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09-30-2008, 04:15 PM   #1
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Best lens for noobie?

I've read quite a few reviews on different lenses but I'd like to get some specific response to my situation.

I have a K20D with the 18-55 kit lens which from what I've read on this site - is one of the best starter lenses in the industry.

Having said that I would like more zoom - I was looking at the 50-150mm I believe it is and see that its got some good reviews as well. However, I'm looking to spend less than $500CDN and would like to be under the $400 (baby on the way so pennies count! )

I like shooting landscapes but would also like to ensure that I can take shots of our little one crawling around on the floor when the time comes - so I'm looking for a "do it all" type lense.

Any suggestions on what I should be looking at?

09-30-2008, 04:32 PM   #2
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well of the top of my head the 55-300mm would seem to fit, as it would give you 18-300mm kit out of the two lens.
The 50 - 200mm was paired with the kit lens alot and is available for well below your budget.
09-30-2008, 04:32 PM   #3
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I used to own the FA 28-105 f/3.2 which is a great walk around. 28mm for your landscapes and 105 to capture the little one. It's not to expensive brand new, about $250.
09-30-2008, 04:33 PM   #4
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I also agree with bwield, the 55-200 coupled with your kit lens would also be good and the 200 gives you a lot more range.

09-30-2008, 04:54 PM   #5
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I agree on the 28-105

QuoteOriginally posted by figmental1978 Quote
I used to own the FA 28-105 f/3.2 which is a great walk around. 28mm for your landscapes and 105 to capture the little one. It's not to expensive brand new, about $250.
I agree. I just got the 28-105 f/3.2-4.5 and it is very good. In fact at f5.6-8 it approaches primes at 35 to 70mm; not as good, but very good none the less. Plus I got the the Kenko 1.5x for about $80 and essentially uped it 42- 158mm or so; image quality will suffer a bit with the Kenko, and you'll lose some speed, but again, this is a single lens you can leave on the camera, put the converter in your pocket, and cover a lot of daytime walk-around needs without carting bag and equipment around,
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09-30-2008, 05:35 PM   #6
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How long you been shooting?

If you are very new to this and the kit lens you have then wait a while. Keep tabs on your shooting style. Are you taking more wide shots or longer tele shots? When shooting are in you indoors or outside? Do you keep backing up wishing you could go wider or frustrated that your lens is not long enough?

A lot of people buy a 50mm or a small kit lens and then think that big, long telephoto that reaches to the moon is the sexy lens they must have. But a lot of users could really do more with a wide angle.

Its different for everyone, so take your time and go with the range that best suits YOUR shooting style...

Max
09-30-2008, 05:48 PM   #7
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Aside from zooms, I would highly recommend that you get a fast 50 1.4. Although you currently have this focal range with the kit lens, knowing that the little one won't come out running, you will have an endless number of low light, close up opportunities in which you won't want to use a flash. I gaurantee that you won't regret it (and it's only $200 new.)
Most importantly...congrats on the baby.
09-30-2008, 06:16 PM   #8
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Wow guys, thanks for all the excellent advice - and FAST too! Sounds like I might need 2 lenses... a fast 50 and a 55-200... Any further advice as to what brands? Is it worth it to pay the extra $ for Pentax build gear or is SMC and other 3rd party lenses just as good? I'm willing to pay a bit extra for quality - I don't want to skimp.

beaumont: thanks for the congrats!

09-30-2008, 06:41 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Konos Quote
Having said that I would like more zoom
For the record, the word you want here is "telephoto". Zoom refers to the ability to change focal lengths, but "more zoom" might mean it adds more at the wide angle end. If you want more at the long end, that's called telephoto.

QuoteQuote:
I like shooting landscapes but would also like to ensure that I can take shots of our little one crawling around on the floor when the time comes - so I'm looking for a "do it all" type lense.
Note that two of the suggestions given - the 50-200 and 55-300 - are telephoto *only*. They zoom, but only in the telephoto range. So they won't do at all for the kind of pictures you are currently taking with the 18-55. You'd need both lenses. If you want one lens to do everything, the 28-105 mentioned would be decent - you lose quite a bit of wide angle compared to the 18-55, and nowhere near as much telephoto capability as either the 50-200 or 55-300 - but there's still a lot of pictures to be taken. If you really want one lens to do everything that could be done with the 18-55 and 50-200 together, it's the 18-250 you're looking for, although it stretches your budget a little.

Personally, I'm with the camp that says keep the 18-55 - really does work for "most" photography - and then get a 50-200 and a "fast 50", or perhaps the DA40 (not as fast, but wider) or FA35 (faster, wider than the DA40) for indoor / low light use.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 10-01-2008 at 10:41 AM.
09-30-2008, 06:49 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Konos Quote
I like shooting landscapes but would also like to ensure that I can take shots of our little one crawling around on the floor when the time comes - so I'm looking for a "do it all" type lense.

Any suggestions on what I should be looking at?
I like the other suggestions, but I'll add one. When the baby starts crawling, you might want some budget left for an external flash.
09-30-2008, 07:12 PM   #11
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Many choices out there, but I would concur with the suggestions given above:

1.) Get the DA 50-200mm to compliment your DA 18-55mm (kit) lens (~200$), then purchase a fast 50mm prime (i.e. FA 50 f1.4 @ ~ 200$). This will keep you occupied for some time.

or,

2.) Get the 18-250mm.

Good luck...and congrats!!

c[_]
09-30-2008, 08:01 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photomaximum Quote

A lot of people buy a 50mm or a small kit lens and then think that big, long telephoto that reaches to the moon is the sexy lens they must have. But a lot of users could really do more with a wide angle.
That was me when I first started. I bought a 100-300, then a (really cheap) 500 w/2x extender (so 500/8 or 1000/16), then a 200/2.5, then a 50-200, then another 100-300. However, most of my shots tend to be landscape shots at the wider end of the focal length spectrum. My DA 14mm, newest of my lenses, has probably gotten more time than any of my telephoto lenses in the last year or two.

I just point this out to illustrate that you can spend a lot of money for lenses that you'll rarely use.

As for third party vs Pentax (btw, SMC is pentax market-speak for their optical coatings, so SMC lenses are pentax lenses), sometimes the 3d party lenses are better, sometimes you get real pieces of trash. It really all comes down to 'you get what you pay for.'

The Pentax DA 18-250 is a great lens when it comes to do-it-all lenses, but it's not going to give you the same quality as a 18-55 and a 50-200. If versatility is important to you, get that lens. If low-light performance is important, I echo what others have said: get the excellent FA 50 f/1.4 and the DA 50-200. Those, combined with the kit lens, will give you a pretty versatile kit.
09-30-2008, 08:57 PM   #13
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for $130 you can't go wrong w/ Tamron 70-300mm; it gives u 1:2 macro 180-300mm(i think). w/ the money left over u can get the FA50 1.4 and still have some money left over.
09-30-2008, 09:39 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=Marc Sabatella;356545]... it's the 18-250 you're looking for, although it stretches your budget a little.


I have the 18-250 and it is a very versatile outdoor lens. It has proven to be very valuable for vacation shots, but the fast 50 will prove to be priceless for the little one especially in the first 2 years and for future birthdays, Christmas, etc...
10-02-2008, 09:42 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by nupentaxian Quote
for $130 you can't go wrong w/ Tamron 70-300mm; it gives u 1:2 macro 180-300mm(i think). w/ the money left over u can get the FA50 1.4 and still have some money left over.
I'll definately check out that lens.

Just got am email from my dad and he's got 2 old 40mm f2.8 film lenses from his old ME and MXs that will likely work on my K20D. Any thoughts about using that instead of the 50 f1.4? My only concern is getting used to manual aperature settings. What about the difference in low light shooting though - would it be that big a difference?
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