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11-08-2011, 01:00 PM   #1
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Normally Prime shooter but need zoom advice for family trip

Dear All,

I am looking for recommendations for one good zoom travel lens for my K-5. I normally shoot prime and I am already in love with my 21mm, 35mmMacro, 40mm, and 70mm. However, for the upcoming trip with my family, I don’t think they can be patient enough, especially if I have to swap lens quite often. Additionally, I still need to travel light as I have to be a guide, a driver, a photographer, and a porter at the same time!!!

So, I am thinking to invest on a zoom lens but the decision as to what Lens to buy is killing me. Here are my current line-ups.

1. Prime21, 35, 40, 70mm (Definitely I will keep them) -
2. Zoom12-24mm (definitely keep it for landscape shot), FA100-300mm F4.7-5.8 (rarely used, only in the zoo), and F35-70mm F3.5-4.5 (rarely used, and it's too short for a single normal walk-around lens )

Here are my two options
1. Sell FA100-300 and F35-70and go for a used Pentax/Tamron 18-250
2. Sell F35-70and go for a used Pentax FA24-90 or Tamron 28-75
3. Consider Pentax 17-70mm but it's a little expensive
4. Keep all and get another either FA24-90 or 28-75(LBA)

The reason I mention FA 24-90 or Tamron 28-75mm is because, based on my prime shooting, about 65% of my pictures are in the 35mm-70mm range and 35% from 21mm.

Although I do not want to invest a lot of money on zoom lens since I still prefer prime anyway, I still need a quality zoom lens so that I will not regret about the IQ. I have been to a lot of thread here but still cannot make a decision. Any other lens options are welcome. Thanks,
Updated (Dec 11)
I already ended up with Tamron 18-250 and quite satisfied with it. The only problem is the AF sound/noise but anyway the picture quality is quite acceptable. I could sell FA100-300 and 35-70 with reasonable prices. Now I quite have a nice set up (*** just purchased Tamron 90mm macro yesterday as well).

With my 21,35,40,70mm limited, 12-24mm. 90mm and 18-250mm, Hopefully, I can stop my LBA (and no more deal searching for at least a year ^.^).

Anyway, I have to face the new problem, what lens to use and carry? My solution right now is to bring all, carry only 18-250mm with two prime lens max during the day, and leave the rest at the hotel. I cannot imagine leaving even one at home.

Last edited by Besta; 12-11-2011 at 02:05 AM. Reason: Update
11-08-2011, 01:08 PM   #2
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Sigma 17-70 ?
11-08-2011, 01:20 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I have a range of primes and 2 zoom lenses. But, when I travel with the family, I take a simpe combo : 1 body + 1 lens, and the lens is the DA18-250mm.

Simply, the Da18-250mm offers such a flexible range of focal length that it is the ideal lens to shoot while in family. You do not need to wak away from your family to shoot. Overall it is by far my most used lens and my best investment:
Favorite Lens: 18-250mm

More my wife and son both used my camera with the DA18-250mm and they find the system relatively easy to use. (On the other hand they refuse to use my primes!)

Hope that the comment and experience may help.
11-08-2011, 01:25 PM   #4
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I don't understand. You mentioned that the 35-70 is rarely used because its too short, but also mentioned that most of your shots are in the 35-70mm range?

11-08-2011, 01:26 PM   #5
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I imagine the Tamron is a better lens than the FA24-90..

Thinking it through, I'd say option 1 is smartest based on what you say your usage is. Getting the 28-75 is nice and all, but if you really need the IQ, you have the primes in that range already. It's not too tough to carry the 35 and the 70 and just take a few steps forward or back.
11-08-2011, 01:35 PM   #6
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Thank for your advice.

SRG01 - I mean 35-70mm is rarely used since I got my 35mm and 70mm and it's too short for a single walkaround lens as I sometimes need a little wider.

JinDesu - I have seen a good review on Tamron 28-75, that's why I am considering it.
11-08-2011, 01:53 PM   #7
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since you have nice prime set up, and 12-24, I'd sell the other 2 zooms and get Tamron 28-75/Sigma 28-60/Sigma 24-70 (all f2.8)
11-08-2011, 02:25 PM   #8
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i would go for the tamron 28-75 f2.8.
sigma 24-70 is bigger. have both and the da12-24.
the combo 12-24 and 28-75 should be ok. the gap in between is not significant.

i use the long end mostly: 24mm if i need 'normal' focal on crop sensor, typical family shoots. and 70-75 for portraits.
28mm is still usable for family, unless you really in a tight space and/or need wide.

and sell all other zooms, but keep the primes.

11-08-2011, 02:25 PM   #9
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How patient is the wife? Do you keep one eye on the kids all the time? What lens is best for 99% of occasions. What lens will come close to your gorgeous primes? What lens is light? Given all that and assuming you are doing travel photography I would go the pentax 17-70 (not the sigma as you will loose some of your quality) having said all that pack your 21mm and you will have days that it will stay on the front of your camera. Amazing how a prime makes you more creative.
11-08-2011, 02:37 PM   #10
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In a similar situation, I got a Tamron 28-75. If I'm trying to simplify my kit I'll take just that and my da15 for wider shots. I'm pretty happy with the 28-75, but like others mentioned if a 35-70 wasn't long enough, will the 28-75 be?
11-08-2011, 02:45 PM   #11
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My original choices are either 18-250mm or 24-90mm. Howwever, I've gone through the forum, my LBA starts and both 17-70mm and 28-75 come up as well. That's why I cann't make up my mind!!!

I cannot imagine leaving all prime lens at home. Probably take them all and leave them at the hotels. However, while I am traveling during the day with my family, I may have to stick with one zoom lens and only 1 or 2 primes (70mm for sure) in mind pocket, if I have a chance to swap lens, I will.

Thank you again for your comments
11-08-2011, 02:56 PM   #12
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You won't get much for the F35-70 although it's a fine lens. You might get as much as US$40. I think my FA100-300 is a gem but it doesn't see enough use. Those sell for around US$100. For traveling, I think you'd do best with the DA18-250 or its Tamron twin. My minimal zoom-only kit contains:

DA10-17, the lens that drove me to Pentax
Tamron 10-24, a very good UWA range
F35-70, for its agility in certain spaces
DA18-250, for almost everything else

I throw in a few small and/or fast primes also, of course. And I'd usually rather carry the much lighter FA100-300 than the huge heavy Lil'BIgma 170-500.
11-08-2011, 04:05 PM   #13
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I just got the tamron 28-105 4-5.6 and I am digging it, pretty nice, and I like it better than the Pentax F35-70,
11-08-2011, 04:27 PM   #14
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Hi Besta,

If you want to cover your bases, I suggest getting the 18-250. I've heard that it's a good all-purpose lens, especially when you're travelling!
11-08-2011, 05:05 PM   #15
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+1 for the 18-250, and use the primes for low light situations or when you have time for a special shot.

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