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11-07-2008, 03:06 AM   #1
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What I'd really like vs. what I can really get

I'm sorry but this is going to be long. Please be patient with someone who would like to have LBA, but cant afford it (drulling over lens is all I can afford).

I need some advice on what to get next.

I've spent some time with this setup:
K10D + 18-55mm II + Sigma 70-210mm UCII(?) + A 50mm 1.7

From my experience so far, here's what I like and dislike:
K10D: My lack of skills are mostly to blame for the unsuccessfull pics. But, more dinamic range please... In the end I suppose I'd only be satisfied with film... seen K20D results, no significant change.
18-55mm II : for what it is (a kit lens at its price) its very good. I'd like it to be faster and with less distortion at wide, especially the latter... but that would be another lens.
Sigma 70-210mm : bought to be able to shoot a tele when I didnt have much money (right after buying the camera). Its not good. However it allowed me to shot some BIFs on a trip one week after getting the camera. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. For the price I paid, I can still say it was worth it. Having said that, its got to go.
A 50mm 1.7 : Feels great to use, may not be a bokeh god but its awesome nonetheless. With few exceptions only used it for portraits. I'd like autofocus, for me getting well focused pics can be hard with original screen from K10D. However MF is fun, plus I could pay 500 dollars for a lens and not get the damped feel these old lens have.

What I shoot: everything...
I do allot of photos while travelling (outdoors and cities), usually with friends. This means you dont allways have time to change lens.
I'd like something that starts at 18mm and goes well beyond 55mm. In the great outdoors I think I'd be ok with 100-135mm, but in cities I tend to want to capture both the whole building and certain details in buildings, so something much longer like 200-250mm would be nice. (or I could get new friends... )

Ideally I'd feel pretty happy having a 18-125mm F2.8 + a 55-300mm. It would give me fastness, pretty good IQ and still cut down on lens changes. I'm not very ambitious with the last one, but the first doesnt even exist (what would it be like if it did?).

In reality what I can get is:
For flexibility:
Naturally I'm looking at the Tamron 18-250mm (good IQ for such a lens, softer at 200+).
For fastness:
Tammy 17-50mm F2.8 (pretty good value for money, only one f.28 throughout)
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8 (nice lens)
For a mix of both:
Sigma or Tamron 28-105mm F2.8 (disputable IQ)
For tele, to replace the 70-210mm:
either have the 18-250mm
Pentax 55-300mm (pretty good IQ, better than the next one)
Tamron 70-300mm (very good value)

There are also lenses with a broader focal length range than the kit, but not fast:
Pentax 28-105mm (starts at 28mm ,both FA - F4-5.6 versions seem good on pbase)
Tamron 24-135mm (pretty good IQ I heard)
Sigma 28-135mm (starts at 28mm )
Sigma 18-125mm (love the range, not good IQ it seems)

What do you guys think, should I get the 18-250mm and get flexibility plus replace the dreadfull (dont tell anyone I want to sell it :P) Sig 70-210mm?
Or should I got for one of the "shorter zoom + a tele" options? If so, which one?
Btw, concerning distortions at wide angles, which one of the ones I listed would be less dreadfull.
Finally what other lens should I consider?

Thank everyone who read all of this, especially all who have patience left to reply.

11-07-2008, 09:20 AM   #2
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I can't really comment too much on the lenses you've identified, as I don't have any of them.

But I will say this... Buy the best (IQ) & fastest lens you can afford. I've learned this over a number of years of buying a lens, then wanting/needing something faster or better.

Given that statement, I'd consider a 17-x0/2.8 Sigma/Tamron, and a 55-300mm, purely because I've heard fairly good reports on these lenses here.
11-07-2008, 09:37 AM   #3
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Thank you for your comment.

On the long run, I'd really like to get more than one lens I mentioned. But in a reasonable time span, and keeping myself reasonably satisfied, I really believe getting either the 18-250mm or fast short tele zoom +longer zoom are the two sets that would satisfy me.
I know that is if get the 18-250, I'll still want speed, but I do have the 50mm 1.7 and can allways get another MF to play around with portraits. Plus this really is the worst in terms of distortion.
But I know that with the 55-300m I'll get better IQ a the long end at least.

Sadly it seems my illusion of less distortions for the better (pricier) lens really is just that. Just checked photozone and the 17-50 is just as bad as the 18-55mm mk I. The 17-70mm is worse even.
11-07-2008, 10:28 AM   #4
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Don't take the Photozone tests too seriously--it's just one lens among many of the same type. Personally, I rely more on anecdotal info from real users, as well as "real life" pics to make my decision on whether or not a lens will work for me.

Definitely get the DA55-300; you won't be sorry.

I used to have a Sigma 17-70 and I can tell you from personal experience that it's a great lens for the money. Even though it's a variable aperture, it's sharp and has a great closeup feature.

HTH,
Heather

11-07-2008, 10:38 AM   #5
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[QUOTE=edumad;387663]
QuoteQuote:
Ideally I'd feel pretty happy having a 18-125mm F2.8 + a 55-300mm. It would give me fastness, pretty good IQ and still cut down on lens changes. I'm not very ambitious with the last one, but the first doesnt even exist (what would it be like if it did?).
Size: think "roll of paper towels"
Weight: think "microwave oven"
Price: think "honda accord"

QuoteQuote:
Naturally I'm looking at the Tamron 18-250mm (good IQ for such a lens, softer at 200+).
Although if you think the distortion on the 18-55 is bad at the wide end, the 18-250 is, from what I understand, far worse.

QuoteQuote:
Or should I got for one of the "shorter zoom + a tele" options? If so, which one?
I think you should take a good hard look at what focal lengths you actually use (using your favorite image organizing program to help sort this out for you), and then figure out where the cut off should be. I personally find that somewhere around 70mm is the longest focal length I use often to actually care about having it on a basic "walkaround". With that plus a tele zoom or prime, I'd not be changing lenses often but be doing pretty well in terms of still being able to get decent speed and manageable size/weight. Your results may vary.
11-07-2008, 10:48 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by edumad Quote
Sadly it seems my illusion of less distortions for the better (pricier) lens really is just that. Just checked photozone and the 17-50 is just as bad as the 18-55mm mk I. The 17-70mm is worse even.

PTLens
Proxel
11-07-2008, 03:29 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by edumad Quote
Ideally I'd feel pretty happy having a 18-125mm F2.8 + a 55-300mm.
The 55-300mm sounds like a good choice, and I plan to get one myself when I can afford to.

For the short end, in my opinion the Sigma 24-60mm f/2.8 is really hard to beat at its price (around $200). The zoom range isn't great, but image quality is fantastic.

And then hold on to your 18-55mm II for those occasions you really need to get down to 18mm.
11-08-2008, 05:23 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replys.

I was thinking that myself. If I were to get anything 24 or 28mm I'd keep the kit lens.
Didn't know about the sigma 24-60mm, I'll check it out thanks.

11-08-2008, 12:28 PM   #9
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I think Heather got it right.
I have the DA 55-300 and I can highly recommend it. Its a great lens for its price and I would say the equal, or even better, to some more expensive lenses.
As for the Sigma 17-70, have that as well and I would not part with it, at this time anyway. Its a very good lens for an economical price, and has a great Macro facility to boot.
11-09-2008, 12:09 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by edumad Quote
Didn't know about the sigma 24-60mm, I'll check it out thanks.
Recent thread on the 24-60mm:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/35721-sigma-ex...-60mm-wow.html
11-10-2008, 09:40 AM   #11
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I just used one of those software to look at stats from my pictures...
When using 18-55mm only
I have loads of 18mm, 55mm is the second largest peak and then then they are spread around msotly near wide angle.
When using the 18-55mm + 70-210mm
I have again lots of 18mm, the second largest peak is at 210mm, lots of pics near the wide angle also quite a few till 55mm and then some spread around the telephoto range.

When using the my FZ18
largest peak at 28mm (35eqv), second big peak near 504mm(35eqv),about the same in wide angle area and a second noticeable peak around 200mm (35eqv) I'd say.

Very interesting to look at this, I had the idea it would look more opr less like it does, but the extent to which I use certain focal lengths really escaped me...

I am sure from what I remember from editing that I cropped a lot of the 18mm wide angles. Nonetheless this has told me I really need 18mm.
I'm also confident I'll be using 300mm if I have it, even longer if I'd had that.

This will definitely help me cut down on prospective new lenses...
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