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01-06-2009, 07:30 AM   #1
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Better lens for K100d - same, extra zoom or replace with Canon

G'day All

I own a Pentax K100d with the Sigma kit lens (18-50mm F3.5-5.6 DC) and I have been relatively happy with the results. I mainly use the camera for general shots, scenery, traveling, hiking etc. I would, however, like to get a better lens (same or even an extra zoom) or get a new kit all together.

So here's the dilemma I would like assistance with, do I ?

1. Get a Pentax 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL DA II to replace the Sigma (Can get for about $250 Aussie) and flog the Sigma on ebay; OR

2. Get a Pentax 18-250mm DA F3.5 - 6.3 ED AL [IF] (can get for $700 Aussie) and flog the Sigma on ebay. The downside/upside is that I'm locked into Pentax bodies; OR

3. Get a Canon EOS 450d with the 18-55 IS kit lens for about a $700 Aussie changeover price. Would I notice a huge jump in image quality going from the K100d with the sigma lens to the EOS 450d ?

Sorry for the long winded post, just in a bit of a quandry + lens prices are set to rise.

Thanking you in advance

Troy

01-06-2009, 07:34 AM   #2
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I am biased but I like option 2. You get to keep your existing body, one that you are very familiar with and comfortable shooting and you get a lot more zoom. The question is if you really need the long end or not. Personally I had the 18-55 Kit and a 70-300 lens that I would be swapping constantly when I was out and about. It only made sense to get the 18-250 as I wouldn't need to change lenses except for very specific situations.
01-06-2009, 07:35 AM   #3
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The Canon kit lens is about the worst optic since Holga.

I'd go for sort-of #1; with the exception that I'd get one second-hand; and flog the Sigma on eBay.
01-06-2009, 08:10 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by tjmckay Quote
1. Get a Pentax 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL DA II to replace the Sigma (Can get for about $250 Aussie) and flog the Sigma on ebay; OR

2. Get a Pentax 18-250mm DA F3.5 - 6.3 ED AL [IF] (can get for $700 Aussie) and flog the Sigma on ebay. The downside/upside is that I'm locked into Pentax bodies; OR

3. Get a Canon EOS 450d with the 18-55 IS kit lens for about a $700 Aussie changeover price. Would I notice a huge jump in image quality going from the K100d with the sigma lens to the EOS 450d ?
You wouldn't gain much by going to Canon but would lose image stabilisation. A better body upgrade would be the K20D which would give you a bigger sensor and weather-sealing.

As far as lenses go, a super-zoom would not improve your IQ. If anything they are poorer, especially at the wide end. The kit Mk II would be ok, but I recommend the DA16-45. It gets you 2mm more on the wide end (noticeable), a fixed f/4 wide open, and improved IQ.

Add a second lens later to pickup the telephoto end. The DA55-300mm is a no-brainer.

01-06-2009, 08:16 AM   #5
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I'm wondering why you'd want to spend 700 bucks to make a sideways move.
The Canon is not going to give you a better picture.
Only you can do that.
01-06-2009, 09:25 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
The kit Mk II would be ok, but I recommend the DA16-45. It gets you 2mm more on the wide end (noticeable), a fixed f/4 wide open, and improved IQ.

Add a second lens later to pickup the telephoto end. The DA55-300mm is a no-brainer.
I agree, the 16-45mm is a great choice. Better IQ than the 18-55 or 18-250, available for around $400AU. The 16-45 and a Tamron 70-300 (or better yet the Pentax 55-300mm) will give you significantly more range on both ends and better IQ in general than the 18-250, for a similar price.
01-06-2009, 10:36 AM   #7
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The 16-45 is definitely a good choice. Another lens to consider would be the Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.5 ; new, it's not much more than the 16-45 and you get a greater focal range and a nice closeup (1:2.3) feature, to boot.

I agree with Robin that the 55-300 is definitely a no-brainer.

HTH,
Heather
01-06-2009, 10:50 AM   #8
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[aside]

Heather, you and I tend to agree on lenses I've noticed. Even so far as you selling the DA35, which I am contemplating for financial reasons. (It is such a good lens though!) Like you, I already have a good macro and the FA43, so the DA35 seems a little redundant.

01-06-2009, 10:52 AM   #9
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.

The loss of image stabilization would inflict an enormous hit on your images - and the sensor isn't any better in that canon, even though it has more MP.

I'd get a DA 16-45.
01-06-2009, 11:09 AM   #10
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I'd bet that not too many people here would say #3. Unless you start calling people names and stuff.

I'd keep the body, and before you go to eBay make sure you check out the marketplace here!

Getting more zoom generally costs more money, but you generally also lose some quality and speed (f-stops) because of manufacturing difficulties. For what you shoot, the 16-45 might fit the bill nicely, as was pointed out already.

If you got something like the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, you'd get something faster for a little more. I have the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8, which I'd recommend highly, but seeing as you want to do more scenery, you might want to stick to the wider end.
01-06-2009, 11:20 AM   #11
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I have spent only less than a week with my Pentax, but much longer with Canon. There's nothing to gain in switching to entry-level body and a crap kit lens (I've had a few). So, keep the body. I don't think you would be entirely happy with a superzoom - and if you are, why use a SLR and not a point-and-shoot? I think best option IMHO is keep the body and get a decent glass. If you want a short zoom like the kit lens my recommendation (based on Canon experience) from 3rd party is latest version of Sigma 18-50/2.8, although it might be of same price as good short Pentax zooms.

I have just taught myself that best way to learn photography is to get couple of good primes and learn to use them...
01-06-2009, 11:46 AM   #12
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as others have said, 16-45 is a great lens for not a lot of money. Likely a significant upgrade. That being said, I find there is no joy like fast glass. Being able to snap indoors in low light is very fun. Since you're on a budget a ltd is out of the question but a 50/1.4 is in the ballpark.
01-06-2009, 11:39 PM   #13
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The older version of the Sigma 18-50 f2.8 is still available at Cameta Camera for $279.

It's a good lens and not a bank-buster.
01-07-2009, 01:45 AM   #14
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Thanks everyone.

From reading reviews posts etc., I've decided against the superzoom 18-250mm; I don't think I'd need the reach anyway. Also, I'll keep the K100d body and wait until the Video revolution takes hold on the dslr's.

I've narrowed my choice down to either the Pentax DA 16-45 or the Sigma 17-70 (can't get the Pentax 17-70 as it won't work on the K100d). The Sigma is selling online (AUS) for $519 and the Pentax at $442.

What does everyone think ? I'm a bit hesitant on the Sigma to be honest as I've got the crappy kit lens, although the 17-70mm range is compelling.

Cheers

Troy
01-07-2009, 05:53 AM   #15
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These debates go on and on here, in support of one or the other kit-type lenses. I chose the DA16-45 since it has the best IQ, especially edge to edge, which is important for some landscapes. But for others the extra reach of a lens that goes to 70mm is more important. I find that when I do want something in the range 40-80mm I want it to be much faster than f/4, so I have the FA43 and FA77 for that. For those who want an all-in one and need that extra range the Sigma seems to be the choice.

Also, I think the DA16-45 is available cheaper than you indicate, though maybe not in Australia. It comes up here on the forums regularly.
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