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Old Feb 10, 2011, 8:30 PM   #1
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Default Help me decide on a lens

Hi all, I have a K7, and I'm thinking about buying a new lens. I really find the new 18-135 mm very attractive as a walk around lens. I also was looking at the 50mm 1.4 to help the k7's low light performance. I really like shooting low light images. How much would the 50mm 1.4 help? I already have the 55-300 for Tele shots, but I really like that 18-135 as well.
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Old Feb 10, 2011, 8:41 PM   #2
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With the 50 1.4, you are gaining 2 stops of preformance over the short end of the kit lens. So at 3200iso, it makes a good combo.

Here is a 1600iso shot with the FA 50 1.4 to give you what you can do with a hand held shot at 1.8 at 1/10 sec and -1 1/3EV
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Old Feb 10, 2011, 10:33 PM   #3
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The first question I have to ask when you say "low light" is do you have a tripod? For architectural/landscape etc. low light you don't as much need a fast lens as you need a sturdy tripod so you can safely use really slow shutter speeds. It's not going to help you shoot indoor sports, but for most other things (things I usually take) it's the most important thing I have when the light gets low.

Just my personal opinion and shooting style - I find my fast 50 lenses the least used lenses I have. I either want something longer and fast (the FA 77 or the DA 50-135) or really wide (DA 35 or 12-24). But everyone is different and others use their fast 50's all the time. While some people hate shooting with primes as being too limiting, I love it and prefer them to zooms overall. Are you a person who would mind shooting with a prime?

The 18-135 is a very nice focal range, you can do a lot with it as a walk-about. But it won't give you better low-light capability. Which do you want more?
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Old Feb 10, 2011, 10:56 PM   #4
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I have a very nice Manfrotto tripod, but I seldom have it with me.
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Old Feb 10, 2011, 10:59 PM   #5
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I have the Pentax 50mm F 1.4 and like Mtngal says I also don't use it as much as other lenses.

I use it for portraits , especially in available light. I also use it in the evening to take outdoors pictures of vintage vehicles. When the sun is getting low in the sky...the golden hour...the pictures of old cars have almost a creamy consistency to them and the bokeh is something I think that my 50 does better than all the rest of my lenses.

It's a sharp lens, has a very good reputation...and although I'm very glad to have it....I don't use it as much as my other lenses.

After I bought my 50 'normal'...I bought a 50 mm F 2.8 Macro.....having two lenses of same focal length....not sure if that was one of my better photographic decisions. If the Pentax 100mm F 2.8 Macro WR had been out at that time, I would of saved my nickels and dimes for that lens, rather than the 50 Macro. I just mention that to indicate that sometimes we (me anyways) don't make perfect lens buying decisions.

The one I do use...in fact it seems to be permanently attached to my K10D body is my ultra wide angle....a 12-24mm Pentax wide angle....but for all of it's great features it's only an F 4.....if it was an F 2.8...it would almost be perfect, IMO.

Another lens I have considered is the Pentax 'pancake' 40mm F 2.8 lens...almost a 50 normal in focal length and speed, relatively fast at F 2.8 and it is such a small, tiny lens...that on my small KM body...it get's as close to a large P+S as any DSLR combo will. I wanted to get this lens for my KM as a daily carry around ....instead I eventually got a Canon (can I say the Canon word on this forum ?? )G 12.

Mtngal provides sage advice, that I think asks all the right questions for you.

Last edited by lesmore49; Feb 10, 2011 at 11:05 PM.
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Old Feb 11, 2011, 9:41 PM   #6
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I'll be the dissenter here, I love the 50 and use it whenever I can. The shallow DOF gives low light images a special feel that is more difficult to achieve with other lenses BUT... it really depends on whether you find this focal length to be to your liking. The 35mm f2.4 is a fantastic lens at a reasonable price which has a more user-friendly focal length for general photography.
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Old Feb 12, 2011, 10:40 AM   #7
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Ok, I still have my dad's Spotmatic with a Super Takumar 1.4 lens which is in mint condition. I think I'll order the Pentax adapter, and use it for low light shots. Then I'll purchase the 18-135mm. No sence in letting that nice lens go to waste, and I find shooting through the same lens my dad did sort of nostalgic. The lens really is mint with no signs of mold.

Last edited by tony3dd; Feb 13, 2011 at 10:50 AM.
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Old Feb 12, 2011, 11:30 AM   #8
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A neat compromise. You'll be using the lens mostly at big apertures so focusing through the lens with the aperture stopped down won't be an issue. The old lens has an excellent reputation, and you end up with your walk-about lens. What's not to like?
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Old Feb 12, 2011, 2:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
A neat compromise. You'll be using the lens mostly at big apertures so focusing through the lens with the aperture stopped down won't be an issue. The old lens has an excellent reputation, and you end up with your walk-about lens. What's not to like?
I will probably order the adapter this week, and see how it goes. If I'm happy, I'll get the 18-135mm. Sounds good to me.
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