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03-11-2010, 05:32 PM   #1
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I want some light, sharp, fast prime lenses...hopefully I came to the right place

Hello everyone, I'm new to this forum. I used to shoot canon, but I had to sell my stuff, so now as I dream up what I would eventually like to shoot, I have the opportunity to look at all my options again.

I was very happy with my Canon 20D, except that I never really found that "special lens" for it. I'm not really into using zooms, not that I have anything against them, but I don't like having to pay for a full spectrum of focal-lengths that I'm not going to use anyway (I usually tend to crank the zoom to the widest setting and lean in, or walk, out of habit).

The only thing that I didn't like about Canon is that I couldn't find a reliable fast, wide prime. I know they have their 24mm f/1.4L, which would be really great, but I'm not a pro and can't justify or afford putting that much money in one lens right now. Also, I prefer lighter lenses. I wasn't impressed with their 28mm f/1.8, and I just don't feel like Sigma's 30mm f/1.4 is reliable enough (also on the long side for me).

Does Pentax make anything in the 20-28 range that's f/2 or wider and $400ish or lower? I really want something that's usable wide-open. Also, what 50-85mm lens would you recommend for portraits? I've looked at the 50 f/1.4, but it looks sort of like a toy to me. I don't mean to judge too harshly if it's a great lens, since it can't have worse construction that Canon's own 50 f/1.8, which is a very capable lens for the price.

Thanks in advance you for your advice. Hopefully I will be a member of the Pentax family very soon!

03-11-2010, 07:13 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by innocent smith Quote
Does Pentax make anything in the 20-28 range that's f/2 or wider and $400ish or lower? I really want something that's usable wide-open. Also, what 50-85mm lens would you recommend for portraits? I've looked at the 50 f/1.4, but it looks sort of like a toy to me. I don't mean to judge too harshly if it's a great lens, since it can't have worse construction that Canon's own 50 f/1.8, which is a very capable lens for the price.

Thanks in advance you for your advice. Hopefully I will be a member of the Pentax family very soon!
I think 3rd party is your only option for wide & fast, apart from maybe the FA31 which is outside your price range.

Your choice in the 50-85 range is far better; any of these are extremely capable portrait lens: DA*55, DA70, FA77 or DA*50-135. The FA77 seems to be the “peoples choice” as the king in this range. I have the DA70 which is the cheapest of those options, I find it's exceptional and it’s my favourite lens of the 4 I own. But then I haven’t tried the others….
03-11-2010, 08:56 PM   #3
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Overview of current Pentax lenses
Pentax forums lens review specification database

You can try the second hand market for your fast wide angle; found those in the second link above
FA*24/2 matches your spec
FA20/2.8 is a stop slower

You can dig a bit further into the different sections to see what there is/was

Good luck in your decision
03-12-2010, 09:10 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input!
The FA*24/2 looks to be what I was looking for. I'll check out some reviews and samples on that.
Also, thanks for the short tele options, I'll look into each of those too.

03-12-2010, 09:19 AM   #5
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Just an fyi, unless your price range changes, a used FA*24/2 is going to be out of your price range. They go for $550+ used depending on condition.
04-09-2010, 08:08 AM   #6
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"Does Pentax make anything in the 20-28 range that's f/2 or wider and $400ish or lower? I really want something that's usable wide-open. Also, what 50-85mm lens would you recommend for portraits? I've looked at the 50 f/1.4, but it looks sort of like a toy to me. I don't mean to judge too harshly if it's a great lens, since it can't have worse construction that Canon's own 50 f/1.8, which is a very capable lens for the price."

For portrait I suggest the DA Limited 70mm f/2.4, which is one of my fav lenses.

I've used the 50mm f/1.8 w/ Canon cameras and it's a great little lens, esp for the price, but I feel that the 50mm f/1.4 from Pentax is more solid in construction. At 75mm on APS-C it can be a pretty good portrait lens as well.

For wide I use a 15mm f/4, which might be too slow for you since you asked for f/2, but I highly recommend that you take a look at the 15mm at least, you might end up liking it
04-09-2010, 08:15 AM   #7
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If you don't mind manual focus, the world of SMC-A lenses is wide open for you, at better prices than the AF stuff.

In general, fast wide is one area where Canikon has advantages - the Pentax stuff is rare and therefore expensive if it exists. The 'pro' lenses Canikon churns out are more plentiful and therefore less expensive.

04-09-2010, 09:25 AM   #8
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Canon's nifty-fifty (AF) is actually a lot more affordable than the Pentax although the make is not actually very strong and looks cheaply made.
To get Pentaxs' fast nifty-fifty's you have to shell out more than $200+, although it is very well made and sturdy.
04-15-2010, 09:04 PM   #9
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I also have a lens question

Of all the third party vendors, who makes the best prime lenses in f/1.4 or f/1.8 for a k-x? Also, which is better and more versatile and 50 mm or a 35 mm? Thanks!
04-15-2010, 09:12 PM   #10
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For a very extensive list of Pentax Lens produced over the last 50 years you might like to go to:

Pentax Lens Review and Specification Database - Main Index

Hope this helps.
04-15-2010, 10:54 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by NoobCA Quote
Of all the third party vendors, who makes the best prime lenses in f/1.4 or f/1.8 for a k-x? Also, which is better and more versatile and 50 mm or a 35 mm? Thanks!
You can also check Pentax Lens Tests

I consider the 35mm more versatile; meaning you can use it in more situations than a 50mm. But it's a personal thing; 50mm will get things a bit closer but in confined spaces it might not work as well as 35mm. It's your call.

To determine what suites you best:
Set you kit lens to 50mm for a week and shoot with it to get an idea where it limits you. Next set it to 35mm and shoot for a week and get an idea where that limits you. Take you decision regarding focal lengthg based on that.

35mm is not better or worse (quality wise) than a 50mm; a manufacturer might make an excellent 35mm but a poor 50mm and vice versa. 35mm will in general give a bit more barrel distortion than 50mm (which can be corrected in PP if you really want to).
04-15-2010, 11:10 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by NoobCA Quote
Of all the third party vendors, who makes the best prime lenses in f/1.4 or f/1.8 for a k-x? Also, which is better and more versatile and 50 mm or a 35 mm? Thanks!
There are some nice 3rd party prime lenses, incl. Zeiss and Voigtlander. The latter , the Voigtlander, is in fact about the same price (as new) as the Pentax FA.

Between 35 and 50mm, sterretje gave you some good advice. Personally I would go for a 50 mm for your first prime (I have a 58 mm f 1.4 in fact), but 35-40mm is also a nice range.

Hope that the comment will help....
04-15-2010, 11:10 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by innocent smith Quote
Hello everyone, I'm new to this forum. I used to shoot canon, but I had to sell my stuff, so now as I dream up what I would eventually like to shoot, I have the opportunity to look at all my options again.

I was very happy with my Canon 20D, except that I never really found that "special lens" for it. I'm not really into using zooms, not that I have anything against them, but I don't like having to pay for a full spectrum of focal-lengths that I'm not going to use anyway (I usually tend to crank the zoom to the widest setting and lean in, or walk, out of habit).

The only thing that I didn't like about Canon is that I couldn't find a reliable fast, wide prime. I know they have their 24mm f/1.4L, which would be really great, but I'm not a pro and can't justify or afford putting that much money in one lens right now. Also, I prefer lighter lenses. I wasn't impressed with their 28mm f/1.8, and I just don't feel like Sigma's 30mm f/1.4 is reliable enough (also on the long side for me).

Does Pentax make anything in the 20-28 range that's f/2 or wider and $400ish or lower? I really want something that's usable wide-open. Also, what 50-85mm lens would you recommend for portraits? I've looked at the 50 f/1.4, but it looks sort of like a toy to me. I don't mean to judge too harshly if it's a great lens, since it can't have worse construction that Canon's own 50 f/1.8, which is a very capable lens for the price.

Thanks in advance you for your advice. Hopefully I will be a member of the Pentax family very soon!
I know just what you mean about the Canon series not having any real good primes, well, or newer high grade lenses that don't cost more than your house, zooms, and you definitely have come to the right place if you really want some great primes.

PentaxForums has a Lens Review Database that you can check out as well, there is a list of every (I think we have all of them now, don't we?) lens, whether it's a prime or a zoom lens, that Pentax has ever made, so go check it out and ask about any lenses that you're interested in. A lot of them have reviews posted under them as well. Here's the Lens Review Database:

Pentax Lens Review and Specification Database - Main Index
04-16-2010, 11:31 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by NoobCA Quote
Of all the third party vendors, who makes the best prime lenses in f/1.4 or f/1.8 for a k-x? Also, which is better and more versatile and 50 mm or a 35 mm? Thanks!
If you're looking for AF, I don't know that there are any third party options other than Sigma, so by default they also get the distinction of making the "best".

As mentioned, only you can answer the 35 versus 50 question for yourself, using your existing zoom. But most people will probably find 35 is more useful in general. 50 if you specifically intend to be doing mostly portraits.
04-19-2010, 02:11 AM   #15
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If you do not mind manual focusing lenses, there are many lenses with the M42 mount, available everywhere.

I am sure if Canon does not have good primes, you acan still sourced from 3rd party lenses like the Siggy or the Tammy.

For Pentax, one can used all Pentax lenses, or even 3rd party lense from Sigma or Tamron. Here in PentaxForums, there is a Lens Review Database for a list of prime lens or zoom lens available for Pentax.

Cheers.
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