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03-19-2013, 07:59 PM   #16
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Sorry to piggy back on this thread, as a somewhat beginner what would be the next step after the 35mm prime and having a kit lens of 18-55mm. I find myself using the 35mm a lot more just for the better image quality but I find myself wanting some zoom as well. My friend does weekend photography work for events like weddings and what not. He said that once he gets more business he wants me to help out. I am just wondering what would be the next step. Would I want something as long as say a 18-135mm?

03-19-2013, 08:01 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by onggie Quote
I am just wondering what would be the next step. Would I want something as long as say a 18-135mm?
You might do better with a fast "standard" zoom,
like the Tamron 17-50/2.8, for example.
03-19-2013, 08:25 PM   #18
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Onggie hop aboard, I've read some great reviews about the Tamron 28-70 2.8 its a bit more expensive than the $300 mark but not by much and from the sounds of it, worth it.

@selar thank you so much for the tip! That advice will go a long way, I appreciate it. Hopefully that'll get me some better photographs, I'll be going to a show early next month and i'll be putting this to use then for sure.
03-19-2013, 08:59 PM   #19
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For a beginner on a budget, I'd recommend a fast fifty lens. My first lens beyond the kit was the Takumar 55 1.8, which was great and really influenced my taste for small fast primes and being able to capture shallow dof.

Luckily, fast 50's are plentiful and not very expensive, plus you've got so many to choose from: Takumar 50/ f/1.4-2 Pentax K/M/A/F/FA 50 f/1.4-2, DA 50 1.8, not to mention other 3rd party 50mm lenses.
Many of them can be picked up along with an old SLR body off fleabay for a steal.

03-19-2013, 08:59 PM   #20
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Since this is about a suggestion for any new(er) photographer moving away from the kit stuff, then my recommendation is the 50 1.4 or 1.7. It gives the user a chance to try a prime over a zoom and it allows for some low light and DOF play that they really could do before. I also recommend at that point that they look into some sort of flash. You wouldn't need to go flagship model, but something more than the on board flash. This allows the photographer to continue to use the kit zoom, but in a new way. Of course, the subject matter also make a difference in recommendations too.
03-19-2013, 10:17 PM   #21
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Lots of suggestions, but since you already have the F 50 1.7, and you want an "all around lens," and have a budget of under $250...
03-20-2013, 04:10 AM   #22
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The best way to begin, in terms of performance per dollar is with the 2 lens kit DA18-55 and DA50-200, if you look on the used market this pair of kit lenses can be had for $100.

This gives a reasonable range of focal lengths and for someone on a tight budget I can't see a better option.

Although I have much better lenses, I picked these up used for use with a older body when my kids, now in university, wanted to take a better than P&S camera .

Add to this any legacy MF lens in the normal to wide range to get a few stops better for low light, portraits or what ever and you can explore a little on the creative side as well
03-20-2013, 09:40 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by vega Quote
1st post updated imaginary budget price is under $250
With that budget, your choice of DA lenses is limited. If you're interested in primes, I'd go with either the DA35 or DA50, depending on your focal length preference. If you want the versatility of a zoom, either the DA18-55 or 50-200, depending on what range you like to shoot. I don't have either of the primes, but from the reviews I've seen they both seem to be solid lenses. I have both the zooms, though mine are the older versions, and although I no longer use either very much, they are very good lenses (mine are, anyway).

If you want more than one lens for a budget of less than $250, you have a lot of options among F-series and A-series (if you're comfortable with manual focus) lenses. My top choice among F-series lenses is the F35-70, which can usually be obtained used for $70 or less. It's clunky looking and the AF is noisy, but it renders colors beautifully, and is almost like a bag full of primes in a single lens.

Of the manual focus lenses, I prefer A-series lenses for ease of metering and the fact that the aperture is recorded in the exif. The A28 2.8 is available for under $150. I don't have that lens, but it gets good reviews. The A50 2.0 can be had for $50 or less. The A50 2.0 doesn't get a lot of love, but I have one, and my copy is a very good copy. (Actually, my daughter has it right now. Hope she knows where it is, I'd like it back one of these days!)

Hope this helps.

03-20-2013, 07:17 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
You might do better with a fast "standard" zoom,
like the Tamron 17-50/2.8, for example.
Thanks for the suggestion

QuoteOriginally posted by vega Quote
Onggie hop aboard, I've read some great reviews about the Tamron 28-70 2.8 its a bit more expensive than the $300 mark but not by much and from the sounds of it, worth it.
Thanks for your input

After looking at both the 17-50 and the 28-70, I think I may go the 28-70, just gives me a bit more range to play with. I would like the extra width the 17-50mm would give me but I think the 28-70mm in my circumstaces will be more versatile. Unfortunately being from Australia this lens doesn't come as cheap. But I am looking at buying from DWI seems the cheapest place.
03-20-2013, 09:45 PM   #25
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For a true beginner, I think a zoom lens makes more sense, as it gives one a chance to experiment with the utility of different focal lengths, and see where, focal length-wise, one is most comfortable shooting. This can in turn drive prime lens selection down the road.

I second SpecialK's suggestion of the Sigma 17-70 line. I had an older version, the 17-70/2.8-4.5 DC macro, for a couple years and loved it. Great IQ, versatility, and close-focus to boot. A great lens for learning photography (and getting some great shots in the process).

If one is set on primes, I agree that the F 50/1.7 is excellent and can generally be had for <250$ used. Similarly, the F 28/2.8, which may be slightly more expensive, but can likely be had for $300 or less, is a wonderful normal lens on APS-C, that, like the 50, is fast and accurate to auto-focus and is wonderfully versatile. Think of it as 90% of the Fa 31 limited, for 1/3 the cost.

If auto-focus and/or auto-aperture are not an issue, there is a laundry-list of great Pentax (and some third party) primes that can be had for $250 or less on the used market.

-Brandon
03-20-2013, 10:49 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by bpv_UW Quote
For a true beginner, I think a zoom lens makes more sense, as it gives one a chance to experiment with the utility of different focal lengths, and see where, focal length-wise, one is most comfortable shooting. This can in turn drive prime lens selection down the road.

I second SpecialK's suggestion of the Sigma 17-70 line. I had an older version, the 17-70/2.8-4.5 DC macro, for a couple years and loved it. Great IQ, versatility, and close-focus to boot. A great lens for learning photography (and getting some great shots in the process).

If one is set on primes, I agree that the F 50/1.7 is excellent and can generally be had for <250$ used. Similarly, the F 28/2.8, which may be slightly more expensive, but can likely be had for $300 or less, is a wonderful normal lens on APS-C, that, like the 50, is fast and accurate to auto-focus and is wonderfully versatile. Think of it as 90% of the Fa 31 limited, for 1/3 the cost.

If auto-focus and/or auto-aperture are not an issue, there is a laundry-list of great Pentax (and some third party) primes that can be had for $250 or less on the used market.

-Brandon

Looking at photos taken with the 17-70mm it just looked like the images weren't as sharp towards the 70mm mark compared to the Tamron. But yeah as a beginner that would be a great pic to see what length you like to shoot at.
03-20-2013, 11:38 PM   #27
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Of the lens I have had experience with, for just one lens I would go with Tamron 17-50 f 2.8. To add primes, I would pick up a fast 50 like F 50 1.7 and/or something in range of 77 ltd. I think the fast Tammy 17-50 would be a great learner lens that would also be a good professional lens as skills improved.
03-20-2013, 11:54 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Like a good wide-normal zoom in the ilk of the Tamron 17-50 or Sigma 17-70. Look around and you might find what you're looking for.
I second that. I had the Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 for a few years, and it is a decently sharp, versatile lens. I gave it to my brother's partner along with my redundant K-7, as she is just starting out in DSLR photography. I must admit, I was reluctant to let the lens go, because of its walkabout versatility, but my brother is a Canon man, and I wasn't going to have him taint his partner's choice of camera!
03-21-2013, 03:05 AM   #29
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<edited> there seems to be something wrong with either tapatalk or the forum, so I am removing the content of this posting to avoid confusions...
03-21-2013, 05:32 AM   #30
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There are a couple of "A" zooms that I find have particularly good IQ and can be found relatively cheap.
Pentax A 35-105 F/3.5 - already mentioned by someone. very sharp, typical Pentax color rendition (but the best reds of all my lenses!) and "macro" (read close focus) throughout the entire zoom range. many samples here
Pentax A 70-210 F/4.0 Sharp light lens with close up focus at 70mm. It was my walk-around long zoom for the longest time until I finally picked up the Sigma 70-200 F/2.8 EX DG. Don't use it as much anymore but it's an excellent lens. I don't have an album of shots from this lens but I'm sure there are a bunch of examples of it around.
Finally I'll mention the Pentax K 135mm F/2.5. This is an outstanding lens, I don't know if it can be found cheaply any more, I got my copy about 7 years ago for about $150 IIRC. Even tho it's old and a bit heavy by modern standards, it's IQ can't be beat. here's another album worth of shots from it: Pentax K 135
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