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01-12-2017, 11:13 PM   #1
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Want to replace kit lens, etc

I never use my kit lenses (18-55, 50-200), and I finally realized it's because they are terrible (my nifty fifty spoiled me by showing what my camera can really do with good glass).

Anyway, I am getting ready to get some new glass and I feel like I should get something to replace my kit lens, but I'm not sure what to look for because I already have a 50mm f1.8, 35mm f2.4 (the only two lenses I ever use) and will soon have a DFA 100mm f2.8 which leaves a lot of gaps to fill.

After realizing that my camera doesn't really matter unless I have good glass, I refuse to buy anything that isn't extremely sharp (at least as sharp as my 50 f1.8 I hope), and I am having a hard time forking out cash for slow lenses too... maybe I need to change the way I think?

I am interested in the 20-40mm limited but it doesn't seem as useful in that range, or the 16-85 but it seems a bit slow. Would I be better off sticking to primes?

If I'm mostly a landscape/Macro/portrait shooter, what is really missing from my kit that I'm overlooking?

Thanks

EDIT: Thank you everyone for your replies! I have learned a lot from you all. For those who wanted to know, I currently shoot with a K-50 but plan on upgrading to the next APSC flagship whenever it comes out. I was going to get a K-3ii but realized that the next APSC might have a lot of great features inherited from the K-1 so I am investing in glass instead and holding out.


Last edited by Zephos; 01-14-2017 at 12:20 AM.
01-12-2017, 11:23 PM   #2
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The 16-85mm is very sharp. Not that fast, but definitely sharp. That would be my recommendation

Another option would be the DA* 16-50mm or a Sigma/Tamron 17-50mm F2.8.

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01-13-2017, 12:17 AM   #3
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Depending on what is more important (speed vs sharpness) I would recommend the 16-50 or 17-50 for speed. I have the Tamron 17-50 and find the lower aperture more useful to me then the sharpness.
01-13-2017, 12:23 AM   #4
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Not sure what camera model you have? The Pentax 50 1.8 I have is razor sharp and also have the Tamron 17-50 2.8 and is very close on a K5IIs.

I hear the Sigma may be sharper in the same lens? Very happy with my Tamron in this focal length 17-50 2.8.

Adam's 16-85 may be your ticket, paired with your soon to be 100mm. At that point covering all of your shooting focal lengths.

Just my 2 cents

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01-13-2017, 12:39 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Not to duplicate focal lengths, the 12-24 is very nice. Wider than the 15, longer than the 21, and excellent IQ. I always recommend it in the "what lens to take to...?" threads. And the Tamron 70-200 is nice and reasonably-priced.
01-13-2017, 12:39 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zephos Quote
If I'm mostly a landscape/Macro/portrait shooter, what is really missing from my kit that I'm overlooking?
You have 50/35/100mm
so you are missing a nice wideangle and maybe some tele options (both for portrait & nature)..
Primes or zooms is a bit of a personal thing.
Size vs convenience debate.. In any case, i find the da70 is an affordable & splendid portrait lens. There are also some older manual lenses worth looking at.
And so is da15 which i recently replaced by da12 24 for convencience and use of filters. So there are a lot of things to consider.
I suggest saving up for the ones you really want.
01-13-2017, 12:55 AM   #7
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When I was shooting APS-C, I found the 16-50's weathersealing quite helpful.
01-13-2017, 05:09 AM   #8
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Landscape - IIRC, of the DA prime lenses the 15 is supposed to be the go-to for that. If you're thinking about a K-1, one of the Samyang/Rokinon/Bower wide-angle full-frame primes might be a wiser choice, if you can live with manual focus. I don't use it much, but there are occasional shots for which even the DA 21 Limited won't do.

The DA21 might be okay for landscapes if you're willing to stitch images or you can live with not quite so wide a panorama, and in addition it's the widest lens I'd use for social occasions; it lets you put people in the context of the event, but errs on the side of not blending them into the background the way the DA15 does. I have heard that the DA21 has an interesting distortion pattern, so you might want to turn in-camera corrections on if you're shooting landscapes with it. If you want full-frame upgrade capability in this focal length, you are looking at a secondhand FA 20.

Portrait - DA70 gives wonderful results when the light is perfect (which if you're doing portrait shooting you're going to try and ensure anyway), and would sit well between the 50 and the 100, but beware its relatively long MFD. If you want full-frame capability for the future, the FA 77 is significantly more expensive but gives you that upgrade path.

If you can hold off to see exactly what the full-frame prime roadmap looks like in the next 12-18 months, it might pay to do that. D-FA lenses will be just fine on DA cameras, and as I said, it offers you instant upgrade potential with no extra lens-replacement cost if you find yourself lusting after a K-1 down the track.

I completed my set of DA primes last Christmas (2015) before the K-1's specs were finalised, and was happy to get them just in case the camera was a bust or unaffordably expensive and I ended up sticking with APS-C. At the time, my intent was to shoot the K-5 until it died and then change, but the price, nature and specifications of the K-1 have made me want it earlier. Thus my DA lens buying frenzy may not have been particularly wise in retrospect, but OTOH there is always crop mode (my current main body is a K-5 and I have little to lose in MP terms), or trimming in post.

Having the DA21 and the DA40 and using them in a major urban environment (Sydney and Melbourne, Australia) for a week made me understand what the place of the DA20-40 zoom is (especially since it's WR, which the primes are not). However, having the primes at both ends already and a commitment towards the K-1 means that the zoom is shelved indefinitely as it's not full-frame. I did, however, almost trade in my DA40 and my SMC-M 40/2.8 toward the FA43/1.9 Limited, and now I wish I had. (Practically it's probably better that I didn't, really; buying a lens overseas means issues with returning if it's decentred etc.)

01-13-2017, 06:06 AM - 1 Like   #9
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The Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 is as sharp as the DA 50mm at f2.8, sharper than the DA*16-50 and Tamron 17-50 at wide apertures, solid build, silent AF, very good colour and contrast, and being sold at blow-out prices right now. It's a honey of a lens and a steal at the price.
01-13-2017, 06:32 AM   #10
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I'd have to agree - the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 is a sharp lens, and very useable right out of the gate at f/2.8. As far as APS-C zooms go, I don't think there's anything better in this focal length range.
01-13-2017, 06:59 AM   #11
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Another vote for the 16-85mm sharp glass, not super fast but a honey of a lens. I love mine definitely worth the price.
01-13-2017, 07:08 AM - 2 Likes   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zephos Quote
I never use my kit lenses (18-55, 50-200), and I finally realized it's because they are terrible (my nifty fifty spoiled me by showing what my camera can really do with good glass).

Anyway, I am getting ready to get some new glass and I feel like I should get something to replace my kit lens, but I'm not sure what to look for because I already have a 50mm f1.8, 35mm f2.4 (the only two lenses I ever use) and will soon have a DFA 100mm f2.8 which leaves a lot of gaps to fill.

After realizing that my camera doesn't really matter unless I have good glass, I refuse to buy anything that isn't extremely sharp (at least as sharp as my 50 f1.8 I hope), and I am having a hard time forking out cash for slow lenses too... maybe I need to change the way I think?

I am interested in the 20-40mm limited but it doesn't seem as useful in that range, or the 16-85 but it seems a bit slow. Would I be better off sticking to primes?

If I'm mostly a landscape/Macro/portrait shooter, what is really missing from my kit that I'm overlooking?

Thanks

been here, done that, now have two dozen lenses that I have really enjoyed collecting and shooting through...

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/291019-prim...ere-prime.html


it would help if we knew what camera body you are working with, but my suggestions are: forget the zooms, get good primes and enjoy them....

the DA Limited's (I have the 21, 40, and 70 - and am not ruling out the 15 yet) are bloody wonderful for just about everyday, all around shooting...

I have a Tamron Adaptall 90mm macro that you'll have to pry out of my cold, dead hands...

but remember to have some fun, too - a Helios 44K and a fisheye lens ought to do it...



I wish I had started with primes and later on added a couple of zooms for convenience's sake - I would have learned so much more early on in my DSLR education....
01-13-2017, 10:11 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I'd have to agree - the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 is a sharp lens, and very useable right out of the gate at f/2.8. As far as APS-C zooms go, I don't think there's anything better in this focal length range.
I have to agree. A great improvement over the 18-55mm kit lens. You should easily be able to see the difference in your images.
01-13-2017, 10:30 AM   #14
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The new PLM 55-300 RE seems like a great replacement for your 50-200 (assuming your camera body is compatible, you want to make sure of that). To cover the other side of the equation, you've had a lot of great suggestions. I'd probably shop either the Tamron or Sigma 17-50; they both have their strengths and weaknesses. I think the 16-85 is also worth consideration based on what you've written. I have the 18-135 and really like it but it's not as close to "all over sharp" as the 16-85. It's smaller and does well in the focal lengths that I am usually most interested in.

I strongly disagree that a 20-40 zoom on APS-C isn't a very useful range. I would be at least 3/4th of the keepers I have are in this range.
01-14-2017, 12:18 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
The new PLM 55-300 RE seems like a great replacement for your 50-200 (assuming your camera body is compatible, you want to make sure of that). To cover the other side of the equation, you've had a lot of great suggestions. I'd probably shop either the Tamron or Sigma 17-50; they both have their strengths and weaknesses. I think the 16-85 is also worth consideration based on what you've written. I have the 18-135 and really like it but it's not as close to "all over sharp" as the 16-85. It's smaller and does well in the focal lengths that I am usually most interested in.

I strongly disagree that a 20-40 zoom on APS-C isn't a very useful range. I would be at least 3/4th of the keepers I have are in this range.
Thanks for the suggestions. I think I just haven't really done a lot in that range which means I should probably get out and shoot more with that range deliberately.
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