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12-10-2019, 10:12 AM - 1 Like   #1
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K mount starter set advice

Good morning all,

So, while I am at the mercy of Canada Post, I am expecting to be joining the k-mount realm shortly. Let's pretend I have no lenses coming, either with a body, or from a "hey, it's only $9.99" ebay impulse. Ignoring any lenses made from unobtanium, what should i be looking at for a starter set? What will give me the best results, and put the k-mount era in the most optimal light (get it?).


Best set of 3 (or 5? what should i be looking at?) of reasonably attainable k-mounts, Pentax branded or otherwise. I've read a number of the lens reviews onboard here, and I have learned a lot. There is less information about how things play well together, as a real-world team of opticals. Uses as for travel, and for "art" locally. I don't sell anything, i just take them for fun. This will all be done on 35mm film, 80% colour.


Also... I don't know if going to kmounts will mean i'll need to change my username...

Failure to complete this task in 60 seconds will result in elimination... or at least my Spotmatic getting CLA'd and going back out

Thanks!

12-10-2019, 10:58 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Which body did you get?

Id have different suggestions based on how you would shoot...

Are you getting a K-mount more like your Spotmatic? Or a PZ1? The infamous NEd?

But Id get a 50f1.4/1.7 for any of those... otherwise things may be different depending on the body...

-Eric
12-10-2019, 11:03 AM - 5 Likes   #3
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Well, a 28mm, a 50mm, and a 135mm lens seem like the classic trio of focal lengths for film. Modest-cost copies of these primes shouldn't be hard to find. Some might prefer (or add) a 35mm instead of the 28mm if the shooting is more street than landscape. Some might prefer (or add) an 85mm instead of the 135mm if the shooting is more portrait than telephoto.
12-10-2019, 11:05 AM - 3 Likes   #4
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In K mount for film an M 50mm f1. 7 is a must have, and for peanuts in great condition. An M 135mm is similar. Going wide is a bit more tricky for manual, there are lots of options though.

12-10-2019, 11:11 AM - 5 Likes   #5
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A great K mount lens set in my opinion would be,

SMC Pentax-M 28/2.8
SMC Pentax-M 50/1.7
SMC Pentax-M 100/2.8
12-10-2019, 11:28 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Swift1's suggest is a nice list of affordable glass. An M 20 f4 would probably be my goto for an ultrawide if $350 to $400 for the thing is acceptable. I really like my Tamron Adaptall 90mm f2.5, and haven't used the M 100 f2.8, so I would suggest that based just on having used one and not the other. Lately I've been interested in the Samyang 135mm f2 which would round out the set pretty well.

If I only got two lenses I would probably get the M 50 1.7 and the M 28 f2.8 and see where that took me before adding more. I think I have about $150 combined in the M 28 f2.8 mk2 I mistakenly bought off of ebay and kept because I like it, and the M 50 1.7, shipped to my door. I know they can both be had for a little less if you search and wait but I don't feel bad at all about paying those prices for glass that good.

Last edited by pres589; 12-10-2019 at 11:44 AM.
12-10-2019, 12:27 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Back in my film days I liked a 24, 35, 50, 100 and 200mm – the 35mm was the most used. I'd go for M glass too.
12-10-2019, 12:57 PM   #8
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K 35/3.5, M 50/1.7, plus any of the 135/3.5 lenses (or a CZJ 135/3.5 (zebra) in M42 mount with an adapter).

12-10-2019, 01:52 PM - 1 Like   #9
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In my film days I used a 24mm, a 35-70mm and a 70-210. All in a SFX autofocus body. Other possibility is to have the film trio (28-50-135).
12-10-2019, 03:26 PM - 2 Likes   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote
Which body did you get?

Id have different suggestions based on how you would shoot...
The above would be my question, as the answer would vary depending on what you're shooting both in terms of camera and planned subject matter.

That said, I like Colton's response as a general one. I've always found 135mm to be just a little too long for everyday use (but not long enough for most telephoto use), whereas 100mm makes for a great portrait lens.


QuoteOriginally posted by Swift1 Quote
A great K mount lens set in my opinion would be,

SMC Pentax-M 28/2.8
SMC Pentax-M 50/1.7
SMC Pentax-M 100/2.8
12-10-2019, 03:55 PM   #11
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote
Which body did you get?

Id have different suggestions based on how you would shoot...

Are you getting a K-mount more like your Spotmatic? Or a PZ1? The infamous NEd?

But Id get a 50f1.4/1.7 for any of those... otherwise things may be different depending on the body...

-Eric
I'm saving the details for a separate post (because new gear doesn't come along every day ), but yes - think along lines of the Spotmatic - heavy metal, possibly chrome and black, not as fancy as the LX. On an unrelated note, i think i actually have a NEd somewhere that was given to me a while back... I haven't seen it for years though...

---------- Post added 12-10-19 at 05:05 PM ----------

Sounds like the M28 2.8 / M35 3.5 are my main considerations for a wider angle.

Why the M series over the A or "K" lenses? Just availability, or is there a noticeable quality shift? Also, the M 50 f1.7 - is it that much different from the 55 F1.8 (which i assume is just a K mount version of what I have on my spotmatic...)? Worth the outlay? That lens in particular is easy enough to find for a good price. The f1.4 is a jump in price, but I hear enough good things about it i'll try to keep an eye out (8 elements - supreme being). I assume the 50 f1.2 is overpriced for my needs.

100 and 135mm are both lengths that I've never used. I know, i know... I've always shot on either side of that. I don't take a lot of portraits, but... i do have a very cute little dog... I know of a 135mm 3.5 for a very reasonable price, so I'll probably start there and see how it goes, and look for a f2.5 or 100mm along the way.

I see a shortage of third party, and only one vote for a zoom. Also no comments on any of the Russian "fun" lenses, so I'm thinking i should save this group for a later date / right priced sale.

Thanks everyone for your help
12-10-2019, 04:30 PM   #12
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I have various Russian lenses for "fun", but I think I'd reserve those for digital use. The results can be variable and the best results are often under certain conditions. What I'm trying to get out is that I delete many Russian lens photos -- many more than with the M 50-1.7, for example. On film, I think they'd still be "fun", but maybe only if developing my own B&W on the cheap. Otherwise, it may be wasteful.

Just one point of view. Oh, also, personally, the M 50mm-1.7 is one of the best film era lenses I have. I think it's sharpness is above that of the 1.4 and just an all-round reliable performer.

(I used to shoot film and develop my own many years ago.)
12-10-2019, 05:12 PM   #13
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On a budget, with a K body (KM, etc), Id do these:

28mm, either the f3.5 or the f2.8. Theyre often a better deal than the 35mm lenses.

50mm f1.7 or f1.4 (the 55 f1.8 is a good idea). I have a preference for the f1.4 because its dreamy wide open but as sharp as the slower lenses from about f4.

M135 f3.5. Great optically and super cheap. 200mm if youd rather have longer telephoto than portrait... but Id do the 135...

-Eric
12-10-2019, 07:01 PM   #14
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Well I vote for M series because of low cost, they are more dificult to use on digital bodies, however perfect on K series film bodies. Wide angle as people suggest 28 or 35mm depending on your style. A good standard 50mm 1.2 1.4 1.7 depending on what appears in your price range, then at the tele end the 80-200mm M series zoom, not a prime but wonderful build quality and plenty of scope in that zoom length, enjoy the journey

Last edited by garywakeling; 12-10-2019 at 10:52 PM.
12-10-2019, 07:13 PM   #15
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See, and I like the 50 1.7 because it seems more sharp wide open vs. the 50 1.4 wide open. This is out of my pair of M's, so, your mileage may vary.

I think I'd rather have the M 120 f2.8 vs the 135 due to the slightly faster max aperture. They both seem quite good wide open. 120mm seems like a good compromise and maybe would make for a better portrait lens vs. the 135? I've used neither so big grain of salt there.

I never quite understood why the 35mm lens options for k-mount seem a bit limited. I don't love the focal length but respect it as a good compromise; for times when you never want to change lenses, it's up there along with the 40/43 and 50mm focal lengths, in my book.
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