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12-12-2007, 12:29 PM   #1
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Second Lens for DSLR Virgin

I have just upgraded from a Fuji S6500 and purchased a K100D with a 18-55 kit lens. So which second lens can you recommend to give a similar range to the S6500. I was think of a Sigma 55-200 or the Sigma 70-300 APO, I may be able to stretch to the Tamron 18-250. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

12-12-2007, 12:43 PM   #2
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If you do not need more than 200mm, then instead of the Sigma 55-200mm you would be well advised to consider the Pentax DA50-200mm. It is better than the Sigma in every respect, and very compact (not much larger than the kit lens, if at all).

I'll throw you a curve-ball, however: instead of a long zoom, why not get a fast prime (fixed focal) lens ? The Pentax FA50mm f/1.4 is quite cheap, and makes a very nice short telephoto/portrait lens. Working with a fixed focal is a different experience, and the large aperture will allow you to experiment with low-light and/or very shallow depth-of-field.

I've followed a similar path to yours a year ago: upgraded from a Fuji S5100 to a K10D (with Sigma 17-70mm instead of the kit lens). I quickly bought the DA50-200mm because I thought I was lacking reach, but I end up not using very often. On the other, my FA35mm is on the camera about 50% of the time lately.

Different strokes for different folks, naturally, but just something to consider, IMHO.
12-12-2007, 12:59 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Von Ryan Quote
I have just upgraded from a Fuji S6500 and purchased a K100D with a 18-55 kit lens. So which second lens can you recommend to give a similar range to the S6500. I was think of a Sigma 55-200 or the Sigma 70-300 APO, I may be able to stretch to the Tamron 18-250. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Take a few days and go out with the kit lens. Go into a park and shoot a bunch of pictures. Go into the zoo and do the same. Wander around town taking snapshots to send to people who have never been there.

When you are through, you need to decide whether you ran out at the 18mm end or the 55mm end of the range the most. We all get caught up in the "longer is what I want" syndrome, but it isn't necessarily what we need.

After some 47 years, I have discovered that I seldom, if ever, use the 70-210 any more. I use the 100 macro and the 400. When I bought my K10d, the kit I bought had the 12-24 on it. Here in the Rockies, I was constantly running out of wide. I now have the 50-135, and that makes a very, very nice portrait lens. I have only shot with it at 135mm to test it. The DA* 16-50 is the one I use the most, now. The 16-45 DA tests very well indeed, and is a bit less than half the price of the DA* 16-50. It was tempting to me, particularly when the 16-50 was backordered, but I went for the extra stop of speed (f/2.8) and the weather proofing.

Don't discount the change in view between 16 and 18 mm. It is huge!

OTOH, the 50-200 is one heck of a deal, if you find that longer is more attractive to you.
12-12-2007, 01:21 PM   #4
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Thanks for the posts, I did use the top end of my S6500 a lot as my local Zoo is a safari park; As the wild beasties are not always ready to pose a few away from the car and the kids need fresh proof every year that they have been to the zoo. On the subject of the DA 50-200 & the Sigma 55-200, a monthly mag recently ran a test on five lens 50/55-200 and the Pentax came last. Also the Pentax is about £50/$100 more expensive. Confused!!!!

12-12-2007, 01:43 PM   #5
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I came from the fuji 6500 too. I ordered the kit and Da 50-200 and that covered the same range as the S6500. I love the 50-200, it is small lite and my copy is really good. But with the fuji I always wanted a bit more reach so I picked up the Tamron 70-300... it has macro and the extra 100 at the long end. I find it sharp and a fun lens that is actually about 450mm after cropfactor. It does have some CA issues in high contrasty situations. But it was only 150 dollars u.s. so not much of a risk..
The 70-300 sigma is said to be a bit less sharp, but also has less CA/purple fringing.

The 18-250 tamron is well liked on the forum as the 1 lens solution that mimics the range of your s6500. Actually it is a bit longer.
Good luck with the new camera.

PS dont be afraid of the old mf lenses, they are really nice and I use them more right now than my AF lenses.
12-12-2007, 02:34 PM   #6
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What I've seen so far from the 18-250 hasn't made me think it's worth the price. When I was deciding, 200mm wasn't enough reach for me, so it came down to Tamron or Sigma. I saw just as many people say the Sigma was soft as there were people saying the same thing about the Tamron. In the end, I went with the Sigma based solely on a friends recommendation and have been quite happy with it. Just my 2 cents.
12-12-2007, 04:36 PM   #7
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I never put too much stock into magazine ratings because a) a lot of quality is subjective to the user and b) they make their money on advertisements, not subscriptions, so their best interest is to put products from a compnay that advertises in their mag ahead of others. Not true of all magazines, but enough that I don't trust them. Having used the pentax 50-200 I will say that it is a SWEET lens. I was already to jump for the 50-135, but having been pleasently surprised with the 50-200 I've just stuck with it. I've worked with the quantaray version of the sigma 50-200, and while I've not done a head-to-head I will say this: it does not inspire a whole lot of confidence in me as to it's performance. Working at a camera store, I saw people constantly pay more for the nikon 55-200 rather than settle for the sigma (quantaray).
12-12-2007, 08:58 PM   #8
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Another vote for the 50-200, if you want a longer lens.

Here are some test shots I did just the other day. All were made with the 50-200 in available light in late afternoon.
58mm @ f11 @ 1/30 sec

73mm @f11 @ 1/20 sec

200mm @ f11 @ 1/60 sec


These aren't the sharpest photos by any means, but I think they are good, and more than acceptable to most people in terms of color accuracy, and overall image quality.

I think they're very good, considering they were made with a lens that generally sells for $230 U.S. dollars.

I'm really getting to like this lens.

Mike

12-13-2007, 12:14 AM   #9
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Thank you gentlemen for your posts, it looks like a thumps up for the 50-200. Thanks again for your time.


Cheers

Pete
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