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10-15-2010, 03:20 AM   #1
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Help me choose a 3 lens setup for overseas trip!

Hi fellow Pentaxians,

I've just bought my first dSLR, the k-x, for a trip to Japan in 2 weeks time. I've got 3 lenses so far:

DA15mm limited
Sigma 17-70mm
Tamron 90mm macro

I know it might sound stupid asking for a 3 lens setup when I have exactly 3 lenses. But I'm considering selling my Sigma 17-70mm for a 3 prime lens setup.
Which lens sould replace the Sigma 17-70mm and would it be worth replacing the zoom for a prime? I'm considering a normal focal range prime from 35-50mm so I have a good spread in the range. The lenses I considered are the DA40mm or FA50mm f1.4/1.7. I'm leaning towards the D40mm atm. Are there any other lenses I should consider?

As an added note, anyone interested in buying the Sigma 17-70mm lol? I know I should list it in the selling forum but I cannot make a post there because of account restrictions, I bought my DA15mm from BH Photo and they didn't credit me so I can gain access to the marketplace.....

Anyway, the Sigma is brand new that came with my k-x as a package, and I live in Australia but can post worldwide.

PS. sorry if I broke any forum rules.

10-15-2010, 03:33 AM   #2
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I don't know anything about forum rules. :-)

I can vouch for the DA 40 Ltd, but you should also consider the DA 35/2.4 when it becomes available where you are. It is less expensive but not "cheap", has a wider ring for manual focus if you are into that sort of thing, and the FOV is closer to a conventional normal -- the DA 40 is slightly long for my taste. And if you are thinking of a three-prime setup, wide, normal, and tele, then I don't think you should allow your normal to creep into the near-tele range (for me that would rule out even thinking of 50s).

The other options worth considering would be the 31 Limited (duh), the 35 Macro (if you might want macro), the FA 35/2 (if you want the other stop of speed), or the Sigma 30/1.4 (if you don't mind a slightly heavier lens to get the widest aperture). Or you could consider an FA 28 for the slightly wide normal look that some prefer.

Have fun!
10-15-2010, 04:29 AM   #3
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I know it is not what you are asking for, but when I travel light I take my sigma 10-20 and my tamron 28-75 and thats it. Your 17-70 seems ideally suited and I would not sell it I think unless you go ultra wide you are pretty well set. The only addition would be a TC for the 90 mm to give a little more reach. I sometimes take my K135F2.5For this
10-15-2010, 04:36 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I know it is not what you are asking for, but when I travel light I take my sigma 10-20 and my tamron 28-75 and thats it. Your 17-70 seems ideally suited and I would not sell it I think unless you go ultra wide you are pretty well set. The only addition would be a TC for the 90 mm to give a little more reach. I sometimes take my K135F2.5For this
Yeah, but you know, there are zoom people, and there are prime people, and there are people who are both or neither.

I believe the original poster wants to be prime people. As do I. :-)

10-15-2010, 04:37 AM   #5
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10-15-2010, 04:50 AM   #6
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I wonder why you want to sell your Sigma so soon after you got it. It's really an excellent, reliable and versatile lens. I'd keep it

If you really must sell it, considering you have a 15 and a 90 macro already, I'd go with

A fast 50, there are things only such a lens can do. The DA40 is all well and good, but the Pentax 50s are hard to beat, people just take them for granted. But even though it's less glamorous than say, my FA50 macro, my F50 f1,7 is almost as sharp, and it's at least as sharp as my DA21. Plus sometimes you just need f1,7, and not many lenses can give you that.

The DA21 to complement your 15, or the DA35 if 21 feels too wide

Then I'd ponder two possibilities : either the DA70 or something with more reach, above 150 mm. But that depends on your style.
10-15-2010, 04:59 AM   #7
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Rather than replacing the 17-70 range with one prime (The gap between 15 to 90 is too wide to be replaced with just one lens), I'd rather take the three lenses you have.

If you rerally want a new lens for the trip, then the DA35/2.8 macro sounds like a good option, but my vote is to keep your lenses.
10-15-2010, 05:09 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I know it is not what you are asking for, but when I travel light I take my sigma 10-20 and my tamron 28-75 and thats it. Your 17-70 seems ideally suited and I would not sell it I think unless you go ultra wide you are pretty well set. The only addition would be a TC for the 90 mm to give a little more reach. I sometimes take my K135F2.5For this
QuoteOriginally posted by Impartial Quote
Yeah, but you know, there are zoom people, and there are prime people, and there are people who are both or neither.

I believe the original poster wants to be prime people. As do I. :-)
I know what you are saying, and I too have done trips with just a bagful of primes from 24-85mm (all M42 lenses) and have had fun with that too, BUT. without revamping the entire kit, which is always really a bad thing to do before a trip,, it seems that except for something ultra wide, the OP has a pretty good travel set-up as it is.

If he was discussing bulding a prime kit for use in 3-6 months, then he has time to learn the individual lenses and play enough to be comfortable with them, but the worst thing to do is to go out with new and unfamiliar equipment and start shooting on a trip that may not be repeated for some time.

10-15-2010, 05:30 AM   #9
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Original Poster
Thanks for the suggestions guys.

The reason I wanna sell the Sigma is because the DA40 seems to be much sharper and also lighter. ut I have to find someone to sell it to first lol.

As for the 35mm, 50mm and 70mm macro suggestions, since I already got a Tamron 90mm macro, I don't want to pay extra for feature I don't need, and 90mm is a better working distance for macro too.

If I wanna travel light, should i just carry the DA15 and Sigma 17-70 then? Since the Sigma has semi-macro, saves carrying the bulk of an extra lens. Though that makes the Tamron an unnecessary expense for this trip...
10-15-2010, 06:02 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by catastrophe Quote
Thanks for the suggestions guys.

The reason I wanna sell the Sigma is because the DA40 seems to be much sharper and also lighter. ut I have to find someone to sell it to first lol.

As for the 35mm, 50mm and 70mm macro suggestions, since I already got a Tamron 90mm macro, I don't want to pay extra for feature I don't need, and 90mm is a better working distance for macro too.

If I wanna travel light, should i just carry the DA15 and Sigma 17-70 then? Since the Sigma has semi-macro, saves carrying the bulk of an extra lens. Though that makes the Tamron an unnecessary expense for this trip...
the DA15 and sigma would make a good pair, with the sigma doing most outdoor work, and the DA15 doing any indoor work in tight spaces, or outdoor archetecture shots where you do really want wide and sharp.

As I posted earlier, I have gone with just a 10-20 and 28-75 and had no issue at all. and this is a pretty light kit.
10-15-2010, 09:53 AM   #11
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Depending how you are going to travel, I would suggest you to take the 90mm also and if you don't need it just leave it in hotel or place you're staying. I've traveled inside japan and I can say that it's a rather safe country so don't worry too much about leaving it there.

Also, if you like manual focus primes you might be able to get some cheap at some stores in tokyo.
10-15-2010, 01:10 PM   #12
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Keep and take what you have.
Add a Fast Fifty: FA-50/1.4 if you can afford it, A- or M-50/1.7 or ST-55/1.8 if you can't.
Stay happy.

My minimalist kit: Zenitar 16/2.8, DA-18-250, FA-50/1.4, Nikkor 85/2, Raynox DCR-250.
Your glass is better (although a bet weak at the long end).
10-15-2010, 01:25 PM   #13
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Just obtain and take the Pentax DA 18-250. You will find that on a trip, carrying and swapping 3 lenses is a chore and tiresome. With just 1 lens, you can take your camera everywhere and and get that shot every time.
10-15-2010, 01:31 PM   #14
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I have to say, I would add a normal prime before a fast 50 -- if it has to be a fast normal, either the FA 35/2 or a Sigma: 28/1.8 is cheaper and lighter than 30/1.4, but 2/3 stop slower for those concerned about these things. Or the FA Limited at twice the price is the same aperture as the Sigma 28 . . .
10-15-2010, 04:48 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by tomwil Quote
Just obtain and take the Pentax DA 18-250. You will find that on a trip, carrying and swapping 3 lenses is a chore and tiresome. With just 1 lens, you can take your camera everywhere and and get that shot every time.
+1 with a twist.

Get a 18-250mm for the everyday shooting as your primary lens. As tomwill stated, you will save yourself a lot of lens swapping.

And ... get yourself a fast prime lens (eg f1.4) for low-light conditions. That is the main weakness of the DA18-250mm.

I travel a lot and I found this set up (18-250mm + fast prime) the most practical and easy to carry in hand luggage. I typically carry my K-7 and 18-250mm in a small top-loader bag. At nighttime, sunrise, or sunset, I setup the fast prime lens.
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