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06-23-2010, 12:02 PM   #1
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Lens selection for a noobie

Hello forum, another new member.

I知 needing help picking a lens for my k2000. I bought the k2000 (with kit lens) about a year ago and although it takes some great pictures I知 wanting to upgrade the quality of my pictures. I知 wanting to keep the price somewhere around 500 usd. I知 getting into macro pictures of flowers / insects but would like to take family photos, and some scenery pictures too (like to take wildlife pictures as well but I知 sure that will be another lens someday).

Lens I知 considering.
Tamron 90mm F2.8 SP Di Macro
Pentax DA* 55mm F1.4
D FA 100mm f2.8 Macro WR (although it's more expensive)

Also, would it be worth it to sell my kit lens and get a
Pentax DA 18-250 / Tamron 18-250 or another superzoom
or just keep my lens kit.

Are these lens selections good and what am I leaving out? I'm far less knowledgeable than many of you and will take all the help I can get.
Thanks for helping out a noobie.

06-23-2010, 12:05 PM   #2
Ira
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None of those lenses will fill all of those needs.

Have you looked at the Tamron 28-75, or do you want to start building a prime collection?

I have the Tamron 90, and it's a great lens for what it's made for, but it's too long for a lot of stuff and too short for others.

If you want to hit the ground running with a great 1:1 Macro that is also good for portraits, it will do the trick, but don't expect to be shooting a few people sitting on a couch.
06-23-2010, 12:20 PM   #3
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I guess what I'm looking for is a good prime to start off with. Being able to shoot both nice macro and portrait shots.
06-23-2010, 12:23 PM   #4
Ash
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Narrowing your intentions down to macro and portrait makes the Tamron 90 the most logical choice.
A good focal length and a good quality lens, it'll easily take care of both your macro and portrait needs.

06-23-2010, 01:04 PM   #5
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I'll throw another suggestion out to you. How about the DA 35 Limited? It has the macro capability you want and is a much better focal length for the family stuff. It would require you to get a little bit closer for portraits. As Ira said, the 90 is a tough FL for family photos, with the 100 being tougher still. I have never owned or used the 35 but it certainly has a lot of fans around here. Some have even supposed it to be the ideal "flower lens". I also have no experience with and don't know much about the Tamron, so I can't comment on that one, but the other 2 Pentax you mentioned I do own and can assure you that they are both wonderful. I just don't think either of them is going to be just what you're looking for right now. Plus, the 35 Ltd falls in with your budget ($539 right now at B&H).

As far as selling your kit lens goes. It's up to you, but don't expect it to bring enough to make much of a dent in another lens purchase. I have the Pentax 18-250 (it stays on my wife's camera), and it is certainly better than the kit lens, but if I were you, I would stick with something with a little less zoom and a little more quality. Or you could keep your kit lens and add a 55-300. That's got to be one of the all-time "best-buy" Pentax lenses.
06-23-2010, 01:16 PM   #6
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There's also incredible macro stuff done here without true macro lenses via reversal rings, Raynox auxiliary filters, etc., so at this point, I wouldn't worry about getting a "true"' macro.

Also, the 35 is considered by many to be "the" ideal length, and that one is outstanding. It might not seem like the sexiest length, but it might be the one you youself get the most use out for now.
06-23-2010, 05:39 PM   #7
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I was thinking about the DA35 myself. It's my main lens. It's a very usable focal length with great IQ, and the close focus capability comes in very, very handy. Now that I have the DA35, my DAL18-55 sits in the closet most of the time. I recently added the DFA100/2.8WR, and although it's a really nice lens, it certainly won't be used as much as the DA35. It's especially helpful when I can't get very close. I can get a lot of macro shots I just couldn't with the DA35 because I was blocking my own light, etc. There's also the DFA50/2.8. It might be a good compromise between the DA35 and the DFA100.
06-23-2010, 07:22 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Narrowing your intentions down to macro and portrait makes the Tamron 90 the most logical choice.
That or Sigma 70 Macro. I'd personally pick the Tamron because 90mm appeals to me more for concert photography, and there are probably more situations where anyone might want the extra length than not - but for portraits specifically, I'd be going 70mm.

As for the 18-250, that's not a step up from the 18-55 - it's longer but no better. If you want more length, you're better off still with the DA55-300, and that plus the Raynox 150 will cover you for macro too, further opening up possibilities.

But none of this improve the situation for family shots and landscapes. The DA35 or an f/2.8 standard zoom might be good choice there.

No matter how you slice it, you're looking at multiple lenses to do everything you want.


Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 06-24-2010 at 01:06 PM.
06-23-2010, 08:32 PM   #9
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How can we have a thread about portrait lenses and not have a mention of the DA70 or FA77

I have the DA70 and absolutely love it, every time I put in on my camera it amazes me at the images it captures. I used it last weekend in an auditorium (no windows) for my kids music concert. It was a large room with very high dark ceilings and dark wood paneled walls. Hence, it was impossible for me to bounce my flash. So I had to use my DA70 wide open to get an acceptable exposure. The images I got were amazing, super sharp and very clean, despite shooting wide open at 2.4 and ISO 800 & 1600.

IMHO if portrait is your priority over macro, then consider the DA70, FA77, and the 50-135 with either a Raynox 150, or a cheap manual focus prime for macro. If macro is your priority, consider the Tamron 90mm macro, DFA100mm macro, or Sigma 70mm macro.
06-23-2010, 09:04 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
That or Sigma 70 Macro. I'd personally pick the Tamron because 90mm appeals to me more for concert photography, and there are probably more situations where anyone might want the extra length that not - but for portraits specifically, I'd be going 70mm.

As for the 18-250, that's not a step up form the 18-55 - it's longer but no better. If you want more length, you're better off still with the DA55-300, and that plus the Raynox 150 will cover you for macro too, further opening up possibilities.

But none of this improve the situation for family shots and landscapes. The DA35 or an f/2.8 standard zoom might be good choice there.

No matter how you slice it, you're looking at multiple lenses to do everything you want.
I'll check out the Sigma 70 Macro and I do like the Tamron 90 too. I realize I will need more than just one lens for everything I would like to do, just wanting a good overall macro lens to start with. If I'm wanting to shoot insects (and flowers) is it difficult to get close enough without spooking insects with a DA 35 and still get great shots?
06-23-2010, 09:08 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
How can we have a thread about portrait lenses and not have a mention of the DA70 or FA77

I have the DA70 and absolutely love it, every time I put in on my camera it amazes me at the images it captures. I used it last weekend in an auditorium (no windows) for my kids music concert. It was a large room with very high dark ceilings and dark wood paneled walls. Hence, it was impossible for me to bounce my flash. So I had to use my DA70 wide open to get an acceptable exposure. The images I got were amazing, super sharp and very clean, despite shooting wide open at 2.4 and ISO 800 & 1600.

IMHO if portrait is your priority over macro, then consider the DA70, FA77, and the 50-135 with either a Raynox 150, or a cheap manual focus prime for macro. If macro is your priority, consider the Tamron 90mm macro, DFA100mm macro, or Sigma 70mm macro.
Thanks for the reply Twitch, I was actually just looking at the DA70. Appreciate the summary.
06-24-2010, 02:02 AM   #12
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Since you stated you wanted to upgrade the quality of your pictures, the 18-250 will not fit the bill... but if you were looking to add an 'all purpose' / 'all in one' lens for certain occassions ... then this is a great lens ... with reasonable performance and value proposition.

For macros, the Tamron 90 is a sharp lens with a great reputation ... and it doubles up for portraits as well ... again, a value for money lens ... for insects, the 90mm is probably more handy than 35mm ...
06-24-2010, 04:13 AM   #13
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I guess I would look at the DA 35, followed by a longer focal length. I have the DA 70 and love it for portrait situations, but truthfully I have seen beautiful examples taken with the Sigma 70 and Tamron 90 as well. The nice thing about the limiteds is their petite size -- the Sigma 70 is probably three times the size of the DA 70 (but of course it has macro ability which the DA doesn't have).
06-24-2010, 01:08 PM   #14
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Note the DA70 does play nice with Raynox closeup lenses. If macro is your main thing, that's not as flexible as a true macro lens, but the DA70 + Raynxo 150 gives around 1:2, and presumably would give around 1:1 with the 250.
06-24-2010, 02:27 PM   #15
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I will be using it for mostly macro and the occasional long portrait, so as of now I'm leaning toward either the Tamron 90 or Sigma 70.

This may be a stupid question but I'm trying to learn. Since my K2000 has an APS-C sensor does that mean it has a built in magnification of 1.5x? Therefore making the Tamron 90 more like 135 and the sigma 70 a 105? I could be way off, just needing some clarification.
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