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10-31-2011, 07:10 PM   #31
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Like I said, I don't personally know those kit.lens replacements and I won't argue about them. But here is my recommendation:

Buy either Tamron 17-50 or DA18-55WR, and the DA55-300. You'll get bargain prices on the DAs as a kit. Shoot the sh!t out of them. If you don't like either, you can return them soon, or sell them profitably later. Shoot a LOT, and note what subjects you chose and what settings you used, especially focal length. You can later buy appropriate glass if you find yourself shooting much within a certain range. And consider what you want to do that you can't do with what you have. There is no "best lens", just various options for different situations.

11-01-2011, 05:07 AM   #32
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Hi Tomm,

I've also been going through the same spin cycle trying to decide on a zoom lens for my K-5 body that I'm hoping to get soon. After tonnes of web searching (particularly on this forum) I've narrowed it down to either the Tamron 17-50 (non-VC version) or the 28-75 Macro. I've been toying with the idea of getting both, as they're pretty good value, but there's lots of overlap! I have read a lot about QC issues with the Sigma, and I'm not too keen on the weight and large filter thread size (82mm I think) as one of the things that attracted me to the K-5 was its small size and portability.

I'm also considering the Sigma 8-16 or Pentax 12-24 (but these are $700-800) to cover the wide angles, and have been trawling ebay etc. for old primes (especially since the K5 has in-camera stablization). I've currently got my eye on the Super Takumar 50mm 1.4 as I've heard great things about the bokeh it produces. Also in the back of my mind are the fantastic Pentax Limited prime lenses - especially the DA 21, 40 and 70mm (pancake!). The only problem is that these fit exactly into the range of the zooms I'm considering!

So...I'm thinking getting both Tamron zooms and just play around until I work out what range I like, and then sell one OR just get the Pentax 12-24 and the 28-75. I haven't really considered a big tele at the moment, as I'm generally into street photography, portraits, landscapes etc. Interested to hear what you decide upon!
11-01-2011, 05:38 AM   #33
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RioRico, I admit the kit lenses does have the best complete range for that price. But they are not good for controlling Bokeh etcetera. When you zoom in the F number will increase with it. For portraits and Candid its no good I guess? And that's what I will do the most.

So the battle is now:

1. Tamron 17-50 f2.8 & kit lens (Kit just for the WR I really think I its a handy feature, although I will have 2 lenses in the same focal range then?) + 55-300 in the near future
2. Tamron 28-75 f2.8 & kit lens (now I have 2 lenses with different focal ranges, only problem is the lower 28mm range but I can use the kit lens for that) + 55-300 in the near future

Guys, I will take everything what's already said (and maybe the few things that will be said) in consideration. Maybe it seems like I'm not listening at all because I keep questioning, but I just wanna take the best option And I have considerate every idea that's already said.

By the way, the worst thing is: I'm not able to get the body and lenses before July 2012 because I have to wait for a financial contribution of my parents for my graduation (which will be in July). Damnnn time goes slow!!
11-01-2011, 05:47 AM   #34
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Spocky, nice to know that someone has the same difficulty

I thought of buying both as well. Mainly because I was thinking of buying the new Sigma 24-70 HSM which is twice the price of the Tammy 28-70. So why not buying both the 17-50 and 28-75. But as you just mentioned, the overlap is big!!

I already have a 50mm prime and 28 prime. But those ranges will be covered by the 17-50 what pushed me more to the 28-75. The Pentax 12-24 is 800 Euros at minimum which is around 1100 dollars I think. To much for me!

By the way, you're not thinking of getting the WR kit lens? I thought: What's the point of the whole weather sealed body otherwise?


Last edited by Tomm; 11-01-2011 at 07:52 AM.
11-01-2011, 01:34 PM   #35
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@Spocky,
A workable two-short-zoom solution might be all-Tamron: the 10-24 and the 28-70. I have that 10-24 and a slower older 28-70 and they work well together.

@Tomm,
Too bad you must wait till June! The whole photographic landscape could change by then! I can barely plan 8 hours into the future, let alone 8 months. Yow.
11-01-2011, 01:38 PM   #36
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Yeah, it really is a pain in the ass! Just checked out the second hand market and there are awesome primes available!! Too excited already
11-01-2011, 04:34 PM   #37
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Yeah, I was originally looking at the 18-135 kit lens because of the focal length and WR, but I read so many bad reviews about its perfromance (although it seems to be better than the average kit lens). Definitely WR is a plus, but most of the great lenses don't seem to have this type of protection so it's something I'll have to deal with a bit as I get new lenses, unless I spend the $$ to get some DA* glass.

RioRico - thanks for the advice! Yes, definitely looking to cover the wide end and the 10-24 Tammy looks like good value.
11-01-2011, 06:26 PM   #38
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Another combination I've been thinking of is:

- 17-50mm f/2.8 Tamron as general walk-around lens (~$350-400)
- 50mm f/1.4 Super Takumar for low light (~$50-100 secondhand)
- Either the Pentax DA 70mm Limited ($600) or the Tamron SP 90mm Macro f/2.8 ($400) to cover short tele range for portraits etc.

11-02-2011, 12:46 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by spocky Quote
- 17-50mm f/2.8 Tamron as general walk-around lens (~$350-400)
- 50mm f/1.4 Super Takumar for low light (~$50-100 secondhand)
- Either the Pentax DA 70mm Limited ($600) or the Tamron SP 90mm Macro f/2.8 ($400) to cover short tele range for portraits etc.
The first two, yes. The last... that depends on what you want to do, and how. If AF is important, the Tamron SP is a fine choice. I'm a cheap bastard, so I put 75-90-105mm enlarger lenses (ELs) on tubes or bellows for ultra-sharp headshots and short-tele work. My LOTD (lens-of-the-day) yesterday was my Vivitar-LU 75/3.5 (US$7) on M42 tubes (US$6) and it did just fine. I think for Xmas I'll ask Santa for an M42 focusing helicoid (US$90) for my shorter ELs for a little more flexibility. But ELs of 90mm or longer can focus to infinity on my bellows, and I use those a lot.
11-02-2011, 01:36 AM   #40
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QuoteQuote:
the Tamron SP is a fine choice
Yes, I'm seriously considering this one - have seen some wonderful photos taken with this lens, and it seems like a bargain to me. Have also just stumbled across the discontinued Tammy 24-135 SP which is also appealing as a kit replacement lens
11-02-2011, 12:32 PM   #41
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You're right about the WR. There aren't a lot of lenses with it. But for that additional 50EUR I can't refuse in my case. That 90mm on a crop sensor, isn't that to much tele for portrait? That's 140mm practically. I'm looking for a good portrait prime as well. Here you get a nice overview of the all the Pentax primes (they also have an overview op third party lenses) ever made with scores/ratings & value/price: Pentax Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database . It's easy to check what a lens is worth (IQ and price) after spotting a second hand lens.
11-02-2011, 12:47 PM   #42
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135 is one of the classic portrait lengths. The 90mm takes great portraits. I use mine for that more than Macro.
11-02-2011, 02:37 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tomm Quote
That 90mm on a crop sensor, isn't that to much tele for portrait? That's 140mm practically. I'm looking for a good portrait prime as well.
PORTRAITURE covers many sins, with various crops of bodies and faces. Back in the day, I would sometimes shoot (un)official portraits on 135/HF (same as APS-C), 135/FF, 645, and 6x6 cameras on the same day, and use essentially the same lens with each: about 80/3.5. And at about the same distance. I find that f/3.5 on lenses 75-80-85-90mm at about 2m gives the right roundness to facial features, no matter the format.

Now, my favorite people-portrait lens is an old M42 Sears-Tokina 55-135/3.5 which on APS-C covers the gamut from far full-body and near-3/4 body, to far headshots and close facials. Something like the DA*50-135/2.8 would be an ideal portrait lens except that it costs 100x as much as the M42. Oh bother. A 35-135/2.8 would be even better. Good luck.

What focal length(s) you use for portraiture depends on how much of the subject will be in the frame, and your and their comfort levels with distance. The distance determines proportions, and ONLY distance; longer lenses flatten-out features not because they're long, but because you're probably further from the subject. I've shot portraits with lenses from 10-500mm. If I was shooting faces at a mafiya funeral, I'd probably use a 1200mm mirror from a safe distance.

Which is my long way of saying: 55mm is great for some portraits. 135mm is great for some portraits. 85mm is great for some portraits. An 8mm fisheye is great for some portraits. It all depends, eh? Suggestion: Buy borrow or steal an 18-250 or 18-200. Find a willing or comatose subject. Set them somewhere. Shoot them from various distances with various focal lengths at various angles with all types of lighting. Note which parameters work best FOR YOU.
11-02-2011, 03:19 PM   #44
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Haha nice! Thanks a lot Rico, I'm learning fast here. Too many options to try!


11-02-2011, 11:33 PM   #45
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@Spocky. The Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 (not the newer F3.5 - both are current lens) is a superb lens and a much cheaper option to the 12-24. It has it's own thread with hundreds of examples right here on PF. Supposedly better than the Tamron 10-24.

@ Tomm. The Tamron 28-75 is known as the Wedding Photographers lens for a reason ! Great IQ and versatility and perfect for those types of events. The Sigma 24-70 doesn't have as great a reputation but I've never used it. IMO you have lots of time and you should check out the Tamron lenses thread here on PF and also those of other lenses you may be interested in.

The Tamron 90 di is one superb lens for macro and I've also used it for street shooting, it makes and excellent portrait lens too (gorgeous bokeh) but it's AF is a little slower due to the nature of the lens. it does have a focus limiter on it though which will stop it cycling through the full focus range if it can't find focus immediately and this is very important on any macro lens you plan to make use of for dual purposes. Like all macro lenses they are the sharpest lenses you can find.
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