Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-24-2011, 07:33 PM   #1
Forum Member




Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 74
kit lens upgrades suggestions? any with 'character'?

Hi everyone,

I'm considering a number of potential kit lens upgrades and was hoping for some insight as I'm a bit stuck, budget wise 300GBP (so around $480USD).

So far I'm actually thinking of getting the Tamron 17-50mm non vr, because from what I've seen it has the best IQ to price, but I know little about the Sigma, so thought it would be worth asking

The Sigma lenses I'm considering are:

1. Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro - cheapest but used only as it was discontinued

2. Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro HSM OS - apparently worse IQ than the older version? But has HSM

3. Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8-4.5 DC HSM OS - I'd be most interested to hear about this the most, as there isn't much written about it online. It's quite unique in that it has bothInternal focusing AND zooming - smaller and lighter weight - although not macro it focuses very close 20cm i think? Cheapest of the lot new.

I'm not considering the Sigma constant f/2.8 zooms as they quite pricey, and the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 non vr version seems to be better optically than sigmas equivalents for around 1/2 price (atleast in the UK). I'd love the WR of the pentax but again too pricey :'(

I'm not too bothered about distortion and CA (corrected in post), and I'm not too much of a pixel peeper - though the lenses have to be better than the kit lens sharpness wise. I'm more interested in knowing about things which are seen and 'felt', such as colour, contrast and 'character', do any of these lenses 'draw' nicely? or just 'feel good'?

03-24-2011, 08:01 PM   #2
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 43,126
I would suggest adding the SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database to your list- the IQ is significantly better than that of the kit, and gives you added reach and much faster AF.

If you're looking for something shorter but sharper, the Tamron 17-50 is probably a better choice over the sigma 18-50, in terms of IQ. Obviously, it's a bit more expensive, but you get what you pay for!

However, I'd go for either the 18-135mm or the new 17-70mm macro. There's no point in getting a lens with the same coverage as the kit unless we're talking star quality, IMO.

Another option is the Pentax 17-70mm, although it's gotten mixed reviews for its IQ.

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

03-24-2011, 08:02 PM   #3
Site Supporter
SpecialK's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: So California
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 14,901
Regarding the Sigma 18-50 lens...I had the 2-versions-ago constant f2.8 that was a real character, sort of like Edward G. Robinson :-) Not sure how the variable aperture version holds up, but I would think not too much of an upgrade over the Pentax kit.

You might consider buying used as many of the faster lenses in your focal length turn up for about $300 or less.
03-24-2011, 08:17 PM   #4
Veteran Member




Join Date: Feb 2010
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 971
The sigma 18-50mm f2.8 is a great lens

03-24-2011, 09:54 PM   #5
Veteran Member
Jewelltrail's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Rhode Island
Photos: Albums
Posts: 4,180
QuoteOriginally posted by vincechu Quote
Hi everyone,

I'm considering a number of potential kit lens upgrades and was hoping for some insight as I'm a bit stuck, budget wise 300GBP (so around $480USD).

So far I'm actually thinking of getting the Tamron 17-50mm non vr, because from what I've seen it has the best IQ to price, but I know little about the Sigma, so thought it would be worth asking

The Sigma lenses I'm considering are:

1. Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro - cheapest but used only as it was discontinued

2. Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro HSM OS - apparently worse IQ than the older version? But has HSM

3. Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8-4.5 DC HSM OS - I'd be most interested to hear about this the most, as there isn't much written about it online. It's quite unique in that it has bothInternal focusing AND zooming - smaller and lighter weight - although not macro it focuses very close 20cm i think? Cheapest of the lot new.

I'm not considering the Sigma constant f/2.8 zooms as they quite pricey, and the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 non vr version seems to be better optically than sigmas equivalents for around 1/2 price (atleast in the UK). I'd love the WR of the pentax but again too pricey :'(

I'm not too bothered about distortion and CA (corrected in post), and I'm not too much of a pixel peeper - though the lenses have to be better than the kit lens sharpness wise. I'm more interested in knowing about things which are seen and 'felt', such as colour, contrast and 'character', do any of these lenses 'draw' nicely? or just 'feel good'?
Vince: I owned the Pentax kit 18-55 WR and the Tamron 17-50m f 2.8. The Tamron is a far better lens--that simple. It is a lot more money too--but most of that cost is for its speed--do you really need a constant f 2.8 lens--be sure you do, before you buy the 17-50. If you do not need the speed, there are many other excellent choices over the Kit lens. If you can live without the 17-23mm range, the Tamron SP 24-135mm 3.5-5.6 is probably the best money you will spend upgrading from the kit--great range, but only if you do not need this lens to cover wide angle.

What you should do, IMO, is visit the various Lens Club threads, and study the shots taken with the various lenses you are considering. BTW, as you must know, sometimes you get a whole lot more for your money than other times, so do your homework and read carefully--view many photos too. For me, reasearching the lens I"m about to buy is as much fun as shooting with it once I get it. I just hate buying something, only to learn later my money would hav ebeen better spent elsewhere. And it is easiest to best spend your money when you best assess your needs! Good Luck.

JT
03-24-2011, 10:02 PM   #6
Veteran Member
sterretje's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Roodepoort, South Africa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,534
Let me add some other options to make your life more difficult

DA16-45 is well regarded
DA17-70 is well regarded as well and gives you some extra reach (as in your Sigma 17-70 options)

Both are f/4, but you did not specify a 'need for speed' Be aware that the DA17-70 will be manual focus on non-SDM bodies (K100D and earlier).

No idea about prices.
03-25-2011, 04:59 AM   #7
Pentaxian
bdery's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Quebec city, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,830
the Sigma 17-70 is regarded, with reason, as one of the best bang for your buck around town. It's optically excellent, fast, great and accurate AF, close focusing, reliable.

The new one is supposed to be a tiny tad worse in IQ but it's also faster (but with less macro enlargement possibilities). The Pentax 17-70 is supposed to be excellent, but less versatile and more expensive. If it was WR then it would be another story.
03-25-2011, 05:43 AM   #8
Veteran Member
Coeurdechene's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: madrid
Photos: Albums
Posts: 833
If you're spending 300 pounds you really should get something that let's you grow too...I think it's not a good move to "upgrade" from kit if in, let's say, 6 months time you'll be craving for another upgrade.
Some of those, like the 16-45, i feel, should be considered instead of the kit lens. If you already have the kit, since it's a pretty capable lens, for me it only makes sense if what you get is a big leap in quality and features.

You may want to consider a good prime, there are some out there that render beautifull images...But if what you want is a zoom it's difficult to beat the Tammies (and speed will come in handy in many situations, open up new possibilities).

03-25-2011, 06:50 AM   #9
Pentaxian
hoanpham's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Strand
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,366
If you look for some lens with 'characters', I would go for several other options like FA50f1.4, or any zoom with f2.8.

I have the sigma 17-70 OS HSM. For me it's (lot) better than the kit lens, but also give me portrait. I use this lens for travel and general purpose. I won't call it 'character'.

The 24-70 f2.8 and the 50-135 f2.8 have more room and 'characters'. They always be in my bag on events, and with the 50 f1.4

For the amount you have, I go for the manual lenses, and many of them:
K/M50 f1.4, M50f4 macro, K135f2.5, K35f2,
03-25-2011, 12:23 PM   #10
Senior Member




Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ft. Myers Florida
Posts: 169
*I* would save a little more money and get the 18-135 WR. You can then sell the kit lens.
03-26-2011, 09:07 AM   #11
Forum Member




Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 74
Original Poster
thanks for all the suggestions so far everyone, I really like the images taken with the tamron 28-70 2.8, but i'd like a bit more width.

Prime wise I already have the FA31 limited and I'm not really looking to get a few more primes just yet, although the 15/21 ltds are on my mind. I guess I'm looking for the best IQ with a little character and flexibility. I've got to go to work (evening shift), when I get back tonight I think I'll search flickr for some photos taken with the mentioned lenses.

Looks like I can get the 17-70 2.8-4.5 for 150GBP used, so I'm quite tempted. The reviews aren't too bad and it gives macro. Just need to see if it's been looked after well or not. The 18-135mm WR is very tempting too for its WR, but the price tag rules it out for now. Guess its between the Sigma 17-70's and Tamron 17-50

Many thanks again, has anyone got any images to sway me in any direction?
03-26-2011, 09:17 AM   #12
Veteran Member
Coeurdechene's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: madrid
Photos: Albums
Posts: 833
"the Tammy club" has plenty of photos with the 17-50 f2.8...but don't linger there much or you'll end up wanting the 90mm macro and many others.
(And 2.8 constant aperture is sweet. Consider i'm biased though, i'm in love with my tammy.)
03-26-2011, 09:29 AM   #13
Veteran Member
paperbag846's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,396
Tamron is super sharp wide open, good for the money.

Most lenses with character are sharp wide open, so you get a nice sharp --> smooth transition. The Tamron will get you there.

When you see people talking about *3d effect*, they really mean that the lens is sharp at wide apertures, so that the subject POPS out of the frame. You can get that with the Tamron.
03-26-2011, 10:07 AM   #14
Veteran Member




Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: North Wales, UK
Posts: 645
My vote goes to a used DA17-70, I wouldn't part with mine - the Sigma 17-70 is very good, I owned it previously, but the Pentax colour/contrast of the DA17-70 just makes shots look that much more appealing.

Simon
03-26-2011, 06:37 PM   #15
Forum Member




Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 74
Original Poster
Thanks coeurdechene and paperbag 846, looks like some good votes for the tammy then

Simon, thanks for the info - exactly the type of comments I'm after, colour and contrast are really important characterstics of lenses imo :-) however the pentax is slightly out of my price range - will look for some used ones like u suggested

I'm apparently on a waiting list for a used Sigma 17-70mm, at a great price - will see if it falls through, if it does I'll try and find a store I can try the lenses, the tammy certainly looks good, but the sigma's versatility and extra reach is very tempting
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
dc, f/2.8, hsm, k-mount, kit, lens, lenses, macro, os, pentax lens, sigma, slr lens, version
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Kr with kit lens - lens suggestions? tonyt Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 5 01-29-2011 03:41 AM
50-200mm Kit lens replacement suggestions? Travis Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10 01-15-2011 11:04 AM
Band / Nightclub KIT.. suggestions? Adrian Owerko Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 4 10-11-2010 11:07 PM
Suggestions for a backpack for Pentax 67 II Kit rickbehl Pentax Medium Format 14 08-19-2010 10:22 PM
Rumors on Lens Upgrades ? wll Pentax News and Rumors 3 05-20-2009 02:52 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:29 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top