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05-07-2008, 12:34 PM   #1
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Need a new 16-60-ish range lens... Suggestions?

Hello All,

I just returned from my amazing trip to Thailand and China, traveling around for three months and taking around 5000 photographs during the experience.

I had a great time, and I got some outstanding shots. BUT, I also missed a ton of good shots, or at least, ended up with crappy looking photographs, because my stupid 18-55 kit lens has such terrible vignetting.

In fact, ALL of my photos exhibit the vignetting, but in many cases I feel it takes nothing away from the shot, and in some (more than a few actually), I like the effect.

Now, I'm not trying to take "perfect" photographs, with nothing blown out, perfect exposure, no vignetting or distortion of any sort, and all the rest, but I'd like to have a lens that reliably images the scene I'm looking at in a reasonably sane way.

What are your recommendations for lenses in the same focal range as the 18-55 lens, which will NOT exhibit vignetting (or at least will minimize that trait), which will have excellent clarity, and resolution?

I'd really be excited if I could get a lens that is in the 15-18 range on the low end, and 60-70 on the high end, for less than $500. Any ideas?

I don't care about brand names, hype, or anything like that. I just need a work horse lens. It'd be great if it has auto-focus because I like to occasionally snap candids as I walk past people- literally shooting from the hip.

Any advice is most helpful!

And price is not the main issue here, I'd spend up to, or even more than $1,000 on a lifetime-usable, amazing lens.

Thank you for your suggestions in advance!

-Tim

05-07-2008, 12:49 PM   #2
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almost all lenses exhibit vignetting at larger apertures and perform better around f5.6 to f8
for the focal length, sounds like a Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5 is your best choice or you can wait for the Pentax 17-70 f4
Sigma AF 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC (Pentax K) - Review / Test Report
05-07-2008, 01:01 PM   #3
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Thank you for the info! I'll check this lens out now...

I do most of my shooting at f8 or f11, and some in the 5.6 range, so it sounds like I shouldn't have too much trouble in that regard.

However, my 18-55 seems to exhibit strong vignetting at basically all fstops, which is the reason I want to make this upgrade so badly!
05-07-2008, 02:17 PM   #4
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I jumped for the Sigma 17-70, it is a great lens. Like any of the better zooms that replace the kit lens, there is a increase in weight, not that that was an issue for me.

With the vignetting, you could use PP to remove/reduce it. I know Lightroom will let you batch modify files. You may wish to give it a try.

Dale

05-07-2008, 02:30 PM   #5
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what camera are you using?
K100D and pre, go for the sigma, currently there isn't any other that would cover the range and be better...
If you have SDM enabled body, maybe you want to wait and see how new DA 17-70 will turn out...
05-07-2008, 02:39 PM   #6
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I've got a K10d.

This DA 17-70 sounds alright, but is there a release date on it yet? Is there any idea what it will cost?

Also, it seems like Pentax couldn't get the last lens in this range to work very well, what with the number of crap quality DA* 16-50s (which I WOULD buy immediately, if there weren't such an issue), so I'm a little hesitant there.
05-07-2008, 02:51 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hannican Quote
I've got a K10d.

This DA 17-70 sounds alright, but is there a release date on it yet? Is there any idea what it will cost?

Also, it seems like Pentax couldn't get the last lens in this range to work very well, what with the number of crap quality DA* 16-50s (which I WOULD buy immediately, if there weren't such an issue), so I'm a little hesitant there.
yeah, but you can wait and see. If it will turn out bad (or as variable and unpredictable as 16-50 DA*) you can go for Sigma 17-70 which prices by then will be low. And who knows what will Sigma and Tamron come up with in close future...
05-07-2008, 02:51 PM   #8
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Another vote for the Sigma 17-70, great lens - I use it almost exclusively

simon

05-07-2008, 02:52 PM   #9
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Is there any time frame on the 17-70? I might wait just to see... but I kind of doubt that the Sigma will decrease much more in price (it's already about $360, and the Pentax will probably be at least $500 right?)
05-07-2008, 03:20 PM   #10
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I have the Sigma 17-70 and love it.

Lots of examples here: palmor's Photo Galleries at pbase.com
05-07-2008, 04:01 PM   #11
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Another vote for the Sigma 17-70. Want to see pictures exclusively with this lens? Go to: briantimmins's photos and albums on webshots and check out the Italy-Greece07 albums or the Simeone 50th Anniversary album.
Brian
P.S. I shoot candids from the hip also. I love that technique!
05-07-2008, 04:35 PM   #12
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I vote for ---> https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/25085-photos-happy-16-50-buyers.html
05-07-2008, 05:13 PM   #13
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Thanks for the helpful advice all.

I really like what I'm seeing on this lens and think I might be pulling the trigger soon. It's out of stock right now at Adorama, but B&H has it. Hmmm.

Simon, your album is giving me hesitations to my theory that I don't need to visit Europe...
05-07-2008, 06:48 PM   #14
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2 thumbs WAY UP for the Sigma 17-70.

BTW, Amazon has it for cheaper than B&H, plus they offer free shipping on theirs (I just checked B&H and they're now out of them, too!):
Amazon.com: Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC IF Macro Lens for Pentax and Samsung Digital SLR Cameras: Electronics

HTH,
Heather
05-07-2008, 06:51 PM   #15
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I got my 17-70 from Delaware Camera's CameraSpot. Even with the sales tax (I'm in NY) they were cheaper than anybody else. Item came in original packaging with USA warranty. The lens was shipped quickly and their communication was excellent. I called them beforehand to let them know that I was buying and paying with PayPal. They were great to deal with and I wouldn't hesitate to buy from them again.
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