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05-24-2018, 03:08 AM   #1
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Need Advice For Secondary Zoom Lens

I was wondering whether I could have some advice & opinions on which of the following lenses would be best as my secondary on my K3-II. I currently have the Pentax 35mm 2.4. I need one that will go relatively wide (at least 18mm) and zoom in relatively far (at least 100 preferable). I am willing to sacrifice the zoom in the case of the ones that have the f/4 because low light shooting is common for me. What will I be using this for? Sometimes outdoor, museums, attractions, etcetera, but more often food photography, where they like to make it pretty dark and using flash would not be ideal. I freelance for the food section of a local magazine, and also do some photography for events. I will not always have both lenses with me, so this one needs to be optimal in lower light settings as well.

- Pentax
18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL (IF) DC WR
18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 ED AL (IF)
18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 ED SDM
17-70mm f/4 DA SMC AL IF SDM

- Sigma
17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC HSM
18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM
18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM

Unless somebody could convince me this one, with a tag of over $1,000, is worth it?
---- Pentax D FA 24-70mm F2.8ED SDM WR

I will take any other suggestions except for any HD. I tried one and it did not work for me. Maybe that is another conversation for another time, but they consistently came out blurry.

Now, I have looked at a glossary, so I know what each of these acronyms stand for, but that does not tell me what is better or worse. Some of these are very similar in specifications as far as I can tell but prices reflect more than this.

Which of these is the best and why?

05-24-2018, 03:59 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by WhimsicalV Quote
I was wondering whether I could have some advice & opinions on which of the following lenses would be best as my secondary on my K3-II. I currently have the Pentax 35mm 2.4. I need one that will go relatively wide (at least 18mm) and zoom in relatively far (at least 100 preferable). I am willing to sacrifice the zoom in the case of the ones that have the f/4 because low light shooting is common for me. What will I be using this for? Sometimes outdoor, museums, attractions, etcetera, but more often food photography, where they like to make it pretty dark and using flash would not be ideal. I freelance for the food section of a local magazine, and also do some photography for events. I will not always have both lenses with me, so this one needs to be optimal in lower light settings as well.

- Pentax
18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL (IF) DC WR
18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 ED AL (IF)
18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 ED SDM
17-70mm f/4 DA SMC AL IF SDM

- Sigma
17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC HSM
18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM
18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM

Unless somebody could convince me this one, with a tag of over $1,000, is worth it?
---- Pentax D FA 24-70mm F2.8ED SDM WR

I will take any other suggestions except for any HD. I tried one and it did not work for me. Maybe that is another conversation for another time, but they consistently came out blurry.

Now, I have looked at a glossary, so I know what each of these acronyms stand for, but that does not tell me what is better or worse. Some of these are very similar in specifications as far as I can tell but prices reflect more than this.

Which of these is the best and why?
Welcome

you have come to the right place for advice ( especially on spending your $ )

are you aware you can go up to " Lenses " above and find reviews of all Pentax lenses ( both by users and " in depth " ) and of many third party lenses ( users )

sorry to hear of your experience with " H D " coatings , I was going to recommend one of my favorites

HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

it seems to work for many of us

DA 16-85 WR,show us what it can do. - PentaxForums.com

since I have that one, I don't have experience with the ones you list

if you can be more specific with your problems with the H D coating, perhaps someone here might be able to help you out?
05-24-2018, 04:12 AM   #3
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I have another suggestion as well

consider checking with the companies that rent photography equipment and the cost of doing your own " trials ' if any lenses they carry might be of interest

I have used LensRentals.com with success but their may be other companies as well

Last edited by BigMackCam; 05-24-2018 at 05:01 AM. Reason: Edited due to thread merge
05-24-2018, 04:32 AM   #4
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By your criteria, the 18-135 is a no brainer.

Personally though, I think you're dreaming. Your 35mm prime is a nice lens, and adding the zoom is great. BUT....

Then you need an ultra-wide. The DA15 Limited is the obvious choice.
Then you need something *really* long. The HD55-300PLM can't be beaten.

Job done.

05-24-2018, 04:35 AM   #5
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The D FA 24-70 doesn't meet your wide criterium also it is not worth the money compared to aps-c alternatives according to me. It is sharp enough for K-1 pixels but for 24mp aps-c not so much.


You could also consider the:
SMC Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database (not as bright but otherwise excellent)
HD Pentax-DA 20-40mm F2.8-4 Limited DC WR Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database (limited range but a bright option).

SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database (budget option).

From sigma:
Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC HSM Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

or
Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM (Art) Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database (very bright but limited zoom range).


or from Tamron:
Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 SP AF XR LD Aspherical IF Di II Lens Reviews - Tamron Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
05-24-2018, 04:37 AM   #6
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HD; did you check the fine focus adjustment with the HD lens you tried? My 20-40 and 55-300 are both HD and are sharp on my K-3II.
05-24-2018, 04:44 AM   #7
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For indoors, I would recommend getting the Sigma 17-50/2.8. Used they are going for $300-350 these days. The Pentax 16-50/2.8 is going for similar prices, and it is WR, but there are some durability issues with SDM.

For general use, the Pentax HD 16-85 is really great. If you don’t have a need for WR, the Sigma 17-70 is also a fine choice. The Pentax 18-135 isn’t quite as good as the 16-85 or Sigma 17-70, but it has more range and it’s a fine compromise. For me, I’d rather shoot the 16-85 and carry the 55-300 for when I need telephoto. If I’ll be inside a lot, I use the 16-50/2.8 and the 55-300.

The extreme ranges 18-2xx are substandard. Fine for snapshots but the IQ isn’t really there.

HD is a coating, probably the best there is. If you had a blurry lens, it may have been defective. Don’t give up on all of them.
05-24-2018, 04:51 AM   #8
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another thought

if you are willing to go the route of " experienced " lenses I have had good luck buying from members via the forum's Market Place " buy/sell " above

you can even search the postings by country if you wish

05-24-2018, 05:01 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I've merged the OP's two threads on this same subject
05-24-2018, 10:58 AM   #10
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I’ve had the Pentax 17-70 for many years and shot many events with it. Knock on wood, I’ve never experienced an SDM issue with mine. On the K3, the lens focus is great compared to the K5 and older, quiet, smooth and definitive. If something ever happened to mine, I would be buying a new one to replace it.
05-24-2018, 01:26 PM   #11
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Tamron 17-50 is $300 or less brand new these days. Get that and a third-party 70-200 or one of the DA 55-300's. Otherwise you'll be giving up image quality (the 18-135 is a great lens but it's got some distortion wider than ~24mm and goes soft after ~75mm) or speed or the lens just doesn't go there.

Another way to do this is to get a decent zoom that covers the zoom range that you're interested in and then target specific points where you really want a high quality prime for whatever purpose you have in mind. The 18-135 is great for this. Then get a DA 50 1.8 for portraits and low-light. The DA 35 2.4 for whatever you like to use it for. Maybe a ~100mm macro for bugs. DA 15 for really wide stuff. You get the idea.
05-24-2018, 01:42 PM   #12
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I agree with Sandy. For your stated needs the DA 18-135mm IS a no brainier! Although I have many fine, expensive lenses, including the extra-fine DA 20-40mm Limited, the DA 18-135mm I consider to be my most versatile go-to. It delivers fine quality images, it can keep to f/3.5-4.5 all the way out to 70mm with very good to excellent imaging. Softness beyond is in edge areas. Its central-image performance remains in the excellent range out to 135mm, its AF is exceptionally fast, quiet and accurate, and it is very well built with great handing and WR, yet very compact. I have also noticed a lack of QC issues. Hard to beat!

Check out the thread- DA 18-135mm WR Show us what it can do.

Last edited by mikesbike; 05-24-2018 at 01:49 PM.
05-24-2018, 04:30 PM - 1 Like   #13
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You keep mentioning your low light needs. The DFA 24-70 is simply overkill for your K3. In low light situations I simply can not overstate the importance of a fast constant apeture lens. Essentially you have the Pentax DA*16-50, Tamron 17-50, and the Sigma 17-50. These are all f2.8 constant aperture zooms. I own the DA*16-50 and it was my most used lens on my cameras. Unfortunately I dropped my 16-50 which left it badly decentered. This was no fault of the lens. Now I use the Pentax 16-85 which is just a fantastic lens. I also had the Sigma 17-50 as well but preferred the color rendering and contrast of the 16-50. This was merely a personal decision and is nothing against the Sigma. There is a very good review of these three lenses here. DA* 16-50mm vs. Sigma and Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 Comparison Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

Personally I feel the winner of the three is the Sigma. The Sigma is well built, has reliable silent focus, is usable wide open, and is extremely affordable even new. I never purchased the 17-70 due to the autofocus issues. As for the Superzooms, 18-300, I do not feel you will get the image quality out of them ypu want. Plus they are extremely slow. A very good setup would be the DA*16-50, or one of the 17-50's and the DA*50-135.
05-24-2018, 04:51 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Scorpio71GR Quote
Personally I feel the winner of the three is the Sigma. The Sigma is well built, has reliable silent focus, is usable wide open, and is extremely affordable even new. I never purchased the 17-70 due to the autofocus issues. As for the Superzooms, 18-300, I do not feel you will get the image quality out of them ypu want. Plus they are extremely slow. A very good setup would be the DA*16-50, or one of the 17-50's and the DA*50-135.
I agree.

The Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 isn't a perfect lens, but it's good, and the IQ is excellent. I've never regretted buying mine.

I also have the Sigma 18-300. I knew what I was getting when I bought it, and I've been happy with it, but it is *not* a low light lens. It's slow, and it has to be stopped down further still to get decent frame-wide sharpness. That means you either need *very* good light, or very high ISO. Even stopped down, it can't begin to compare to the IQ of the 17-50, and you wouldn't expect it to. The 18-300 has its uses, but low light ain't one of them
05-24-2018, 11:45 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by WhimsicalV Quote
I need one that will go relatively wide (at least 18mm) and zoom in relatively far (at least 100 preferable). I am willing to sacrifice the zoom in the case of the ones that have the f/4 because low light shooting is common for me.
Every lens involves a compromise. You have to choose how much priority you give to low cost, light weight, bulk, fast aperture, range of focal lengths, general image quality, sharpness in the corners, weather-resistance, flare resistance, autofocus, and a host of other things.


As I understand it, you are saying that you would like something covering 18mm or wider to 100mm or longer, but you would be willing to compromise on the telephoto reach in favour of a faster aperture. Seems to me that if low light photography without flash is a priority, it probably means one of the f2.8 zooms, like the DA*16-50, Tamron 17-50 or Sigma 17-50, because f4 won't be fast enough (at least without raising the ISO too much). You might also want the f2.8 for subject separation. If you need more reach, you might also need to get a longer f2.8 zoom, like the DA*50-135, or one of the 70-200 f2.8 lenses, as a companion to the xx-50.
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