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06-06-2008, 12:59 AM   #1
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Lens combinations?

Hi there.
I've been thinking alot about what lenses to buy for the K10D (yet to be bought).
I want to cover a wide range, and I want a walk around lens.
At first I was thinking of buying the K10D with the Tamron 18-250mm straight away. But now it seems I might have to take the car to the garage... (Do we reallly need good brakes???)
So... spending 300 on a lens soon is not a good idea.
I was looking at alternatives and saw tha I could either go with:
1. sigma 18-125mm (~200)
or
2. go for the combo of Pentax 18-55mm II + Tamron 70-300 Di LD (can find it for 150).

Option 1 is still pricey, and unless the sigma is better than the tamron 18-250mm by a lot, it isnt worth it.
Option 2 is pleasing because both lenses seem fairly ok, plus the tamron is macro-ish.

Whatever I choose will be with me for soom months till I can save enough money for a lens (18-250 or other), so I want to avoid frustation...
I'd really like to have a fairly broad range walkaround soon, but there are no cheap ones to be found...

What is your opinion on the lens? Advice?

06-06-2008, 02:07 AM   #2
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In my opinion: You will spend near 200 pounds on KIT and Tamron 70-300. You'll still have a gap between 55 and 70 (it was very frustrating for me but it could not be a problem for you). If you can reach 300 limit, go for tamy 18-250. Especially if you will stick with it for some months.
Next thing: in this period of time, you'll discover what focal length you shoot most and then you can decide for a right lens for you. Either zoom or prime.
06-06-2008, 03:12 AM   #3
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Poping 700 at once is out of the question... unless I delay the buying of the DSLR for at least 4 months.
I've got myself set to buy it in July and I'd be willing to spend 150 tops on lens when I buy it.

That is all hoping the garage bill doesnt come out to be too big...
06-06-2008, 03:38 AM   #4
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I see..
Then maybe think about:

1. KIT lens
2. Some manual lenses for telephoto. You can get a Pentax M 135/3.5 or 200/4 for about 50 or 60 pounds. You can get both of them for your budget.

It all depends, what you'll take pictures of.

Or, you can get Tammy 70-300 of course.

06-06-2008, 03:56 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentagor Quote
I see..
Then maybe think about:

1. KIT lens
2. Some manual lenses for telephoto. You can get a Pentax M 135/3.5 or 200/4 for about 50 or 60 pounds. You can get both of them for your budget.

It all depends, what you'll take pictures of.

Or, you can get Tammy 70-300 of course.
In Sweden, I know its different in Germany, but don't know about the rest of the world. You can get the DA 50-200 for 150-160$ (apx 100) if you buy the Samsung version, new. Thats a nifty lens for that price.

Linked shots - a set on Flickr

Thats some of my DA 50-200 photos. I like the lens.
06-06-2008, 04:26 AM   #6
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Personally, I have a DA 10-17mm, DA 17-55mm II and a DA 55-300mm. That pretty much covers a very usable and essential focal length range. Plus I have a couple primes (what's a Pentax owner without a half dozen lenses? ) like the 40mm Limited, 50mm f1.4 and a 125mm macro. If you are just starting out I'd recommend going with the 17-55mm II and the 55-300mm and build up from there. Keep your eyes peeled for bargains, they do exist. From personal experience I would say that when you decide to get a macro get a good dedicated macro lens that will render 1:1 images in the longest focal length you can afford. 'Macroish', as you put it, will disappoint you.
06-06-2008, 05:45 AM   #7
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For the past several months I've had the 18-55mm, Tamron 70-300mm and 50mm F/1.4. I can't thinik of any reasonable situation that one couldn't handle with this combination. The kit lens and Tamron are no joke, both are good quality at rock-bottom pricing. No matter what else I have in my bag, I couldn't imagine doing without a fast 50mm for portraits, low light shooting and superb quality.

If you can't afford all three right now, consider second-hand. There are lots of people upgrading their as-new 18-55's, and lots of Tamron owners upgrading to the Pentax 55-300mm. You're likely to upgrade too one day, and you can probably sell for close to what you paid. I'd recommend a new FA50mm, since it will be in your kit until hell freezes over. If you go with used, make sure you get the current model AF70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro.

Best of luck, whatever you decide.
06-06-2008, 05:51 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replys.

I'm a bit afraid of going full manual in one go without ever having worked with an SLR. I'm thinking of manybe going for an A lens and then maybe explore the Ms, Taks and other M42s (if I feel confortable).

The Tamron 70-300 Di LD macro seems to be better than the 55-200 of either pentax or sigma... But I'm not sure, thats why I wanted feedback.
Macro is an advantage, not a top feature I'm looking at.
For macros I've been looking at eventually buying an 105mm Vivitar or Kiron branded or the Tamron 90mm SP. But macro is not a big goal for me, so I'm in no big hurry.

SRSmicrosystems in the UK is selling the 18-55 II for 60 and the Tamron for 90.
They have the sigma 55-200 and the pentax version for not much more than the Tamron, but is it worth it?

06-08-2008, 04:19 AM   #9
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Sorry, I need some more advice...

I was thinking of the Tamron 70-300 Di LD as the best value in that range. But I see the Pentax FAJ 75-300mm as just as good reviews and I can buy it cheaper. Not new like the Tamron, but its 40 I can save.

Which one would you choose?
06-08-2008, 05:07 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by J.Scott Quote
(what's a Pentax owner without a half dozen lenses? )
I'm working on it--I have 4 lenses now and I hope to have #5 by the end of the summer and #6 by the end of the year. There will be a #7 and possibly a #8, but those will come sometime next year.

Anyway onto the subject at hand...

As a less expensive alternative to the 18-250, you might consider picking up a 28-300 like this one:
Tamron AF 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD IF Lens Sample Photos and Specifications
If you need wider than 28, you could always use the kit lens.

Although I've never had the FAJ 75-300, from the pics I've seen taken with it, it looks like a pretty decent lens for the money...
Pentax smc P-FA J 75-300mm f/4.5-5.8 AL Lens Sample Photos and Specifications

If you don't think you'll need the extra 100mm between 200-300, but would like to close the gap between 55 & 70, then the 50-200 is also a very good lens for the money...
Pentax smc P-DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED Lens Sample Photos and Specifications

If you find any other lenses that spark your interest, then go to Camera Database and Museum at PBase.com, where they have cameras and lenses organized by brand. I've found that this has been very helpful to me as I've been shopping for lenses.

If after shopping around, you decide you want something more expensive for your telezoom, you don't need to put off at least getting your K10D and kit lens. You've got to start somewhere and since you're brand new to DSLRs, the 18-55 will be fine until you can afford to save up for your tele.

HTH,
Heather
06-08-2008, 05:20 AM   #11
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A note on manual lenses...

Don't be afraid to look at the manual lenses. If you go with "A" type lenses, they work just like the autofocus ones do, except that they don't autofocus. You set the aperture in the camera itself and then you focus until the focus indicator light in the viewfinder comes on and the camera beeps, and then you shoot--that's all there is to it.

Since you're just a beginner, you'd be well-advised to stay away from the "M" type and screwmount lenses (in other words, any lens that doesn't have an "A" on the aperture ring). Unless you really know what you're doing, they're a real pain in the butt.

For good used lenses, the marketplace here is a good place to look, as well as any local camera shops in your area that sell used lenses. Also, you can also find good local deals on Craigslist (craigslist: united kingdom classifieds for jobs, apartments, personals, for sale, services, community, and events).

Again, HTH,
Heather
06-08-2008, 07:34 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by edumad Quote
Sorry, I need some more advice...

I was thinking of the Tamron 70-300 Di LD as the best value in that range. But I see the Pentax FAJ 75-300mm as just as good reviews and I can buy it cheaper. Not new like the Tamron, but its 40 I can save.

Which one would you choose?
The 75-300mm isn't very sharp above 100mm according to this review. Pentax Lens: Zooms - Pentax 75-300mm f/4.5-5.8 AL SMC P-FA J (Tested) - SLRgear.com! and has average performance in CA. Pretty much the opposite of the Tamron. I consider the CA with the Tamron a minor annoyance. Sharpness if far far more important to me.

Last edited by audiobomber; 06-08-2008 at 07:47 AM.
06-08-2008, 07:58 AM   #13
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I agree with you CA will depend allot on the particular subject. Poor sharpness is allways there.

I saw the samples on pbase (thanks hwblanks) and I can see a lot of difference between Sigma Tamron and Pentax.
What is easy to realize is that the macros on the Sig and tammy are fairly poor (no news).
Getting the new version of either lens (apo vs non-apo, Di LD vs LD) seems a good idea, as the older seem quick worse.

I dont get the price difference on the Sigma (150) versus Tamron (90)... I havent seen images to justify it...

Ideally I'd go for the 55-300 from Pentax which is said to be better. But top glass for me will come first in the wider angle range....

Thank you everyone for the advice so far.
06-08-2008, 09:04 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by edumad Quote
What is easy to realize is that the macros on the Sig and tammy are fairly poor (no news).
Getting the new version of either lens (apo vs non-apo, Di LD vs LD) seems a good idea, as the older seem quick worse.

Ideally I'd go for the 55-300 from Pentax which is said to be better. But top glass for me will come first in the wider angle range....
I disagree with "poor". They only do 1:2, which is not true macro, but the Tamron is very sharp in macro mode (not familiar with Sigma APO). Definitely get the latest version of whichever you chose.

I have a 55-300mm on the way, but I will never criticise the Tamron. It's a very easy lens to live with that gave me great results 99% of the time. The few times the PF spoiled the image were as a result of poor technique, not the lens. I went for the Pentax telezoom more for features than IQ, although I expect slightly better imaging too.
06-08-2008, 09:13 AM   #15
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How about going for the "Dual KIT", the DA18-55 and the DA50-200. I had it for a long time before shelving out for a DA*16-50, after i figured i used the kit lens almost all the time, and i wanted a better performing lens.
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