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11-24-2008, 02:49 PM   #1
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Upgrade from kit lens?

Just wondering if there are any lenses a step up from the 18-55mm kit which are under $200. I've found the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 and pentax 16-45mm f/4 for around $200 each, and was wondering if there was anything I'd missed.

11-24-2008, 03:39 PM   #2
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For under $200 (new) I don't think you will find a significant improvement.

For another $79, I think Cameta Camera still has the older version of the Sigma 18-50 f2.8 for $279. I'm happy with mine. (The newer version has a closer macro mode, and is $379 or so).
11-24-2008, 05:01 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by nixcamic Quote
Just wondering if there are any lenses a step up from the 18-55mm kit which are under $200. I've found the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 and pentax 16-45mm f/4 for around $200 each, and was wondering if there was anything I'd missed.
If you're looking for a *replacement* for the kit lens, sure, either of those would be a step up in most respect, although usually they run a bit more than $200. Or maybe you mean $100 net assuming you could sell your 18-55 for $100.

On the other hand, these lenses cover pretty much the same focal length range. If I had only the kit lens and $200 to spend, I'd put that toward *supplementing* what you already have. Depending on your needs, perhaps something telephoto (a zoom like the 50-200 or a couple of old manual focus primes), a true macro, or something truly *fast* (in the sense of large maximum aperture), like the FA50/1.4. That would make a bigger difference than marginally better IQ at the same focal lengths.

If you've already got telephoto and macro you are happy with, I'd probably pick the 18-50/2.8 over the 16-45/4, because at least it is significantly faster than what you've got, even if the focal length range is about the same. I'd only consider the 16-45 if you are mostly craving a wider angle lens but think 16m will be wide enough, and if you also have something longer than 45 (that's going to be *very* limiting as your maximum focal length).
11-24-2008, 05:54 PM   #4
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Well, I already have a telephoto (although a fairly crappy one) a few primes, and the kit. I really like the kit range, but want something faster, 2mm wider would be nice, but I can't really afford the 16-50 f/2.8 so I think I'll be going for the 18-50 sigma, just wondered if anyone could point out any options i'd missed. Thanks for the replies.

11-24-2008, 08:06 PM   #5
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Other lenses in that range are the Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5 and the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 .
The sigma 17-70 is an extremely versatile range, the close focusing abilty is fantastic (almost up to the point where the front element is touching the subject), and it is extremely sharp if you can find a good copy. Downsides are the variable aperture and pretty noticable distortion on the wide end, which is why i traded mine for the 24-70f/2.8. But for outdoor shooting and travel, its hard to beat and is definately a step up from the kit I would say.
I have no personal experience with the tammy 17-50 but many people even those that shoot canon or nikon swear by it. The constant f/2.8 is nice and I've seen spectacular photos taking with it. Buying new might be a little out of your price range however. Ive seen a few 17-70s on the marketplace a while back but curiously no 17-50s
11-24-2008, 08:39 PM   #6
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IF you're even considering the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, make sure to check out prodigital on ebay. It's going for $299 before the live.com discount.
11-24-2008, 11:07 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by K100Dave Quote
IF you're even considering the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, make sure to check out prodigital on ebay. It's going for $299 before the live.com discount.
Good call!

My suggestion would be to save up for the Sigma 17-70. You'll notice a real difference in image sharpness and the lens also offers a more useful focal range. It is my standard walk-around lens and rarely comes off my camera for personal use.
11-24-2008, 11:44 PM   #8
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Surprised nobody has mentioned the Sigma 24-60 f2.8, which can be had for $199.95 new on Amazon. The reason for the low price is probably the new 24-70 lens from Sigma. If the lack of wide angle works for you, it's definitely worth considering.

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