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07-23-2013, 11:40 PM   #1
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Lens for general use

Hello,

I am looking for a new lens for my k10d.
I look for a lens that i can use in most occassions.
I was thinking Tamron 18-200 or Pentax 55-300.
From what i read in the internet, tamron is not a good choice, but if i take the 55-300 i will have to change lenses all the time, and i don't know if i really need all this range...
Which lens would you advice me as a noob to take? I know the best answer is to stick with my 18-55 kit lens and learn with it, but you know i want to try something different :P
Now something else, if i go to a prime lens (i know, i can't decide what kind of lens i want), what would be the advantages from a cheap zoom lens?
Which one prime would you suggest me?

Thank you in advance and sorry for tha long message!

07-24-2013, 12:33 AM   #2
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Since you already have an 18-55, I'll suggest that you go with a prime. Advantages of a prime? Normally it's faster, provides better IQ, more compact and forces you to learn composition. My specific suggestion: DAL 35mm f/2.4. It's fast, light, has good IQ and cheap.
07-24-2013, 01:26 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by drypenn Quote
Since you already have an 18-55, I'll suggest that you go with a prime. Advantages of a prime? Normally it's faster, provides better IQ, more compact and forces you to learn composition. My specific suggestion: DAL 35mm f/2.4. It's fast, light, has good IQ and cheap.
I cannot comment on that specific 35/2.4 lens, but I would suggest that drypenn is right that a prime is the way to go, and that the focal range around 30-40mm is about right also.

Also, I agree that a prime forces you to learn composition. Even after more decades of photography than I care to admit, I still find myself "snapshotting" without thinking about composition when using a zoom, whereas with a prime....having to move a bit forward/backwards makes me also think about stepping to the side, crouching down, etc. to get an interesting composition. I hardly ever use zooms, for that reason.


07-24-2013, 01:38 AM   #4
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+1 for a prime. Especially a fast prime because it will improve your photographic opportunity in low light.

Another suggestion is the DA50mm f1.8 which is well-regarded by PF members, while the PF in-depth review score is 8.5/10:
Pentax 50mm Prime Lens Shootout - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

Hope that the suggestion may help.

07-24-2013, 04:19 AM   #5
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Before you settle on a prime check the photos you have already taken to see what mm you have used most often. Primes of 35mm or less will require you to get really close to your subject, something many find difficult or uncomfortable doing. If you take a lot of landscapes, indoor photos, still life or street photos these might be fine, but they will not do for wildlife, portraits, sports or even a lot of pet photos. I've seen more photos turn out poorly because the photographer did not get close enough than for any other reason (except maybe focus, which might be another issue for manual focus primes) Finally, consider how you display your final product. If most are displayed on the web, or via prints 8x10 or smaller, the quality offered by primes may not be really evident. A good zoom, in other words, by result in perfectly acceptable results.
07-24-2013, 06:02 AM   #6
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If you're wanting what is basically an all in one lens so you don't have to change it often (I noticed you said that so I'm not going to say get a prime) how about either the 18-135 WR or a Tamron/Pentax/Sigma 18-250?
07-24-2013, 06:19 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
If you're wanting what is basically an all in one lens so you don't have to change it often (I noticed you said that so I'm not going to say get a prime) how about either the 18-135 WR or a Tamron/Pentax/Sigma 18-250?
I checked these lenses but unfortunately they are too expensive for my budget...

The only lenses i can afford are Tamron 18-200, Pentax 50-200 and 55-300. Tamron has bad reviews and with 50-200 or 55-300 i don't know if i really need this big range.
From the other hand, Pentax 50mm 1.8 has very positive reviews and from what i have read, it will have way better Image Quality than any from the other zoom lenses above.
So i think i will choose quality over range... Also i will keep the 18-55 kit lens.
I just want to experiment with something else than my 18-55 kit lens... I don't know if my choice will be right or wrong.
07-24-2013, 06:21 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
If you're wanting what is basically an all in one lens so you don't have to change it often (I noticed you said that so I'm not going to say get a prime) how about either the 18-135 WR or a Tamron/Pentax/Sigma 18-250?
+1 If you're looking for an "all-rounder", it's hard to beat those choices.

07-24-2013, 06:27 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stratosk Quote
From the other hand, Pentax 50mm 1.8 has very positive reviews and from what i have read, it will have way better Image Quality than any from the other zoom lenses above.
So i think i will choose quality over range... Also i will keep the 18-55 kit lens.
I just want to experiment with something else than my 18-55 kit lens... I don't know if my choice will be right or wrong.
The kit lens is weaker at its long end, 55mm,
so the prime you mention will complement it well,
in addition to giving you the ability to shoot in low light.

So I think you will be making a good choice.

Don't forget to get a hood to use with the prime!
07-24-2013, 06:45 AM   #10
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Prime Time?

Hello Stratosk, welcome to the Forum!
What lens you get next really depends on what you've enjoyed shooting so far. Are you more interested in landscapes, scenic, portraits, macro, low-light or available light photos, street photography, timed exposures/night photography...??
I don't think you'll be happy with a 'superzoom' for most of the reasons already listed. Sure, it's great for all-purposes and you won't have to change lenses often ( isn't that why you got a DSLR in the first place? So you could use different lenses?) but you'll never approach prime image quality-without spending big $$$-, weight, size, speed and in many cases, price. Also, you already have a wide-to-medium zoom. Maybe a short telephoto prime, say 100mm?
If you like scenic, street photography, night/low-light shots and 'people' shots, I will add to the recommendations for the DA 35mm f/2.4AL. There's a thread on this Forum called "Plastic Fantastic" that will give you some idea of what this little gem can do.
Another suggestion is to try the (used market) Pentax F 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5. For about $50.00 USD, you'll add a short tele length (70mm, great for portraits), slightly better I.Q. and sharpness over the kit lens, much smaller size and weight, about a stop faster overall and a very handy 'macro' (actually close-focusing) function at the 70mm end. The short zoom ratio will give you an idea about the limitations of a prime, but still has some versatility.
Good luck!
Ron
07-24-2013, 06:46 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by stratosk Quote
From what i read in the internet, tamron is not a good choice
Maybe I just have a really good copy, but My Tamron 18-200 is quite decent for a superzoom. A/B tested against the Pentax 18-55 kit lens, it was was pretty much a dead heat. I've gotten some good results with it:





I think a lot of people expect a superzoom to be a Limited prime or something... but they're not. That said, the Tammy 18-200 is better than a lotta folks give it credit for. And there's a good deal on one right here on the forum.
07-24-2013, 08:12 AM   #12
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A 17-70mm stays on both our camera's 90% of the time. Quality is a good jump from the kit lens.
Good luck with your decision
07-27-2013, 02:10 AM   #13
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I spotted this a few weeks ago, and I must say, I do find the Sigma 18-250 a very tempting proposition (it's not too dear either):

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/227006-lens-comparison.html
08-08-2013, 05:27 AM   #14
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Hello again!

It's been a long time!
First of all i would like to thank you all for your answers! They were very helpful and they made me study a bit for a couple of things about lenses!
I haven't bought a lens yet but there is a slight change of plans!

I am going for a prime...

I think it would be more useful, it has better IQ, is cheaper than a zoom and as a beginner in photography i believe that it will help me learning composition...

I know it's a 180 degrees turn but i believe that IQ is more important from the zoom ability...

My choices are

Pentax Smc DA 35mm F/2.8 or
Pentax Smc DA 50mm F1.8

And i think i'm going for the 50mm!

What do you think?

Thank you!
08-08-2013, 07:35 AM   #15
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Between the two I would go 35mm because a 50 is really too long to be useful for general photography in my opinion. Of course I would still at least grab a cheap 70-300 for the long end. You can get decent Sigma and Tamron ones for sometimes under 100 dollars. Keep the 18-55 kit lens too.
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