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03-18-2011, 02:01 PM   #1
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Newbie Question on Lens Choice Parameters

Hi Everyone,
I'm new to lens shopping and wondering if anyone can provide any input. I've always purchased 28-80 zoom lenses as my "all purpose" choice for my manual film Pentax SLRs. The size and range of 28-80 (or thereabouts) works best for me. But I'm having some concerns about quality. I didn't see any lenses in this range rated "superb" here or in other sources. I'm wondering if I will need to use a different size lens or get more than one lens to get the hightest quality.

Do any of you have experience with a lens in this range that you would recommend as an absolute top quality lens? Or have any of you found a solution to this type of issue before? I'm sure many lenses like this are good lenses, but I haven't seen any that anyone raves about, and I'd kind of like to have a lens of that quality, or more than one if necessary, roughly within my usual range.

If it's of any help, I normally shoot stationery objects outdoors, like buildings and trees. Thank you!

03-18-2011, 02:20 PM   #2
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On Pentax digital cameras, that 28-80 zoom's field of view is now covered by a zoom ranging from 18.6mm to 53mm. That is essentially the range provided with the stock "kit" lens (18-55) that comes with DSLRs.

So, the better quality lenses in that range usually have a constant maximum aperture of f2.8.

The older Sigma 18-50's (now 17-50's) and Tamron 17-50 are two that come to mind. I had a Sigma that was pretty nice. People love the Tamron, too.

They cost about 450 new, maybe 300 used.

Other choices are the 17-70 varieties that are pretty popular, and similarly priced. The Pentax 16-45 is a little wider, and not quite as telephoto, but is a step up and sells in the 250 range. The Tamron 28-75 is slanted toward the longer end and is also a good lens, for about 310 or so used.

Remember a "normal" lens on film is about 50mm, on DSLRs it's about 33mm, so you can make your focal length comparisons based on that.
03-18-2011, 02:24 PM   #3
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the Tamron 28-75 is amazing and covers the FL you like, take a look at the price and the pics in this thread (its sold sorry )

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/sold-items/137112-sale-%5Bsold%5D-tamron-...worldwide.html

EDIT: sorry just realized you were referring to shooting film before. In that case as specialK indicates the Tamron 17-50 is great (I have it) razor sharp and ~$350-400 new
03-18-2011, 02:37 PM   #4
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All good advice. My vote goes for the Tamron 17-50mm because i have it.

03-18-2011, 03:01 PM   #5
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+1 for Tamron SP 17-50/2.8. An excellent lens.
03-18-2011, 03:31 PM   #6
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Sigma or Pentax 17-70mm.

I have a relatively old Tamron 28-105 that is good. Definitely not great but can do the job. I found it on eBay (or craigslist, can't remember) for around $50 (can't remember the exact $ either). Also had a Sigma 28-80 that was again good but not great. So depending on your budget I would look at the 17-50 that others have suggested and the 17-70s as the higher end options and for the budget lenses the Tamron 28-105 and Sigma 28-80.
03-21-2011, 08:40 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone. this 17-50 sounds like a great lens. However I think I will something to complement it (in the higher zoom range). Any more input is appreciated, and maybe I'll make another post in the future. Thanks again.
03-21-2011, 09:21 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fractal101 Quote
I think I will something to complement it (in the higher zoom range).
The Pentax 55-300 is the best bang for the buck (for $350 or less). Anything better (Pentax 50-135, Tamron 70-200) is going to cost twice as much, but they are constant f2.8 and twice as large and heavy.

03-21-2011, 10:03 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fractal101 Quote
Thanks everyone. this 17-50 sounds like a great lens. However I think I will something to complement it (in the higher zoom range). Any more input is appreciated, and maybe I'll make another post in the future. Thanks again.
If budget is not an issue, just get the DA* 60-250/4. Or if AF is not something you need, look for some older high-end MF zoom (constant 2.8 or 4 aperture). The difference in IQ between a high end zoom and a consumer one plus the faster constant aperture is well worth the price difference. And with a 17-50/2.8 and 60-250/4, you're practically done. You may just want to add a fast 1.4 prime, but you won't need another zoom unless you really crave for something in 300-500 range, in which case you will need to look at Sigma, because Pentax doesn't offer anything above 300mm at the moment.
03-22-2011, 11:58 PM   #10
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I guess there is no top quality manual lens in the 28-80 range for film SLR. That's a pity; it is such a nice "all purpose" lens size.
03-23-2011, 11:16 PM   #11
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Are you shooting film or digital?

If you are shooting digital, the point people are trying to make is a 28-80mm lens will no longer appear to have the same field of view. To get something like what you are used to, you should be looking at a 17-50mm lens like people suggested. This is due to a difference in size between the digital sensor and 35mm film.

If you are shooting film, then maybe the Tamron 28-75mm SP f/2.8 might interest you. I don't have it, but it is highly regarded. The Pentax FA* 28-70mm f/2.8 has a great reputation, but it will be hard to find and cost an arm and a leg. There are also a few other cheaper alternatives that are still well regarded like the Pentax FA 28-70mm f/4 and the Pentax F 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 which is a true bargain.
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