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12-12-2013, 09:55 AM   #1
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Good walkaround lens for taking pictures around Chicago at night (preferably w/zoom)

Can anyone recommend a good lens to put on the K-30 to get some good shots in a big city atmosphere (crowd shots and still shots of buildings/monuments) at night? And preferably with a decent zoom? Thanks!

12-12-2013, 10:15 AM   #2
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if you have your heart set on a zoom, maybe this one? (I don't have it but I want it)

SMC Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

But you might be better off with a faster prime (e.g., f/1.8) in the 30-50mm range. My standard walk-around lens at night is the 50mm f/1.8 - I tend to do a fair bit of "spontaneous portrait" photography so that's why I prefer the medium telephoto as opposed to a wider-angle lens. But that's just my taste.
12-12-2013, 10:37 AM   #3
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If you don't plan on using a tripod, then a fast lens is required. the Tamron 17-50 or Pentax 16-50, both f2.8, would be good choices. A lens like the Sigma 17-70 is nice too, but slower at the long end. If you plan on using a tripod, then pretty much any lens will do.
12-12-2013, 11:08 AM   #4
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I've had decent luck using the 18-135. It's long enough to get some close-ups of architectural details. It may be a little soft at the long end, but usually not too bad. I haven't had the opportunity to try the 17-70 lenses, though, as comparison.

12-12-2013, 11:57 AM   #5
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For night time photos I would recommend fixed focal length lenses, prime lenses, not zooms. But you probably already know that primes are usually much brighter.
Maybe if you can get your hands on the Sigma 18-35mm f1.8. A dream zoom for many. Fast, wide angle, great for night and city photography.
When I travel around at night I usually just grab my Pentax M 50mm f1.7, though. Don't really miss the zoom much.
12-12-2013, 01:00 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
I've had decent luck using the 18-135.
Handheld at night?
12-12-2013, 01:24 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Handheld at night?
I totally missed the 'at night' part of the title...
It's probably not an ideal lens for that task.
12-12-2013, 01:30 PM   #8
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I use my M50 1.7 a lot at night also even though I have a auto focus 50 1.7.

12-12-2013, 02:04 PM   #9
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I love my Sigma 30/1.4 in the city at night
12-12-2013, 02:14 PM   #10
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If you like to go very wide I've had good handheld nighttime city images with the Tamron 10-24. Wide angle lenses are very forgiving; you can use slow shutter speeds without noticeable shaking.
12-12-2013, 03:58 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
. If you plan on using a tripod, then pretty much any lens will do.
use a tripod and you call get some long exposures
12-13-2013, 07:39 AM   #12
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A fast prime would do better at night just because you can get a full stop or two more of light gathering ability depending on the lens you choose. The K5 is good at high ISO situations, but using a 2.8 lens at night might be pushing it too far, depending on lighting. I'd imagine the K30 is similar?
12-15-2013, 10:36 PM   #13
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Walking around Chicago.......at night????? You wld be better with a G19.
12-15-2013, 10:58 PM   #14
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Take a cheap camera and a police escort.
12-16-2013, 06:15 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by vmax84 Quote
Walking around Chicago.......at night????? You wld be better with a G19.
I understand that!
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