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11-27-2009, 07:10 AM   #1
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Question about Pentax DS (solved)

Hello from Maine,

I gave a Pentax DS with 18-55 lens to my sister and wonder about the following :

1. Is there is an inexpensive 50/1.8 or similar, autofocus lens for the DS ?

2. Is there is an inexpensive autoexposure flash that has a bounce-tilt head ?

Thanks
Craig


Last edited by spystyle; 01-14-2011 at 06:52 PM.
11-27-2009, 10:16 AM   #2
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I'm moving this to the beginner's forum, bercause it seems morew appropriate.

Pentax no longer makes an AF 50/1.7, so while you can find them used, they are in high enough demand that they probably won't be all *that* cheap. The FA50/1.4 is probably the way to go if you need AF. But considering the relatively limited value of a 50mm lens on "cropped" DSLR, you might consider whether another focal length makes more sense to invest in first. Or just get a cheap MF 50 like so many of us do ($20-ish for a 50/1.7).

For flash, if you just need "auto" flash and not full TTL communication with the camera, sure, any third party auto flash works fine, including some for under $50. If it says "auto" and was designed since the invention of the DSLR, it should work - there is nothing brand-specific about auto flash.
11-27-2009, 10:48 AM   #3
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Thanks for the move

Why the h3ll did Pentax stop making an affordable fast prime lens?

Nikon and Canon both have a $90-ish 50/1.8 and Nikon now has a $200-ish 35/1.8

Fast primes are a very important part of any shooter's bag.

Anyway, manual focus probably doesn't suit my sister - she is a Kodak EasyShare type shooter and I'm ytrying to bump her up to dSLR and I will process her RAW files for her

I'd like to find a good AF fast prime and good auto flash that can point and bounce both affordable for her Pentax DS.

If you guys could name some specific recommendations I'd appreciate it Especially if you've tried it out yourself.

I just recently started using bounce flash with my own camera and I like it a lot.

Thank you,
Craig
11-27-2009, 10:57 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by spystyle Quote
Thanks for the move
Why the h3ll did Pentax stop making an affordable fast prime lens?
Nikon and Canon both have a $90-ish 50/1.8 and Nikon now has a $200-ish 35/1.8
...........................
I think its because Pentax is still more concerned with IQ than with marketing.

11-27-2009, 01:47 PM   #5
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I've used the AF280 flash with my DS with excellent results. It will do TTL, auto and full manual.
11-27-2009, 01:50 PM   #6
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Thank you WildLifePhotog
11-28-2009, 12:50 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by spystyle Quote
Fast primes are a very important part of any shooter's bag.

Anyway, manual focus probably doesn't suit my sister - she is a Kodak EasyShare type shooter and I'm ytrying to bump her up to dSLR and I will process her RAW files for her
You might want to question the importance of a fast prime for her, then. They were the way to go with film, when zooms were low in quality, film speeds over ISO 400 were unusable, and the only means of stabilization was something that came in three legs. Most people moving up to a modern DSLR from a P&S would have a hard time seeing a need for a prime today. Not to say the need doesn't exist, but the market for such lenses has really plummeted over the years because of advances in zoom quality, high ISO performance, and image stabilization. And that - *greatly* reduced demand - is the answer to your question of why Pentax doesn't make any really cheap primes any more. Rather than being lenses for the masses, primes have become lenses for specialists.

FWIW, Pentax's two cheapest current primes are the FA50/1.4 and DA40/2.8, both currently around $350. They were about $100 less before the dollar crashed against the yen last year. I think it would be great if Pentax were to reintroduce a cheap updated version of their 35/2. Meanwhile, they can still be found, but are more expensive.

If you think your sister is going to be serious about photography to want a prime at all when most of the world couldn't care less, then there is no reason to assume she'd have a problem with manual focus, BTW - or to assume she wouldn't eventually want to spend a few hundred hundreds on a really good on in a focal length she loves.

QuoteQuote:
If you guys could name some specific recommendations I'd appreciate it Especially if you've tried it out yourself.
I have the Sunpak DS-20, which appears to be the same flash marketed under various other names. It's very bare bones as you'd expect given it's $30 price tag, but it does the job when I need it.
11-28-2009, 01:13 PM   #8
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Well said

However I was going to teach her about event shooting without flash - a 50/1.8 on a crop sensor is great for shooting indoor school events at 1/60 without flash, in my experience.

Have fun
Craig

11-28-2009, 01:46 PM   #9
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I shoot a ton of concerts (same basic idea), and while I own a couple of AF lenses, I actually find MF more useful most of the time - I hunt less than the camera, and I can be relied upon not to accidentally choose to focus on a music stand rather than the performer. Also, I personally find 50mm too short for most of that sort of thing, and much prefer using my M100/2.8 or M135/3.5 (both widely available manual focus lenses; the 135 goes for around $50, the 100 maybe $100).

Anyhow, you'd be surprised how much you can get done with a well-chosen set of cheap old MF primes - and how much more difficult / expensive it would be to do as well with Canon or Nikon! But sure, a cheap fast AD 50 (as well as a cheap fast normal) are two things Pentax could use, too.
11-28-2009, 02:01 PM   #10
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You are preaching to the choir

I love manual focus lenses, real metal and glass, fast apertures, cheap prices, great quality.

I love 'em all I tell ya!

Yeah an event would be good with :

135/2.8
50/1.8
28/2.8

Maybe 200/3.5 and I even own a 400/5.5 which might work OK at ISO 1600



I pay an average of $20 per manual focus lens, including my most recent a 60-300mm zoom.

I paid $125 and $200 for my last two Nikon AF-S lenses. 18-55 VR and 35/1.8 respectively. The difference in price is staggering yet the difference in image quality is debatable.

But I'm not sure I can get my sister into manual focus lenses ... We'll see.

Have fun!
Craig




Last edited by spystyle; 11-29-2009 at 04:56 PM.
12-01-2009, 11:37 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by spystyle Quote
Thanks for the move

Why the h3ll did Pentax stop making an affordable fast prime lens?

Nikon and Canon both have a $90-ish 50/1.8 and Nikon now has a $200-ish 35/1.8
It is not that Pentax stopped making them, it was just that Pentax wasn't as popular (sellable) as Nikon and Canon is now.
The more lenses you produce (that sell) the lesser the cost of production and the sale price (that was Pentax then)..since Canon and Nikon now produce more units than Pentax does, then it would eventually trickle down to the consumers.
With the K-x (getting more new buyers), the winds may change..let's hope!
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