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01-02-2008, 09:17 PM   #1
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Choosing successor to kit lens

G'day all.

This may be a topic discussed ad nauseum on this forum, and if so, would someone please direct me to the discussion thread.

Otherwise, I'm interested to gain opinions on the best wide zoom lens to replace the DA 18-55, with a budget of $300. Need more sharpness, better colour rendition and less distortions (speed not a must).

I've tossed up the idea of getting a DA 16-45 and gather that its IQ surpasses that of the Sigma 17-70 (is that fair enough to say?).

I'd like to be able to go down to 16mm and don't mind too much if the lens can't go further than 50mm.

I'm willing to wait for the DA 17-70, but I've no idea how expensive that set of glassware would cost.
I'm open to ideas and experiences with eligible lenses for this upgrade.

01-02-2008, 09:28 PM   #2
Ed in GA
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
G'day all.

This may be a topic discussed ad nauseum on this forum, and if so, would someone please direct me to the discussion thread.

Otherwise, I'm interested to gain opinions on the best wide zoom lens to replace the DA 18-55, with a budget of $300. Need more sharpness, better colour rendition and less distortions (speed not a must).

I've tossed up the idea of getting a DA 16-45 and gather that its IQ surpasses that of the Sigma 17-70 (is that fair enough to say?).

I'd like to be able to go down to 16mm and don't mind too much if the lens can't go further than 50mm.

I'm willing to wait for the DA 17-70, but I've no idea how expensive that set of glassware would cost.
I'm open to ideas and experiences with eligible lenses for this upgrade.
You can't go wrong with the DA 16-45.

There is no rebate on them at this time but you can pick them up for around $369 New or $339 Grey Market.

The going price for used ones on e-bay is $270 - $290.


Ed
01-03-2008, 12:36 AM   #3
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Hi Ash,
Wet out there?
Your budget...is that $300 aussie? and do you intend to buy in Australia? Might find it difficult to get a new16-45 for those $$.
To supplement your 18-55 you might want to have a look at the Tamron 70-300, currently $230 at an Australian on-line store. Google camera warehouse and go from there.
Cheers
Grant
PS: duh!...I see you have a 70-300. Sorry.

Last edited by Mallee Boy; 01-03-2008 at 12:38 AM. Reason: see PS:
01-03-2008, 01:09 AM   #4
Ash
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Thanks Ed,
Needed that confirmation... Am looking to pick one up soon (unless the DA 17-70 is vastly better and affordable).

G'day Grant, for the benefit of the majority US folks on this forum, I meant US$300 - and I'm happy with 2nd hand - so I'm hopeful I'll find one here.

I'll upgrade my telephoto zoom when I feel the need... I've realised quite quickly the Sigma 70-300 aint much of a quality zoom... probably will go for the DA 50-200...

01-03-2008, 05:36 AM   #5
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Ash, I would go for sigma 17-70 as it is really a faultless zoom: great focal range, not as expensive, good build, no CA or flare, vibrant colour etc.
01-03-2008, 07:36 AM   #6
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Have you thought of this lens?
Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC MACRO
01-03-2008, 10:17 AM   #7
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I'd almost wait for a while.
I'm almost thinking that Pentax might be using it as a kit lens with the new models, and if they do the prices will probably drop
01-03-2008, 12:35 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxtic Quote
Have you thought of this lens?
Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC MACRO
The non-macro version seems to be still available at Cameta Camera for about $269 last I checked.

01-03-2008, 02:57 PM   #9
Ash
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Comparisons

QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Ash, I would go for sigma 17-70 as it is really a faultless zoom: great focal range, not as expensive, good build, no CA or flare, vibrant colour etc.
I also considered that one, but was put off from several postings on other forums that it produced pictures with a more yellowy hue and wasn't as sharp as the DA 16-45. Not sure if this is true as there are neither of these lenses available locally to try out. Also don't know anything about the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8. Pretty hard shopping for a good lens going only by forum postings... Special K, I tried looking for the 18-50 in Cameta, but must have lost out already...

Any comments on IQ comparisons between the Sigma 17-70, Sigma 18-50 and the DA 16-45?
Cheers guys.

Last edited by Ash; 01-03-2008 at 03:17 PM.
01-03-2008, 06:11 PM   #10
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I have the same question

And that very same question of successor has been haunting me in the new year for new lens for replacing the kit's lens with something better. I wrote up this blog a while ago but the chocies that I mentioned still holds true to me

Positive thoughts on kit's lens:
Thoughts on Pentax DA 18-55 - Hin's Tech Corner

Replacement to kit's lens:
Pentax Protrait Lens - Hin's Tech Corner

My inexpensive gear list not-up-to-date:
Inexpensive gear with Pentax - Hin's Tech Corner

And my current top three choices are:

1. Tamron 28-75 f/2.8
2. Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.0
3. Pentax 28-105 f/3.2-4.5

And I always go for the cheaper alternatives and in the new year, I am resolved to get the better gear such as the above three lens. But the question is which one to pick for my needs. I don't even know and in 2007, I got various 28-80 in manual and autofocus k mount lens that seem to work better in terms of focal range comparing to kit's lens but their quality seem to be similar to that of kit's lens. And hence I am still looking for that wonderful zoom that is likely to be used more often in my bag next to those cheap prime that I am buying.

And here are my primary gear list and please help me to choose the best one from above

Zoom in K
------------
DA 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 (sell)
Tokina 19-35 f/3.5-5.6 (keep)
DA 50-200 f/4.0-5.6 (keep)
SMC 28-80 power zoom f/4.0-5.6 (may sell)
SMC-P 28-80 f/3.5-5.6 (may sell)
Sigma 24-135 f/2.8-4.0 (keep)
Vivitar 80-200 (sell)


Zoom in M42
----------------
Prakitcar 28-70 f/3.5-4.5 (keep)
Kalimar 80-200 f/4.0-5.6 (may sell)

Prime lens in K:
-------------------
Vivitar 24mm f/2.8 (keep)
Vivitar 28mm f/2.5 (sell)
Albina 28mm f2.8 (may sell)
SMC FA 50 f/1.4 (keep)
SMC-A 50 f/2.0 (may sell)
SMC 200mm f/4.0 (keep)

Prime in M42
----------------
SuperTak 35mm f/3.5 (sell)
Pentacon 50mm f/1.8 (keep)
SuperTak 105mm f/2.8 (keep)
Schneider 135mm f/3.5 (keep)
Soligor 135 mm f/2.8 (sell)

Please help me decide. I am nuts about my choices but so far I am leaning towards

#1 Sigma 17-70 (due to its reputation + the 17mm and Macro that I like)
#2 Tamron 28-75 (due to its reputation and constant f/2.8 throughout the range)
#3 Pentax 28-105 (due to its lighter weight + Pentax brand + longer reach)

Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 01-04-2008 at 05:45 AM.
01-03-2008, 06:32 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
And that very same question of successor has been haunting me in the new year for new lens for replacing the kit's lens with something better. I wrote up this blog a while ago but the chocies that I mentioned still holds true to me

Positive thoughts on kit's lens:
Thoughts on Pentax DA 18-55 - Hin's Tech Corner

Replacement to kit's lens:
Pentax Protrait Lens - Hin's Tech Corner

My inexpensive gear list not-up-to-date:
Inexpensive gear with Pentax - Hin's Tech Corner

And my current top three choices are:

1. Tamron 28-75 f/2.8
2. Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.0
3. Pentax 28-105 f/3.2-4.5

And I always go for the cheaper alternatives and in the new year, I am resolved to get the better gear such as the above three lens. But the question is which one to pick for my needs. I don't even know and in 2007, I got various 28-80 in manual and autofocus k mount lens that seem to work better in terms of focal range comparing to kit's lens but their quality seem to be similar to that of kit's lens. And hence I am still looking for that wonderful zoom that is likely to be used more often in my bag next to those cheap prime that I am buying.

And here are my primary gear list and please help me to choose the best one from above

Zoom in K
------------
DA 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 (sell)
Tokina 19-35 f/3.5-5.6 (keep)
DA 50-200 f/4.0-5.6 (keep)
SMC 28-80 power zoom f/4.0-5.6 (may sell)
SMC-P 28-80 f/3.5-5.6 (may sell)
Sigma 24-135 f/2.8-4.0 (keep)
Vivitar 80-200 (sell)


Zoom in M42
----------------
Prakitcar 28-70 f/3.5-4.5 (keep)
Kalimar 80-200 f/4.0-5.6 (may sell)

Prime lens in K:
-------------------
Vivitar 24mm f/2.8 (keep)
Vivitar 28mm f/2.5 (sell)
Albina 28mm f2.8 (may sell)
SMC FA 50 f/1.4 (keep)
SMC-A 50 f/2.0 (may sell)
SMC 200mm f/4.0 (keep)

Prime in M42
----------------
SuperTak 35mm f/3.5 (sell)
Pentacon 50mm f/1.8 (keep)
SuperTak 105mm f/2.8 (keep)
Schneider 135mm f/3.5 (keep)
Soligor 135 mm f/2.8 (sell)

Please help me decide. I am nuts about my choices but so far I am leaning towards

#1 Sigma 17-70 (due to its reputation + the 17mm and Macro that I like)
#2 Tamron 28-75 (due to its reputation and constant f/2.8 throughout the range)
#3 Pentax 28-105 (due to its lighter weight + Pentax brand + longer reach)

Thanks,
Hin
If anyone have interest in the [sell] or the potential [may sell] items and that you know me well, please PM me for price before I take the time to put each of the items into MarketPlace. I don't yet have good rating as a seller but people who know me seems to have good trusting relationship with me as I pride in taking great care for my friends, I make a buck or two but I also lose a buck or two as a fee for equipment rental for my passion -- my new year excuses in buying gear.

Warmest,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 01-04-2008 at 05:46 AM.
01-03-2008, 06:38 PM   #12
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Ash, I can't comment on any of the other lenses, as I've never tried them, but I can say that I am very pleased with my Pentax 16-45. It's very sharp at almost all settings.

I'd recommend trying to get a little more money together and get the 16-45. This lens is a keeper.

Mike
01-03-2008, 07:44 PM   #13
Ash
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Agreed Mike,

Even with the good vibes about the 17-70, the extra 1mm at wide end & nice reviews are leaning me towards the 16-45. I'll keep my ears open, though, for others to voice their opinions about those lenses...

And Hin,

Thanks for your input - you might consider putting those lenses you want to sell on the Photographers Marketplace - I'm sure you'll sell them all real quick there...

No 16-45 in that lot?
I appreciate the quality and good reviews of the Tamron 28-75, I reackon it would be absolutely awesome on a film body, but on a dSLR, it's just not wide enough for me... That's why I'm thinking DA 16-45 - it would even replace the need for a wide prime lens I've been eyeing for a while...
01-03-2008, 08:34 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Bokeh Quote
Ash, I can't comment on any of the other lenses, as I've never tried them, but I can say that I am very pleased with my Pentax 16-45. It's very sharp at almost all settings.

I'd recommend trying to get a little more money together and get the 16-45. This lens is a keeper.

Mike
Mike & Ash,

Thanks for the great input for the Pentax 16-45, I seldom think of that lens as I always count on my kit's lens for the wide angle. I have not thought about that lens. But what is holding me on the 16-45 is my collection of prime in 24, 28, 35 and 50 and it looks to overlap with my primes too much that I prefer a zoom in the range of 16 - 80 for my day to day use and hence my preference to Tamron 28-75 and Sigma 17-70. If the Sigma is f/2.8 throughout, I won't even get into the hesitation that I am in. Nothing is perfect but f/2.8 is my dependable aperture for street photography in night shooting that I truly enjoy

Samples of shots in new year done with a Vivitar 24mm f/2.8 done on new year after fireworks, I love the 24mm and I may yield the priority to Sigma 17-70 if it has f/2.8 at 24mm

All are hand held shots done with Vivitar 24mm f/2.8 and Pentax FA 50 f/1.4

#1 Ferry Building after the fireworks
1/3 sec, f/2.8, 24mm, iso 800, 0 Ev



#2 Ferry Building after the fireworks in Tungsten WB for blue tone
1/2 sec, f/2.8, 24mm, iso 800, 0 Ev


#3 Ferry building after fireworks
1/13 sec, f/2.8, 24mm, iso 800, 0 Ev


#4 Street scene after fireworks
1/15 sec, f/2.8, 24mm, iso 800, 0 Ev


#5 Street scene after firework
1/3 sec, f/4.0, 24mm, iso 800, 0 Ev


#6 Street scene after firework
1/3 sec, f/4.5, 24mm, iso 800, 0 Ev


#7 Street scene before firework with FA 50 f/1.4
1/20 sec, f/2.0, 50mm, iso 800, 0 Ev


#8 Street scene before firework on 24mm


#9 off focus shot


Thanks,
Hin
01-03-2008, 08:47 PM   #15
Ash
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Nice night shots.
Having primes does bring out an element of brilliance - which is why when I heard the 16-45 has almost similar brilliance to primes (albeit at max f/4), I was quite pleased. I'm also fine to work on a tripod for such night shots.

As far as I know, the Sigma 17-70 is max f/2.8 only around 17mm, then jumps up to f/3.5 and f/4 between 17 and 70, when at 70mm it becomes f/4.5. I'd be much happier with the Sigma 18-50, which is f/2.8 throughout. I'm still contemplating between the 16-45 and the 18-50, but the extra 2mm on the wide end of the 16-45 again is significant.
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