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06-04-2008, 06:55 AM   #1
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Lense Suggestions

Hi, everyone! I have been using SLR for a while now, but have never really mastered the difference between the lenses. With my old film camera, I bought it used with a kit lense, telephoto and wide angle. While I knew what each "type" of lense did, I didn't understand the specifications.

I now have a DSLR and only a kit lense. What recommendations would you have for someone on a budget (maybe $150 or less)? I generally like taking portraits, with some landscape.

Thanks!

Terri

06-04-2008, 08:50 AM   #2
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You are fortunate to have a reasonable start with the kit lens. Pentax did a wonderful job creating that lens and including it as a kit lens. Its quality and the results it obtains puts other manufactures kit lenses to shame. The 18-55, if given adequate light to work with, can fool most people into thinking that a much more expensive lens was used. The kit lens should fill your lens requirements from the wide end (manageable for landscapes) up to the start of the tele reach (basic portraits if you do not mind being a bit close to your subject). My favorite portrait lens used to be the 105mm with film cameras. With the crop factor of 1.5 on Pentax DSLR a 70mm lens should be about the same. Think about picking up a 70-300 to increase your reach. (I saw a Sigma f4-5.6 70-300 lens on Craigslist Vancouver for $160 obo). Remember you can always sell the lenses down the road as your photography budget grows (makes it more like a really cheap rental, and the depreciation is generally minimum as a second owner - try to buy lenses where the owner was diligent and placed a UV filter on right from day one. If you managed to come up with a bit more scratch (bad term when discussing lenses - ha ha) you could sell off your kits lens and go for the Pentax 18-250. It provides a nice all in one solution, huge range at your finger tips ready for shots as they present themselves, less lens changing, less chance for dust to collect on your sensor. The 18-250 is getting decent reviews and is favoured as the traveling lens. I saw one on Craigslist for $380 (second hand no taxes required).
Good luck
06-04-2008, 09:22 AM   #3
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Terri,

I agree with Spyglass's recommendation for a 70-300. Actually, you can get the Tamron 70-300 brand new for $134.99 from BuyDig: Tamron 70-300mm 1:2 F/4-5.6 DI LD Macro FS=62 For Pentax AF | BuyDig.com, The Internet's Digital Superstore

Sometimes on the Marketplace, people will be selling the DA50-200 for under $150, so that's another possibility.

If you want to venture into primes, I would recommend either the A50/1.4, A50/1.7 or A50/2, as inexpensive options. I think the 1.4 would push the upper limit of your budget, but you can pick up a 1.7 for around $100 or a little less and the 2.0 for around $50 or less.

HTH,
Heather
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