Best Lens for Pentax K-x


Lowela

Link Posted 23/07/2010 - 20:48
Hi! I'm planning to buy a lens for my K-x but I am confused which one is best for a beginner like me. I have the 18-55 that came with my kit. I like taking macro, potraiture, and grab shots. Any advice?

Anvh

Link Posted 23/07/2010 - 22:03
We need a bit more information I think.

Take the 18-55 as you standard and tell us what things you like about this lens and would love to see back in your new lens and what things you dislike about it and want to be improved.

The side questions would be do you want a prime (single focal length - no zoom) or a zoom and around what budget, also do you want something to replace the 18-55 or something next to it?
Stefan


K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
AF-540FGZ

terje-l

Link Posted 23/07/2010 - 22:16
My advise it to practice with the kit lens - and note which photographic opportunities you lose by having only a 18-55 mm lens. After a while you will have a pretty good indication of your requirements.

Welcome to the Forum, by the way.
Best regards
Terry

K20D, Optio I10, DA 18-55 1:3.5-5.6 AL II, A 1:1.7/50, D FA 1:2.8/100 Macro, Sigma 70-300 1:4-5.6 APO DG Macro, Pentax AF 360FGZ

Transit

Link Posted 23/07/2010 - 23:31
Lowela wrote:
Hi! I'm planning to buy a lens for my K-x but I am confused which one is best for a beginner like me. I have the 18-55 that came with my kit. I like taking macro, potraiture, and grab shots. Any advice?

Hi
I gave my daughter a K-x.
I lent her a Tamron 90mm macro lens I picked up for the equivalent of about 50 pounds I suppose.
manual focus lens of course but that suits macro anyway. She absolutely loves it. She shoots in manual setting on the camera and uses the green button to meter.

As for portrait lens, any of the 50mm lenses Pentax made for film are excellent. f1.7 M or A lens good balance of price and size.
A- lens will talk to camera more than M-.

I recently sold a K100D to a new DSLR user. I threw in an M-50/1.7 lens. She has taken some superb shots of her kids already.Such a lens allows the shallow depth of focus and sweet background blur that we bought the cameras for !

Better still, buy an inexpensive adapter and get a Pentax screw lens!
Have fun
Pete
K-1 K-01 Q-7
some len

Close to the Edge
Down by the River
Last Edited by Transit on 23/07/2010 - 23:37

johnriley

Link Posted 24/07/2010 - 00:00
I really think that as a beginner you'll be best served by buying the easiest lenses to use, and that means from the current range.

The obvious companion to the 18-55mm is the Pentax 50-200mm, equally compact and light and excellent quality. It will also be relatively inexpensive, so there is little risk that you'll spend too much and find it's the wrong thing.

The 50-200mm is a telephoto zoom, so it will be ideal for pulling in distant details, reasonably close wildlife and portraits. It also focuses close enough to make lovely close ups of flowers and plants.

Later on there's plenty more lenses to think about for when you have more specific requirements. Walk first, run later!
Best regards, John

Anvh

Link Posted 24/07/2010 - 00:18
Good advice John, another good option would be the DA 55-300.

For macro you can actually use the 18-55 quite well for that. If you want to get closer a 50mm f/1.7 with extension tubes would most likely be your best and cheapest option or else a real macro lens.
Stefan


K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
AF-540FGZ

BigJacko

Link Posted 24/07/2010 - 02:37
I'd definitely concur with John's comment about buying 'easy' lenses. I have an old Tokina 80-200mm f4 from my film days, which I used for about a fortnight before deciding I'd had enough of messing with full manual, and no aperture readout. It's just too awkward to get the metering right. It's not impossible (use the Optical Preview mode on the green button, and then meter and set accordingly), but it is a PITA.

So I bought a 55-300mm f4-5.8, and I have not been disappointed. Effectively, on this body, it's a 450mm lens, and can really 'pull 'em in' from afar, and feels way more useable than my old Tok. It retracts shorter, too, and is better balanced - and of course, the ability to autofocus and use all camera modes is just invaluable. I wouldn't go back.

I've also got an old Ricoh/Rikonen 50mm f1.7 prime that's fully manual too - with the same problems as the Tok. I got some great shots off it, just as Pete describes, but it took a fair bit of setting up, and with kids, it'd be too long in the doing, and the shots would be half lost, I reckon! So I've just bought (via this very forum) a genuine Pentax 'A' 50mm f2 lens, which I'm really looking forward to (it'll arrive this Sunday, by father-in-law courier!) It'll still need manual focusing, of course - but the metering (and consequent warnings) and aperture control will be much, much easier to handle.

So yeah - I'm with John... go for something at least from the 'A' aperture-priority capable era, and if poss, go for a DA, DAL or (at a push) FA lens and have the full autofocus monty in there to boot. It does make life easier - and its not cheating! It'll mean you spend more time shooting, than fannying about, which is more likely to make it enjoyable. You can always do the trickier stuff later, when you've got into your groove, and really know what tricks you're wanting to do!

One last comment - comparing the 50-200 and the 55-300, personally, I think the latter is better value. They're both f4 at the short end, and the difference is only f0.2 at the long end - so there's not much in it, exposure-wise. However, the focal length difference is considerable: that 100mm difference is, in effective terms, 150mm - and is the different between a 300mm lens and a 450! Quite a lot. And pricewise, there's not a great deal in it - Warehouse Express were quoting 199 for the 50-200, whereas I could've bought my 55-300 from LCE for exactly the same price! As it turned out, I bought it from my local independent for 162! Obviously, do your own research into any quality differences, but I expect they're probably equally good glass, most likely.
Neil
≡≡≡≡
Pentax K-x Pentax DA L 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL Pentax DA L 55-300mm f4-5.8 ED Pentax A 50mm f2.0 Pentax AF360FGZ flash Rikenon P 50mm f1.7 Vivitar CF 28mm f2.8 (K02 Komine) Tokina 80-200mm f4 Vivitar MC 2x22 Tele Converter

"Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men" - Douglas 'Tin-Legs' Bader

flossie

Link Posted 24/07/2010 - 08:36
I'd just echo what's been said - use the kit lens and cheap zooms to experiment and find what you really like taking pictures of. Once you've taken several hundred shots, you'll have a better idea and can than start to think about getting a top-quality lens for a specific area.

I was in a similar situation a few months ago, I bought the FA 100-300 for next-to-nothing, but I've found I very very rarely use it, as I don't really take pictures of birds or distant animals. I did buy the 12-24 because I really like wide-angle. I also bought some fast Primes because I do a lot of indoor, low light, work (and because I like Primes not Zooms). I'd quite like a Macro for flowers, but not to the extent I'm going to spend lots on it - but if I did, I'd go for a DFA-100. I need a Portait lens as well, there's a big hole around 70-90mm, but again not enough use at present to spend a lot, at least not until I've thought about a second body, which will be later in the year.

Anyway, enough about me, that's just to illustrate the thought processes you will go through once you've taken a lot of shots! You mention "macro, potraiture, and grab shots" but no one lens can do all of those extremely well - the nearest you are going to get is one of the "super-zooms" (e.g. DA 18-250mm) but they will only be of use outdoors for taking pictures of nature, and pictures will be "ok" but not "spectacular". If you find yourself interested in (say) indoor portrature, you need something different.

As for the Kx - don't worry about your model of camera, any advice you find about lenses for Pentax will be true for the Kx - the big advantage you have over older models when it comes to lenses is you can wind the ISO up to 1600/3200 and take pictures in far darker conditions, which can mean you don't need always need a fast (i.e. expensive) lens.

Also as said above - a cheap manual 50mm is great to play with, the A-series are best to start with, cost depends on how fast you want. But only you can decide if you like manual-focus or not!
Still shooting in the dark (literally and metaphorically)...

johnriley

Link Posted 24/07/2010 - 08:37
As regards choosing between the 50-200mm and 55-300mm, both are highly effective. The latter is larger but potentially more versatile.

On the other hand, better to have a lens you want to carry than one that weighs you down - this is something only you can judge. Longer lenses are also more prone to camera shake, so you need to remember that at the longer lengths you need a faster shutter speed to stop that movement.

Check out SRS for pricing.
Best regards, John

philstaff

Link Posted 24/07/2010 - 08:46
Tamron's 70 to 300 might be worth considering I got mine as part of a deal when I bought the K100 D it is easy to use and I think offers very good value for the money. Im sure I saw one on the for sale section of the forum which will save you money as well good luck with your choice.
Ian

BigJacko

Link Posted 24/07/2010 - 19:24
philstaff wrote:
Tamron's 70 to 300 might be worth considering... Im sure I saw one on the for sale section of the forum which will save you money as well good luck with your choice.
Ian

POST DELETED... sorry, it's sold now
Neil
≡≡≡≡
Pentax K-x Pentax DA L 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL Pentax DA L 55-300mm f4-5.8 ED Pentax A 50mm f2.0 Pentax AF360FGZ flash Rikenon P 50mm f1.7 Vivitar CF 28mm f2.8 (K02 Komine) Tokina 80-200mm f4 Vivitar MC 2x22 Tele Converter

"Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men" - Douglas 'Tin-Legs' Bader
Last Edited by BigJacko on 24/07/2010 - 19:26

Lowela

Link Posted 25/07/2010 - 11:15
Hello everyone! Thank you for all your advises.. They are really very helpful. I'm quite happy with the 18-55mm kit lens when I use my camera indoors but when I am outside, I really can't zoom in far subjects. I am considering the 55-300 DA L which they say is made of plastic since I think it will be convenient for me (considering John's advice as well)than the DA which is made of metal. But then, some reviews in the internet said the DA is better. Is there really a difference between the two you reckon?

Anvh

Link Posted 25/07/2010 - 11:42
Lowela wrote:
some reviews in the internet said the DA is better.

That's not true, the optics and the build quality of both lenses are the same.
Pentax only remove some features from the DA to make the DA-L lighter and less expensive.

The things they took out are.
- the hood
- quick-shift (with this you can manual adjust the focus of the lens even when it's on auto-focus)
- metal lens mount, they replace that to a plastic one
Stefan


K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
AF-540FGZ

puma

Link Posted 25/07/2010 - 12:07
i would try the Pentax smc DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED i have got one and its a Fantastic lens and a all rounder i think so any way also i would go with stefan he does give good Advice dont you Stefan
my web site http://www.swilsonphotography.foliopic.com/
PPG link

Lowela

Link Posted 25/07/2010 - 12:46
Anvh wrote:
Lowela wrote:
some reviews in the internet said the DA is better.

That's not true, the optics and the build quality of both lenses are the same.
Pentax only remove some features from the DA to make the DA-L lighter and less expensive.

The things they took out are.
- the hood
- quick-shift (with this you can manual adjust the focus of the lens even when it's on auto-focus)
- metal lens mount, they replace that to a plastic one

I see. Thank you Stefan. But I can still get a hood that will fit it, right?
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