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Old Jan 3, 2007, 12:39 AM   #1
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Just picked up the k10, and while I'm quite surprised with the quality of the kit lens, I'm interested in finding a fast lens for low light, concert photography.

A high telephoto isnt necessary, as I rarely need anything higher than 50mm when shooting concerts around here (tiny venues). Wide angle is always great though, as I'm usually right up front and on top of the band.

I'm thinking maybe a nice fast 50mm prime? Maybe something else? I'm inexperienced with the models of Pentax lenses, so what do you guys recommend?

Thanks!
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 1:03 AM   #2
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The Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4 is what you are looking for, if you can find one in stock. You can find it for about $220 and there is a $50 MIR on it.

If you don't mind using a manual focus, you can find a number of manual Pentax 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.7 lens on ebay for about $50-$100.
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 9:08 AM   #3
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Probably the 50mm FA 1.4 would be good - I have an SMC M 1.7 that is sharp (manual focus, manual exposure) wide open and love it - usually goes for under $100. You can often find one at KEH or one of the other big camera stores that deal with used equipment.

Another option is one of the two limited lenses - the FA 43mm 1.9 Limitedif you want something that's a little closer to normal than a 50mm would be, or the FA 31mm 1.8 Limited if you want something a little wider. These have the reputation of being incredibly sharp, but are way out of my current price range (would love to have them, along with the 77 Limited).

If you can't spring for a super fast, top of the line lens, there are several other options at 2.8 (I use another manual lens, the 24mm 2.8 - bought it in 1980 and hardly ever used it because it was too wide for me on a film camera. I use it all the time with the digital cameras!).
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 10:13 AM   #4
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Pentax FA 50mm F1.4 it is probably your best bet. Yet it could be too long sometimes.
You could play a bit with the kit lens and see what focal length will be the best for your circumstance.

I also have a Pentax F 28mm F2.8 which is quite good. But at F2.8 is not that fast for low-light but it is better for group shots.

Alternatively, you could go for a FA 35mm F2 which I heard it is very good.

In case you are in for a zoom, one of the best is Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 which can be had new for about $350. Weeks ago, I saw it for $300 brand new on eBay. Not sure if it will be fast enough thou at F2.8

The only time I tried a concert was at a Sesame Street show and F2 was too slow (those monsters are moving fast).
There are some folks on this forum doing concerts and they should be able to give you better advice.


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Old Jan 3, 2007, 11:55 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the replies guys - I just finished browsing around at some of the lenses you suggested. Now I just need to find an online Canadian store to see some prices.

As a second question, I'm a little confused on how the conversion factor in focal length works with some of these lenses. The k10d is a 1.5x, so the 50mm prime I used to use is now a 75mm. But the kit lens that came with the camera, the DA 18-55 - is that a true 18-55 on the k10, or does it too get converted? With the lenses that are specifically made for digital (without the aperture rings for instance), such as the kit lens, do their listed focal lengths apply to digital SLR's or 35mm?

Thanks again!
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 12:09 PM   #6
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The lens focal length is the same regardless of digital or film body.

Therefore to get the equivalent angle of view that would give on a full-frame sensor (aka 35mm) one need to multiply the focal length with 1.53 which is what Pentax dSLRs do.

Pentax and others label the lenses with their focal length without doing any conversion for digital SLRs. In your case, the 18-55mm lens would amount to 28-84mm if mounted on a 35mm film body.


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Old Jan 3, 2007, 4:15 PM   #7
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DigitalAddict wrote:
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Pentax and others label the lenses with their focal length without doing any conversion for digital SLRs. In your case, the 18-55mm lens would amount to 28-84mm if mounted on a 35mm film body.
Wait, so what would my 18-55mm be when I put it on my digital? 18-55mm or 28-84mm? If it's the first (18-55, as the lens reads) then how come my old 50mm prime turns into a 75mm when I put it on the digital body?
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 6:45 PM   #8
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If you were to put the 18-55 on a film lens, it would be 18-55. Put it on your dSLR and it gives the equivalent view as if it were 28-84. The lens is still 18-55 focal length, but the sensor is smaller than a 35mm film frame, so you aren't getting the full view. That's why they talk about the multiplication factor - it's because your field of view is less, not that the lens changes focal length. All of the lenses that have been designed for digital cameras are the same way - their focal lengths are all what they would be if they were on a film camera. That makes things a level playing field. I've just gotten used to thinking of a 50mm lens being slightly telephoto, instead of normal.
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 7:04 PM   #9
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mtngal wrote:
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I've just gotten used to thinking of a 50mm lens being slightly telephoto, instead of normal.
And that's what we all should learn, and stop talking of "real focal lengt" that isn't real.

Kjell
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 7:26 PM   #10
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mtngal,

Just stopped in to say hi. I took a trip to get a hands on feel of the Pentax K10D today. It sure felt solid. I noticed when looking into the viewfinder, I didn't see the 11 focus points. Am I supposed to be seeing them as I did on the Nikons and Sony Alpha 100? I'm waiting until Jan 9 (FEB Issue ) to see the DSLR Shootout in Popular Photography for four DSLR cameras before ordering. I can hardly wait. Jay D
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