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01-15-2008, 11:30 PM   #1
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General purpose lens for newbie with K10D

Hi,

I'm finally getting my first SLR, the K10D, tomorrow. But since I just got the body, I need to buy a lens now! I didn't get the kit lens since I found a fantastic deal ($484 after rebate from Beach Camera through shop.com. $609- $25 shop.com coupon "win25"), and the kit would've cost much more. My shooting style will be travel/landscapes, cityscapes/restaurants/bars/streets of NYC, some portraits, and group shots. I'd like to eventually get the Tamron 18-250mm as the everyday lens for street pics, and supplement that with a ultra wide-angle (any suggestions?) for landscapes, and a fast prime for indoor work. The 18-250mm would be the best to start with, but the problem is, I have no money now! So I'm thinking of 2 options:

1) Get a used 18-55mm kit lens for my walkaround lens. Then sell it later when I get any of the 3 lenses I ultimately want. I can also opt for a non-kit zoom lens, if it's cheap (less than $100 used).

2) Get the fast prime as the general lens. This way, I already have a lens that I will keep.

So, should it be #1 or #2? Also, can anyone recommend a cheap ($150 or so) but excellent prime? What size (mm) would be good?


Thanks,

Jack


Last edited by drexvil; 01-16-2008 at 09:37 AM.
01-16-2008, 12:34 AM   #2
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An excellent fast prime that is readily available ... and a lot of people love (inc. myself) is the FA50 f/1.4

Also the FA35 f/2 is a little bit more in price ... but close to the same focal length as the FA31 Ltd (which is damn expensive ... but awesome).
01-16-2008, 01:42 AM   #3
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I can concure on the FA 50/1.4 as a primary fast prime. I use it and my DA 16-45mm for most of my shots.
01-16-2008, 02:38 AM   #4
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Surely something like a 28mm F2.8 Pentax lens, or the Sigma 30mm F1.4 would be more widely useful thatn a 50mm on an APS-C body?

01-16-2008, 03:22 AM   #5
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50mm is probably to long for your only lens. Something in the 28-35mm would be better, as that FL is in the "normal" range. $150, is tough. You might find something in a used MF lens. Something new would be in the $300 + range.

I'd find a used DA18-55 kit lens (or new, they're not very expensive) and save for the FA50 f1.4.
01-16-2008, 08:11 AM   #6
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I think a zoom lens will probably be the better option (although many recommend a prime lens for beginners learning photography). Would the kit lens be the best VALUE (quality vs. price) lens under the $100 mark?
01-16-2008, 02:25 PM   #7
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The 18-55 is a great "bang for the buck" lens

QuoteOriginally posted by drexvil Quote
I think a zoom lens will probably be the better option (although many recommend a prime lens for beginners learning photography). Would the kit lens be the best VALUE (quality vs. price) lens under the $100 mark?
I'd look for a used or new kit lens. It certainly is not a bad lens, even tho I have over a dozen lenses, I still use mine. I think that eventually you will want a longer reach and some faster lenses, but to start with it's pretty darn good and excellent when considering price. It's main failings are: Some distortion on the wide end, some vignetting (darkening of the corners) also at the very wide end, and it's kinda slow, ie, it needs a fair amount of light. But it has a fairly close focus, is moderately sharp at F5.6 and above, and is light and portable. It's also pretty easy to manually focus, something that's not true with a fair number of digital AF lenses. It will certainly get you started, and is versatile enough that you won't feel too constricted.

NaCl(an excellent "beginner" lens)H2O
01-16-2008, 04:03 PM   #8
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The kit lens can still produce some nice images indeed ... it is a good learning lens that is for sure (it was the only lens I had for 6 months) ... with some practice and patience ... you can produce some really nice images for such a cheap lens.

01-16-2008, 06:33 PM   #9
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If I didn't have a kit lens I think I would buy a Tamron 28 - 70 mm F/2.8 first and then go for the Pentax 50 mm F/1.4. After that I would get a 70-300 F/4 lens...

But...since I have a kit lens I will probably get the 50 mm prime then the 70-300 and then the 28-70. I don't know if I need a really wide angle lens yet.
01-16-2008, 06:52 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
I'd look for a used or new kit lens. It certainly is not a bad lens, even tho I have over a dozen lenses, I still use mine. I think that eventually you will want a longer reach and some faster lenses, but to start with it's pretty darn good and excellent when considering price. It's main failings are: Some distortion on the wide end, some vignetting (darkening of the corners) also at the very wide end, and it's kinda slow, ie, it needs a fair amount of light. But it has a fairly close focus, is moderately sharp at F5.6 and above, and is light and portable. It's also pretty easy to manually focus, something that's not true with a fair number of digital AF lenses. It will certainly get you started, and is versatile enough that you won't feel too constricted.

NaCl(an excellent "beginner" lens)H2O
I agree. While I've never owned this lens, I've seen pictures from many forum members that indicate it's no slouch. You could get it, learn the ropes and move on easily, since you'll have little money in it.

Jer
01-16-2008, 06:52 PM   #11
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If this is your first SLR, don't do like I did and go lens crazy right off the back. I got your PM about the kit lens, but I would highly recommend getting the FA 1.4 and use that exclusively for 3-6 months and learn all that the camera can do, it can do quite a lot. Then when you have become proficient in most if not all of the modes and shooting styles, start a lens collection. If the FA 1.4 is out of your range, a manual 50mm will server you well if not even better.

Just my .02.
01-16-2008, 07:30 PM   #12
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The fact that you did not get the kit lens and went for the body only is very interesting.
I can only assume you had your reasons for not going with the kit lens, as it would have been the cheapest way to buy one, and I would also assume that you gave this some thought.

So, assumimg you are aware of the differences between the kit zoom and fixed primes, I would support Buddha's advice. Go for the prime, I would probably go wider than 50mm, but stay fast and learn all that you can, and be patient, it wont happen overnite.

Good Luck.
01-16-2008, 09:28 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Considering my budget and the versatility, a used kit lens is my best bet right now. This gives me time to learn before I "splurge" on lenses with triple digit prices

GWP: I found the K10D body for $484 after rebate, but the cheapest with the lens is $649, so the most economical route would be the body + used lens. No other reasons besides economics.

Mark my words though: the 50mm F/1.4 will be mine one day!
01-16-2008, 09:42 PM   #14
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The Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 is the best value out there; much loved by many here; about $350-ish I think. It was my first lens instead of the kit. Though it's not that wide (which is why I followed it up w/the DA 12-24mm f/4), it's a great range; a very 'walk-around' range. And it's nice and fast, and does well with available light shooting (I tend not to use flash).
01-16-2008, 09:46 PM   #15
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Do a search you can find the "kit lens" for under 100 bucks so you did not do bad by buying body. This is the route I am taking. I am just waiting till the 24th before I decide what exactly I want to do. By the way I was unaware of the win25 code. Thanks !! If I buy a K10D I will probably take the same exact road you did. Good luck!
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