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09-15-2008, 04:08 PM   #1
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Lens for a soon-to-be-K200D-owner

Ok, I've read the reviews at dpreview, cameralabs etc, played with the camera.. All good. I'm sort of at the point where I am taking last minute suggestions..

Basically I'm after a rugged DSLR that will be used predominately for mountain biking & hiking shots.. the weather seals are a big plus to me. The only thing that bothers me a little is that the weathersealed lenses are quite expensive, and it doesn't seem that any of the sealed lenses are offered as a kit lens from my local store.

I need a bit of a hand with lens selection - I currently have a Canon G9 but I am aware of it's limitations, hence me looking at a DSLR. I find myself almost always shooting in full wide with the G9 (35mm) and even then, I'd like something quite a bit wider.

These are basically the options that are available CHEAPER (in kit form) for me: (note that pricing is in $AUS)

Body Only $565
with Sigma 24-70mm $615
with Sigma 18-50mm $629
with Pentax 18-55mm II $685
with Sigma 18-50 + 70-300mm $785
with Sigma 24-60mm $805
with Pentax 16-45mm $920
with Sigma 17-70mm $915
with Sigma 18-200mm $915
with Pentax 18-55 II + 50-200mm ED $969
with Pentax 17-70mm $1149
with Pentax 18-250mm $1149

Taking into consideration that 95% of my shots at this point in time are wide angle shots, what's my best option?

I will also be purchasing a fisheye (possibly, they are quite expensive though) and a telephoto (almost definitely) further down the track. Keep that in mind, as I don't want a "do-it-all" lens to begin with, as they are usually either not that great or very expensive. Just something "standard that's OK on the wide end to begin with. i.e. 18-55 II.

09-15-2008, 04:38 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome, are you just buying one lens to start? Don't forget the crop factor so some of those lenses aren't going to work for you.
You didn't list the Sigma 10-20 mm, quite a few of us have it and love it.
The Pentax FA 50mm 1.4 is another lens that is really worth having. You should be able to buy both of these lenses I've mentioned for about the same price as the cheapest single lens on your list or close to it.
I look forward to seeing some shots after you make your purchase.
09-15-2008, 04:52 PM   #3
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Hi! I was in a very similar position a few weeks ago (but with K10D body) and opted for the Sigma 17-70mm. Took it hiking in the mountains the day after I bought it, very versatile lens. Takes good sharp shots throughout its range without too much CA or distortion. Although it's not weather sealed the build quality is nice, it's rubber coated and has a metal mount. I am also going to buy a wider lens and a telephoto down the road and the 17-70 fits nicely in the middle. Best wishes for your new setup!
09-15-2008, 04:59 PM   #4
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Hi Max,
IF $$$$ are not an issue for you, and given your intended usage, I would take a punt on the Pentax DA* 16-50.
Other than that the Sigma 17-70 has got a lot of fans and if the budget is tight go with the kit lens (Pentax 18-55) and start saving.
Cheers.

09-15-2008, 06:07 PM   #5
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Thanks guys


What's the best "bang for buck" weathersealed lens?

The 16-50 DA*? Apparently there was some quality issues with this lens?
09-15-2008, 06:19 PM   #6
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Unfortunately, the 16-50 is the only somewhat WA weathersealed lens that I'm aware of. The Sigma 17-70 is a good choice for a walk-around alternative, though. While it's kind of expensive, if you really want WA, then the DA12-24 is also an excellent choice.

HTH,
Heather
09-15-2008, 06:35 PM   #7
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QuoteQuote:
The 16-50 DA*? Apparently there was some quality issues with this lens?

There are some issues with the lens... if you get a good copy though this is a wonderful lens.


I have one and its on my camera more than any other lens and I could not be happier with it




Neil
09-15-2008, 10:00 PM   #8
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Thanks guys

So, how do I tell if it's a bodgy DA lens or not? (16-50?)

09-15-2008, 10:28 PM   #9
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I'd probably do the kit with the 18-250 so you have a broad range. Might come in handy. Bummer you can't get the DA* weather sealed ones. The SDM so far is awesome as are the seals on the lenses. Excellent camera too!
09-15-2008, 11:45 PM   #10
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If you're buying local and the shop carries the Tamron 17-50/2.8 then that would be my choice hands down. Based on the photos I have seen taken by it versus the DA*16-50/2.8 there isn't $300 worth of difference between them optically - and the Tamron doesn't have a spotty QA history nor a serial number database of bad copies.

However, if the lenses you have to select from are only those you listed above then I would go with either the DA 18-250 or the Sigma 17-70. Given your not wanting an all-in-one lens then, even though I personally just don't like the feel of Sigma lenses, I'd go with the Sigma 17-70. It's $100 less than the new Pentax 17-70 and has a good reputation as a solid performer.
09-16-2008, 02:04 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxwolfie Quote
Thanks guys

So, how do I tell if it's a bodgy DA lens or not? (16-50?)
1. Establish that you have a return option before buying.

2. Take photos at all settings and do a bit of pixel peeping, apparently the biggest issue with the lens is that it gets soft at the edges or on one side.

However, I also think you have to take notice of the good reports as well, there are some stunning photos taken with this lens, check out the dedicated thread for living proof. (sorry....gotta scratch....a little itch just down here )

Good luck with your decision.
09-16-2008, 02:50 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mallee Boy Quote
2. Take photos at all settings and do a bit of pixel peeping, apparently the biggest issue with the lens is that it gets soft at the edges or on one side.
I don't I'd even be able to tell the difference!

So the cheapest sealed lens would be the 16-50 DA*?

I think I will stick with the Pentax 18-55 II... Kind of defeats the purpose of having a sealed body though
09-16-2008, 09:08 AM   #13
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As long as the camera is sealed you should be OK, the great lenses for pentax arn't sealed.. there are only a couple that are.. as long as you clean the lenses when you come in and keep them from getting soak & wet and keep them away from alot of humidity....
The Tamron 17-50/2.8 is suppose to be a great lens.

Last edited by Fl_Gulfer; 09-16-2008 at 09:16 AM.
09-16-2008, 09:20 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxwolfie Quote
Ok, I've read the reviews at dpreview, cameralabs etc, played with the camera.. All good. I'm sort of at the point where I am taking last minute suggestions..

Basically I'm after a rugged DSLR that will be used predominately for mountain biking & hiking shots.
Whatever costs the least.

You want weight savings. For your activities, do not understimate this.

You want cost-effective replacement in the event of a mishap.

Kit lens only to start. It goes against the "quality" grain most people advocate, but the fact you list ruggedness at the top of any criteria suggests a certain direction. And the cost/benefit ratio is the best.

From there you can make further decisions and have ample budget room. But again, given your activities, paying a premium for a piece of glass to go hurtling along trails………I'd think twice about the investment in something like a 16-50. The weight of premium lenses (and super-zooms) is a not something to take lightly
09-16-2008, 11:37 AM   #15
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For the widest range of use, I would strongly recommend the 18-250mm, although the price you show seems high. I'm not going state it's the best lens in the world, because it isn't, but it's a very good lens with a very wide range.

For the 'bottom end', I would also recommend the 12-24mm. The fisheye (10-17mm) is a great lens too, but I would hesitate to recommend it as an 'only' wide lens
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