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11-08-2012, 07:55 PM   #16
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IMHO the 50-200 is not a very good lens until you get past 80mm or so, where it's just OKl. That's a pretty big gap, a 50mm F1.7 and a 135 F2.8 would give you much better IQ, but not as much reach. Hard to beat the 18-135 for versatility.

11-13-2012, 09:41 PM   #17
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Thanks again for all the advice. Just an update (probably the last one for this thread from me)

- I'm pretty sold on the 55-300. Thanks all for the heads up on that. It seems like a solid, bang-for-buck performer that can provide all sorts of uses. Still on track to get this for Christmas.

- On the other hand, I'm pretty sold on NOT getting the 18-135 at any point in time, ever. The most recent article on the main page confirmed it for me - those sample vacation pics were AWFUL, just like many other sample pictures I've seen from that lens. The 18-135 to me is the opposite of good bang for buck: It's barely worth its price tag given its sub-par optic quality. Only its useful range and WR keep it from being a terrible deal.

- Last week I bought the DA 35 f2.4 and played around with it for a couple of days. You know what, I wasn't super duper okay with it. Don't get me wrong, its sharpness was astounding. I was doing test shots with it all around my house, comparing it to the kit 18-55, and the 35 just wiped the floor clean with the kit lens' face. My issue with it though was that it felt like the FOV was too narrow. I found myself backpedaling to take a lot of shots. It took me a while to figure out why, but basically years of shooting with crappy point and shoots and cell phone cameras has conditioned me to a certain comfortable field of view. I worked it out, and it's something between the range of 20-24, maybe up to 28mm. Thankfully there are a number of good options in this range. I returned the DA35, and I'm keeping that money for a different lens. And who knows, as I get better at this photography stuff I might grow used to the 35mm range, in which case I'll just go back and buy it again for the same price (+1 for local camera stores!).

- I upgraded my DAL 18-55 to the WR version for cheap through a local deal. I think I've come to agree with the posters who suggested getting a zoom in this range. This will be a holdover until I can upgrade at a later point in time, of which plenty of options exist, but for now this will temporarily solve my problem of having something that is WR for my outdoor activities. Of course, this can coexist with a prime, and I think that's the best configuration - The zoom for outdoors daytime stuff, and the prime for indoors/night stuff.

- Lastly, as for the UWA, the Pentax Lens Roadmap (PDF) shows the possible development of a UWA zoom for 2013 sometime (in addition to some other goodies). Of course, nothing is confirmed, but I was looking to get this piece next year anyways, so there's no sense in committing to anything right now. My best case scenario is that a new UWA gets announced, and people start selling their current UWA's so they can upgrade to the new one.

I'm glad buying lenses is kind of tricky, otherwise I'd be super broke right now.
11-14-2012, 05:30 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chaos_Realm Quote
May I suggest instead of the 50-200 WR you go for a DA or DA L 55-300. It is a stellar lens! I currently put it amongst my most used lenses, of which I have many very pricey ones.

You might lose the WR but you gain 100mm reach and very good sharpness.You'll pay a tad more but it is worth every dollar in my book. I also think you might need a little more flexibility in the 24-50mm range, but that is just a personal thought. I opted for the tamron 17-50mm which is handy.
I concur.
11-14-2012, 05:34 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by EarlVonTapia Quote

- On the other hand, I'm pretty sold on NOT getting the 18-135 at any point in time, ever. The most recent article on the main page confirmed it for me - those sample vacation pics were AWFUL, just like many other sample pictures I've seen from that lens. The 18-135 to me is the opposite of good bang for buck: It's barely worth its price tag given its sub-par optic quality. Only its useful range and WR keep it from being a terrible deal.
From my experience, I completely disagree.

If I'm only taking one lens, it is the 18-135.

11-14-2012, 07:54 AM   #20
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If you found 35mm a bit too narrow an angle of view, you could look at your 28mm options. I prefer 28mm over 35mm as a "normal" angle of view on APS-C, but for Pentax at least the options for affordable primes with fast apertures seems to be better at 35mm. I had a Sigma 28/1.8 Aspherical II that wasn't as sharp as I wanted, then a DA 35/2.4 but I wanted a faster max aperture, so now I've got an FA 35/2.

As long as you don't mind "only" f/2.8 max aperture, you could try to get a used F or FA 28/2.8. They're actually different optical formulae but both are supposed to be nice.
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