zoom, then there is a strong argument to simply splash some decent money on a relatively modern one. I paid only a bit more than your nominal $100 on my sigma 18-125mm, from a practical point of view that covers 90% of what you're likely to want to photograph and does so to a standard that would satisfy all but the most discriminating scrutiny. And most of the remaining 10% is likely to be ultra wide angle with no vintage options. Telephoto however has lots of vintage possibilities.

If a noob were to ask my advice then my #1 first advice is a fast "nifty fifty". A 50 f1.7 is more than 3 stops faster than the kit lens at the same focal length (f5.6), that is a LOT, and is an educational and imortant increase in photographic possibilities. Plus the IQ is substantally better. My smc-a lives on my K5. You've listed a bunch, this can be played either way 1. they're all good (enough) acquire on availability /price 2. go for a particular one eg 8 element tak cos of rep, interest; smc-a cos of auto aperture etc.

Then #2 I would suggest looking at a good macro eg tamron adaptall SP 90mm. Excellent value, high IQ, broadens photographic range, versatile (portraiture etc.)

#3 look for quality and interest up or down the focal range: classic 135's like jupiter, carl zeiss; bokeh monsters like helios 58mm, mayer 135mm; landscape WA like "K" or "M" 28mm. I have to say that having tried a number of 28mm inc hoya etc that really IMO only the best offer something more than the kit lens, to offset that the kit lens offers something more: better contrast and colour than almost all the vintage 28's, AF. You list a lot of lenses: cosina, ricoh....etc etc I'm not saying they're no good, far from it, I am saying its worth being much more discriminating than your list.

#4 telephoto is the widest arena for worthwhile vintage options. Fancy a bit of birding w/o paying something towards four digits? Don't start me off we'll be here all night.


Last edited by marcusBMG; 02-20-2018 at 03:02 PM.
02-20-2018, 02:29 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by jawats Quote
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
Well, you've certainly stepped way above your "under $100"; on some of these!

I would simply use what you have for the time being until you get a "feel" for the type of shooting you will be doing. You mentioned you just got your K3. Take time to get familiar with all that camera can do, then look at additional lenses. As far as the ProMaster 70-300; that lens is no slouch! I have one, and have had excellent images from it! It's only left my camera, because I now have a Sigma 300 F4. However, I'm not parting with the ProMaster anytime soon, I like it that much!
02-20-2018, 03:11 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by csa Quote
As far as the ProMaster 70-300; that lens is no slouch! I have one, and have had excellent images from it! It's only left my camera, because I now have a Sigma 300 F4. However, I'm not parting with the ProMaster anytime soon, I like it that much!
This alone makes me feel like this lens is actually better than the 50-200. Not many folks get that excited about the thing.
02-20-2018, 03:15 PM - 2 Likes   #34
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I bought the ProMaster at way below $100; and didn't expect much out of it, but was curious. Was I surprised! I used it mostly with a 1.4X TC on it, and still got results I really liked! My shooting of wildlife is all handheld.

Here's one with it, and the 1.4X TC.

Attached Images
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PENTAX K-3  Photo 

Last edited by csa; 02-20-2018 at 03:27 PM.
02-20-2018, 03:22 PM - 1 Like   #35
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Right now I think the Helios 44s are my favorite cheap lenses. I have a 44-2 and a Zenit MC-Helios 44K-4. The 44k-4 is nice because it is K mount so no fussing with adapters. Sharp in the middle and nice swirly bokeh under the right conditions. Also flares a lot so I put a rubber hood on to control it a little better.
They are also nice for full frame.

I never buy cheap old zooms, I find cheap and old usually does a lot better as a prime.
02-20-2018, 03:28 PM   #36
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There are a few good ones that can be had for low prices. But remember in the reviews some were bought some time ago and the prices may be higher. If you can find some of them that are on your list below $100 it is a steal. Like almost any macro lens (the zooms that say macro are not macro lenses, but they are normally close focusing) . I have a Sigma Macro 50mm 2.8 that I got for under $100 and I feel it was a steal. Also if you can get a Kiron 28 F2 or Kiron 24 in good shape without sticky blades buy it. I'll also vouch for two Pentax auto focus lenses that can be had cheaply, the F 50 1.7 and the F 35-70. Most of the older zooms aren't very good. Also remember on these older lenses there can be a variation from lens to lens,, some have been handled better than others, and some were better to start with. The Auto Mamiya/Sekors are nice, but watch out for the SX models, they can stick on your camera without modifying them. Good luck, and have fun!
02-20-2018, 03:28 PM - 1 Like   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
Right now I think the Helios 44s are my favorite cheap lenses. I have a 44-2 and a Zenit MC-Helios 44K-4. The 44k-4 is nice because it is K mount so no fussing with adapters. Sharp in the middle and nice swirly bokeh under the right conditions. Also flares a lot so I put a rubber hood on to control it a little better.
They are also nice for full frame.

I never buy cheap old zooms, I find cheap and old usually does a lot better as a prime.
I couldn't agree more

The K-mount Zenitar-K2 50mm f/2 is also worth a look. The plastic build is a bit off-putting, and it doesn't have that lovely swirly bokeh... but it's a very, very sharp lens that renders beautifully, with nice contrast and colours. One of our other members described it as a real "sleeper" of a lens, and I'd agree... optically, it's really good
02-20-2018, 03:34 PM   #38
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I've got both an F 50 1.7 and a DA 50 1.8. If I were to keep just one, it would be the DA 50. Out of focus rendering is a bit less busy and it's faster to focus. It's also lighter weight although at the cost of a plastic mount, so kind of a toss up on that.

At some point I'll be selling the M 50 1.4 and F 50 1.7 I have but I'm too lazy at the moment.

02-20-2018, 03:48 PM - 1 Like   #39
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Question:
QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
Did we ever hear about what he likes to shoot?
Answer:
QuoteOriginally posted by jawats Quote
Since I'm new, I am not sure yet WHAT I take pictures of
02-20-2018, 04:19 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
If a noob were to ask my advice then my #1 first advice is a fast "nifty fifty". A 50 f1.7 is more than 3 stops faster than the kit lens at the same focal length (f5.6), that is a LOT, and is an educational and imortant increase in photographic possibilities. Plus the IQ is substantally better. My smc-a lives on my K5. You've listed a bunch, this can be played either way 1. they're all good (enough) acquire on availability /price 2. go for a particular one eg 8 element tak cos of rep, interest; smc-a cos of auto aperture etc.

Then #2 I would suggest looking at a good macro eg tamron adaptall SP 90mm. Excellent value, high IQ, broadens photographic range, versatile (portraiture etc.)

#3 look for quality and interest up or down the focal range: classic 135's like jupiter, carl zeiss; bokeh monsters like helios 58mm, mayer 135mm; landscape WA like "K" or "M" 28mm. I have to say that having tried a number of 28mm inc hoya etc that really IMO only the best offer something more than the kit lens, to offset that the kit lens offers something more: better contrast and colour than almost all the vintage 28's, AF. You list a lot of lenses: cosina, ricoh....etc etc I'm not saying they're no good, far from it, I am saying its worth being much more discriminating than your list.

#4 telephoto is the widest arena for worthwhile vintage options. Fancy a bit of birding w/o paying something towards four digits? Don't start me off we'll be here all night.
So, for what I have now, here are the ones I would keep, based on your advice:

SMC Pentax-M f1.7 50mm
Sears 28mm f2.8 Multicoated Macro PK (for landscape or other broad-view work)
Promaster LD Tele-macro F4-5.6, 70-300mm

Also, my kids were given two older dSLRs, which I would keep the following for them to learn upon:

1 Pentax SMC-DA F3.5-5.6 18-55mm (kids' learning lens)
Pentax DA-L ED WR 50-200mm (kids' learning lens)

Ones to sell, trade, gift:

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
02-20-2018, 04:23 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by jawats Quote
So, for what I have now, here are the ones I would keep, based on your advice:

SMC Pentax-M f1.7 50mm
Sears 28mm f2.8 Multicoated Macro PK (for landscape or other broad-view work)
Promaster LD Tele-macro F4-5.6, 70-300mm

Also, my kids were given two older dSLRs, which I would keep the following for them to learn upon:

1 Pentax SMC-DA F3.5-5.6 18-55mm (kids' learning lens)
Pentax DA-L ED WR 50-200mm (kids' learning lens)

Ones to sell, trade, gift:

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
If each of your kids have a DSLR body then it would make sense to me to keep the DA 18-55 you want to sell (last one on your list). That way each kid has their own DA 18-55mm and they can share the DA 50-200mm.

Otherwise, yeah, sell/gift the others. Try posting to the Marketplace here on pentaxforums.com. If they don't move then move them to eBay or something.
02-20-2018, 05:10 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
If each of your kids have a DSLR body then it would make sense to me to keep the DA 18-55 you want to sell (last one on your list). That way each kid has their own DA 18-55mm and they can share the DA 50-200mm.

Otherwise, yeah, sell/gift the others. Try posting to the Marketplace here on pentaxforums.com. If they don't move then move them to eBay or something.
Thank you, and everyone else, for the advice! It is greatly appreciated. If you knowledgeable types would create a "best of in our experience for beginners" list, that would be very helpful!
02-20-2018, 05:17 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by jawats Quote
Thank you, and everyone else, for the advice! It is greatly appreciated. If you knowledgeable types would create a "best of in our experience for beginners" list, that would be very helpful!
Have you checked out the articles here on pentaxforums.com?

Article Index | PentaxForums.com

Scroll through them and you will find some on lenses and how to build up a kit on a budget.
02-20-2018, 07:57 PM - 1 Like   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by jawats Quote
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?
I'll just comment on the telephoto lens question.

I can't comment on the Promaster, although I note that Carol likes hers.

I've got the Pentax DA-L 55-300 f4-5.8 and for around $US100 it seems like outstanding value to me. The optically-identical DA 55-300 f4-5.8 would be even better if you can snag one for $120 or less - it adds a hood, metal mount and quick shift. The later WR version has the same optical formula but adds newer coatings and WR, and nicer construction. They have come down a lot in price and it's a good buy if you can find one in good condition for around $200. The current model, DA 55-300 f4.5-6.3 PLM WR is a new optical formula and uses fast and quiet PLM autofocus - it works with your K-3 but not with the K-5 series or older (not clear which "older DSLRs" your kids have). The PLM is nicely built and has better bokeh than the older screw-driven AF versions, but there isn't much difference in resolution. That's not a criticism - the resolution is good in the older models (for a consumer zoom). The PLM costs a fair bit more.

Many users find that an xx-300mm zoom is as much telephoto lens as they need. Going beyond that, in an AF lens (AF is really worthwhile for wildlife or sport), usually involves a jump in weight and/or cost. I had a Sigma 170-500 (non-DG version) - it was a fun lens to learn with, and good if you didn't push it too hard, but I'd say a Sigma 50-500 or 150-500 for a bit more is probably the better value proposition for affordable serious reach. But here we are talking about something like $500 second hand and 2kg - and using a big heavy lens like that is, um, character-building. If you do decide to get serious about a wildlife lens, a F/FA*300 f4.5 or a second-hand DA*300 f4 with a teleconverter is IMO the better option - but now we are talking $750 upwards.

I say this so you know what the next stops are on the telephoto line. I'd say don't think about going there unless you have developed a great fondness for wildlife photography (I don't think you need anything longer than 300mm for kids' sport) and you have reached the limits of what an xx-300 zoom can do. Which is quite a lot really, once you practise a bit. Here are some DA-L 55-300 samples:

















More in my Flickr album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskrsej56

Last edited by Des; 02-21-2018 at 02:53 PM.
02-20-2018, 10:36 PM - 1 Like   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
This alone makes me feel like this lens is actually better than the 50-200. Not many folks get that excited about the thing.
I don't think there's anything wrong with it, except the 55-300. Why buy it when you can get to 300mm for only a little more? These days you can get any flavor of 55-300.

I like mine and it fits into my kit. I had a 300, a 400 and a 500 so I didn't need the 55-300, which was not as cheap at the time. I had the 18-55 WR, so the 50-200 WR gave me a nice pair of WR lenses. It's small and light, so I can put it in a pocket without much trouble. I don't use it for shots where I'm worried about bokeh or extreme edge sharpness - more like f8 and be there shots.

It is possible that I am a victim of Pentax marketing. When the K-7 came out, Pentax USA held some events to show it off, and one was nearby at their old offices in Golden. When they passed around cameras, the first one I held had the 50-200 WR. (Everything else was way more impressive, like the 60-250 f4.)
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