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09-19-2013, 08:57 AM   #1
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Gone a little prime crazy

So, I have been shooting for Pentax for roughly 9 months now. I love all my primes and they each have there own special place in my bag, but I am looking for a decent zoom lens to compliment my lens. I try to shoot a little bit of everything basically whatever tickles my fancy at any given moment.
I have been looking into buying either a Pentax 16-50 or a Tamron 17-50. But looking down at my lens collection I feel like I have those focal distances covered with my primes. Should I be looking at something longer than 50mm?
  1. Sigma 15mm f/2.8
  2. Pentax 35 f/2.4
  3. Pentax DA * 55 f/1.4
  4. Pentax 50 f/1.4 M
  5. Pentax 200 f/4 M


09-19-2013, 09:08 AM   #2
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There's also the Sigma 17-70 2.8-4, or you can wait for their 18-35 1.8
09-19-2013, 09:16 AM   #3
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I saw a 1st-gen 17-70 Sigma on the Marketplace recently. Another good choice is the DA16-45, which is a versatile backup for my 24 and 40mm primes. I also have the 50-200WR for foul weather in a lightweight lens, if more tele would suit you; it's much more compact than the 55-300 and takes 49mm filters like many of the wider primes.
09-19-2013, 10:25 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by StevenMatchett Quote
So, I have been shooting for Pentax for roughly 9 months now. I love all my primes and they each have there own special place in my bag, but I am looking for a decent zoom lens to compliment my lens. I try to shoot a little bit of everything basically whatever tickles my fancy at any given moment.
I have been looking into buying either a Pentax 16-50 or a Tamron 17-50. But looking down at my lens collection I feel like I have those focal distances covered with my primes. Should I be looking at something longer than 50mm?
  1. Sigma 15mm f/2.8
  2. Pentax 35 f/2.4
  3. Pentax DA * 55 f/1.4
  4. Pentax 50 f/1.4 M
  5. Pentax 200 f/4 M
The answer here depends on your budget.

The gap from 50 to 200 is pretty large.

If you've willing to spend for it, I think the DA* 50-135 is the right one, unless you want to go longer than 200mm.

Again, if you're willing to spend and don't mind that it's HUGE compared to any prime, the DA* 60-250 would give more reach.

If your budget is lower, the DA or DAL 55-300 would probably be a very good choice.

Those are for outdoors or very large indoor shots.

For an indoor Zoom, I'd look at the Sigma 24-70/2.8 or the Tamron 28-75/2.8. If you really need the wide angle part of it, then the two you mentioned are worth looking at.

09-19-2013, 10:40 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by StevenMatchett Quote
So, I have been shooting for Pentax for roughly 9 months now. I love all my primes and they each have there own special place in my bag, but I am looking for a decent zoom lens to compliment my lens. I try to shoot a little bit of everything basically whatever tickles my fancy at any given moment.
I have been looking into buying either a Pentax 16-50 or a Tamron 17-50. But looking down at my lens collection I feel like I have those focal distances covered with my primes. Should I be looking at something longer than 50mm?
  1. Sigma 15mm f/2.8
  2. Pentax 35 f/2.4
  3. Pentax DA * 55 f/1.4
  4. Pentax 50 f/1.4 M
  5. Pentax 200 f/4 M
I would look into either the Pentax DA* 50-135 (to fit in between the 50 1.4 and the 200) or something longer than the 200.

Or, perhaps try a superzoom, like the Sigma 18-250 macro, for those days when you don't want to lug all the primes around.
09-19-2013, 10:46 AM   #6
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Well, is there anything you want to do that your primes can't do for you?

I have more or less ended up with two kits. The primes for when I can, the zooms for when I have to.
09-19-2013, 10:55 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
Well, is there anything you want to do that your primes can't do for you?

I have more or less ended up with two kits. The primes for when I can, the zooms for when I have to.
It is not so much that I am not able to do the things I want, but it is the amount of lens changes I have to make to do things. You see what I mean
09-19-2013, 11:11 AM   #8
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I am also thinking of trading in my Sigma 15mm on amazon for 350 dollars and getting myself the Tamron which is only 300 bucks right now

Edit: Ok not the route I am taking after looking into it further I realized that it ships from Japan, which means the warranty is only valid in Japan

09-19-2013, 11:18 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by StevenMatchett Quote
So, I have been shooting for Pentax for roughly 9 months now. I love all my primes and they each have there own special place in my bag, but I am looking for a decent zoom lens to compliment my lens. I try to shoot a little bit of everything basically whatever tickles my fancy at any given moment.
I have been looking into buying either a Pentax 16-50 or a Tamron 17-50. But looking down at my lens collection I feel like I have those focal distances covered with my primes. Should I be looking at something longer than 50mm?
  1. Sigma 15mm f/2.8
  2. Pentax 35 f/2.4
  3. Pentax DA * 55 f/1.4
  4. Pentax 50 f/1.4 M
  5. Pentax 200 f/4 M
From looking at your collection, which is pretty spiffy, I'd say go with the Pentax A 70-210mm f/4 and the Pentax M 35-70mm 2.8-3.5. I've owned them both but sold them in favor of having all primes. That covers more than enough range for general shooting, I would say. They're both cheap (but are nice, functional pieces of glass) and will introduce you to zooms. If you're a smart shopper, they can cost you about $200 for both.

If you must have autofocus, then go with a cheap FA zoom.

I wouldn't buy any DA zooms, since none of them work with full frame.

If you're feeling like splurging, go with the 77mm f/1.8 Limited. You won't ever be sorry for buying a limited FF lens. To me it's the next logical move in your prime collection. I think building on a basic 3 or 4 prime kit to start with would be:
~35mm, ~50mm, and ~85mm for APS-C sensor. The 35 becomes your "normal" lens, while the 50 and ~85 become a short and mid telephoto respectively. In addition, I would suggest an, optional but useful, ultra wide also (which, like the 35 and 50, you already have) to be your wide angle lens on the APS-C.

Anyway, sorry, this may be TMI. Take it all with a grain of salt, since I'm a prime guy.
09-19-2013, 12:10 PM   #10
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Why buy a zoom when you can add more primes?

The FA 77 Limited is nice. There's also a FA 135mm, but its not in production anymore.

I also saw a hole in your long wide angles too. I'd suggest a DA 21 Limited or FA* 24
09-19-2013, 12:19 PM   #11
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I tend to think of lens choices as a set of compromises. Generally it would go something like this (at least for zooms):
- large aperture -> large size
- big zoom factor -> large size
- better image quality -> large size
- large size -> large price
- small size, better IQ, and larger aperture -> more lens changes (as in shorter zooms or, ultimately, primes)

I don't like large size, so I have ended up with relatively slow zooms to get some reach without too much bulk (18-135 and 55-300). If I need larger aperture I have to go with a prime. If I need a tele with large aperture, well, then I'm out of luck

Of course, if I wanted a huge and fast 200-400 I wouldn't have bought Pentax in the first place!
09-19-2013, 12:49 PM   #12
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How mock do you shoot at the longest focal length, and the shortest. If you work a lot at both ends, go both ways

Many years ago, I suggested the ideal lens kit was zooms from 10-200 mm and a means to extend that to 400 if wild life is important., as much of the range below 200mm should be F2.8 ( maybe today F4 with the K5)

Once you get that, Go for primes
09-19-2013, 12:59 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by StevenMatchett Quote
I am also thinking of trading in my Sigma 15mm on amazon for 350 dollars and getting myself the Tamron which is only 300 bucks right now

Edit: Ok not the route I am taking after looking into it further I realized that it ships from Japan, which means the warranty is only valid in Japan
The DA16-45 is why the 15 fisheye became expendable - though it's a great lens & I miss it at times The 16-45 is often available here for sub-$250, but if it's f/2.8 you need then it just won't do.
09-19-2013, 01:00 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
How mock do you shoot at the longest focal length, and the shortest. If you work a lot at both ends, go both ways

Many years ago, I suggested the ideal lens kit was zooms from 10-200 mm and a means to extend that to 400 if wild life is important., as much of the range below 200mm should be F2.8 ( maybe today F4 with the K5)

Once you get that, Go for primes
I use the Sigma 15 mostly for landscape stuff sometimes I use it as a walk around lens. My go to lens for walking around is the DA * 55. I would say I have these two lens on my camera for a combined 90% of my shooting. I use the 200mm if I go to a sporting event, which isn't too common . The other two lens barely see the light of day . (As a manner of speaking not that I use them for night photography )
09-19-2013, 01:15 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimr-pdx Quote
The DA16-45 is why the 15 fisheye became expendable - though it's a great lens & I miss it at times The 16-45 is often available here for sub-$250, but if it's f/2.8 you need then it just won't do.
First, I feel bad for taking your Sigma 15 the IQ on it is out of this world awesome. The f/4 of the 16-45 is what drove me away from the lens. I like the flexibility of having a fast lens, which is making finding an affordable zoom a bit of a problem.

Last edited by StevenMatchett; 09-19-2013 at 01:15 PM. Reason: typo
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