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Old Jan 31, 2010, 6:18 PM   #1
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Default Visual difference between lenses

I am planning to buy a good DSLR either in March or April. But as I consider the lenses, obviously, and I stress "obviously", there is more to lenses than just the lense that comes with the camera. So, I am carefully looking at various packages (Camera body plus lense).

One question I have for this forum, I would like to get a smc PENTAX FA 50mm F1.4, but that jok'n lense cost as much a entry-level camera... Please, does any have any photos they could share of using a good lense, that is good for low-light and portraits COMPARED to just your basic standard lense???

Many thanks in advance.

All the best.

Ned Brockwell
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 7:59 PM   #2
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Hi, Ned.
The price of Pentax lenses has jumped a lot in the last couple years, both used and new. As the prices increase for new lenses, the used ones tend to go up as well. The place for really good information, if you are decided on Pentax, is the Pentax lens forum. The folks here will be happy to give you lots of help.

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Old Jan 31, 2010, 10:33 PM   #3
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I shouldn't talk because the lens I use for portraits costs more than the FA 50 1.4 (like twice what it sells for).

If you don't mind manual focus and setting the aperture on the lens, you can usually pick up a SMC M50 1.7 for around $50-100 (they used to be $30-50, so all lenses are going up in price). If you want 1.4 then I would skip the M 50 1.4 - mine is quite a bit softer wide open than my 1.7 is. They are equal lenses when stopped down a bit but if you are shooting wide open, the 1.7 is better (and personally, I wouldn't pay a premium for the slightly faster but softer wide open lens).

I think they improved the optics of their 1.4 when they came out with the A lens, so you would be better off with the A, F or FA versions if you want the f1.4.

If you are thinking of replacing the kit lens with something faster and want a zoom, Tamron, Sigma and Pentax all make f2.8 lenses in the 16-50 (approx.) range, but they will all cost more than the FA50 1.4. It really does come down to the fact that better optics cost more.
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 10:54 PM   #4
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We are reading about and seeing impressive high ISO photos from the newly released Pentax K-x. I've also read that the DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 has been improved with each release version II and the more recent WR version. You might want to get into the dSLR with the K-x and then see what you really need to spend for low light shooting.
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Old Feb 1, 2010, 10:45 AM   #5
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Just a comment - "Cameras come and go, but a lens lasts forever."

Buying better lenses is an investment - I'm still using a couple of lenses that I bought new in 1980 (with my first film SLR camera). I've bought at least 5 cameras since then, some I've sold, some I still have. I have yet to replace any of them (except one that I broke). So the fact that a lens costs more than the camera does doesn't bother me at all - the camera is a replaceable part - it will be gone in 5 years or so, while a good lens is an investment that will outlast many cameras.
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Old Feb 1, 2010, 2:20 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone!

Perhaps just getting the basic "package" with the 18-55 and seeing what my needs are from there might be the best thing to do.

I have looked at Pentax's own sight, where they list all their lenses, and even have sample photos for some... BUT what I really would like to see is a picture of SAME thing, only with two or three different lenses... There is the basic Pentax package with an 18-55 lense... one could also buy a Pentax with
"Pentax DA 16-45mm f/4.0 ED AL" which already cost 346 euros, as you know, there are other lenses for portraits but they cost as much as Pentax K-x.

Well I have till March or April... before I want to make my purchase.

Thanks again.

Ned Brockwell
Jyväskylä, Finland
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