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11-13-2011, 12:34 PM   #1
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Lens recommendation please

I own the following:
Pentax DA 18-250 3.5-6.3
Pentax FA50 1.4
Tamron 70-200 2.8

I really love the IQ of the 50mm and the Tamron but while the 18-250 is super versatile it doesn't produce the same IQ as the other two. I'd like to fill the missing range (18ish-50ish) with a good walkaround lens. It doesn't have to be a zoom but I think it might suit my needs best in this case. Looking to spend in the range of $500 or less and I am fine with Pentax/Tamron/Sigma. My biggest priority for this lens is overall IQ. I'm also not opposed to a manual focus M or A series lens. I'd appreciate any suggestions. Thank you!

11-13-2011, 12:54 PM   #2
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We might have read your mind in posting this review:
DA* 16-50mm vs. Sigma and Tamron 17-50mm Comparison - Introduction

I would look at the Tamron 17-50mm, which is down to $424 now.

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11-13-2011, 02:22 PM   #3
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You will recieve some good advice and Adams' pointed you in the right direction for a zoom.

An alternative is the FA31mm f1.8 Ltd. This prime lens is my most versatile prime. It has an outstanding IQ, it is fast (f1.8) and the focal length is optimum: not too long, not to wide. If I am to travel with one prime only, I take the FA31mm f1.8 Ltd.

I acknowledge that the lens is not cheap but it is truly oustanding: the highest score among the PF in-depth reviews (Pentax-FA 31mm Limited F1.8 - Review), and a Highly Recommended awrd from photozone.de (Pentax SMC-FA 31mm f/1.8 AL Limited - Review / Test Report).

Like you I have a the 18-250mm and it is my most used lens (https://www.pentaxforums.com/pages/favorite-lens-pentax-18-250mm.html). The FA31mm f1.8 Ltd is my next most used lens,,,,

Hope that the comment may help.
11-13-2011, 03:07 PM   #4
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+1 on Tamron 17-50.

Also, I don't think the FA 31/1.8 is worth getting when the Samyang 35/1.4 and Sigma 30/1.4 are available at half the price and are faster too. The FA has great build and great optics, but you may not find the differences worth the price difference.

11-13-2011, 03:22 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
+1 on Tamron 17-50.

Also, I don't think the FA 31/1.8 is worth getting when the Samyang 35/1.4 and Sigma 30/1.4 are available at half the price and are faster too. The FA has great build and great optics, but you may not find the differences worth the price difference.
Wow, this is the first time I've ever agreed with you, but I would also recommend the Sigma 30 over the FA31. Maybe not at the same price, but at half? Absolutely. I've had the Sigma before and it's the only lens I've ever regretted selling. I've got the FA31 now, and of course it is excellent, but I don't think it justifies it's price. I can even understand someone preferring the Sigma, regardless of price. It does a beautiful job of subject isolation.
11-13-2011, 04:11 PM   #6
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As far as a walk around normal zoom with better quality, for less than 500 dollars, the Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 or the Pentax 17-70 f4 would also be a significant step up in quality over your super zoom. The Tamron would also be a decent choice, obviously gaining a stop of light gathering for a little shorter focal length.

As far as zoom, I would third the Sigma 30 option. It is a very nice lens.
11-13-2011, 04:24 PM   #7
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You may also want to consider the Tamron 28-75/2.8. Slightly different range (some would say more useful range), but would be an excellent companion to your 70-200. It has a very favorable reputation and can be had for $425 right now after rebate.
11-14-2011, 08:10 PM   #8
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Thanks all. These sound like great suggestions. Maybe I can justify a Christmas gift to self next month!

11-16-2011, 03:01 PM   #9
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The Sigma 17-50/2.8 is also an option. Best of the three F2.8 Standardzooms I think.
11-16-2011, 07:07 PM   #10
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Sigma 30mm 1.4 is my favorite lens.
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