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03-19-2008, 06:32 PM   #1
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wide angle/telephoto suggestions

EDIT Look at post #9 for update!!

if you havent already read my thread about traveling to germany....https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/21655-advice-traveling.html...

anyways i think ive narrowed my search down to buying 1 lense before i leave and i think it would make the most sense to buy an ~18 - ~200-250 mm wide angle/zoom lense. although it may be expensive, this will eliminate the need for my kit lense (18-55) and the need to swap lenses often over there. the only thing i would need would be my 100-300 mm manual focus telephoto for a closer up zoom.

so please suggest me something, pentax, tamron, sigma...w/e. i am a broke college student getting ready to graduate and need to keep the price down, so i'm thinking of buying used.

i like the pentax 50-200 but i would need to change lenses for the closer up shots and indoor shots i think.


Last edited by wrxwheelman; 03-25-2008 at 09:31 AM.
03-19-2008, 06:37 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by wrxwheelman Quote
if you havent already read my thread about traveling to germany....https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/21655-advice-traveling.html...

anyways i think ive narrowed my search down to buying 1 lense before i leave and i think it would make the most sense to buy an ~18 - ~200-250 mm wide angle/zoom lense. although it may be expensive, this will eliminate the need for my kit lense (18-55) and the need to swap lenses often over there. the only thing i would need would be my 100-300 mm manual focus telephoto for a closer up zoom.

so please suggest me something, pentax, tamron, sigma...w/e. i am a broke college student getting ready to graduate and need to keep the price down, so i'm thinking of buying used.

i like the pentax 50-200 but i would need to change lenses for the closer up shots and indoor shots i think.
The only comment I have and I have made this repeatidly is that 18mm is just not wide enough on a DSLR.

if you want one main lens for touring in cities, the sigma 10-20 is in my opinion a much better option. There is just not enough space between city streets to fit a lot in the field of view for a 18mm lens.

If you want the 18-250(ish) add the 10-20 below it.

Mine gets a real work out every vacation I take.
03-19-2008, 08:01 PM   #3
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If you wanna go wide, expect to change lenses. There is no 'do it all lens'. The Sigma 10-20mm is a great lens and fairly inexpensive. The Pentax 12-24 offers slightly better resolution at more $'s and is also an excellent lens. Just decide how and what you'll be shooting and adjust your kit. I can pack my 10-20mm, fa50mm and 300mm f* with a teleconverter and k10d in a sling bag. for my style it works very well. I do admit to being addicted to the 300mm f*, it goes everywhere.

Last edited by ivoire; 03-19-2008 at 08:06 PM.
03-19-2008, 09:01 PM   #4
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Well, I find that you'll use whatever you have with you. I had the 28-300 and never found that I missed any shots. I got the 18-250 and found that I took a lot of shots between 18-28mm (so I sold the 28-300). So far, I haven't found the 18mm not wide enough. I took it to Peru last summer and it was fine for getting tight shots inside some of the Incan ruins, and still capturing wide outdoor vistas. I also own the 10-17, but I've never felt like I needed to add that to my kit when I'm travelling light.

Obviously, you may feel differently, as some of the other posters do. If the 18-250 went to 16mm, I'd probably use it and not even think about it. However, I don't feel like I'm missing anything with the 18-250.

BTW, the 18-250 isn't that cheap. I'd consider the 18-200 if you want to save some coin. Since I consider 18mm wide enough, I think it would be a good cheap alternative to the 18-250. However, be aware that the 18-250 is usually rated higher on image quality over either the Sigma or Tamron versions of the 18-200. Not sure if it's a noticible difference as I don't usually pixel peep, though.

03-20-2008, 04:43 AM   #5
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In reading the posts, and not as an attempt to criticize anyone, I find it interesting that people claim to never miss a shot due to focal length restrictions, but when they get a new lens (with in this case wider minimum focal length), find themselves shooting a lot in the new wider ranges.

To me, this implys that they were in the past missing shots or opportunities, only because they did not know they exist.

A simple way to test the theory, and to determine if 18mm is wide enough for your case, is to perform some analysis on your photos.

There are several programs, such as EXIF Plot, which can analyze the data in your photos, and produce charts showing the percentage of time at each focal length, apature, shutter speed, ISO setting etc. These programs are freeware or shareware, and can be easily downloaded.

I propose that since you already have a lens that goes to 16mm, you get and run a program like EXIF PLot and analyze the results.

If you find a high percentage of your shots at 16mm, you will find the 18-250mm lens restrictive.

I bought the sigma 10-20 in early january 2007. During that year, a full 20% of my shots were taken with that lens, 12% of all shots taken were at 10mm. Clearly, there would have been missed opportunities if I didn't have it.

As an aside, when I got my *istD it came with an FA-J 18-35mm full frame lens. For wide angle shots, I would put down my DSLR and put the 18-35 on my PZ1 and shoot film. I shot both film and digital up to the time I got the Sigma 10-20 because 18mm was not wide enough on the smaller digital sensor!
03-20-2008, 07:10 AM   #6
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If you need to keep it to one lens at a reasonable price, I have not been disappointed with the Sigma 18-200. However, I do agree that it's nice to have something wider, and I chose the Pentax 12-24. I think with those two lenses (or substitute the Sigma 10-20 to save some bucks), you'd cover all your needs.
03-20-2008, 12:57 PM   #7
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i dont mind switiching out lenses over there, but i think if i could cut down the number of times i do it, that would be very critical to me.
03-20-2008, 01:17 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
The only comment I have and I have made this repeatidly is that 18mm is just not wide enough on a DSLR.

if you want one main lens for touring in cities, the sigma 10-20 is in my opinion a much better option. There is just not enough space between city streets to fit a lot in the field of view for a 18mm lens.

If you want the 18-250(ish) add the 10-20 below it.

Mine gets a real work out every vacation I take.

I agree with Lowell, that 18 just isn't as wide as it should be. This lens combo is great provided you have the funds for it! That's going to run around $1000!

03-25-2008, 09:31 AM   #9
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okay so now im thinking....What if i bought something like ~10ish - ~70ish instead of the 18-250 or 50-200?
03-25-2008, 09:47 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by wrxwheelman Quote
okay so now im thinking....What if i bought something like ~10ish - ~70ish instead of the 18-250 or 50-200?
I don't think there is such a beast. I myself have the 18-250, 28-75mm in zooms and am definitely going to be adding the 10-20mm or 12-24mm before a trip to the rockies this summer.
03-25-2008, 10:19 AM   #11
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There are no 10-70 zooms. Only ultra-wide zoom options are the Sigma 10-20mm, or Pentax 12-24mm and 10-17mm (10-17 is a fisheye, other two are rectilinear).
03-25-2008, 02:25 PM   #12
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i didnt think so but thats why i put the "~" which mean approximately soo anything around 10-70 or heck even into the 100's maybe would be a better fit.
03-25-2008, 03:04 PM   #13
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I have done a lot of city shooting with my Leica D Lux 3. It has an effective 28-100 zoom lens on it. That would be the same as about a 17-70. I've also shot with a 10-17 fisheye, but that is a whole different animal, and used a 12-24 on my Nikon D70. I also shoot almost every day with my 16-45.

I've found that while traveling and shooting in the city, 28-100 effective on the p&s works pretty well. But another factor there is that p&s cameras have much greater DOF than a dslr. So you have to take that into account. With the 16-45, I don't find myself at 16 very much but when I am, I'm there and probably wish I had it was a little shorter (heh, that's what she said). But in the city I'll be at 45 a lot more than 16. There is no way a 10-20 or 12-24 could be my walkaround lens in the city. ymmv. Also, I tend to do more towards the art side of things as opposed to documentation so you have to account for taste as well (examples here: hk08 - Page 1).

The only time I used my 12-24 was when I had tough interior shots, and I was almost always down at 12-14mm so I could get coverage. As for landscapes, I've found the 16 will usually do the trick. No always, but usually. Enough so that I don't really want to haul another lens around unless I have something special I want to shoot.

Not to complicate matters, but you might also ponder the Ricoh GX-100. For the price of a decent zoom lens you get a pretty amazing p&s that a fair number of "serious" shooters use. It covers 24-70 effective, shoots raw, and is small. Small sensor cameras "draw"differently though, and you won't get the resolution that you will with the K100d. Different tool, but for city shooting, quite good.
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