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01-20-2020, 11:05 AM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by taita87 Quote
I understand the advice of keeping the k-x and continue to shoot and see how it goes. And it's probably the best advice.

I don't know how to say it. I'll try to elaborate more...

Every time I see the fuji mirrorless I am prone to buy a second one x-t2 just because they're beautiful and small and they seems to have a lot of "at hand" commands that my k-x doesn't have and they don't cost a fortune.
Then I check the flickr photos of, let's say, the fujinon 56 1.2 apd and yes, they're good and appealing... but...

Whenever I open the flickr page of the pentax 55 1.4 (especially), the 77 1.8, and in a lesser way the 43 1.9 it's another story. I mean there's something special that impress me and I don't know what it is, they're like tridimensional, they have special colors, special contrast and bokeh rendition.
And it's a personal taste of course. For example a lot of people dislike the confusing bokeh of the 55 1.4, for me it's one of the best thing about his photos. I ADORE the Jupiter 9 85mm f2.0 pictures for the same reason, they pop out with outstanding tridimensionality due to that effect.
I don't know if it's related to the fact that these expensive lenses are generally owned by more skilled people. And that in the majority of the cases, photos are better. Who knows?

I obviously know that you can take a sensational photo with every kind of camera, even with your phone, and especially if you're not going to print it.
And i agree with all of you that buying one or the other lens depends on the FL you shoot the most.
I am just saying that it seems to me that, just looking at the photos randomly, they have something that I like more in the way they capture what you see.
In that case, I think that you must buy the 55 ƒ1.4. To buy anything else will cause you to second guess how much better your images could have been if only you'd followed your gut.

01-20-2020, 03:51 PM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by taita87 Quote
I don't know if it's related to the fact that these expensive lenses are generally owned by more skilled people. And that in the majority of the cases, photos are better. Who knows?
This is a huge factor. Especially with digital photography, where there is often a lot of alteration done in post process of a RAW file. Don't get me wrong, the lenses you mention do offer characteristics that you mention, to be brought out by knowing how to take advantage of them. And I don't mean it is necessary to always manipulate their output via post-processing a RAW file. I mean by selection of subject, lighting, distance, composition, aperture, exposure value, etc. Just good photography.

If you take a good look at that link regarding the comparatively lower-rated but very good DA 18-135mm zoom lens, you will find many fine examples of what can be done with this lens. It even sports quite good bokeh to boot, when used to bring out this aspect. I have numerous top-notch lenses, such as the FA 43mm, FA 77mm, DA 40mm, DA 70mm, DA 21mm Limiteds to name a few. Nonetheless, I also will often choose my DA 18-135mm due to the fact of needing its versatility, and avoiding lens-changing, as well as the fine quality it can deliver when you know how to use it at settings where it is strongest. It is amazingly compact for its large zoom range, has exceptionally fast, accurate, and quiet AF, and is very well-built with WR construction. Your K-x does not have WR, but another Pentax body in your future likely will have. If you look for WR lenses in other brands you will find them to be much more costly.

As to the mirrorless crowd, including Fuji, they have some advantages of their own, but so does having a DSLR. I might say especially Pentax. As to size, Pentax offers more compact bodies than other DSLR makes, even in a premium level body, as well as extra-compact premium-level lenses. The result being a package much closer in size and weight compared to an APS-C mirrorless alternative. This consideration was one that contributed heavily to the design of the Pentax KP. Upon examination, the Pentax alternative now offers a controls layout availability that is more efficient and useful, as well as an exceptional array of useful features that can be quickly employed for superior results.

As to the Pentax 55mm f/1.4, having the DA 18-135mm zoom lens will allow you to explore your own photographic interests, including how often you would prefer to employ a 55mm focal length in pressing your own interests. You never know, if you find the moderate tele range to be an area you often wish to use, you might find the FA 77mm would suit you even better. It is a fabulous lens. It is a favorite for me. The results others have achieved with the 55mm lens that you have seen are usually isolated from many other efforts by the same photographer, most likely with other lenses. And who knows how many other images by the same photographer with this lens were less than satisfactory, in addition to not knowing the degree of post-processing that was done with the one special shot that had the potential to bring about this final image. Of course, the lens has to be this capable in the first place, but getting the best circumstance for it, the opportunity, and then realizing that full capability is another matter. How a lens will do in a well-exposed, well-conceived shot with minimal PP is the most revealing way to evaluate.

Last edited by mikesbike; 01-20-2020 at 04:00 PM.
01-21-2020, 04:14 PM   #18
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I'll try another way.

I will post some pictures taken from internet, form different lenses and systems showing what I would like to shoot. You can easily open the links and don't look at the info of the images, no spoiler on the lens and camera used.
And you tell me what you think. I.e. you can do that also with your smartphone, you can never do that unless you have 10 years of photo experience and a ton of PP skills, etc.

1- BASK9599.DNG Baspherical-1.jpg | Classic Remise Düsseldorf | Flickr
2 - Steam engine details (2) | Zeche ,,Consol´´, Gelsenkirchen | Flickr
3 - Kalter Morgen | Küchenschelle | ulrichschiegg | Flickr
4 - the light | alexcoitus | Flickr
5 - Up Above the Islands | J_Ikemura | Flickr
6 - Lines | Nisbetography | Flickr
7 - Outside Famoso | Kurt Bauschardt | Flickr
8 - Valdani thread | pepperberryfarm | Flickr
9 - La cueva de los sueños | Foto presentada en el V Maratón fot? | Flickr
10 - IMG_5602.jpg | Jupiter 9 - 85 f2.0 | MrRigel73 | Flickr
11 - The pavilion for the musicians | Inside the Red Fort, Delhi.? | Flickr
12 - Rossmann 400 (35mm) + Voigtlander Bessa R + Jupiter 9 85/? | Flickr
13 - Leaves | michael littlewood | Flickr
14 - 20180311-_DSF4577 | przemyslaw k | Flickr
15 - Daily life in Antananarivo, Madagascar Feel free to visit? | Flickr
16 - Good Thing to do on New Year | Pup Keng | Flickr
17 - Plane Crash at Sólheimasandur, | popular spot in iceland | Flickr
01-22-2020, 05:45 PM   #19
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Hi taita, thanks for using one of my photos as an example, I'm flattered!

I'm sure you've already looked at the technical data on each of the photos you've posted, but I'll offer an objective analysis and say that you can probably rule out the 18-135/zoom that some of the others are recommending. The zoom may be good for determining which particular focal length of lens you want to buy (I think that is a debatable premise personally, but I'll concede the point for simplicity), but it is clear your interest is in some nice wide open f/1.4 shenanigans with an ability to stop down modestly (f/4-5.6) and get some razor sharp images on occasion. Doesn't really match the profile of any affordable zoom lens.

Now, I love my DA* 55, and I think you should probably save up the money, wait for a good deal, and get one for yourself, but while you're doing that... go out and push that M 50 f/1.7 to the limits!
Leave the 28 at home for a few shoots. DA*55 may be an autofocus lens but you absolutely need to always practice in manual focus (AF will miss, I wasn't actually trying to focus on that light pole!), really acquaint yourself with the focal length (I consider 50 and 55 close enough to be the same) and make sure you're comfortable with everything before moving into the 55. Basically, build up some skill and confidence with the old glass, and it will make you extra appreciative when you get the new one.

I cut my teeth in this focal length with an M 50 f/2, and then FA 50 f/1.4, before upgrading to DA* 55. I spent years with the first two lenses, so I don't think there was really a strong correlation with increased skill when I got DA* 55. You're absolutely correct in your observations - it does have a 3-dimensional quality that other lenses do not. Despite my skill level being relatively high at the time, getting "keepers" was much easier with the DA* 55 and I was smiling at the results more often.

---


edit: I give two thumbs-up to the 21 Limited too. The most painful part of moving to full-frame is that I could/would not use that lens anymore. Anyways, that's for later, I think 50/55 is your starting point, and you can also use DA* 55 on full-frame if you ever decide to leave APS-C.


Last edited by Mock; 01-22-2020 at 06:13 PM.
01-25-2020, 01:26 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mock Quote
go out and push that M 50 f/1.7 to the limits!
Agreed. This will also demonstrate similar limitations to the DA* 55mm lens as to what uses it may be put to. I have the "F" 50mm f/1.7 which is an excellent lens. Having a fast prime lens in a shorter focal length but not wide angle can have many uses, and is always recommended. For the budget minded, there are several choices, including the fine old FA 50mm f/1.4 as well as the newer DA 50mm f/1.8 but you already have your f/1.7 lens. Nothing wrong with using what you have, as it is indeed in the same vein. Having a fast aperture provides a higher shutter speed for hand-held shots in dimmer light, and reduced DOF for the effects that can bring. Eventually, however, you will most likely either have a series of prime lenses of varying FL, and/or one or more zoom lenses to deal with a variety of circumstances. This is often at a substantial expense.

Another thing to keep in mind, sometimes an upgrade in camera body will also mean an upgrade in the lenses you use. A camera body that can deliver fine results at a higher ISO rating, as far as the lenses are concerned, is tantamount to having lenses of a faster aperture.

If you prefer a zoom lens of fast aperture, I find the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM to be quite excellent.

The list of images above indicates an interest in closeup work, close but not actually macro, yet also other scenes of varying nature. Indeed, the DA 21mm Limited is a very fine versatile lens as a walk-around prime lens for APS-C. It is not of fast aperture, however.

Last edited by mikesbike; 01-25-2020 at 01:34 PM.
01-26-2020, 08:34 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by taita87 Quote
Hi all. I have an old Pentax k-x, bought as one of the main feature I want in a camera is the compactness (and had no cash at that time ). I only used it with an old m50 1.7 owned by my father and an A 28 2.8 bought for nothing.
I rarely used it in the last years due to lack of time and inefficiency in picking sharp photos with manual focus (probably I needed more practicing).

Lately I picked it up again. I'm wondering what to do.
Stick to what I have and see how the hobby evolves?
Buy 1 or 2 lens that I love and see what happens?
Change everything as there are a lot more viable compact and mirrorless options today?

The only thing I know is that sticking to Pentax apsc I will probably buy a da21 and a da* 55 1.4..
Ah..and that every time I see photos taken with fa 43, fa 77 and da*55 I'm blown away by the look these glasses provide in pictures
Be very cautious with the DA*55/1,4: It is a great lens but it has the bloody SDM motor which fails again and again. It is a pain with this
SDM Motor and it wasn't ever really solved, the so called new generation SDM is not at all better.
My DA*55 (new generation) had to go twice to be repaired.

The SDM also makes this lens much slower than any screwdrive lens. But the bokeh is wonderful, colours are wonderful.

A good alternative imo is the F50/1,7 or the FA50/1,7 (optically the same but the F50 is that bit more sturdy/better built). A great lens.
The DA50/1,8 is almost as good but doesn't have the same colour rendition but nicer bokeh due to its rounded blades.
But I prefer the F50. I have the FA50/1,4 but prefer the F50/1,7.

The FA77 is great as well.

As lightness is an important factor: What about the DA20-40WR limited: It has the quite DC motor, is WR and of fanatastic built quality?


Do you still have this problem with the E-Dial of your K-x? If so, this might turn up to become a more serious problem but actually can be fixed very easely.

You find a good repairmanual HERE

Careful: Only use high quality contact cleaner and by no means spray it in just from the outside, you can do further damage because as you can see from the photos you won't reach the inner contacts of the dial without spraying a huge load inside which can do a lot of damage to other parts.

It is best to take the Dial apart and clean it as shown in this German manual with earsticks and something like Isopropyl alcohol.

Have done it a few times with success.

But if you won't solve this, the K-S1 might be a good replacement. It is as small and light as the K-x but far superior.
The K-x has problems with heavy lenses and their screwdrive mechanisms, the AF motor is pretty weak, liveview particular brings it "out of breath"
very quickly.
01-27-2020, 08:58 AM - 1 Like   #22
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If you wonder what can be accomplished with the old K-x and an A series lens, consider this guy that won Flickr '2019 Your Best Shot' with such a setup.

Winners' details
01-27-2020, 09:25 AM - 3 Likes   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by rogerstg Quote
If you wonder what can be accomplished with the old K-x and an A series lens, consider this guy that won Flickr '2019 Your Best Shot' with such a setup.

Winners' details
My own post from that thread.
I saw my old K-x at my step-sons place the other day. We gave it to his girlfriend. I almost took it out for a spin, just for old times sake. You're making me regret I didn't. It always had that "je ne sais quoi."

It was never my camera, it was my wife's and I used it only sporadically. MY flicker account started in 2017. There are still images taken with it that have never been bested. The wild birds folder is a folder updated with more recent images. When I get a better image, the old one is replaced. This one seems to be my permanent tribute to the K-x.



Taken with the DA* 60-250.

Taken October 31, 2011, and never bettered.

QuoteQuote:
Be very cautious with the DA*55/1,4: It is a great lens but it has the bloody SDM motor which fails again and again. It is a pain with this
SDM Motor and it wasn't ever really solved, the so called new generation SDM is not at all better.
My DA*55 (new generation) had to go twice to be repaired.
Even at the hieght of the SDM failure thing (DA*16-50 being the worst) , Pentax still had the best frequency of repair record in the industry. You're dumping on a Pentax strong point, because you were unlucky.

I guess you are under the mistaken impression there are other camera companies where you never experience these kinds of issues. That being said, Pentax screw drive is extremely reliable. Better than any electric internal motor. At least with Pentax you have a choice to still use the older indestructible models.

Any lens that survives what I do is tough. The DA*55 1.4 has survived 100km of portages in a pelican case and performs very well. It's not that there is no chance of SDM failure, there is no lens with no chance of failure. It's that it takes great pictures and it's a really tough well made lens.


Last edited by normhead; 01-27-2020 at 09:48 AM.
01-27-2020, 02:17 PM   #24
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Yeah I still got the e-dial problem with the k-x (I don't know if it's like this also when new, due to some slowness of the processor). I mean if I fast turn 2 clicks the dial in one direction sometime the camera take 2 steps, sometime only one, and sometimes none; and sometime it even goes 2 steps in the opposite direction...
I'll try the cleaning..

As for the lens part, I am practically sold to the fuji world (x-t2 and x-t3), I really like not having a PSAM dial but exposure dials + on lens aperture. And I really like the smallest body compared to k70, and kp (I hate the "bulging" dslr shape due to pentaprism and mount distance from the sensor.
BUT it's damn crazy how you can get a used stellar 55 1.4 for like 400€ with the qualities it carries. A fujinon 56 1.2 is more expensive and for me doesn't own the character at all (unless you go with the APD version, which in is way is really characteristic too, but that costs 1000€). On the wider side, the 35 and 23 1.4, or 2 WR alternatives are quite unmatched in my mind.

Anyway, I'm just living with the k-x for the moment and it's ok. Last evening I was to a flamenco event and I had like 26 out of focus shots on a total of 30 (low light and I had to use 2.8 to 4.0 aperture) but I can live with that
01-28-2020, 09:14 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by taita87 Quote
Anyway, I'm just living with the k-x for the moment and it's ok. Last evening I was to a flamenco event and I had like 26 out of focus shots on a total of 30 (low light and I had to use 2.8 to 4.0 aperture) but I can live with that
Ya, if there was one huge improvement with the K-5 it was low light exposure. With a K-5 there is a demonstration video where the K-5 quickly locks low light focus and the comparable Nikon can't even lock focus. The K-5 my wife bought to replace the K-x is still in use. If that's your only issue, used K-5s don't even cost that much these days, and it's a much better low light focusing camera.

The K-x was pretty famous for low light IQ. Focusing speed, not so much.
The K-5 was just a superior camera in every regard.

Last edited by normhead; 01-28-2020 at 09:19 AM.
01-28-2020, 09:25 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
If that's your only issue, used K-5s don't even cost that much these days, and it's a much better low light focusing camera.
No, it's not a camera problem, it's that I only own manual focus lenses..
I am more on the philosophy that: if you like a particular lens character, just buy that lens and mount it on whatever camera takes it..
The next investment, if happening, will be a lens for sure
01-28-2020, 10:24 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by taita87 Quote
No, it's not a camera problem, it's that I only own manual focus lenses..
I am more on the philosophy that: if you like a particular lens character, just buy that lens and mount it on whatever camera takes it..
The next investment, if happening, will be a lens for sure
Based on my own usage, the DA 55 1.4 would be my suggestion then. I have at least 50% more keepers taken with it than any competing lens.

The DFA 100 macro is a steal right now.
The Tamron 90 macro is available on many systems and is a superstar on all of them.

The 31 and 77 are legendary.

If not shooting indoors, the 18-135 is great for your camera and the 16-85 is the current "modern standard."
When my wife was using her K-x the Tamron 17-50 was always on the camera if the Tamron 90 wasn't.

These days post processing style can go a long way to make up for differences in the way cameras render, in the old days, you wanted a lens that got you what you wanted without extensive post processing work. These days that is far less important. Minor variation in tint etc can be easily replicated. A few presets in your post processing software and one click gets you what you want in terms of rendering.
01-28-2020, 01:24 PM   #28
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I bought the subsequent K-r for my compact model. It came with a similar sensor, and tested very well for higher ISO performance. It was an improved design. It apparently solved the sometimes shutter/mirror vibration problems of the K-x at certain shutter speeds. A nice little camera. I wonder if the K-x and K-r had the aperture block problem? I eventually gave it away to friends upon obtaining a great deal for the K-S2.

Yes, the K-5 series brought improvements in many respects, including excellent dynamic range. I still especially like my K-5 IIs.

The Pentax A 50mm f/1.7 evidently shares the same optics as the F 50mm and FA 50mm f/1.7, which means exceptionally fine.

As for color rendering, etc. you might really like what the older Pentax K200D can produce with its 10mp CCD sensor. Unlike the K-x and K-r, it does tend to under-expose by around 1/2-2/3 stop, but many have said this type of sensor can produce especially fine colors. To me, color is a factor highly subject to processing. It is also a well-built camera with WR when outfitted with a WR lens, and is almost as good for low noise as the K-x. I used this model for years and liked it. I have kept mine, though it goes unused. Mine developed a problem with battery power overconsumption. I should send it in for repair.
01-28-2020, 03:04 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
I bought the subsequent K-r for my compact model. It came with a similar sensor, and tested very well for higher ISO performance. It was an improved design. It apparently solved the sometimes shutter/mirror vibration problems of the K-x at certain shutter speeds. A nice little camera. I wonder if the K-x and K-r had the aperture block problem? I eventually gave it away to friends upon obtaining a great deal for the K-S2.
Neither had ever the aperture block problem, because it started with the green China solenoid which was first introduced to the K30.
The K-x had actually mainly the e-dial problem. But the K-r had a far more problematic problem which Pentax/Ricoh never was able to solve:
The mirror-flop problem plus a front-focus problem which couldn't be corrected.

---------- Post added 01-28-20 at 03:05 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by taita87 Quote
BUT it's damn crazy how you can get a used stellar 55 1.4 for like 400€ with the qualities it carries.
And the very likely danger of a failing SDM motor.
Without chance of modifying it to screw-drive.
01-29-2020, 01:28 AM   #30
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Well, in my case there was no mirror flop problem with my K-r, even in low light shooting at somewhat slower shutter speeds hand held. Also, the AF was spot on with the lenses I used on it. Not to say it was a quiet-firing camera. All Pentax cameras had rather noisy shutter action right up to the K-5 series, which may still be the quietest ever. The non-flagship Pentax DSLRs even now, with the exception of the KP, continue in having very audible shutter actions.

The K-S2 is a more advanced camera in many respects over the K-r, though I've heard it is prone to the aperture block issue. So far mine is doing fine, though it sees but occasional use, since I also actively use my K-5 IIs, and mostly my KP. The K-S2 is very lightweight and compact, the perfect K-r replacement, and great when needing a full-featured DSLR as small and light as possible.

Last edited by mikesbike; 01-29-2020 at 01:40 AM.
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