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01-29-2008, 09:00 AM   #1
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Best setup on a budget?

I currently have a k100d (as well as my tried and true old k1000). I also have an armful of wedding costs, a house purchase and car purchase in the near future, and a lot of other things that demand wallet time So my lenses are not exactly top notch so far.

I currently use:

Pentax M 50mm 1.4
Pentax DA 18-55 kit lens
reversing ring/auto extension tubes for the 50 for macro

I also have, but have mothballed for now:
Sigma 28-105 4.0-(5.6?) af
Sears 28mm 2.8 manual (was a great little lens onthe k1000)
pentax M 50mm 1.7 (filter ring dented, won't take filters)
Sears 80-200 manual

I'd love to get a Bigma, or an 18-250, or even the 17-70 sigma, but my budget owns me.

Given what I currently use, I have the following issues:

1) no medium-long range telephoto
2) vignetting at the wide end of the kit lens makes me wish I had better wide angle love.


So, I have little in the way of cash for new lenses, but some definite needs.

Any recommendations? ( I know "save up" is always a recommendation, but lets assume I'm talking about pruchases within my current tight budget...say, a couple hundred dollars tops)

Thanks!

01-29-2008, 09:27 AM   #2
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to start with what is wrong with the 80-200mm sears?

have you used it to "go long"

Also, for less than a few hundred, you could look for one of many 400mmF5.6 lenses

Agreed they are MF but they are long.

If you want to go wide, have you looked at used older fisheyes?

I think you need to start by taking lenses out of mothballs.

If you want a better zoom out to 200mm look for a MF vivitar series 1 70-210. They are good fast and sharp
01-29-2008, 09:33 AM   #3
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How about Tamron or Sigma 70-300? I got my Tamron for 56 from new, doesn't get much cheaper than that.
01-29-2008, 09:35 AM   #4
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I think lowell has good ideas there. Dust off the older lenses and they should do very well. You might want to consider a decent teleconverter but image and speed will suffer a bit. As for a wide suggestion. A good sharp option might be the AF 193 Tokina 19-35mm F3.5-4.5. Not quite as wide but a very good lens and nice and sharp. Usually sells for $100 -/+ on Ebay. The Zenitar fish is a good under $200 lens as well.

01-29-2008, 11:00 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by blinxdk Quote
How about Tamron or Sigma 70-300? I got my Tamron for 56 from new, doesn't get much cheaper than that.

I have seen both, in various incarnations...are these fairly good lenses?

as per the old sears lens, it's in fairly bad condition, glass wise.

I will look into some of the others, thanks for the suggestions, all!
01-29-2008, 01:21 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jmbower Quote
I have seen both, in various incarnations...are these fairly good lenses?

as per the old sears lens, it's in fairly bad condition, glass wise.

I will look into some of the others, thanks for the suggestions, all!
I can only speak for the Tamron.

It does have some problems with purple fringing in some cases. However I feel it's not so bad it can't be worked around or removed in post processing.

As for the image quality, it might be a little soft at 300mm, but imho it's a bargain at the price.
01-29-2008, 01:41 PM   #7
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Yes, try out your other lenses first. It will give you a better idea of what you need. Don't get caught up in all of the hype in forums of needing 40 different lenses.
01-29-2008, 03:25 PM   #8
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no, definitely not I'd be ecstatic if I only had three, or even 2 lenses.

I love the 50 mm 1.4, that's a keeper. I like the heft of the old manuals. I just says "you'd never hurt me, but I could probably survive a fall down a mountain" like my old k1000 whispers from time to time.

I like landscapes a lot so I need something better than the kit on the wide end. A 17-70, 18-200, or 18-250 would be a great walkaround lens, unfortunately I would also then be walkaround, as I would have had to sell my car to buy one.

And then something decent in the longer, specifically telephoto range.

I think I could survive with two lenses and be quite happy with three. I'm just trying to find an affordable way to do so.

Of my old glass,
1) the 28mm 2.8 is nice as a film wide angle, but middling on the digital. It's fine, but not really that much better than the kit. I'm not getting rid of it, but it's not exactly super sharp top of the line

2) the sears 80-200 is a huge behemoth of a lens. weighs a ton. I've never been really happy with it and it's a pain to lug around. It sounds like the tamron/sigma 70-300 would be an awesome replacement for it.

3) the 50 mm 1.7 is a backup, because it can't take filters

4) the sigma 28-105 af is fine but not really fast glass, and just offers a little more telephoto than the kit lens, but slower.

So the 28 is a keeper, but the rest will probably get fleabayed. And having the 28 doesn't really solve any of my needs other than being faster than the kit at a focal length range that isn't my first concern.

01-29-2008, 03:39 PM   #9
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The 50-200mm "kit" lens is fairly well regarded for its price and meets your budget concerns. Can be found used, then when the budget frees up in a year or two you could resell and see whats available at that point.
01-29-2008, 03:49 PM   #10
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I concur with most of what others are saying. I have bought (and subsequently sold) close to 20 lenses since I got my K100D, because I was always positive that the perfect lens was just over the horizon. As you can see from my signature I've pared it back to just 3, and I really don't feel like I need any others.

Except the FA77, DA14, maybe that Sigma 17-70...
01-29-2008, 06:43 PM   #11
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I just recently picked up a F70-210/4-5.6 for $160, including shipping. It's an 80's vintage, but it's very sharp and not a big deal to haul around.

Finn, I know what you mean about trying to pare back on the lenses. I'm thinking that my main kit (the one I would travel the most with) will eventually consist of 3 lenses: the F70-210 doing telephoto duties, the 43 Ltd covering the mid range, and either a 21 Ltd. or Tamron 17-50/2.8 covering the wide range (the introduction of that Tamron throws a monkey wrench into my roadmap). Although it may not go with me as much, I do want to pick up a dedicated macro eventually. I may keep some screwmounts around just for fun, but I don't want to be overwhelmed by lenses.

So many choices, so little money...
Heather
01-29-2008, 10:16 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by frogger Quote
The 50-200mm "kit" lens is fairly well regarded for its price and meets your budget concerns. Can be found used, then when the budget frees up in a year or two you could resell and see whats available at that point.

I agree with frogger, the 50-200 for $160 - $210 or so is very good. I personally also like the FA J 75-300 ($129 - $150). It works well with my Tamron 1.4x TC, and can switch to manual with the TC when AF fails at 300mm in less than perfect light - my Tamron 18-250 can't do that, which is why I'm keeping my FA J 75-300.


So I'd vote for the FA J 75-300 - it feels cheap in use, lotsa plastic, but the optics seem much better than $129.



.
01-29-2008, 10:28 PM   #13
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QuoteQuote:
The 50-200mm "kit" lens.
It is a decent lens. I saw it recently for $209. If you get the Sigma 70-300, get the APO version (still only about $229). There is a lesser version which is temptingly cheaper.

The 50-200 is signifcantly less bulky than the 70-300, but obviously lacks the reach, and does not have the 1:2 quasi-macro that the Tamron or Sigma have.
01-30-2008, 06:30 AM   #14
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For me, when the question is "budget", the answer is "Takumar".
01-30-2008, 06:37 AM   #15
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So I looked at the long end, and from the suggestions, the tamron 70-300, the sigma 70-300, or the pentax 75-300 look like they're all afforable options.

They also all look like they're in the general $150 dollar range (new on ebay, just for comparison purposes)

Is one of these superior to the others? I have a sigma, and I know they have a good reputation, but it has always felt flimsy to me (but so does the kit, I guess I'm just used to the heavy solid old glass).
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