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09-12-2012, 09:12 PM   #1
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Lens buying chaos!

Chaos, absolute bedlam! Okay, maybe an exaggeration, but you get the point. I am currently trying to decide what lens to buy for my K-5. I own an M 50mm 1.7, and a Tamron 28-75. I am in a price range of under 800 US dollars, and I have many options. I primarily shoot portraits, but I occasionally shoot sports for the newspaper. The reason why I am having trouble with this is because I may not have enough money to buy another lens until after May. The lenses I have found in my price range are:

A sigma 30mm+ a used DA*55mm 1.4- slightly over 800
A Tamron 70-200 with a 3 year warranty- under 800
Pentax Fa 77- under 800
Used Sigma 85mm 1.4- under 800
Used Pentax 50-135- under 800
Pentax DA* 200mm 2.8- slightly over 800
And if you may doubt portraits taken with a 200mm, here is a link to some work from a DA* 200mm that I did over the summer. I rented a copy, and it was just fantastic.

Pentax DA* 200mm F/2.8 - a set on Flickr

Thanks everyone!

09-12-2012, 09:31 PM   #2
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The answer is DA15 Limited.

Sorry, what was the question? Seriously, why not go for the DA* 200 if you've used it and liked it for portraits. At least it's enough of a jump from 75mm to be worthwhile and is ideal brightness and focal length for sports too.
09-12-2012, 09:34 PM   #3
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It's a matter of taste, I suppose, but for my taste, the facial and the sitting portraits would have benefited from the less compressed perspective of a shorter focal length.

Last edited by Ikarus; 09-12-2012 at 09:55 PM.
09-12-2012, 09:40 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Of the lenses you list, I own the FA 77 and the 50-135. They are both terrific. The 77 is a bit short for sports (I've tried with limited success) --how short depends on the sport and how close you can get. If you're happy using zooms and carrying a pretty heavy lens, the 50 -135 or the (highly praised but not used by me) Tamron should give you the flexibility you need and exceptional IQ.

09-12-2012, 09:40 PM   #5
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So maybe a versatile zoom? I have been wanting the 77mm for so long! But I feel like I would benefit more from a 70-200....
09-12-2012, 09:53 PM   #6
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It sounds like the 200 is the one for you.
09-12-2012, 10:06 PM   #7
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If you are doing mostly portraits, do yourself a favor and get the 77. Totally worth it for pixie dust; you won't regret it. For sports I used to do the 50-135...but then I got the 60-250 and that is my sports go to now. So buy the 77, get lots of paying customers and then treat yourself to the 60-250 next summer or fall.
09-12-2012, 11:24 PM - 1 Like   #8
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I own the 77 and can vouch for it as well. I also used to have several M 50 1.7 and liked them very much, so I would keep this one and concentrate the money on something entirely different.
Your pics with the 200 are awesome! I myself couldn't really find a use to this lens, but maybe it's the one for you! And if you're not sure why not try one of the 2 zooms?

09-12-2012, 11:35 PM   #9
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If you like to do portraits as you say, get either the 50-135 or the 77. Both are exceptional pieces of work.

The 77 has the magic pixie dust, and the zoom has the flexibility. Either would be well suited to your portrait preferences.
09-13-2012, 01:49 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by nick52 Quote
So maybe a versatile zoom? I have been wanting the 77mm for so long! But I feel like I would benefit more from a 70-200....
The Tamron 70-200/2.8 can be had for $769 with a 6 year warranty BNIB from Amazon, B&H, or Adorama.
09-13-2012, 02:03 AM   #11
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Really, they're all good choices, although I generally don't like the IQ of third party glass as much. But seldom does a viewer say "ooooh, bad photo - that was taken with a Tamron!" Nevertheless, the better glass can subtly leave a better impression. The DA*55 might actually be your best choice, as you can see on the PPG. But I've taken nice portraits with my K200/2.5.

For sports I'm afraid it must be the 50-135, 200, or 70-200 (although I haven't tried the Tamron myself).

For pure portraits it's the 55, 77, 50-135, or even FA43.

Last edited by DSims; 09-13-2012 at 02:09 AM.
09-13-2012, 02:04 AM   #12
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A used 50-135 will fit your focal coverage, and will serve as general purpose lens,
but that also depends on your priority regarding wide/landscape or portraits or tele.
It also nice to have a bit overlaping with your existing tamron, so you don't need to change lenses as often.

70-200 might be too long at the short end, and a bit bigger.
The 50-135 suits better as both standard lens of 50mm and the portrait lens at 85/100/135.
It's a superb lens in every way and still is my main portrait lens when AF is needed.

Primes are designed for a specific use and in general better IQ than zooms.
Sigma 30/1.4 is nice to have too, if you prefer wider or closer range portraits for bokeh.
Excellent IQ at f1.4, and even better at f2.8.

I have a dozen of 50/55/58 but not the DA55/1.4, and no need for one either.

FA77 and sigma85/1.4 are different. Get the one that you like best, and have both if possible.

DA200 is not in my wish list. I tend to use longer prime for tele. It's a bit too far for portraits, too short for animals.

Just a last though,
If fund is an issue, try to go manual path.

Last edited by hoanpham; 09-13-2012 at 02:11 AM.
09-13-2012, 06:10 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone for the great advice! I love this site because everyone has good advice for me(most of the time). I think I might go for the 77, then the 70-200 (or 50-135) and then possibly get a good wide angle lens like the DA 15.
09-13-2012, 06:43 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by nick52 Quote
I might go for the 77, then the 70-200 (or 50-135) and then possibly get a good wide angle lens like the DA 15.
And there I thought you were on a budget...
DA 15 is excellent by the way. Just not what you initially asked for! But it WILL control your mind too
09-13-2012, 07:16 AM   #15
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I am still on a budget! That is just the order I will buy in! Haha
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