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04-04-2009, 10:01 PM   #1
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Pentax istDS lens recommendation (I'm a newbie)

Hi everyone, I just bought a used istDS body for cheap and am looking for an inexpensive lens for the camera. I'm very new to the DSLR scene. What would you recommend?

04-04-2009, 10:11 PM   #2
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the Kit lens DA 18-55mm is always a good lens to start with. you can find it under $80. You might also want to specify the usage, like Portrait or lanscape and etc.
04-04-2009, 10:16 PM   #3
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I'll be using it to get my feet wet learning to take DSLR photos. Both portrait and landscape, but probably more portrait. I would really like to be able to take good indoor photos in lower light. My P&S cameras stink at that. Do you think I should go with a prime lens? Or would the standard kit lens you mentioned be more flexible and experimental for someone new?
04-04-2009, 10:26 PM   #4
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Hi, welcome to the club. The DS is a great little camera. It was actually my first DSLR. I think a good lens for low light and portaiture, that is fairly inexpensive is the SMCP F 50mm f1.7. If you look around you could get one for around $130. I think there are a few selling on this forum right now.

Best of luck

04-04-2009, 10:30 PM   #5
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the Kit lens will require flash in low light indoor shooting. prime lens like 50mm f1.4-f2 is pretty good, the popular one is 50mm FA 1.4 $200. if you want it cheap, u can get a manual 50mm f1.7 for $50. it's pretty sharp and no flash needed shooting at ISO 1600.
04-05-2009, 03:38 PM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I think I will probably start with a manual prime lens. That way I will save some money and also learn how to use the camera settings properly.
04-05-2009, 03:48 PM   #7
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Yes, start with a manual 50/1,7. There are some other very good lenses for K-mount, which are cheap. For Example the Chinon 50/1,7. An excellent lens with fine built quality for a very friendly price. I got one with my ME Super. Great! And it works fine with my *ist DL2!
04-05-2009, 05:51 PM   #8
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Pentax 18-55 kit lens

I think for start the Pentax kit lens 18-55 is the best option
It makes very nice pictures and it's a allround lens
Overhere in holland I've seen it for 30 that's around $50
So if you don't wanna pay much this is good lens for start

04-05-2009, 09:04 PM   #9
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I have the *ist DS, and I honestly have no idea how many lenses I have at the moment. But you don't need all of them at first.

To start, I third or fourth the recommendation for the kit lens, the DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6. It is the cheapest way to get a decent wide angle, it's compact and light, it has Quick Shift Focusing (allows manual focus adjustment after AF) and it works well with the camera. I still use mine when I need flexibility.

For your low light portraits, a fast 50mm prime is very useful. There are many variations, from f1.2 to f2.0, from completely manual to auto-focus, about 13 different Pentax K-mount models in all and plenty of third-party options. You can purchase the Pentax-FA 50mm f1.4 new for about $200US, and it has autofocus and complete compatibility with your camera. The Pentax-F 50mm f1.7 is another good autofocus model, available used. There are three Pentax-A versions which work well with the camera, but you'll have to focus manually. Pentax-M, Pentax and most third-party lenses work but not in all modes and require extra steps. At first I would look for a Pentax-A, Pentax-F or Pentax-FA lens unless you have severe budget limitations, because the features help you concentrate on the photo, not the lens limitations. The f1.7 lenses are fast enough and not too expensive.

Those two should hold you for a while while you learn, for not much money. If you can find a Pentax AF 500FTZ flash for cheap ($50), that will be very useful.
04-05-2009, 09:14 PM   #10
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If you are buying manual lenses, try to buy A series lenses rather than M or K lenses. You get auto exposure (Av setting on the camera) with A lenses. This helps a lot when you are getting used to a dslr. I am not saying that M/K lenses are bad. You have to play with both aperture and shutter speed with M/K lenses. So you may miss shots while figuring out the best aperture - shutter speed combo. Pentax primes are really good.
04-06-2009, 12:44 AM   #11
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Of course, the 18-55 is a really good lens, but with heavy vignetting! Use it at aperture 11, if possible!
04-06-2009, 03:00 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by quickiekuchen Quote
Of course, the 18-55 is a really good lens, but with heavy vignetting...
...that most people will never notice or care about. No need to scare anyone away from what is the obvious best choice for most people.
04-07-2009, 10:22 AM   #13
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Hey blommer,

Welcome to the forums.

From one newbie to another, I think that if you are looking for something that you will do a lot of portraits with in low light settings, or any other settings the 50mm f1.7 is a great choice. I like to use it a lot more than my kit lens. Don't be put off by a manual lens, even the SMC-M 50mm was not hard to learn.

If you intend to do a lot of testing at different focal lengths (like take landscape pictures outdoors & portraits) then maybe consider the kit lens. It offers flexibility but may not yield as good results as the prime at the longer focal length.

I know I learned a lot more about my camera and photography by just messing around with the 50mm prime in manual mode and making sure I got the settings correctly. With the kit lens, I just put in Auto mode (and eventually aperture priority) and shoot...like a P&S. But you can definitely learn with a kit lens, it just made me lazy.

Regardless, I don't think you can go "wrong" with either one of these choices; but just make a better decision for the lens that fits for your needs.

With some luck, you should be able to get either lens for ~$50.
04-07-2009, 11:27 PM   #14
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UGH, I received the camera today and it won't power on. I've tried several sets of batteries, both NiMH rechargable and alkaline, and nothing works. I have to return this camera, and I just bought a lens for it. Hopefully the seller won't be a jerk and will give a refund easily.

Will the "DA kits lens" work on all Pentax DSLRs? I might just get a newer model Pentax if that's the case.
04-08-2009, 12:38 AM   #15
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Let the camera sit without any batteries for a few hours.

Also make sure the batteries aren't too high in voltage, it might short the camera out.

Oh, and I'm selling a 18-55 kit lens if you want it.
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