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02-19-2012, 07:42 AM   #1
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Suggestions for next lens purchase :)

Hey,
I currently have:
>Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6
>Pentax DAL 18-55mm
>Chinon 28mm f2.8 (don't use, kit lens is better!)
>Pentax-M 50mm f1.7
>Pentax-A 70-210mm f4

As I have a Kr, I was thinking about maybe either a good street lens, or a zoom with AF. Any suggestions? I'm not too interested in the da40mm ltd. as I believe my 50mm f1.7 will do a just as good as, if not better, job. What about the DAL 35mm, or maybe 55-300mm... or a kit lens upgrade such as a Tamron 17-50mm...
Cheers
Charlie

02-19-2012, 08:11 AM - 1 Like   #2
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From the list it shows you lack a longer length lens of around the 300mm area, I would go for the Pentax 55-300mm lens, great value and quality for the money.
02-19-2012, 08:49 AM - 1 Like   #3
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+1 for the 55-300mm.
02-19-2012, 09:29 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Ask yourself, What do I want to do that I can't do with what I have? If you want longer AF, the the DA55-300. If you want 1:1 macro in the field, then one of the good 90-100mm macros. If you want close-focus, you already have it in the DA18-55. Do you have a secret lust for fisheye photos? For a good portraiture ie people-shooting zoom, the DA*50-135/2.8 is great. If you want speed and DOF control, look for the A50/1.2 or the FA50/1.4 or DA*55/1.4.

But if your answer to the question is, Oh I just want another lens or ten, then look at all the cheap manual-focus primes available. Maybe go for speed -- Vivitar 24/2 or 28/2, Helios-44 58/2, something around 85/2, etc. I can't live without those. Not comfortably, anway.

02-19-2012, 09:33 AM - 1 Like   #5
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If you're satisfied with what you're getting from the DA 18-55, get the DA 55-300. If not, upgrade the kit with the Tammy 17-50 or one of the Pentax fixed aperture zooms.
02-19-2012, 10:09 AM   #6
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Original Poster
Thanks guys! I probably will seriously consider the 55-300mm. For a zoom, AF is kinda important, especially as I want to start trying wildlife photography. I will also look around for some cheap manual lenses. What website would you recommend for old lenses (I dont like ebay)?
02-19-2012, 10:46 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by chaza01 Quote
What website would you recommend for old lenses (I dont like ebay)?
eBay rulez. The marketplace here ain't bad. I despise CL and ShopGoodwill. YMMV.
02-20-2012, 02:29 AM   #8
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55-300 lol

02-20-2012, 03:00 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by MegaPower Quote
55-300 lol
why lol?
02-20-2012, 03:19 AM   #10
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If you are going for the 55-300 get the DA rather than the DAL version. The main reason is quickshift focus which will help out if you just miss AF. I have a DAL 55-300 and it hunts alot if I miss focus so don't be a stinge, get the DA! (and you will get a hood )
02-20-2012, 05:37 AM   #11
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I would totally go for the DA 55-300. Amazing value for money, and light and compact with it.
02-20-2012, 11:42 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by chaza01 Quote
Hey,
I currently have:
>Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6
>Pentax DAL 18-55mm
>Chinon 28mm f2.8 (don't use, kit lens is better!)
>Pentax-M 50mm f1.7
>Pentax-A 70-210mm f4

As I have a Kr, I was thinking about maybe either a good street lens, or a zoom with AF. Any suggestions? I'm not too interested in the da40mm ltd. as I believe my 50mm f1.7 will do a just as good as, if not better, job. What about the DAL 35mm, or maybe 55-300mm... or a kit lens upgrade such as a Tamron 17-50mm...
Cheers
Charlie
I think Rio's reply is one of the best here - 'what are you missing with what you have already?' or 'what do you wish to do better/more of?'
Wide, landscapes, action, DOF, convenience, other?
You've got a fast 50 for low light.
The A70-210/f 4.0 is a very nice lens, but no AF and not quite fast enough for lower light, but very good otherwise. (I also personally like it quite a bit for outdoor portraits)

I had a somewhat similar lens collection - kit 18-55, A70-210, A50/1.7, and a Quantaray/Tamron 7-300.
I could in general 'make do' with what I had, but the fast 50 wasn't wide enough for indoor lower light shots, so I picked up a used Tokina 28-70/2.8-4.0, sort of as a 'trial run' to see how I'd get on with a Tamron 28-75/2.8, and not bad for $15 or so. It gets me the indoor lower light wider shots that I couldn't get with the 50/1.7 or the kit lens in the meanwhile, and with better DOF/isolation at the wider end.

I realized i was doing a lot of travel shots, usually nature but also some of people, things, etc., and I was fairly frequently swapping between the kit 18-55 and the 70-210 - I had a strong preference for the 70-210 out of those two, but of course it wasn't wide enough at times, and not all shots could wait, so after a whole lot of consideration, I went with the DA 18-135, as a 'convenience' lens, and it has worked out well for me for daily, 'normal travel shooting.' I recently went on a work trip with some time in San Francisco, and shot 95% with the DA18-135 happily, only pulling out the fast 50 occasionally, and then was also reminded that I really should have brought the Tokina 28-70 along for the range and situations I found myself taking pictures in.

So, for me, I'm agreeing with Rio here - it was very nice to not have the swap back and forth that I frequently have when outside with the kit 18-55, and I got 90% of the shots I wanted, with the 18-135, as my basic, 'all around' lens, for many different scenarios with decent light, and then several 'specialty' lenses.

I now expect my longer term lens plan to add the Tamron 28-75/2.8 (or potentially the new/upcoming DA* 20-80mm if I can wait that long), and either the DA* 60-250/4.0 or a Tamron or Sigma 70-200/2.8, and a 1.4x TC. I had thought that I 'needed' the 300mm length, but the (not so bad, but PF..) 70-300 is rarely used by me at this point; the 70-210 beats it on sharpness and colors, etc.

So...'what are you missing?'

PS - if it's something at the longer end with AF, for good light, I'd agree with the others, the 55-300mm might make a good replacement for your 70-210, and it's generally agreed on to be > the 50-200.
If you don't need the longer focal range or AF vs your 70-210, then look elsewhere.
02-20-2012, 11:50 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Another potential LBA in the making...
I'd listen to RicoRico's advice before it's too late.
02-20-2012, 12:40 PM - 1 Like   #14
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I have two alternate suggestions for you:
  • Pentax D-FA 100mm f/2.8 Macro
  • Pentax DA 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye

It would be hard for me to overstate the appreciation I have for the 100mm macro. I have the earlier version (non-WR), and absolutely love it. In your case, it gives you 2 things you don't have—macro, and a fixed telephoto. I bought it for the macro capability, but I've found it to be so much more than that; I hardly use it for macro at all anymore. I love it so much that my next planned purchase is the WR version—simply because I get excited about having a shiny new copy of that lens. (And also because I've dropped mine several times—although it still works flawlessly). It is especially fantastic for portraits—the best of all my lenses. The length is just long enough to allow you to get candid shots without your subject necessarily noticing you, etc.

As for the Fisheye—I've found it to be a delightful surprise, and use it far more than I anticipated. Some may be inclined to think of a fisheye as a gimmicky lens—and I guess it can be (which isn't necessarily an invalid reason to use one, if that's what you're after). However, at 17mm, it also makes for a really useful wide-angle lens—albeit with some barrel distortion. If that bothers you, you can reconcile a lot of it via the lens correction tools in Lightroom 3 (or elsewhere, I suppose). To be clear—it's not an ideal landscape lens or anything, but it's absolutely brilliant in certain situations (e.g. holding your camera over your head at an event and having confidence that you're going to get some interesting shots of everyone there without having to worry too much about precise aiming (because it covers such a big area).
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