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07-16-2009, 09:10 PM   #1
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Recommend a first lens.

I'm about to receive my K10D body very soon. This will be my first SLR-type camera. Does anyone have any recommendations for the first lens I should buy? Not really interested in a "do it all" lens, but something cheap with good IQ that will help me learn about photography. I've been looking around here, and I'm leaning toward the KA mount 50mm f1.7. Does anyone have any opinions?

07-16-2009, 09:45 PM   #2
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I'd say unless you have a specific reason *not* to start with the lens that normlly comes with the camera: the DA18-55 - that would be the obvious choice. If you'd rather start with a prime, that's fine, but 50mm is too long for basic normal lens on an APS-C camera like Pentax DSLR's. The FA35/2 would make more sense if you can find one.
07-16-2009, 09:46 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum. The lens you commented on is a very good lens but it does limit you to one focal length.
I wouldn't discount a do it all lens though. If you want to learn photography, a lens like an 18-250 Telezoom will be very useful to you. It gives a great range of focal lengths which will help you decide what kind of photographs you want to take and at what focal length. Then you can start looking for primes in that range
07-16-2009, 09:47 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum.
Congrats on getting a very robust and capable camera.

I would suggest getting the best zoom or prime lens you can afford, and one that offers a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or larger. So your idea of getting a 50/1.7 is definitely worthwhile, but I'd strongly consider autofocus varieties (F 50/1.7, F or FA 50/1.4 etc) as they'll give you that extra focusing speed when you want it.

Otherwise, a good zoom like a Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 is a very very good lens for its price, and will give you the flexibility that a prime cannot.

All the best in your lens purchase.

07-16-2009, 10:03 PM   #5
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welcome to the forum. for starters, I assume that you haven't got any good background in photography yet and want to learn the wonders of photography art. I want to ask first how much is your budget for a lens? actually having to own a prime lens as your first lens is a good idea as you able to master a fixed focal length lens' capability before you go into zooms. though I wouldn't dismiss you for having a zoom lens back-up as well, if the demand for it should arise like for candid photos.

it is a standard for anyone to have a 50mm but with a K10D, you would need a 35mm for a 50mm equivalent.

just tell us your budget and I'm sure a lot of guys here including myself would gladly help you out.
07-16-2009, 10:04 PM   #6
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The camera was typically sold with the Pentax DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 version II - for short the kit lens. This lens is kind of a "do it all" lens, but is also extremely cheap. It is especially useful for wide-angle shots. Replacing the kit lens from 18-28mm can get very expensive. It can also be a learning tool to try out different focal lengths, close-ups, whatever. It works with the flash, the auto-focus, and all the modes. It was designed to be your first lens and it does its job well. You can get a version I cheaper or even a weather-resistant version.

I would recommend the Pentax-A 50mm f1.7 as a good second lens and companion to the kit. It requires less light than the kit lens. Its focal length might limit your shots a little, and you'll have to focus yourself. It makes a pretty good portrait lens.
07-16-2009, 10:23 PM   #7
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There are several primes you can go with if you want something cheap and with good IQ. The 50/1.7 you mentioned will be fine....or go with something a little more current such as the FA 50/1.4 or perhaps the FA35/2.0 which I find is a jewel of a lens, although a little pricey compared to the older KA lenses on average.

If you want to consider a zoom, try the Tamron 28-75 or Tamron 17-50...both excellent lenses and should be several leagues above your kit lens, if you have one.

Jason
07-16-2009, 11:09 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by flmz Quote
I'm about to receive my K10D body very soon. This will be my first SLR-type camera. Does anyone have any recommendations for the first lens I should buy? Not really interested in a "do it all" lens, but something cheap with good IQ that will help me learn about photography. I've been looking around here, and I'm leaning toward the KA mount 50mm f1.7. Does anyone have any opinions?
Unlike some of the people here, I do think that starting with a prime helps you learn how to use your camera, and like Marc said, a 35mm f/2 would be a better choice for a single lens, although not nearly as useful as a 28-75mm f/2.8. It isn't exactly expensive though, so you can always buy a zoom later!

07-16-2009, 11:35 PM   #9
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I share Marc and GLXR opinion, 50mm is too long. FA35 is more versatile, fast, with excellent IQ and not really expensive. Spending a few month with it should should increase your skill quickly
07-17-2009, 06:15 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
The camera was typically sold with the Pentax DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 version II - for short the kit lens. This lens is kind of a "do it all" lens, but is also extremely cheap. It is especially useful for wide-angle shots. Replacing the kit lens from 18-28mm can get very expensive. It can also be a learning tool to try out different focal lengths, close-ups, whatever. It works with the flash, the auto-focus, and all the modes. It was designed to be your first lens and it does its job well. You can get a version I cheaper or even a weather-resistant version.

I would recommend the Pentax-A 50mm f1.7 as a good second lens and companion to the kit. It requires less light than the kit lens. Its focal length might limit your shots a little, and you'll have to focus yourself. It makes a pretty good portrait lens.
I would agree with this advice, although I would reverse the emphasis, utilizing the manual prime as much as possible, relegating the automatic zoom to a secondary position. The fact that it is somewhat limiting in comparison to an auto-everything zoom lens is in itself the very reason it is such a good learning tool. Either way is really nitpicking though, as this combo would give you the learning tools you require with very little cash outlay, allowing the experience & knowledge eventually gained by working with them to guide you towards your future lens acquisitions.

Last edited by raymeedc; 07-17-2009 at 06:25 AM.
07-17-2009, 06:53 AM   #11
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Kit lens is a good starting lens. I'd also recommend you go to you local second hand camera store and pick up a 50mm and a 28mm.
07-17-2009, 08:09 AM   #12
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I picked up a sigma 24-80 w/ macro off of ebay cheap that I really like and it is easy to use.
07-17-2009, 08:57 AM   #13
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Depending on your budget, I skipped the kit lens when I bought my k10d and spent slightly more on the DA 16-45 and was glad I did....it was (I sold both when I upgraded) a great lens.
I agree with the previous posts....a prime 28mm, 30mm or 35mm would be my first pick. I can't confirm but for the 28mm, they say the F3.5 is better than the f2.8s

Let us know how you made out.
07-17-2009, 09:15 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by flmz Quote
...something cheap with good IQ that will help me learn about photography.
If I did understood what you need and what you can afford, buy the kit lens. Cheap, good IQ, useful focal range and Quickshift!

Pentax Lens Review Database - 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL
07-17-2009, 04:57 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by raymeedc Quote
I would agree with this advice, although I would reverse the emphasis, utilizing the manual prime as much as possible, relegating the automatic zoom to a secondary position. The fact that it is somewhat limiting in comparison to an auto-everything zoom lens is in itself the very reason it is such a good learning tool. Either way is really nitpicking though, as this combo would give you the learning tools you require with very little cash outlay, allowing the experience & knowledge eventually gained by working with them to guide you towards your future lens acquisitions.
Thanks for the replies! I think I'm going to go with this suggestion. My budget is ~100, give or take.

Should I expect any problems with older film lenses? I keep reading about problems with light reflections from the back of the lens, but I also see many examples of great photos taken with these older lenses.
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