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01-29-2013, 11:30 AM   #1
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Currently I don't own a single less longer than 55mm. What would you buy for reach?

I currently don't own anything longer than 55mm. I would use a longer lens for kid shots with decent bokeh and 3d pop, and architectural detail shots, and for the few times I just want some reach. I don't shoot birds or animals or anything that I need true reach with. None of this is at the pro level, so I don't need the best or nothing. I could go real cheap and get a used 50-200mm, or maybe the 18-135, or even just do a da 70mm. Of course the 50-135mm is probably a good choice, but the thing is huge (for me), and not cheap. Give me some direction?

I currently have a sigma 10-20mm, a da 15, 35 macro, 40mm, and a Sigma 30mm f1.4, the 18-55 kit lens, and a few manual 50mm's.

01-29-2013, 11:39 AM   #2
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I would skip the DA 50-200mm and go for the 55-300mm. According to reviews, it has better IQ, but doesn't cost too much. Once you get the feeling for that FoV you can look at more expensive options and primes.
01-29-2013, 11:41 AM   #3
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Get the Pentax Da 55-300mm in either DA or DA L versions. Not heavy, good image quality, easy lens to use. It is light enough you can carry it in your bag and not worry. Watch the market place here or flea bay and you can get one for a good price.

Here is the lens review: SMC Pentax-DA L 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED Reviews - DA L Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
01-29-2013, 11:41 AM   #4
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You could check out the Pentax DA 18-250 lens. I know it is not a faultless lens, but for it's price it does a great job, gives better than acceptable results, . Check it out here :

SMC Pentax-DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF] Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

And here :
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/samplesearch.php (Scroll down to DA 18-250 under "Lens Type". Click on that for sample photos)

01-29-2013, 11:42 AM   #5
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My first lens that went beyond 55mm (that I kept) was a Sigma 70-300. They go for cheap enough used that I wasn't even that upset when I managed to break the thing.

I also grabbed an FA28-90 to 'fill the gap' between 55 and 70, and wound up loving that lens as well.

If you have a WR camera, I'd suggest going for the 18-135mm simply because it has the range (and weather resistance) to make it worth your while. You could probably unload your 18-55mm for a few bucks afterwards to defray the cost.
01-29-2013, 11:43 AM   #6
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The DA L 55-300...you wont find a better lens under $300.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-sample-photo-archive/153150-pentax-d...d-samples.html
01-29-2013, 11:44 AM   #7
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+1 on the DA55~300. In good light it stays at f=4 out to around 240 and the colors are bright and snappy. Sharp edges, little to no artifacts. For the money this lens is a gem.
01-29-2013, 11:45 AM   #8
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Another vote for the DA 55-300mm.

01-29-2013, 12:12 PM   #9
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i have a DA 55-300 (metal mount). It's an excellent lens. Much sharper than the 18-55 kit lens and bokeh is very smooth with the right settings. Color and contrast are also excellent. LEAGUES ahead of the kit lens and nearly up to par with my smc-M 50/1.7.

It's very loud and slow focusing, though. Sometimes it's an issue as it's annoying to myself and others to hear the focus traveling. Build quality is great, zoom ring feels nice and sturdy and focus ring is relatively light. What I like is that it doesn't have two barrels, but just one. There's less of a chance of developing a focus/alignment issue later on.

I really enjoy using that lens when I need a tele. It has a perfect weight where it's not too heavy to carry around but not too light and cheap feeling.
01-29-2013, 12:17 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by chiane Quote
I currently don't own anything longer than 55mm. I would use a longer lens for kid shots with decent bokeh and 3d pop, and architectural detail shots, and for the few times I just want some reach. I don't shoot birds or animals or anything that I need true reach with. None of this is at the pro level, so I don't need the best or nothing. I could go real cheap and get a used 50-200mm, or maybe the 18-135, or even just do a da 70mm. Of course the 50-135mm is probably a good choice, but the thing is huge (for me), and not cheap. Give me some direction?

I currently have a sigma 10-20mm, a da 15, 35 macro, 40mm, and a Sigma 30mm f1.4, the 18-55 kit lens, and a few manual 50mm's.
you really have not told us what you wish to reach with this lens, other than you are thinking somewhere in the 135-200mm range.

in that range, you can get the 50-200 kit lens for about $50, and spend $1000+ on something like the 50-135 or a 70-200 at F2.8.

you get what you pay for
01-29-2013, 12:27 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
you really have not told us what you wish to reach with this lens, other than you are thinking somewhere in the 135-200mm range.

in that range, you can get the 50-200 kit lens for about $50, and spend $1000+ on something like the 50-135 or a 70-200 at F2.8.

you get what you pay for
That was my thought, too. What distance does the OP want to reach and where?

I own the 50-200 and the 55-300, and they both do well outdoors in good light. If one is not after the ultimate, they would do fine for the architectural detail. However, the 50-200 is never used indoors and the 55-300 only a little more often. I'm more likely to use a faster prime for people, especially indoors.
01-29-2013, 12:28 PM   #12
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Thanks all for the replies. Looks like a lot of love for the 55-300mm

I wish to mostly reach shots of my toddler outside, like at a park, etc. with a little distance. I don't have a specific requirement, like needing the farthest reach possible for something like a bear, so that's why I am flexible above 55mm and why I also was thinking the da 70mm. A zoom would give me some options. I don't think I really need much above 150mm, but if it's there, fine. But no, I don't really have a specific focal length that's a must have. Most threads I read for longer focal lengths always seem to want the longest possible, which I don't think I fall into that category. I seem to be shooting a lot at dusk, and I know most of these options are pretty slow, but I think I may have to deal with it vs. lugging a 50-135mm f2.8 around and shelling out that kind of coin, unless you all say it's really worth it for family snaps.

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
you really have not told us what you wish to reach with this lens, other than you are thinking somewhere in the 135-200mm range.

in that range, you can get the 50-200 kit lens for about $50, and spend $1000+ on something like the 50-135 or a 70-200 at F2.8.

you get what you pay for
01-29-2013, 12:33 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by chiane Quote
Thanks all for the replies. Looks like a lot of love for the 55-300mm

I wish to mostly reach shots of my toddler outside, like at a park, etc. with a little distance. I don't have a specific requirement, like needing the farthest reach possible for something like a bear, so that's why I am flexible above 55mm and why I also was thinking the da 70mm. A zoom would give me some options. I don't think I really need much above 150mm, but if it's there, fine. But no, I don't really have a specific focal length that's a must have. Most threads I read for longer focal lengths always seem to want the longest possible, which I don't think I fall into that category. I seem to be shooting a lot at dusk, and I know most of these options are pretty slow, but I think I may have to deal with it vs. lugging a 50-135mm f2.8 around and shelling out that kind of coin, unless you all say it's really worth it for family snaps.
Still think the 55-300 is your best option. As stated above it stays at F4 right upto around 200mm - even if you bought a cheaper old manual focus prime, a 135mm will be f3.5 and a 200mm f4 - either the same or only 1/3 a stop faster. You'll miss the toddler using MF though, so AF sounds like it is pretty much a must. 70mm is not appreciably longer than 55mm, and will cost double the price of a 55-300mm DA L version (or 1.5x a non L version).
01-29-2013, 01:00 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by chiane Quote
Thanks all for the replies. Looks like a lot of love for the 55-300mm

I wish to mostly reach shots of my toddler outside, like at a park, etc. with a little distance. I don't have a specific requirement, like needing the farthest reach possible for something like a bear, so that's why I am flexible above 55mm and why I also was thinking the da 70mm. A zoom would give me some options. I don't think I really need much above 150mm, but if it's there, fine. But no, I don't really have a specific focal length that's a must have. Most threads I read for longer focal lengths always seem to want the longest possible, which I don't think I fall into that category. I seem to be shooting a lot at dusk, and I know most of these options are pretty slow, but I think I may have to deal with it vs. lugging a 50-135mm f2.8 around and shelling out that kind of coin, unless you all say it's really worth it for family snaps.
Either the Pentax 55-300 or the Sigma 70-300 probably would work best for you. My Sigma tends to be my 'kids in the park' lens when I'm out and about with them (mostly because I don't have anything better, but also because I don't feel the need for anything better).
01-29-2013, 01:59 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by chiane Quote
I wish to mostly reach shots of my toddler outside, like at a park, etc. with a little distance. I don't have a specific requirement, like needing the farthest reach possible for something like a bear, so that's why I am flexible above 55mm and why I also was thinking the da 70mm. ......................A zoom would give me some options. . I seem to be shooting a lot at dusk, and I know most of these options are pretty slow, but I think I may have to deal with it vs. lugging a 50-135mm f2.8 around and shelling out that kind of coin, unless you all say it's really worth it for family snaps.
DA 70mm or DA* 50-135. You can't go wrong with either one.
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