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09-18-2008, 02:00 AM   #1
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New to this, what to get.

I have a K100ds, and the kit lens, and am loving the pictures it takes.
I go travelling in a couple of months and will be ttaking the camera and a couple of lenses.

What would you recommend?
Was thinking at the moment a 40mm DA f2.8 Limited and a 18-250 Pentax DA?
40mm for indoor and basically when I can use it etc, and then the 18-250 when I need more flexibility.

Any thoughts?

Thanks

09-18-2008, 02:22 AM   #2
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Try to stay away from hyperzooms.

The 40mm pancake is nice, but wouldn't be first on my list. It's a great lens, from what I hear, but it's built more for size. The IQ's pretty good, again, from what I hear.

But it's just not that...I dunno...useful, I guess. It's not that fast...for the focal length. Better off grabbing an FA 50mm f1.4. Quality is exceptional, and though it's bigger, it's also much faster - indoors, there's always less light than you think...
09-18-2008, 03:20 AM   #3
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Pentax 35mm /2.0 AL
09-18-2008, 03:28 AM   #4
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before going out and buying your lenses,step back and think for a moment about what you enjoy most already, and what you feel "limited" in doing with your camera and kit lens

I don't know how much you want to spend, and what your thoughts are for carrying different things around, but I always recommend looking at extending your range before getting into lenses that overlap what you currently have.

both the lenses you have listed seem to overlap to a great extent what you have already.


Do you need longer, wider, faster, ?

you will get a lot of recommendations on specific lenses, but int he end, you need to consider how you will ultimately cover a range from 10mm at the wide end to somewhere between 200 and 400mm at the long end. You will also ultimately want the range from ~20mm through 200mm to be at F2.8


Plan it out carefully, and buy lenses that not only filll the gaps in the total range, but also ones that you won't be replacing later

09-18-2008, 07:21 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
The 40mm pancake is nice, but wouldn't be first on my list. It's a great lens, from what I hear, but it's built more for size. The IQ's pretty good, again, from what I hear.

But it's just not that...I dunno...useful, I guess. It's not that fast...for the focal length. Better off grabbing an FA 50mm f1.4. Quality is exceptional, and though it's bigger, it's also much faster - indoors, there's always less light than you think...
I held off on this lens for some time because of concerns like this, but finally got tired of always feeling 50mm was just too long. Since getting the DA40, my 50 hardly gets used. I find that in practice - especially with SR - f/2.8 *is* enough, if you don't mind ISO 1600 9and I don't). And it is just such so amazingly fast to focus, plus of course the size - and IQ isn't just "pretty good", it's about as good as it gets, really.
09-18-2008, 08:03 AM   #6
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Lots of choices available but If I was traveling and wanted a light kit, I would just take my 18-250 for outdoor versatility, and a fast prime (f/2 or faster) for indoors stuff where you can't or don't want to use flash.
09-18-2008, 08:03 AM   #7
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Starting out new, you'll benefit from great advice from this forum, but it unfortunately won't make your decisions any easier (or less expensive...). When I got my ist-DL a few years ago with the 18-55 kit lens, I quickly supplemented it with the DA 50-200mm lens. They formed a nice combo, but of course my LBA was in its infancy. My next lens was the FA 50mm f1.4. This was my first taste of a prime lens, and it was great fun. Since then, I upgraded my DL to the K100D Super.

But in many instances, I found the 50mm a bit long for the indoor portraits I was using it mostly for, so I added the FA 35mm f2.0. I found the 35mm lens to be a highly versatile lens with wonderful performance. I won't be selling my 50mm 1.4, but in all honesty, it doesn't get used all that much anymore relative to the 35mm 2.0. But with a new baby on the way soon, I do think the 50mm will get a lot of use again when I don't want to use a flash.

My latest purchase was due to the lingering doubts many of us have about continuing to use the Pentax kit lens. Although it is quite good, you just know there is better out there. Anyway, as a general walk-around lens, I considered primarily the Sigma 17-70, 24-60 and 24-70, as well as the new Pentax 17-70 and the Pentax 16-45 and 16-50, and the Tamron 17-50 and 28-75. I ended up going with the Tammy 28-75mm f2.8, but trust me, that was not an easy decision.

All in all, I decided that in general, since I don't do too much landscape shooting, and primarily take photos of my family, events, etc., I could sacrifice some on the wide end. The Tammy appealed to me for the 75mm long end, constant 2.8 aperture, and great reviews from users.

And there are so many other great options for you to consider--the various primes (31, 35, 40, 77, etc.). All of those walk-around options I described above. And then the various hyperzooms from Pentax, Sigma and Tamron. And then stellar lenses like the Pentax 50-135mm. Your head may spin, but try to map out what your biggest needs are and most likely shooting will be. Good luck.
09-18-2008, 09:29 AM   #8
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I'm sure you'll get lots of posts saying to do something else, and I think those that agree it is a decent plan, won't post, so I'll post my support for your idea just so you don't come to the conclusion it is a bad idea for lack of input.

Thank you
Russell

09-18-2008, 09:33 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by charlep Quote
Was thinking at the moment a 40mm DA f2.8 Limited and a 18-250 Pentax DA?
40mm for indoor and basically when I can use it etc, and then the 18-250 when I need more flexibility.
My vote is for the DA18-250, and the DA35 over the DA40. Both of those are excellent excellent excellent, but if you've got the 18-250 with you, you're no longer as small as you can be, so the tinyness of the DA40 won't be of much benefit. Both lenses are 2.8 so speed is not the deciding factor. What you gain is the ability to focus as close as you want.

DA40:
+ super fast focusing
+ very small
- tiny lens means tiny focus ring

DA35 pros:
+ focuses as close as you want
- can be slow to focus, as it has a lot of range to hunt over

The FA50 is also a good candidate.
09-18-2008, 11:24 AM   #10
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My tag line says it all.

I shoot a K100D in addition to the K20D and love it, too. As for travel lenses, in addition to your DA 18-55, if you wish to save some money, the DA 40 Ltd (vs. DA 35 Ltd) is quite stealthy and costs about U$275. It's a great lens that's extremely versatile and will serve as a good introduction to the limited lens series. Should you get a DA 40, it will soon be on you camera 90 percent of the time. For a longer reach, the DA 55-300 is spectacular and not too heavy for walk around use.

The K100D (due to its clunkier than K20D sensor resolution) benefits greatly from zoom flexibility. You can get wonderful IQ on the K100D by zoom composing your subject to size vs. cropping for enlargement with the K20D.

Get the DA 40 Ltd. You will not be disappointed.

...my 2 cent$...
09-18-2008, 05:34 PM   #11
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I would not get a lens that falls in the FL you already have with the 18-55. If you get the 18-250, the 18-55 becomes redundant. The 55-300 has a bit more reach for a little less $, though.

That would be my cheap 2-lens recommendation, though I've never owned the kit lens.

I find 18 is often not wide enough, expecially around town. Though there is a bit of overlap with the 12-24, the IQ is great, and I'm mostly at the wider end anyway. It is not cheap.

The fisheye is fun, and more useful than many think at first.
09-18-2008, 11:20 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by charlep Quote
I have a K100ds, and the kit lens, and am loving the pictures it takes.
I go travelling in a couple of months and will be ttaking the camera and a couple of lenses.

What would you recommend?
Was thinking at the moment a 40mm DA f2.8 Limited and a 18-250 Pentax DA?
40mm for indoor and basically when I can use it etc, and then the 18-250 when I need more flexibility.

Any thoughts?

Thanks
Where are your travels taking you?

The 18-250 is a solid performer when used for what it was made to be. It's a bit slow in that it drops to f/5.6 @ 70mm, f/6.2 @ 155mm and 6.3 @ 220mm. So it sucks in low light on its own basically. However, as a daylight lens it shines. With a flash and/or tripod it does fine indoors/low-light too. I wouldn't want it as my one and only lens but I'm really glad I have it in my bag (I have the Pentax version). Some of my best shots from my trip to Colorado last month were taken with the DA18-250.
I don't think you're going to go wrong picking any of the f/2.8 DA primes. For a little extra wiggle indoors though the FA50/1.4 is an awesome bargain.
As for the 18-55 being redundant with the 18-250, well yeah it is. That isn't necessarily a bad thing though. It's a great backup lens for now; and when the day comes you decide to upgrade from the K100, having the kit lens to throw in might grease the sale.

One final thought going back to my Colorado trip - budget aside, if there was a single lens I could have had on that trip that I didn't it would have been the DA12-24. I know the DA*50-135 is going to be my next lens purchase, but on that trip I would have loved having that extra 6mm of width.
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