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12-20-2008, 03:42 PM   #1
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Need advice on a couple of lenses for my new K10D please...

Hi guys, well after sharing my dads K10D for the last year or so and never being able to use it because of being out of the country and pressures of work, I have now gone out and bought myself a new K10D with standard kit lens. Now, I already have a Tamron 90mm DI that I bought a while back as I like macro photography, and I found it made a great portrait lens due to the excellent bokku... but i'm now looking for something that will allow me to take some longer distance shots (so, say up to a 250mm lens) without breaking my bank balance, and without sacrificing too muc quality.

I now live in Zurich so I will be mainly taking pictures of the lake landscape, portraits of performers in the street, buildings, as well as general out and about snapping. so i'm looking for a couple that complement each-other well, and can cope with the situations above.

As said i'm not wanting to break the bank just yet until I improve my "skillz yo" and get to the level where such purchases can be justitfied, so any advice on would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance, and a merry christmas to all.

12-20-2008, 04:38 PM   #2
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I keep thinking about getting the Pentax 55-300mm zoom lens for myself because it's such a good value. But I almost never use my Tamron 70-300mm because i stay in the more traditional 17- to 75mm range. What i'm saying is that if you like zooms maybe you can get the Pentax 55-300mm.
12-20-2008, 04:42 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stratario Quote
I keep thinking about getting the Pentax 55-300mm zoom lens for myself because it's such a good value. But I almost never use my Tamron 70-300mm because i stay in the more traditional 17- to 75mm range. What i'm saying is that if you like zooms maybe you can get the Pentax 55-300mm.
DA 55~300 is my most-used AF lens (+ FA50/1.4 and FA53/2).

My most-used long lens, though, used more than the 55~300, is the K200/4, an extremely sharp longer lens in pristine condition that cost me $89 from a reputable ebay seller.

Yeah, manual and no auto-exposure, but the green button works, and I can use the lens with my film cameras.
12-20-2008, 06:54 PM   #4
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I'd do a search for the pentax "A" 70-210 F4.0 While its not quite 250 it is still a great lens. Contrasty, good color rendition, excellent bokeh, and quite sharp. Since I've gotten it my 50-200 has been sitting on the shelf. It even has a 'macro' function at 70mm (read close focus) and once you get the hang of the "one touch" focus/zoom ergonomics, it is pretty damn easy to use. One of my more widely used lenses.

a few samples:






NaCl(and relatively inexpensive)H2O

12-21-2008, 01:32 AM   #5
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Thanks guys I did some googling around for that Pentax and it seems it is VERY scarce at the moment, even on Ebay! Are there any more widely available lenses that perform similarly for not too much more money which have the added benefit of AF?
12-21-2008, 01:45 AM   #6
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Ok after reading numerous reviews of the SMC Pentax DA 55-300mm i'm now quite smitten with it... the test shots look excellent too accross the range. I'm considering one of those and maybe also a 17-70mm (reccommend any in particular?) to cover all situations... then I can ditch the kit lens. Does that sound a decent idea?
12-21-2008, 05:28 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Richdog Quote
Ok after reading numerous reviews of the SMC Pentax DA 55-300mm i'm now quite smitten with it... the test shots look excellent too accross the range. I'm considering one of those and maybe also a 17-70mm (reccommend any in particular?) to cover all situations... then I can ditch the kit lens. Does that sound a decent idea?
One of the 17-70mm lenses (Sigma or Pentax), plus the Pentax 55-300mm, would be an excellent, versatile combo. You still may want to get one of the faster primes, or faster zooms, but you would be in good shape with the combo you suggest.
12-21-2008, 06:27 AM   #8
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Ok well interestingly Pentax are currently doing 100 cashback on K20D = Kit lens... and the place where I bought my K10D form have said that it would be ok for me to return my K10D for a full refund and exchange it for the K20D... which minus the 100 rebate would bring the pretty close to the K10D... within 100. Shall i go for it thinking in terms of future-proofing?

12-21-2008, 07:21 AM   #9
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I've got my mind on the exact same combo as well!
Currently I have my K10D plus kit lens mkII, Sigma 70-210mm F4-5.6, SMC-A 50mm F1.7, Vivitar 200mm F3.5.
The mkII is quite good, and actually my only probs with it is I'd like something faster and with less distortions at wide angle.
The Sigma is very poor, I bought it cuz it was cheap and I wanted a telezoom quickly, so I dont regret it. I even like its colors (personal taste) but its soft and it seems the colors bleed alot at the tele end. My first usage was BIFs, so I was very glad I bought it. The 55-300mm has very good reviews, so much so I've been suppressing my desire to buy a Tammy 70-300mm (they're quite cheap now).
One advantage I see is the 55-70mm extra you get. Because I usually go out with people its nice to be able to quickly take a portrait or even group shot without having to change lenses. Maybe its not for everyone, but I missed those extra mms on the sigma.

On the 17-70mm I'm thinking of the Sigma because its significantly cheaper, faster and has some "macro", which is nice... It isnt as fast as say, the Tammy 17-50mm, but I like the extra reach and portraits are not my main thing, so its no essential to be that fast (although it'd be nice).
However it doesnt seem to be any better than the kit lens in terms of distortions, aberrations, sharpness or vignetting...
The Pentaax 17-70mm seems much better, but still, it is very expensive. For the extra bucks I'd like less distortions, keep the same sharpness, give me less distortions, less CA and more reach and I'm happy.

Anybody know of such a lens?
12-21-2008, 07:56 AM   #10
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Ok thinking about it seriously... I really don't think it's worth shelling out an extra 100 for the K20D when i'm a) not a very experienced photographer and b) will be looking to buy something better by the time I am.

The K10D is a great camera, and the perfect tool for "cutting my teeth" on. I don't need a K20D to take some amazing photos, and i'm going to wring every last pennys-worth out of this K10D before I upgrade it to something else.

Oh and I forgot to mention that while at the cameraq shop today I bought the 55-300mm (199 - 25 cashback) and took a batch of test shots of my neighbours cat, as well as some random crap outside my house and I am VERY happy with the initial results!

Next on my list is a good 17-70mm lens and eventually... the 50-135mm... I had a play with one today and it was amazing, I couldn't believe how quiet the HSM focussing was... but that price... *gulp*.

Good times are ahead in Zurich when I get back there this January.

edumad... save up for the Pentax 17-70mm maybe?
12-21-2008, 08:03 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Richdog Quote
Ok well interestingly Pentax are currently doing 100 cashback on K20D = Kit lens... and the place where I bought my K10D form have said that it would be ok for me to return my K10D for a full refund and exchange it for the K20D... which minus the 100 rebate would bring the pretty close to the K10D... within 100. Shall i go for it thinking in terms of future-proofing?
I would seriously consider that exchange option, as the K20 has some nice advances, compared to the K10. The high ISO performance is markedly better (smoother. less noise) the AF seems to me slightly improved, the LiveView mode (though a bit basic) can be helpful in some situations (very long lenses...) and some set-up things are improved too. So, if you have the money and would not need to compromise on lenses, then I would do the upgrade.

For lenses: I think the other posters have given good advice. I am personally a big follower of the A 70-210/4, because of its excellent performance and because it is simply appreciably faster, than the 50-300. If I would not need the lens immediately, though, I would wait til the release of the 60-250/4...

Ben

EDIT: sorry, read your last answer only after I posted this - I am slow typer obviously and your post wasn't here, when I started replying...
12-21-2008, 08:11 AM   #12
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The DA 55-300mm is an excellent lens and no doubt you will be very happy with it. The Pentax magic is quite obvious in shots like the first one below: detail, colour rendering, dimensionality. Looks like it was shot with a Limited.

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12-21-2008, 08:34 AM   #13
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I'll have to save for either the Sigma or the Pentax.
Problem is even the Pentax seems too expensive for what it offers...
It has more distortion than the kit, significant CA and vignetting as well...

Sadly the lens I'd really like does not exist...
12-23-2008, 06:14 PM   #14
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It sounds like you are doing outdoor shots in decent light.

16-45 f4 wide for lake shots, street performers at normal distances.

14 or 12-20 if you want wider

Others said the 55-300 but the 18-250 would also be good fo a general lens (although I rarely use mine).

If you have night shots of street performers you need something faster like the 35 f2. You might be too close fo the 50 f1.4.
12-23-2008, 06:47 PM   #15
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If you want the nice quiet HSM and don't want to have to wait until you save up for the 50-135, then the DA17-70 is your answer. As a matter of fact, I'm thinking about replacing my DA16-45 with it sometime next year, as the 17-70 range would be more useful to me than 16-45.

Heather
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