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03-06-2008, 11:50 AM   #1
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new and need help


I want to buy a new lens but not sure which one. Hope some one can help me to make the best choice.

1. Pentax or Tamrom 18-250
2. Tamrom 28-75 and the Tamrom 70-300

I am going in augustus to Bali for 17 days and want to take the best combination with me. the 18-250 is easy. I don't have to change. But is it a good lens? I hear so much different things about it.
The tamron 28-75 is a good lens I heard, but I am afraid that I miss a bit wide angle. And I am not sure how the 70-300 lens is. Gives it good photo's? Also at 300mm?

So I hope some one can give me some more advice about these lenses so I can make a dissicion.


03-06-2008, 12:21 PM   #2
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Superzoom vs two zooms is not a new dilema. Since you are going to travel in August, I would recommend getting the superzoom Tamron 18-250 and try it out. Buy it second hand to save some money and if you do not like it, you can sell it loosing maybe $20 in the process.

I currently have the kit lens and 70-300mm and while I like the idea of superzoom, I have decided to get Sigma 17-70mm and to keep the 70-300. But the reason behind it is, that I already had lens with similar coverage to 17-70 when I was shooting film so I know that the range is going to cover 95% of my needs. For the rest 5% I can just swap the lenses. But if I were new to the whole photography topic, I would probably start with superzoom.

Just my 2 cents.
03-06-2008, 12:30 PM   #3
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when I look at what you already own, I can understand option 2, with 2 lenses because the 28-75 is Much faster than what you have, and much better quality.

Don't know about the 70-300, and speed of it, but it will be faster probably by 1/2 to 1 stop than superzoom, and if you take both these lenses and your16-55 for wide stuff, that would be the 3 lenses I would take if limited to just 3. I would also take a flash.

to limit yourself to one lens only might really leave you wishing you did something different. You are going somewhere you never went (probably) and I always found that 18mm (digital format or 28 mm in film) was never wide enough. Even your 16 is not as wide as you might want, but it's all you have and I won't tell you (quite) that you should pack a 10-20 or 12-24.

In my kit, I have a 10-20, 28-85 and 70-200, the latter 2 being F2.8's plus TCs. and I would take that as the minimum. everything else is a luxury.
03-06-2008, 12:43 PM   #4
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While the IQ on the 28-75 is amazing, it is missing the wider end. I'm with drabina on the 17-70/70-300 combination. I had the 18-250 for a while, but I found that I wasn't crazy about the performance at the wide end, so since I do a lot of my shooting at the wide end, I decided to get rid of it. For what you get, the 17-70 is an excellent lens. Check out these examples:
Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro Lens Sample Photos and Specifications

Even with that, you'll still have a 2-lens kit; when travelling, a smaller kit is easier to tote around.

The only other lens you might want to consider is getting a fast prime if you're planning on doing any low-light shooting at all. You can pick up a FA 50/1.4 for around $200 or if you have a larger budget, a FA 43/1.9 Ltd. ($400+).


03-06-2008, 01:00 PM   #5
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Hi Miranda,

I'm not sure whether you're new to photography - sounds like you're not.
Assuming that, I'd agree that 3 lenses would be the limit to take with you on an overseas trip.

Then you'll need to decide what you want to capture when you're in Bali - sceneries? portraits? watersport activities? all of those? Because then, you'll know what focal lengths you need to cover.

If you want to cover wide-angles and telephoto ranges, and like the versatility, the superzooms may do, but may also disappoint you with their slow speed and drop off in quality, especially at the telephoto end. I believe the 70-300 (either Sigma APO or Tamron) are better choices (in quality) but no real advantage in speed, which becomes important at the telephoto end again.

You have the kit lens, and if you're happy with its quality, you can stick with it for the wide angle shots. Otherwise, you could consider upgrading it to the Pentax DA 16-45 or Sigma 17-70 (for better even quality).

You also have the DA 50-200, which is one of the better consumer zooms, but only goes to 200mm. If it's not enough for you, the 70-300 choices are not bad alternatives.

Granted, the Tamron 28-75 is a very nice lens - fast and excellent quality, but you may find it really only useful for the mid-range shots - not wide enough for landscapes, and not long enough for close ups - you may find yourself changing this lens often.

Also don't know how often you'll want ultra-wide zooms, as Lowell has suggested, it's really is up to you. Pentax also have the DA 10-17 fish eye lens, which also has good reviews.

So my choices in your bag are DA 16-45 or Sigma 17-70 or kit lens
70-300 or 70-200 f/2.8+TC (if you can afford it)
FA 50/1.4 or FA 50/1.7 if you want to take nice portraits there too.

Now there are other essentials you're missing:

Lowell mentioned flash - yes, very important. Without fast lenses, you'll be limited to taking shots only during the day if you don't have a flash. So get one that preferably has bounce and swivel - and it doesn't have to be Pentax - a simple auto/manual flash will do, only you should practice taking night shots with it on M mode before you go.

Another essential: sturdy but portable tripod - it would be a shame if you saw very nice scenery while the sun was setting but couldn't get a decent shot because you have to go to ISO 3200 just to be able to hand-hold the camera.

Last essential: extra batteries - your camera and the flash you take will both be using AA batteries, so get yourself 3 or 4 sets of good >2500mAh NiMH rechargeables. Don't get to the middle of the day and run out of power!

Hope this helps.
03-07-2008, 03:24 AM   #6
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Original Poster
Thanks everybody for you quick answers! It helps me a lot further with making my final discision.

I looked at the Sigma 17-70 and the reviews are good of this lens. So I think this will be my new walking around lens. And for the extra tele I will buy the Tamron of Sigma 70-300mm. For the evening I will try to get a external flash before I go to Bali.

The tripod I already have. Just have to check if it fits in the suitcase next to all my clothes Now wait untill 18th of August!

Thanks again!
03-07-2008, 03:47 AM   #7
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I also have the K100D with 28-70 f2.8 zoom and Tamrom 18-200 zoom lenses.
The 18-200 Tamron is as good as your 18-55 over the whole zoom range.
I travel to South East Asia frequently and found the Tamron the best solution in countries which have crowds everywhere, crammed transport, and wet and humid climates where you are best travelling as light as possible. You will not want to change a lens away from your hotel. And I wouldn't leave a lens in a hotel room or any valuables either.
You will see virtually every other tourist has a small point & shoot camera for security and weight reasons. A camera bag is a target for theives.
03-07-2008, 12:26 PM   #8
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Don't forget about the Pentax DA 12-24mm f4, it's a great lens for wide angle.
I have the Tamron 70-300mm and it's a good and sharp lens.


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