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02-13-2009, 04:39 PM   #1
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Help Choosing a New Lens

Hey Everyone,
I recently picked up a K20D, and the 50mm prime lens, which is really nice. I've been learning with that.

Last weekend I went on a trip to the mountains, and discovered some limiting factors of the 50mm. Primarily landscapes and interior architecture shots. I love to shoot landscapes, and wildlife(I know completely different ball game lens wise), and was thinking of picking up a nice wide angle for the landscape shots.

However I'm unsure of what I should be going with.

12-24 - Seems limited but has the wide angle view.
16-50 - Not as wide, weather sealed, better range.
14mm prime - Not sure about this one. Seems nice.

Which would you all recommend? I'm new to this stuff so I don't really know. I've been going between the 12-24 and the 16-50.
Also, is there any Sigma or Tamron lenses I should consider?

Thanks!

02-13-2009, 05:15 PM   #2
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If you are looking for a wide lens, the Sigma 10-20 seems to be one of the more popular third party offerings right now. As far as what you have listed, I have the 16-50 and would highly reccomend it. I would also reccomend that if you do decide on it, that you get it from a retailer that has a good return policy. They have the reputation of getting bad copies. I will say that it is definately worth the trouble of returning a couple to get a good one. The IQ will be close to that of your 50mm prime. If you decide that you need a wider lens later you could add one of the others. It's just my opinion. There are more experienced photographers on here that can probably help with the decision better than I can.

Anyway, congratulations on your new camera, and have fun with it!
02-13-2009, 05:21 PM   #3
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Sounds like you don't yet have a very clear idea of what focal lengths are really practical for what specific purposes. So rather than investing a lot of money in a very specialized lens that may or may not suit any particular need of yours, I highly recommedn a simple cheap versatile zoom like the 18-55II / 50-200 combination while you develop a sense of what focal lengths you want to invest more money in. Or a "superzoom" like the 18-250. You might well find the 18-55II actually sufficient for landscape use, thus saving yourself the hundreds it would cost to upgrade to the 16-50. Simialrly, why buy a super wide angle lens like 14 before you know if you actually need something that wide?
02-13-2009, 06:12 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Sounds like you don't yet have a very clear idea of what focal lengths are really practical for what specific purposes. So rather than investing a lot of money in a very specialized lens that may or may not suit any particular need of yours, I highly recommedn a simple cheap versatile zoom like the 18-55II / 50-200 combination while you develop a sense of what focal lengths you want to invest more money in. Or a "superzoom" like the 18-250. You might well find the 18-55II actually sufficient for landscape use, thus saving yourself the hundreds it would cost to upgrade to the 16-50. Simialrly, why buy a super wide angle lens like 14 before you know if you actually need something that wide?
I second Marc's motion!

02-13-2009, 06:54 PM   #5
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Good point on starting cheaper to get an idea of what you will need/want for shooting, advise I'm following now with longer telephotos. As for lens suggestion I'll toss in the Pentax DA 16-45 has an alternative (seen it on the Marketplace for around $250). Nice working range, cheap, and sharp. Some folk are liking the DA 17-70 as well, though I don't have any personal experience. For something a little longer and not as wide the Tamron 28-75mm /2.8 is quite good and well regarded.
02-13-2009, 08:00 PM   #6
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hmmm that's not a bad strategy, but right now I'm thinking it's nicer to buy good glass while I can afford too haha. I was thinking of eventually getting the 16-50 and the 50-135 for most of my needs. Although I've thought of the super zoom in the past, as it's a nice range.
02-13-2009, 11:20 PM   #7
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I think you should go for the 16-50mm. If you have the cash I disagree with getting a cheaper lens. If you don't like it you can sell it here at a small loss and buy something else. If it works for you you will get shots that cheaper lenses can't provide. The 16-50mm is astounding and I doubt you would regret buying it.
02-13-2009, 11:29 PM   #8
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Hmmmm...that's the way I was thinking. Of course, I think this is perhaps more of a lens buying thread in general now, since I'm thinking it might be good to pick up the 50-135mm and get like a 15mm ltd lens or something after.


I guess I would like to know at this point, what are the best pentax lenses? Say if you wanted to cover a lot of the range?

16-50, 50-135, ??

02-13-2009, 11:43 PM   #9
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The most zoom for a pentax lens is the 18-250mm (rebranded from Tamron), almost 14X. That will pretty well cover all your need except for low light and indoor. Not a particularly fast lens but as far as optics goes, it gives comparable performances to the counter lens 18-55mm and 50-200mm, so 1 lens for the two.
Lots of review on this forum about lens.
Pentax Lens Review Database - Pentax K-Mount Bayonet Lenses
Also could check out the third parties.

Hope that help
02-14-2009, 12:00 AM   #10
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I have the DA* 16-50mm and love it, and I very recently sold the DA* 50-135mm which I also loved. I had to get rid of it to pay for another lens, and not because I didn't like it or anything along those lines. They're great and if you anticipate doing any shooting in adverse weather, they can't be beat.

As for a lens longer than the 50-135, the Sigma 100-300mm EX DG APO is great. Very good image quality and solidly built. I just wish it were weather sealed, and I think if I had to choose again between the Sigma 100-300mm and the Pentax DA* 300mm I would choose the Pentax. That's only because the Pentax is weathersealed, and I mainly use the Sigma at 300mm. Otherwise it's great.
02-14-2009, 12:38 AM   #11
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It really depends on your budget. I sold my 16-45 to buy a DA* 16-50 based on how much I love my DA* 50-135. I love the 16-50 but I also loved the 16-45. Worth the extra price?....I don't know....I would need my old 16-45 back to compare...lol. Re the return on the 16-50....I went ebay (prodigital) which I have bought all my new stuff from. From what I understand..new 16-50 are usually OK so a high volume seller is less likely to ship you an old (bad) unit. You can "ship" it back if it is bad (yes....hassle.). If you go that route....pay the xtra 20 on shipping so it is packaged properly and phone don't email. (not to push one company but to warn how to go about it so you are happy). PS...50-135 is a wonderful lens and although I am more likely to use wide angle...I would NEVER sell it...it is that good (don't get me started on primes!..lol)
02-14-2009, 12:50 AM   #12
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I just read Marc's comments and he does make a great point about focal length.....any chance you can borrow a friends lens to see what you like to shoot? I tend to shoot wide but I don't think most do. If you're interest is in wide landscapes...perhaps the 16-50 16-45 is not wide enough (imho....they are both bad wide open....so I don't use them at 16). I haven't compared the 18-55II vs the 16-45...but to warn you, I would not go for the first 18-55.
02-14-2009, 12:58 AM   #13
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Yeah I've been thinking, maybe it's better to eventually get something like the new 15mm ltd that's rumored, and still get some other good quality lenses. If that's the case though, then I got to decide if I'm better off getting the 16-50 or the 50-135 or something different to start? All I have is a 50 prime right now ahha.
02-14-2009, 10:33 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by IronWolf Quote
Yeah I've been thinking, maybe it's better to eventually get something like the new 15mm ltd that's rumored, and still get some other good quality lenses. If that's the case though, then I got to decide if I'm better off getting the 16-50 or the 50-135 or something different to start? All I have is a 50 prime right now ahha.
A super wide is considered more of a specialty lens, so if a 50mm prime is all you've got, I wouldn't hesitate getting the 16-50, as that is a more useful range in general.
If that's too expensive, the 18-55 II is great value, and probably equally good for landscape use, where you typically use f/8-f/11.
IMHO, YMMV etc...
02-14-2009, 10:47 AM   #15
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I vote for the Tamron 17-50 f2.8, I still think its the best lens in its range.
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