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10-04-2013, 05:08 AM   #16
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I'd suggest getting the 18-135, and using your K-50 in the Auto (green mark) mode.
The camera will make good lens setting choices for you
(with it being a recognized Pentax lens).
All you'll have to do is zoom (and press the shutter at the right time ).

10-04-2013, 05:51 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
... time/experience/etc...

Well, you don't...

Return the K-50 and get a good Point-n-Shoot, or up your game with a Pentax Q7/02 basic kit.. All you will be taking are snapshots, anyway. Travel is hard work and while getting good photographs looks easy, it's not. Why allow the pressure of a new camera's learning curve suck some of the fun out of your and your companion's travel experience? Take the money you did not spend on that almost dream DSLR kit and spend it on great dining experiences, instead.

...my 2 cents...

Cheers... M
I will politely but firmly disagree with this piece of advice.

The sooner you pick up a capable camera and learn how to use it properly, the sooner that your photographs will be that much better.
10-04-2013, 06:19 AM   #18
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QuoteQuote:
(12-24)

I think it's quite a specialized focal length, and clearly not the type of lens the original poster is looking for. Some people love ultra wide, and that's fine, but really it's not a majority.
24 is not ultrawide. The lens will work well for everything the OP itemized :-)
10-04-2013, 06:26 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Those cheap wide converters will strongly decrease the IQ of an already average lens...
Yes, I did mention that. But it gives the OP an option to go wider than 18mm when he feels like he needs to, without dropping several hundred dollars on an ultra wide, to see if he likes a wider perspective. And the quality will probably still be better than a point and shoot.

I wonder how many people who dismiss these converter filters have actually used one? The bad reviews I've read on amazon seem to be more in line with people who don't know what an ultra wide does to perspective -- they're all complaining about things at the edges getting stretched out. I'm tempted to pick one up myself to pop on my 50-135 when I don't have someone to carry it for me when I would otherwise switch to a wider lens.

The OP mentioned splurging on the k50, and that its his first dslr. That leads me to believe he didn't intend to follow up by spending $1000+ on lenses, and that any lens is going to take amazing photos compared to what he's used to.

The 18-135 or 18-250 will be sufficient for 90% of his needs, and other lenses will always be there when he needs them.
Add a cheap wide angle adapter, a cheap ND fader filter for the super zoom in case it gets too bright, and for when its darker, a cheap fast manual lens (pentax-a 50mm f2 is dirt cheap and easier to focus than a 1.7), or if autofocus is a priority, the 35mm 2.4 or 50mm 1.8 aren't too terribly expensive - under $200 used.

Or if the fancier glass is tempting, try renting it first. Some of the expensive lenses can be pretty cheap to rent from lensrentals or cameralensrentals.

10-04-2013, 07:03 AM   #20
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That 18-250 should be just dandy as a travel lens. Sure, it won't do everything, but no lens does. If you had more time, I'd suggest you save some bucks and try to find a used copy of this Tamron 18-200. I have the Promaster-branded version, and it's quite decent for a superzoom. They usually go for around $125 on the used market.

Contrary to what many believe, it's possible to get good results with a superzoom. You just have to work within it's limitations. I took these with the Tamron 18-200 & lowly 6MP Pentax *ist DS:




Same lens, only on a K-x:


I've had several superzooms and while there are differences between different models, the differences haven't been huge. IMO, it's not worth spending a fortune on a superzoom, because none of them will give you prime-like performance. That's not to say they're not great for a travel or walkaround lens, but being the ultimate in sharpness, bokeh, speed, etc. just isn't what they do. You might as well save some money if you can so you can afford more lenses later.

Cheers & have fun on your trip!
Bob

Last edited by GibbyTheMole; 10-04-2013 at 07:15 AM.
10-04-2013, 09:28 AM   #21
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If you dont know what you want, just use the superzoom, it should do you fine. Shoot green mode and use exposure compensation if it's too dark / too light.

I'd say buy / borrow either a 35/2.4 or 50/1.8 for good measure. Using those wide open will be great for photos of your friends

Last edited by Andi Lo; 10-04-2013 at 09:33 AM.
10-04-2013, 09:54 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by narual Quote
I wonder how many people who dismiss these converter filters have actually used one?
I have one, dating from the time when I owned a Canon S2 bridge. It's a Raynox and had cost 100$ or so. It still works fine with my camcorder, and I love it for that purpose. However, on every lens I tested it with (18-55, 21, 28, 50 just for fun) it was abysmal.

I did not get the feeling that the OP wanted anything ultrawide.
10-04-2013, 11:03 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by CoreyC Quote
Hi all,
In anticipation of a big trip overseas I splurged and got a K-50, my first DSLR. Since I'm new to all this and hopping on a plane in 2-1/2 weeks, I'm not sure I'll have the time to do all the research that I really want to do and still have a chosen lens arrive on-time. With that said, I would greatly appreciate any advice, wisdom and experiences with good all-around lenses.

While I'm traveling I expect to be in the city looking at architecture and statues, out in the country shooting some landscapes and taking some pictures of new (and old) friends I meet along the way. I realize finding a single lens that excels in all those areas may be a pipe-dream, but if I can find one that is "pretty good" I'll be happy.

The Sigma 18-250mm DC Macro HSM has caught my eye as Sigma seems well respected, this lens seems to cover most anything I might want to do and it's decently priced. Anyone have any thoughts on this lens as a one-stop shop to use while traveling? Any other lenses you'd suggest I look at instead?

Thanks!
These superzoom lenses are just too big and heavy for travel. For a major trip overseas lightness and compactness are considerations. Personally I hate walking around all day with an over-heavy lens weighing down the front of the camera, particularly in unfamiliar and stressful surroundings. I think you could do a lot worse than sticking with the kit 18-55 (which is really not bad in non-extreme situations) plus the DA55-200 in the bag for occasional tele use. WR versions even better. My favourite travel lens is the FA24-90, but you won't find one of those very easily.You could throw in a costs-next-to-nothing M50 for some low-light, bokeh artsy fun.

10-04-2013, 11:10 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by timo Quote
These superzoom lenses are just too big and heavy for travel. For a major trip overseas lightness and compactness are considerations. Personally I hate walking around all day with an over-heavy lens weighing down the front of the camera, particularly in unfamiliar and stressful surroundings. I think you could do a lot worse than sticking with the kit 18-55 (which is really not bad in non-extreme situations) plus the DA55-200 in the bag for occasional tele use. WR versions even better. My favourite travel lens is the FA24-90, but you won't find one of those very easily.You could throw in a costs-next-to-nothing M50 for some low-light, bokeh artsy fun.
I think the 18-250 is *ideal* for travel -- does everything and you don't need anything else and so no extra weight. And you never have to change lenses, don't have to carry a big bag, etc. And it isn't big and heavy either. (Although compared to some of the limiteds it is, but you have to bring several of those.) Don't know about the weight of the Sigma or the newer Tamron, but they can't be that bad. Isn't this what superzooms were made for? Haven't compared the specs, but the 18-250 anyway is also nice in that you can focus a foot away throughout the whole range, so the long end isn't just for faraway subjects -- very useful of getting close-ups of things that aren't far away but that you can't get right up to. (A typical scenario when doing tourism.)
10-04-2013, 02:38 PM   #25
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I've used the Sigma 18-200mm superzoom , and its a pretty good lens for travel and cost.

The only few caveats that I have with it are
1. Not the sharpest tool in the shed - but still takes very good pictures
2. Not the brightest/fastest lens - but very good for outdoors, and with current noise control, it still does very well.
3. Not weather sealed. In general, this doesn't bug me, however, on my last trip to Alaska, it fogged up pretty badly on my old K-x in the rain. I was able to 'borrow' someone elses 60-250mm Pentax lens on the cruise ship and snap some decent pictures of the glacier.

Also, for a travel scenario - what kind of pictures are you primarily looking at ? Landscape, action, zoomed, portrait, candid, all of the above ?
My Sigma 18-200mm DC (non HSM or OS) isn't really any larger or heavier than my red 18-55mm kit lens.
Current 18-200 / 18-250 / 18-270 should suffice for a single travel lens. If you're going into the rough (bush/jungle/desert/high humidity areas), you may want to think about the Pentax 18-135 WR

For a lens size comparison...

Last edited by formercanuck; 04-21-2014 at 12:21 PM.
10-04-2013, 07:48 PM   #26
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I would highly recommend the Pentax 18-135. It may be a little on the shorter side compared to the Tamron and the Sigma, but the knowledge that you can take that lens anywhere in any situation (i.e. the beach, when it's raining etc) and not worry to much about it, and the fact that the colour that it produces is spectacular make it (in my mind) the best walk around lens out there. If you need the extra zoom you can always pick up a second lens - the 55-300 - as a complimentary lens. I however find that for almost every situation where I want a single lens this is my go to lens. For indoors however, you'll need a second lens as all three lens' (18-135, the Tamron and the Sigma) will be a little dark. Buying a faster prime for indoor work gives you a great travel package.
10-04-2013, 09:22 PM   #27
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Original Poster
Wow! I've belonged to a lot of forums in the past but I have never seen this kind of support and willingness to help before. Thank you all for your suggestions and advice so far.

I'd especially like to thank those of you that gave me some tips on what to learn first before I take my trip; I'm sure focusing on those areas will help me out quite a bit. Even though I've only had my K-50 for a couple of days now, I've already gotten some shots out of it with the kit lenses (DA-L 18-55 and DA 50-200) that are far better than anything I ever taken with a point and shoot. Studying the areas you pointed out are sure to a positive impact on my pictures as I spend more time learning how to use my camera.

Thanks to everyone's input I've decided to get the Sigma 18-250. The WR of the DA18-135 would be a great feature to have, but I don't want to sacrifice that much range and pay more for the privilege of doing so when I can't realistically see myself trying to take pictures at a time when WR would really be useful. What finally tipped the scale is that the Sigma is rated higher in the Lens Database than the DA18-135, DA18-250 or the DA18-270.

Since there were so many recommendations of picking up a 50mm prime, I'll be getting one of those as well. There's a local camera shop with a variety of used ones to pick from, most of which are under $50.

Thanks again everyone!
10-04-2013, 10:09 PM   #28
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If you already have the 18-55 and 50-200, I'd skip the superzoom and buy a bag to carry the extra lens. Changing lenses isn't that big of a hassle, and those are probably better IQ than the superzoom, or at least equivalent, and, at the moment, free. Buy yourself a lens that can do something the zooms you already have can't do: A macro, or a wider angle jump to mind. My advice is buy nothing, travel with what you have, learn, buy something later after you know what it is you want. What shots could you NOT take with your current kit that you really really wanted? Buy a lens that does that one thing. Repeat. You'll have the kit that's right for you.
10-05-2013, 02:08 AM   #29
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Im sure the 18-135 is a great lens and if you need it the wr is useful but for me when i walk around im not compelled to use longer focal lengths. If I was you i would rather have a constant aperature 17-50 2.8 ish like tamron or sigma makes. The pentax version is pricey but weather sealed. The tamron version goes used around 300$ And gets great reviews. This lens would allow better low light , subject isolation, and iq. Maybe my opinions skewed because although i don't have one its on my short list. Whatever you get pick up a cheap manual 50mm lens and learn about the makings of an exposure.
10-05-2013, 08:03 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
If you already have the 18-55 and 50-200, I'd skip the superzoom and buy a bag to carry the extra lens. Changing lenses isn't that big of a hassle, and those are probably better IQ than the superzoom, or at least equivalent, and, at the moment, free. Buy yourself a lens that can do something the zooms you already have can't do: A macro, or a wider angle jump to mind. My advice is buy nothing, travel with what you have, learn, buy something later after you know what it is you want. What shots could you NOT take with your current kit that you really really wanted? Buy a lens that does that one thing. Repeat. You'll have the kit that's right for you.
Or buy a superzoom and sell these 2?
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