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02-21-2008, 07:15 PM   #1
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Lens Opinion

I'm new to dslr's, but have a *ist DS and was interested in getting a better lens for it. I don't know a whole lot about whats good and what isn't. I found a few lenses that fit my budget, but I wanted to get others opinions on. I'm looking for a lens with decent zoom, I plan on shooting indoors where lighting may not be very good. I understand that my budget is limiting my decision. If there are other lenses that are recommended, please let me know. The lenses that caught my eye are:
Pentax SMCP-DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED Auto Focus (I found that for $199) and the
Sigma 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 DG (I found that for $289). $289 would be the most I would be able to spend. Does the $100 difference between the 2 lenses justify itself? Any thoughts or comments are appreciated.

Mike

02-21-2008, 07:31 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by ekim12987 Quote
I'm new to dslr's, but have a *ist DS and was interested in getting a better lens for it. I don't know a whole lot about whats good and what isn't. I found a few lenses that fit my budget, but I wanted to get others opinions on. I'm looking for a lens with decent zoom, I plan on shooting indoors where lighting may not be very good. I understand that my budget is limiting my decision. If there are other lenses that are recommended, please let me know. The lenses that caught my eye are:
Pentax SMCP-DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED Auto Focus (I found that for $199) and the
Sigma 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 DG (I found that for $289). $289 would be the most I would be able to spend. Does the $100 difference between the 2 lenses justify itself? Any thoughts or comments are appreciated.

Mike

Do you need the full 200mm for your indoor shots? If not, for your budget I'd consider:

SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 ($180 - $220) Simply the best bang for the buck low light lens available

SMC-M 135mm f/3.5 ($30 - $120, generally $60-70) Having f/3.5 at 135 mm is very useful, I've found. And this lens is sharp as a tack.

If you feel that you would occasionally like more reach than 135mm, you could get a used Tamron, Kenko or sigma TC (Teleconverter) that extends your focal range by 1.4, 1.7 or 2.0. You would lose speed when extended, but it would give you a good useful 200-270mm for outdoors or well lit indoors. they'll run you between $40 and $120 used.

You could also find a pretty good off-brand 135mm fast prime f/2.5 or f/2.8, something like a Sears or Tokina for $30-$40. That extra stop gets you a surprising number of 'keepers' in low light situations.

(and don't be put off by 'off-brand' - these lenses are often made by reputable manufacturers . For example, I just bought a nice Sears 135mm f/2.8 in the marketplace forum that's very sharp, close focus, etc, for $40.)



.

Last edited by jsherman999; 02-21-2008 at 07:37 PM.
02-22-2008, 10:56 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I probably won't need the full 200, but I figured maybe spend a little more up front to get that. I guess it just comes to looking around and trying to get a good bargain.
02-22-2008, 11:14 AM   #4
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What lens do you currently have? If it's the 18-55mm kit lens then I'd suggest the Sigma/Tamron 70-300mm Macro or the DA 50-200mm Pentax. All very good lenses for the money but at this budget you'll have to learn how to shoot at higher ISO's effectively if the lighting is low. Fast zooms are expensive and around 4 to 5 times the price for similar ranges.

02-22-2008, 01:18 PM   #5
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Yes, I am using the kit lens. As I shop around I'm starting to wonder if my budget is putting me out of what I want to do with the camera. I would be shooting sports shots indoors where the lighting is generally poor. I would probably want a fast zoom to be able to keep up. Since im still very new, it probably would take me a while to get use to the higher ISO's.
02-22-2008, 01:32 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ekim12987 Quote
Pentax SMCP-DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED Auto Focus (I found that for $199) and the
Circuitcity has this lens for $159 with free shipping. I think I am gonna get me one.

Buy the Pentax 50-200mm Zoom Lens f/4.0-f/32 and other Digital camera lenses & filters at circuitcity.com
02-22-2008, 01:51 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ekim12987 Quote
Yes, I am using the kit lens. As I shop around I'm starting to wonder if my budget is putting me out of what I want to do with the camera. I would be shooting sports shots indoors where the lighting is generally poor. I would probably want a fast zoom to be able to keep up. Since im still very new, it probably would take me a while to get use to the higher ISO's.
The DA 50-200 will be fairly good for this but you'd need to shoot at ISO 800 if the lighting is fairly poor. The best way to do this is slightly over expose the shot. Dial in +1/2 to 1 Ev and shoot normally. When you shoot normally (with no exposure compensation dialed in) or under exposed the shot can have a fair amount of noise in darker colours. Now you can clean that up in a few ways. Shoot in RAW and when you open the shots in Pentax browser you can then open the Pentax photo lab. That software has a noise reduction section that does a decent job of cleaning up a shot. If you prefer you can also use a program like "Neat Image" which has even more flexibility.

The best zoom lens for indoor sports that is fast might be the DA*50-135mm but you're looking at $799-899.

You can practice these techniques at home to do some low light -high ISO shooting. Neat Image is a freeware program available on the net and shooting RAW allows a lot more adjustment with things like noise cleanup and white balance adjusting which can be important with indoor lights.
02-22-2008, 02:18 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
I just bought a nice Sears 135mm f/2.8 in the marketplace forum that's very sharp, close focus, etc, for $40.)

Do you have any sample pictures taken by this lens?

I am looking to buy one, they have few in ebay for $30-40

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