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01-16-2007, 09:42 PM   #1
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Need help with upgrading from 18-55 kit lens

I'm a proud new owner of a K10D. I love the camera but I'm not so hot on the 18-55 kit lens. I had originally ordered the camera with a Sigma 17-70 but had to send it back to B&H as the lens had serious trouble focusing. The sigma seemed to be a well constructed lens but as I was a bit put off by the size/weight and more importantly how noisy the AF mechanism sounded, I switched to the kit 18-55.

The 18-55 seemed ok until the Pentax DA 50- 200 arrived. I've found the 50-200 to be a much better lens and quite impressive for its price. The superior images I'm getting from the 50-200 has gotten me thinking about replacing the 18-55.

I'm now considering the Pentax DA 16-45 especially since there's currently $100 rebate off of this lens which is about a 25% reduction. However, there are a few nagging questions/issues I have. I wonder if the relatively short zoom will bother me. I like to leave the more wide angle zoom on the body for the most part and then switch over to the 50-200 when necessary. But given the short zoom, I wonder if I will end up swapping lenses more often (and possibly becoming annoyed in doing so) in search of just a bit more reach.

Also, I see on Pentax's lens road map that there's a 17-70 on the horizon. I'd be interested to know if anyone knows anything more about this lense. Will it have one of those supersonic motors? Will it be comparable in price/quality with the 16-45? Will it be coming out any time soon? Is it worth waiting for? I'm just a wannabe "advanced amatuer" so I can't envision spending a lot of dough (over $450) on a high quality but costly lens. I just want my pictures to be a bit sharper (less vingeting, better color, etc) than what I'm getting with the kit lens.
I will say that I'm intrigued by these super sonic motors. While I love the K10d, I wouldn't mind if the autofocus was a bit quicker and quieter. Can't Pentax make a typical range zoom with a SSM for an affordable price?

Anyways, I'd appreciate any advice any of you may have for me. Thanks in advance.....

01-16-2007, 10:29 PM   #2
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My most used lens is the FA 24-90 f/3.5-4.5. I probably use it for 80% of my shots, and I like the longer reach.

I agree with you that with a zoom ending around the 50 mm range you may have to change lenses a lot.

Use your 18-55 for a couple of weeks and make a note of what focal lengths you use, and which you miss. That will give you the answer!

Most pictures here are taken with the 24-90 as noted below the photos:
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01-17-2007, 09:15 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Slideshowmike Quote
I'm a proud new owner of a K10D. I love the camera but I'm not so hot on the 18-55 kit lens. I had originally ordered the camera with a Sigma 17-70 but had to send it back to B&H as the lens had serious trouble focusing. The sigma seemed to be a well constructed lens but as I was a bit put off by the size/weight and more importantly how noisy the AF mechanism sounded, I switched to the kit 18-55.
The 18-55mm is one of the best kit lenses on the market, bit I don't think very highly of it. I've used it a single time, and it hasn't come off the shelf since.

QuoteOriginally posted by Slideshowmike Quote
The 18-55 seemed ok until the Pentax DA 50- 200 arrived. I've found the 50-200 to be a much better lens and quite impressive for its price. The superior images I'm getting from the 50-200 has gotten me thinking about replacing the 18-55.
The 50-200mm is truly a great value, but it's also a good lens in itself. The ED element helps make tele shots crisp and clear, so this one's a keeper. I have a lot of redundancy in this area, however (80-320, 70-210, 70-200, 200/2.8, 200/4), so I don't use this lens much, but I won't be parting with it.

QuoteOriginally posted by Slideshowmike Quote
I'm now considering the Pentax DA 16-45 especially since there's currently $100 rebate off of this lens which is about a 25% reduction. However, there are a few nagging questions/issues I have. I wonder if the relatively short zoom will bother me. I like to leave the more wide angle zoom on the body for the most part and then switch over to the 50-200 when necessary. But given the short zoom, I wonder if I will end up swapping lenses more often (and possibly becoming annoyed in doing so) in search of just a bit more reach.
I don't have this lens, but I know a bit about it. First off, the quality is much higher than that of the 18-55, but the lens is physically long, large, and bulky. I'd wait for the DA* 16-50 if I were you, or just grab the DFA 17-70.

QuoteOriginally posted by Slideshowmike Quote
Also, I see on Pentax's lens road map that there's a 17-70 on the horizon. I'd be interested to know if anyone knows anything more about this lense. Will it have one of those supersonic motors? Will it be comparable in price/quality with the 16-45? Will it be coming out any time soon? Is it worth waiting for? I'm just a wannabe "advanced amatuer" so I can't envision spending a lot of dough (over $450) on a high quality but costly lens. I just want my pictures to be a bit sharper (less vingeting, better color, etc) than what I'm getting with the kit lens.
I will say that I'm intrigued by these super sonic motors. While I love the K10d, I wouldn't mind if the autofocus was a bit quicker and quieter. Can't Pentax make a typical range zoom with a SSM for an affordable price?

Anyways, I'd appreciate any advice any of you may have for me. Thanks in advance.....
The surrent SSM lenses will all be DA*'s, so expect to find them in the $1000 category. The 17-70mm may be yet another 'budget' lens, but if it isn't, I think it's your best bet. It'll definitely be better than the kit.

I generally use FA and A lenses over the current DA's, however. You should look into the FA 28-105 F4-5.6 that features power zoom- there are a few left over at KEH

If you want true quality, however, you should turn to primes. The FA 35mm F2 is reasonably priced ($299) and delivers incredible images! (See: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/2324-tonto-national-forest.html)

I hope this helps!

Adam
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01-17-2007, 10:58 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mo Quote
The current SSM lenses will all be DA*'s, so expect to find them in the $1000 category.
That really takes the wind out my sails. I had know idea they would be that expensive. (Mostly wishful thinking on my part). Oh well makes my decision to get a K10D or K100D easier.

01-19-2007, 08:51 PM   #5
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I got the Sigma 18-50 2.8 instead of the kit 18-55, but I won't suggest you get one :-)

I would be tempted to go with the 16-45 if the thought of the extra stop had not gotten me (and good reviews). It's still as fast or faster than the kit at almost the entire range, but as all fast lenses are, it's bigger and heavier, and it may block your pop-up at some situations. But the image is better. Buy a flash if you shoot a lot indoors?

I would not be concerned about the "short" focal length. The 5 or 10 mm at the long end is not as significant as a few mm off the short end where it will make more difference. 16mm actually gets down to the useful wide range...

I had a gap from 50 to 70 that did not matter, and I only filled it recently by getting the 50-200, but that was mostly to improve the image quality at the tele end over the Bigma quality....
01-19-2007, 09:28 PM   #6
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I had a Tamron / Promaster 28-200 for years in the film world as my primary lens. Beat the heck out of it, still works great to this day. I am getting later in the month the 18-200 Digital version, should set you back somewhere in the $400 range. Its equivalent to 27-300 in 35mm terms. Once I'm all set on new lenses I plan to have the following-

Pentax / Tokina 10-17
Tamron / Pro 18-200
my old SF-1 vintage 50 f/1.4 (GREAT in low light)
old Tamron MF 90mm f/2.8 Macro w/ 1:1 adapter (larger than some of the newer lenses, but can be picked up for a fraction of the price, and I almost always use MF when shooting macro anyways)

If Pentax eventually comes out with a 70-200 f/2.8 I will probably drop the grand plus on that too... hoping maybe to see one at PMA?
01-20-2007, 08:51 AM   #7
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Hello Slideshowmike,
concerning your thoughts buying the 16-45mm:
I had the lens and sold it again for mainly two reasons:
1. The 16mm is nice, but 45mm too little (for me). I cannot even take a classical portrait of my wife with 45mm!
2. It gives a shadow using the internal flash from 16 to 28mm, because the wide angle enlarges this lens.

I have now the Sigma 17-70mm, instead of the Pentax 16-45mm. Why?
Better range, no shadow using internal flash, good macro possibilities, same optical quality, costs less.
Everything I read in various forums mainly in Europe, the 17-70 is one of the few Sigmas, which have (almost) no quality problems. So obviously you had real bad luck.

The Pentax 17-70 (as mentioned above) will not have a supersonic motor. i am sure it will replace the 16-45 in it's role as a luxury-kit-lens. So think about rebates also in this aspect. Once the 17-70 is on the market, your 16-45 is practically not worth anything anymore.

About the quality of the Pentax 18-55:
The opinion here in germany is, that it is very good value for money.
Be also aware (in case you do not know anyway), that the K10D in it's default setting is NOT set to high sharpness. I heard that Canon and Nikon (below D200) have other setting here. To my personal opinion Pentax style is better (more 'Jaguar' than 'Cadillac'). But anyway: You can change this in the camera setting or later in the photo programm on the PC.

My recommendation would be:
Keep your 18-55 for a while.
A very experienced user in a german forum had the following quite clever recommendation about the combination 18-55/50-200:
Normally put the 50-200 on your camera and the 18-55 into your pocket. Why? Situations, in which you have to be fast, usually require higher mm. In these situations you will not want to change your lens. The 18-55 is usually more often used in situations, in which you have the time to change lenses.

Maybe I could help you a little in finding a good lens.
Kind regards from Cologne, Germany
Jacob
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