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01-10-2008, 09:44 AM   #1
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Versatile Zoom Lens for *ist DL

Sorry if this question has been asked before...

I'm interested in recommendations for a versatile (indoor/outdoor) zoom lens for a Pentax *ist DL at a modest cost ($200-400 range?).

Specifically - my wife uses the camera at both indoor (basketball & track) and outdoor sporting (football & track) events. So some will have indoor lighting (basketball & track), some will have natural lighting (outdoor track) and some will be outdoors & under artificial lighting (night football games). So, yes there are several variables to consider.

These pictures are for family and friends - so we don't require professional level results - just something decent.

I've looked at lenses from Sigma, Tamron and SMC - including 28-300's and 70-300's. They seem to come in several flavors - and I can't find any lens that seems to get consistent reviews (I know, this can be subjective). So I guess a consensus is out of the question...

Is it possible to find such flexibility in a single lens?

01-10-2008, 03:33 PM   #2
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Hi Kibster,
Yes, this question has been asked many times, thus the lack of response...however we are generally more polite than that so I will have a go at answering your question.

The short answer is no.

Daylight is no problem, any lens will do the job in good light.

Your problem is that you mention shooting sport indoors or under lights. You will have seen those big grey lenses the pros use, prowling the boundary line on the ground?...well they cost tens of thousands $$$$. You are trying to do something similar, firstly (I assume) from further away, and then for a fraction of the price. Any lens you buy within your stated budget up to 300mm will be slow and the more you zoom in, the harder it gets to get a sharp shot.

So, if your budget is absolute, I would suggest the Tamron di 70-300, despite is purple fringing in certain conditions (search for more info), it is good value and will do a good job with practice. I would also purchase a monopod with a trigger head like the Manfrotto 222, essential for indoor sport & lights. Your technique indoors will determine the quality of your shots...the auto setting is a no-no. This is something that practice will make perf...well, good, overtime.

Other lens to consider would be the Pentax 50-200, a bit short, but indoors you will probably struggle to use the 300 anyway.
I don't know about the Tamron 18-250, it may also be worth a look, perhaps some 18-250 owners will jump in with their indoor experiences.

Sorry its a long answer, but as I suspect the short one was what you didn't want ot hear.
Good luck,
01-10-2008, 05:00 PM   #3
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Original Poster

Thanks for taking time to reply to my post - your guidance is appreciated.

I'll take a look at the Tamron lens...

Thanks again...

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