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04-12-2014, 06:30 PM   #1
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Best lens for New York City and museums?

Which lens is best? I have a 18-135, 55-300 and a 50mm. I am considering getting another lens for museums , the city and cars shows. Which would you recommend?

Thanks.

Steve

04-12-2014, 06:52 PM   #2
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Something with a wide aperture would be best for museums (and churches), as they often don't allow flash or tripods/monopods.

As far as the city, it depends on what aspect of it you want to shoot. Wide angle would be best for the "big picture", whereas telephoto would be best for that really cool bit of architecture on the 40-somethingth floor that you have to photograph from the ground.
04-12-2014, 07:04 PM   #3
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It depends on your budget and what you're looking for. Do you want a prime or a zoom?
The DA 16-45 is an excellent zoom lens with great IQ and it's relatively inexpensive if you get it used.
SMC Pentax-DA 16-45mm F4 Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

The DA 15 and DA 21 Primes come to mind but they are pricey.

You can also look into the FA primes and FA zooms which will not only fit your crop sensor but can also be used for a full frame camera if Pentax ever decides to come out with one...
04-12-2014, 07:07 PM   #4
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I would go with the 18-135 as an all around lens for a bit of everything. It will not be fast enough for dark interiors, perhaps a 28mm f2.8 would do well, or the 31Ltd/f1.8.



04-12-2014, 07:46 PM   #5
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I visited another big city, Paris (France), late last year and I summarised my experience here:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/246655-prim...ml#post2628138

Overall I believe that the DA15mm Ltd completmented by the FA31mm would be a nice set of primes, and that would be my recommendation for you.

Hope that the comment may help..
04-12-2014, 08:21 PM   #6
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Sigma 10 -20 or similar - get in front of everyone else in museum and big city photos plus a 50-135 05 17-135
04-12-2014, 08:48 PM   #7
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I really like my Sigma 30/1.4 in museums. It's wide enough most of the time, and I often find I need f2 because of the lighting. It also renders beautifully for that kind of thing-3-D stuff (sculptures and whatnot). It's not very good at rendering flat things like paintings, though, because the corners are terrible. For those, I suggest a macro (DA35 Ltd comes to mind).
04-12-2014, 08:52 PM   #8
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I spent 8 days in NYC. Took the 10-17 fisheye, 12-24 and 17-70. Only a couple times did I wish I had something longer.

Lately, for indoor museums I have been using the Sigma 30 1.4, and shooting at about 1/30 and f2. A longer FL seems too long.

At cars shows I will normally use the 15, though the 12-24 covers that range with a bit more flexibility.

If you want to wade through 1,300 photos of NYC, here they are :-)

New York City 12

04-12-2014, 09:04 PM   #9
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For museums (and most things really), i almost exclusively use my M f1.4 50mm. If i had to choose one lens for new york, that would be it.
04-12-2014, 09:14 PM   #10
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50mm is way too narrow on APSC indoors. In a museum usually you have to get in front of crowds and wandering idiots and shoot stuff from closer than you would prefer, so like the Pontiac commercial said, wider is better.

With the setup you have you need to sell the 18-135 and the 50mm, and put the money towards a DA* 16-50 which has the full range of focal lengths you need for a museum plus is very fast and of high quality. With the SDM issues supposedly fixed on current new lenses you should be good if you buy new for the DA*. You shouldn't miss the 50mm for either speed or quality with the F2.8 DA* to replace it.
The 16-50 range also butts up nicely to your 55-300 so you won't lose anything focal range wise.
04-12-2014, 10:13 PM   #11
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Don’t be surprised if some museums do not allow any type of photography, flash or no flash.

I’m finding this more and more on my travels, as well as airport type security checks.

Phil
04-12-2014, 10:21 PM   #12
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It's sad but true, and also why the Louvre and LACMA are two of my favourite museums.
04-12-2014, 10:37 PM   #13
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QuoteQuote:
Don’t be surprised if some museums do not allow any type of photography, flash or no flash.

I’m finding this more and more on my travels, as well as airport type security checks.
The only issues I had in 2012 were the Empire State Building impounded my 6" mini tripod though the rest of my medium bag of stuff was OK, and the Guggenheim only allowed photography on the first floor (possibly changed now).
04-12-2014, 10:44 PM   #14
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For museums you want to have the DA35/2.4 (unless you're anxious to spend more). 50mm works in a museum, but a little wider angle is nicer - especially when shooting paintings. You don't want to have to stand too far back, if possible. The DA35/2.4 works great wide open, so it's a good setup.

I also like to use my FA*24 at about f/2.2.
04-12-2014, 10:50 PM   #15
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Museums and streets of NYC

My secret weapons are Sigma 30 1.4 for inside low-light situations, accompanied by Tamron 17-50 which is also good for street photography and even landscape at the wide end.
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