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01-13-2009, 07:41 PM   #1
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seeking wisdom on lens brands..good,bad,ugly

Got my k20d and now im looking for lenses that give the best bang for the buck. I've got some older and slower pentax smc glass that i'm building on and swapping out as I find better equipment. Any advise on the better brands or stuff to stay away from?

Thanks!!

01-13-2009, 09:14 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by arkansas72762 Quote
Got my k20d and now im looking for lenses that give the best bang for the buck. I've got some older and slower pentax smc glass that i'm building on and swapping out as I find better equipment. Any advise on the better brands or stuff to stay away from?

Thanks!!
Pentax is a good brand. Based on the reviews of modern lenses I've read, image-quality-wise, Pentax tends to be better than Sigma which tends to be better than Tamron. And if you're looking for a mirror lens or a long telephoto, then avoid the turds they're selling on ebay: a cropped photo shot at 300mm using a sharp lens will look much better than one shot with those 500-800mm pieces of crap.
01-13-2009, 09:29 PM   #3
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if you're buying new stuff, both Sigma and Tamron have really good and mediocre lenses. depends which ones you choose
01-14-2009, 12:39 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
Pentax is a good brand. Based on the reviews of modern lenses I've read, image-quality-wise, Pentax tends to be better than Sigma which tends to be better than Tamron. And if you're looking for a mirror lens or a long telephoto, then avoid the turds they're selling on ebay: a cropped photo shot at 300mm using a sharp lens will look much better than one shot with those 500-800mm pieces of crap.
I heard it the other way around...Pentax tends to be better than Tamron, which seems to be better than Sigma...

Steve

(Agree with K100D above...there are strong lenses from Pentax, Tamron, Sigma, and Tokina. And...if you have the money, you can also savor the delights (courtesy of Cosina) of the beautiful Zeiss and Voightlander k-mount primes.

01-14-2009, 12:46 AM   #5
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In terms of sheer value, the best bang for your buck will be with Pentax-A series primes, followed by M42 (screw-mount) SMC and Super-Takumars. The Pentax-K and Pentax-M series primes are great optically, but a pain to work with due to usage issues with metering.

The Pentax and Third-Party lens databases on this site are a super good resource.

Of course, for the most bang for your buck, see my signature...I really like all of my lenses and none were particularly expensive..

Steve

(Forgot about the not-so-good...the bayonet mount Pentax Takumar lenses lack the SMC coatings and also lack the reputation of their well-clad cousins.)
01-14-2009, 03:36 AM   #6
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I think you are going the wrong way if youo are getting rid of older pentax lenses to get a better bang for the buck.


Many K mount and screw mount lenses are excellent, and simply can't be replaced with newer lenses for any where near the same price.

I have a mix of old and new, and the reason is that I decided long ago never to sell my lenses just keep adding.

My present manual focus list is.

tamron 24mm F2.5, SMC Takumar 35mm F2, SMC Pentax 50mm F1.4, Pentax M 100 F4 macro, SMC Pentax 105mm F2.8, SMC Pentax 135mm F2.5 SMC Pentax 300mm F4, Vivitar MC 400mm F5.6 and a vivitar Series 1 70-210 F3.5.

Except for the 400mm F5.6 I use all of these lenses regularly.

I also use the following new zooms

sigma APO 10-20 EX DC F4-5.6, Tamron 28-75 F2.8 and Sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 EX. For what I have invested in these last 3 lenses you could purchase my MF line up, 2-3 times over.

I use the zooms for travel and the MF primes when I have the time and ability to carry more.
01-14-2009, 05:31 AM   #7
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I have to agree with Lowell above. And as to metering, I've never had a problem using any of my K lenses. Using a flash with them can be a bit of a pita, my 540 flash and my K lenses "don't play well together" so you have to take a few test shots. But other than that ( and I don't use flash all that much) I don't have a problem metering with my "K's" and my K10 or DS.

NaCl(one extra button to push, no big deal)H2O
01-14-2009, 08:20 AM   #8
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As for the good 'ole K-mount metering, I find it a pleasure to use. Unless your lighting changes every single shot, then you should be able to meter once for a particular area and shoot away in manual mode. I even do this when I am shooting with auto-aperture lenses because it prevents local variances in scene brightness from changing your exposure when you don't want it to happen. And if you shoot in RAW (which you should), then it will give you a stop or so to adjust the exposure if it's a bit off, without a noticeable penalty on image quality.

Of course, if you will be dealing with significant light differences in every shot, then I wouldn't recommend this method

- Jim

01-14-2009, 10:35 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by arkansas72762 Quote
Got my k20d and now im looking for lenses that give the best bang for the buck. I've got some older and slower pentax smc glass that i'm building on and swapping out as I find better equipment. Any advise on the better brands or stuff to stay away from?

Thanks!!
Hard to make general conclusions, especially across brands. Pentax, Tamron and Sigma all make nice lenses and crappy lenses. I think the online lens reviews (like the one here) are your best resources for finding the "gems" out there.
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