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09-30-2011, 08:41 PM   #16
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If you're considering an 18-200 you should also consider the Tamron. It is generally considered to be a bit sharper than the Sigma and it has a $60 rebate on it right now. It has a zoom lock on it but doesn't need it, unlike the Pentax/Tamron 18-250, which has extremely annoying zoom creep.

09-30-2011, 09:06 PM   #17
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A while back I was thinking very much like you, and picked up the Tamron 18-250 and the FA 50 /1.4. The Tamron stays on the camera an awful lot, even indoors, but the FA 50 does great work when it dims. Both lenses are popular, so you should have no trouble reselling if you don't like them.
09-30-2011, 09:22 PM   #18
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I travel often worlwide with a combo of superzoom and fast prime. My shots are most often outdoor as you and the following may be of intnerest. I add that I have a K-7.

My best combo is the DA18-250mm and Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1,.4.

The Tamron 18-250mm/DA18-250mm was manufactured by Tamron, sold by Tamron and Pentax (rebadged DA18-250mm). It can be found on the 2nd hand market: PF market place, Adorama used equipment, and This 18-250mm lens is regarded as one of the best all-around lens across all brands (Canikons, Oly, Sony included). There have been several offers (LN, EX conditions) over the last 2 months with prices between US$350 and 450 + shipping. (I bought mine from about 2 years ago.)

There are two weakness of the lens: zoom creep for some lenses and low light IQ. The zoom creep can be very simply resolved by using a $1 rubber wristlace around the lens; it works and solves all issue. The low light IQ is not tricky, ad the best solution is to complement the DA18-250mm with a fast prime.

The Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1,.4 is a very solidall-metallic fast prime with outstanding IQ.The lens is MF but this is no issue for outdoor. As soon as the target is more than 10-12 m away, you can put the focus ring to infinite. The lens is amazing and it excels in difficult light conditions when most other lenses fail. I regard my VL 58mm as the best IQ lens that I have together with the FA31mm and above all other lenses (that I have).

Hope that the suggestion will help....
09-30-2011, 09:39 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by neova Quote
50+ lens!? Wow... How do you even decide what to bring out each time?
I have a total of ~220 lenses now, and I've sold another 110 to help pay for the keepers (I deal lenses on eBay) and at least one member here has more 50's than I have total lenses! So I'm a piker. Also, most of mine are cheap old manual primes, including some fine (but bargain) glass.

There are a couple ways to decide on usage. The easy way is my LOTD (lens of the day) strategy -- grab a lens at random, and use only it for a day or ten. The other way is to grab a few favourites that I know work in various situations. A few months ago I stayed in Santa Fe NM for a month, and walked around town with various lenses every day. One day I might start with a certain planar MF 50/1.4 for shooting the trails and streets at dawn; then a MF 50/1.2 for great subject isolation effects along walls and in shops; then a MF 50/4 macro for closeups of artifacts; then an ultrasharp 55/1.7 for grabbing passing faces; then an AF 50/1.4 for action in the Plaza; then a tiny tessar 50/2.8 (with 12 iris blades) for brilliant townscapes. The next day I might replace the MF 50/1.4 with an MF 55/1.4, and use another 55/1.7, and replace the macro with a 51/4.5 enlarger lens on tubes. Each one just gives its flavour to pictures. I like to taste-test, eh?

Wow, that's lotsa money in lenses! Not really. The AF FA50/1.4 was US$200 new 3 years ago. (All my other primes are MF.) The K50/1.2 was US$250 earlier this year. Those are two of my costlier lenses. The Macro-Takumar 50/4 was US$55. The planar Yashica-ML 50/1.4 was US$10, like most of my 55/1.7's. The Tomioka 55/1.4 was TWO BUCKS!! The tiny shiny Carl Zeiss Tessar was US$8; the enlarger lens was a little less. My MF lenses cost an average of US$20 each; the AF lenses average US$235 each (including freebies). Rather a difference there.

That ideal kit seems about right - I did thought about getting a fast ultrawide zoom instead of just a fast prime but needless to say any fast zoom with constant wide aperture will be out of my budget so for now I'm going to looking for the ultrazoom and fast prime first then see what else I need.
That's an excellent approach. With the superzoom, you'll find certain focal lengths that you tend to use. There's free software for tabulating that data. Clusters of shots around 28mm and 55mm and 100mm probably tell you to look for good primes around those numbers. Whether you go MF or AF depends on your budget and needs and tastes. I love cheap old MF primes. But there are some cheap old AF sleepers out there. My faves are these two:

* F35-70 was Pentax's smallest-ever zoom, agile and bright and sharp, like a pocket full of primes. Mine was TEN BUCKS! They're often on AF cameras from the 1990's, and I've seen them BIN (buy-it-now) on eBay for US$20.

* FA100-300 (silver) looks and feels cheesy but is sharp at all focal lengths, has great resolution and contrast and saturation, AF's fast (if a little loudly), and can often be found for under US$100.

What I *don't* like is a two-lens combo of 18-55 plus 50-200 or 55-300. because I shoot a lot between 35-70mm and swapping lenses at 55mm is a royal pain. It also means missing shots. With the 18-250, I don't miss shots. I have a DA18-55 and a Tamron 60-300 and I just don't use them together for that very reason. If I didn't have the 18-250, I'd probably survive with the Tamron 10-24, F35-70, and FA100-300. They are that good! But I consider the 18-250 to be my basic lens. All the others are specialty tools.

10-01-2011, 01:33 PM   #20
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I have the Pentax 18-250 and it is a fantastic all round lens. From the way you described your shooting it would be perfect for you. You also mentioned a fast prime...if it isn't f/1.7 or 1.4 you may not want to bother changing lenses, I would recommend a Pentax "A" as you can buy them cheap to offset the cost of the 18-250. Just these two lenses would meet the needs you outlined, allowing you to be super practical but also very creative ; in-case you become enthusiastic : )
10-01-2011, 07:13 PM   #21
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Thanks again for all the detailed feedback and insight into lenses.

I will search for an 18-250 first then save up for a f1.4 or faster prime lens.

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