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08-01-2013, 05:21 AM   #1
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Lens choices abound!

Hi all,

First time poster, long time lurker; Ive been shooting with my trusty K30 for about a year now, using a 18-135WR and a sigma 30mm 1.4 prime.
Im looking for something of better quality to replace the 18-135, I've read the reviews for the da*16-50 and was somewhat dissapointed:
Are they any better alternatives to the da*? Im also very interested in the 15mm Ltd for landscape use and loved the rich colours it seemed to produce, is there something in a zoom/zoom combo that could replicate those sorts of images?

I had my heart set on a da*16-50, 60-250 and 15mm Ltd but after dubious reviews im starting to doubt myself, that and the price for the set is a little daunting to say the least...

Im mainly into my landscapes, night long exposures and I do a bit of equine photography as well so any suggestions would be appreciated

08-01-2013, 05:33 AM   #2
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Glad to see you posting. The main complaints about the 16-50 & 60-250 are related to the known faults with SDM. Most of the comments about optical qualities are positive for those DA* lenses.
08-01-2013, 05:42 AM   #3
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There are a couple of 17-70s which might be worth considering, they may have some good sweet spots.

I don't know whether the *50-135 is truly a replacement, not being very wide, but from my reading it's one of the best zooms available.
08-01-2013, 06:02 AM   #4
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If you're into wide landscapes, then look at the Pentax 12-24. As a walk-around, the Pentax 17-70 is very good, although not quite in the same IQ league as the 16-50.

If SDM is the issue for you, then it appears to have largely gone away for new lenses, although maybe lurking out there in the used lens area.

I have a number of SDM lenses, including the ill-starred 50-135, but have had no problems at all. I have diaried Outlook to prompt me to run them once a week, as lack of use seems to be a factor, and so far, so good.

08-01-2013, 06:11 AM   #5
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16-50 is optically great, with amazing colors and astounding centre sharpness. It's just not tack sharp wide open in the corners at 50. Really a silly complaint, considering the complaints are mostly due to the 50-135 performing perfectly wide open at the long or short end. (Not a fair comparison, one's a Short/Medium Tele, the other is a UWA/Wide/Normal/Short Tele Lens)
08-01-2013, 07:18 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replys guys, much appreciated!
The da15 ltd has been tugging at my heart strings for some time now, would the da*16-50 offer something similar in terms of dramatic landscape shots? Purely so I can kill 2 expensive birds with one expensive stone.

In terms of covering the other end of the range im leaning towards the 60-250 over the 50-135 but possibly a 55-300 will do while my bank manager recovers
08-01-2013, 07:47 AM   #7
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Er, I don't think the 60-250 has SDM complaints. The 50-135 has more SDM complaints. Plus the 60-250 has faster AF than the 50-135.

The DA 16-50 can perform very well for landscape shots. Just not as sharp as some other lenses - but lovely microcontrast and pretty good flare resistance.
08-01-2013, 08:00 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Er, I don't think the 60-250 has SDM complaints. The 50-135 has more SDM complaints. Plus the 60-250 has faster AF than the 50-135.

The DA 16-50 can perform very well for landscape shots. Just not as sharp as some other lenses - but lovely microcontrast and pretty good flare resistance.
It does not have as high a failure rate as the shorter SDM zooms, but all the SDM lenses have reported failures of the SDM components and AF.
SDM Reliability Survey - PentaxForums.com

08-01-2013, 08:02 AM   #9
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Feel free to search the sample photo gallery and find how those respective lenses perform. Since you have the 18-135mm, almost all of the current lenses, except the 18-55mm and 50-200mm, will outperform it. Maybe only a little.. maybe significantly. A highly praised uwa lens is the 12-24mm, which gives a nice range for uwa as well as fairly normal photos. Also, think about a DA 16-45mm. Much cheaper, almost as wide. Personally, I would recommend you keep getting prime lenses, because they will deliver top notch quality and should outperform zoom lenses of the same tier (in terms of rendering, speed, sharpness). And keep the 18-135mm for WR and when you need the flexibility.
08-01-2013, 09:42 AM   #10
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I agree with the previous post by Na Horuk, get more primes instead. My Limiteds are my choice for the best results and they have the advantage of being light and unobtrusive. The 55-300 is a reasonable choice for the long end and is light enough to take anywhere.
08-01-2013, 09:51 AM   #11
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That's one heck of a kit and one of the best one to have in Pentax-land.
08-01-2013, 10:08 AM   #12
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If you've got an 18-135, the only place you have to go is primes unless you want more speed. I have the Sigma 8-16- 21 ltd, 35 2.4, FA 50 1.8 , Sigma 70 and Tamron 90. To go with my 18-135, and I'm not really considering any other lenses at the moment. We bought a Tamron 17-50 but without the additional focal length and no WR it rarely replaces the 18-135. After a long thought process and a lot of research we went with the Sigma 8-16 instead of the 15 ltd. It was a good an bad decision. It's too big to carry a lot of the time, but the IQ and versatility are exceptional, especially considering it's distortion free at 12mm, the 15 Ltd isn't distortion free at 15 mm. Looking at anything but the DA*60-250 in the long end is looking for trouble... that being said, the Sigma 70-200 2.8 in it's current incarnation, don't buy an older version of this lens, should be a serious consideration for anyone for whom fast focusing and a wider aperture could be an advantage. The Sigma 70-200 is generally considered to be the best sports/action type long lens. The DA*60-250's overall IQ is better though. Buying today, I actually don't know which I'd go for.
08-01-2013, 10:19 AM   #13
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I like the 18-135 a lot. I think you will not find something any better with that kind of range. However, the Sigma 17-70 is getting great reviews. You might check it out. Then, you could look at the 50-135 later for more range. It's supposed to be a wonderful zoom, but it's big and heavy.
08-01-2013, 10:28 AM   #14
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If you want zooms for relatively cheaper cost and better quality than what you have now:

wide angle: sigma 10-20 older version. Unless you want starbursts, this sigma should be good enough for most people.

normal zoom: tamron 17-50, really sharp lens.

telephoto: tamron 70-200 [too big for me, the pentax 50-135 though more expensive is a lovely lens, much smaller and my personal choice].
08-01-2013, 10:58 AM   #15
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Wow, so much great advice that's really given me a lot to think about, consider me a lurker no more lol
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