lens(es) for Pentax ZX-M?

Zeabned

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I'm getting a Pentax ZX-M for my daughter, who's going to take a college photography course. The camera comes with a SMCP-FA 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 AL Lens. I suspect that she may require (or want) an additional lens. Since I shoot Canon myself, I know nothing about Pentax lenses. My question: what is a good Pentax lens for a student who is using this camera? I suspect the 3.5 won't be fast enough for some of the photos she will be expected to take. Any suggestions?
 

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The pentax 50mm f/1.7 (older manual focus version) is great, fairly common, and it will be pretty cheap used.

Unless your daughter is planning to upgrade to an auto-focus Pentax body, the older, manual focus Pentax lenses are all excellent lenses. Any K-mount (Pentax bayonet) lens will fit on a ZX-M. There's even an adapter available that allows use of the even older Pentax screw mount lenses.
 
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Thanks, I will look into the lenses that both of you have recommended. One last question: Where is the best place to shop for a 50 mm 1.8, the older manual lens?
 

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Zeabned said:
Where is the best place to shop for a 50 mm 1.8, the older manual lens?

There are several Pentax 50mm manual focus lenses: f/1.2, f/1.4, f/1.7, and f/2. The f/2 model is pretty common, and are practically given away. The f/1.2 and f/1.4 are fairly expensive. The f/1.7 in nice condition probably usually goes for $75 to $100, but I've seen them as low as $35.

My favorite used dealers are

www.mpex.com

www.keh.com

Look at their websites to see what they have, and what prices are. Then get the phone number and call your order in. Both places have pretty good reputations, but when buying used gear it's a good idea to talk to a live person if you can.

Pentax has been such a common consumer brand for the last 50 years that I've seen a lot of 35mm Pentax gear at yard sales, pawn shops, flea markets, etc..., and of course Ebay. If you are comfortable with Ebay, and spend some time looking for a deal, you can get Pentax gear for half what the above dealers sell it for.
 
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Thank you for all your helpful suggestions! You both have given all the information that I need to start looking and choosing. By the way, I just got the Pentax today and put it together (lens, batteries, film) for my daughter. It reminds me (I'm dating myself badly) of a camera that I saw in a movie many years ago, Blow-Up (1966), in which David Hemmings played a photographer in London.

Thank you both again.
 
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ksmattfish said:
There are several Pentax 50mm manual focus lenses: f/1.2, f/1.4, f/1.7, and f/2. The f/2 model is pretty common, and are practically given away. The f/1.2 and f/1.4 are fairly expensive. The f/1.7 in nice condition probably usually goes for $75 to $100, but I've seen them as low as $35.

My favorite used dealers are

www.mpex.com

www.keh.com

Mattfish:

I've just received a used Pentax 50mm f/1.7 manual focus lens from keh.com in LN- condition ("Like New minus" means it does not come in the original box or lens caps). You're right Mattfish, this is a great, finely designed lens and it is indeed like new, tight and sharp for handling. The glass looks pristine upon close inspection. Can't wait to see how those first shots are going to look like, but I'm sure my daughter can look forward to taking some great shots with this one. BTW, I bet she'll find that manual focus cameras can be fun and perhaps the best way to learn photography. I also bet that she won't miss the lens info contacts at all.

I've also notice that strictly speaking, the ZX-M camera is not fully manual, as the A/A settings on the lens and aperture setting knob give you a Program (P) mode. I gues in the photography course she will be requested not to use the Program setting, only Av and Tv -- or perhaps only M. I guess it all depends on how much of a purist that teacher is. I hope he doesn't require a 1959 screw-on Nikon! :confused:

Thank you again for the great help and your shopping recommendations.
 

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