My photography over the last few months has been in a bit of a slump. This is despite getting a beautiful new dSLR, a Pentax K10D.
I was not really happy with the 18-55mm kit lens, it didn't have enough reach sio I went to a second hand shop and bought a 35-200mm zoom lens. It's an ok lens but it is really slow, only f3.5 or so. It is also a manual focus which is a real pain when you are zoomed in.
I then hit upon an idea of buying a prime lens. Since 50mm was a really common focal length I decided that i should look into what was available and how much they were.
Well the new 50mm auto everything was WAY out of my price range so I looked into buying an older type lens. After some research I found that the Pentax-A f1.7 would be ideal, you could get the body to set the aperture, they had great optics and they were realtively cheap.
I tried several times to buy one on ebay but I kept being outbid, my wife had me on a strict budget of what i could 'waste' on buying camera stuff. Sick of not winning I bid on the Pentax-A f2.0, it's not as fast and the optics are not as good but it was good enough.
I should have waited because not long after I bought the lens there was an annual Photography Fair that is well attended by camera nuts from all over Brisbane and surrounding areas. At the fair I checked every single table for Pentax gear. A few bits here and there until the last table, the guy was selling 3 camera bodies with 3 lenses attached for $100.
2 of the lenses were the Pentax-A f.17's!!!! The other was a Pentax-M f2.0. The M series lens is totally manual, you set the aperture on the lens and then to meter you have to hit a green button on the camera. The camera stops down the aperture and takes a reading, anything changes and you have to meter again... or guess. That is a real show stopper in the type of photography I like taking.
I checked all of the lenses and they were all clean and clear so I bought the lot. Wifey was not happy until I explained that I could sell one of 1.7's, keep the other and sell everything else, including the lens I just bought off ebay. I have just listed all six items on ebay and hope to sell them all.
I have the 50mm 1.7 attached to the K10D all the time now, it is sharp and fast. Going back to the kit lens is a step backwards despite the 50mm being at LEAST 19 years old. It is bright and just a joy to use. I have never liked taking portaits of people, I call them 'grinning idiot' photos but with this lens being perfect for taking portaits I think I will start to give it ago.
If you use a Pentax, live in Australia and want a great lens then I suggest you jump on ebay and do a search for the items 'hazza96' has for sale. You will not regret buying the f1.7, if it gets to expensive then get the f2.0, it's still a great lens, just not quite as good as the 1.7.