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01-28-2014, 02:13 PM   #1
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Two Option; One Solution.

I'm having a hard time deciding on what to do in terms of lens options, please tell me what will you do in my situation.

Currently, i have two lens:
SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 WR - Bundled with my K5ii and i absolutely love it, i have it on most of the time, simply because i love the ease of mind, and the extra reach compare to my tammy.
Tamron AF 17-50mm F2.8 - Got from trading my canon gear, and adore the flexibility in term of the f2.8 light gathering ability, and the image quality is just tad better than my pentax 135 kit.

After much time with these two lens, I've found myself using:
18-24mm 50% - Often i found myself wanting for an wider-angle, as i shot most landscapes.
24-40mm 30%
40-80mm 18%
135mm 2% - However, there are many situation where i feel the need of much more zoom than 135mm, but was limited and regretted to having that reach. And there are also situation where i know i can get the shot from 135mm, but decided to zoom in by feet, and use 40-80mm instead because i am acknowledge of its limitations.

My options:

1. Sell Tammy 17-50 and purchase Sigma 10-20 or 8-16.
My purpose with these combination is that i can shot landscape with Sigma because i often found 18mm a little bit too narrow in many situations. Then i can use Pentax 18-135 WR to handle the rest of the situations.

Pro:
  • Better fits my landscape
  • WR with 18-135, and the ease of mind
  • Convince carry around with 18-135 WR
Con:
  • See pro for Option 2

2. Sell Pentax 18-135 and purchase Tammy 70-200 2.8
My purpose with these combination is that 17-50 is "good enough" to satisfy my landscape needs (as is 18-135 good enough in term of IQ). and with the additional of 70-200 2.8 i can explore more into portraits and wildlife photography that i have always thought about.

Pro:
  • Better IQ compared with 18-135
  • Significantly faster with f2.8 across the range
  • Longer reach to give that extra possibility
Con:
  • I have to constantly worry about bad weather, as Michigan weather is terrible!
  • Lose of convince that i have with 18-135
  • Constraint myself to 17mm as the widest angle for landscape

All opinion are appreciated, and thank you in advance for your suggestions!



Last edited by VAE; 01-28-2014 at 02:32 PM.
01-28-2014, 02:25 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I have the DA18-135 and both Sigmas (my 10-20 is the 3.5 model) so I guess I'm entitled to an opinion on your situation, even though I've only had the 8-16 a short time. While it isn't the sharpest zoom on the market, the 18-135 is certainly handy as a single, light-weight all-purpose lens, especially as it's also WR, so that's why I keep it, in spite of also having the DA*16-50 and the DA*50-135, which I keep for more critical work.

While I thought the Sigma 10-20 was good (and still do), the 8-16 is amazing for its range, in spite of being a tad slower. It isn't small, but by the same token it isn't all that heavy, either.

In your situation, I'd recommend going for the Sigma 8-16, if your budget will only stretch to one lens, unless having a larger maximum aperture, as on the Tamron, is really all that important.
01-28-2014, 02:32 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Instead of the 10-20, consider a used SMC version of the 15mm limited. I have both, and since I got the 15, I've only put the 10-20 on my camera a couple of times and will probably sell it.

The 8-16 would be a whole different animal though.
01-28-2014, 03:23 PM   #4
VAE
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Original Poster
Twitch, i understand what you mean, the two that i have don't really compete with each other, as i do have individual purpose for their usage. but as i am constrained by my budged, i was thinking maybe one can replace the other as i add another lens as a complementary.

Rob, In terms of slow aperture on wider end (10-40ish) i do not find myself constrained at all, as i often close it down to f8 ish on my 18-135 anyway when shorting landscape while using longer exposure. However, i am interested in faster aperture on the longer end, and 70-200 2.8 would be perfect for handheld situations where i want to have that faster shutter, but still capturing enough light with creamy background.
Sigma 8-16 is going to be hard to find isnt it...

Narual, i've actually never considered 15mm Ltd over 10-20? would there be much sacrifice in term of range and convenience? and yes, the 8-16 is expensive, and going to be hard to hunt down...

01-28-2014, 04:11 PM - 1 Like   #5
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There are many, many options. I'll assume you have some budget to spend but don't want any very expensive lenses. Here are 2 lenses to add without selling anything.

For wider angle, consider the Samyang/Rokinon/Bower 14mm 2.8. Very sharp. Manual focus isn't much of a problem when you go very wide. The Pentax 15 is also a good option. Read reviews for the pros and cons.

For extra reach, any flavor of the Pentax 55-300. A used DA-L should be very cost efficient. If you want WR get the new HD version.
01-28-2014, 06:44 PM - 1 Like   #6
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For wide, I would seriously consider the DA 12-24, despite the price. The low distortion and high image quality is very good.
01-28-2014, 07:13 PM - 1 Like   #7
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I have to agree that the 8-16 is getting harder to find in K-mount, and some silly prices are being touted on eBay. I acted quickly on buying mine, so the price paid was good. The 10-20 is nonetheless a good second option, though the absence of WR may limit you, but at that FL you probably don't get an option to have it, anyway.
01-29-2014, 11:20 AM   #8
VAE
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Original Poster
John, i've heard good things about the Samyang/Rokinon/Bower lens on wider angles, but consider if i can find a older sigma 10-20 for a similar price? will it still justify buying the Samyang or the Sigma?
I think i'm one of those people who don't like carrying multiple lens with me, therefore, i'm trying to limit myself to 2 lens setup, one on camera, and carry another. Maybe i'll have to re-evaluate my setup, and go 3 lens...

Rockies, i've seem many audiences who go the different rout, and not regretting, therefore, i concluded that they are both good enough for me. and also considering the price difference + wider angle of view on sigma, i decided to either aim for 10-20 or if i can afford 8-16.

Rob, true, there's no wr lens for the fl at the wider end... luck you got yours while the price didn't rocketed...

*It have seems to me that most people here recommend that i go with the wider angle option? of course i will still have to research about lens in that option. But nobody think that extra reach from 70-200 will be all that useful considering my situation?

Thanks for all the feedback so far!

01-29-2014, 12:11 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by VAE Quote
John, i've heard good things about the Samyang/Rokinon/Bower lens on wider angles, but consider if i can find a older sigma 10-20 for a similar price? will it still justify buying the Samyang or the Sigma? I think i'm one of those people who don't like carrying multiple lens with me, therefore, i'm trying to limit myself to 2 lens setup, one on camera, and carry another. Maybe i'll have to re-evaluate my setup, and go 3 lens...
The 10-20 is more versatile, the 14 is sharper. For landscape use I would lean towards the 14. 14mm is wide enough for most landscape shots, and if there's a unique shot that needs wider you can stitch photos together. For architectural use I'd lean towards the 10-20 because of it's flexibility; sometimes there's a wall of other obstacle that won't let you zoom back with your feet, and stitching buildings is difficult. Either lens can produce good results, though.
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