Pentax manual focus K mount lense advice

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by .JahJahwarrior., Mar 13, 2007.

  1. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

    Jan 1, 2007
    I shoot film, 35mm, and am looking to get some more lenses. I have two already, 36mm and a 50mm, both fixed focal length. I want something longer, so I can shoot some stuff from further away, and I found two lenses that seemed good:

    1) pros: cheaper, goes down to f2.8
    cons: fixed focal length, 135mm

    2) pros: zoom, 80-200
    cons: more expensive, f4.5

    I understand aperture size a little relates to the length of the lense somewhat, somehow. I've never bothere dot learn more than that, I just know how to expose an image well, it's never mattered to know aperature width, just the fstop. So, will the f4.5 on the zoom lense keep me from shooting indoors without a flash? What I've got now goes down to about 2.8 (something like that, it's been a while since I've shot anything, my camera broke, and I'm too lazy to go pull out all my stuff to get real numbers) and it's been adequate. The advantage of the zoom is that I could use it in multiple situations, but if I can't shoot in indoor conditions without a flash, there is no point to it being short enough to use inside. The other lense is cheaper, and I think I could use it inside easily enough, but it is fixed, and I've been wishing to get a zoom lense for a while now :) And yes, both are manual focus. Myc amera body is manual focus only, so it doesn't matter if it's AF, and I don't plan on getting any pentax AF bodies anytime soon :)
  2. filmamigo macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2003
    I definitely recommend the 135mm at 2.8. It is one of my favourite focal lengths. Between your three lenses, you have most common situations covered.

    Some thoughts on the 135:
    - 2.8 is really the minimum you need to shoot indoors without a flash
    - 135mm is a fantastic portrait length. For large rooms and outdoor portraits, you may need to shoot a little further back than normal, but the shallow DOF and beautiful bokeh are worth it. You are already used to zooming-by-walking, so this won't be a problem for you.
    - Prime lenses (i.e. fixed focal length) perform better than zooms -- especially an older zoom like a manual focus K-mount.

    This past fall, I shot pictures at a wedding (not as the primary photog) using a Canon TL (70's era manual focus camera). I used the 135mm f/2.8 for 90% of the shots, and I used a 50mm f/1.8 to shoot the reception in low light. I thought the pictures turned out quite nicely, and the bride preferred my pictures to the professionals.

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