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05-27-2016, 02:48 PM   #1
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Why do I need a new lens?

Well, I've got a DA 35 and an 18-135, and I'm kind of browsing around, thinking of another lens... feel familiar?! My K5iis is a beautiful thing and as summer is purportedly around the corner, I'm thinking along the lines of a 50-200 or 55-300... I'd like a lens that's cheap but doesn't act cheap. Why would a get a 200mm rather than a 300mm and vice versa?

Any ideas out there...

Landscapes, some birding, you know... the stuff we see about us every day.

Thanks folks!

Yes, I've read the various reviews but would appreciate what you have to say about it. Subjectivity is okay by me!

05-27-2016, 02:53 PM   #2
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You can get shots with a 300 that you can't get with your other lenses. It's the lens I missed most when I left for Fuji, even though I used it less often and had the quite good Fuji XF 55-200 zoom. The FA*300 is the first lens I sought out when I came back.
05-27-2016, 02:54 PM   #3
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18-135 paired with the 55-300 is a good combination. The 50-200 is fine but most give the 55-300 a slight edge and you get an extra 100mm.

If budget is a concern look for a DAL version of the 55-300, no quick shift or WR but the price is right. The 55-300 comes in 3 versions: DA, DAL and HD DA.
05-27-2016, 03:13 PM - 1 Like   #4
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What you really need is the 150-450 devil

05-27-2016, 03:25 PM   #5
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The DA 55-300mm and DA 50-200mm are actually very similar in terms of image quality, at least according to some reports. But the 300mm gives you more reach, so it is probably a better option. Though, a used DA L 50-200mm is probably significantly cheaper.

That said, the HD DA 55-300mm is probably the best way to get to 300mm at a relatively low budget. But do you need telephoto? If you are okay with slightly more normal FoV, you can get a DA 50mm f1.8 for a good price. Affordable, but good IQ. Similar to the DA 35mm f2.4, but with even better low light abilities and 'big bokeh'

Another lens to consider is DFA 100mm WR. In terms of image quality it is stunning. I have seen some amazing deals on this lens recently in the US, so you might want to look around. Great medium telephoto lens, for portraits, telephoto landscapes, and true 1:1 macro magnification. You might be able to find one at a really great price, though I think this lens is fairly priced to begin with, because its IQ is so great.

Oh, and do you need a new lens? Nobody does, but we all get them, eventually. You can think about manual lenses. Those can give you decent to great IQ for a low price. A whole world of this, many possibilities, you can look for threads about this on this forum

Last edited by Na Horuk; 05-27-2016 at 03:40 PM.
05-27-2016, 03:28 PM - 8 Likes   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jeff Quote
Why do I need a new lens?
Do you have a new (less than a month old) lens?
If the answer is "no", then that's why you need a new lens.
See? It's really quite simple.
05-27-2016, 04:15 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
Do you have a new (less than a month old) lens? If the answer is "no", then that's why you need a new lens. See? It's really quite simple.
Just when something seems confusing and might require a lot of thought and consideration along comes @Parallax with simple logic that cuts through all the fog and makes things clear and simple.
05-27-2016, 05:40 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
Do you have a new (less than a month old) lens?
If the answer is "no", then that's why you need a new lens.
See? It's really quite simple.
Ooooooooooooooh, that explains the itch I've had for the past several months. Thank you, Parallax. ;-)

05-27-2016, 06:23 PM   #9
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I have 18-135 and 55-300 and I am quite happy with that combo. I feel like the 55-300 is so useful and a great buy. I want to get another lens myself, can't decide between a faster lens or a macro.
05-27-2016, 07:55 PM   #10
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my vote is to add a 55-300
My carry everywhere kit is the 18-135, 55-300 HD and the 35 macro,
huge range of coverage with the two zooms, good overlap between them, so you are not swapping constantly,
The 35 is an ƒ2.8 similar to your 35, for a fast normal lens.

I have other stuff too (lots of itches over the years)
But this kit is in a small bag with a K-3 and goes everywhere with me.
Rare that I don't have what I need.

I have one of the original DA 50-200 zooms, never been thrilled with it's performance. For the slight uptick in cost, I think the 55-300 is a better choice.
Especially since you have the 18-135, the difference between 135 and 200 is not that much, the K5 sensor will let you do that with a crop. The 300 gets you a real difference in reach.

---------- Post added 05-27-16 at 08:04 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Murfy Quote
can't decide between a faster lens or a macro
any of the Pentax macros (all are 2.8) are faster than your zooms,
I have a 35 and a 100, both great, sharp lenses, do well in general use as well as up close. The 100 is long enough for chasing bugs in a garden, and can work as a portrait lens.
The 35 works well as a fast "normal" on APSc format, as well as closer than normal work. True Macro (1:1) is hard with it as you are right on top of your subject and frequently in your light. But the closer than normal capability is nice.

Try one or more
05-27-2016, 10:07 PM   #11
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+1 on the DA55-300 WR. Inexpensive, light and very capable with the K-5iis. Very good reach and quite sharp. Autofocus is its major flaw, but with practice and concentration you can master it quickly.
05-28-2016, 12:49 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
What you really need is the 150-450 :devil:
Exactly. That's what he needs.
05-28-2016, 06:37 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
The DA 55-300mm and DA 50-200mm are actually very similar in terms of image quality, at least according to some reports. But the 300mm gives you more reach, so it is probably a better option. Though, a used DA L 50-200mm is probably significantly cheaper.

That said, the HD DA 55-300mm is probably the best way to get to 300mm at a relatively low budget. But do you need telephoto? If you are okay with slightly more normal FoV, you can get a DA 50mm f1.8 for a good price. Affordable, but good IQ. Similar to the DA 35mm f2.4, but with even better low light abilities and 'big bokeh'

Another lens to consider is DFA 100mm WR. In terms of image quality it is stunning. I have seen some amazing deals on this lens recently in the US, so you might want to look around. Great medium telephoto lens, for portraits, telephoto landscapes, and true 1:1 macro magnification. You might be able to find one at a really great price, though I think this lens is fairly priced to begin with, because its IQ is so great.

Oh, and do you need a new lens? Nobody does, but we all get them, eventually. You can think about manual lenses. Those can give you decent to great IQ for a low price. A whole world of this, many possibilities, you can look for threads about this on this forum
I am another fan of the DFA 100 macro it is a very high quality lens and selling at a very reasonable price. Also, it is not just macro, it is a great lightweight telephoto and sharp enough that you can do a considerable amount of cropping and still have excellent resolution. Last I saw it was about $399 USD at B&H and Adorama. I thought I got a great deal when I bought it for $550 3 or 4 years ago. The DA 55-300 HD WR is another great deal. I got mine on a black friday sale from B&H last year and am liking this lens a lot. Its one drawback is autofocus but I use quick shift to coarse focus then let autofocus fine focus. This cuts the screwdrive noise considerably. For this reason alone I think the extra cost of the HD DA version is well worth it.

---------- Post added 05-28-16 at 09:43 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Jeff Quote
Well, I've got a DA 35 and an 18-135, and I'm kind of browsing around, thinking of another lens... feel familiar?! My K5iis is a beautiful thing and as summer is purportedly around the corner, I'm thinking along the lines of a 50-200 or 55-300... I'd like a lens that's cheap but doesn't act cheap. Why would a get a 200mm rather than a 300mm and vice versa?

Any ideas out there...

Landscapes, some birding, you know... the stuff we see about us every day.

Thanks folks!

Yes, I've read the various reviews but would appreciate what you have to say about it. Subjectivity is okay by me!
Skip the 50 - 200 if you intended to use it for birding. 300 mm is the absolute minimum for the telephoto end. I recommend the 55 - 300 HD WR, with quick shift capability you can really speed up and quiet down the lenses noisy autofocus.
05-28-2016, 07:19 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
18-135 paired with the 55-300 is a good combination. The 50-200 is fine but most give the 55-300 a slight edge and you get an extra 100mm.
I agree with jatrax. For an all-purpose zoom, your 18-135 is pretty darned good. The 55-300 will give you over twice the reach, as well as enough over-lap to keep you from constantly changing from one lens to the other in shooting situations.
05-28-2016, 07:53 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
I agree with jatrax. For an all-purpose zoom, your 18-135 is pretty darned good. The 55-300 will give you over twice the reach, as well as enough over-lap to keep you from constantly changing from one lens to the other in shooting situations.
If you are like me, ad to the above, the DA 50 1.8, the DA 10-17 fisheye and a Macro (in hind site I'd probably go for the 50 macro, just because of size.There are just too many times when I carry a macro but i don't use it. Mine is way too much weight for the times I carry it and don't use it, and for that reason it gets left home way to often.) ... and you'll be all set for your first 5 years. The 55-300 is way better than the Sigma 70-300 I used my first 5 years. And the 18-135 is way more versatile than the 18-55 I used.

Last edited by normhead; 05-28-2016 at 08:01 AM.
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