Best price/performance used primes?

Started Apr 10, 2012 | Discussions
Ian J G Contributing Member • Posts: 699
Re: Best price/performance used primes?

Lots of good comments already.

I say get yourself a Pentax m42 converter and you can have plenty of economical fun exploring M42 primes. There are lots of wonderful M42 lenses out there.
Have Fun
Ian

Nicols Contributing Member • Posts: 848
Re: Best price/performance used primes?

Joseph Tainter wrote:

For a "normal" lens, you might look for a copy of the FA 28.

The A 28/2.8 might be an alternative. At least my copy is pretty good, and it should not be too difficult to find.

Cheers - Klaus

 Nicols's gear list:Nicols's gear list
Pentax K10D Pentax K-5 Pentax K-3 Pentax smc DA 16-45mm F4 ED AL Pentax smc DA* 300mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM +16 more
Nicols Contributing Member • Posts: 848
Re: Best price/performance used primes?

SenorBeef wrote:

I definitely want something wide, in the 14-22 type range,

You should have a look on the Samyang 14mm (and the 8mm fisheye). I don't have them, but I am tempted.

Cheers - Klaus

 Nicols's gear list:Nicols's gear list
Pentax K10D Pentax K-5 Pentax K-3 Pentax smc DA 16-45mm F4 ED AL Pentax smc DA* 300mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM +16 more
Roland Karlsson Forum Pro • Posts: 27,494
Re: Best price/performance used primes?

Nicols wrote:

You should have a look on the Samyang 14mm (and the 8mm fisheye). I don't have them, but I am tempted.

The 8 mm has some CA.

 Roland Karlsson's gear list:Roland Karlsson's gear list
Sigma DP3 Merrill Sigma dp2 Quattro Sony RX100 III Pentax K-3 Pentax K-1 +14 more
audiobomber
audiobomber Veteran Member • Posts: 5,761
Re: Best price/performance used primes?

Personally, I prefer auto lenses to manual. I have one fully manual lens but I find it annoying for general use. I don't mind manual focus, but electronic control of exposure is handy. YMMV.

If I were starting over again with primes, the DA 35mm f2.4 would be my first purchase. Another possibility would be the new 40mm XS. I have the FA 35mm f2 and the DA 40mm Ltd. Each has its strengths, but if I could only have one, it would be the 35mm. For less money, I would recommend a 28mm f2 or 2.8.

After the normal lens, I would add a macro in the 90-105mm range. They are all great lenses. Besides macros, they are good for tight portraits and fast general telephoto use.

If you're into portraits and/or shallow DOF shooting, you could add a used Pentax F or FA 50 f1.4 or 1.7, or wait for the new 50mm 1.8 announced in the road map.

Any lens wider than the kit lens, whether used or new, is going to be above your stated price limit. The exception would be the Zenitar 16mm fisheye. but it's an odd beast. Read up on it first to see if it may suit you.

The lens reviews at Pentax Forums are your best resource for user opinions to help narrow down your choices.
--
Dan

 audiobomber's gear list:audiobomber's gear list
Pentax K-3 Sony a6000 Pentax K20D Pentax smc DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 +19 more
Simon97
Simon97 Senior Member • Posts: 2,666
Just a couple...

AF primes will be pricey. For dirt cheap, look for manual lenses...

Ricoh 50mm/1.7: Pretty much the same optically as the Pentax. It is aluminum construction with plastic outer barrel. You can pick them up for under $20.

Quantaray 28mm/2.8: The version I have is made in Japan and has the Auto setting on the aperture. The lens is sharp wide open, but with a bit of haze around bright objects. Stop it down just a stop and it is as sharp as the 50mm/1.7 lenses. Its main weakness is lateral color, but is software correctable. The focal length makes it a good general purpose shooter. Can be found under $30

Okay, I thought of couple more.

Pentax K 200 f/4. This is the longer version before the A and M ones. It is nice and sharp even wide open. It can be found around $100.

Pentax K 135/3.5: Not well regarded because of the slower aperture, but it is sharp and very compact. With the performance of modern DSLRs, the aperture is not a big loss unless you need big bokeh. Can be found for under $50.

 Simon97's gear list:Simon97's gear list
Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS Olympus PEN E-PM1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85
Roland Karlsson Forum Pro • Posts: 27,494
Re: I was very lucky

I was very lucky!!

The Helios 44M-7 I ordered had 8 aperture blades and an AM switch!!!
In condition as new too.

I thought I had made a mistake, and was thinking off how to solve it.
But ... I did not have to!

 Roland Karlsson's gear list:Roland Karlsson's gear list
Sigma DP3 Merrill Sigma dp2 Quattro Sony RX100 III Pentax K-3 Pentax K-1 +14 more
OP SenorBeef Regular Member • Posts: 285
Re: Best price/performance used primes?

So I think my first old prime is going to be one of the 50mm 1.7 lenses.

If I get the Pentax M version, in order to meter, I need to set the aperture on the aperture ring on the lens, set the camera mode to manual, then hit the green button and it stops down the lens and sets the shutter speed, correct? Would the camera do auto-ISO in this mode? Can I set it to Av and do the same thing?

Whereas with the Pentax A, I set the lens aperture to auto, and then the camera will basically operate like a normal lens in terms of metering in Av mode? I'll still have to focus manually, but otherwise I can just set the aperture on the camera and click the shutter, right?

Is there a build quality and/or optical difference between the Pentax M and Pentax A 50mm 1.7 lenses? Any reason I should prefer the M over the A?

 SenorBeef's gear list:SenorBeef's gear list
Pentax K-70
OP SenorBeef Regular Member • Posts: 285
Re: This one is highly regarded

Also, can someone give me a rundown of the 28mm primes? There seems to be a whole lot of them, made by all sorts of weird companies. There's a sears auto 28mm 2.8 (does the auto in this sense mean auto aperture, or the sears auto/car company?), there's a Gefitech 28mm 2.8, Sigma 28mm 2.8, Seikanon, "Super Ozeck II", Alpa, Soligor, Vivitar...

Everyone and their grandma seems to have made a 28mm 2.8. Are they a couple of lenses rebranded a couple of times, or all different lenses? Which ones are worth getting?

Oh - and one other question - with the M42 lenses, do they have the same procedure as Pentax M in terms of exposure and metering? Set the aperture manually, green button? Or do they have auto apertures? Or does it vary? How can you tell?

 SenorBeef's gear list:SenorBeef's gear list
Pentax K-70
hikenhi Regular Member • Posts: 498
Re: Best price/performance used primes?...FA 50 1.4...

I bought a used FA 50 1.4 for $175. Awesome price to performance lens.

 hikenhi's gear list:hikenhi's gear list
Pentax K-7 Pentax K-5 Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Pentax smc DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM Pentax smc DA* 50-135mm F2.8 ED (IF) SDM +5 more
Tom__Brown Senior Member • Posts: 1,345
Best bang for the buck... DA 21L

Why buy a bunch of mediocre lenses when you could pick up the DA 21L new or used and have the must useful lens going?

-- hide signature --

-- Tom

 Tom__Brown's gear list:Tom__Brown's gear list
Pentax K100D Pentax K20D Pentax K-5 Pentax K-01 Pentax smc DA 14mm F2.8 ED (IF) +6 more
LensBeginner
LensBeginner Contributing Member • Posts: 570
Not fast, but sharp, sharp, sharp!

SMC Pentax-M 28mm f/3.5.

Sharpest lens I've ever shot, you can do everything with it having a 42mm equivalent fov.
As they say, "f/8 and be there", set to hyperfocal and start shooting!

 LensBeginner's gear list:LensBeginner's gear list
Pentax K100D Super Pentax K-01 Pentax K-30 Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM Pentax smc DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR +2 more
timo Veteran Member • Posts: 5,229
Re: Not fast, but sharp, sharp, sharp!

LensBeginner wrote:

SMC Pentax-M 28mm f/3.5.

Sharpest lens I've ever shot, you can do everything with it having a 42mm equivalent fov.
As they say, "f/8 and be there", set to hyperfocal and start shooting!

Agreed. It works very well, and is dead cheap to pick up. My collection of primes reflects exactly the question the OP asks - I am pretty cheapskate. Apart from the M28/3.5 the best bargains I have follow the lines of earlier posts - M50 (1.7 and 1.4 - they're both good, I prefer the 1.4 where edge sharpness is a consideration), M200/4 (sometimes gets a bad rap on the forum but excellent value for money), M135/3.5 (got stolen, but it was small and fun), M100/2.8 (maybe the most surprising performer in my whole collection). These are all plentiful and regular recommendations on the forum.

I used to be very impressed by the Zenitar 16mm fisheye defished. Maybe I've got more critical, but I am less impressed by my recent efforts with that lens. Great at the centre stopped down to f8, but ...

The cheap DA35 is a real bargain. Wish it was a 28 though.

-- hide signature --

tim

 timo's gear list:timo's gear list
Pentax K-5 Pentax K-30 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8
Fl_Gulfer Senior Member • Posts: 1,181
Re: Not fast, but sharp, sharp, sharp!

I picked up a F 50-1.7 auto for under 200 bucks and it a awesome lens, and you can still find them for under 200.
--
-
Gear Listed in "About Me"

 Fl_Gulfer's gear list:Fl_Gulfer's gear list
Pentax K100D Pentax K-5 Pentax K-30 Pentax smc DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM +4 more
JoeDaBassPlayer Veteran Member • Posts: 3,644
Re: Not fast, but sharp, sharp, sharp!

$60, used three years ago.
--
Variance is Evil!

iTrax
iTrax Contributing Member • Posts: 640
Re: This one is highly regarded

SenorBeef wrote:

Also, can someone give me a rundown of the 28mm primes? There seems to be a whole lot of them, made by all sorts of weird companies. There's a sears auto 28mm 2.8 (does the auto in this sense mean auto aperture, or the sears auto/car company?), there's a Gefitech 28mm 2.8, Sigma 28mm 2.8, Seikanon, "Super Ozeck II", Alpa, Soligor, Vivitar...

Everyone and their grandma seems to have made a 28mm 2.8. Are they a couple of lenses rebranded a couple of times, or all different lenses? Which ones are worth getting?

Oh - and one other question - with the M42 lenses, do they have the same procedure as Pentax M in terms of exposure and metering? Set the aperture manually, green button? Or do they have auto apertures? Or does it vary? How can you tell?

that subject was discussed many times on different forum.

the M42 auto will only be auto aperture on M42 auto bodies, you will have to use them in AV with modern DSLR. Those with Auto/Manual switch or preset ( two aperture rings - my favourite ) are the most convenient.
part of my post on other forum:
"The most convenient is to use AV with M42 lenses.

Switch the lens to Auto ( wide open) for focusing, switch back to Manual, chose desirable aperture, half press the shutter, camera will do metering and take the picture.
It will take a bit of time to get used to this routine but it is well worthy."

with preset lenses the principle is very similar, you just turn aperture ring instead of using A/M switch.

there are many of good 28mm ( or 24mm , by my liking , even more useful ) lenses, all Pentax's,Sigma's , Tamron ,Mamiya-Sekor ,Cosinon ,Rikenon , some Vivitar's , and many more. Imposible to list them all, just google or if going very cheap , just buy and if do not like, just sell it back.

I have Sigma 24mm (Super-Wide II ) and 28mm ( Mini-Wide II) , both very sharp , fast (2.8) and with PKA mount ( can use all auto settings on your camera ), both Manual Focus and usually available for ~$100.

I also have Tamron Adaptall lenses CW-24 24mm 2.5 and 02B 28mm 2.5 both a bit faster than Sigma's but a bit bigger. Both excellent lenses , MF and with Adaptall2 P-KA you can get full auto metering on your DSLR.

 iTrax's gear list:iTrax's gear list
Pentax MX-1 Pentax K10D Pentax Q Pentax K-01 Pentax K-30 +63 more
OP SenorBeef Regular Member • Posts: 285
Re: This one is highly regarded

I'm probably going to pick up a 35mm 2.4 (new) lens. Considering that, should I skip the 28mm primes? I know 28mm is a little more useful for general purpose work, but in terms of optics, does it beat the old 28mm lenses?

 SenorBeef's gear list:SenorBeef's gear list
Pentax K-70
OP SenorBeef Regular Member • Posts: 285
Re: This one is highly regarded

Ended up ordering an M 50mm 1.7, which everyone seems to agree is a great lens. I'll just have to see how annoying the manual aperture and manual metering is before I decide if I want to get more M or screwmount lenses.

 SenorBeef's gear list:SenorBeef's gear list
Pentax K-70
moving_comfort
moving_comfort Veteran Member • Posts: 8,227
Green button

SenorBeef wrote:

Ended up ordering an M 50mm 1.7, which everyone seems to agree is a great lens. I'll just have to see how annoying the manual aperture and manual metering is before I decide if I want to get more M or screwmount lenses.

Just make use of the green button, and you're golden with that wonderful little lens.

You can even just use it to quickly approximate exposure, and then flick the dials a little bit to taste if you think it's not what quite you wanted after you see the settings. It's really fast, easy and somewhat fun once you get used to it.

The green button is one feature I really love on Pentax.

-- hide signature --

Here are a few of my favorite things...
---> http://www.flickr.com/photos/95095968@N00/sets/72157626171532197/

 moving_comfort's gear list:moving_comfort's gear list
Pentax K20D Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D +10 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads