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08-26-2007, 09:50 AM   #1
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Need advice on lens purchase

Hello folks,

I'm looking to spend some money on glass, but due to budget constraints, I'm having a difficult time making a choice.

The deal is, I need a bright lens I can use for event coverage, likely in less than ideal lighting conditions. My Sigma DG APO 70-300 is fine outdoors and in studio conditions, not in churches and halls, where it's me and my flash.

So, I've been looking at the Sigma APO 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC HSM.

It would give me an excellent working range, and at f2.8, an improvement over the 3.5/4.5 lenses I have.

I wish I could afford primes at 1.4/1.8/2, but that would mean buying multiple lenses in addition to switching lenses on the run.

Any suggestions/advice is appreciated!

08-26-2007, 01:02 PM   #2
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I don't see were that lens is available in the Pentax mount. It looks like it sells for about $585 which I would not consider inexpensive. For less than $100 you can get a M,A, or F 50 f1.4. A 50 f 1.7 would be even less money. Your f3.5 lens is not even 1 stop slower than 2.8. Spending $585 for 2/3eds of a stop just doesn't sound like a sound plan to me.

08-26-2007, 01:49 PM   #3
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You probably won't find a lot of lenses faster than F/2.8 that are also longer than 100mm. I'm assuming you were looking for a telephoto zoom, one faster than your Sigma 70-300.

If Sigma ever releases the 50-150 in Pentax mount, it would be a very fine telephoto zoom. Until then, manual focus is probably the only remotely affordable way to go.

Generally, most of the F/2.8 zooms are high quality so you only need to verify it and its usability are suitable for your purposes and that you're paying a fair price for it.

The Pentax FA 135mm/2.8 is my only AF lens in that range and I love it, but I'm about to get a Tamron 80-200/2.8 (manual focus) for less then I paid for the Pentax.
08-26-2007, 01:52 PM   #4
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i've got a 200/3.5 if you are interested

08-26-2007, 08:15 PM   #5
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Original Poster
Thanks for the responses folks, just need to clarify a bit as my initial post was on the run.

I don't care whether it's manual or AF. AF would be nice, but most of the time I'm faster at focusing than the lens is, particularly when it wants to spend precious seconds hunting.

I want a zoom, not fixed, as I want to avoid switching lenses on the run. I can do that in a studio, but fiddling around with lenses while covering an event is something I want to avoid or minimize if at all possible. Would this be feasible or should I give it up and get fixed?

If it was a macro as well, that would be a nice bonus. I find myself taking some macro shots at weddings, so it would come in handy as well.

And, thanks for pointing out the lens I was looking at is not available for Pentax mount One small detail I failed to notice

Regken, agreed - I am very hesitant about spending that much, even if it gives me 2.8 across the range of the zoom.

Jslifoaw, I looked at Tamrons, but I couldn't find anything on their site about a 2.8 zoom, unless you're talking used.

Roy, thanks for the offer, but I would rather not buy fixed at this point

Last edited by George Lama; 08-26-2007 at 08:38 PM.
08-26-2007, 08:46 PM   #6
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If you do not mind manual focus the SMC Pentax-A 35-105mm F3.5 performs really well. It has Macro throughout the focal range and a constant 3.5.

On a budget you can find this lens in excellent condition for under $200. I would say the only draw back would be weight.
08-27-2007, 06:08 AM   #7
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This may not be as long a lens as you want but inside a church it's plenty long fo my use. The Tamron 28-75 f2.8 Di is an excellent lens. It has been comapred favourably (sharpness) with the DA* 28-70 and others have said the only differences are the DA* has better bokeh but the cost is 1/3 of the Pentax used these days. The Tamron sells around $350. Fast sharp and has a decent Macro function. If your looking for a fast 135mm I have an SMC A 135 f2.8 in near mint condition I'm about to list on Ebay next week and it's in our "marketplace" right now. . One just sold there for $182.50 PENTAX A 135MM F2.8 K LENS MINT (item 250155319976 end time 22-Aug-07 23:16:49 EDT) I've seen them go up to $225.00. Great lens and fast. I have 2 so one's gotta go! This is the cleaner less used version. If it is of interest I'll sell it for $165.00 Plus shipping ($15.00 to NA)
08-29-2007, 09:54 PM   #8
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Thanks for the great advice gents!

On the lookout for the right price now :-)


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