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01-21-2008, 06:48 PM   #1
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my first lens - please help a newbie out

I need some help deciding on my first lens to buy.

I just purchased the k10d with the 50mm F1.7 Pentax SMC manual focus lens (this lens came with the camera when I bought it slightly used). This is my first dslr and I am just a beginner (I took a photography course in High School, but that was ten years ago using my mother's Minolta SLR).

I want to use my dslr to photograph outdoor/nature/wildlife and sporting events.

I spent more than I thought I would on the camera, but from what I've heard from nearly everybody I talk to, getting the k10d was worth it. I guess my price range really depends on how much money I get back from my tax refunds - but I would say in the 500 - 800 dollar range (more like 500) I know it is not much - but I think that's all I can afford for now.

Any suggestions for my very first lens? Thanks in advance.

01-21-2008, 07:09 PM   #2
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Hi n8cas

No doubt I will get 'shot down in flames' as usual by the 'prime lens brigade', but as a starter lens I don't reckon you could go far wrong with either Tamron's 18-250mm Di II super-zoom or Pentax's more-or-less identical version. In old 35mm film terms, the coverage of this 18-250mm range translates as roughly between 27.5-375mm wide-angle-to-telephoto, due to the
'focal length magnification factor' (x 1.5) that you have to take account of, based on the dimensions of the smaller APS-C sized sensor that is fitted to the K10D. US retail prices are currently around $400 - 450, depending where you obtain it from. Below are some links to a few photographs that I posted last year on this forum, which give an idea of the quality you might expect:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/83871-post6.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/83875-post7.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/85055-post8.html

Best regards
Richard

Last edited by Confused; 01-21-2008 at 07:50 PM.
01-21-2008, 07:12 PM   #3
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Congrats on your camera. The K10D has a lot of features.

For wildlife and sports, you will need a lens at least 200mm or more - 400mm is good for birds and smaller critters.

Pentax currently is remiss on its longer lenses - you might need to hunt around on ebay or KEH Camera: Used Cameras, Digital Cameras, Film Cameras, Laptop Computers and More. for something used such as a 300mm f4 which may be manual focus as well. You can get by (in good light) with a Sigma 70-300 APO, or the longer 135-400 or 170-500 and a tripod for the latter two which are big and heavy. I have no experience with the longer two but I understand the 135-400 is slightly better IQ. The infamous "Bigma" (50-500) is $1,000, so we will pass at the moment :-)

For low light/high ISO sports "action" photography, not only do you want 200mm or more, you want a "fast" lens with a maximum aperture of at least f4 and f2.8 is really better (and dramatically more expensive). Again, Pentax has nothing current, and the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 is not available, either. Tamron may have something in the works, but again, you will be hunting around. Good luck on that one as everyone is looking for that type of lens.

If you do not get a fast lens you will need to increase the ISO (not normally a good thing, noise-wise) or slow the shutter speed (also not good if you want to freeze the action.)
01-21-2008, 07:30 PM   #4
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Picking the next lens is tough. For scenics and landscapes a wideangle lens is great. Choices could be the Pentax kit lens 18-55 or the 16-45. Some even use the 10-17 fisheye zoom.
For wildlife photography you need longer lenses. Faster (brighter) lenses and longer focal length add up to expensive. You can compensate some by shooting at a higher ISO. To high and the image quality will decrease some. But its your first lens, not your only lens ever. Some choices here are the Pentax 50-200, Sigma 135-400, and other various zooms. You may also go with a prime 300 or 400 by Tokina, Tamron, used Pentax, etc. Also the Tokina or Tamron 500 mirror lenses can be an interesting start
This is going to boil down to what types ofphotos do you want to take most. Remember, you can't buy just one! You will be buying lenses the rest of your life. LBA!
thanks
barondla

01-21-2008, 07:33 PM   #5
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If that's your budget, I don't see how you could go wrong with the 18-250. Even though they are claimed to be the same thing, all of the results that have impressed me have come from the Tamron version of it. It's good enough to get you started until you come to know exactly what you are looking for from a lens, but I would think convenient enough to still keep around after.
01-21-2008, 07:34 PM   #6
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thanks a lot.....a friend of mine suggested the sigma APO 135-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG lens. 1000 dollars is a bit too much for me at the moment, perhaps a year from now - we'll have to see.

I kinda figured many people would have different suggestions - this is all very helpful.
01-21-2008, 09:08 PM   #7
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Instead of the Tamron 18-250, get the Pentax version - it's got better SMC.

Stay the hell away from any Sigma lens under $800US new.
01-21-2008, 09:19 PM   #8
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QuoteQuote:

Stay the hell away from any Sigma lens under $800US new.
Judging from the number of people with positive comments about their sub-$800 Sigmas lenses, this seems to be a broadbrush oversimplification.

01-22-2008, 05:07 PM   #9
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Okay, one last thing. Again, thanks for all the help. I guess it's down to these two lenses:

Pentax SMCP-DA 18mm - 250mm f/3.5-6.3 AL (IF) (Tamron's $ 438 on ebay)

Sigma Zoom Telephoto 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO (around 500 on ebay - if I can get lucky)

Or am I missing an obvious? Which one should I go with?
01-22-2008, 05:31 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by n8cas Quote
Okay, one last thing. Again, thanks for all the help. I guess it's down to these two lenses:

Pentax SMCP-DA 18mm - 250mm f/3.5-6.3 AL (IF) (Tamron's $ 438 on ebay)

Sigma Zoom Telephoto 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO (around 500 on ebay - if I can get lucky)

Or am I missing an obvious? Which one should I go with?
I've never shot with the 135-400. I do own the Tamron 18-250, and it's exceeded my expectations quite a bit. I think I was well on my way to becoming a prime-snob until I got the Tamron. It changed my thinking about how sharp a 'consumer' zoom could be.

I'd vote for the Tamron (or pentax 18-250) simply because I think you'll find that 18-250 just brings you more shot opportunities than a lens that starts at 135. I was feeling limited starting at 50 (50-200) and 75 (75-300), and the 18mm start just opens up whole new worlds for a walkaround zoom.

My opinion.

PS: from what I've heard, the Tamron multicoating is equivalent to SMC - I can't confirm, but I've never noticed any deficiencies in the Tamron coating. The Tamron does also offer a 6 year warranty, which sealed the deal for me re Pentax vs. Tamron 18-250.
01-22-2008, 05:42 PM   #11
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thanks a lot - I really appreciate the detail in your reply. How's it shoot at 250mm??
01-22-2008, 05:47 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by n8cas Quote
Pentax SMCP-DA 18mm - 250mm f/3.5-6.3 AL (IF) (Tamron's $ 438 on ebay)
If that's what you go with, why deal with E-bay? Amazon.com: Tamron 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 AF Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro Lens for Pentax and Samsung Digital SLR Cameras: Electronics

*EDIT* Just wanted to add that I'm not saying that's the lowest price you'll find either. Just the first one I checked.

Last edited by Jodokast96; 01-22-2008 at 06:10 PM.
01-22-2008, 05:58 PM   #13
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new lens

Adorama Pentax 18-250 today 465 plus free shipment
Tamron 18-250 499/US warranty/
01-22-2008, 06:00 PM   #14
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Hi again n8cas,

Re your question:

QuoteQuote:
Which one should I go with ?
That choice obviously comes down to your own personal preferences ! For instance, if you think that you might find yourself taking a lot of scenic panoramas or architectural interior shots requiring wide-angle coverage, then I reckon it's fair to say that the Sigma 135 - 400 won't be of much use to you in that department !!
As I mentioned in my first reply, if you previously used a conventional 35mm format film camera, then you will need to consider the 'Focal Length Magnification Factor' (multiply by1) to get a comparable equivalent of the lens's coverage when using it in conjunction with the APS-C sensor in your K10D.
For example multiplying 135 by 1 FLMF = 202.5mm, 400 x 1 FLMF = 600mm, so in old 35mm film-speak a 135 - 400mm lens magically transforms into a 202 - 600mm telephoto when used on a DSLR with an APS-C sensor......fantastic for long-distance birdwatching or sports photography !
Equally the range of the Tamron/Pentax 18-250mm x 1 FLMF converts into a 28mm (wide-angle) to 375mm (telephoto), which in my humble opinion is a far more useful operating range in general terms. Maybe now you can appreciate why the extensive coverage of this lens is so useful and why it is commonly referred to as an ideal 'walkaround' lens. Note that in the USA, the Tamron is reputed to come with a 6-year warranty, whilst the Pentax only stretches to 1 year ! Hope this helps to clarify matters somewhat ?

Best regards
Richard

Last edited by Confused; 01-22-2008 at 06:23 PM.
01-22-2008, 06:10 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by n8cas Quote
thanks a lot - I really appreciate the detail in your reply. How's it shoot at 250mm??
I think it's terrific at 250, personally.

Take a look in this thread linked below, I've previously uploaded some test shots taken at 250:

Link---> https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/17580-18-250-a.html#post148845


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