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07-08-2008, 09:45 AM   #1
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good lens in addition to kit

I'm new to the site and to SLR's (for the most part). I have had my Pentax K200 for about a month now and have played around with some of my friends Nikon's and Canons for a while longer. I have the kit lens 18-55mm II and love it but would like to have a little more variety. I am torn between getting a larger zoom lens, like the Tamron 70-200 or just an older prime to have some artistic fun with until I can afford a more expensive zoom.
I take quite a bit of landscape/animal/sunset photos but also love more unqiue, meaningful shots that include memorabila (sp?) and friends/family/pets, etc. All this considered, if I could spend less than $150 I would be pretty happy. Especially since I still need to pick up various other accessories for my camera as well. I appreciate any help you can give me.

jroyjohnson

07-08-2008, 09:50 AM   #2
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My second lens purchase was the Pentax DA 50-200mm. Very nice lens for the money. You can get one on ebay for about $150.
07-08-2008, 06:32 PM   #3
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My second lens was the Tamron 70-300 with the 1:2 macro switch. This lens gave me great exposure to telephoto range and macro shooting. I now realize the limitations of this inexpensive lens (slow, soft at 300), but it has been an excellent purchase and greatly expanded the type of photos I take. I now can't imagine not having some decent range (e.g., >150mm) or macro capabilities in my camera bag.

But a fixed prime would be great too, as it provides yet another dimension of shooting while likely giving you some great quality.
07-08-2008, 06:39 PM   #4
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You might hunt around KEH Camera: Used Cameras, Digital Cameras, Film Cameras, Laptop Computers and More. for some used equipment. Some off-brand or manual lenses can be had for cheap especially if in less-than-perfect condition.

Unfortunately, the one lens I got there, a Pentax 300 f/4 for $99 (in "ugly" condition, though the glass was fine) had some problems that persuaded me to return it.

07-09-2008, 06:17 PM   #5
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My second lens was an SMC M 50mm f1.7. I bought it on Ebay and paid something like $60 for it shipped. There is a bunch of old, fast fiftys that can be found for cheap.
I think that it is a great addition to a beginner's kit.
WIth the crop factor it makes a 75mm equivalent, which is a pretty good length for portrait. Plus, thoses lenses are great to use in low light.
But, the best part about the old lenses is that they are all manual. I don't know about the K200D but on my GX-10 even the exposure is strange. It is a bit of a pain in the neck at first, but then you start understanding a lot of things. I guess you could say that old pentax lenses are great teachers!
07-09-2008, 06:28 PM   #6
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If you want a great lens for low cost...
Tamron 70-300mm
I simply love that lens. Gave me a lot of great pictures.
Sadly with the DA* lens i dont use it that much anymore but its on my second unit (the K10) and its a great learning tool for the young photographer i train.


By the way....my avatar is done with that lens by one of my trainee...
07-09-2008, 06:35 PM   #7
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This thread and its replies are helpful as well to me as I have the same type of question but would like to ask what would be a good choice to add to the kit lens if my funds are not so limited?
07-09-2008, 06:43 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by nulla Quote
This thread and its replies are helpful as well to me as I have the same type of question but would like to ask what would be a good choice to add to the kit lens if my funds are not so limited?
It depends on what you want to photograph.

Macro? Then a 100mm marco lens, e.g. D FA 100mm f/2.8
Travel and low light? DA* 50-135mm f/2.8
Tele photo? DA* 200mm and DA* 300mm
Moderate telephoto, portraits? FA 77mm/1.8 Limited
Wide landscapes, cityscapes? DA 10-17mm FishEye.

07-09-2008, 06:58 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
It depends on what you want to photograph.

Macro? Then a 100mm marco lens, e.g. D FA 100mm f/2.8
Travel and low light? DA* 50-135mm f/2.8
Tele photo? DA* 200mm and DA* 300mm
Moderate telephoto, portraits? FA 77mm/1.8 Limited
Wide landscapes, cityscapes? DA 10-17mm FishEye.
Good choices but are you sure about the fisheye for wide angles?
I think that the Sigma 10-20 would be more appropriate as a second lens (if the wide angle route is being pursued and if primes are not to be considered).
07-09-2008, 07:21 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by nulla Quote
This thread and its replies are helpful as well to me as I have the same type of question but would like to ask what would be a good choice to add to the kit lens if my funds are not so limited?
A DA 55-300mm for long range and FA 50mm F/1.4 for low light along with your kit lens would allow you to photograph pretty much anything. The 55-300 is the highest performing 300mm zoom and the 50mm has superb IQ.
07-09-2008, 08:58 PM   #11
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Thanks Gents

very much appreciated all the posts and wonderful assistance.

I am off to look at the DA 55-300mm as this would cover my needs.
07-10-2008, 06:23 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by xs400 Quote
My second lens purchase was the Pentax DA 50-200mm. Very nice lens for the money. You can get one on ebay for about $150.
I used to have one (well, still do, but it collects dust on a shelf). It has been essentially replaced by a Tamron 70-300.

The DA 55-300 might be a better choice now, but it might not be. The IQ may be better (not much data so far, it's a very hard lens to find), but it doesn't have the close focus capability of the 70-300 (which I have used many times for flower shots), is far more expensive, and doesn't have the weight gain advantages one would expect for a DA lens over an FA. In fact, it's heavier than the Tamron.

My "super kit" (i.e. upgraded replacement for the kit) is a combo of a Sigma 17-70 and a Tamron 70-300. I love the combo. I have since added a Bigma (Sigma 50-500) to the crowd, but that is without a doubt a daylight-only lens.

Your next lens depends on your needs - If you like taking pictures of insects, a proper macro prime should be your next lens.

If you want to extend your flexibility in general, go for the Tamron 70-300 or the Pentax 55-300.

If you want to have a good all-around one-lens travel setup, get the Pentax or Tamron 18-250. (They are identical in design, the Pentax has better coatings but a worse warranty, they are about the same price.) I've assumed that any vacation I go on needs $450 budgeted for this lens.
07-10-2008, 09:25 AM   #13
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Here's a shameless plug for a lens I happen to be selling:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographer-s-marketplace/31825-tamron-a...-ld-macro.html
07-10-2008, 09:40 AM   #14
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If you are wanting to expand your kit with inexpensive lenses - to try out. I would suggest the following two lenses as the best place to start. Keep in mind that you are likely to only keep cheaper lenses for a short period of time, as their image quality is good (not great), and you will eventually discover the range that you find the most useful.

After the kit lens you should likely check out the following (which you will likely keep for some time):
1.) DA 50-200mm (used around $125-150) - very decent image quality for the price, good range.
2.) M or A 50mm f1.4 or f.1.7 or f2.0 (range from $100 for A f1.4 to about $40 for M f2.0 used). I personally had the M f1.7 and loved it. If you can afford the FA 50mm f1.4 - even better...as you are likely to keep this lens forever. They come up used for around $150-175 fairly often here.

Hope this info helps...

c[_]
07-13-2008, 10:13 AM   #15
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Thanks for all the help. These ideas will narrow my research down. I recently got back on a small trip and found myself definitely lacking some range. Not only that, but I love shooting sky/sunset shots and a lot of mine have come up lacking contrast and /or definition. I'll have to play around with them some more.
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