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12-21-2013, 06:06 PM   #1
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Which lens

Totally new to cameras, I currently have a 17-70mm macro lens which came with my k30. .. im looking for a long range lens that wont send me broke as im a student hit me with your suggestions



12-21-2013, 06:27 PM   #2
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Hey, welcome!
You mean a tele lens (high mm number, makes far things appear near, the opposite of wide angle)? Probably one of the DA 55-300mm. There is the cheapest DA L version, the slightly better built SMC DA version, and the latest HD DA version, which is also WR.
They all have the same optical construction.
- The SMC DA L was available only in kits with a camera. It is all-black with very few markings and made mostly of plastic. I think it has plastic mount and doesn't come with a lens hood. These are probably only available second-hand, but are pretty cheap.
- The SMC DA version was available for purchase. It is practically the same, but has slightly better build quality. Think it has metal mount, and comes with a lens hood. Features a green ring.
- The HD DA version is the latest, newest one. It has the same optics, but some improvements. Recently Pentax abandoned the SMC lens coatings and started using the HD lens coating. The HD lens coating should be superior, though it might not be super noticeable. The HD DA version is also WR, which is great if you have a WR camera (you do, the K-30 is WR), since that means you can use it in poor weather without worries. Features a red ring. But I am not sure this one really hit the shelves outside Japan yet, and its probably very hard to get one second hand, too.

A similar tele lens is the 50-200mm. Just like the 55-300mm, it comes in many varieties (but not in HD, yet). It is considered to be slightly worse than the 55-300mm and has a smaller range, but a lot of members like it because its a cheap tele zoom. The 50-200mm also comes in white and possibly other colours, in case you have a stormtrooper white K-30. Some people like that.
These two are the cheapest tele options, unless you look at third party brands like Tamron and Sigma. But I think the 55-300mm is best bang for buck at this price tier, and 300mm is pretty extreme tele.

If you don't mind getting legacy, manual lenses, there are also Pentax M 80-200mm f4.5 and Pentax A 70-210mm f4. These are quite old and don't feature AF. The A series has automatic aperture, the M series does not (you have to select aperture on the lens instead of on camera. Cannot be done automatically, aperture must be chosen by hand.). But they should have decent IQ and you might be able to snatch them up at a great price.

Btw, which 17-70mm macro came with your camera? Its not a Pentax lens, right?

Last edited by Na Horuk; 12-21-2013 at 06:38 PM.
12-21-2013, 06:55 PM   #3
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Hey thanks for the Info veey helpful. .. no no its a sigma lense

12-21-2013, 06:56 PM   #4
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Very*



12-21-2013, 08:25 PM   #5
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Rather than trying to cover all the focal lengths, I simply have the DA* 200/2.8 for those times I want to compress perspective & focus on just a tiny portion of the scene in front of me. It's also a way of getting a bright long focal lens without excessive weight.
12-21-2013, 08:31 PM   #6
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Thanks all for the helpful answers

12-21-2013, 10:30 PM   #7
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I agree with above. DA 55-300 is a great value.
12-21-2013, 10:36 PM   #8
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Another vote for the 55-300 in terms of value for money. There are better lenses, but they cost quite a bit more. Note that the DA-L version of the 55-300 does not offer "quick shift", i.e., you cannot adjust the focus manually while the camera is in auto focus mode. This is not an essential feature, but if you get a DA-L, make sure you pay less than what you would have paid for the "proper" version.

A cheaper yet alternative would be to forgo auto focus and choose a manual focus zoom. I have an old Tamron (19AH) 70-210/3.5 lens that is a lot faster (<- camera gear speak for "brighter") than the 55-300 and is optically very good. If you can strike a bargain with a high quality manual focus lens, you thus may save some money.

I would avoid the Pentax 50-200. Pay a little bit more for the Pentax 55-300 and be a lot better off.

12-21-2013, 10:39 PM   #9
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Thanks class A

12-21-2013, 11:27 PM   #10
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There are a couple of low end Sigma and Tamron lenses as well.
70-300mm Sigma and I think 75-300mm Tamron.
Also, there are some 'all in one' super zooms such as 18-250mm Sigma, 28-300mm Tamron, 18-270 Pentax (basically an overpriced Tamron)
12-21-2013, 11:50 PM   #11
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Ahh awsome id sau my budget is between $300-$400 and most of the suggested ones fall in that category so oncw I wrap my head around what it all actually means ill pull the plug on something

01-04-2014, 11:58 PM   #12
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Any suggestions where I should buy the lens ive decided on a pentax da 55 - 300 im in Australia

01-05-2014, 01:01 AM   #13
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There are actually quite a few aussie posts in the market place here on the forum as well as people that are willing to ship there. If you're looking at buying new someone else can probably give you better advice. There seems to be a really solid pentax following from Australia on the forum. Lots of multiculture here, it's cool.
01-05-2014, 01:10 AM   #14
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Check out Pentax.com.au, official Aus store. Quite cheap atm
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