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01-20-2015, 01:56 AM   #1
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Recommend a lens for landscape/urban landscape photography

I have the K-30, and for financial reasons will have it for couple more years - which is fine as it's working fine, though could use a clean. I have these:
18-55mm kit lens
MF 3.5 135mm
MF 40-80mm (came with my old K-1000)
MF Tamron teleconverter (also came with the K-1000
MF 50mm (my all-time fave lens)
35-80mm
Sun 80-200mm (mystery Japanese, got for a tenner from a charity shop)
50-200mm

I use the 50mm, the 18-55mm and the 50-200mm the most, and primarily take pictures of landscape and buildings, and with the 50mm of random small objects like flowers (I'm rubbish at describing my work). Recent sample of photos here. I'm slightly bothered with the softness of all my photos, and would like to invest in one decent lens that should be a good multipurpose one. Apart from the kit lens, I don't think any of the ones I have has wide enough angle for my liking - standing on a Cotswolds hillside, I want the whole sky in the picture! I'm willing to pay 200-250 maximum at the moment, and am not averse to buying second-hand.

Any recommendations?

---------- Post added 01-20-15 at 08:57 AM ----------

Holy dogs that photo came up large! Sorry.

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01-20-2015, 02:12 AM   #2
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What about a 17-50 f/2.8 (Tamron or Sigma) zoom? Both perform well and a used one should fit within your budget. If you prefer a prime, the 21 Limited is a great semi-wide lens.
01-20-2015, 02:19 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by a96agli Quote
Any recommendations?
At a risk of being shouted down by the DA15 aficionados I would suggest a second-hand DA21 ...
01-20-2015, 02:38 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by kh1234567890 Quote
At a risk of being shouted down by the DA15 aficionados I would suggest a second-hand DA21 ...
As a multipurpose lens I, too, would suggest the 21 - if you can find it in your price range. Or maybe even an F or FA 28 is you think 28 would be wide enough for you.

I love the DA 15, but I don't consider it very multipurpose.

I don't know too much about zooms, but I understand the Tamron 17-50/2.8, Tamron 28-75/2.8, and FA 20-35/4.5 are all good. Not sure how much you would have to pay to get one, though.

01-20-2015, 02:51 AM   #5
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Maybe work backwards. Collect examples of images you like and then read the EXIF data to see what focal length they were shot at

As for the multipurpose do it all lens.. yeah.. sorry. Your preferences will change as you have more experience, just forget about finding the one to do it all. Find the one where which will allow you to replicate the work you like.
01-20-2015, 03:39 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by transam879 Quote
What about a 17-50 f/2.8 (Tamron or Sigma) zoom? Both perform well and a used one should fit within your budget. If you prefer a prime, the 21 Limited is a great semi-wide lens.
Thanks ya'll. I have been looking at the Tamron 17-50, and if I was to buy today, I would probably go with it. Good to have other suggestions - I was thinking someone will come up with an answer that I wouldn't have even thought of
01-20-2015, 04:52 AM   #7
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Pentax DA 21mm if within budget.
Samyang 16mm f2 if you don't mind manual focus

If you don't mind buying used, there are many 24mm lenses out there that might fit the bill, though 24mm is not quite as wide as 21mm.
01-20-2015, 06:05 AM   #8
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Algi,

I have some of the same issues very soft photos with my K30 and 18-55, and 50-200.

I bought a Da50, and a F35-70 and was surprised at the difference they have made to some of my shots.

Looking for a new wider landscape lens myself so would be interested to here how you get on.

01-20-2015, 06:45 AM   #9
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If the 18-55 isn't wide enough would a 17 be? The only cheap all purpose lens I can think of that is wider is the 16-45. That might just cover what you need.

If the landscapes were less of a priority I would recommend the DA 35 f/2.4 aka the plastic fantastic. It is quite sharp, has a good focal length for the urban landscape, and is very much the nifty fifty of today's APSC cameras. These are also quite inexpensive.
01-20-2015, 07:53 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by a96agli Quote
I have the K-30, and for financial reasons will have it for couple more years - which is fine as it's working fine, though could use a clean. I have these:
18-55mm kit lens
MF 3.5 135mm
MF 40-80mm (came with my old K-1000)
MF Tamron teleconverter (also came with the K-1000
MF 50mm (my all-time fave lens)
35-80mm
Sun 80-200mm (mystery Japanese, got for a tenner from a charity shop)
50-200mm

I use the 50mm, the 18-55mm and the 50-200mm the most, and primarily take pictures of landscape and buildings, and with the 50mm of random small objects like flowers (I'm rubbish at describing my work). Recent sample of photos here. I'm slightly bothered with the softness of all my photos, and would like to invest in one decent lens that should be a good multipurpose one. Apart from the kit lens, I don't think any of the ones I have has wide enough angle for my liking - standing on a Cotswolds hillside, I want the whole sky in the picture! I'm willing to pay 200-250 maximum at the moment, and am not averse to buying second-hand.

Any recommendations?

---------- Post added 01-20-15 at 08:57 AM ----------

Holy dogs that photo came up large! Sorry.
I have tried the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and the Sigma counterpart. Sigma is more solid and better IQ but more expensive. I own the Pentax 16-45. It has all sorts of color fringing issues but it is sharp and it is cheap.
01-20-2015, 08:29 AM   #11
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My rokinon 16mm f/2 makes me very happy. Can take filters and is very fast so when summer comes back around I'll be back taking more Milky Way shots. I don't notice much distortion at all. I shoot landscapes, cityscapes, Milky Way stuff, and just anything interesting I see.

Edit: before that I also owned a sigma 10-20 which I liked but it wasn't fast enough for me.
01-20-2015, 09:16 AM   #12
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Sell the kit lens and either the 35-80 or the 40-80, and get a DA 12-24. It's a very good lens, let's you go a bit wider if you want, and I find it a terrific walk-around lens for landscapes and city-scapes. You can't zoom in as much as the kit, but you can definitely get the sky you're after, and if you want to get closer you have other lenses to cover longer reach. It's also a very sharp lens.
01-20-2015, 10:14 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jrpower10 Quote
Sell the kit lens and either the 35-80 or the 40-80, and get a DA 12-24. It's a very good lens, let's you go a bit wider if you want, and I find it a terrific walk-around lens for landscapes and city-scapes. You can't zoom in as much as the kit, but you can definitely get the sky you're after, and if you want to get closer you have other lenses to cover longer reach. It's also a very sharp lens.
That is a good lens from all accounts and I have seen pictures that show how useful a walkabout it can be for those with an eye to wide angle shots. It does seem to fall outside the price range mentioned even with selling the other lenses which would not net a whole lot given what they are.

The color fringing on the 16-45 is an issue - I wonder how hard it is to correct in post processing?

The other question is why the shots are coming out not sharp. The kit lens is very sharp in the centers and should produce good results. It is possible the camera is back or front focusing some. Perhaps the first step is to get a tool that helps determine accurate focus and validate this is a real issue.
01-20-2015, 10:26 AM   #14
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I love wide lenses for landscapes, so DA 15, DA* 16-50, and Rokinon 8 are in heavy rotation for my landscape images.

These (at least the first two) may be out of your budget range so the 17-70 might make a good alternative. The Rokinon was very inexpensive ($240 USD) and I use it more than I expected to when I bought it. I hear the Rokinon 16mm is very nice too.

Any of the DA Limiteds are also great (I like to carry the 15/40/70 combo for a nice light and compact adventure kit) but again they are not inexpensive.
01-20-2015, 10:33 AM   #15
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Since it appears price might be involved ?
And you seem OK shooting Manual lenses ? Look hard at a 28mm , 24mm , or 35mm.... all primes.
You should be able to pick up easily a Ricoh , Sears , for less than $40 each.
In your description you seem to have a lot of tele....dut not much Normal or wide ?
I f I were you....Get a 28mm 3.5 of "something".... manual and cheap price from Ebay.
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