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01-29-2014, 06:22 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Starting to upgrade lenses ?

I've only been DSLR committed for 6 months now. I've played around quit a bit. Here's what I have and the conclusion I've come up with for my situation.


K-30 & 18-55mm WR 3.5-5.8. Felt lens IQ so-so, softer at 18mm end, cropped and to slow in lower lights.
Tamron 70-210mm adaptall II 3.8-4 46A (3.8-22). IQ ok to good through out range (better than my Pentax) if on tripod.
Minolta 50mm 2 (2-16). Has best IQ and low light ability.
Yes these are not the best, by far, but they gave me a good gist in where to invest.


This is currently a hobby that I'd like to expand on. I'm heavily leaning to landscape and indoor with low light photograph (looking for good quality now). I've gotten great advice from everyone before which has helped me to zone in to my needs/wants more. I recently asked about the preferences between the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM & Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] and someone said they could both be a good choice but are your sure you don't want to go wider? Which really got me to think more of the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM (pushing my comfort zone at $649.) & Tamron SP AF 10-24mm f / 3.5-4.5 DI II.


I'm wondering if I may have stumbled across a possibility to somewhat cover both to an extent with a used Sigma Zoom Super Wide Angle 17-35mm f/2.8-4.0 EX Aspherical for $229 because of it's wide 103.7-63.4 degree vies angle. I've heard good and bad but because it's not a DG model it could be more chancy.


What are some current thoughts?
Thanks.


01-29-2014, 08:00 PM - 1 Like   #2
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The Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 is on sale, $429 @ BH, Adorama & others. The Rokinon 14mm f2.8, excellent lens, goes for $350+ new.
01-29-2014, 08:01 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Get both the Tamron 17-50 and the Tamron 10-24 used. Both are sharp. The Tamron 10-24 will have the range to make a good architecture lens and is fun with landscapes too, and the Tamron 17-50 is a nice fast zoom. Both should be doable used under 700 dollars total. You will enjoy them too.
01-29-2014, 08:17 PM   #4
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As a relatively new shooter myself I would probably be able to live with a "weak" 18-55 while gaining a 10-20. The 18-55WR will not sell for much used so probably not worth losing yet. I'd guess you will have lots of time to improve that lens while the 10-20 will allow you to benefit from more range....

01-29-2014, 09:04 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mistlefoot Quote
As a relatively new shooter myself I would probably be able to live with a "weak" 18-55 while gaining a 10-20. The 18-55WR will not sell for much used so probably not worth losing yet. I'd guess you will have lots of time to improve that lens while the 10-20 will allow you to benefit from more range....
I think I was leaning in more of this direction of first expanding lower and living with what I've got for the time being.
While agreeing with causey I'm afraid that the Sigma's f/4 won't be fast enough where as VoiceOfReason's advice on the Tamron with it being $70 more at B&H new, F/3.5 might be fast enough especially if found used.
That's why I was wondering if I should just take the risk or gamble and go for the used Sigma Super Wide Angle 17-35mm which is f/2.8 (not sure of its age) and has a view angle of 103.7 degrees being more than the Sigma 10-20mm but just under the Tamron 10-24mm and being only $229. And than get a Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 next.
01-29-2014, 09:31 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mistlefoot Quote
As a relatively new shooter myself I would probably be able to live with a "weak" 18-55 while gaining a 10-20. The 18-55WR will not sell for much used so probably not worth losing yet. I'd guess you will have lots of time to improve that lens while the 10-20 will allow you to benefit from more range....
Good idea--especially since the 18-55 is pretty good from about 22mm to 45-50mm.
01-29-2014, 10:02 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stoney Quote
I think I was leaning in more of this direction of first expanding lower and living with what I've got for the time being.
While agreeing with causey I'm afraid that the Sigma's f/4 won't be fast enough where as VoiceOfReason's advice on the Tamron with it being $70 more at B&H new, F/3.5 might be fast enough especially if found used.
That's why I was wondering if I should just take the risk or gamble and go for the used Sigma Super Wide Angle 17-35mm which is f/2.8 (not sure of its age) and has a view angle of 103.7 degrees being more than the Sigma 10-20mm but just under the Tamron 10-24mm and being only $229. And than get a Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 next.
The 10mm will have a wider angle of view than the 17mm on the same sensor. Don't mix up angle of view on film (wider) than on the APS-c digital sensors (less wide). I found the Sigma 10-20/4-5.6 to be markedly better in IQ than the Tamron 10-24, which the extra half stop at the wide end and the 4 mm at the long end did not overcome. Maybe you should just start with a DA 16-45 f/4 - that'd be a step up from your kit lens and get you wider with minimal outlay.
01-29-2014, 11:04 PM - 2 Likes   #8
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For an indoor lens, I the focal length I choose depends on the size of the room and the amount of people in it. Also depends on whether I want a group of people in the shot or just one person... that being said, if you can go with the da35 2.4 and the da50 1.8, that could make for a very flexible combo. I know the 35 2.4 isn't that fast, but it's sharp wide open and I've found that when I'm shooting at 35mm, usually more than one person is in the photo, so more dof is helpful to keep both people in focus or at least recognizable. And your cam has excellent high iso so that will help you make up for a half stop. If you want even wider, the Sigma 24 1.8 is a good lens, though it's huge and af isn't as reliable as the other lenses.

All this assumes you want AF... if not, an A50 1.7 would be high on my list.

01-29-2014, 11:12 PM   #9
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I don't care for any of the Tamron or Sigma 10-24 or 10-20 lenses, though some people do like the Sigma f/3.5 version a little better. But if you're going to spend $650 you should get the Sigma 8-16.

My guess is the approx. 12-28mm lens Pentax has coming out will be based on the recently released Tokina, which should be good, but not good enough for the price I'm guessing they'll charge (well over $650 I'd think).

Then of course there's the Samyang (or Rokinon or other re-brands) 16/2, 14/2.8, and "soon" (hopefully by summer) the 10mm.

The DA10-17 Fisheye is an interesting and useful lens too, which has minimal distortion at the 17mm end.


My #1 choice would be to get a used DA15 (which I did) and then consider adding the Samyang 10mm when it comes out. Right now I'd be anxiously awaiting the 10mm if I hadn't already purchased a Sigma 8-16 last spring.


I hope you're looking at photos people have taken with these (on pbase and pixel-peeper). That's usually the best way to judge what you like.



EDIT: Re-reading your post, I wouldn't change anything I said, but there's no way you should be looking at these wide angle lenses until you get at least one of these first (or one of the lenses vagrant10 mentioned). Roughly in order of preference:

DA16-45
DA17-70

Tamron 17-50/2.8
Tamron 28-75/2.8

Plus:
A used DA55-300

Last edited by DSims; 01-29-2014 at 11:39 PM.
01-29-2014, 11:26 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
The 10mm will have a wider angle of view than the 17mm on the same sensor. Don't mix up angle of view on film (wider) than on the APS-c digital sensors (less wide). I found the Sigma 10-20/4-5.6 to be markedly better in IQ than the Tamron 10-24, which the extra half stop at the wide end and the 4 mm at the long end did not overcome. Maybe you should just start with a DA 16-45 f/4 - that'd be a step up from your kit lens and get you wider with minimal outlay.
Well come to find out that the Sigma Super Wide Angle 17-35mm isn't that good of a lens even for the $229.


Now wouldn't the DA 16-45 f/4, though an upgrade from the kit lens, be about in the same ball park with range as the kit? Plus I'd like to go wider first.


Good advice on the 10-20 f/4-5.6 Sigma and 10-24 Tamron. Now with that said would you think the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM the $200+ or not?
01-29-2014, 11:37 PM   #11
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I'm also in the process on stepping up from 18-55mm Wr kit lens..I like it but I want something wider for landscapes and stuff like that..I been wanting to get the sigma 10-20mm for awhile but its too rich for my blood lol..so I recently just purchased the Pentax 35mm DA 2.4 "plastic fantastic" as they call it because of the price and because I've heard great things about it..(I haven't gotten it in the mail yet)..but I'm hoping it can suit my needs better than the kit lens with IQ and a bit wider ..then maybe once I get my skills up I can get the sigma 10-20mm 2.4 or 3.5 for landscapes

What you guys think?
01-30-2014, 12:05 AM   #12
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Not following the "logic" that a 35mm lens will be wider than the kit lens...
01-30-2014, 12:05 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stoney Quote
Now wouldn't the DA 16-45 f/4, though an upgrade from the kit lens, be about in the same ball park with range as the kit? Plus I'd like to go wider first.
I'm guessing Nick mentioned the DA16-45 for a similar reason I did - it's a significant step up from the DA18-55, and it's unusually strong at the wide end too. I actually skipped the 16-45 and went to the DA17-70 (which I was very happy with for a year or two) but in retrospect I think the DA16-45 has even better IQ for a lower price. Yet the DA17-70 is a step up in both range and IQ. So you can't lose with either one.

The only other way you're going to step up your IQ for these midrange+ prices is to start going to more primes. The 16-45, in particular, gives you a high ROI in IQ.


QuoteOriginally posted by ILLmatic173 Quote
I'm also in the process on stepping up from 18-55mm Wr kit lens..I like it but I want something wider for landscapes and stuff like that..I been wanting to get the sigma 10-20mm for awhile but its too rich for my blood lol..so I recently just purchased the Pentax 35mm DA 2.4 "plastic fantastic" as they call it because of the price and because I've heard great things about it..(I haven't gotten it in the mail yet)..but I'm hoping it can suit my needs better than the kit lens with IQ and a bit wider ..then maybe once I get my skills up I can get the sigma 10-20mm 2.4 or 3.5 for landscapes

What you guys think?
See how you like the DA35/2.4 first (I just got one for my daughter - it's pretty good). Then consider the DA16-45 or similar zooms I mentioned. After that consider some other high-value lenses such as the Cosina 100/3.5 AF macro (under various brands) (or one of a number of older MF macros from Pentax, Sigma, and others), the M/A50/1.7, the M/A100/2.8, the F70-210/4-5.6, or the DA55-300.

The problem with lenses wider than the DA15 is that none of them is really that impressive in IQ until you get to the Sigma 8-16 (at $650). Even there it has a slower aperture and retains more of the Sigma rendering than I'd like, but it has outstanding detail, sharpness, and build quality. The Samyangs are pretty good - I just think they could have better glass. The Tokina 11-16/2.8 would probably be my top pick, but it's not available in K-mount.

It's easier to recommend various lenses between 16 and 100mm, because very good IQ can be had in lenses costing ~$50-$350 or so. But you can't get equivalent IQ in this price range as you go wider - you have to jump way up in price. As you go longer than 100mm (up to 200mm - sometimes more) you can adjust the price downward by going to older MF lenses. But you don't have this option at the wide end, because no older APS-C lenses exist. Thus you're stuck with the higher prices, despite the fact that MF often works well at the wide end.

Last edited by DSims; 01-30-2014 at 12:38 AM.
01-30-2014, 01:33 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
I'm guessing Nick mentioned the DA16-45 for a similar reason I did - it's a significant step up from the DA18-55, and it's unusually strong at the wide end too. I actually skipped the 16-45 and went to the DA17-70 (which I was very happy with for a year or two) but in retrospect I think the DA16-45 has even better IQ for a lower price. Yet the DA17-70 is a step up in both range and IQ. So you can't lose with either one.

The only other way you're going to step up your IQ for these midrange+ prices is to start going to more primes. The 16-45, in particular, gives you a high ROI in IQ.



See how you like the DA35/2.4 first (I just got one for my daughter - it's pretty good). Then consider the DA16-45 or similar zooms I mentioned. After that consider some other high-value lenses such as the Cosina 100/3.5 AF macro (under various brands) (or one of a number of older MF macros from Pentax, Sigma, and others), the M/A50/1.7, the M/A100/2.8, the F70-210/4-5.6, or the DA55-300.

The problem with lenses wider than the DA15 is that none of them is really that impressive in IQ until you get to the Sigma 8-16 (at $650). Even there it has a slower aperture and retains more of the Sigma rendering than I'd like, but it has outstanding detail, sharpness, and build quality. The Samyangs are pretty good - I just think they could have better glass. The Tokina 11-16/2.8 would probably be my top pick, but it's not available in K-mount.

It's easier to recommend various lenses between 16 and 100mm, because very good IQ can be had in lenses costing ~$50-$350 or so. But you can't get equivalent IQ in this price range as you go wider - you have to jump way up in price. As you go longer than 100mm (up to 200mm - sometimes more) you can adjust the price downward by going to older MF lenses. But you don't have this option at the wide end, because no older APS-C lenses exist. Thus you're stuck with the higher prices, despite the fact that MF often works well at the wide end.
Thanks..I will definitely look into the sigma 8-16mm and do some comparisons with the 10-20mm and what's up
01-30-2014, 01:34 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by calsan Quote
Not following the "logic" that a 35mm lens will be wider than the kit lens...
I guess I meant to say it was wider than the pentax 50mm 1.8 on a cropped sensor
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