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01-19-2014, 05:40 AM   #1
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Advice on lenses for a new K-R user

I'm fairly new to DSLR photography and I have a very small budget for lenses for use with my k-r. Im new to the forums too but im hoping to become a very active member.
I'm hoping for some advice and opinions on the lenses I currently own and others I am considering to buy. This is what I have so far:

Sigma 28-80mm f3.5-5.6 minizoom macro - Really like this little lens bought for 16

Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD - Got this for 50 and its a great lens with a great range

Tamron AF28-200mm f2.8-5.6 LD - Got this for 25 and again really pleased with it

Pentax SMC A 80-200mm f4.7-5.6 - Got this for 25 and I haven't really used it much as of yet

Pentax SMC DAL 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 - Came with the K-r and is broken beyond repair (one of the reasons I got my k-r so cheap)

Pentax SMC DAL 50-200mm f4-5.6 - Came with my camera and i dont really find my self reaching for it often

Pentax SMC FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6 - Got this with a MZ-7 that i won for 25 as I wanted a film camera i could use as well as my DSLR. This is an odd lens because when i focus the lens in the view finder or with live view it is sharp but after the aperture is changed while the photo is taken it is out of focus so I have to account for this when focusing, so obviously I rarely use it.

Tokina RMC 28mm f2.8 - Got this essentially for free as part of a package i bought. This is my favourite lens currently and I also use it with a reverse adaptor for some really amazing macro photography.

Now i have been quite impressed with the Tamron lenses i have used so far and am looking for a good walk around lens. The Tamron AF 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD i am looking at has been reviewed at its original price of around 240-270 and they have been average scores. The current price for this lens seems to be between 130 and 150. But at the moment i could pick this up brand new for 83 with free postage.
So what I'm wanting to know is what do you guys think of this lens, especially at this price range? I have been checking the lens review pages on this sight a lot but its hard to gage what's a good deal at the prices I'm finding.

I am very tempted to buy this lens and am thinking of selling the Tamron 28-200, the Pentax 28-80, and the Pentax 80-200. I also want a really really nice 28mm as i enjoy this focal length so much but for around the 50-100. If i can find the cash in the future im also craving the 8mm, 16mm and 85mm lenses from Samyang as these look great!

Thanks in advance for your help and advice guys glad to be a member of the forums.

01-19-2014, 07:24 AM   #2
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Hey, welcome!
I haven't used a lot of those lenses, but I would suggest you get prime lenses. Fixed focal length generally means the lens is brighter and has better image quality, especially if you are buying older, manual lenses. And the zoom lenses you have seem to overlap, so buying even more lenses of the same range isn't as good as buying a lens with no range, but higher image quality in that focal length than zoom lenses.
I would suggest something like the Pentax M 50mm f1.7. Great lens, well built, good in low light, sharp, good for portraits, very sharp once you stop down a little.
And yes, Samyang lenses are also pretty great on a budget.

With the K-r and manual lenses, here is the general stuff you have to know:
Use M mode and press green button to meter. Auto ISO or any mode other than M defaults to Av mode, which meters continuously (no need of green button), but only shoots wide open. Lenses with auto aperture (A-setting on lens' aperture ring, so A series and newer. Samyang lenses also have this) allow you to shoot in Av mode normally and select the aperture on the camera.
When you input the focal length of the lens, you should input the one listed on the lens. With zoom lenses this becomes a bit of a problem, but I think its best to input the widest focal length that you will be using. This is why older zoom lenses are not so great - not much communication with the camera.

With manual focus lenses, you can also use CiF (catch in focus aka focus trapping). Many threads about this, but it basically lets you use the AF confirm as a trigger to take shots. This way, you have some AF functionality even with MF lenses (provided they short the camera contacts).
For more Pentax lens reviews go here. Reviews of third party lenses are here.
01-19-2014, 08:50 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Hey, welcome!
I haven't used a lot of those lenses, but I would suggest you get prime lenses. Fixed focal length generally means the lens is brighter and has better image quality, especially if you are buying older, manual lenses. And the zoom lenses you have seem to overlap, so buying even more lenses of the same range isn't as good as buying a lens with no range, but higher image quality in that focal length than zoom lenses.
I would suggest something like the Pentax M 50mm f1.7. Great lens, well built, good in low light, sharp, good for portraits, very sharp once you stop down a little.
And yes, Samyang lenses are also pretty great on a budget.

With the K-r and manual lenses, here is the general stuff you have to know:
Use M mode and press green button to meter. Auto ISO or any mode other than M defaults to Av mode, which meters continuously (no need of green button), but only shoots wide open. Lenses with auto aperture (A-setting on lens' aperture ring, so A series and newer. Samyang lenses also have this) allow you to shoot in Av mode normally and select the aperture on the camera.
When you input the focal length of the lens, you should input the one listed on the lens. With zoom lenses this becomes a bit of a problem, but I think its best to input the widest focal length that you will be using. This is why older zoom lenses are not so great - not much communication with the camera.

With manual focus lenses, you can also use CiF (catch in focus aka focus trapping). Many threads about this, but it basically lets you use the AF confirm as a trigger to take shots. This way, you have some AF functionality even with MF lenses (provided they short the camera contacts).
For more Pentax lens reviews go here. Reviews of third party lenses are here.
Hi there,
Thanks for the quick reply and warm welcome.
Im aware that the majority of my lenses overlap but i bought them as they were cheap and for the purpose of trying them out.
As ive said im hoping to sell off the majority and my plan currently is to condense what i have down to my Tokina prime, my Tamron 70-300mm and the 18-200mm Tamron that i am considering to buy. I would purchase something like the Tamron 17-50mm or similar but since that would cost me over 120 more its out of budget currently.
Ive got a pretty good handle on the k-r with use of manual lenses as im not a fan of AF anyways tbh as when i was into photography many years ago it was all manual kit anyways. Thanks for the offer of information tho, its appreciated. Especially regarding focus lock shooting, i didnt know about that an i may give it a whirl.
Ill add a few photos at some point if you guys are all interested.
Also i may be upgrading to a K500 soon if my plans pan out.
01-19-2014, 04:17 PM   #4
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If you upgrade, get the K-50, not the 500. The AF points, built in level and WR all all worth it!

For lenses, get a lens that you need instead of one that's cheap. Decide what one thing your current lenses can't do, and get one lens to solve your most important problem. I'd say getting a fast lens is always a great first step. The Pentax 35mm 2.4 is nice, so is the 50/1.8, just a question of which focal length you might prefer. I chose the Sigma 30mm/1.4. It's a little bit more expensive, but I love mine.

For zooms, the obvious upgrade is either a Sigma 17-70 or DA18-135 (for WR). You can also go to the Tamron 17-50/2.8 for less range/faster aperture.

Enjoy the journey!

01-19-2014, 05:09 PM   #5
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More, or Better?

Hello Garybeard, welcome to the Forum!
Your ultimate lens selection depends on whether you want;
A body-lens combo that is convenient, inexpensive and takes 'Average' to slightly better-than-average snaps, or...
A system that is capable of real, sharp, clear, high-quality photographs.
Right now you have an older camera body and several budget-to-mid-level zooms, including one superzoom (Tammy 28-200mm). You seem to be asking which of the zooms you should ditch, to buy another 'Kit' quality superzoom, one that's likely no better than what you now have.
For snaps and portability, that Tammy you have already is fine. If you want more wide-angle versatility, start with a better lens, the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 and don't look back. Sell everything that doesn't go below 70mm. Now, look to upgrading the tele end.
Or, as Na Horuk suggested, begin looking for legacy primes, maybe a 35mm, 50mm, and a short (85mm-135mm f/2.8) prime.
Either way, the road to improvement lies with the glass (better lens-better photos), quality, not quanity. Good zooms, great primes and then, a newer camera.
Keep moving forward, not sideways.
JMO,
Ron
01-19-2014, 05:13 PM   #6
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K50

Budget is a huge issue for me as ive said. The reason im going for the K-500 as apposed to the K-50 is the price. I can get a K-500 with a 18-55mm lens for around 300 whereas the k-50 i cant find for less than 450 without a lens.
Also my budget for lenses is less than 100 because its hard for me to justify the spend to my partner for what is essentailly a hobby and we dont get a huge amount of spare cash these days lol.
At the moment im hoping to get around 300 For my K-r and the lenses i no longer have a use for which means i will need to only find an additional 100 for the K-500 and the Tamron lens.
If all goes well i will end up with a K-500 with my 28mm Tokina, my 28-80mm sigma, a Tamron 18-200 and my Tamron 70-300mm. Its perhaps not ideal but at least i have a full range.
In the future i will hopefully be able to invest in some good quality primes, most likely Samyang lenses due to their price/performance ratio.
As for fast glass it is a little less important to me at the moment because im more interested in creative photogrpahy like slow shutter speed shots and landscapes. Believe me if i had the funds to do so id be investing in very high quality glass and a k-3! just isnt possible with the funds available to me atm.
Im a keen photographer working with a budget designed for peanuts lol
Anyways thanks for the advice and replies and keep them coming! im enjoying meeting you guys and getting your input
01-19-2014, 06:50 PM   #7
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My quick n dirty two cents...

If you want wider than 28mm on a budget, you pretty much are locked into a zoom.

That said, the 18-55mm I bought for that purpose mostly sat in my bag until I could afford a used 21mm Limited--now it sits in a drawer!

So, if you want the wide end, get a Pentax 18-55mm for <$100, keep the long Tammy zoom you like, and either upgrade your current 28 or add a cheap 50.

Done.
01-20-2014, 05:05 PM   #8
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K500

Ok guys heres the score so far. Im heeding your advice on some things and blatantly ignoring you on some lol. Got a K-500 on the way, paid 350 brand new with the standard 18-55 lens. I couldn't justify spending 120 extra for a k-50 without a lens just for the privilege of an electronic meter and WR. Besides WR is pointless on the body without WR lenses and thats just gonna put even more pressure on my poor wallet lol.
On the advice here im going to skip the 18-200 Tammy and instead im going to try to get either the tamron 17-50 which im hearing good things about or if possible a sigma 18-70 that looks promising. We shall see however as these are very expensive for my budget. All depends on what i get for the KR and my surplus lenses.
Also got my eye on the sigma mini wides. 24mm would. Be nice but the 28mm doesnt look terrible either.
What do guys think?

01-20-2014, 08:25 PM   #9
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I wouldn't discount the 50-200 as a legitimate long zoom. It is one of the lightest and smallest 200mm range lenses made, and is sharper than most give it credit.

Since you are in the UK, you might want to check out the Pentax User UK forum as well. They have some very insightful owners and may have some info unique to your region.
01-21-2014, 09:41 AM   #10
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OK...

Once you're happy with your short and long zooms and decide to sell the redundant lenses I'd suggest you figure out what you can't do with the zooms - or what you'd like to do better. Then look for some primes, even manual focus if you want. This will give you lens quality you won't get with the zooms - which are optimized for convenience.

To do this, you'll want to find the focal lengths you use most frequently. OR figure out something in which you're not getting satisfactory results - like wide angle, close macro etc...

I've seen bargains for the Sigma UW II AF 24mm lenses, (I think that was AF) but haven't played with them. Sigma does pretty well with primes, though.
02-15-2014, 12:47 PM   #11
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Hey guys, been a while but im getting there with my kit.
Did recently buy a new k500 but it has problems.....so it went back to the shop. Instead i now have a K-5.
In terms of lenses ive now got a good selection and have an idea of what im aiming for.
For zooms i now have a sigma 17-70mm DC Macro and my Tamron Di LD 70-300mm
Primes i have a Samyang 8mm, a Sigma Miniwide ii 28mm, and a Samyang 500mm f6.3 Mirror.
Really happy so far. Now looking to get a 16mm Samyang, Something in the 70-90mm range most likely the Samyang 85mm f1.4.
Thanks for all the advice so far guys. I will keep you updated
02-16-2014, 04:16 PM   #12
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Cool, thats a pretty nice kit. Zooms to cover everything, and some primes sprinkles around for that IQ boos and low light performance.
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