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03-26-2014, 01:39 PM   #1
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Macro or Wide Angle first?

So I'm for sure buying a new lens within the next month and a half, problem is is I am very undecided on which lens to purchase! I am very interested in both landscape photography, and close-up photography - portrait capabilities would also be a huge bonus (attempting to start up a business in photography).

It's between these two lenses here:

smc PENTAX D FA MACRO 100mm F2.8 WR

smc PENTAX DA Star 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM

Currently I have a K-3 and the 18-135 WR and the DA 50mm 1.8. Both lenses are doing very basic jobs right now. I would very much like weather resistance in my lenses for the hobby side of photography.

Thanks everyone.

03-26-2014, 02:10 PM - 1 Like   #2
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These are VERY different lenses. IF you want/need macro, go for the 100mm - macro is not something your current lenses are providing. The D FA 100mm also works as, albeit a little long, portrait lens. The DA* 16-50mm will be a little sharper than your 18-135mm (in my experience) and will obviously be a little wider, but if you are really into landscape maybe a 12-24 would be a better supplement to your current lenses. I liked the DA* 16-50mm, but it is not a MUST HAVE lens IMO, and your 18-135mm already provides basic WR capability.
03-26-2014, 02:13 PM   #3
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Are you only looking at the 16-50 as a wide angle lens? If that's the case, go with the 100mm macro, since the 16-50 isn't that much wider than the 18-135. If you want a wonderful wide angle lens, the 15mm limited is that (no weather resistance though). And I think the lens roadmap has a new wide angle zoom slated for this year that would presumably be weather resistant.

If you're looking for an upgrade in image quality and a little extra width, the 16-50 will certainly provide that over the 18-135.

I've only used the 16-50 when I said "I should really take this thing out of the bag and use it." It's never been my lens of choice. I use my 28-75 for indoor events and my 50-135 for most other things (and my 15mm ltd of course for wide angle… I rarely even use my 10-20mm anymore despite the much wider FOV)
03-26-2014, 02:20 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by FlyingOrcas Quote
Currently I have a K-3 and the 18-135 WR and the DA 50mm 1.8. Both lenses are doing very basic jobs right now.
By which you mean? Are you saying that you're not happy with the IQ?

The 18-135 will serve you ok in the short term for portraits and enable you to decide what focal length you would actually prefer for this work. Certainly the 16-50 is better than the 18-135 for IQ, but given what you want - lenses for landscapes and portraits - is neither fish nor fowl.

You might also want to use the 18-135 for landscapes, taking a series of shots and stitching them together.

03-26-2014, 02:26 PM   #5
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That 100mm Macro is good for both macros (obviously) and portraits
03-26-2014, 06:03 PM   #6
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IMO, the 18-135 takes fine photos. If there is a sharpness issue with it, try calibrating focus. It's your most likely problem.

As far as which lens...none of what you chose. The 18-135 is more than adequate with decent light, like outside, where you are also most likely to need the WR, so you have those things covered. Your 50 is a decent low light and portrait lens. For the same $1000 you were going to spend, get a used DA15 and a Sigma 70mm macro. You'll have the macro you want, and the wide angle you want.
03-26-2014, 06:12 PM   #7
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the 100mm F2.8 Macro is a wonderful lens....go for it!
03-28-2014, 02:01 PM   #8
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Great advice from Hendrickdk.

I think every photographer needs a serious wide angle lens, they're so much fun to use and produce stunningly dramatic images. The Sigma 10-20 mm zoom is also fantastic. Not weather sealed but the kit zooms are perfectly adequate for nasty weather, and sigma's build quality is excellent.

By contrast I rarely use my macro lenses. They're fun and useful when needed, I just don't find closeups that exciting, and I don't have the time to set up elaborate macro shoots.

I'd get a good wide angle lens (15mm or wider) first. Eventually you'll have both

03-28-2014, 02:18 PM   #9
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I just bought a 10-20 and am using it a lot.

I bought a 100mm macro a couple of years ago and haven't used it since the initial playing after purchase.
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