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12-25-2006, 06:43 PM   #1
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Wide & Tele Zoom Lens

Well I've been reading over here more in the last couple days and have a some questions. I've got the Pentax 18-55mm kit lens, and now the f/2.8 40mm limited to handle night shooting.

Now I need to get an idea of what longer focal length lens to start saving toward. The standard Pentax 50-200mm f/3.5 - 5.6 looks nice, and is a great price at around $220 US even without the rebate. I've read that the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5 - 6.3is a very good lens, and that would save switching between the two Pentax lenses since it covers the same range, although slightly slower at the long end, but it comes with a $400 US price tag. I also saw the Tokina AT-X 28-200 mm f/3.5 - 5.6 for $270 at B&H. While not quite as wide, the Tokina does cover most of the same focal range, and is a little faster than the Tamron at the long end. I have no idea how good this lens is though.

Thoughts on those three lenses? Alternatives up $400 US (would like to stay close to the Tamron's price, but I'm willing to spend maybe $100 more if it's that big of a step up).

Could two or three primes between 50 and 200mm work better for the same or less money - at the cost of the convenience of not having to switch lenses? Then again, the idea of a dSLR is the ability to swap in lenses that suit the situation right?

Basically, I've no idea what to do, and would appreciate discussion & insight on the matter.

Thank you all.

12-25-2006, 08:50 PM   #2
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RE: Wide & Tele Zoom Lens

QuoteQuote:
Now I need to get an idea of what longer focal length lens to start saving toward. The standard Pentax 50-200mm f/3.5 - 5.6 looks nice, and is a great price at around $220 US even without the rebate.
DA50-200 is an excellent lens. (It is f/4-5.6 BTW).

QuoteQuote:
I've read that the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5 - 6.3is a very good lens, and that would save switching between the two Pentax lenses since it covers the same range,
More range, more optical compromises are required. Shorter the focal length and that gets even more pronounced. I tend to avoid zoom lenses with more range than 2X in the wide end, 3X in medium range and 4X in telephoto range.

So I tend not to trust superzooms like 18-200mm (over 11X range!), especially if they are small, light and cheap. (I do believe it is possible to make high quality 10X zoom lenses, but they have to be big, heavy, and really expensive!)

QuoteQuote:
Could two or three primes between 50 and 200mm work better for the same or less money
Not for less money, but it is fine to have good primes: they are usually smaller, lighter and sharper wide open, although good ones tend to be expensive. But zooms are getting really close in terms of quality, and at f/8 or f/11 most are comparable to primes. If you shoot lots of landscapes small aperture is a must anyway so don't waste your money on fast primes or zooms.

I currently own A28/2.8, A50/1.4, K135/2.5 and FA35/2. My by far most used prime lens is FA35/2 not because it's auto focus (I learned photography with ME, MX and K1000 so AF or MF is the same to me) but because it is optically excellent, well built, light, fast and of perfect focal length for a DSLR. Sometimes I bring only FA35 and my *istDS with me.

Standard content of my camera bag is: *istDS, DA18-55, DA50-200, FA35 and AF360-FGZ and I am vary happy with this combination. (I will soon add DA10-17 Fish-Eye after deciding not to go with DA12-24, but that is another story).
12-27-2006, 08:56 PM   #3
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Other Thoughts

I've had the P-DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited for all four days now, and I really like it. The 18-55mm kit lens hasn't been on the K100d body since the 40mm prime arrived. I really like the in the specs of the P-DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited. It's pricey, but looks darn nice. Fast and lightweight are very appealing. However, I'm still debating the added versatiilty of either a 28-200 aftermarket all around zoom, or compromising with something in the 28-ish to 125-ish range. It would be in the middle of the two above for speed & versatility with a lower price. Still a bit overwhelmed with all the options out there, but really seeing where the money goes on nicer - read more expensive - lenses. If any one can help me get some clarity I thank you in advance.

I.Glisin, thanks for the post reminding me of the compromises of such a wide zoom range, it was quite helpful.
12-29-2006, 08:41 AM   #4
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the tamron 18 to 200 is very good.. not as good as half a dozen primes for pure pixel peeping image quality.. but at certain points within its very wide and usefull range it is as good as a prime.. or near enough for it not to matter..

u wont find many folks who have one knock it.. but u will find many purists that assume far more than they should as regards its image quality.. or any zoom lens come to that..

my sons pentax kit lens got ebayed as soon as he aquired a tamron 18 x 200.. he he.. he did keep his original tamron 70 to 300mm thow.. it takes over nicely where the 18 to 200 falls off.. the large overlap is usefull.. it saves lens changeing too much..

the poor old pentax kit lens soon fell victim to LBA.. it was pretty much the first causality.. its range is too limited and its image quality isnt good enough.. still it does come nearly free with the camera..

trog


Last edited by trog100; 12-29-2006 at 08:51 AM.
01-02-2007, 12:35 AM   #5
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Just thought id mention ive been using a Tamron AF 80-210MM Lens. Im pretty impressed with it.Great for protraits,wildlife and action shots.Worth checkin out if anyones looking for a good zoom.Works well with my k10d happy with results i get. thnx
01-02-2007, 01:43 AM   #6
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If I wanted say a two lens kit covering a long range personally I would go for the.

Sigma 17-70 and the Tamron 70-300 DI

I have owned the Sigma 18-125 and although the center resolution was great I found the edge resolution a bit low, distortion a bit high and it wasn't bright enough for me... Your requirements may vary of course.... But in retrospect for myself I would go with the Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 it is a bit brighter than the superzooms (more possibilties in lower light without needing to resort to flash) and a notch up in IQ (distortion, vignetting, border resolution)..

The Tamron 70-300 DI is fantastic value for money... If you only need up to 200mm the Pentax DA50-200 is a lovely little lens that produces consistantly good images for its size.. It doesn't have the reach or close-up ability of the Tamron though...

Last edited by joele; 01-02-2007 at 01:55 AM.
01-02-2007, 12:18 PM   #7
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"Sigma 17-70 and the Tamron 70-300 DI"

in retrospect i could have gone that way joele.. might well do at a later date.. i have ended up with the 18 x 200 plus 70 x 300 as my basic lenses.. having a dislike of lens changing too often the big overlap i have might meant less need for it and enable me to perhaps have good coverage whichever lens i have on the camera at any one time..

your way is perfect but means u need both lenses with u to get good coverge and it would need more lens changing.. its all a trade somewhere along the line..

trog
01-26-2007, 09:47 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by joele Quote
If I wanted say a two lens kit covering a long range personally I would go for the.

Sigma 17-70 and the Tamron 70-300 DI

I have owned the Sigma 18-125 and although the center resolution was great I found the edge resolution a bit low, distortion a bit high and it wasn't bright enough for me... Your requirements may vary of course.... But in retrospect for myself I would go with the Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 it is a bit brighter than the superzooms (more possibilties in lower light without needing to resort to flash) and a notch up in IQ (distortion, vignetting, border resolution)..

The Tamron 70-300 DI is fantastic value for money... If you only need up to 200mm the Pentax DA50-200 is a lovely little lens that produces consistantly good images for its size.. It doesn't have the reach or close-up ability of the Tamron though...

*bump*
I'm looking for something in the longer range, and I read your post about the Tamron 70-300mm. Do you have any sample photos? I love to see 'em.

I'm wondering if this lens will be fast enough for motorsports events though. Either way, I plan on also buying the DA 50-200m anyway, just because I love the color rendition.

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