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04-28-2008, 09:41 AM   #1
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Lens guide for newbies

I got to thinking and the lens info around here geared at newbies is scattered all over the place, so perhaps a list of currently available lenses catagorized by new price might be helpful to those who are newbies, or just looking to upgrade lens. There would be several catagories--standard zoom, tele zoom, wide zoom, macro, etc. My idea is that this info could either be put in a sticky on the lens forum or as a posting in the Knowledge base. Since I know that there are some good lenses out there that are no longer in production, we could also have a separate list for those. It's not meant to duplicate the info in the review databases, but to serve as a concise guide to lenses and prices.

I'll start with the standard zooms:
Price below $300:
DA 18-55/4-5.6
DA II 18-55/4-5.6
Sigma 18-50/4-5.6
Sigma 28-70/2.8-4

Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.5
Sigma 18-50/2.8 Macro
Sigma 24-70/2.8
Sigma 24-60/2.8
Tamron 28-75/2.8

Price--$500 & up

$299 & less
Tamron 28-200/3.5-5.6
Sigma 28-300/3.5-6.3

Pentax/Tamron 18-250/3.5-6.3
Tamron 28-300/3.5-6.3
Tamron 18-200/3.5-6.3
Sigma 18-200/3.5-6.3

I don't think this is an exhaustive list, but hopefully this will give you a good idea of where I'm going with this.


04-28-2008, 01:32 PM   #2
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Hi Heather

One lens that is on my very short list of "must haves" is the Sigma 10-20mm. An alternative is the Pentax 12-24, but landscape photographers the world over use the Sigma and get outstanding results. One of the classic landscape lenses IMHO.

I have one, and I also have the Cokin P-series slimline filter holder for it. This takes only a single filter - you can't stack 2 or 3 as you can with the standard Cokin holder. And it is wide enough that it causes virtually no vignetting, even at the 10mm end. I have the Cokin Grad filters and a slot-in circular polarizer. However, the polarizer I use mostly with that lens is the Hoya Pro 1 series filter - it is very slim, and works beautifully with the Sigma.

I don't know what the average street price is in the US and Canada for the Sigma 10-20mm, but here in Australia it can be had online for $Aus 679 new.
04-28-2008, 02:14 PM   #3
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There is a great resource on this forum's website that newbies (and all others looking to get info on lenses) should access when looking for a suitable lens: The Pentax Lens Review Database.

It can be accessed from the Quicklinks bar and contains info on just about all K-mount, M42 and the medium format lenses available including their buying prices and user ratings. Very handy.
04-28-2008, 02:20 PM   #4
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certain things might be worth stickying, i think this should be one of them!
and also how to meter with old K lenses, i've answered that question many many times

might also want to create a ultra wide zoom for lenses like the 12-24 and 10-20 like Pete has mentioned

04-28-2008, 06:00 PM   #5
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Under $200:

DA 50-200mm F4-5.6
Sigma 55-200mm F4-5.6 DC
FA-J 75-300mm F4.5-5.8
Phoenix 100-300mm F5.6-6.7
Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6
Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO
Tamron 70-300mm F4-5.6 LD-Di
Quantary 70-300mm F4-5.6 LD


DA 70mm F2.4
DA 55-300mm F4-5.8


FA 77mm F1.8
DA* 50-135mm F2.8
Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8
Tamron 70 - 200mm f/2.8


Sigma 500mm F4.5
Sigma 50-500mm F4-6.3
DA* 200mm F2.8
Sigma 100-300mm f/4
DA* 300mm f/4.0

All I could come up with for the tele side of things.

Last edited by Mikhail; 04-28-2008 at 06:13 PM.
04-28-2008, 06:13 PM   #6
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Wide Angle

Under $300

FA 35mm F2
Sigma 28m F1.8


DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5
Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6
DA 21mm F3.2
Sigma 20mm F1.8

Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6
DA 12-24mm F4
DA 14mm F2.8
FA 31mm F1.8
DA 35 F2.8 Macro
Sigma 15mm F2.8

Tamron 14mm F2.8

and some wide and ultra wide angles. Should go nicely with Heathers standard and super zooms.


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