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09-01-2008, 10:28 PM   #1
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looking for a decent F2.8 general walkabout lens

Hi all,

I'm looking for some recommendations for a general purpose lens to use with my K100D. I currently have a sigma 18-125 3.5-5.6 lens that came with the camera, and I'm not terribly impressed with the clarity of the images. Often the images appear rather soft and slightly out of focus even when using a flash indoors. Of course there could be other factors causing this, but my Sigma 70-300 lens seems to produce sharper images. I'd like a constant F2.8 to help with indoors no flash pictures, and was thinking 28-70 seems like a decent range for just general purpose photos.

The Sigma 24-70 F/2.8 EX DG Macro seems like a good option, and i've read that the extra 4mm at the wide end could be useful for indoors/parties etc.

Another option I've seen is the Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F2.8 XR Di Lens. More zoom at long end but lose a bit at wide end.

Any other suggestions would be most welcome, as I've just tried to find some lens that fit what I *think* should suit my needs. Feel free to tell me otherwise if my reasoning is poor.

thanks,

Tim.

09-01-2008, 10:45 PM   #2
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I have a Sigma 24-70 f2.8, and I love it.

However there are 2 things to keep in mind with this lens.

1. It's a MONSTER. As in it's rather big to carry around all the time. I'm finding myself using a Super Takumar 50mm f1.4 more often just because of it's size. (That plus I like shooting with Primes)

2. It's 82mm filter threads means that you might need to buy some very expensive filters.
A Cokin P system will fit, with the right ring, but it's the biggest size made for it.

I've also tried the Sigma 28 - 70 f2.8, and found it to be a nice small lens at a very reasonable price.
09-01-2008, 11:45 PM   #3
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2.8 zooms are quite heavy and big. i use my 16-50 but i'm going to get myself a set of pancakes for everyday shooting, and use the 16-50 for times i'm in the jungle or mountains
09-02-2008, 12:06 AM   #4
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I still prefer primes for that sort of photography as well soccerjoe, however I find Zooms irreplaceable while shooting events, or children playing

09-02-2008, 12:09 AM   #5
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Sigma 70mm DG EX f/2.8 Macro.
09-02-2008, 12:13 AM   #6
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ive got the pentax fa 20-35mm which i highly rate,but i find myself using the tamron 28-75mm 2.8 even more because of the range and its a great lens.it is chunky but i like that.
09-02-2008, 12:20 AM   #7
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I generally use my A 28mm f/2.8 as a walking around lens. It turns into a lovely 42mm on my K10D that's perfect for a walk around prime and is acceptably sharp and contrasty at f/2.8. It really shines around f/5.6, but is definitely useable wide open - especially on a crop sensor.

The best bit is it's cheap like borscht (got mine in mint condition for $70). Granted, it's a manual focus lens, so you'll want a split prism focussing screen, but that's a minor expense that will open up a whole pile of lovely MF lenses. Here's the PentaxForum lens review for the Pentax A 28mm f/2.8
09-02-2008, 12:24 AM   #8
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The Tamron 2875/2.8 is pretty compact for a F2.8 zoom lens, very sharp w/ excellent IQ too. Alternatively you can try a prime lens for indoor photos: FA31, 43, 50 are all excellent choices.

09-02-2008, 12:38 AM   #9
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in terms of physical size/weight, I'm not hugely concerned about that, as I'd prefer to have a single slightly chunkier lens as my general purpose when I don't have the rest of my gear with me, or if I'm going somewhere to take photos specifically, I'll more than likely have my backpack with other lens and stuff, at which point it doesn't matter overly about the weight since I'm lugging a bag around already.

Are prime lens workable as a general purpose? I guess I lose a lot of flexibility in not having a zoom available? I was also considering picking up something like a 100mm f/2.8 for my daughters ballet concerts where the lighting is not always great and flash is a no-no, but I'm guessing 100mm prime is no use as a walkabout.
09-02-2008, 12:47 AM   #10
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I'll second the Tamron 28-75/2.8. It's a great sharp lens with great bokeh to boot. I don't think I'll ever part with mine.

Plus: it is a FF lens

Some shots from yesterday (mostly @ f/2.8):











09-02-2008, 01:00 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by GEli Quote
Granted, it's a manual focus lens, so you'll want a split prism focussing screen, but that's a minor expense that will open up a whole pile of lovely MF lenses.
Slightly off topic, but can you elaborate on this a little? I picked up a pentax SMC_A 50mm f/1.7 2nd hand, as i was advised that it's an excellent large aperture lens, but it's manual focus, and I'm getting extremely inconsistent results. Often the images are very soft and out of focus, even though they look clear and sharp in the viewfinder.
09-02-2008, 01:17 AM   #12
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shadow-wolf,
I use the little focus indicator light in the view finder, to help me focus.
Plus I have the beep turned on, so it'll actually beep when it's in focus.
Like with the auto focus lenses you have to ensure that it's actually focused where you want it, with your eyes.
09-02-2008, 01:36 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by shadow-wolf Quote
Hi all,

I'm looking for some recommendations for a general purpose lens to use with my K100D.

The Sigma 24-70 F/2.8 EX DG Macro seems like a good option, and i've read that the extra 4mm at the wide end could be useful for indoors/parties etc.

Another option I've seen is the Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F2.8 XR Di Lens. More zoom at long end but lose a bit at wide end.

Any other suggestions would be most welcome
I don't think you can beat the value of the Sigma 24-60mm from Cameta Camera at AU $$268.54 plus shipping.

Popphoto has this conclusion: "This lens is about 22 percent lighter and more compact than Sigma's slightly longer 2470mm f/2.8; its SQF performance is significantly better, too. Overall, a fine optic choice."

Thank you
Russell
09-02-2008, 02:13 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
shadow-wolf,
I use the little focus indicator light in the view finder, to help me focus.
Plus I have the beep turned on, so it'll actually beep when it's in focus.
Like with the auto focus lenses you have to ensure that it's actually focused where you want it, with your eyes.
Yes I do that too, but I still get widely varying results. I'd upload some pictures if I could find somewhere that lets me hotlink the image into here directly.

Picasa Web Albums - Timothy - Temp Pics

has 2 pictures, one good one bad.
09-02-2008, 03:35 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Russell-Evans Quote
I don't think you can beat the value of the Sigma 24-60mm from Cameta Camera at AU $$268.54 plus shipping.

Popphoto has this conclusion: "This lens is about 22 percent lighter and more compact than Sigma's slightly longer 2470mm f/2.8; its SQF performance is significantly better, too. Overall, a fine optic choice."

Thank you
Russell
Agreed! In fact, I recently started a thread on this lens after picking one up last week. Very good glass!

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/35721-sigma-ex...-60mm-wow.html
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