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09-21-2013, 07:03 AM   #1
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Which lens as best general walk around zoom lens

As soon as B&H and Adorama reopen in another week I'm going to watch and see what the prices do on the K5ll and lls for a week or so then buy a new K5ll or lls. Thats the easy part, the tough decision is which general walk around zoom to purchase? I want to buy the best quality glass that I can afford to put in front of the K5ll and after reading lots of reviews and comments on this forum and other places it looks like the best reviewed lens is the Sigma 24-70mm 2.8 lens. I would love to buy the Pentax DA 16-50mm 2.8 lens "if" it had the reputation for sharpness and reliability of the Sigma and "if" it was under $1,000 dollars. (Saw it for $999 on Amazon last night) Are there any other high quality lenses in this focal zoom range I should consider and are my beliefs about the two above lenses basically correct?

Thanks, Bob

09-21-2013, 07:06 AM   #2
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The Tamron 17-50 2.8
Tamron AF 17-50mm F2.8 XR LD Aspherical IF SP Lens Reviews - Tamron Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

I'm leaning towards it, best bang for buck I assume.

Seb
09-21-2013, 07:19 AM   #3
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You can get the DA* 16-50 used for around $750. I purchased the DA*50-135 for $625 used. That lens produces fantastic images.
09-21-2013, 07:49 AM   #4
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If you definitely want to have a zoom lens, and you want to walk around with a weight of 800 gr and almost 10 cm long (1.4 kg including K-5II) ...
I would prefer something lighter and smaller, a DA40 Ltd. or an FA43 Ltd. for example, that's right in the middle between 24 and 70 mm.

09-21-2013, 08:02 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by woodywesty Quote
As soon as B&H and Adorama reopen in another week I'm going to watch and see what the prices do on the K5ll and lls for a week or so then buy a new K5ll or lls. Thats the easy part, the tough decision is which general walk around zoom to purchase? I want to buy the best quality glass that I can afford to put in front of the K5ll and after reading lots of reviews and comments on this forum and other places it looks like the best reviewed lens is the Sigma 24-70mm 2.8 lens. I would love to buy the Pentax DA 16-50mm 2.8 lens "if" it had the reputation for sharpness and reliability of the Sigma and "if" it was under $1,000 dollars. (Saw it for $999 on Amazon last night) Are there any other high quality lenses in this focal zoom range I should consider and are my beliefs about the two above lenses basically correct?

Thanks, Bob
24 is not wide enough, 50 not long enough. 17-70 is a handier range, though not quite the same IQ. It's all a compromise.
09-21-2013, 08:32 AM   #6
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I walk around with a DA 18-135. But maybe you walk around different places than I do.
09-21-2013, 08:40 AM   #7
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Everyone has their favorite walk around. I happen to find the DA 40 to be great for that purpose: very light, unobtrusive. I will throw the DA 18-135 on my K-30 for an all weather setup
09-21-2013, 08:41 AM   #8
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I walk around with the FA 43... but when I don't know what to expect to shoot, I call upon my wonderful DA 18-135 and never regret anything

09-21-2013, 08:44 AM - 1 Like   #9
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If you were talking prime I'd say the 21 ltd is it. Wide enough to cover most scenarios. Sharp enough you can crop it. Equivalent to 35mm on an FF system, which was a lot of people's walk around lens in the old days. I often take the 400 or 60-250 on one camera, and the 21 on my K-01 for shots that set the scene. The K-01 and 21 leads to some awesome walking around.
09-21-2013, 08:58 AM   #10
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I'm not sure there is one general walk around lens,
Personally I use 2, a sigma 10-20 and a tamron 28-75/2.8

The Tammy is a little long at the wide end, and a good 17-70 may make a better pairing

Regardless, in a city a 10-20 or other UWA lens is indispensable
09-21-2013, 08:58 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
24 is not wide enough, 50 not long enough. 17-70 is a handier range, though not quite the same IQ. It's all a compromise.
Boy do you have that right! Seems like everything in life is a compromise. Maybe my desire to put the best quality glass (image wise) in front of the K5lls and have a zoom isn't realistic? I have 5 Super Takumar lens from my Spotmatic ll days and all are nice primes for me to play with on the modern digital camera so now I want the best zoom I can get. I would actually like to get a Pentax lens if possible but the 16-50 and 50-135 are really, really expensive and I don't buy used electronics ever. (just a thing of mine) Plus I'm taking a wild guess that maybe Pentax might have modified one or two production or design issues in the later 16-50 lenses so I'd be willing to spend maybe a $1,000 US on a new one.

I also agree that 17-70mm would be a handier range but if I step down a little but on IQ then the Pentax 18-135 is even a handier range. Sigmas 17-50 like their 24-70 also get very good reviews and in my not very informed mind it seems like the current best Sigma lenses are of better quality than the Tameron lenses How far of the mark am I here??

Anyway I shot primes for 30 years and can still use them (and enjoy manually focusing as thats all I have known) but now want a fast, high quality general zoom. But which zoom....

And thank you all for your input. Gives me a lot to think about...
09-21-2013, 09:31 AM   #12
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The 18-55 WR is a great walk around lens for any weather

Light, Sharp and at least my copy has terrific IQ.


09-21-2013, 09:37 AM   #13
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I personally use my 18-135 as my zoom backup to my fleet of Limited primes. It is good, for great the primes rule hands down.
09-21-2013, 10:14 AM   #14
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DA 17-70/4 is better than DA 18-135/3.5-5,6 because of their constant sharpness throughout the range, the latter focuses faster but louder, has a greater range, but lower quality, I tried sigma 17-70, the first and second version, Pentax quality with sharpness across the width and length, and it is worth a little more pay, the prime are an entirely different story as well as the more expensive version of the DA 16-50 +50-135

Last edited by mbukal; 09-21-2013 at 10:28 AM.
09-21-2013, 11:13 AM   #15
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16-45mm inexpensive and nice IQ
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