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03-27-2012, 07:51 AM   #1
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Need advice about keeping lenses

Hello everyone I just got a K5 a few days ago to replace my old k100 I will be using it to shoot wildlife 95% of the time. My question is I have a few lenses that came with the k100 and I am not sure if I should keep them or not. here is what I have.

Pentax DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6

Pentax DA 50-200mm f4-5.6

Sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 APO DG


Now I was thinking of selling the 200mm and the 300mm and replacing them with the Pentax DA 55-300mm F4-5.8

Then down the road getting something like the Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3

and for Macro I was looking at the Sigma 50mm F2.8 EX DG Macro 55mm

so at the end of the day I would have lenses that would cover a good range.

Any advice would be welcome.


Last edited by coreyhkh; 03-27-2012 at 11:50 AM. Reason: spelling
03-27-2012, 08:21 AM   #2
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since I don't know the DA55-300 or the sigma 70-300, just looking at the focal length range and aperture, they appear quite similar on the surface, so I will ask,

are you dissatisfied with the sigma lens?

I would suggest, starting out without making any changes at all, and see how the lens performs on the K5.

If the sigma lens does what you want within its focal length limits, why ditch it?

If you are considering getting something like the sigma 150-500, you might wish to get a 50-135 as opposed to replacing the sigma lens with a very similar performing pentax lens. this way in teh 50-135 range you get 1-2 stops faster lens and neatly fill in the range below the monster you are planning.
03-27-2012, 08:26 AM   #3
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I think, from reading the reviews, the Sigma 70-300 and the Tamron 70-300 are about equal IQ to the Pentax FA 100-300. My understanding is that the DA 55-300 is a step up in IQ, with some nice features (quick shift). The 55-300 is definitely a step up from the 50-200, at the least.

If you have the k-5, why not consider the DFA 100mm WR Macro instead of the 50mm macro? I haven't tried the Sigma 50mm macro; I know that their 70mm and 105mm macros are quite good.
03-27-2012, 08:54 AM   #4
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I think I'd first learn to use the K5 before I'd go on a lens upgrade binge.

If you just want to upgrade, the DA 50-200 is a very nice lens for sure which, I think I'd keep. Your kit lens is the oldest of the bunch but if you just wanted to upgrade it, you could get the DA 18-55 WR version as the optics are better than your kit. While I too don't know the Sigma 70-300, I will say that the DA 55-300 ended my quest for the best telephoto lens in that range. I will say that the 50mm length for macros didn't work for me. I had a DFA 50macro and it was just too short. I replaced it with the DFA100 and have been happy ever since. You seem to be focused on the long end. What about something like the DA 12-24?

I will repeat though, take the time to learn the K5, there is a lot to learn on it. When you are done with that, with the lenses that you know, sure swap some of them out.

03-27-2012, 08:56 AM   #5
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I have both the 50-200mm and 55-300mm. The 55-300mm is definitely a better lens all around. As far as the macro goes, it depends on what you are going to photograph. 50mm may be too short of a focal length for chasing around insects. There are several macro lenses in the 90mm to 105mm range that are well regarded for image quality.
03-27-2012, 08:57 AM   #6
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I was looking at the Pentax 300 because it seems to have better IQ and its also lighter. thanks for the info.

Last edited by coreyhkh; 03-27-2012 at 09:12 AM.
03-27-2012, 09:24 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by KansasPen Quote
I have both the 50-200mm and 55-300mm. The 55-300mm is definitely a better lens all around. As far as the macro goes, it depends on what you are going to photograph. 50mm may be too short of a focal length for chasing around insects. There are several macro lenses in the 90mm to 105mm range that are well regarded for image quality.
That's the first thing that I thought of with the 50mm macro. You're going to be really close with the 50mm lens.

You could look for the non-WR version of the DFA 100. The DFA 100WR is at the top of my wish list right now to complete my lightweight travel set (macro and telephoto duties). I could see myself getting the 55-300 at some point also. Personally I think your plan to swap the 50-200 and the 70-300 for the 55-300 is a decent one.
03-27-2012, 09:30 AM   #8
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The DA18-55 plus DA55-300 are a popular and cost-effective 2-zoom kit, so swapping your DA50-200 and the Sigma 70-300 for a DA55-300 is a good idea. I personally don't like that 2-zoom kit because I shoot a lot between 35-70mm and I hate swapping lenses at 55mm, so I prefer my DA18-250 (no longer being made), but you may not want to start with used lenses.

I'll echo the suggestion that you DON'T go into LBA frenzy right away. Shoot a lot, and note which focal lengths (FLs) you use, which FLs you wish you could use (longer or shorter), which FLs you wish you could shoot in lower light or for action, etc. Some experience should guide you to further lens acquisitions.

I have a zillion lenses. I have a rationale for buying lenses. Here's my priority structure:

1) Coverage - my Tamron 10-24, DA18-250, and Lil'Bigma 170-500 cover the necessities.
2) Speed - my FA50/1.4, and some fast old MF 24-28-35-58-85 f/2 primes, help me here.
3) Specialty - mirrors, macros, the DA10-17 and other fisheyes, glass for special purposes.
4) Character - old slow MF primes just render images in ways modern lenses don't.
5) Mania - whatever optical materials I can mount on the camera. Fun fun fun!

So a way to build a kit is to work in that order. Cover the focal lengths you need. Get fast lenses for low-light and action and DOF control. Get lenses for any special needs. Get lenses with character that you can exploit. And go hog-wild with bizarre optic, just for the lulz.

If you don't want a big collection of lenses, another approach is to go minimal. One method is to get primes with doubled focal lengths, so you know that each in the series has twice or half the FOV (field of view) as its neighbor. Such a kit might include the 21Ltd, 40Ltd, some 85mm, and a 200. Another might contain the DA15, 31Ltd, DA*55, and a 100 macro; or maybe the DA15, F35-70, and a 135.

Or you can just buy whatever is cheap on eBay and in pawn shops. This works for me. Have fun!

03-27-2012, 09:33 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
I think I'd first learn to use the K5 before I'd go on a lens upgrade binge.

If you just want to upgrade, the DA 50-200 is a very nice lens for sure which, I think I'd keep. Your kit lens is the oldest of the bunch but if you just wanted to upgrade it, you could get the DA 18-55 WR version as the optics are better than your kit. While I too don't know the Sigma 70-300, I will say that the DA 55-300 ended my quest for the best telephoto lens in that range. I will say that the 50mm length for macros didn't work for me. I had a DFA 50macro and it was just too short. I replaced it with the DFA100 and have been happy ever since. You seem to be focused on the long end. What about something like the DA 12-24?

I will repeat though, take the time to learn the K5, there is a lot to learn on it. When you are done with that, with the lenses that you know, sure swap some of them out.
Congratulations on the new K5.

First, could not agree more with the "learn to use the K5 before I'd go on a lens upgrade binge." statement.

Second, the 18-55 that comes with the kits is the DAL and is identical optically to the WR version. Now, because it came with a K100 and is older, if the OP has a ver. 1 of the lens then the WR, DAL, or v 2 will be an optical upgrade.

Finally, I'd run the files that are already taken with the old K100 through a program that compiles various statistics about your shooting (like exposurePlot of similar) to see what focal lengths you are using the most before I made any decisions about new lenses. If you're shooting a lot at the 300mm end of the zoom then I'd think about a prime telephoto instead of a new zoom because it'll give you better aperture and IQ. K, M, and A 300s are available and might do the trick.
03-27-2012, 09:37 AM   #10
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I own the DA 55-300 and for the money, you can't do any better for IQ and handling in this range. Take a few minutes and compare images shot with the Pentax against the Tamron and Sigma variants and you will see that the Pentax is definitely a step above in IQ.
As far as the macro, it really depends on what you are going to shoot with it. The 50 is an excellent lens, but you must get close to the subject to gain the 1:1 ratio. If you plan to shoot anything alive, you may want to look at the 100mm version as suggested above.
03-27-2012, 10:14 AM   #11
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wow thanks for the help guys, I am going to try and sell my two lenses and get the Pentax 300 then look into a macro in a few months probabley the Pentax 100mm f2.8 Macro based on reviews and what you guys have said then after that see what I need, maybe next year get a 500.

03-27-2012, 01:00 PM   #12
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For macro ideas, see https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/152336-cheap-macro-b...lose-work.html
For used lenses, see https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/59245-pawnshop-lense...ers-guide.html
For extreme reach, think of a Bigma 50-500 or Lil'Bigma 170-500. Or a cheap mirror.
03-27-2012, 02:09 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by coreyhkh Quote
and for Macro I was looking at the Sigma 50mm F2.8 EX DG Macro 55mm
You might want to go longer... For 'bug type' shots 50mm is not going to give you much working distance... Maybe Tamron 90mm macro or Pentax-FA100mm macro would be better ideas?
03-27-2012, 02:10 PM   #14
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My two cents ...

Bonjour,

I would second the thoughts about the D FA 100 WR ... good subject distance and works well as a portrait lens and short tele, too. A fantastic lens ... plus w/WR, so it goes everywhere.

I have the Sigma DG 70-300 APO and my DA 55-300 is sharper at the top end ... bought the Sigma first, but still hagging on to it.

Allez et bon courage, J Frog
03-27-2012, 02:44 PM   #15
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I also recommend the 55-300 and I second the concern of a 50 being too short for general macro. I'd forget about that one and get a cheap Raynox DCR-150 instead, which works really well with long lenses like the 55-300, at least until you've figured out whether you're just a casual macro shooter or want to get serious about it. The money you've saved I'd invest in a manual fast fifty, e.g. the Pentax-A or -M 50/1.7, because a fast lens is something I'd definitely be missing sooner rather than later with that lens line-up.

Last edited by Ikarus; 03-27-2012 at 02:50 PM.
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