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01-28-2011, 10:23 AM   #1
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4 lens kit idea - reflections?

I've been using a Pentax for a little over 18 months now. Moved from a Minolta 7D after they sold to Sony.

I've been coping with the kit lenses for a while (money was tight) and now have a bit (because of severance!) and this is what I'm looking at:

18-135mm Pentax DA - the new one
120-400mm Sigma HSM
40mm Pentax DA limited
(with Raynox DCR-250)
10-20mm Sigma

I don't take picture of people as a rule. I deal with them too much every other day of the week. I tend towards landscapes and wildlife. So what do people think? Are there any holes that I'm missing. I have the 40mm & 10-20mm already and want to keep prices below $1,500 total.

I think my major question is between the 120-400mm sigma & the 150-500mm.

Thanks for your ideas and help.


Last edited by Thrasis; 01-28-2011 at 10:40 AM. Reason: oops
01-28-2011, 10:32 AM   #2
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Is the 40mm wide enough for landscapes... would a 12-24 or 14 be better? You could sell/trade the 40mm easy enough. I looks like you want a 'walk-around' lens in the 18-135, so if you only have 3 lens best to not have overlap... UNLESS you want 40mm for 'different' things than the zoom.
01-28-2011, 10:34 AM   #3
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I think you can't really go wrong with the new 18-135 Pentax lens. It's a great piece of kit, for not a lot of money.

My ideal 3-lens kit for a K10D would consist of something like a 16-50 2.8, 70-200 2.8, and 10-20 f/4-5.6. That way I have ultra-wide covered, and I have F/2.8 in focal lengths from 16-200 with only a tiny gap between 50 and 70. Not perfect, nor as big in range as what you're after, I know, but what can I say? I like speed!

that kit would be a little under $2,000 if all purchased at going street prices. $800 for the Tele-zoom from Tamron, sigma or Tokina, $500 for the ultra-wide, and around 500 for the 16-50.

Since you'd be shooting landscapes and widllife, the speed is probably not as important to you as it is to me, as I get frustrated with low light easily thanks to my K10D's annoying lack of high-iso performance, and I am constantly shooting in dark places. You'll have more light, and likely a much better sensor to boot.

I'd say that if speed concerns you not, the 18-135 is a good deal. The weather resistance is a huge plus.

The cheapest lens is the one you already have, keep the 40mm!

The last bit of it will be down to whether the 150-500 fits in your budget, and has the same image quality as the 120-400...and also if having that extra 100mm at the long end is worth it to you to have the tiny 136-149 gap in focal lengths.
01-28-2011, 10:35 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by icywarm Quote
Is the 40mm wide enough for landscapes... would a 12-24 or 14 be better? You could sell/trade the 40mm easy enough. I looks like you want a 'walk-around' lens in the 18-135, so if you only have 3 lens best to not have overlap... UNLESS you want 40mm for 'different' things than the zoom.
Oh, forgot to mention (sorry, brain is fried these days), I also have a sigma 10-20mm.

Don't think I'll be getting rid of the 40mm, its just such a fun little lens. And I like it teamed up with the Raynox for a quick macro.

Oh, and currently I'm using a K20D

QuoteOriginally posted by unixrevolution Quote
I think you can't really go wrong with the new 18-135 Pentax lens. It's a great piece of kit, for not a lot of money.

My ideal 3-lens kit for a K10D would consist of something like a 16-50 2.8, 70-200 2.8, and 10-20 f/4-5.6. That way I have ultra-wide covered, and I have F/2.8 in focal lengths from 16-200 with only a tiny gap between 50 and 70. Not perfect, nor as big in range as what you're after, I know, but what can I say? I like speed!

I'd say that if speed concerns you not, the 18-135 is a good deal. The weather resistance is a huge plus.

The cheapest lens is the one you already have, keep the 40mm!

The last bit of it will be down to whether the 150-500 fits in your budget, and has the same image quality as the 120-400...and also if having that extra 100mm at the long end is worth it to you to have the tiny 136-149 gap in focal lengths.
I like the weather sealing on the 18-135mm. Don't have a WR lens yet. Have a ton of times it would have been nice when I was using minolta.

I like 70-200mm f2.8s, but I'm really frustrated that HSM don't work with TC's on Pentax. (at least consistently). I found with my minolta that I really like the 400mm range (had a tokina 80-400mm - which appears really rare for pentax).

01-28-2011, 10:39 AM   #5
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considering you have the sigma 10-20 i think you should re-name it a 4 lens kit.

it seems pretty good.

I am personally also thinking about the 18-135 as a replacement for my 28-75, The reason is a little more reach and a little overlap at the low end to cover the 20-28mm gap

on the long end I have a different option a sigma 70-200F2.8 (screw drive focus) and 1.4 and 2x tele converters.

This gives the option of speed when needed at shorter focal lengths, but 400mm when wanted.
01-28-2011, 10:42 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
considering you have the sigma 10-20 i think you should re-name it a 4 lens kit.
Done! (thanks)

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote

on the long end I have a different option a sigma 70-200F2.8 (screw drive focus) and 1.4 and 2x tele converters.

This gives the option of speed when needed at shorter focal lengths, but 400mm when wanted.
I've thought about this alot. But they seem to be a bit rare these days. I've been poking around here, Adorama, KEH, and B&H (also ebay) and haven't seen many non-hsm versions.
01-28-2011, 10:45 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
considering you have the sigma 10-20 i think you should re-name it a 4 lens kit.
I think the OP is like me... I tell my wife I have 3 lenses, but really I have more than 20....(I am still trying to decide which 17 to sell on any given day)
01-28-2011, 10:47 AM   #8
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The rest has all been said and you seem to have the 10 - 50 range well covered.

When going longer then personally I'd say if you want quality over value for money (55-300) then I'd going for a 70-200/2.8 (you have a choice) or the DA*60-250/4 and add one or both TCs (Tamron x1.4 and Pentax AFA x1.7) that gives you great reach and importantly little or no quality loss.

01-28-2011, 10:53 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
uality over value for money (55-300) then I'd going for a 70-200/2.8 (you have a choice) or the DA*60-250/4 and add one or both TCs (Tamron x1.4 and Pentax AFA x1.7) that gives you great reach and importantly little or no quality loss.
But the 60-250 with a TC drops AF right?

I've heard that the Tamron 70-200mm f.28 is noisy. Also it doesn't have the matched TC's like the Simga does. Maybe I'm grasping at straws here.

Does anyone like the long reach zoom Sigmas?

Update: Just found a cheaper Sigma (non-hsm) 135-400mm for $500 - ideas?
01-28-2011, 10:54 AM   #10
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When I want to go to 500mm, I put the AF1.7x adapter on the DA*300. It isn't a completely weather sealed option but I've found that it works quite well (I know you said 400mm). Further, in my own experience, with mega-zooms like an 80-400 you mentioned, I always found I was at the long end of the lens (had a Bigma for a few months). What I'm suggesting is that unless Auto focus is a definite must, look into some of the classics on the long range. If of course, you just want some fancy new lenses, I can understand that too.

01-28-2011, 10:56 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thrasis Quote
But the 60-250 with a TC drops AF right?

I've heard that the Tamron 70-200mm f.28 is noisy. Also it doesn't have the matched TC's like the Simga does. Maybe I'm grasping at straws here.

Does anyone like the long reach zoom Sigmas?

Update: Just found a cheaper Sigma (non-hsm) 135-400mm for $500 - ideas?
With the x1.4 Tamron it's AF, but it's sometimes hunts for focus. The AFA is manual until you are close to focus and then it just nails it (faster than a normal focus lock) - when working at the long end, infinity, this isn't an issue because it works just like AF.
01-28-2011, 11:24 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
When I want to go to 500mm, I put the AF1.7x adapter on the DA*300. It isn't a completely weather sealed option but I've found that it works quite well (I know you said 400mm). Further, in my own experience, with mega-zooms like an 80-400 you mentioned, I always found I was at the long end of the lens (had a Bigma for a few months). What I'm suggesting is that unless Auto focus is a definite must, look into some of the classics on the long range. If of course, you just want some fancy new lenses, I can understand that too.

I do like new glass.
I would like the 300*, but that would put me out of my price range, right?
Also, I do like the ability to frame with a zoom.
01-28-2011, 12:46 PM   #13
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one additional point I forgot to mention

I also use an SMC300F4 and the 1.7x AF TC, but that is when I really want reach.

It is great for wild life but the sigma APO70-200F2.8 EX (non DG non macro) is about the best overall option along with the SIGMA TCs.

I agree they are hard to find, but there used to be 1-2 always in the market place or on E-BAY.
01-28-2011, 06:23 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thrasis Quote
I do like new glass.
I would like the 300*, but that would put me out of my price range, right?
Also, I do like the ability to frame with a zoom.
Since you like to Zoom, that kind of rules out the prime. I paid less than $900 for my DA*300 a couple years ago. Last year, the AF Adapter cost me $340 IIRC. I Think it can all still be done in your $1500 (?) range but that will be about it.

01-28-2011, 06:45 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Since you like to Zoom, that kind of rules out the prime. I paid less than $900 for my DA*300 a couple years ago. Last year, the AF Adapter cost me $340 IIRC. I Think it can all still be done in your $1500 (?) range but that will be about it.

I know that I should like primes. I know they are better, but I do like zooms (good ones, mind you).
True that this would be in my price range, but that then rules out the 18-135mm lens for a while b/c it is about $500 by itself. And having a gap between the 30mm to my 40mm seems like a bit of stretch.

So anyone on the Sigmas? How about that 135-400mm I found?
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