Urban75 Home About Offline BrixtonBuzz Contact

The second hand lenses advice thread

fractionMan

Custom Title
Look in the appendix of your manual (if you've lost it, you can download it in pdf from Pentax's website). There should be a section called "functions available with various lens combinations" that tells you how much functionality you'll get from the different ranges of lenses. Under A-series lenses (and newer) it should say "manual focus (with focus indicator). The focus indicator will light up in the viewfinder when you manually put the lens into focus (don't ask me how the camera does this - personally I suspect voodoo!).

This works on M series pentax lenses too btw, not just A. When it's perfectly sharp, the little light comes on. It's fab.
 

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
Just got myself a helios 44m for £12.95 :cool:

Can't wait to try it out. 58mm f2 with an 8 bladed aperture. Supposed to be a lovely lens.

You can get super weird bokeh out of it: http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/76194-cityscape-old-graveyard-helios-44m.html
M42 screw mount, or one of the rare Pentax K mounts? Lot of people avoid the screw-mounts because of the added faff of using them, but as far as I'm concerned there's so many great screw-mount lenses out there that you're shooting yourself in the foot not giving them a try.

Caresses old M42 Travenar 300mm/f4.5 (that's 450mm/f4.5 on a Pentax DSLR!) lovingly.
 

fractionMan

Custom Title
M42 screw mount, or one of the rare Pentax K mounts? Lot of people avoid the screw-mounts because of the added faff of using them, but as far as I'm concerned there's so many great screw-mount lenses out there that you're shooting yourself in the foot not giving them a try.

Caresses old M42 Travenar 300mm/f4.5 (that's 450mm/f4.5 on a Pentax DSLR!) lovingly.
I'm not sure what mount it is, I was assuming m42. I'm just hoping it's not the m39 version.

What I really want is a 28mm f2 lens, but they're rare and seem to go for a lot of money. I've got my eyes peeled for a kiron.

Unfortunately I got home drunk the other night and bid on not one, but three 28mm f2.8 lenses :facepalm:
 

FridgeMagnet

Administrator
The Helios 44M 2/58 was the standard lens that came with all the Zenit Es and EMs and TTLs that are still everywhere on eBay, so it'll probably be an M42, though some later Zenits used the K mount. VP would know the exact probabilities I'm sure. I have one - it's a nice lens, even though mine is pretty fungussy so I don't use it. (I've tried to take it apart to clean it but it's been very stubborn.) I like the slightly longer length over standard 50mm primes and it's quite fast and sharp too, even with fungus. Not seen bokeh like that though.

I've heard people say the Helios lenses are easily the best part of Zenits.
 

fractionMan

Custom Title
I've seen a tamron 17-50 f2.8 for 210 quid and as I've just been paid I'm really, really tempted :oops: :mad:

Also seen a sigma 10-20 for £235 and again I'm really, really tempted :facepalm:

This stuff is like crack.
 

fractionMan

Custom Title
I just bid on a load of old "special effect" filters on ebay for a few quid each :facepalm: :D

But I did managed to score an asahi pentax SMC skylight for 2 quid, which should help reduce the flare on the 44m. :cool:
 

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
The Helios 44M 2/58 was the standard lens that came with all the Zenit Es and EMs and TTLs that are still everywhere on eBay, so it'll probably be an M42, though some later Zenits used the K mount. VP would know the exact probabilities I'm sure. I have one - it's a nice lens, even though mine is pretty fungussy so I don't use it. (I've tried to take it apart to clean it but it's been very stubborn.) I like the slightly longer length over standard 50mm primes and it's quite fast and sharp too, even with fungus. Not seen bokeh like that though.

I've heard people say the Helios lenses are easily the best part of Zenits.
Over 10 million (yep, 10 million!!!) of the M42 version sold, as against about 350,000 of the K-mount version, and yeah, FSU lenses were/are a leap and a bound better than their cameras, probably because until '89 the manufacturers had access to some of the best materials and some of the best optical engineers in the world.
 

fractionMan

Custom Title
Check out this bad boy: helios 44m and 3x teleconverter
IMGP8898.JPG

All I need now is for the adaptor to arrive :cool:

Eats light and probably soft as hell but it's 261mm equiv :D
 

mattie

missing in inaction
Now looking at constant aperture f2.8 zooms. Sounds like they'll do the most that I want in a single lens for a reasonable price.

Specifically looking at the sigma and tokina versions as they're better value. Not sure if I want a 17-50 (digital) or a 28-70 (film - so more like 45-105). They're both a full 2 stops faster at 50mm than the kit lens, which would make low light soo much easier (It could run 4x the shutter speed for the same exposure, right?)

I suppose it comes down to whether I want to replace the kit lens with something better in terms of IQ and speed (the 17-50) or give myself more options with focal length. I guess in terms of growing my kit the 28-70 would be a better bet, but having a better 'standard' lens would be great. At festivals I often found myself wanting more reach but I don't really want to lose the wide angle on my walkaround lens. Argh.

The samples from the 28-70 look great: http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-sample-photo-archive/153342-tamron-28-75mm-f-2-8-xr-di-ld-samples.html

17-50 samples: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28183637@N08/tags/tamron1750mmf28/

I guess what I really want is the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5, it's f2.8 up to 35mm and would be a great all round lens for me. Shame it's out of my price range for now (200-250 second hand). http://www.pentaxforums.com/userreviews/sigma-17-70mm-f2-8-4-5-dc-macro-af-lens.html
I've got the Sigma 28-70 f/2.8, bear in mind it's a collosal beast so I would defintely not call it a 'walkabout' lens. I've also got the 50mm F/1.4 FA, you're welcome to give them a quick whirl to see if any suit.

I know pentax released a 50mm f/1.8 in the DA-style mount (i.e. there's no aperture ring on the lens barrel) which I think came in at less than £250 brand-new, worth seeing if any used ones about? The F and FA 50mms are silly money, more thna £250 used in some cases.
 

weltweit

Well-Known Member
I've got the Sigma 28-70 f/2.8, bear in mind it's a collosal beast so I would defintely not call it a 'walkabout' lens. I've also got the 50mm F/1.4 FA, you're welcome to give them a quick whirl to see if any suit.
I have that Sigma 28-70 in Nikon fit and the DF model. I find it pretty good all round.
 

fractionMan

Custom Title
I have that Sigma 28-70 in Nikon fit and the DF model. I find it pretty good all round.
there's a Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 EX DG on ebay at the mo. Usually loads cheaper than the 28-70 f2.8. Tempted but now skint.

edit: went for £171 including postage

edit: just seen a FA 50mm f1.4 go for £172 inc postage.
 

fractionMan

Custom Title
Bah, can't get infinity focus with the helios 44m, probably the adaptor.

I've only played with it a bit but it's not a patch on the pentax M 50mm f1.7 for image quality. Not sure if it's a bad copy or just nowhere near as good. Might have to chuck it back on ebay.
 

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
I've found myself wanting a longer reach for a while now and hust scored myself a super small and lightweight (<300g) 80-210mm tamron AF lens for £21 :cool:

Sharp, small, light & cheap, sounds good. IQ is apparently decent but suffers from CA, but for 21 quid I can hardly complain.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/userreviews/tamron-80-210mm-1-4-5-5-6.html
You can also compensate somewhat for chromatic abberation with post-processing of digi-shots, so it's not a massive problem unless you're using film.
I'm a Tamron fan. Their 135mm/f2.5 was my favourite 35mm portrait lens for years.
 

cybertect

It's grim up north (London)
There's some gems in Tamron's history. I've got an Adaptall 35-70 f/3.5-4.5 Macro that I bought for peanuts which is very nice indeed and pretty compact (though it certainly isn't that light).

Only reason I don't use it so much is that my Canon FD 35-105, which is about as sharp, has a wider range and is a constant aperture f/3.5.

E2A: The Tamron Adaptall 90mm f/2.5 is supposed to be very sharp too, though it suffers a bit from flare.
 

weltweit

Well-Known Member
My best deal on a used lens was a nikkor 50mm f1.8 AF which I spied nestled amongst loads of used gear in a camera shop. It was not in perfect condition but I tried it on my camera and it worked fine. They wanted £40.00 for it so I happily handed over the readies. I have been very pleased with it.
 

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
There's some gems in Tamron's history. I've got an Adaptall 35-70 f/3.5-4.5 Macro that I bought for peanuts which is very nice indeed and pretty compact (though it certainly isn't that light).

Only reason I don't use it so much is that my Canon FD 35-105, which is about as sharp, has a wider range and is a constant aperture f/3.5.
I've got the 28-70mm f.3.5-4.5 Macro, which is about an ounce heavier than the 35-70. They did actually do a constant aperture version of the 35-70, model no. 17A, it was a bit shorter than the variable aperture 28-70 and 35-70.

And of course they weren't light, m'lad. Glass and steel, not polycarb! :D


E2A: The Tamron Adaptall 90mm f/2.5 is supposed to be very sharp too, though it suffers a bit from flare.
I had a 90mm SP, but sold it when they started going for silly money.
 

fractionMan

Custom Title
Lens has arrived and it looks like it's in pretty good condition. It's barely bigger than my 18-55 kit lens and weighs about the same!
 

FridgeMagnet

Administrator
Are there any 28mm lenses in Pentax K that are particularly worth looking out for? Or, for that matter, in other mounts?

The three mounts I use now are Pentax K (with a Ricoh XR-X - so lenses with the Ricoh pin on them for aperture control are fine if not preferable), M42 and Praktica B. I have reasonable zooms and 50mm-ish fast primes for all of them, but only one 28mm in M42 which isn't that great anyway.
 

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
Are there any 28mm lenses in Pentax K that are particularly worth looking out for? Or, for that matter, in other mounts?

The three mounts I use now are Pentax K (with a Ricoh XR-X - so lenses with the Ricoh pin on them for aperture control are fine if not preferable), M42 and Praktica B. I have reasonable zooms and 50mm-ish fast primes for all of them, but only one 28mm in M42 which isn't that great anyway.
Pentax's own 28mm/f2.8 KM (same series as the 50mm/f1.7) is very good, but my personal favourite, which you can use on all your cameras if you buy the necessary adapters (make sure to get the Ricoh-specific one rather than the Pentax K one, though) is the Tamron Adaptall 2 28mm/f2.5. It's a cracker: it's small and sharp as hell. Tamron also do a 24mm/f2.5 which is so good secondhand ones still average £50.
 

fractionMan

Custom Title
Are there any 28mm lenses in Pentax K that are particularly worth looking out for? Or, for that matter, in other mounts?

The three mounts I use now are Pentax K (with a Ricoh XR-X - so lenses with the Ricoh pin on them for aperture control are fine if not preferable), M42 and Praktica B. I have reasonable zooms and 50mm-ish fast primes for all of them, but only one 28mm in M42 which isn't that great anyway.
I was sorely tempted by the 28mm f1.8 sigma autofocus recently (K fit). Rare, but decent and autofocus.
 

weltweit

Well-Known Member
The used lens I want next is a 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF NIKKOR - it is quite an old lens but sharp as a pin and with great bokeh, perfect for people candids. The only thing is that it is designed for FX and is the right length for FX, I only have DX so it will be a bit long for me.
 

fractionMan

Custom Title
Well the tamron I ordered is OK, but the aperture pin is snapped so the camera can't change the aperture :facepalm: It also means that whatever you set the aperture to manually is what you get through the viewfinder, so anything over f11 is impossible to frame cos it's too dark.

It does take decent shots in the daytime though.

I think my hit rate for working not fucked up lenses on ebay is less than 50% good ones now :facepalm:
 
Top