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08-16-2010, 06:52 AM   #1
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Suggestions for a Wide Range Zoom Lens Needed

I use a K200D with the kit lens and the Pentax 50-200mm. I'm a bit overwhelmed by the choices of lenses in the new and used market, so I need opinions from folks who know a lot more than I about what's available.

Here's what's what: Most of my shooting is nature, wildlife, and landscapes, and I tend to use either the 200mm or 18mm (or near enough as makes no difference). If possible, I would like to find one lens to give me a similar range so I don't have to swap lenses frequently. While I'd love to eventually acquire primes, my near future need is for reasonable quality (at least as good as what I've got), along with simplicity and modest price. I know this is a tall order, but I'm planning to pack my camera kit along on a long cylcotour, and want to keep the weight and bulk down.

What suggestions can you give me for an all-in-one lens, wide angle to 200mm or so?

08-16-2010, 07:03 AM   #2
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My suggestion would be a Tamron/Pentax 18-250mm.
08-16-2010, 07:38 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
My suggestion would be a Tamron/Pentax 18-250mm.
+1 on that. It is the same optical and mechanical design, original by Tamron, maybe with SMC coating in the case of Pentax.

Reliable lens in mid-low to good light, hunts in low light (low light means after the sunset but not yet totally dark)

Good macro capability (1:4), fairly fast AF, a bit of distortion on the wide end and PF in high contrast situations but nothing too annoying.

Ideal all purpose lens, not for churches/museums interior shots though.
08-16-2010, 08:17 AM   #4
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Thanks Dave and Kytra. Those lenses would seem to fit the bill rather nicely. Much appreciated.

08-16-2010, 10:57 AM   #5
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For a single all-around lens, the DA18-250 can't be beat. But it can't do everything. My original lens set for my K20D were the DA10-17, DA18-250, and FA50/1.4, and they're still what I use most, except I may substitute a faster Zenitar 16/2.8 for the 10-17, and I'm never without a Nikkor 85/2 for some reach in less light. My most minimal lens set (out of ~80 on hand) is the Zen 16, DA18-250, FA50, NI 85, and a Raynox DCR-250 for closeups. (I should get a DCR-150 for more magnification.) And to supplement the 18-250 for great sharpness at the long end, I carry a light Tele-Takumar 200/5.6. None of these are large lenses.
08-17-2010, 05:04 AM   #6
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Thanks for your comments, RioRico. I'm considering taking only one lens for long bike touring because it would save weight and, even more importantly, space. It's amazing how quickly even small items can overwhelm the bicycle's (and its rider's) carrying capacity.
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