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12-29-2007, 10:30 PM   #1
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Help a fool part with his money.

I am looking to buy a new lens. I've had my K100D for a little over a year. While the kit lens has been fine I'd like a little more. I am looking to be able to reach out a bit more for birds and wild life while at the same time being able to do the insect flower thing. Just an all around general purpose lens that can take up where the kit lens leave off. I am not a pro. Heck, I'm barely an amature. No money is being made and I don't have the keen eye that most of you possess. I'm still in the early stages of learning.

Here is the problem. My budget is only $200 American and there is no chance of expanding.

The lenses I am considering are as follows:

1. Tamron 70-300mm 1:2 F/4-5.6 DI LD Macro FS=62 For Pentax AF - 139.99 @ Buydig.com

Tamron 70-300mm 1:2 F/4-5.6 DI LD Macro FS=62 For Pentax AF | BuyDig.com, The Internet's Digital Superstore

2. Tamron 75-300mm F/4-5.6 LD FS=62 AF For Pentax & Samsung SLR - 119.99 @ Buydig.com

Tamron 75-300mm F/4-5.6 LD FS=62 AF For Pentax & Samsung SLR With 6-Year USA Warranty | BuyDig.com, The Internet's Digital Superstore

3. Pentax smc P-FA 75-300mm f/4.5-5.8 AL (Black) - Telephoto Auto Focus Zoom Lens - 129.99 @ buydig.com It also has decent reviews in the lens database.

Pentax smc P-FA 75-300mm f/4.5-5.8 AL (Black) - Telephoto Auto Focus Zoom Lens | BuyDig.com, The Internet's Digital Superstore

Of the three which would you choose in my position or please tell me if I am barking up the wrong tree and need to be looking in a different direction?

I know that these are budget lenses, but for the foreseeable future that is what is in the cards. Also, at the cost of these I can afford to add a couple of filters. I am selling one toy to buy another otherwise it wouldn't be happening. I just feel so limited with the kit lens.

Thanks.

12-29-2007, 10:33 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by dws1117 Quote
I am looking to buy a new lens. I've had my K100D for a little over a year. While the kit lens has been fine I'd like a little more. I am looking to be able to reach out a bit more for birds and wild life while at the same time being able to do the insect flower thing. Just an all around general purpose lens that can take up where the kit lens leave off. I am not a pro. Heck, I'm barely an amature. No money is being made and I don't have the keen eye that most of you possess. I'm still in the early stages of learning.

Here is the problem. My budget is only $200 American and there is no chance of expanding.

The lenses I am considering are as follows:

1. Tamron 70-300mm 1:2 F/4-5.6 DI LD Macro FS=62 For Pentax AF - 139.99 @ Buydig.com

Tamron 70-300mm 1:2 F/4-5.6 DI LD Macro FS=62 For Pentax AF | BuyDig.com, The Internet's Digital Superstore

2. Tamron 75-300mm F/4-5.6 LD FS=62 AF For Pentax & Samsung SLR - 119.99 @ Buydig.com

Tamron 75-300mm F/4-5.6 LD FS=62 AF For Pentax & Samsung SLR With 6-Year USA Warranty | BuyDig.com, The Internet's Digital Superstore

3. Pentax smc P-FA 75-300mm f/4.5-5.8 AL (Black) - Telephoto Auto Focus Zoom Lens - 129.99 @ buydig.com It also has decent reviews in the lens database.

Pentax smc P-FA 75-300mm f/4.5-5.8 AL (Black) - Telephoto Auto Focus Zoom Lens | BuyDig.com, The Internet's Digital Superstore

Of the three which would you choose in my position or please tell me if I am barking up the wrong tree and need to be looking in a different direction?

I know that these are budget lenses, but for the foreseeable future that is what is in the cards. I am selling one toy to buy another otherwise it wouldn't be happening. I just feel so limited with the kit lens.

Thanks.
I notice that all of them go to 300mm. Consider the Pentax 50-200 kit lens, despite the shorter mm at the long end. You will be quite surprised at how hard it is to make a huge jump in focal length, and the Pentax lens is a pretty good performer for the dollars.
12-29-2007, 10:48 PM   #3
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Choice no. 1 without a doubt in my mind. I love my tamron 70-300 and use it a lot more than I thought it would. My FA50 is my most used, followed by the tamron pretty closely, then the DA18-55 pretty far back. It is a bit of a CA monster, but it is very useful, and I love the semi-macro feature.

Thats my $.02 anyway.
12-29-2007, 11:00 PM   #4
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With a strict budget of $200 you need to give very serious thought to screwmount lenses. You can get great lenses at budget prices. With more modern stuff the only thing you get at budget prices are budget lenses.

I have the FA J 75-300 you're looking at and I wouldn't recommend it.

12-29-2007, 11:04 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by AKiss20 Quote
Choice no. 1 without a doubt in my mind. I love my tamron 70-300 and use it a lot more than I thought it would. My FA50 is my most used, followed by the tamron pretty closely, then the DA18-55 pretty far back. It is a bit of a CA monster, but it is very useful, and I love the semi-macro feature.

Thats my $.02 anyway.
I have read good things about the tamron as well.

I went with a similar approach, started out with the kit lense, then got the FA 50 1.4, then the FA 80-320 as my budget zoom (no macro ability). Rencently the Voightlander 180mm has been my main lense for outdoors as it has less range, but is really sharp and produces nice colors.

A good budget zoom would seem like a good move on your part to really get more out of photography by giving you the ability to add more reach. It provided me lots of fun really being able to take pictures from a farther distance than the kit lense. The budget zooms will probably have similar IQ to the kit, some may be soft at 300+. I would go with on that has a a semi macro or close focus ability. It will further aid you in flower/macroish photography at a budget. The 50-200 can put up some good photos as well.

Other thoughts: The FA 50 is probably my most used lense as well, indoors and for scenic shots. I have been pretty disappointed with the kit lense during my recent attempts indoors and now it is soley reserved for my only wide angle when I find I cannot back up far enough with the FA50 to get the appropriate scene.
12-29-2007, 11:06 PM   #6
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QuoteQuote:
Consider the Pentax 50-200 kit lens, despite the shorter mm at the long end. You will be quite surprised at how hard it is to make a huge jump in focal length, and the Pentax lens is a pretty good performer for the dollars.
I am considering this one. In fact it would be my number 1 choice except it is ever so slightly out of the price range. But it isn't out of the question if I can swing the extra bucks.

QuoteQuote:
It is a bit of a CA monster
Could you please educate me on this term?
12-29-2007, 11:10 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by dws1117 Quote
I am considering this one. In fact it would be my number 1 choice except it is ever so slightly out of the price range. But it isn't out of the question if I can swing the extra bucks.



Could you please educate me on this term?
CA is chromatic aberration - colour fringing at high contrast edges. Where a dark line against snow appears there will be a colour line that doesn't belong there. Most post processing software, including the ones that came with the camera, can be used to reduce it to an acceptable level.
12-29-2007, 11:19 PM   #8
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Responding directly to your options I would say No 1. (I have this lens and for your described proposed usage it will do the job)
Hopping outside the square for a second I would reccommend a hunt around some second hand primes either on-line or personally if you have any such shops in your neighbourhood.
Good luck.

12-30-2007, 12:55 AM   #9
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I just picked up a Tamron 70-300mm. This thing is like a canon (gun-wise, not the brand), but it takes amazing macro shots! I haven't got a chance to shoot with it outside yet though.
12-30-2007, 06:29 AM   #10
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Of the three listed, I would go with the purple monster. Er, that is my nickname for my copy of the Tammy 70-300. It does suffer from CA terribly, but no issues with the IQ. It does macro up to 1:2 which is half life size, so its perfect for large insect macros...which is why I still have this lens. I won't use it for birding though, as it purples everything with a high contrast. So in some regards, this cheap lens has been a disappointment to me.

However, I do feel it is better then your other choices listed. I will have to agree and feel you might be better off with the Pentax 50-200. You give up an extra 100mm of reach, and it can't do macro work like the Tamron, but the colours and photo quality far surpasses the other lens.

Just my 0.02 cents worth.
12-30-2007, 06:35 AM   #11
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all 3 seem to be about the same in capability, and if you only have 200 total, any of them would do about the same for birding. The pentax may be the best of the lot, but leaves you a little short in the macro range. You could make this up with close up lenses (use the rest of your 200) or for birding, since all are relitively slow, get a a flash for birding.
12-30-2007, 11:44 AM   #12
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I only have esperience with Tamron 70-300 Di II. Decent lens for the money. And it certainly takes you far and sharp. You only will have to be carefull in contrasty situations. But it's certainly worth the $139. I wish I could get lenses that cheap here in UK...
12-30-2007, 12:24 PM   #13
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My copy at least only suffers serious CA when its white against a dark background. Even then its not that bad, remember to take things in perspective. I have seen shots from my mom's little point and shoot with MASSIVE amounts of CA, in DSLR terms when we say bad on CA, we still typically mean a 5-10 pixel boarder that can be easily removed in PP.

Here are some links to shots I took with the Tamron

Picasa Web Albums - Andras Kiss - 11-21-07 Powd...

All of these up to the first girl picture are with the Tamron

Picasa Web Albums - Andras Kiss - 11-18-07 Firs...
These were all taken with the Tamron.

Cheers!
12-30-2007, 12:25 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
I only have esperience with Tamron 70-300 Di II. Decent lens for the money. And it certainly takes you far and sharp. You only will have to be carefull in contrasty situations. But it's certainly worth the $139. I wish I could get lenses that cheap here in UK...
As you speak about this lense. Can any one post one photo? I can not get a sharp photo with this lense. So if there is everything OK with my lense, I must do something wrong.
Please show me some photos made with it, together with EXIF if possible.
Thanx guys!
12-30-2007, 12:36 PM   #15
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Thanks to everyone for their thought, advice, and opinions. Keep them coming.

If I can find a way to squeeze a little, and I mean a little because it is all there would be, into the lens budget would the Pentax 50-200 as suggested by others be a better choice than the ones I've been considering? If so why?
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