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Old Sep 18, 2006, 9:22 AM   #1
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I'm new to DSLR and have an interest in taking photos of people (w/scenery, portraits, and with art in museums -- all these with natural lighting and without a tripod). My problem with the kit lens appears to be that it is too slow (P&S have f/2.8 lenses) and my unsteady hands causes motion blur (forcing me to lower focal length and increasing ISO). So I have been thinking about getting the Pentax SMC FA 50mm f/1.4 lens. Is this in the right direction? For those who have both lenses, do you experience camera shake indoors at ISO 200?

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Old Sep 18, 2006, 9:50 AM   #2
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I also am new to DSLR but I think you have identified exactly the right lens for your purposes. I have two 50mm 1.7 lenses, an A and an F, and both of them do very well taking indoor pictures without flash.

The negative is that your depth of field is thin wide open but I would think this would still be fine for most museum shots. Compared to my Panasonic point and shoot with its 2.8 lens the Pentax with the 50mm is head and shoulders better in low light/no flash shooting.

The attached shot was just from me playing with the lens. It is taken in my wife's office, a fairly dim room lit only by flourescent tube lights above a suspended ceiling. Hopefully that can be of some help to you.

Tim
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Old Sep 18, 2006, 10:30 AM   #3
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Hi ksurfer,

You are thinking in precisely the right direction. All of the Pentax 50mm f1.4s and f1.7s, starting with the screw mounts are great lenses and will give you great performance in low light. I personally have an FA 50 /1.4 and an F 50/1.7, and they are both great. The 1.7 is a tiny bit sharper wide open, and the 1.4 has more pleasing bokeh, IMO.

I would suggest that you also experiment with higher ISO settings. I think you might limit yourself significantly by staying at ISO 200 as your post implies. 400, 800, and even 1600 are very useful on the present Pentax DSLRs. As you go up in ISO speed, correct exposure becomes more important though, as noise seems to increase disproportionately with under exposure. The higher in ISO speed I go, the more consciously I try to "expose to the right" (move the center of the histogram towards overexposure without blowing highlights). For my bird shooting with a relatively slow lens (510mm f7.65 with the TC), unless it's really bright out, I start at 400 and usually have to go up from there.

I've always felt that I'd usually rather deal with a little noise than have a shot that's blurred by camera shake. The former can be worked with and can be acceptable, the later never is.

Scott
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Old Sep 18, 2006, 10:34 AM   #4
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I've got two of Pentax's best lenses. The rightfully legendaryA* 85 mm f1.4, very expensive and sought after. And the FA 50 mm f1.4. I find the 50 mm lens as good as the 85 mm, but much less expensive. It's really wort every penny. You seldom find it for sale second hand, because when you have it you don't want to sell it. You can't go wrong buying this lens! If you don't mind focussing manually the A version is just as good.

Kjell
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Old Sep 18, 2006, 10:49 AM   #5
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I second that . Arguably, the 1.7 version, A version or M version are just as good. But only FA50 1.4 is readily available brand new. For non FA50mm , people have to shop around for a decent ones.

Daniel

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I've got two of Pentax's best lenses. The rightfully legendaryA* 85 mm f1.4, very expensive and sought after. And the FA 50 mm f1.4. I find the 50 mm lens as good as the 85 mm, but much less expensive. It's really wort every penny. You seldom find for sale second hand, because when you have it you don't want to sell it. You can't go wrong buying this lens!

Kjell
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Old Sep 18, 2006, 11:01 AM   #6
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The 50mm is a great lens and I opted to get an old screw mount macro, which is great for wildflowers. The only thing I can caution all the new people buying the Pentax system is the focal length is actually 75mm on the 50'sfor the Pentax DSLR camera's, so this is kind of getting into a small telephoto.

If you find you take most of your pictures at 55mm with your kit lens, then the 50 will just blow you away. But, if you find you like to zoom out a little, then take a look at where you take most of your pictures and maybe a 28mm, 35mm or 40mm pancakewill be better for you. Any of these primes will blow away the kits lens on sharpness, but if you think you can work with the 75mm focal length, then the FA50mm is a great way to go now with the current rebate programPentax has- Bruce
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Old Sep 18, 2006, 11:17 AM   #7
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I am waiting in anticipation for the 23rd - My wife asked me to hold off till then. I was going to go with both the 18-55 and the 50 - 200. My interests are in wide angle so I have been considering the 16 - 45, but I have not found any real comparisions or comments on it. the 18-55 adds about $40 to the body for the kit. Is the 16-45 that much better? My wife says to just pick up the 16-45, but now I am thinking of just picking up all three. I have been comparing prices looking for the best deal.... but with the Pentax rebate running out on Oct 11 - I really do not have much time to decide.

Then maybe I should just get a prime wide angle and start there?


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Old Sep 18, 2006, 11:56 AM   #8
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About the kit lens: it is light, went for about $60 on eBBaay recently.
It could be a keeper in case you decide against 16-45mm.

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Old Sep 18, 2006, 11:56 AM   #9
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interested_observer wrote:
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the 18-55 adds about $40 to the body for the kit.

If you happen to be looking at the K100D the difference in price for the kit on beachcamera.com right nowis just $16. Total package is $584.

I can't help on the lenses because I just received my K100 kit Saturday so I'm still trying to get the feel for what I think I need for a second lens.



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Old Sep 18, 2006, 12:21 PM   #10
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Go for Zenitar 16mm 2.8. In this as well as the other fourm, there are a lot of happy users. It is around US$150 new incl shipping. Pentax DA14mm is good but 3 times more expensive. BTW, the kit lens is actually 20mm not 18mm as stated.
If you go for 16-45mm, then you have some overlapping.

Sample: the first 4 pict were all from Zenitar 16mm
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=80

Daniel

interested_observer wrote:
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I am waiting in anticipation for the 23rd - My wife asked me to hold off till then. I was going to go with both the 18-55 and the 50 - 200. My interests are in wide angle so I have been considering the 16 - 45, but I have not found any real comparisions or comments on it. the 18-55 adds about $40 to the body for the kit. Is the 16-45 that much better? My wife says to just pick up the 16-45, but now I am thinking of just picking up all three. I have been comparing prices looking for the best deal.... but with the Pentax rebate running out on Oct 11 - I really do not have much time to decide.

Then maybe I should just get a prime wide angle and start there?

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