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Old Mar 7, 2007, 2:15 AM   #1
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Ok - I think you all know that prices for good Pentax lenses are unbelievable high at the moment, but looking at this I really feel like crying:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...;rd=1&rd=1

USD 324 for a Pentax-F 50/1.4 lens???

I know that I need at least one low-light capable lens at about that range, can be a tad shorter or a tad longer, but not too much.

And I want it to be a "fully" automatic lens on my *ist DL2 - so we are talking about an "F" lens or better. No M, no A.

1. What are my choices? This includes non-Pentax lenses as well - as long as they have good optical quality ("good" bang for the buck to say so)
2. Where to look for these?


I checked KEH and eBay and some Germany based sellers - prices and availabilty are crazy.

Any ideas for me?

TIA

P.S. Uses for that lens: concerts, exhibitions and architecture (indoor), sports events. Personally I'd prefer a mild zoom lens since I like composing on the fly, but these ain't that bright... you can't have everything I guess.

P.P.S. My kit lens 18-55 starts at 3.5 thus I guess at the wide end a change to a 2.8 lens won't work wonders. I haven't thrown away the idea of a 24-60/2.8 or 28-70/2.8 but I am not sure if this will be bright enough - any comments on that?
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Old Mar 7, 2007, 5:05 AM   #2
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For your requirements, I would say that buying it NEW is the best altenative. Adorama currently lists this lens in stock for $219. ($25.00 rebate is proably only for USA customers but I could be wrong) I have an F 1.7 and it IS a heck of a lens, for low light shooting and auto-focus, I don't think you can do better.

http://www.adorama.com/PX5014AFA.html

Tim


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Old Mar 7, 2007, 7:26 AM   #3
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thkn777 wrote:
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Ok - I think you all know that prices for good Pentax lenses are unbelievable high at the moment, but looking at this I really feel like crying:

I checked KEH and eBay and some Germany based sellers - prices and availabilty are crazy.
Any ideas for me?
TIA
KEH used to have around 10 autofocus Pentax prime all the time . The last few months there is none. Period. The only way to beat it is to wait or go for manual focus lens which are just as great but less convenient . That is all. And you save a bundle

Daniel , Toronto
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Old Mar 7, 2007, 12:23 PM   #4
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Hi thkn777,

One thing to do is haunt camera shops and second-hand stores that sell used cameras, looking at the cameras as well as just the lenses. I found an F 50/1.7 on a camera body, then asked the store owner if he would sell the lens alone. Since he also had some loose "normal" zooms he could put on the body, he agreed to sell the 50/1.7 for $100 USD. At the time, the FA50/1.4s were very scarce, and selling for over $300 on eekbay (kinda like they are now), and I was prepared to buy the camera/lens for $200 if the owner wouldn't separate them. It was a win/win situation where he could still sell the camera with a low-end zoom for the same price, and I got the lens I wanted at a good price.

Daniel just recently picked up an SF1 film body with an F50/1.7 at a good price -- sometimes it's worth it to buy a camera body you don't really want just to get the lens -- you have to make the judgement of whether it's worth it or not.

Unfortunately, third party lens mfgs don't make fast "normal" lenses -- the closest that you'll find are the 50/2.8 macros which are usually more expensive, and because of the exteme focusing range are less suitable for "normal" AF low light use because of slow AF speed.

Scott
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Old Mar 7, 2007, 2:04 PM   #5
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snostorm wrote:
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Hi thkn777,

Daniel just recently picked up an SF1 film body with an F50/1.7 at a good price -- sometimes it's worth it to buy a camera body you don't really want just to get the lens -- you have to make the judgement of whether it's worth it or not.

Scott
During the years 87 - 93, SF1 and later SFX had the stock lens F50mmF1.7. For the total package of around $100, the lens alone can get you close to $200 if ebay price is any indication. Well it is an indication no matter how crazy it is.

Daniel
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Old Mar 7, 2007, 3:32 PM   #6
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good to know, thank you. I already had a look at 35mm film cameras - thats where I found a Pentax-F 28-105 lens (waiting for it to arrive here).

I just don't have the background all the more Pentax-experienced people have - thus I can't tell a good offer apart from a normal/average lens - especially when it comes to non-Pentax lenses. I read on BDimitrovs and Stans page but haven't found a good list for AF capable lens of other vendors.

I'll see if the 28-105 will show some sharpness that I am currently missing in my two lenses and will go on from there.
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Old Mar 7, 2007, 5:21 PM   #7
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Hi Thkn777,

Here are a few more links for lens info to help you make decisions:

SPLOSdb: Tables for Pentax primes, zooms, and 3rd party lenses. It's a bit dated, but there are a lot of lenses covered. Mr. Colwell's ratings are pretty accurate, with **, !, and !! rated lenses all very well worth considering. I'veloaded the tables into Excel and do periodic updates as lenses sell on eekbay.

http://www.jcolwell.ca/_SPLOSdb/

Photozone: Scroll down to the Pentax section. Ratings are sometimes a bit harsh, but if you combine the info here with other sites, you can confirm ratings that you read in forums and such. These are user ratings, but if you can find a 3rd party lens in the C or N sections, the reviews should be pretty accurate if a Pentax version is available.

http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html

Photodo: A newly renovated site with new owners. Lens search works okay, but it's easier to get information (tho dated) from the old site, which still exists.

New site: http://www.photodo.com/

Old site: http://old.photodo.com/nav/prodindex.html

Fred Miranda: Really a N/C site, but there are user reviews for a lot of 3rd party lenses that apply to Pentax. Users here are usually pretty picky, and are usually comparing these lenses to the pro class offerings from N&C, so keep that in mind.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/

Unfortunately, there is no site that has it all, but you can get a pretty good idea of what has been available, and how these lenses compare if you take some time to do the research


Scott


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Old Mar 7, 2007, 8:35 PM   #8
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www.dyxum.com - the reviews are for Minolta/Sony mount, however, there are again a lot of third party lenses that were also offered in Pentax mount.

Tim
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Old Mar 7, 2007, 11:26 PM   #9
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And, just in case you're not already swamped -

Pentax lens reviews:

http://stans-photography.info/

3rd Party lens information:

http://medfmt.8k.com/third/index.html

And some cult classics (this one doesn't work as a link, but you can cut and paste it into your browser - don't copy the quotes.

"http://web.archive.org/web/20060101085618/http://medfmt.8k.com/third/cult.html"
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Old Mar 8, 2007, 3:01 AM   #10
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Thank you all for the pointers - it takes a while for me to get through this.

What I know so far:
- at the moment I don't need more wide than my 18mm kit lens
- I'd like to have at least one fast lens between 28-70mm, so I think a Pentax-F 50/1.4 or /1.7 is what I should look for
- I'd like to have one bright and sharp macro lens between 100-150mm, read something about ranges of f/2.5-f/3.5 here and looking for close focus and something like 1:1 or close to that. Ideal would be a AF lens here too - and if possible longer than 105mm, since my soon-to-arrive 28-105 lens already works as walkaround. So for a bit more zoom something like 135mm or 150mm or the like would be nice - can maybe add an extender (1.4x or 2.0x) if the need arises and still can travel with not too much weight on my shoulder
- IF I get a bargain on a Pentax 80-320 or the highly rated Sigma 70-300 APO Macro I'll take it, but that's last on list, more optional. For long range shots I still have my 4mp Oly C770 with 36-360/f2.5-3.2 lens - so that's ok.

So the main focus is really on a 50/1.4 or 50/1.7 and a 100mm+ macro lens, looks like a nice trio for me:

- 50/1.4 (1.7) for lowlight / indoors
- 135/2.8 (example) 1:1 macro (if available) for macro and outdoor/zoo etc. (plus extender if really needed)
- Pentax-F 28-105/4-5.6 for everything else

Think I really made up my mind on that topic after lots of reading here and hope I'll find some solution for this which I can afford. What do you think about this selection?


Th.
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