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02-13-2009, 02:37 AM   #16
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^ range doesn't seen to long enough

02-13-2009, 04:01 AM   #17
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I add my vote to those calling for DA40 taking on the job...
however if you want more flexibility and you don't mind sacrificing speed, have a look for something like Tamron 28-200. It's tad older lens, and it likes to underexpose, but matches 10-20 well and is decently sharp...
02-13-2009, 06:45 AM   #18
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Then the Pentax or Tamron 18-250 should be right up your alley.

you say...
"Focal Range - Top priority right now, since I'm looking for flexibility. However, I've heard that most "super zooms" suffer from poor IQ especially at the extremes, so a modest focal length will do. Maybe something that starts out at the 20's and reaches the low-hundreds will do. But again, I'm open to suggestions. I've been considering the 17-70, but I wanted to gather opinions first."

I say Hogwash. This lens is fine and can be as sharp as anything in my lens bag. If you learn it and can use it correctly, you cant tell the difference between the sharpness of this lens and any other out there, IQ-wise.

Again, going by what you say you want and need, if the kit lens isnt long enough, the 18-250 certainly is, and better IQ overall, in my opinion.

02-13-2009, 08:51 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by legacyb4 Quote
For "economical" lenses (and if you wanted to stay with Pentax lenses), I'd probably say try to find a used FA 28-70/F4 or look at the DA 16-45. Personally, I prefer internal focusing lenses so I'd look at the 12-24 for a walkaround.
The 28-70 isn't too hot wide open especially compared to the 16-45, but stopped down it is pretty nice.

02-13-2009, 09:56 AM   #20
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All right , I'll Throw my opinion at this too. I have recently considered the Da 16-45 because of the price but not as a walk around , rather as the wide zoom to complete a travel kit.
Everyone uses their camera differently . Some want to be on their subject and others a mile away. Every photographer has his/her own subject preferences.
the ideal walk around depends on you.
For lotsof years I carried a 35-105 macro on a film camera. It was my ideal walkaround and if I was told I could only own 1 lens it would have been this. In digital terms that focal lenght translates to 23-70. If I were to do it again in digital I'd have to look real hard at the DA 17-70 and that would be my walkaround suggestion to you.
One last note , the IQ of my old metal and glass companion was top of the line , I honestly don't know if that can be said of the 17-70.

Last edited by seacapt; 02-13-2009 at 10:05 AM.
02-13-2009, 01:23 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by arbutusq Quote
The 28-70 isn't too hot wide open especially compared to the 16-45, but stopped down it is pretty nice.
Well, the 16-45 starts at f/4, so if you stop the Tamron down to f/4, yes, it will
be pretty sharp!

My copy of the Tamron 28-75 2.8 was very sharp wide-open at f/2.8:

My suggestion considering your criteria would be the Pentax or Sigma 17-70
or the Tamron 28-75 2.8.

02-13-2009, 02:00 PM   #22
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I recommend Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 highly as a walk-around with good image quality. The 17mm wide angle will serve you well for landscape. Since you mention focal range is important and that clicks with my recommendation for this lens. This lens is well rounded, though not as fast as other variants as in DA* 16-50 f/2.8, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 or Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, its focal range and 1:2.3 macro capability makes it stand out among others if you consider focal range and flexibility a higher priority over IQ. IQ is close but not as good as the Tamron 28-75mm especially wide open, but very close when stopped down a bit.

What I especially like:
  • great focal range in 17-70
    absolutely versatile in minimizing lens change when compared to 16-50 or 17-50. The added 50-70mm works extremely well for portraits and candid shots requiring farther reach in 70mm
  • great for candid close-up
    The 1:2.3 works great for close up in walk-around purpose for me
  • good build, not big and relatively lightweigh
    Size is similar to Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, build is good, lightweight compared to Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8
  • good value
    if you can find a good used copy in the range of $240 to $290, it is a very good value zoom that cover a versatile and critical focal range for traveling

If your emphasis is changed to portraits with emphasis on faster speed and that you don't mind the heavier weight in walk-around, the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 should be considered.

Last edited by hinman; 02-13-2009 at 02:28 PM.
02-13-2009, 02:17 PM   #23
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Samples from Sigma 17-70mm walk-around

Samples from Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5

candid portrait

walk-around close up

17mm wide angle

candid shot

Last edited by hinman; 02-13-2009 at 02:23 PM.
02-13-2009, 02:22 PM   #24
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With your $400 budget, I'd also suggest the Sigma 17-70, the Tamron 17-50 (a faster version of your kit lens), the Sigma 24-60 (if you can find one), or just use your DA40...the DA40 is close enough to the 35 that it won't matter much IMHO.

If you want a "vacation lens" (one lens, no switching, but less image quality than a shorter range), look at the 18-250.

Personally, I use a Sigma 17-70 but I've been looking for a fast 2.8 zoom and hoping the Sigma 24-70 HSM is sharper than the old crappy non-HSM version (I went 0 for 3 looking for a good Tamron 28-75 copy)...
02-14-2009, 12:10 PM   #25
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i only have da 16-45

so ill suggest you taht lens.

02-15-2009, 12:38 PM   #26
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Same boat

I'm not looking for high-end IQ but for, instead, convenience and reliability as I try to learn about composition and exposure. I shoot just for myself, don't exhibit, don't do posters, etc.

Owing to LBA and a credit card , I have:

DA 40. Superb lens .... but now that I have more zooms it doesn't get on my camera much unless I'm doing something very specific. I'm glad this was Criagslist at half the MSRP. It may go back there to help fund a K2000.

Sigma 18-50 2.8 (older non-macro, closeout price) Good all-around, particularly indoors. This is good for shots of the twins, age seven months. Crisp images, very helpful DOF from the constant 2.8, and fast focus in low light compared to the ....

Sigma 17-70 Good all-around, house and garden lens. I like and use the extra 20mm but it has more difficulty in focusing in low light owing, I imagine, to the aperture. Good walkabout lens except that I somehow end up screwing on the ....

Tamron 18-250. Not very fast but this one seems stuck to my camera if I'm walking about campus, at a festival or fair, at an airfield for a fly-in or air show, etc. Acceptable images and it gives me the ability to get the shot instead of mucking about with lens changes. It's the ultimate holiday/vacation lens for me and a lot of others.

For an outdoor event or ramble, I usually take just the 18-250 and the same Sigma 10-20 you have. I'm covered for almost anything, don't spend much time choosing and changing lenses, and can easily carry a day's gear in a photo vest.

I suggest the 18-250 as it's in your price range and allows you to see which focal lengths you really use. If the long end doesn't turn out to have much value, you can sell it on and choose the right lens for you from your own actual experience rather than from suggestions like the one I just made.
02-15-2009, 03:22 PM   #27
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I will put in another vote for the Sigma 17-70. I had one of these, stupidly got rid of it, got a Tamron 28-75 (too heavy), got rid of that for a DA16-45, and now want to trade the 16-45 for another Sigma 17-70. I've come to the conclusion that if I need top-notch IQ, then I'll use my primes (DA21 & FA43). Other than the DA18-250, I believe that the Sigma 17-70 is one of the best values in a walkaround/vacation lens, as it does both landscapes and closeup well. In many situations, it's the ideal 1-lens solution.

Keep your fingers crossed that I'll have another Sigma 17-70 back in my bag soon.

02-15-2009, 04:06 PM   #28
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If I read this correct, you have a $400 budget? If it were me, I would go shopping at prodigital and purchase the DA 16-45 for about $230, and look for a used fast 50 - preferable the FA 50 1.4 for $150-180. This way you would have a great walk around kit lens, plus a fantastic low light lens that could be used for portrait work as well as a macro lens with the right attachments.
02-21-2009, 06:38 PM   #29
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I'll throw another couple into the fray. I have an 18-200 Sigma which pretty much didn't leave the K10D body on a recent vacation. The perfect lens? No, but it allowed me to walk around lighter than I otherwise might have and shoot a wide variety of shots. Another of my favourites is my Sigma 28-105 another convenient range for many things.
02-21-2009, 06:45 PM   #30
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DA 40mm Ltd and Tamron 28-70 would be my picks (I'd actually go for the DA 40mm). Cheap, cheerful. Sharp and colourful.

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