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09-11-2010, 10:20 PM   #1
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Recommendation Please!

Greetings fellow Pentaxians, once again I beseech your wisdom!

*bow*

I want to know what you guys would recommend as a good general purpose lens that can be used for some portrait and street photography, but above all, it needs to be tack sharp.

I have a budget of around $300, however if there's an incredible lens that you believe is an absolute must have and is only slightly more expensive....I'll try and fork out some extra change

Thanks again!

09-11-2010, 11:42 PM   #2
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Hi, to me portrait and street feels a bit contradictory with same focal length... thus you might want a zoom going from wide to short tele such as 16/17-50. The Tamron 17-50 is very sharp and fits in your budget. The Pentax 16-50 is expensive and has the SDM burden. The Sigma 17-50 is not as regarded.
For the Tamron, avoid the VC version (rumored to have a modified, lesser optical formula), prefer a made in Japan one, and check it for focusing issues before buying.
See samples of what it can do here.
Alternatively you might go with two manual lenses such as M3.5/28 or K3.5/28 for street, and any Pentax 50mm for portrait. You'll get better rendering, Pentax colors, and superb bokeh at the cost of manual focusing. Budget would be much less than 300$ as well.
09-11-2010, 11:52 PM   #3
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Tamron 28-75/2.8
09-12-2010, 12:05 AM   #4
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I've seen some great photographs of street scenes and portraits taken with the DA40. I have one but haven't had the chance to test it out yet as my body is in repair. But search flickr for "DA 40 portrait" and "DA 40 street". I'm sure something will pop up.

09-12-2010, 12:07 AM   #5
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Just realised you're from Melbourne. Try Digital Camera Warehouse, they have good prices.
09-12-2010, 12:12 AM   #6
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I am in a bit of a dilemma at the moment because I favour primes over zooms since primes tend to be sharper, but like you said I'm going to be branching into two distinct areas....and I've recently been receiving a lot of requests to photograph indoor events, which is a pain since I lack a fast lens.

Perhaps I should go with the two manual lens idea?
09-12-2010, 12:13 AM   #7
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Will do, thanks Fig!
09-12-2010, 12:23 AM   #8
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Oh wow, the DA 40 is amazing O_o

09-12-2010, 12:43 AM   #9
hcc
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QuoteOriginally posted by figmental1978 Quote
Just realised you're from Melbourne. Try Digital Camera Warehouse, they have good prices.
Fig,
Shop around and check your local photo store. Many (serious) photo stores in the capital cities will match DCW.

In my case, I checked with DCW, but I bought my camera and all my lenses from elsewhere; e.g., my DA18-250mm came from www.keh.com (as excellent 2nd hand lens), my Voigtlander Nokton 58mm from www.adorama.com, and my Tamron 90mm SP from PhotoContinental in Brisbane. Including freight, they were 10-30% cheaper than DCW prices.

You already received some good advice on lenses. The DA40mm is one that I would be considering very seriously if you want a prime. I do not own it but it is on my 'dream' shopping list.

Hope that the comment will help.
09-12-2010, 01:13 AM   #10
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Hmm, since you have budgeted yourself 300 for a lens, I would bet you would prefer to spend less than that.

For street photography, I think the kit lens is stellar. Not because it is incredible, but because it is cheap, flexible, light, and good for spontaneous moments. It's real weak points are at 55mm (portrait) and 18m (likely wider than you want).

The Pentax K55mm 1.8 or 2.0 are very inexpensive, and fantastic portrait lenses. They far outperform their cost (about 50 dollars), and are some sharp and dreamy lenses.

With those two lenses you could easily accomplish street photography (AF, flexibility) and portraits (more time to set up shots, high IQ) for essentially 50 dollars. The rest of that money can go back to save up for one of the really great lenses that cost far more than 300.

The DA 40 is a good compromise, but more expensive and not necessarily worth it right now.
09-12-2010, 10:15 PM   #11
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I just had a look at the price of the DA 40 on ebay and the lowest it's going for is $420AU :S

I think I may end up having a look at those lenses you suggest paperbag.
09-12-2010, 10:33 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by figmental1978 Quote
Just realised you're from Melbourne. Try Digital Camera Warehouse, they have good prices.
they have the sigma 24-60 F2.8 for pentax for A$458
09-14-2010, 09:27 PM   #13
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hcc - I never really thought about buying from overseas with AUD but seems like a good alternative.

Praestigium - I know the DA40 is a little out of your budget but I've learnt over the years that it's always better to spend an extra $100 or so for the better product than compromise quality or the practicality but that's me.
09-15-2010, 06:48 AM   #14
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a relatively inexpensive option... with manual focus (a good thing imho)..
SMC Pentax-A 35-105mm F3.5 Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Review Database
will free up some $$$'s to buy other lenses, i.e. primes.....
a really fine lens imho......i've never been disappointed... and i need to use it (my copy)more often...
dave m
09-15-2010, 07:10 AM - 1 Like   #15
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I should add that the Pentax A 50mm 1.7 is a very good lens too, with (in my experience) brighter colours and more contrast. The automatic metering modes are very useful, and this lens should be available for 50 dollars as well.
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