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03-28-2008, 03:20 PM   #1
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Best "standard zoom" upgrade?

I've had my K10D for about 4 months and just love it. I've been quite happy with the kit lens for most of my casual shooting, but it just ain't good enough in marginal light... restaurants and bars and parties and such.

What should I upgrade to, with a $400-500 budget?

I'm considering:
  • the Pentax DA 16-45 f/4. Backordered at most of the places with the best prices, but looks like I could get it under $400 when it becomes available.
  • the Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5. Faster, longer. Can get it for $325 shipped on eBay. Photozone.de gives it a pretty good review. Any downside??

Is there any other lens I should be looking at, given that I my priorities are: First, faster than the kit lens; Second, standard zoom range; Third, price? (For what it's worth, I also have an A50 f/1.7 for when I want a good low-light shot and have time to focus manually.)


Last edited by moxfyre; 03-28-2008 at 03:25 PM.
03-28-2008, 03:36 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by moxfyre Quote
  • the Pentax DA 16-45 f/4. Backordered at most of the places with the best prices, but looks like I could get it under $400 when it becomes available.
  • the Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5. Faster, longer. Can get it for $325 shipped on eBay. Photozone.de gives it a pretty good review. Any downside??
Apparently the pentax 17-70 f/4 should be out before too long. Its showing up in asia already. Another one to consider if you can wait.
03-28-2008, 03:37 PM   #3
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I keep looking for an excuse to upgrade from my 16-45 but I am unable to do so. It is an incredible lens for the money, is well balance on the camera, and you can shoot fairly close up with it. It is sitting in tough company (50-135* and 77ltd) and holds its own just fine.

I can recommend it without hesitation or excuses. Only downside is if you really *need* longer than 45. But I find I can usually crop and get what I need.
03-28-2008, 03:48 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Geekybiker Quote
Apparently the pentax 17-70 f/4 should be out before too long. Its showing up in asia already. Another one to consider if you can wait.
Hmm... any word on how the pricing will be for the Pentax 17-70?

I see that there's also a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 coming out for Pentax... should be <$500 if the Canon/Nikon pricing is any indication.

QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
I keep looking for an excuse to upgrade from my 16-45 but I am unable to do so. It is an incredible lens for the money, is well balance on the camera, and you can shoot fairly close up with it. It is sitting in tough company (50-135* and 77ltd) and holds its own just fine.

I can recommend it without hesitation or excuses. Only downside is if you really *need* longer than 45. But I find I can usually crop and get what I need.
That's good to know, nostatic! Do you do much indoor shooting with it? I'm wondering if you find it sufficient for candid shots at an f/4 maximum. And that's a good point about the cropping rather than zooming... no point in getting a lens that does 70mm if it only has half the resolution of the 45mm one!!!

03-28-2008, 03:52 PM   #5
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I shoot indoor all the time, mostly low light. Like I said, I would love to find an excuse to buy an f2.8 zoom lens in that range but keep getting great results.
03-28-2008, 04:04 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
I shoot indoor all the time, mostly low light. Like I said, I would love to find an excuse to buy an f2.8 zoom lens in that range but keep getting great results.
Ah, good to know! Well that is about all I can hope for is to take good shots!

The gadget nerd in me says "must... have... more... focal... length."
03-28-2008, 06:00 PM   #7
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I have the Sigma 17-70mm and it is really good lens. Yes, the aperture is not constant but the focal length is just perfect. Wide enough to be used indoors and long enough to take some portrait pictures. Can I also mention its macro capability? You know, for the situations where you need to take a picture of this delicious macaroni and cheese
03-28-2008, 06:08 PM   #8
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Out of those two I chose the Sigma 17-70 and have found it to be a good quality lens that is very versatile in day to day use. It seems like excellent value.

03-28-2008, 06:32 PM   #9
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16mm, f4, iso 1600, 1/6 sec

handheld while driving (don't try this at home)

03-28-2008, 07:29 PM   #10
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Thanks, all! Looks like I would be pretty happy with either of them, but maybe the Sigma better because of the long end for portraiture.

I guess I may wait a bit with the Tamron 17-50 and Pentax 17-70 coming out soon. Based on the Nikon-mount review at Photozone.de, it looks like the Tamron is going to be very impressive save for CA at the wide end. Is there any info on the Pentax 17-70 that's not in Japanese?
03-31-2008, 03:54 PM   #11
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Buy a used Pentax 16-45. You can get them for close to $325 as people switch to the 16-50. Then buy a 50/f1.4 for very low light. Sell your kit lens. Your will then have a nice set up within your budget.
03-31-2008, 06:14 PM   #12
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PENTAX SMC DA 16-45mm f4 ED LENS NEW f/ K20D K200D K10D - (eBay.ca item 120241019810 end time 07-Apr-08 20:06:55 EDT)
Search for its reputation here or dpreview if u're interested
03-31-2008, 06:51 PM   #13
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I'm in a similar situation myself and I am waiting for the 17-70 f/4 to come out. It's been spotted in Asia already, so I doubt we'll have more than a month to wait. It seems to be just as good as the 16-45 (based on what I've heard in the thread over in the rumor forum) but a little longer and with SDM. given that you've got the K10, SDM is a nice addition. It also doesn't seem to have the 16-45's design that makes it extend at wide angle, which can cause problems with the built-in flash.
03-31-2008, 08:41 PM   #14
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When funds permit .. I will be getting myself the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8.

Looks like it won't be long though till it is out ... there's a review on Photozone under the Canon section for this lens ... and from what i have seen ... it's a really really nice lens.

Looks like it will be a value bit of kit.
03-31-2008, 09:43 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
I keep looking for an excuse to upgrade from my 16-45 but I am unable to do so. It is an incredible lens for the money, is well balance on the camera, and you can shoot fairly close up with it. It is sitting in tough company (50-135* and 77ltd) and holds its own just fine.

I can recommend it without hesitation or excuses. Only downside is if you really *need* longer than 45. But I find I can usually crop and get what I need.
I agree completely. The 16-45, though is has some limitations, is the best bang for the buck. I do, however, use some of my older primes from time to time when I want to take the time.

In the case of the Sigma, I am sure that you would be disappointed (other than the extended range).

Bob
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