16 June 2011

assembling the bargain primes

When one is on a Limited (big-L) budget in the world of Pentax, it's a wonderful thing. Their Limited series of primes garner high praise from all, but the price of admission is far too steep for me right now. I'm on a (lower-case) limited budget, so prime lenses come from past eras or new designs for thinner wallets. Right now that means the Pentax DA35mm f/2.4, which I picked up for less than its common $200-ish going rate. A very nice lens, light and compact, it fits nicely between my Chinon 28/2.8 and Rikenon 50/2.0 bargains. Today came another piece of the puzzle, a 100mm f/2.8 SMC-M macro. By itself it stops at 1/2 life size, but its reputation for close and distant shots is very good. The folks at keh.com put this in their 'Bargain' class but other than a somewhat tight focus ring it's in amazing condition. It fits between the 50mm and the SMC-M 135/3.5 that was also available at a fine price on auction.

My current problem in the Pentax mount is a complete lack of a bargain 24mm lens. Vivitar made some 24s but their rarity keeps prices up, and Pentax models are quite expensive. I'd rather have a 24mm than my 28, it fits better with the 35 and 50 as far as spacing.. oh well. Something between 50 and 100 would also be fine, but most 85mm lenses are not all that cheap either. I have no great rush on this plan, having a few good zooms that will usually be along - and until the budget can expand I may be done for a while.

The 'thrill of the hunt' is in play for PK primes!