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11-10-2014, 11:59 PM   #1
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Confused - help with new/first lens please

I am about to buy my first lens (other than the 18-135 WR lens I bought along with my K5II). I want a lens which will allow me to take photos of young kids indoors without having to use flash and also of my 5 year old niece's ballet shows. I was waiting for the Sigma 18-35 f1.8 to be reviewed with the hope that it would meet my needs and I would buy one, however I am concerned about the reports of problems with focusing. I then thought that I had made a decision with the Pentax 35mm f2.8 Macro DA Ltd Lens, however I have since learnt that focus will be slower due to it's macro nature. So now I am confused as to what I should buy. Any suggestions would be most appreciated - my budget is approx 500 but I would go to 600 for the right lens.



Many thanks :-)

11-11-2014, 12:05 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by nj1975 Quote
I am about to buy my first lens (other than the 18-135 WR lens I bought along with my K5II). I want a lens which will allow me to take photos of young kids indoors without having to use flash and also of my 5 year old niece's ballet shows. I was waiting for the Sigma 18-35 f1.8 to be reviewed with the hope that it would meet my needs and I would buy one, however I am concerned about the reports of problems with focusing. I then thought that I had made a decision with the Pentax 35mm f2.8 Macro DA Ltd Lens, however I have since learnt that focus will be slower due to it's macro nature. So now I am confused as to what I should buy. Any suggestions would be most appreciated - my budget is approx 500 but I would go to 600 for the right lens.



Many thanks :-)
How about the Sigma 35mm F1.4? Very sharp, fast to focus, and it has tremendous bokeh. Just a bit heavy...

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11-11-2014, 12:11 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by nj1975 Quote
I am about to buy my first lens (other than the 18-135 WR lens I bought along with my K5II). I want a lens which will allow me to take photos of young kids indoors without having to use flash and also of my 5 year old niece's ballet shows. I was waiting for the Sigma 18-35 f1.8 to be reviewed with the hope that it would meet my needs and I would buy one, however I am concerned about the reports of problems with focusing. I then thought that I had made a decision with the Pentax 35mm f2.8 Macro DA Ltd Lens, however I have since learnt that focus will be slower due to it's macro nature. So now I am confused as to what I should buy. Any suggestions would be most appreciated - my budget is approx 500 but I would go to 600 for the right lens.
Indoors: Get a Tamron 17-50 f2.8. Cheaper than other lenses in its class, yet arguably performs better. That should be great for kids running around in less than ideal (in terms of lighting) conditions.

My favorite review of that lens is actually from a Disneyland blog:

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 Lens Review - Disney Tourist Blog

As for your ballet shows, that would require some sort of fast telephoto. There are unfortunately no cheap options in this regard (in terms of zooms). But one tele lens that I use for events is the Tamron 90mm Macro. It's kind of janky, but it works well for events where you are focusing on the same general spot (such as an event where you're facing a stage, or someone is speaking in front of an audience). As a bonus, it's a macro and portrait lens to boot.

That's actually my work kit (I work at a newspaper, so I cover a few events): Between the 2 lenses, I'm good to go.

You can probably get both for under 600.

Hope that helps.
11-11-2014, 01:30 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by nj1975 Quote
I am about to buy my first lens (other than the 18-135 WR lens I bought along with my K5II). I want a lens which will allow me to take photos of young kids indoors without having to use flash and also of my 5 year old niece's ballet shows. I was waiting for the Sigma 18-35 f1.8 to be reviewed with the hope that it would meet my needs and I would buy one, however I am concerned about the reports of problems with focusing. I then thought that I had made a decision with the Pentax 35mm f2.8 Macro DA Ltd Lens, however I have since learnt that focus will be slower due to it's macro nature. So now I am confused as to what I should buy. Any suggestions would be most appreciated - my budget is approx 500 but I would go to 600 for the right lens.



Many thanks :-)
I had similar goals couple months ago. I went for Tamron combo of 17-50 and 70-200 and I am happy with it.

11-11-2014, 01:32 AM - 1 Like   #5
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There's another Tamron f2.8, the 28-75mm can also provide low light capabilities and give you a little longer reach for the ballet.



Otherwise a fast 50mm such as the DA50 f1.8 will work well and won't break the bank.

Last edited by crewl1; 11-11-2014 at 01:43 AM.
11-11-2014, 01:41 AM - 1 Like   #6
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since you will be taking photos of kids indoors as well as your niece during her shows, im pretty sure that a zoom will be more practical in that case.wider shots for groups of kids and possible close ups of your niece where moving in with your feet is not always an option. so another vote here for the tamron 17-50 2.8(or sigma). if you want more reach theres also the 28-75 as mentioned or the sigma 24-70(2.8). the only downside of these lenses is the weight when compared to the pentax primes
11-11-2014, 04:02 AM - 1 Like   #7
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The 17-50 would be good. A cheaper option for indoors is the DA 35 2.4 which can be had for well under $200.

For the ballet shows you will need more reach and those lenses tend to be more expensive. Maybe the pentax 55-300 would work for you?
11-11-2014, 04:49 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Tamron 17-50
Pentax DA 40 Limited
Pentax FA 43 Limited

11-11-2014, 05:35 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I'm not sure I get the problem here, other than LBA.

I shot indoor dance with my K10D at ISO 1600 and an F2.8 lens. Now the K10!id not known for the high ISO quality, so with a K5D what is the issue with any lens. Let the ISO go up. If you can't shoot with the 18-135 and no flash, likely a faster lens is not going to help, it's just too dark
11-11-2014, 05:48 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I shot indoor dance with my K10D at ISO 1600 and an F2.8 lens. Now the K10!id not known for the high ISO quality, so with a K5D what is the issue with any lens. Let the ISO go up. If you can't shoot with the 18-135 and no flash, likely a faster lens is not going to help, it's just too dark

In principle I agree, however 70-200 2.8 lens would give him 1.3-2 stops advantage (and better IQ). The question is whether it's worth the investment.

---------- Post added 11th Nov 2014 at 14:50 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by kharry2012 Quote
Tamron 17-50 Pentax DA 40 Limited Pentax FA 43 Limited


Based on my experience with dance shows, a prime wouldn't be my first choice. I own Tamron and 43Ltd and I just don't see myself using 43Ltd there.
11-11-2014, 05:52 AM - 1 Like   #11
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Why not get the 16-50 f2.8? Unlike the 17-70 this has constant f stop, and it can be had for the budget used.

Last edited by UncleVanya; 11-11-2014 at 06:10 AM.
11-11-2014, 06:25 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I shot indoor dance with my K10D at ISO 1600 and an F2.8 lens. Now the K10!id not known for the high ISO quality, so with a K5D what is the issue with any lens. Let the ISO go up. If you can't shoot with the 18-135 and no flash, likely a faster lens is not going to help, it's just too dark
QuoteOriginally posted by cxdoo Quote
In principle I agree, however 70-200 2.8 lens would give him 1.3-2 stops advantage (and better IQ). The question is whether it's worth the investment.
actually only 1/2 stop at the short end, but i agree 2 stops plus more length at the long end
QuoteQuote:

Based on my experience with dance shows, a prime wouldn't be my first choice. I own Tamron and 43Ltd and I just don't see myself using 43Ltd there.
dont forget he wants to shoot kids at home too! thats why the 18-135, but, i come back to the my original point. he is better off with the 18-135 and a K5 than i was with an f2.8 zoom at any focal length with the K10. if he cant get a shot with the camera and the available light there is just not enough light! the K5 at 20,000 iso is better than the K10 at 1600 iso
11-11-2014, 06:41 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by nj1975 Quote
I want a lens which will allow me to take photos of young kids indoors without having to use flash and also of my 5 year old niece's ballet shows.
For the ballet shows sure you need something a bit long and fast and many suggestions were thrown here, probably all good. But why don't to want to use a flash?
The practical difference of using indirect flash is much much greater than of using a faster lens, and there is no lens, to my knowledge, that is faster than moving kids. Flash however, is FAST, and will get you much crispier shots.
My suggestion for this particular use is to get a nice flash with bounce and swivel head and you're good to go.
11-11-2014, 07:09 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pablom Quote
For the ballet shows sure you need something a bit long and fast and many suggestions were thrown here, probably all good. But why don't to want to use a flash?
The practical difference of using indirect flash is much much greater than of using a faster lens, and there is no lens, to my knowledge, that is faster than moving kids. Flash however, is FAST, and will get you much crispier shots.
My suggestion for this particular use is to get a nice flash with bounce and swivel head and you're good to go.
Many places are averse to any flash.
11-11-2014, 07:26 AM - 1 Like   #15
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Keeping on a budget…there's always the DA 40 f/2.8 XS. I don't know how close you'll be for a child's ballet show therefore I not sure if the 40mm focal length will suit your purpose.
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