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08-24-2007, 06:48 PM   #1
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Migrating to DSLR - need lens suggestions

Finally broke down and ordered a Pentax DSLR, the K100D!

I only purchased the body as I have some lenses from my Pentax film SLR days and was not sure on the kit lens.


Here is what I currently have:
Pentax F 50mm f1.7
Pentax FA 28-70mm f4 Zoom
Vivitar Series-1 19-35mm f3.5-4.5 Wide Zoom
Tokina 28-70mm f3.5-4.5 Zoom
Sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 DL Macro Super

How would you rate these lens with the K100D?
These were used with a ZX-5n some years ago before I switched to a non-slr digicam for convenience.

I have been looking at picking up some wider primes due to the 1.5x crop and possibly a walkaround zoom with better range and optics than the kit DA 18-55mm lens.

Here is what I am considering and appreciate your thoughts:
Pentax DA 40mm
Pentax FA 35mm
Pentax A 28mm
Sigma 18-125mm Zoom

08-24-2007, 06:58 PM   #2
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Welcome to the world of Pentax.
Think I would be going up market not sideways with respect to the lens'.
Give considerstion to the Pentax 16-50 f2.8, Sigma 17-70 or Pentax 16-45 f4.
I have the Sigma 18-125 and while it is an ok lens, the ones mentioned above are a definate step up. You will not regret it.
Cheers
08-24-2007, 07:19 PM   #3
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First of all let me welcome you. That's a nice group of lenses you are starting out with. Consider the M28 f3.5 instead of the A 28. IMO it is a sharper and more contrasty lens. I have a thing about the DA lenses and won't buy them but that's me. If you want the DA40 because of size, try the FA 43. Why don't you just shoot with what you have for 30 to 60 days and see how they work out? You might find they work very well with the crop factor.

Regards,

Ken
08-24-2007, 07:58 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by hardwired Quote
Finally broke down and ordered a Pentax DSLR, the K100D!

I only purchased the body as I have some lenses from my Pentax film SLR days and was not sure on the kit lens.


Here is what I currently have:
Pentax F 50mm f1.7
Pentax FA 28-70mm f4 Zoom
Vivitar Series-1 19-35mm f3.5-4.5 Wide Zoom
Tokina 28-70mm f3.5-4.5 Zoom
Sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 DL Macro Super

How would you rate these lens with the K100D?
These were used with a ZX-5n some years ago before I switched to a non-slr digicam for convenience.

I have been looking at picking up some wider primes due to the 1.5x crop and possibly a walkaround zoom with better range and optics than the kit DA 18-55mm lens.

Here is what I am considering and appreciate your thoughts:
Pentax DA 40mm
Pentax FA 35mm
Pentax A 28mm
Sigma 18-125mm Zoom
You've got quite a good collection. I'm not sure about the Sigma 70-300 - Many Sigmas before the DSLR days had pretty bad lens coatings, and as a result while they performed OK on film, they have horrific contrast on DSLRs. (Coatings are extra important with DSLRs because of the highly reflective sensor.) Try it and see. I wound up ordering the Pentax DA 50-200 within days after my father brought the first-generation Sigma 28-200 that we used with our PZ-70 up from New Jersey - That lens served us well with the PZ-70 but was basically worthless on my new K10D, it was severely lacking in contrast. Everything was washed out.

I bought my K10D for compatibility with my old K-mount lenses from the PZ-70 era (about 8 years ago, like yourself I was in P&S digicam-land for a while), and in the end don't use them much (if at all). Of course, my collection was not as extensive or as good as yours - just an M 50/2 and the aforementioned Sigma. Yours appear to be higher quality lenses so many may work well. (Higher-end lenses from the film days already have the antireflective coatings needed to work with DSLRs. It's just the cheaper ones that suffer.)

08-24-2007, 08:22 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by GWP Quote
Welcome to the world of Pentax.
Think I would be going up market not sideways with respect to the lens'.
Give considerstion to the Pentax 16-50 f2.8, Sigma 17-70 or Pentax 16-45 f4.
I have the Sigma 18-125 and while it is an ok lens, the ones mentioned above are a definate step up. You will not regret it.
Cheers

Everyone, thanks for the warm welcome.
I got some great shots with my old Pentax film SLRs starting with the SF-1 until some dummy broke it on me. Later got a ZX-5n and a few more lenses with help from the pentax mail list guys - not sure if they are still around?

It looks like the Sigma 18-125 may not be a step in the right direction.
What is the street price on the three short zooms mentioned? Is the optical quality on the Sigma 17-70 as good as these Pentax items?
08-24-2007, 08:26 PM   #6
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New camera, no kit, old lens, and LBA already eating away at me
Will try to hold off

Hopefully the Vivitar wide zoom will be OK for landscapes, and somewhat comparable to a to a 28mm or 35mm prime.
08-24-2007, 08:41 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Entropy Quote
You've got quite a good collection. I'm not sure about the Sigma 70-300 - Many Sigmas before the DSLR days had pretty bad lens coatings, and as a result while they performed OK on film, they have horrific contrast on DSLRs. (Coatings are extra important with DSLRs because of the highly reflective sensor.) Try it and see. I wound up ordering the Pentax DA 50-200 within days after my father brought the first-generation Sigma 28-200 that we used with our PZ-70 up from New Jersey - That lens served us well with the PZ-70 but was basically worthless on my new K10D, it was severely lacking in contrast. Everything was washed out.

I bought my K10D for compatibility with my old K-mount lenses from the PZ-70 era (about 8 years ago, like yourself I was in P&S digicam-land for a while), and in the end don't use them much (if at all). Of course, my collection was not as extensive or as good as yours - just an M 50/2 and the aforementioned Sigma. Yours appear to be higher quality lenses so many may work well. (Higher-end lenses from the film days already have the antireflective coatings needed to work with DSLRs. It's just the cheaper ones that suffer.)

I think the Sigma 70-300 is good but a little slow with the AF. Not sure about coatings. I believe the DL did very close to the APO flavor at the time. Will shoot some pics and see.

What other quality long zooms for a few hundred should I look for if the Sigma turns out less than satisfactory?

For outdoors, does it make sense to use a long zoom and carry a light prime like a 28/35 for switch to an occasional wider shot?

Indoors I can use the FA 28-70 with flash until I replace with something better. Unfortunately my Sigma TTL flash will not work with this PTTL DSLR
08-25-2007, 12:04 AM   #8
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Some may argue as to their "quality", but the current 70-300 offerings from both Tamron and Sigma are both popular.

I have the Tamron version and like it. General consensus seems to be:

Tamron is quite sharp, but is very prone to purple fringing in high-contrast situations. $150-180
Sigma APO is a bit softer, but doesn't suffer from PF. It's the most expensive of the 70-300s ($210-230)
Sigma non-APO is really "iffy" - and it's only $10-20 less than the Tamron in most cases anyway.
I have never seen a single good thing said about the Pentax 75-300.

The Pentax DA 50-200 ($230ish before rebate I think?) is also a very popular lens. Not as long as the 70-300 units, but if you don't need the extra 50%, it is MUCH lighter.

Most people frown on "superzooms" because of low image quality, but I have seen a lot of people say that the Tamron 18-250 is a rare exception. I don't have one myself.

08-25-2007, 12:40 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by hardwired Quote
Everyone, thanks for the warm welcome.
I got some great shots with my old Pentax film SLRs starting with the SF-1 until some dummy broke it on me. Later got a ZX-5n and a few more lenses with help from the pentax mail list guys - not sure if they are still around?

It looks like the Sigma 18-125 may not be a step in the right direction.
What is the street price on the three short zooms mentioned? Is the optical quality on the Sigma 17-70 as good as these Pentax items?
Hi Hardwired,
There are very good reports on both the Pentax 16-45 and Sig 17-70 on this forum, many members own them and would be happy to point you in the direction of photos they have taken with these lenses. My current thread in "Post Your Photos" forum, titled 'Beautiful Canada', has shots taken with the 18-125.

Spend a bit of time there searching and you will find samples .

The Pentax DA*16-50 is only recently released and the most expensive of the three. As for prices you will have do a bit of homework on that, very dependant on where you buy and your shopping habits eg: in store, on line etc.

Good luck with your decision, I can not over emphasise the value of homework before you make it.
Cheers
08-25-2007, 07:56 AM   #10
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I struggled with which walk around zoom to buy when I bought my K10D body. My older lenses (Super Program generation) were only OK on Digital and did not autofocus. I ended up buying the Sigma 17-70 and love it. I used it exclusively during a three week vacation to Italy and Greece (except for ~5 shots where I added a Tamron 1.4X converter for better reach). I've gotten nothing but great compliments from the few people that have seen the photos. I'm still thinning down the over 3700 photos I took. I'm down to about 2500 and will be posting on Webshots soon. I'll post a link in the forum once I put them online.
I highly recommend the Sigma 17-70 for general purposes.
Regards,
Brian
08-25-2007, 10:27 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by calicojack Quote
I struggled with which walk around zoom to buy when I bought my K10D body. My older lenses (Super Program generation) were only OK on Digital and did not autofocus. I ended up buying the Sigma 17-70 and love it. I used it exclusively during a three week vacation to Italy and Greece (except for ~5 shots where I added a Tamron 1.4X converter for better reach). I've gotten nothing but great compliments from the few people that have seen the photos. I'm still thinning down the over 3700 photos I took. I'm down to about 2500 and will be posting on Webshots soon. I'll post a link in the forum once I put them online.
I highly recommend the Sigma 17-70 for general purposes.
Regards,
Brian
Brian,

Any idea how many of your shots were under 40mm?
08-25-2007, 11:48 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by hardwired Quote
Finally broke down and ordered a Pentax DSLR, the K100D!

I only purchased the body as I have some lenses from my Pentax film SLR days and was not sure on the kit lens.


Here is what I currently have:
Pentax F 50mm f1.7
Pentax FA 28-70mm f4 Zoom
Vivitar Series-1 19-35mm f3.5-4.5 Wide Zoom
Tokina 28-70mm f3.5-4.5 Zoom
Sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 DL Macro Super

How would you rate these lens with the K100D?
These were used with a ZX-5n some years ago before I switched to a non-slr digicam for convenience.

I have been looking at picking up some wider primes due to the 1.5x crop and possibly a walkaround zoom with better range and optics than the kit DA 18-55mm lens.

Here is what I am considering and appreciate your thoughts:
Pentax DA 40mm
Pentax FA 35mm
Pentax A 28mm
Sigma 18-125mm Zoom
Not sure of the 19-35 viv ser 1 but I still would have picked up the kit lens (usually only a $50 or so premium, oh well, the new DA*16-50 f2.8 looks to be much better anyways, but pricey)
AND why I 'm posting.
WHAT no DEDICATED Macro lenses!!!!!!!!!!!! Shame...
08-25-2007, 07:48 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by hardwired Quote
Indoors I can use the FA 28-70 with flash until I replace with something better.
The FA 28-70 is a nice compact lens. There are mixed reports about it but I think this is due to many people having problems with lens separation. If the elements of your sample are solidly glued together, then you have a fine lens and I see no reason to dump it. If you want a faster lens, you'd better buy a prime.

Cheers!
08-25-2007, 09:02 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by hardwired Quote
Hopefully the Vivitar wide zoom will be OK for landscapes, and somewhat comparable to a to a 28mm or 35mm prime.
At 19mm, it will have a field of view similar to a 30mm lens. So it is wide, but not the ultra-wide that you get on a 35mm film camera.

If you want to go wider, you can consider the Pentax DA 16-45mm f4, which is a very nice lens. It is the equivalent of a 24mm lens on the wide end. The DA* 16-50mm f2.8 is a faster zoom, but no wider. I use a Pentax DA 12-24mm f4, which give a very wide field of view (equivalent to an 18mm lens on a 35mm film camera). And there is the Pentax DA 14mm f2.8 which is also a fine lens. The cheapest ultra-wide option in a new zoom would be a Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6. That would give you a very wide field of view for under $500.
08-26-2007, 08:43 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Abbazz Quote
The FA 28-70 is a nice compact lens. There are mixed reports about it but I think this is due to many people having problems with lens separation. If the elements of your sample are solidly glued together, then you have a fine lens and I see no reason to dump it. If you want a faster lens, you'd better buy a prime.

Cheers!
How do you think the Sigma 17-70 might compare to an FA 28-70?
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