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11-05-2012, 08:09 PM   #1
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50mm

I am new to the photography world I am looking for a 50mm lens for my Pentax K20.

I know that Pentax came out with a 50mm lens this past summer ($250). I was wondering if anyone knew of another 50mm lens (maybe a little less expensive) that would be compatible with my camera. I am wanting to take portrait type photos and indoor photos ... and from what I understand I need a 50 mm.

Any help would be great!
Thanks.

11-05-2012, 08:28 PM   #2
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Get a used A 50mm F1.7- it's manual focus, but well under $100.
SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.7 Reviews - A Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Here's one for $59 on our Marketplace:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographic-equipment-sale/202033-sale-p...f1-7-caps.html

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11-05-2012, 10:55 PM   #3
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M 50mm F2 can always be found cheap.
11-05-2012, 11:10 PM   #4
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keep in mind that the above lenses will not automatically focus, but you'll have to manual focus them.

Alternatively, you can try to find a 50mm Pentax-F or Pentax-FA (either f1.7 or f1.4). These allow to autofocus but they might be slightly more expensive.

If you are not into manual focusing, I will recommend you to save some money and go either for the new released lens or one of the above.

11-05-2012, 11:36 PM   #5
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Did you take into consideration that you're using a crop sensor? the 50mm will be an effective 75mm. a 35mm will be closer to effective 50mm (52.5mm)
11-06-2012, 06:56 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by 7samurai Quote
Did you take into consideration that you're using a crop sensor? the 50mm will be an effective 75mm. a 35mm will be closer to effective 50mm (52.5mm)
I can't speak for the OP, and portrait photography has never been my passion. However, during all my years of 35mm film photography it was commonly accepted that the most useful portrait lens was in the 70-85mm range and on the soft side. While many 50mm lenses tend to be more on the crisp side, as you point out the cropped equivalent on APS-C cameras is about 75mm.
11-06-2012, 07:00 AM   #7
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Melissa - the other posters have presented you with affordable manual lenses. If you do want to stick with autofocus, however - please check the marketplace for deals on the F/FA 50 1.7, or even people selling their DA 50 1.8 (the $250 lens you are talking about).

Alternatively - please consider waiting a few months to see if the price drops on that lens. Pentax has been very consistent in putting out products at a relatively higher price, only to drop it quite nicely within 3-6 months. I would personally expect the DA 50 1.8 to drop to $200 pretty soon.
11-06-2012, 11:16 AM   #8
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To echo what others have said - 50mm is fne, if one the short side, for portraits on APS-C (the format/size of your camera), since it corresponds to 75mm on the most popular format for film cameras (variously called 135, 35mm, or FF). And you can get used 50mm lenses very cheap if you're OK with manual focus. But 50mm is much too long for "most" indoor photography. Was fine for 135 format, but too long for APS-C due to the "crop factor".

Meaning, if I were you, Id be looking at the DA35 (similar price as the 50) for most indoor usage, and maybe an old manual 50 for portraits.

11-06-2012, 11:29 AM   #9
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Thank you everyone for your feedback and comments! I am learning J
So I am going to be taking a class in a few weeks from a photographer here where I live. A friend of mine took the class and loved it. The class goes over all the basics of using a DSLR camera and focuses on portrait photography. A 50mm (or something similar) is required for the class.
I have a 2 year old and a baby on the way, I imagine an autofocus lens will be something I will want (not sure they will cooperate as I learn how to use my camera!) I just want to be able to take great shots of my kids, other family photos etc. I think for me to be successful I need to strat with something I love (and have time for). I hope to get into more later.

So after reading your feedback, I’m not sure I have many options other than forking up the money for the DA 50 1.8 … or a used F/FA 50 1.7 …
Am I on the right track?
11-06-2012, 11:32 AM   #10
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Hi Marc,
I saw your post before I sent my last reply. Can you expalin what the "crop factor" is?
Thanks!
11-06-2012, 11:39 AM   #11
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Check with the instructor, but I doubt the lens has to be a 50mm prime (meaning the lens has only one focal length) lens for this class. A zoom covering the 50mm range should be fine. That opens up your options a lot. Point in fact, almost every camera sold these days is typically bundled with a zoom lens - and most of those zooms have 50mm somewhere within that lens' range.
11-06-2012, 11:46 AM   #12
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From my understanding (please correct me if I am wrong!) a 50 mm prime lens will take better portraits than my 18-55mm or the other larger one that I can’t remember the range right now.
When I say takes better portraits I mean things like creating a sharper image, more blurred background, better light …
11-06-2012, 11:49 AM   #13
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As Jim says - double check with the exact requirements of your class. If you can get away with a zoom, there are some lovely cheap zooms that work well for portraiture - like the F 35-70

Also - if you are planning on using the lens for the family, I would suggest a wider lens than the 50mm. The DA 35 F2.4 would be great for pictures of multiple family members - or a upper body portrait. Maybe the DA 35 F2.4 would be acceptable for your class as well.

QuoteOriginally posted by melissa.1031 Quote
From my understanding (please correct me if I am wrong!) a 50 mm prime lens will take better portraits than my 18-55mm or the other larger one that I canít remember the range right now.
When I say takes better portraits I mean things like creating a sharper image, more blurred background, better light Ö
It can - but that isn't to say the 18-55 cannot take good portraits. Sharpness is generally overrated for portraiture; you want subject isolation (blurred background, or bokeh), color rendition, and composition.

To get good subject isolation with the 18-55, you need the background to be far from your subject. A 50mm prime has thinner depth of field, allowing you to get blurred backgrounds much more easily.

The main benefit that the 50mm primes give is that they gather more light than your 18-55. For example, a 50mm F1.7 will gather 10 times more light than your 18-55, allowing you to use it easier indoors (but allowing faster shutter speed or lower ISO).

So see what the exact requirement for your class is: the skill in photography is often far more important than the tool.
11-06-2012, 11:54 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by melissa.1031 Quote
Hi Marc,
I saw your post before I sent my last reply. Can you expalin what the "crop factor" is?
Thanks!
I'll take a shot.... in film cameras, the opening for projecting light on the film on the vast majority of so-called 35mm cameras is 24mm high by 36mm wide. On digital SLR cameras, this is called full-frame or FF for short. However, most of the digital SLR cameras do not have a sensor (equivalent to the film) this large. On Pentax cameras, the APS-C sensor is only about 75% of FF size. So if you use the same lens on both a FF and APS-C cameras, it will be like you trimmed away that outer 25% of the image (the crop factor).

Or to turn that around, the image you see on a APS-C camera would roughly be the same view you would see on a FF camera if the FF camera had a lens that was 150% longer in focal length. So using a 50mm lens on a APS-C camera is roughly the same as using a 75mm lens on a FF camera.

There are a number of other factors related to focal length and what you see in the actual image that folks here love to discuss in great detail, but I'll stop here with the simplified explanation.
11-06-2012, 12:00 PM   #15
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In 35mm format, 50mm is said to be standard lens that gives you normal angle of view. But for your K20D, this is no longer true. Instead, a focal length of ~33mm gives you the same view angle. A standard lens is usually the first lens to have according to some for the reasons you already know.

I suggest either one of below. They are auto focus lenses.
DA 35mm F2.4 ~$175 New
FA 50mm F1.4 ~$260 Used

Last edited by hyyz; 11-06-2012 at 12:08 PM.
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