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Old Dec 19, 2010, 2:26 PM   #21
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all the lenses I mentioned are manual focus but the super auto taks I mentioned all have the A setting with electrical pins to communicate with camera. I shoot mostly in M even with auto focus lenses so for me this isnt a problem. I also never shoot in green mode, usually either in Aperture priority or TV mode so these lenses work perfect for me. The pentax 1.7 Harriet mentioned is also a great performer but nothing Ive owned personally. Pentax forums has a great review and rating system for each lens, old and new and I believe out of all the pentax lenses I mentioned the super auto tak 50 1.4 has the highest rating, but Harriet is correct in mentioning the 1.7 wide open is sharper than the 1.4 wide open, which is obvious due to the lens being stopped down more. The tak 1.4 is much sharper than the smc 50 1.4 wide open but still probably not as sharp as the 1.7 (though I cant compare)

If auto focus is a must, consider getting an older sigma ex lens. My 24-60 2.8 ex is also not bad in low light, but it it significantly larger than the primes I mentioned, the filter size for this lens is I believe 72 or 77 so it is rather large in that aspect as well. It is very sharp however and light, good size just not as small as the primes. There are many sigma lenses that I would trust but some lenses are better than others. I got the sigma for 250 used but in new condition. It doesnt offer much zoom but it is made for full frame sensors so is extremely sharp even at corners, this could allow you to use a 1.4 or 1.5 TC on it without much quality loss, but it would not be as fast as a 90, 135, or 150 2.8 because of the loss of light with the T.C. Also the sigma lenses only work with certain sigma T.C's.

The tamron 17-70, sigma 24-70, sigma 24-60, tamron 18-50 are all great newer lenses but I can only personally attest for the 24-60 which has been discontinued. These were all contenders when I was shopping for a low light zoom lens
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Old Dec 19, 2010, 8:37 PM   #22
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At this point in time I would rather stay in an AF lens, just because I am trying to learn about so many other things I would rather just let the camera decide how to focus.

Originally I was all about the Tamron 17-50 f2.8, however I was slightly turned off by it's size and I questioned on whether or not the f2.8 would be fast enough for my indoor needs.

Then I considered getting the 35mm da f2.4, which I think would be a good buy, however I again questioned whether the speed of the lens would be fast enough. Plus if it is not, I am kind of restricted with a prime for walkabout shooting. Again this would not be a big deal because I would not be replacing my 18-55 or my 55-300 with that lens.

I then considered a f1.4/f1.7 which I felt would be my fastest options, but I was turned off by the 50mm spec on it, which is equivalent to 75mm in conjunction with the Kx. I felt as if this would be a little too tight for chasing kids.

Perhaps I am all wrong or over thinking this buy. I just want a nice lens that will improve my shooting in lower lighting situations. Is there an AF, light (in weight), fast f2.0 or less that can either zoom or is prime at under 50mm that I can get at or under $200.

That is basically what I am after, granted I would rather have a zoom in that range but don't think something like that exists.

Thanks again for all the info, I will be researching extensively over the next 2 weeks.

My bag needs something new.
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Old Dec 20, 2010, 7:29 PM   #23
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I think the best advice was from JohnG. A decent flash would better suit your needs at this point, than a fast lens. With a fast lens you can go without flash, but when you open that lens up your DOF is so thin you will be disappointed in your results. Been there done that. I'm not the best at describing technical issues. More often than not a flash pointed at the ceiling,in most folks living rooms, while taking photos of your children playing with the lenses you have will give good results.

This is only my opinion. You have been given great advice from the folks here from every angle of thought. Good luck in your decision and remember there is alway's another lens or accessory just down the road. It's the nature of the hobby.
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Old Dec 20, 2010, 7:57 PM   #24
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I am sold on the flash, but I am also interested in adding a lens to my collection. Not sure which on yet, but I have the itch and the only cure is more lenses.

I may go for the DA 35mm f2.4. At $200 it is a fairly good deal IMO. Is there a 28mm f1.7 auto out there?
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Old Dec 20, 2010, 9:43 PM   #25
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I have a Sigma 28mm f/1.8 EX DG. I get real nice results from this lens. One issue with this lens is it's rather large and heavy. Search one of the photo sites like flickr and you can see many photos taken with lenses your interested in. As for the DA 35mm f2.4 I cannot comment on that lens. I never used it.
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Old Dec 21, 2010, 8:57 PM   #26
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there arent much in store for lenses faster than 2.8. there are some options, but narrrowing those down to AF only lenses theres only a handful and not many if any are zooms. The 200.00 limitation on a 'good' lens is quite tight and there arent many af lenses out there that are 2.8 and under 500.00

The flash will open up a lot of options for you with slower lenses so this may be the route to go for now.

I don't see a lot of extra work involved for a lack of AF, as unless you have really bad eye sight, the camera wont always know what you want to focus on and the limitations of cheaper AF lenses arent going to be nearly as accurate as human touch. When you get into the higher end lenses, the fast SDM focus will really help and benefit you but I found my slower pentax FA lenses to be cumbersome when it comes to Auto focusing and found them to hunt a lot, particularly in low light situations, which isnt going to work in your favor for a fast af low light lens. There is the tamron 2.8 with the new auto focus motors that are now out like the 70-300 and such that offer the in lens stabilization, af motor, and silent focusing but they are 500.00 range.

Im not trying to push you into buying a MF lens, but I thinkthat many will agree a sharp, fast, high quality manual lens will stay in your kit a lot longer than a slow, consumer grade AF lens.

The DA 35 2.4 is a very attractive offer and I dont think u could do much better for a low light AF lens. You wouldnt be happy with anything slower than 3.5 for a low light indoor lens catching fast children and Im having trouble mentioning anything else besides whats been mentioned already. I again will iterate that the sigma 24-60 has been a fine performer and allows me to get group photos, product photography, landscapes, portraits, macros (focus can be close as 2-3 inches off glass) and it is 2.8 throughout. It does not feature the HSM focusing so it still uses the in camera auto focus motor. It is very light weight however and light. Its downfall is the huge filter size, but I picked mine up 250 as I mentioned earlier. You will be hard pressed to find such a performer in a zoom lens with 2.8 throughout with its great image quality. The problem is they are hard to find.

Last edited by NMRecording; Dec 21, 2010 at 9:06 PM.
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Old Dec 21, 2010, 10:52 PM   #27
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Mackloon, I recall seeing a 45-degree reflector that could clip on to a pop-up flash. I might have stumbled upon it on the B&H or Adorama web sites, but I think most likely I saw it in the ads toward the back of ofn issue of Popular Photography. It looked like a very handy gadget -- clip it on your pop-up=flash, and it reflects the light up, so it can bounce off the ceiling and not produce the harsh direct light that on-camera flashes normally produce. I've never used such a device, but if it works, you'd probably be able to get better illumination of your kids with your kit lenses.

Scott is right -- it's more important to capture the memory than to take a "perfect" photo (as if that were even possible).

A quick Google search revealed many devices on the market. Here's just one:

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

I also ran across several do-it-yourself suggestions for a homemade reflector.

Last edited by mtnman; Dec 21, 2010 at 11:06 PM.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 9:56 AM   #28
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metz 48, or the pentax AF360 for flash
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Old Dec 28, 2010, 5:42 AM   #29
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Hi,
I was fooling around during the holday, shooting this little lady who has been in my family for many years now, and a great favourite of my daughters, the thought struck me that this shot done with Pentax K100D + the SMC/A 50/1.7 illustrates the lenses low light capability, shot with available light 1/400 sec @ f2 + 800 ISO (I did a bit of noise filtering) If you don't mind manual focus the lens is a winner everytime, and is available relatively cheaply (mine came very cheaply in a job-lot of 4 lenses. all had faults ... I cleaned fungus out of this one, and it now works fine)
Re. the Metz 48-1 flash, I can recommend it, I've mine a couple of years now, and I'm very happy with it, only minor downside is the manual ... I think it loses out in translation, but once you get your head around that there's no problem.
... Jack.
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Old Jan 1, 2011, 8:25 AM   #30
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Great photo and thanks for the reply. I am leaning towards getting the Metz 48 in addition to the da 2.4 35mm and possibly the f 50mm 1.7.

The more I read, review, search, the more I want. It is a sickness. I now want a new p&s too.
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