Lenses

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by nealjpage, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    I guess I'm full of questions tonite. Went ahead and just bought a new to me K1000 off ebay and, of course, it comes with the standard 50mm lense. I want something more versitile. Is there any advantage to getting seperate lenses for different applications, like a 28, a 35, a 50, a 60, and an 80, for example, or will a good quality zoom that works from 28-80mm serve me just as well? What should I look for? Sigma? Tokina? Vivitar? Pentax? Thanks again.
     
  2. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Hi Neal,

    The 50mm is one of the most useful lenses as it pretty much represents the magnification factor of your eye, thus making composition much easier. I predominantly zoom with my feet and use fast prime standard lenses as these can cope with most of hte types of picture that I take.

    However, for my Nikon F3, I also have a 20mm f2.8 which is great for wide-angle architecture shots and taking scenes which wouldn't fit into a standard lens. I also use a 105mm f1.8 for portraits as the slightly longer lens is more flattering and you don't need to get up your subject's nose. I have access to a 180mm f2.8 which I very occasionally use for concerts and the like.

    If you're shooting street candid shots or action type shots then I'd recommend a 70-200 f2.8 zoom, but these can be very expensive. Zooms are pretty much always going to admit less light than a prime of the same length due to the extra elements of glass and the difficulty in trying to do a range of jobs with the same glass without problems.

    The K1000 is a good camera, but you don't tend to see as many lenses around for it as say the Nikon and Canon equivilents. I'd stick with the standard lens and see if you regularly need something longer/shorter.

    Rob

    I gave up on zoom lenses, because I tend to want to take pictures without flash in environments where
     
  3. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    I'd have to agree; prime lenses are the way to go, and there really isn't any focal length more useful for most purposes than 50mm. Maybe get a wide-angle, and something around 100mm for portraits, like Rob, and you should be sorted for most situations. I've collected several lenses (for a Pentax P30, same lens mount as the K1000) and through a process of trial and error (i.e. I've bought a whole lot of bad lenses on Ebay) I've discovered that I definitely prefer prime lenses. The couple of Vivitar zooms I've tried produced images that were noticeably inferior to those I got with the primes, and while a Pentax zoom I tried was better in terms of the sharpness of the images, controlling the zoom didn't feel particularly 'natural', and the focusing ring was just awful compared to the prime. I know there's a place for good zoom lenses, but personally I think that place is on the end of a modern SLR, with autofocus. Get to know the 50mm and you'll find it's more versatile than you initially thought. In short, Rob's right :)

    Incidentally, what kind of 50mm lens is it?
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Prime lenses offer top image quality, and wide apertures at affordable prices. Older, used, manual focus, Pentax brand lenses are going to be cheap, so you might as well go with them, unless you know for sure that a particular Sigma, Tokina, etc... lens is really nice.

    If you are going to look at zooms, get a modern AF zoom (it will still fit the K1000). In most cases a recent model zoom lens will be superior to pre 1990s zooms.

    A recent article in Popular Photography or Petersons Photographic (or one of thos main news stand photography mags) compared Canon's top-of-the-line zooms against the Canon 50mm f/1.8 (Canon's cheapest lens, but a prime). The $70 prime outperformed all of the $1000+ zooms when it came to resolving fine detail.

    I'd pick up a 28mm or 35mm, and then something in the 80mm to 100mm range. No need to get one of each focal length though. Something a little wide, and something a little telephoto to compliment that 50mm.

    Do you have the Pentax 50mm f/2 or the 50mm f/1.7? The f/1.7 is a fantastic lens, and they go almost as cheap as the f/2. I got mine for $30.

    You can also get an adapter that allows the use of older screwmount (M42) Pentax lenses on the newer (after 1970 or so) K-mount bodies. When Pentax was making those older Takumar lenses they were trying to directly compete with Zeiss. There are some amazing lenses in that line up, and they go for dirt cheap.
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Congrats on your purchase... I still shoot with my K1000 quite often. Some of the Kmount ( and screwmount ) Takumar lenses are the sharpest you can find. Around here, I see lots of Kmount Takumars for sale. Just plug in Takumar into ebay and you'll find even more. Best of all, they are pretty cheap. Nothing beats a set of good primes. I shoot mostly with primes on both my Pentax and Canon EOS systems.

    For pentax, I've been happy with the following:
    50mm f1.7, 40mm f2.8 "pancake lens", 135mm f2.5. All that I'm missing is a wide angle lens. I acquired a 28mm Vivitar recently but haven't used it yet.

    I also own a 100mm Macro, 70-200mm f4, and the AF35-70 f2.8 which are good but haven't seen much use.

    here's a site you'll find very useful:
    http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/
     
  6. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    It's an f/2. Still waiting for it's arrival.
     

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