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02-14-2009, 04:01 AM   #1
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Help Me Choose First Two Lenses

Hey pentaxians,

I posted this on DPR yesterday but PentaxForums seems like a right fit too

I'm shooting with a100 + Tamron 18-250 but want to raise my photography to a new level this year. I already have some nice trips scheduled for 2009 and want to upgrade my gear. I'm mostly interested in travel (includes street, portraits), landscape photography. I'm considering a700 as a natural next step but this week I started to do some research on Pentax. There are lots of stunning k20d landscape, nature photos on flickr and that convinced me to take a closer look.

It seems like Pentax offers really great variety of lenses and I'd like to ask you for some insigths. Which two of the following lenses would you choose as a starting set:

1. DA 12-24 - one of the main reasons I'm considering k20d. Seems like Sigma, Tamron alternatives are not that good. Yes, it's not a cheap lens
2a. DA* 16-50 - fast, a bit expensive, QC issues?
2b Tamron 17-50 - very good reviews, fast as well
3a DA* 50-135 - everybody is raving about this lens
3b DA 55-300 - seems like an interesting alternative to 3a.. cheaper, longer and still good reviews

I'm tending to get DA 12-24 as my main zoom lens since I really want to explore wide-angle possibilities. I noticed that some folks are even using this lens as a replacement for 16-50 and similar standard zooms. 24mm is quite long so this really seems like an interesting default zoom lens to me. Is it really that good? In addition, I should probably get DA* 50-135 or DA 55-300 to cover the longer end.

Wouldn't I miss 25-50 range? Yes... later I can get 2.8 zoom (16-50 or tammy) or 35mm 2.8 prime for indoors and low-light... hmm

Your thoughts, tips?

02-14-2009, 08:31 AM   #2
axl
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out of those lenses
I'd go with 1 and 3a, skip 2 and get some prime to sit between wide and moderate telephoto. Your choices would be DA35 (great reviews & macro capability) DA40 (great IQ and portability). Those two are f2.8 but K20 high ISO is great so it shouldn't be a big problem. If you'd want to go faster you still have FA31/1.8 ltd, and/or FA35/2.
Ideal kit including options you offered:
DA12-24
FA31ltd
DA*50-135

good luck
BR

PS: forget Sony, jump on the Pentax ship
02-14-2009, 10:02 AM   #3
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Axl's suggestion is a good one, but expensive. You might consider the DA35ltd instead of the 31ltd. Less expensive, good wlakaround lens and macro capabilities. The 50-135 is, imho, a must. You should definetly consider it.
02-14-2009, 10:03 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by msojka Quote
Wouldn't I miss 25-50 range? Yes... later I can get 2.8 zoom (16-50 or tammy) or 35mm 2.8 prime for indoors and low-light... hmm
I'll bet most people take 80% of their pictures in that range. I'd consider at least getting an 18-55II to cover it for now.

02-14-2009, 10:34 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by msojka Quote
Hey pentaxians,

I posted this on DPR yesterday but PentaxForums seems like a right fit too

...

1. DA 12-24 - one of the main reasons I'm considering k20d. Seems like Sigma, Tamron
alternatives are not that good. Yes, it's not a cheap lens
2a. DA* 16-50 - fast, a bit expensive, QC issues?
2b Tamron 17-50 - very good reviews, fast as well
3a DA* 50-135 - everybody is raving about this lens
3b DA 55-300 - seems like an interesting alternative to 3a.. cheaper, longer and still
good reviews

I'm tending to get DA 12-24 as my main zoom lens since I really want to explore
wide-angle possibilities. I noticed that some folks are even using this lens as
a replacement for 16-50 and similar standard zooms.
That's exactly what I'm doing - sold my excellent 16-50 when I found myself using
the 12-24 in place of it.

QuoteQuote:
Wouldn't I miss 25-50 range?
Not as much as you think - 25-50mm is the perfect 'zoom with your feet' window.
Your 12-24 can cover that range if you just move forward a bit at 24mm.

You have to ask yourself how long you really want to go, and realize that the
55-300, while a great choice, does not have the IQ or speed of the 50-135.

I continually make this recommendation: save your pennies and work on the
following kit:

DA 12-24 f4,
FA 43ltd <-or-> FA 31ltd <-or> FA 77ltd <-or-> F/FA 50 1.4/1.7
DA* 50-135 f2.8

Idea being - something wide & great, something mid-long & great, something
fast & great.

This covers 95% of what 80% of people need. later you can decide if you need
something really long, or if cropping the 50-135 @ 135 is good enough.

Here's the 50-135 cropped to about 400mm equiv:



And here's cropped to between 200 & 300 equiv:

Original @ 135mm:



Cropped:



Original:



Cropped:

02-14-2009, 10:47 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by msojka Quote
I'm shooting with a100 + Tamron 18-250 but want to raise my photography to a new level this year. I already have some nice trips scheduled for 2009 and want to upgrade my gear. I'm mostly interested in travel (includes street, portraits), landscape photography.
Consider the DA16-45mm. It's wide enough for urban, does landscapes to a T (sharp at edges), is lightweight and has excellent IQ.

With it get a fast prime. That will really let you take it to the next level. Consider the FA43 so you can learn to shoot in complete manual mode (it has an aperture ring). It's the cheapest of the FA Limiteds. You will not see better photos than those taken with that lens.

In fact after extensive research these were the first two lenses I bought. They suited me then and still do now.
02-14-2009, 04:23 PM   #7
axl
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
...snip...
I continually make this recommendation: save your pennies and work on the
following kit:

DA 12-24 f4,
FA 43ltd <-or-> FA 31ltd <-or> FA 77ltd <-or-> F/FA 50 1.4/1.7
DA* 50-135 f2.8
....snip....
good suggestions but why all those "or"s ?
I pushed this one step wider with Sigma 10-20 leaving me with big window. I don't know if I'll ever get DA*50-135 (was even thinking of Sigma 50-150) but instead of xxx or yyy or zzz I've been building my kit up with + instead of OR.
So for now:
Sigma 10-20, FA31, DA40, F50, Sigma 105, K400
missing lenses are:
FA*24 or Sigma 24/1.8
DA70 (idealy FA77)
DA*200 (I'd be happy with FA*200 too)
Then I'll be done....
my 2p
02-14-2009, 09:15 PM   #8
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Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and the Pentax 50-135 f2.8 you don't need much else.

02-15-2009, 05:06 PM   #9
axl
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fl_Gulfer Quote
Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and the Pentax 50-135 f2.8 you don't need much else.
DA*16-50 would be better choice then, even that 1mm can make a difference,
but still, it would be good to have something faster than 2.8... though not everybody needs it
BR
02-15-2009, 05:20 PM   #10
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Here is what is in my bag, Sigma EX lenses I mostly do motorsport and landscape.
10 to 20
24 f1.8
24 to 70 f2.8 macro
70 to 200 f2.8 macro
300 f2.8
I use the above on a K10 and K20 cameras.
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