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06-16-2010, 01:33 PM   #1
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Just Starting Out With Pentax, Lenses for Wedding and Portrait Photography

Hey everyone, first time posting in here after reading up for a couple of weeks on things. I've had my Pentax K-x for a couple of months now and I'm trying to expand my lens selection a bit. For the most part I am going to be getting into wedding and portrait photography and taking as many pictures of our daughter as I can while she's growing up.

Right now, I've got the DAL 18-55 kit lens, the FA 50mm F1.4, and the DA* 50-135mm F2.8. I like the FA lens for my portraits so far and the DA* has been great for my zoom shots, but obviously I'd like to upgrade my kit lens and get a good lens for wide shots.

Now I know there is a lot of questions like this out there already, but the problem is that there is a bit too much out there for me to search through it all. Anyway, I'm trying to decided on a good zoom lens between the:

Pentax DA* 16-50mm, Pentax DA 17-70, and the Tamron 17-50mm lenses.

I know that the DA 17-70 mm is only an F4 lens, so I'm thinking that is out right off the start, but it is a lot cheaper than the DA*. I've read some good and some bad reviews on the Tamron but I'm not sure on it. The DA* I've obviously read about all of the issues with the SDM and that worries me a bit too. Any help out there on what you guys or gals would choose in my situation?

I'm also looking at the Tamron 90mm macro lens and the Pentax 12-24mm lens, but those will have to come later.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

06-16-2010, 02:39 PM   #2
Ira
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Wedding and portrait are two different things, because wedding means table shots.

And because tables at these parties are placed right on top of each other...with no room for you to move...I don't think there's anything that will deliver the quality of the DA 15 limited at that FL.

Portrait can mean anything.
06-16-2010, 03:01 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by hfthomp Quote
Anyway, I'm trying to decided on a good zoom lens between the:

Pentax DA* 16-50mm, Pentax DA 17-70, and the Tamron 17-50mm lenses.

I know that the DA 17-70 mm is only an F4 lens, so I'm thinking that is out right off the start, but it is a lot cheaper than the DA*.
If I was in your shoes I wouldn't hesitate to buy the Tamron 17-50 f2.8. The 17-70 is simply too slow for wedding photography, that's the first to drop off the list. The 16-50 can be a terrific lens, but it's at least twice the price of the tamron and has the worst reputation for SDM reliability of all the Pentax SDM lenses. It also has QC problems, I've read a lot of stories of people having to go through multiple copies to get a good one.
06-16-2010, 03:05 PM   #4
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I've had to send in my DA* 16-50 now for a SDM repair, the service was quick, friendly, and not a big deal (under warranty).

My short list would be the DA* 16-50/2.8, the DA* 50-135/2.8, the DA* 55/1.4, and the FA* 85/1.4.

If you have a fund of cash, I'd spend some time thinking about the FA* 80-200/2.8 and the A* 135/1.8

I'd also think about a Sigma 4.5mm/28 and a lensbaby for some unique shots.

06-16-2010, 03:30 PM   #5
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I'd get the DA *16-50. Isn't the #1 reason for shooting pentax the glass? The QC issues are worrying, but when its up to par the 16-50 produces images as good as I've ever seen from a zoom lens. Moreover, the IQ is more consistent with the 50-135 than what you'd get from the Tamron.
06-16-2010, 03:35 PM   #6
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The 17-70 isn't necessarily out - I just used one to shoot a large chunk of a wedding.

However, you must, must have a bounce flash. Even 2.8 isn't fast enough to do available light stuff. 1.4 and 2.0 can be fast enough, but you'll often have huge focus issues with those. The best option is a 2.8 or 4.0 zoom and a good familiarity with bouncing your light.

Depending on your budget, you might consider the 16-45 as well.
06-16-2010, 03:51 PM   #7
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Thanks for your opinions so far. I've heard that the auto focusing on the Tamron is crazy loud. Anyone have any experience with that? The more I read, I think I'm leaning towards the DA*16-50, but wouldn't mind saving some money on a cheaper lens.
06-16-2010, 04:35 PM   #8
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hfthomp, see if you can borrow those lenses from someone and try them out. either that or rent the one you are leaning toward to see how much or how little you like it.

that said, for your purposes i would recommend the DA*16-50 (a lens i do not own but have used before). it's a nice lens and would be a good match to your DA*50-135.

06-16-2010, 04:49 PM   #9
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You are going to get a lot of recommendations for zoom lenses, I go the other way.
My wedding lens kit consists of the following:
15LTD, 21LTD, 31LTD, DA*55/1.4 and one of the following:
70LTD, 77LTD (depending on my mood)
and the A*85/1.4 (fast back of the church lens).
06-16-2010, 05:21 PM   #10
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I have the sigma 18-50 2.8 and think it is an excellent lens. However I just had a wedding this weekend and did not use it once. I mainly used the Sigma 30 1.4 do to low light issues and find it to be a great lens.

Sigma 18-50 2.8




Sigma 30 1.4



06-16-2010, 05:22 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
You are going to get a lot of recommendations for zoom lenses, I go the other way.
My wedding lens kit consists of the following:
15LTD, 21LTD, 31LTD, DA*55/1.4 and one of the following:
70LTD, 77LTD (depending on my mood)
and the A*85/1.4 (fast back of the church lens).
This, my friends, is the quality stuff.

And is what separates the men from the boys.

If a wedding isn't worth the effort of changing superior primes as opposed to the convenience of zooms, what is?
06-16-2010, 05:25 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by montman Quote
I have the sigma 18-50 2.8 and think it is an excellent lens. However I just had a wedding this weekend and did not use it once. I mainly used the Sigma 30 1.4 do to low light issues and find it to be a great lens.

Sigma 18-50 2.8




Sigma 30 1.4


BEAUTIFUL STUFF!!!

Applause!!!!
06-16-2010, 05:51 PM   #13
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Ira- Thank you!
+2 with Wheatfield and Ira for the prime set
However, the versatility of the 50-135 is nice during the ceremony part of the wedding and it looks like you already have that off your check list. For portrait work, I could easily go all prime.
06-16-2010, 06:02 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by hfthomp Quote
I've heard that the auto focusing on the Tamron is crazy loud.
Was the person who told you that comparing it to other screw drive lenses (eg, is he saying it's louder than the 18-55 you already have), or is it someone who is accustomed only to supersonic motor lenses (eg, someone comparing it to the DA*16-50, or a Canon shooter who has never heard a screw-driven lens?)
06-17-2010, 04:51 AM   #15
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I would go with the 16-50. Quiet is awfully nice for wedding ceremonies and with the 50-135 and 16-50 you have it covered. You will need a flash or two as well. Primes are a beautiful thing, but it is awfully nice to have the flexibility of a zoom at your finger tips. I think that once you get accustomed to shooting weddings and know what you will need and when, it would be easier to use primes, but for me, the 16-50 and 50-135 cover 95 percent of what I use.

Fun "other" lenses that I also use are the 10-17 fish eye and DA 70...
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