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12-29-2008, 04:21 PM   #1
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Lenses for a K2000?

Hello experts!

I'm new to DSLR and am leaning toward a K2000. Not crazy about a kit lens, but at the moment, you can't seem to buy the body on it's own. So, I'll have the 18-55 that comes with the camera and am thinking of buying the DA 55-300 and the DA 40mm to round it out. Don't want to spend more than US$1,500 for the body and all lenses.

What I seem to be missing with these three lenses is Macro capability - so should I change out the Pentax 55-300 for a Sigma 70-300 which has some Macro? Or am I missing something? Will any of the three I mentioned give me Macro?

I don't want to have to lug around a lot of lenses but want wide angle, macro and a very decent zoom lens because I like to take nature shots. Also, I do a lot of low-light/no flash photography.

I'm open to suggestions for lenses. I'm also not 100 percent sold on the K2000 - still also considering a Olympus E-420 so any insight you can give between these two cameras would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

12-29-2008, 04:30 PM   #2
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I don't have any experience with the Olympus E-420, but it doesn't have shake-reduction if that's a consideration. As for lenses, since you want macro I would skip the 40mm Limited for now, and consider either the DA35 macro or the DFA100 macro, depending on how close you need to get. The DA35 has the advantave of being a very nice walk-around lens, but if you're shooting bugs or small animals a longer focal length is better. The Sigma 70mm macro is very nice too, but it's a big lens for the small K2000. Also check out the Tamron 90mm macro. The DA 55-300 is a good choice for a long zoom. And you might be suprised how good the kit lens is - if you still want to replace it, the DA16-45 is going fairly cheep these days, and is well regarded.
12-29-2008, 04:30 PM   #3
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Skip the da40, and get the FA35 f2 if you want speed, or the 35mm macro if you want close focus. My hiking kit is a pair of zooms and the 35mm macro. It's small light , and easy to use.
Ryan
12-29-2008, 04:35 PM   #4
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I'd go for the 35 macro in lieu of the 40. Kill two birds with one stone, except of course it isn't a pancake...

12-29-2008, 06:15 PM   #5
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In-body shake-reduction is going to get you more keepers than you even realize right now. The K2000 is your camera!

And I'd vote for the FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited, the FA 35 f/2, or the DA 35 f/2.8 limited macro as your main lens.
12-29-2008, 07:06 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by sealonsf Quote
What I seem to be missing with these three lenses is Macro capability - so should I change out the Pentax 55-300 for a Sigma 70-300 which has some Macro?
No. Stick with the totally incredible (for the price) Pentax zoom. The Sigma zoom isn't a real macro.

QuoteOriginally posted by sealonsf Quote
I don't want to have to lug around a lot of lenses but want wide angle, macro and a very decent zoom lens because I like to take nature shots. Also, I do a lot of low-light/no flash photography.
Well, that's a lot of lenses. You must prioritise!

If you want a near-normal perspective and a macro all in one, the DA35 is your man. But if you want something faster, the FA Limited series is where you should be looking. If you buy those you can rest easy knowing you have the best possible optics.

Or, if you don't mind manual focus and maybe manual exposure too (it's easy on the Pentax bodies) search out older lens bargains. I am fond of the Vivitar 28mm f/2, which is faster than the DA Limited series and nice and sharp stopped down one. It is not a macro but focuses very close.

QuoteOriginally posted by sealonsf Quote
I'm also not 100 percent sold on the K2000 - still also considering a Olympus E-420 so any insight you can give between these two cameras would be greatly appreciated.
Since size was important to me, I too looked at the Olympus system, 10 months ago. But you need to get their larger model to get shake reduction, which is truly a godsend feature. Especially as you like low light photography. At that point there's little to choose between the Pentax and Olympus cameras in size and weight. But Pentax have the lens choice and more reasonable crop factor.
12-29-2008, 08:19 PM   #7
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The Pentax 55-300 has way better image quality (IQ) than the Sigma 70-300 APO version. The Sigma has a quasi-macro mode from 200-300mm. Mine was always troublesome getting the switch out of the macro position. If you are going to shoot a fair percentage of macros, I'd investigate a (possibly used) dedicated macro lens. Many are manual focus and relatively cheap.

I took about 6 "macro" shots with the Sigma. This is probably the best of the bunch. I think I could have gotten a little closer, but not much. The background is a manila file folder that came out rather dark, using plain old indirect window light.
Attachment 24802

Oh, that lens got broken aperture blades after about 18 months. Someday I will try to disassemble it for fun, not repairs.

Last edited by SpecialK; 12-23-2015 at 08:28 PM.
12-29-2008, 09:04 PM   #8
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Cheapest / easiest way to get decent macro capability is to get a Raynox 150 or 250 clip-on closeup attachment to use on the front of the 55-300. The attachment costs under $50 but gives much more magnification than any semi-macro zoom would hope to, and can do so at more comfortable working distances than the DA35 (which requires you to be practically right on top of your subject to get 1:1 magnification).

And FWIW, don't let people who don't own the DA40 talk you out of it. It's a great lens, and I personally think it is the single most useful focal length ever.

12-30-2008, 11:48 AM   #9
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Thanks! I made my decision

Thanks to everyone who gave me excellent advice.

I liked the idea of the DA35 macro but my budget didn't like it so much. So, I went with the Raynox 250 to get macro and couldn't resist the DA 40mm - I think I'll use that lens a lot. Also got the 55-300 so I hope I'm pleased with that. I'll be going to Sri Lanka this year so I'll have a chance to shoot a leopard in the wild with it (if I'm lucky to see one!).

So, the K2000 - that I've never actually seen - and all the lenses are on their way! Can't wait. Now, I need to figure out the best software for my Mac laptop to have fun with the images. Any suggestions for that? Cheap options?

Thanks again. Whew, it was a tough decision. I liked most of the cameras I saw, and really liked the way the Canon XSi felt, but in the long run, I think I'll be happier with the Pentax.
12-30-2008, 05:01 PM   #10
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All the best with your new purchases. There is no technical reason you won't be able to get great shots with that kit. Envious of your trip to Sri Lanka. My God, the food! Hold on to your taste buds.
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