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12-26-2011, 11:50 AM   #1
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What should I get?

Hi everyone!
I finally saved some money, and now I'm thinking about getting a new walk-around lens. The thing is, I was almost decided to get a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, but I found out from the reviews that the Pentax 35mm f/2.4 is also a great lens. Now obviously, the Pentax one is not as versatile as the Tamron, but 35mm is wide enough for me. I usually use the wide focal length setting with my kit lens (18mm), but I have a Tokina 35-105mm and I never had a problem with it not being wide enough. But it's a manual lens and tbh MF and stop-down metering can be a lot of fun, but not for longer periods of time. I also have a Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7, so I've got that focal length covered. Back to the dilemma, the priorities for me are image quality, lens speed and of course money (I'm a student). Here the Tamron costs about $390 and the Pentax about $230, which is almost a half. I have never heard anything bad about the Pentax one, but with Tamron I heard there are some serious QC issues. I don't want to buy a lens finding it's got a front- or back-focus and sending it back, and I have absolutely no opportunity trying the lens before buying it here. So I was rather thinking about getting the Pentax 35mm f/2.4 and later buying something more wide. I'd be thankful for any helpful advice.

12-26-2011, 11:58 AM   #2
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As far as QC goes you're usually safer with primes, because FF/BF can be corrected via a single adjustment. The Pentax 35mm is nice, and so its its image quality, but for a walkaround you might just be happier with the added flexibility of a zoom.

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12-26-2011, 01:43 PM   #3
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Shouldn't this be in the LENS section?

Yes, zooms are more flexible. If 17-50 is wider than you need, have you considered the Tamron 28-75/2.8? Concerning QC: Tamron is reputedly better than Sigma with consumer-grade lenses. When looking at ultrawides, I could have picked Pentax or Sigma, but I chose Tamron, for price, and warranty, and the lower percentage of user complaints.
12-26-2011, 01:52 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Shouldn't this be in the LENS section?
Well, since it's about lenses, that would make sense.


12-27-2011, 01:12 AM   #5
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I've had the 35mm 2.4 for almost a year now and it is a nice lens. However, I will be buying the 40mm limited next because I want the smaller size for everyday use. I would recommend either of these for your situation, if you want auto-focus and not manual lenses. I've found that the relatively larger zooms tend to cause me to not want to carry my camera around at all. Another bonus I've found with primes is that it is pretty liberating in that I don't have to worry about focal length and I can focus strictly on the image composition itself.
12-27-2011, 07:06 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by freddykrueger Quote
but I have a Tokina 35-105mm and I never had a problem with it not being wide enough
In which case the DA-L35/2.4 makes sense in my opinion.
12-27-2011, 10:42 AM   #7
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A Budget Zoom?

Hi Freddie,
Along with the suggestions you've already gotten, here's another one; The F 35-70mm f3.5-4.5. This little AF zoom is a nearly-perfect walk-around lens, barely bigger than a prime and ultra-sharp too. It even has a sorta-macro function at the 70mm end, perhaps it should be called "closeup" but works fine for the occasional bug or flower shot.
You will find them from time to time on eBay, and the best news? $40-$50 USD.
Check the comments in the lens review section, you'll see what users think about this little jewel!
12-27-2011, 11:16 AM   #8
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F35-70 has quite good reputation but is quite slower than Tamron zoom and also 2 x Zoom might not be enough. On the other hand it is inexpensive. Pentax FA28-70/4 is also lens with nice reputation, but questionable quality control and therefore sample variation - so I have heard. Should I be in OP's situation I would probably bite the bullet and go for Tamron 28-75/2.8. DA35 would be probably sharper and cheaper, Tamron more flexible, f2.4 vs f2.8 is almost insignificant IMHO.

12-27-2011, 11:29 AM   #9
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Given what you already own I would also suggest the DA35/2.4. Primes are another whole realm and the DA35/2.4 is a genuine bargain that delivers very solid performance. It has the added advantages of being very light, having f2.4, being an AF lens, and retaining most of its value if you decide to resell it. Add to all this your review of your shooting habits and 35 is wide enough for you and it makes it a very nice fit for you IMHO. Good luck.
12-27-2011, 11:59 AM   #10
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Ok, thanks guys for the help. I'll get the DA 35/2.4. And later hopefully the Tamron 28-75/2.8, but that's out of my budget right now.

Last edited by freddykrueger; 12-27-2011 at 02:40 PM.
12-27-2011, 12:47 PM   #11
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I'm happy with my DA35/2.4 it's sharp at around 3.5 it's also my primary lens right now but to me it's kind of a hit and miss at wider apertures. I'm also after the Tamron 28-75/2.8 but for now I'm happy with my heavy but sharp FA28 - 108(PZ) as my "flexibility lens"

BTW I got my DA35 for $180 + shipping + free UV filter and lens cleaning kit. 2 weeks ago I think I saw @ amazon that they were selling the DA35/2.4 for $165
12-27-2011, 12:55 PM   #12
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I would strongly recommend the Pentax F 35-70 as the perfect all-purpose walk around lens. The image quality is excellent, it is very light (235 g), the autofocus is fast and accurate and costs less than $50.It does have a very nice macro (almost) feature also at the 70mm end. At 35mm is at F3.5 which is not that much slower than 2.8.

Everybody should have one regardless of what else you have.
12-27-2011, 08:57 PM   #13
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For I-want-to-capture-everything situations and travel, it's the DA18-250. For more limited goals, it's the F35-70, which I'm using this week in town and country, neighborhoods and the High Sierras. It's agile, sharp, tiny (smallest zoom Pentax ever made), cheap. What it doesn't provide is DOF control, except in its 'macro' range.

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