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Thread: Lenses for the frugal photographer

  1. #1

    Default Lenses for the frugal photographer

    frugal [ˈfruːgəl]
    adj
    1. practicing economy; living without waste; thrifty


    Pentax backward compatibility for its K-mount lenses is a strong point for the photographer considering a camera system that is light both in weight/size and on the pocket.
    The selection of typically small sized manual primes can be quite a treasure trove and not under performing in anyway.
    I'd just like too share a few that I like in this thread.
    Hopefully it will serve as a reference for those considering the many Pentax old lenses.


    1. The wide prime.

    SMC K24/2.8
    24mm translates to about 36mm equivalent focal length on APS-C. To me, this focal length is ideal as a walkabout lens with its field of coverage. Wide enough to take in most views at almost the perspective of the eye, w/o being too wide and needing to be rather aggressive in going near the subject like wider lenses. Some distortion, but not too much compared to the exaggerated perspectives of UWA lenses.
    Easily usable for shots that take in the subject in context to its environment.

    The SMC K24/2.8 is small and unobtrusive, ideal for light walkabouts. Aperture is fast at f2.8 esp. when coupled with the new generation of cameras like the Kx, Kr and K5. Sharp and very good rendering from wide open.



  2. #2

    Default Re: Lenses for the frugal photographer

    People shots take in the environment, allowing some context.
    I find that its very sharp and above that has a sort of crispness that gives a lot of its shots a '3D' like look even with its wider focal length and stopped down between f2.8 to f4.








  3. #3

    Default Re: Lenses for the frugal photographer

    Very suitable for scenery as well.
    "f8 and be there"












  4. #4

    Default Re: Lenses for the frugal photographer

    A 24mm lens focuses rather close about 24cm. Good enough to get closer to smaller subjects while not losing the bkgnd.














  5. #5

    Default Re: Lenses for the frugal photographer

    That is all for now. Will cover another lens in this thread in a future update.
    Pls feel free to add your photos and suggestions to good and cheap lenses for the K-mount.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Lenses for the frugal photographer

    Thanks for the thread bro! Your photos are awesome!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Lenses for the frugal photographer

    Thanks JK for the hard work. A and K 24/2.8 are indeed very good lenses. Used to have the A version and loved it, until I got the DA21 ...

  8. #8

    Default Re: Lenses for the frugal photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by restigate View Post
    Thanks for the thread bro! Your photos are awesome!
    Quote Originally Posted by fengwei View Post
    Thanks JK for the hard work. A and K 24/2.8 are indeed very good lenses. Used to have the A version and loved it, until I got the DA21 ...
    Thanks guys.
    I just want to add something positive here rather than rant over inadequacies (real or perceived).
    Pentax backward compatibility to its lenses is a positive, and we should really talk more about it.

    I'm still thinking of that DA21ltd
    (if that FA* did not come along I'm very sure I would have got one)
    Last edited by pinholecam; 19th June 2011 at 08:18 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Lenses for the frugal photographer

    55 55 55!
    --

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Lenses for the frugal photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
    Thanks guys.
    I just want to add something positive here rather than rant over inadequacies (real or perceived).
    Pentax backward compatibility to its lenses is a positive, and we should really talk more about it.
    Jk,

    I am sorry if I had sounded or appeared to "rant over inadequacies (real or perceived)" in my previous posts. My problems were very real, and if you were not in my shoes, you will never know. Backwards compaitbility must be backed with total ease in usability. Unfortunately, I could use my K 135f2.5 on both my Canon 40D and 5D with much more flexibility, accuracy and consistency than in my K5 now. I have resigned from the fact that K5 was never intended to be used with manual fcous lenses, so I will either live with it or return to Canon. Cheers.
    Home is where the heart is.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Lenses for the frugal photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Lee View Post
    Jk,

    I am sorry if I had sounded or appeared to "rant over inadequacies (real or perceived)" in my previous posts. My problems were very real, and if you were not in my shoes, you will never know. Backwards compaitbility must be backed with total ease in usability. Unfortunately, I could use my K 135f2.5 on both my Canon 40D and 5D with much more flexibility, accuracy and consistency than in my K5 now. I have resigned from the fact that K5 was never intended to be used with manual fcous lenses, so I will either live with it or return to Canon. Cheers.
    Anthony,

    I am a noob when it comes to all these technical issues. I just buy lenses, whether its M lenses, takumar M42 and those AF lenses. Those M42 and M lenses are fine to me in M mode. Sometimes under or overexposed but the second or third short should be fined. No AF ofcourse. Maybe I am used to Pentax gears over the years, never tried holding a canon or Nikon body for long to understand. All my macros are in M mode.

    I am sure both systems produce nice pictures. Pentax has more punchy green. AS I said my macros are in M mode and I dun use AF at all. Not that AF is bad but I just do my variable settings all the time in M mode even with flash light.

    Could it be an issue where you are more used to canon than K5. Maybe a little more time to get used to K5 features and other K lenses.

    marcus

  12. #12

    Default Re: Lenses for the frugal photographer

    Anthony,

    i am in agreement with Marcus here. i too, use quite a number of MF macro lenses and they're fun to use

    i think the bottom line is that you are more used to how other bodies handle MF lenses. no right or wrong here. just a matter of habit.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Lenses for the frugal photographer

    I think Anthony is too used to the auto metering feature of his 5D, which is indeed superior to Pentax one. But other than that, Pentax cameras handle manual lenses equally well if not better (AF confirmation, shake reduction, open aperture focusing and etc).

    When I use manual lenses, I don't rely on whatever the camera tells me to do (aperture speed mostly), I'd set everything manually. If the results are bad, I'd be the only one to blame, not the camera or lens. Sometimes I use manual mode even I have auto lenses mounted, 'cause I trust myself more than the camera (which is just a tool anyway).

    I said it before, and I'd say it again: it is really hard to take bad photos with any dSLR camera on the market right now.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Lenses for the frugal photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by fengwei View Post

    I said it before, and I'd say it again: it is really hard to take bad photos with any dSLR camera on the market right now.
    100% agreed . This is what I told my friend whenever my friend ask me for advice . Brand doesn't really matter . It how comfortable u are with that brand. All camera are good cam if u use it .
    My Flickr ->Flickr

  15. #15
    Senior Member oceanpriest's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lenses for the frugal photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Lee View Post
    Jk,

    I am sorry if I had sounded or appeared to "rant over inadequacies (real or perceived)" in my previous posts. My problems were very real, and if you were not in my shoes, you will never know. Backwards compaitbility must be backed with total ease in usability. Unfortunately, I could use my K 135f2.5 on both my Canon 40D and 5D with much more flexibility, accuracy and consistency than in my K5 now. I have resigned from the fact that K5 was never intended to be used with manual fcous lenses, so I will either live with it or return to Canon. Cheers.
    Hi Anthony, I once played with my friend's 550D and tried to use my Takumar 50 1.4 on it with EMF adapter. The problem that I encounterer was I heard the focus confirmation beep, but the lens focused behind the object. So I tried to do focus adjustment by pressing shutter button multiple times according to user manual, trying several combination of focus adjustment value. But in the end, I just gave up. I tried the same lens on my friend's D90 with optical correction adapter, the IQ was awful, but the focus was spot on. To think that I need to do focus adjustment for each lens and keep several adapters is unimaginable to me. I don't know how the focus confirmation works on canon system (on the lens? does the lens tell the body if it's in focus?), but on pentax/nikon I think it's on the body. With aperture lever to keep the aperture open while focusing, I don't feel that I need brighter focusing screen. Unfortunately, current dslr body is crippled mount (couldn't read the aperture opening for K and M lenses), but I can live with it.

    Here's the user manual for EMF chip. Quite difficult for me to understand how it works.
    http://whitemetal.com/canon/emf_chip...To%20Canon.pdf

  16. #16

    Default Re: Lenses for the frugal photographer

    Anthony, I think the in-ability to use MF lenses on your camera is real. I don't doubt it at all. In fact, I was not pointing out your thread, as there has been at least 3-4 posts over some real or apparent in the past 2 weeks. Apologies if there is any mis-understanding on this.
    There are many new users now, and people do come in with different expectations.
    For you, there is no denying that age (ie. eyesight) and experience with other systems, have shaped your usage of your camera. The thing is that while it has been a negative experience for you, it has been a generally positive experience for me and some others (detrius, otc, oceanpriest, etc).
    Thankfully, my eyes are still ok (even though I suffered blurred vision from eye injury 3yrs back), I can pick out small details through that APS-C viewfinder to do focus even w/o a focusing screen. I can't be sure of that 10-20-30yrs down the road of course and may find myself giving up MF as age picks up. For now, I love MF and love the many nice old lenses Pentax has to offer.

    MF lenses are not for everyone, but there is no denying that these are good lenses and come at a fraction of the price of new AF ones.
    This thread is really to celebrate and share the joys of Pentax MF lenses.
    I found what lenses were nice the hard and expensive way. Buy, buy, buy and try, try, try.
    Money wasted on highly touted lenses which turned out to be not to my tastes (eg. Jupiter 9) and M42 mount ones while K-mount lenses have been far more convenient for the same money.
    I want to share this limited knowledge that I have been lucky to grasp so that ppl venturing into MF lenses have a guide. That is the purpose of the thread.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Lenses for the frugal photographer

    JK,

    I am more at home with my MX with manual focusing than K5. All SLR provides

    1. An usable focusing screen, mostly split.
    2. allows one to adjust both aperture and shutter independently.
    3. Provides some form of visual matrix rule for metering when either the aperture, shutter, ISO or Ev compensation is adjusted.

    My K5 cannot do all these 3 simple and logical functions when I use my K and M lenses.

    In the Canon series, only those cameras where Canon provides an optional focusing screen are recommended for manual focuing. You can choose from 40D, 50D, 60D, 5D, 5D2, and all the 1D series. All Canon cameras not only provide all the 3 basics I mentioned above, but all the capable metering modes of a modern DSLR, spot, partial, center weighted average and evaluative. My former 40D/5D could also be adapted to use most medium format 645 lenses, practically all SLR lenses except Minolta's, including the whole range of Pentax A, M, K and m42. So, if I choose to shoot only mf lenses in complete M mode only, I will go back to Canon. That was what I was doing, shooting only mf lenses. I bought the K5 for 2 reasons, color rendition and backward compatibility. How ironic?

    PS: Just posted 4 shots of the K 135f2.5/40D. 1 out of 1 shots, zero PP adjustment, just conversion to jpec. Those that I have posted with K5/ 135f2.5 was usually at least 1 out of 3 shots type, choose the best and still do 1 ton of post processing. http://www.flickr.com/photos/alee1803/
    Home is where the heart is.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Lenses for the frugal photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Lee View Post
    JK,

    I am more at home with my MX with manual focusing than K5. All SLR provides

    1. An usable focusing screen, mostly split.
    2. allows one to adjust both aperture and shutter independently.
    3. Provides some form of visual matrix rule for metering when either the aperture, shutter, ISO or Ev compensation is adjusted.

    My K5 cannot do all these 3 simple and logical functions when I use my K and M lenses.

    In the Canon series, only those cameras where Canon provides an optional focusing screen are recommended for manual focuing. You can choose from 40D, 50D, 60D, 5D, 5D2, and all the 1D series. All Canon cameras not only provide all the 3 basics I mentioned above, but all the capable metering modes of a modern DSLR, spot, partial, center weighted average and evaluative. My former 40D/5D could also be adapted to use most medium format 645 lenses, practically all SLR lenses except Minolta's, including the whole range of Pentax A, M, K and m42. So, if I choose to shoot only mf lenses in complete M mode only, I will go back to Canon. That was what I was doing, shooting only mf lenses. I bought the K5 for 2 reasons, color rendition and backward compatibility. How ironic?

    PS: Just posted 4 shots of the K 135f2.5/40D. 1 out of 1 shots, zero PP adjustment, just conversion to jpec. Those that I have posted with K5/ 135f2.5 was usually at least 1 out of 3 shots type, choose the best and still do 1 ton of post processing. http://www.flickr.com/photos/alee1803/
    You know..
    I'd rather this to be a positive thread than a negative one.
    Some contribution like
    "Well here are my photos using K135/2.5 on K5, nice lens, but I don't like the interface that much" than "I can't make it, so Pentax can't make it, and XXX does it so much better"

    P.S. I'd really rather be posting photos and talking about nice lenses than again having another thread/post about this and that not working (which clearly is not the case for most folks).
    That is why I post articles like "taking photos of my child"; " Pentax in camera HDR"; "Various Macro options", etc here, even though they usually get no response, I try to contribute something positive. Or would ppl like thread after thread of "K5 no good"; "My K5 cannot cook for me!"; "My K5 does not have 22mp", etc

    As I've said, your problems though genuine are not experienced by everyone.
    The photos here and those posted by others as well as a large community in PF is proof that the system works fine for many people.

    1. An usable focusing screen, mostly split.
    >> Not everyone needs one. I don't. Others either don't need it or have no problems using a 3rd party one.
    In fact the one from focusingscreen works, but it needs shimming.
    There is also the more expensive ones from Katzeye.

    2. allows one to adjust both aperture and shutter independently.
    >> I don't quite understand this. It works on a Pentax cameras AFAIK.

    3. Provides some form of visual matrix rule for metering when either the aperture, shutter, ISO or Ev compensation is adjusted.
    >> There are 3 actually.
    One is the exposure indicator shown on the right side in M mode.
    Secondly, there is the green button metering.
    Thirdly is that if shooting wide open, the camera works in Av mode.
    Last edited by pinholecam; 20th June 2011 at 01:43 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Nikkornos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lenses for the frugal photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
    frugal [ˈfruːgəl]
    adj
    1. practicing economy; living without waste; thrifty


    Pentax backward compatibility for its K-mount lenses is a strong point for the photographer considering a camera system that is light both in weight/size and on the pocket.
    The selection of typically small sized manual primes can be quite a treasure trove and not under performing in anyway.
    I'd just like too share a few that I like in this thread.
    Hopefully it will serve as a reference for those considering the many Pentax old lenses.

    Agree with you.

    I have the following lens groups which I find them great.

    1. Sigma 24mm 2.8 MF macro (need the 52mm petal lens hood) Pentax 24mm as already shown
    This is a cheap lens but performs wonderfully on film or DSLR.

    2. Sigma 28mm 2.8 MF mini macro / Pentax 28mm F2.8 (MF or A) (both need the short wide metal hood)
    These are cheap but great lenses. The Pentax 28mm I had been using over 20 years.

    3. Ricoh 50mm F1.7 / Ricoh 50mm F2 / Pentax 50mm 1.4 A or Rikenon XR 50mm 1.4
    The Rikenon 50mm is great for B&W photo shoots. The F1.7 is nice from F4 onwards, and F2 has a better feel than then Nikkor 1.8.
    The 50mm 1.4 are great value for money.

    4. Vivitar 100mm F3.5 macro AF
    This is a cheap lens but can give some really great pictures. The price is low.
    If you see one, don't let it go.

    5. Rikenon XR 135mm F2.8
    A wonderful lens that many Japanese use to do flower shots on DSLR. The color is very pleasant.


    I admit I do not have a lot of pictures to substantiate my claim, but i do have many family photos shot with these lenses.
    Some of which showing me as a kid .
    I have 5 Ricoh XR - one body to match with these lenses, and sometimes match them with the Pentax DSLR.

    On top of these 5 primes, I also these thru the years:

    Kiron/Vivitar 70-210 Series 1 F3.5 macro zoom (zoom lock)
    Great macro lens for close up. I really need to shoot more with this lens.

    There are a lot of discussions on the Pentax MF forum. The great joy of Pentax system is backward compatibility.
    Last edited by Nikkornos; 20th June 2011 at 02:10 PM.
    MF Film user. Nikon D800 works too.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Lenses for the frugal photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
    You know..
    I'd rather this to be a positive thread than a negative one.
    Some contribution like
    "Well here are my photos using K135/2.5 on K5, nice lens, but I don't like the interface that much" than "I can't make it, so Pentax can't make it, and XXX does it so much better"

    P.S. I'd really rather be posting photos and talking about nice lenses than again having another thread/post about this and that not working (which clearly is not the case for most folks).
    That is why I post articles like "taking photos of my child"; " Pentax in camera HDR"; "Various Macro options", etc here, even though they usually get no response, I try to contribute something positive. Or would ppl like thread after thread of "K5 no good"; "My K5 cannot cook for me!"; "My K5 does not have 22mp", etc

    As I've said, your problems though genuine are not experienced by everyone.
    The photos here and those posted by others as well as a large community in PF is proof that the system works fine for many people.

    1. An usable focusing screen, mostly split.
    >> Not everyone needs one. I don't. Others either don't need it or have no problems using a 3rd party one.
    In fact the one from focusingscreen works, but it needs shimming.
    There is also the more expensive ones from Katzeye.

    2. allows one to adjust both aperture and shutter independently.
    >> I don't quite understand this. It works on a Pentax cameras AFAIK.

    3. Provides some form of visual matrix rule for metering when either the aperture, shutter, ISO or Ev compensation is adjusted.
    >> There are 3 actually.
    One is the exposure indicator shown on the right side in M mode.
    Secondly, there is the green button metering.
    Thirdly is that if shooting wide open, the camera works in Av mode.
    JK,

    I am sorry I have turned your positive post into a negative one. I know exactly what my K5 can do for me, that's why I said that I either live with it or change. Thanks and I will stop here.
    Home is where the heart is.

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