Photography is notoriously expensive. With cameras running upwards of $400 for a basic model body, and a good lens usually costing at least $250 or more, photographers quickly go broke working their way up to a respectable kit. For those who don't make a living off of the art, however, one can get by on some unorthodox gear choices. And if one has luck in the realm of bargain shopping, the act of scouting out cheap gear can become a game within itself.
What you see above was taken with such a lens. Though it is a pretty poor sample shot, it shows you that a decently artistic photo can be crafted on the cheap. And what glass was responsible for this picture? Photographed below, this lens is a prime (ha!) example of a dirt cheap lens. My second thrift store lens (in recent years) for $7, this baby isn't without its flaws. Unlike my first $7 lens, a 50mm Pentax-M f2 that was covered in grime but cleaned up nicely, this latest find isn't in full operational condition. Though physically clean with clear glass, this Sears 28mm f2.8 lens seems to have aperture blades stuck wide open at f2.8. For casual shooting, this isn't much of an issue, as I usually keep my glass open in most situations. And for $7, I'm not complaining in the least bit.
At this point, I fully intend on purchasing a Sony NEX-5 camera as soon as it is widely released. And assuming that a Pentax-K to E-Mount adapter will be available from third party vendors in short time, it would be nice to have a collection of cheap prime lenses to use on such a tiny body for casual and street shooting. Though I wont go out of my way to purchases lenses for such a use, there's no harm in having "extras" lying around. And often times, working within the constraints of manual focus and exposure forces you to critically examine potential shots in new ways.