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Old Dec 4, 2006, 5:21 PM   #1
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While I'm not-so-patiently for the K100D to come out from under the Christmas tree, I've started to look at some 50 mm prime lenses on e-Bay. The first thing I found out is that I don't know enough. I searched through old posts, but there are stillsome questions I've been unable to answer.

If Igo with a manual lens, how much easier is it to use the A lenses? As I understand it, with these the aperture can be set from the camera body so there should be one less thing to worry about on the lens. Is this a big deal or a nit?

Is there any disadvantage to the screw mount lenses other than convenience? Is it reasonable to keep the adapter attached to the lens so that it effectively becomes a bayonet mount?

It looks like the autofocus lenses go for about $100 more than the manual ones. I'd as soon save the money, and I don't mind a learning curve coming up to speed with the manual focusing, but I don't want tobuy a lens that I can't get in focus. I've seen some comments from people who have trouble manually focusing the K100D. Is this a common problem for people with"more mature"eyes.

Should I get counseling now before this turns into raging LBA?
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Old Dec 4, 2006, 6:21 PM   #2
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I will try to answer your question since I have both the Manual and AF 50mm prime lens. I bought the SMC-M 50mm f/1.7 lens for about $30 or so on ebay. I bought that because I wanted a sharp prime lens. I wouldn't say that I have trouble with the focus on the manual lens but it is a little bit hard for me to get it to focus because I am not used to it. Also it does not help that I wear glass. For me I can get the image to focus, but it would take a while. So I just said forget it and bought the FA 50mm f/1.4 for the AF. I had the lens for about a week now and the AF helps out a lot if you need to take a quick piture. Also with the rebate going on, it is a killer deal if you can fine one in stock.

I never really use the "Av" mode on the camera with that lens and do not miss it. If I need to change the aperture, I would use the ring, it is much easher for me atleast. So the SMC-A is not as big of a deal compaired to the SMC-M. If both lens were going for the same price and same quality, I would get the A, but I wouldn't spend a lot more for the A.

I never used any screw mount lens on this camera. If that was the only screw mount lens that you have, it think it would make sense to keep the mount on the lens to make it easier.
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Old Dec 4, 2006, 6:22 PM   #3
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HI
I cannot Speak for Others. I have both a Pentax M 50 1.4 and an FA 50 1.4 and I Mostly use the FA. As you have Eluded to, I Find it very difficult to manually Focus any more due to My eyesite and to a degree my DS. If it had the split screen that i have in My Pentax ME, I feel that i would be much more willing to focus manually.

But thats just Me

BK


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Old Dec 4, 2006, 6:23 PM   #4
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Dave - The simple answer is both manual and auto focus lenses will take good pictures and the primes will normally will be sharper then zooms. Having said that you need to think about what you will be taking pictures of. If you like landscape or flowers and will have time to set up your exposures, then the manuals may be all you will need. If you like to take candid shots or family shots, the speed of auto lenses or a zoommay be your best friend.

It's easy to get LBA and buy without thinking what your needs really are. You may be wiser to wait until Christmas, get the camera and you will find the kit lens is a pretty good learning tool. then gradually add a lens or two. Don't try to do it all at once. For my own needs, I like to take pictures of wildflowers and so went with an M50 macro. Normally I have pelenty of time to set up the pictures. For landscapes I have an M28, both lenses aremanual focus, but I do notneed AF for this type of picture. Now if I liked to take pictures of birds or insects, it would be a different story. Ever try to photograph a Yellowjacket. There like a Mazda, zoom, zoom, zoom- Bruce
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Old Dec 4, 2006, 7:08 PM   #5
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I have been through a similar experience when getting my K100D kit and immediately getting my paws on a M 50mm F2.

I learnt a lot from the M lens but it was too difficult to use.
Getting all the settings in manual mode on the body, changing the aperture, focusing, metering via the lever right before pressing the shutter was just to much for me. Since then I decided that I will only go for lenses which are at least A (auto aperture).
One added benefit of the A lenses versus M: the F-stop value gets saved into EXIF and that is lot of help when going through them and trying to improve yourself.


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Old Dec 4, 2006, 8:01 PM   #6
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Thanks to all for the help. I'm now convinced that, at least for my needs, its worthwhile to get the autofocus lens when I get one.I might learn to cope with the technical part of focusing the M, but I'm pretty sure I would have the problems some of you highlighted in seeing well enough to focus it quickly.

bper - I'm sure you're right about the wisdomof waiting to add lenses until I know what I'm doing. I actually said that's what I was planning to do in my first post here aweek or so ago. Somehow though, reading posts here makes me want to go buy glass. I'm sure I can hold out, I'm sure I can ... WOW, looks what's on e-Bay. Gotta go!

Thanks again for the advice.
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Old Dec 4, 2006, 8:39 PM   #7
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The first non kit lens I bought last summer was a 50 mm f2.0 after getting outbid for the better 1.7 and 1.4's It's an "A" lens so you can change the ap on the camera. The nice thing about Pentax cameras is with the manual lens the camera will tell you with a light and beep when it's in focus. of course there is some difficulty making sure exactly what is in focus, I have snapped ashot andI thought the subject was in focus only to find out later a twig or branch between the subject and cam was the focus point. However in general manually focusing isn't all that difficult, the camera makes it pretty easy.I'm not saying autofocus isn't great. I just bought a 77mm f1.8 limited and have the FA 50mm 1.4 on backorder so I AM a big fan of AF. But don't shy away from manual if it's something you really want.
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Old Dec 4, 2006, 9:18 PM   #8
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dave_g wrote:
Quote:
While I'm not-so-patiently for the K100D to come out from under the Christmas tree, I've started to look at some 50 mm prime lenses on e-Bay. The first thing I found out is that I don't know enough. I searched through old posts, but there are stillsome questions I've been unable to answer.
Quote:

If Igo with a manual lens, how much easier is it to use the A lenses? As I understand it, with these the aperture can be set from the camera body so there should be one less thing to worry about on the lens. Is this a big deal or a nit?
Quote:
I have both 1.7M and 1.7A lenses I like the "A" a lot more, but both do a great job if you'reneither impatient nor a professional where a few secs mightbe crucial.
Quote:

Is there any disadvantage to the screw mount lenses other than convenience? Is it reasonable to keep the adapter attached to the lens so that it effectively becomes a bayonet mount?

It looks like the autofocus lenses go for about $100 more than the manual ones. I'd as soon save the money, and I don't mind a learning curve coming up to speed with the manual focusing, but I don't want tobuy a lens that I can't get in focus. I've seen some comments from people who have trouble manually focusing the K100D. Is this a common problem for people with"more mature"eyes.
Quote:
I wear spectacles for short sight, the K100D viewfinder comes complete with eye adjustment diopter if like me you are short sighted you moved the diopter to the right. I check focus with both my eyes and the focus light you see in the viewfinder. I switched the beeps off, who would choose to draw unnecessary attention to themselves with beeps going off all the time? IMO the auto focus lensesare not worth four times as much.
Quote:
Should I get counseling now before this turns into raging LBA?
Quote:
Is there someone who counsels this particular bent? Let me know if you find one )
Quote:
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Old Dec 4, 2006, 10:22 PM   #9
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I've been doing a good bit of manual focusing with the K100D, mostly to train myself to do it. The key is that when the focus is just right, the following things happen:

1. The focus light flashes on, on the tiny LCD at the bottom of the viewfinder screen;

2. The camera beeps (if set to beep; mine isn't); and

3. When the shutter is half-pressed, a little red box flashes on the AF point. (I use center AF always, with half-press set to lock focus, because that's how it worked on my old S1-IS and that's how I'm used to shooting. I don't know if the red box flashes with multiple AF points.)

When I wait for the focus light or the red box before taking the picture, my manual focus shots are in focus 8-9 out of 10 times. It was more like 5 of 10 before I discovered the light and the box; they really do work.

My understanding is that the focus light works with manual focus lenses. This makes sense since the AF system is always there, even when a manual lens is on the camera; the system can still tell you when it thinks you have good focus; all it cannot do, with a manual lens, is actually move glass inside the lens.

Of course the lights are part of the overall AF system, which is prone to errors in various situations. When you want to focus on something that isn't the first thing the AF beam will hit, e.g., a deer or bird or stream behind some tree branches, you need to ignore what the computer is telling you, regardless of the type of lens you have, and focus by hand. But even with a full manual lens, the camera can still tell you when it thinks (rightly or wrongly) that your manual focus is correct.

I will know more about manual lenses is about a week as my first prime, a Sigma 28mm F2.8 purchased on eBay, will soon be arriving in the mail!


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Old Dec 4, 2006, 11:04 PM   #10
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I'd wait until playing with the kit lens before buying anything, unless you are sure you are going to be taking lots of low-light pictures. Once you see what shortcoming in the kit lens you want to fill, you'll have a better idea of what you should buy (my first purchase was the DA 50-200).

As far as the various types of 50mm lenses - I have two M 50mm lenses - a 1.4 and a 1.7. I just posted several pictures taken with both of them because I really needed to decide which to keep - now that my hubby got me the K10 for Christmas I feel like I need to sell off some of my extra stuff. I've never had a problem with the M lenses, but most of mine were purchased new by me back in 1980.

Just my opinion, but while I'm willing to paya premium for auto focus, I don't think auto exposure is a big deal, so (all things being equal) wouldn't pay extra for an A lens. I'm not sure I would feel the same way if I weresomeonewithout an SLR background, or at least not initially. Even though I had quite a bit of experience with manual focus lenses, it still took some practice to get back in the groove with it.I wear either contacts (distance) with bifocals (mid-distance and reading) or back-up bifocals (distance/reading) and as long as I use the distance corrected lenses (contacts or back-up glasses) I'm fine. Others can't deal with manual focus at all - its an individual thing.
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