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07-25-2010, 06:37 PM   #1
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Lens Purchase Suggestions

After about 3 days of looking through numerous threads, links, images and reviews Ive decided on my next lens choices. As someone said, as you grow in this field, you can definitely start to tell your kit lens just doesnt cut it anymore.

The decision was based on categories of landscape, overall, portrait and a) image quality b)performance c)price:

Pentax DA 15 - (because I want to see if it can control my mind too, I know I cant ) using this for landscapes and aerial photo's. I do aerial photography using RC Heli's so think this is the best lens for the job (weight is a factor for this category also).

Sigma 17-70 f2.8 OS HSM - General "walk around" lens/upgrade from my kit 18-55 (2nd place was thinking of tam or sig 28-75).

Tamron 90 f2.8 - For using macro and portraits (2nd place was the DA*55-135 but figured as someone mentioned, just step closer instead of zooming )

Already have a Pentax 55-300 for outdoor and sporting events (mainly my sons) so i think this will suffice.

I think Ive gotten the best lenses for the best IQ for the best price in each category that will cover most areas and last me awhile.

Ive tried to weigh the pros and cons of others, but if anyone can suggest a better lens thats comparable than the 3 Im about to purchase please let me know.

As always, thanks in advance!

07-25-2010, 07:07 PM   #2
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To me that thinking makes perfect sense. The only lens I'd consider as an alternative might be the 14mm over the 15mm. I shoot a lot close to or at wide open (limited DOF junkie) and try to buy sharp fast glass whenever possible during an upgrade. Sure it's bigger but that has never been a limiting factor when making a lens choice. IMO size never matters.
07-25-2010, 07:22 PM   #3
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thanks for your input Pete. I took a look at it, doesnt seem to gain much and is more $ than the 15 by a lot.

But the biggest issue IS size for me on this. I will mostly use this on aerial shots from a Remote Controlled Heli, and the 14 being almost twice as heavy is a deal breaker, more weight = less flight times and harder to control the Heli.
07-25-2010, 07:30 PM   #4
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Well that makes sense. What about the 40mm for the Heli. You can't get a lighter lens and it's optically a fine lens. Although the FOV of the 15mm might be superior. How high does this thing go up?

07-25-2010, 07:57 PM   #5
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Well, technically not supposed to go over 400ft several miles away fm airports, but it could go out of sight and could fly FPV if you really wanted.

Over tree top level about 50-100ft is the norm when shooting houses or doing larger lots will vary and thats where the 15mm would be great to capture the most.
07-25-2010, 08:04 PM   #6
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You already have some solid advice. Let me add two comments.

The Tamron 90mm SP is an excellent lens. There are other excellent lenses around 100mm with the Sigma 105mm and Pentax 100mm WR. All these are excellent lenses but the Tamron is possibly a better value for money.

Finally do you shoot in low light conditions (eg sunrise)? In the affirmative, you may consider a fast prime with large aperture (f1.4).
07-25-2010, 08:22 PM   #7
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that's a pretty good combo. although for general photography lens, it could be better. I hope they come out something great at 17-70. whether it would be Sigma or Pentax.
07-25-2010, 08:27 PM   #8
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interesting hcc, how much better is the 105 than the 90? and is the pentax 100 worth it over the 90, seems its much better, does interest me, but much more $$, is it that big a difference or could the 90 do just as good a job and save me the $, since im just getting into portrait/macro stuff.

07-25-2010, 08:53 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by patriotap Quote
interesting hcc, how much better is the 105 than the 90? and is the pentax 100 worth it over the 90, seems its much better, does interest me, but much more $$, is it that big a difference or could the 90 do just as good a job and save me the $, since im just getting into portrait/macro stuff.
Welcome to Photozone! and www.slrgear.com reviewed both the Sigma 105mm and Tamron SP90mm. Both were rated Highly Recommended by Photozone.de with very little difference according to slrgear.com. This is impressive review outcomes for both lenses.

Altogether, you will read a lot of praise for the Tamron 90mm, Sigma 105mm and the newer Pentax 100mm WR. All are excellent lenses, and I strongly believe that the Tamron 90mm is the best value for money unless you require WR.

Off course, as always, it is good advice to go to the local photo store and test the lenses to be sure that you like them.
07-25-2010, 09:08 PM   #10
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yes, checked both review sites and came to that same conclusion, thanks for your personal view, thats what I was looking for!
07-26-2010, 03:16 PM   #11
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May go with the da* 16-50 and bag the sigma, decisions, decisions! I may need the WR on it. They seem pretty close.
07-26-2010, 04:04 PM   #12
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BTW, size matters to me, a lot. No way would I consider the DA14 - might as well get a zoom if you want a lens that big. Unlike Peter, I don't find f/4 to be limiting at that focal length.

I also wanted to point out the Sigma 17-70 is *not* f/2.8 - at least, not constant f/2.8. It's f/4 through much of the range where you'd want it to be faster. So if you're looking for an upgarde from the kitlens for the sake of speed, I'd be considering a true f/2.8 zoom instead, like the DA*16-50. Being sealed is just icing.

The sigma 17-70 strikes as as having only slightly greater reach and slightly better IQ and slightly better speed. No one of those would be enough to consider it worth upgrading to in my opinion, but combined, it could well be. Quite a bit bigger than the 18-55 though; I'd personally rather have a set of primes in that range, or a true f/2.8 zoom.
07-26-2010, 04:25 PM   #13
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Thanks Marc
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