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04-18-2011, 10:01 AM   #1
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Which Lens for k-r

Have had my new k-r for about a month now .. Came with kit lens 18-55mm AL .. Have been going around & around about a zoom ~ My research has brought me to the Pentax 18-135mm AW, Tamron 18-200 & Tamron 18-270 .. Think I'm looking for the best all round with the best IQ .. Would these lens be sharper than my current 18-55mm

Look forward to hearing what others have found .. Thanks

04-18-2011, 10:51 AM   #2
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the 18-135 will have a better IQ, for the two other it's not sure at all. But remember that a "all in one" lense, cannot be a good lense.

The best thing to do is to have primes, or zoom with a small range covered. (the only exception is the "Bigma" 50-500, but it's heavy to carry, and expensive too ...

You can start with a 70-200 or 70-300, they are usually cheap, not too bad.

Or you have a range that you would like to cover specifically ?
04-18-2011, 10:54 AM   #3
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I think if you're looking for a noticeable jump in IQ, don't bother with those super zooms. Those super-zooms you've listed are for convenience, not IQ.

Like Aurele said, go for primes lenses for great IQ. And if you must have a zoom, check out the standard f/2.8 zooms (17ish-50ish) from pentax/tamron/sigma, as those will all have a step up in IQ over the kit. Or if you want telephoto look at the sigma/tamron 70-200 f/2.8 or the pentax 50-135 f/2.8.
04-18-2011, 11:08 AM   #4
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Going to have to agree with the previous posters. If you're on a budget but need flexibility, add a 55-300 to your kit and you'll have all your focal ranges covered. If you can afford it, a prime or two (DA 35 2.4 or FA 50 1.4) and an upgraded standard zoom (Tamron 17-50 or DA* 16-50 depending on your budget) would round off the kit nicely.

I'm not generally a fan of the super zooms, but I do understand their usefulness and convenience. They can complement a kit and be useful in certain situations, but they shouldn't be your only piece of glass.

04-18-2011, 11:16 AM   #5
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You are buying a tool. Without defining what the tool is for, any lens will work fine. Start with requirements and work from there. For example and depending on budget, most experienced photogs would advise different lenses for 200mm+ depending on your need for a vacation/travel lens, birding lens, indoor sports, outdoor sports just to name a few.
04-18-2011, 11:18 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jeff413 Quote
& Tamron 18-270 ..
I don't think Tammy made a Pentax mount for this lens....not sure why? If you're generally looking for a "tourist" lens you may also consider (if you haven't already) the DA 18-250 which is a re-badged Tamron 18-250. Unfortunately, they have been since discontinued and can only be had in the used market. If you don't need that much zoom then I vote for the DA 18-135 as well. They're just a little pricey..for now.

Last edited by K57XR; 04-18-2011 at 11:48 AM.
04-18-2011, 11:35 AM   #7
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Tamron made an 18-250mm for Pentax, my brother-in-law has one and it seems to be the same as my Pentax DA 18-250mm. IMHO, it is the best travel zoom for Pentax. I don't own the 18-135mm, but the shots I've seen on the net from this lens don't look better than the shots from my DA 18-250, but that's just my opinion. The 18-250mm has much more range, and that appeals to me.
04-18-2011, 11:52 AM - 1 Like   #8
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A few years ago, I was dissatisfied with my advanced P&S. I asked myself, "What do I want to do that I can't do with what I have?" The answers were ultrawide, ultralong, low-light, and later, macro. So with my first dSLR, the K20D, I bought a 'kit' of the DA10-17 fisheye (that's what drove me to Pentax in the first place), DA18-250 superzoom, and FA50/1.4 Fast Fifty. Later, the Raynox DCR-250 for close work. And out of my now ~200 lenses, those are still among my most-used. I consider the DA18-250 as my basic lens; all others are specialty tools.

Oh yeah, of those ~200 lenses, ~10 are manual zooms, ~10 are AF zooms, just ONE is an AF prime (that FA50/1.4, splendid lens!), and the rest are manual primes. Mostly CHEAP manual primes and zooms. You can go a long way on little cash with good cheap manual primes.

The moral of this story: Don't ask, What should I get? Ask, What else do I want to do? Do you want to shoot action sports, weird insects, naked people, distorted 'scapes, street scenes, shiny coins, cute / funny / elusive animals, mirrored abstractions, surveillance / blackmail photos, straight-edge interiors, calendars / postcards, trash bins, crime scenes, stereotypical portraits, heavy machinery, what?

Think about the kinds of pictures you want to take and make; then think about the lenses that would help you achieve your desires. And maybe you'll end up with hundreds of cheap lenses too.

04-18-2011, 01:16 PM   #9
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same camera here:

my selection will be:

Sigma 10-20 3.5 (next month)
Sigma 18-125 4.5-5.6 (just owned)
Sigma 100-300 2.8 (late '11 or early '12)
In the meantime DA-L 50-200

and a bunch of M42's
04-18-2011, 07:47 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jeff413 Quote
Have had my new k-r for about a month now .. Came with kit lens 18-55mm AL .. Have been going around & around about a zoom ~ My research has brought me to the Pentax 18-135mm AW, Tamron 18-200 & Tamron 18-270 .. Think I'm looking for the best all round with the best IQ .. Would these lens be sharper than my current 18-55mm

Look forward to hearing what others have found .. Thanks
Since you have the 18-55, unless you are very averse to carrying an extra lens, you might just get the 50-200 or 55-300. As for IQ, it all depends on the sample of the lens, but generally, the more wide-ranging zoom designs may entail more compromises.

Paul
04-18-2011, 08:59 PM   #11
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You need to try out a prime. Buy a Pentax SMC A 50mm 1.7 it is quite cheap for the quality you get. And shoot with it for a while. You will be able to sell this lens for close to what you paid for it so chalk it up as an experiment or lens rental.

If you have never shot with a prime you should at the very least try out one of Pentax's offerings, in my opinion it is what they do best.

The first lens I bought was this A version of a 50mm it came with an old ME body, a couple filters, and old flash, a camera bag and a takumar 70-210 manual focus all for $50 bucks. It was a good cheap starting point to experiment with. What I quickly learned while comparing shots is the image quality drastically better than my kit. All you need to do is nail one good shot with a prime lens and you will be hooked.

This shot did it for me despite being not that cool of a shot.

<img/>http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5091/5513769395_bb1c2039e4_b.jpg</img>

PS. Lot's of primes are tiny, well worth having at the very least one kicking around.
04-18-2011, 09:42 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by gp1806 Quote
Tamron made an 18-250mm for Pentax, my brother-in-law has one and it seems to be the same as my Pentax DA 18-250mm. IMHO, it is the best travel zoom for Pentax
I just picked up a 18-200 Tamron off of ebay - got it on a bid for a camera i wanted to add to the collection, looking forward to trying the lens out...
04-18-2011, 09:59 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jeff413 Quote
Have had my new k-r for about a month now .. Came with kit lens 18-55mm AL .. Have been going around & around about a zoom ~ My research has brought me to the Pentax 18-135mm AW, Tamron 18-200 & Tamron 18-270 .. Think I'm looking for the best all round with the best IQ .. Would these lens be sharper than my current 18-55mm

Look forward to hearing what others have found .. Thanks
I find myself almost in the same dilemma. I have not purchase the Kr yet, but it will come in another week or 2. Current I already possess the following lens:

Cheapo Tammy 28-80
Cheapo Tammy 70-300 LD macro (not the Di version, bought it 8 years ago)
Pentax A 50mm F2
Tokina SD 70-210 macro (just won the bid from ebay, should arrive in 2 weeks time)

Lens on shopping list:
18-55 kit lens with the Kr
DA 35 2.4 (will purchase in July)

I'll be doing mostly landscape and scenery photography, but coming July and Septembers will cover relatives wedding. I have 2 vacation coming up in May and June.

My dilemma would be, should I get rid of the 2 cheapo Tammy and replace them with another Tammy 28-300. Saw one from local camera shop for about USD 250. If I purchase this lens, means I might need to pass the DA 35 for a while. Was there any significant quality of the 28-300 over the 70-300? I need to keep one long zoom for vacation purposes. Am I having too much redundant lens?

Last edited by chongmic; 04-18-2011 at 10:16 PM.
04-18-2011, 10:52 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by chongmic Quote
I'll be doing mostly landscape and scenery photography, but coming July and Septembers will cover relatives wedding. I have 2 vacation coming up in May and June.
If you are going to be covering weddings, you may want to beef up your primes. The DA 35 is good will serve well, your Pentax A 50 will serve pretty good also, you may want to think about some 1.4's or at the very least 1.8's - you will need something for indoors. The sigma 85 1.4 seems to be a hot one right now, a little up there in price (although cheaper then the pentax equivalent). I have also heard really good things about the Samyang equivalent (85 1.4) and it is quite a bit cheaper ($400 range), the samyang 85 is manual focus. My suggestion would be a good 50mm 1.4 and the 85mm 1.4 to add to your kit.

PS: This did not answer your question, as I can not provide the answer you are looking for, I just provided a recommendation based on you shooting a wedding...
04-18-2011, 11:38 PM   #15
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Hi Joe, thanks a lot, it's very useful info. I wasn't expecting for a conclusive answer, as I know everyone have own preferences and taste, and different yardstick on the perceive IQ, and of course, budget plays a big role.

I won't be doing a lot of wedding events, and I would not be the main photographer, just doing it as part of the hobby and cover different angles and scenes during the upcoming wedding events.

Agree with you the 85 1.4 is a good bet, but just beyond my reach at the moment. I'll concentrate building my kit for travels and landscape. Sometimes it's a dilemma to decide which lens to bring to keep travelling light.

Nevertheless, this forum is a useful tool to gather more views and help deciding.
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