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05-17-2009, 02:38 AM   #1
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Lens advice

Before I start let me say that I understand questions regarding "which lens should I get etc" can be very ambiguous and frustrating.

In saying that, I am in the market for a new lens (my first purchase apart from my kit lens). I shoot with a k20D and love taking photos using small f-stops to dramatically blur backgrounds. I am not particularly interested in extreme zoom lenses or alike, but something that will take sharp portraits and is a great general lens for everyday photographs of people, nature and the everyday ( I am not after a landscape lens).

I wonder if something like the Pentax M 50mm f:2.0 K Mount Lens would be a good choice? I understand that this is a manual lens, but would this prove to be very detrimental ?

Any suggestions, comments, advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading

05-17-2009, 03:51 AM   #2
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The Sigma 2.8 105mm DG Macro would probably suit what you're looking for as it can be used for both Macro and Portraits and is a pretty sharp lens.
05-17-2009, 04:25 AM   #3
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My favorite portrait lens is the DA* 50-135. Definitely able to blur backgrounds with it and it is very sharp. Anyone of the 50's out there will be able to do the same thing. I have the FA 50 f1.4 and it's very nice, reasonably priced and worth looking at if you think you want auto focus.
05-17-2009, 05:43 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjaminmichael Quote
I wonder if something like the Pentax M 50mm f:2.0 K Mount Lens would be a good choice? I understand that this is a manual lens, but would this prove to be very detrimental ?
I"ve got a 50mm f/2.0 and am not terribly excited about it. I have to stop it down to at least f/4 before it's decent so there's no real reason to not just use my DA 40mm Limited.

What's your budget range here?

05-17-2009, 06:09 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjaminmichael Quote
....

In saying that, I am in the market for a new lens (my first purchase apart from my kit lens). I shoot with a k20D and love taking photos using small f-stops to dramatically blur backgrounds......
I wonder if something like the Pentax M 50mm f:2.0 K Mount Lens would be a good choice? I understand that this is a manual lens, but would this prove to be very detrimental ? ....
Your suggested 50mm 2.0 implies a desire for low cost and you've also said you'd like small depth of field, so an even faster lens will be better.

I think a faster 50mm lens will serve you well, either manual or autofocus depending on your budget.

I find the 50mm focal length very useful for general photography & the large aperture greatly expands opportunities indoors, at dusk, dawn, etc.

KEH lists some candidates:

Manual Screwmount 50/1.4 for $39 - I recommend this.
Manual K mount 50/1.4 for $139
Autofocus 50/1.7 for $159 (I have this lens & love it.)

Keh.com has been a reliable, fair source of lenses for me; I've found their BGN rated lenses to be excellent & have no hesitation in recommending them.

If you get a screwmount lens you'll also need to purchase a screwmount adapter; I buy $13 versions and leave them on my screwmount lenses. Others use a single adapter & use it for all their screwmount lenses.

Iowa Dave

Last edited by newarts; 05-17-2009 at 11:24 AM.
05-17-2009, 05:45 PM   #6
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thanks for the swift advice guys, especially newarts with the keh link. the Autofocus 50/1.7 looks great and i think this will suit my demands the best!
05-17-2009, 06:21 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjaminmichael Quote
thanks for the swift advice guys, especially newarts with the keh link. the Autofocus 50/1.7 looks great and i think this will suit my demands the best!
The auto focus fast 50 is the FA 50mm f/1.4 for about $200. The budget 50 recommendation is a used Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7 for around $60. IMO the 50 1.7 is the winner here if you can forgo AF.
05-17-2009, 06:29 PM   #8
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Another pitch for the FA 50 f/1.4
Highly versatile, razor sharp at just about all apertures and beautiful bokeh.
Have you checked out the stock at Madsen's photo store?
They may have something there you're looking for.

05-17-2009, 07:05 PM   #9
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I'd like an FA 50mm f/1.4 too. Least cost I can find is $250, Adorama.

No idea about Oz.

Iowa Dave
05-17-2009, 07:21 PM   #10
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I'd second the suggestion of something like a 105mm macro for your purposes (assuming budget isn't an issue). Not all Macro lenses perform well for other uses but I can testify to the abilities of the Sigma 105 (indoor portraiture might be tough unless you have big rooms though).

If budget is an issue, a 50 1.4 or 1.7 would be suitable for most things you want to do but nature shooting might be difficult due to the lack of length.
05-17-2009, 08:56 PM   #11
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i have a budget of somewhere around $200 USD, but of course I am in Australia so alot of the online stores that are in the US incur a huge postage fee on lenses. i have been scouring ebay AUS and local second hand stores but its tough to find something i am looking for at the moment. I think one of the 50mm with a small f stop will be a good start for me atm
05-20-2009, 12:42 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
I"ve got a 50mm f/2.0 and am not terribly excited about it. I have to stop it down to at least f/4 before it's decent — so there's no real reason to not just use my DA 40mm Limited.
Hmmm..and I was thinking of getting an A-50mm 1:2 'coz I found a store where I can get one for cheap.
So, it would seem it's not a good idea?
05-20-2009, 02:36 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
Hmmm..and I was thinking of getting an A-50mm 1:2 'coz I found a store where I can get one for cheap.
So, it would seem it's not a good idea?
It's not a terrible lens. Depends on what you are going to use it for and its price. Its original intent was to be OK but induce a desire to upgrade. So there are several other faster, better Pentax 50s that are a better choice if you really want a great 50mm prime. But if you are just looking to see what can be done with a different lens for $25-35, it's worth it, easily resold if you get tired of it.
05-20-2009, 04:52 PM   #14
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Another vote for a "fast 50" I would suggest either the FA 50 1.7 or the A 50 1.7. Both are relatively common, the "A" lens is not auto focus but it does have auto aperture. The FA 50 1.7 is auto focus. I too, can recommend KEH very highly, I have no idea what their shipping costs to OZ are, but you can call them. They are very friendly people.
I'm going to recommend a lens if you are willing to take a bit of a risk. That's the Pentax A 70-210 F4.0. It has excellent bokeh, especially for a zoom and it's as good a "nature" lens as you can get w/o taking out a second mortgage. It's got a "Macro" feature (read close focus) at the 70mm end so you can get pretty close. The down side is that it's extremely doubtful that you'd be able to use it inside much, and at F4.0 it's much slower than any of the "fast 50's". But I love my copy, I got rid of the not-so-hot original 50-200 for it and have been much happier ever since. These two shots were taken with the A 70-210.




NaCl(a little bit outside the box, but what the hey)H2O
05-20-2009, 05:01 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
It's not a terrible lens. Depends on what you are going to use it for and its price. Its original intent was to be OK but induce a desire to upgrade. So there are several other faster, better Pentax 50s that are a better choice if you really want a great 50mm prime. But if you are just looking to see what can be done with a different lens for $25-35, it's worth it, easily resold if you get tired of it.
But I bet the 50mm 1:1.4 or 1:1.7 is easier still to resell than the 50mm 1:2
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