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05-13-2009, 06:41 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
You can use a linear polarizer on any "K" series camera. (K1000, KM, KX or K2).
I don't think circulars we even invented when I got my KX in '75 and bought a linear polarizer.
My thoughts precisely. Hell, I use a linear on the K100D and K20D.

QuoteQuote:
A linear polarizer will be about half the cost, so you can use the money you save to get a really good Multi Coated one. B+W are really good.
Mine was about one-quarter the cost. I disremember what I did with the savings. I probably spent it on whisky or women. Either that or I spent it foolishly.

05-13-2009, 07:31 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by jzietman Quote
I'm looking around for a medium-sized, maybe 28 or 35 to 85 or 90 mm zoom, but for now I just have a basic 1:2 50mm lens. Does that change the usefulness of slower speed films at all?

I'd love to develop at home, and I do have experience with developing film myself. The biggest question is where I would do it, I can't really remember any window-less rooms back home (at school now), and the closets are all full of clothes... For now I think I'm safer sticking to c41.

I'm leaning towards the Portra 400 color film for most color use now, though I'll probably bring a few roles of ektar, just to see.

It's a tank, but the A 35-105 f/3.5 is relatively fast and reportedly quite sharp.

The A 35-70 f/4 is more compact and retains a constant aperture, as well.

If you're looking at zooms, I'd try to stay in the A-series lenses from pentax, as they were a bit better developed than earlier efforts (optically), but retain a manual focus ring. Trust me from experience, trying to accurately focus and AF lens manually can be a bit challenging at times, since the focus throws are shorter. You'll appreciate the damped ring.

KEH.com and adorama's used section of their site often have such lenses for decent prices, usually graded quite fairly.
05-13-2009, 07:53 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by jzietman Quote
I'm looking around for a medium-sized, maybe 28 or 35 to 85 or 90 mm zoom, but for now I just have a basic 1:2 50mm lens. Does that change the usefulness of slower speed films at all?

In daylight, no. In lower light, perhaps...but as long as you have your (tiny) 50/2 with you you can always switch if you need it.

Another poster mentioned the Pentax-A 35-105/3.5--this lens is good but on the large & heavy side. My personal preference for the mid-range zoom is the constant f/4 or f/3.5-4.5 variety. I think you'll find that these are typically better than the entry level that are f/5.6 at the slow end without too big a size/weight penalty.

The A35-70/4 is one of my favorites, and allows for near-macro close focus at the 70mm end. Next step up in focal length range would be something like a 28-80/3.5-4.5.
05-13-2009, 08:33 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by AndrewG NY Quote

Another poster mentioned the Pentax-A 35-105/3.5--this lens is good but on the large & heavy side.
I see you are one of those lucky people blessed with a fine sense of understatement.

The quality is great, but I won't take mine on a tour around town (again). Much less would I schlep it around an entire country.

05-13-2009, 11:29 PM   #20
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Any particular opinions on the A 35-80mm f/4-5.6 lenses? I've found a few, and I'm quite interested. Seems small, light, and gives me a fair beginner/amateur range. I do worry about the maximum aperture being f/4 rather than 3.5 or 4; how much might this hamper me? Anyone know if this lens is generally slower, faster, or average?

Thanks so much for all your help!
05-14-2009, 02:56 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by jzietman Quote
Any particular opinions on the A 35-80mm f/4-5.6 lenses? I've found a few, and I'm quite interested. Seems small, light, and gives me a fair beginner/amateur range. I do worry about the maximum aperture being f/4 rather than 3.5 or 4; how much might this hamper me? Anyone know if this lens is generally slower, faster, or average?

Thanks so much for all your help!
I don't know that lens, but I have photographed in the forest and I'm pretty sure you'd find the maximum aperture too slow - remember, it's only f4 at the short end, and gets progressively smaller. I would forget the zoom idea altogether. Instead, bring along one or two cheap, lightweight primes: an M50/1.7, an M28/2.8, maybe a fast 100 or 135 for shooting into the trees (or, if you could stretch to it, a Tamron SP 90/2.8 Macro is a fantastic lens - fast, sharp, very lightweight, super-easy to focus, and offers magical 1:1 magnification of leaves, insects, flowers, tree bark, etc.)

That would be my kit: a 28, a 50, and the Tammy 90.
05-14-2009, 08:58 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by jzietman Quote
Any particular opinions on the A 35-80mm f/4-5.6 lenses? I've found a few, and I'm quite interested. Seems small, light, and gives me a fair beginner/amateur range. I do worry about the maximum aperture being f/4 rather than 3.5 or 4; how much might this hamper me? Anyone know if this lens is generally slower, faster, or average?

Thanks so much for all your help!
Firstly, the difference between f/3.5 and f/4 is negligible. Secondly, some of the 35-80 zooms are "black sheep" in the Pentax family and the A 35-80 (and F 35-80, which is the same optical design but with AF) is among the least regarded lenses of all in Pentax history, with average reviews of about 3/10 and no recommendations:

Pentax Lens Review Database - 35-80mm F4-5.6
Pentax Lens Review Database - 35-80mm F4-5.6

I would stay away, but if you're decided on a consumer-level A zoom, I would get either the 28-80 (more useful wide angle, optically better) or the 35-70 (slightly less useful range, but optically better with a constant f/4 aperture) instead:

Pentax Lens Review Database - 28-80mm F3.5-4.5
Pentax Lens Review Database - 35-70mm F4

All of these should be cheap as chips. But you know what? I totally agree with the above poster: just skip the slow plastic zooms altogether. Get a 28/2.8, 50/1.7, and 135/2.8 and you're set for a very long time. If you want to save money you don't even need to go Pentax. Look at brands like Chinon and Tokina; some of them are very good.
05-14-2009, 09:04 AM   #23
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Except the adaptall mount adds to the price, the Tamron SP 35-80 (and there's another one which escapes me at the moment, a 28-something) offers excellent performance and 2.8-3.8 max aperture.

05-14-2009, 04:12 PM   #24
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Hmm... My only issue is that I will not be able to carry around too many lenses. In the ideal world, I'd just have a single zoom with a good range. I know I'm asking for the impossible, though, since I also need it to be inexpensive. I'm a student working on a student budget, so I'm already hurting after spending $90 on the KM + 50/2 prime lens.

So, I'm looking at the above-mentioned 28-80mm F3.5-4.5 zoom, and I'm also considering getting a 50/1.7 to replace the 50/2. Though maybe it would for now be better to get one spare prime, say a 28/2.8 or a 135/2.8, just to have the extra range. I'll look into it... I hate having to choose!

Last edited by jzietman; 05-14-2009 at 04:31 PM.
05-15-2009, 01:00 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by jzietman Quote
I'm also considering getting a 50/1.7 to replace the 50/2.
Don't. The difference between 2.0 and 1.7 is not worth it, and the 1.7 needs to be stopped down to f/2 to be really sharp anyway. If you're upgrading your 50, go straight to 1.4 instead.
05-15-2009, 03:28 AM   #26
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the classic travel kit would include a 28, a 50, and a 135. These all can be fairly petite and totable. Vivitar and Sears (just to pick two) sold some good lenses in the 28 and 135 categories that are very cheap to buy now. In general, there aren't too many bad designs in these focal lengths once you get into the '80s and beyond.

I wouldn't spend to upgrade the 50, unless you're a real narrow-DOF freak. Even then, the f/2 gives that effect.
05-15-2009, 08:32 AM   #27
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Sadly too late on that one. I jumped the gun after reading all the bad/mediocre reviews of the M 50/2 that I have, and all the glowing reviews of the 50/1.7, I got an M 50/1.7. Only paid a bit less than $25, though, so it's not bad, and I can sell the 50/2. Working on an M 28/2.8 now, too, and I'll look into a 135. It really would be good to have all three. I've got a good-sized camera bag (ugly as hell, but it works), so I could hold them.
05-16-2009, 03:46 AM   #28
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Excellent choice! Those three lenses make up the classic SLR kit. You'll have a lot more fun with these beautiful little optics than wandering around with a clunky, dim zoom, which can be a really dispiriting experience. After all, as the saying goes, the best zoom is your feet!
05-16-2009, 08:58 AM   #29
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Opinions on the sears and jc penny 135 mm k-mount lenses? They get pretty average reviews here, and they're a lot cheaper than pentax brand ones. Anyone use one of these?
05-16-2009, 10:24 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by jzietman Quote
Sadly too late on that one. I jumped the gun after reading all the bad/mediocre reviews of the M 50/2 that I have, and all the glowing reviews of the 50/1.7, I got an M 50/1.7. Only paid a bit less than $25, though, so it's not bad, and I can sell the 50/2. Working on an M 28/2.8 now, too, and I'll look into a 135. It really would be good to have all three. I've got a good-sized camera bag (ugly as hell, but it works), so I could hold them.
M28mm F3.5 might be a better less expensive choice. It is a very sharp lens.

Luc
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