Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
04-06-2007, 09:15 PM   #1
Senior Member
wmmk's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Chicago
Posts: 106
Help a young photojournalist find fairly prices lenses

Hello everyone,
To start off I am 13. I do web design to help pay for my photo gear, but can't paid much, regardless of the quality of my work, because people would rather have use a pro, and I need to be competitive to get jobs at all. Anyways, what this means is I can't just buy lenses and new cameras on a whim like some people can.
I've loved photo for quite a while now, and got serious and started using my Grandmother's 35mm SLR (a Nikon N8008) almost two years ago. I bought a K100D last November and haven't looked back since.

At first, I was completely engrossed in landscape photography and thought of all news and journalistic photography as snaps that anyone could do. As a blessing in disguise, I had a terrible bike accident this fall and broke my neck. When my mom, who writes for the Chicago Tribune, wrote a story about all of this, a staff photographer came to our house to take a portrait of me for the story. I expressed my interest in photo and he said that I should spend some time with him on assignments. I jumped on the opportunity, and spent all of Friday in the Tribune photo department. He showed me a lot of his work, which was all truly amazing, yet it was this slideshow that really opened my eyes to great photojournalism.

Due to this and many other factors, I'm now thinking of photojournalism as a career. I thought I wanted to use all primes when I was in to landscape, but I've talked to a lot of press photographers recently, and all of them say that besides an occasional 35, 50, or 300, they use all zooms all the time. From what Alex (the guy I spent time with on Friday) recommended, I should go for a 16-35, 24-70, and 70-200, all being f/2.8. To be honest, I'd love to get a 30D and use all L glass, but I'd have to wait longer between lens purchases, miss out on IS, and have to use a f/4 70-200 instead of a f/2.8. So I'm staying with Pentax (and most likely Sigma glass).

Start reading here if you don't want to hear my long rant:
The Sigma EX 70-200 seems like a no brainer. For $890 (adorama), it's fairly cheap, relative to Canon and Nikon alternatives. I know there was/is a FA 80-200 f/2.8, but I haven't seen it in any stores. One issue is that the K mount version of the sigma is not yet HSM. Should I wait for an HSM version?

As to a 24-70 or something similar, the $380 Tamron 28-75 seems nice because of its price, but the better optics, extra flexibility on the wide end, and macro ability of the sigma 24-70 ($430 at adorama) makes it rather attractive.

Finally, when it comes to wide zooms, I'm fairly lost. I want f/2.8 throughout the complete zoom range, and just don't see anything that fits my classifications.

Any recommendations for a 16-35, 24-70, and 70-200 would be greatly appreciated. If you feel that I should be looking for different focal lengths altogether, I'd be interested in hearing your opinions and reasoning.

Many thanks,
Will


Last edited by wmmk; 04-07-2007 at 07:25 AM. Reason: I accidentally said 24-40 instead of 24-70
04-06-2007, 10:29 PM   #2
Veteran Member
FotoPete's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,710
Haha 13 and already thinking about 2.8 glass. If you are on a budget, you should look towards buying manual lenses. Far cheaper and the quality is still right up there with today's lenses.
04-06-2007, 10:43 PM   #3
Veteran Member
mattdm's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,964
If $890 isn't straining your budget, take a look at the available real-soon-now Pentax smc P-DA* zooms.

The 16-50mm F2.8 is $750; in general, I have a bias towards wider lenses, so I might be tempted to go for that and compromise on the longer end. Maybe smc P-DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED? It's cheap ($220) yet performs pretty well, and don't overlook that it's small and less than 1/5th the weight (!) of the Sigma 70-200 you're considering.

And if there's money left over, get a long-ish fast prime for portraits and where you need more reach and more light. The "pancake" lenses seem like they'd be nice here, since you could add them to your camera kit without taking up a whole lot more space.

Then later, you can pick on the other DA* lenses.

(PS: I wouldn't wait for HSM versions of Pentax-mount lenses from Sigma -- they have to wait for the Pentax lenses with this feature to ship and then reverse-engineer the interface. So it'll be a little while. And even then, they might not work on the K100D.)
04-06-2007, 10:48 PM   #4
Veteran Member
FotoPete's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,710
The pentax SDM technology is based on the KAF2 mount which is only found on the K10D. (SDM not compatible with MZ-S or other KAF2 film slrs).

So I doubt Sigma will be able to implement 'HSM' for anything other than the K10D and susequent KAF2 Mount dslrs.

(K100D is KAF mount)

04-07-2007, 02:39 AM   #5
Senior Member




Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Estonia
Posts: 261
Okay, he suggested you get those particular lenses but what length do YOU yourself really need? I'd suggest getting premium glass for your preferred length first, and cheaper glass for casual use with lengths you're not likely to use. Later on when you decide you need better glass you can always sell the old lens and get a new one. It probably goes against common advice of getting always the best, just in case, but really, you can put money to much better use buying other equipment than waste it on top lens that'll use twice a year.

Having constant 2.8 zoom is nice but hardly necessary for that type of job. More important is how quickly can you react and take that pic you're supposed to at any particular event. That means no lens changing and fast zooming through wide enough range to capture a scene first and a portrait right afterwards wihtout delay. Being happy user of Sigma 17-70 myself I find that range perfect. I recently did 6-page photostory for a magazine with that lens, and did just fine. If I was you I'd get one lens convering wide to moderate zoom, one moderate to long zoom and spend rest of the money for external flash and other accessories. 2.8 is not replacement of good flash, if that's what you're thinking.

In photojournalism it is more important to get that shot, even if it's not perfect by your artistic standards. When you miss the moment you miss the picture. No second chances there.
04-07-2007, 03:15 AM   #6
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Queensland, Australia
Posts: 668
wmmk - the best advice I can give you is to step back and be a bit more realistic. Like you said, you're 13 and so few people are going to take you seriously for some years yet (prejudice is a wonderful thing).

And it's a hell of a lot of money!!!! At current exchange rates, the gear I've got (K10D, Pentax 16-45, Sandisk Extreme III 1GB, and a UV filter) cost me US$1,433 (although it's worth closer to US$1,720).

Look, I'm 16, so not that much older. But you gotta understand for people our age these are HUGE amounts of money. It takes a while to sink in - I don't even want to let anyone (other than my parents) touch my camera. Do you even have a job? Just settle for one more lens and work on getting the best from what you've got after that for a while. That's what I'm doing - after this DA* 50-135 lands in my hands, no more for a long time. I'll have a car to run...
04-07-2007, 04:45 AM   #7
Veteran Member
Mike Cash's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Japan
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,952
I have nothing useful to add, really. I just wanted to say how very heartening it is to encounter a youth with such a good command of English composition.

The only real adivce I have to give to budget-minded folks is: Consider used lenses. They're a good way to build up a fairly respectable assortment of glass. And if well taken care of they should either hold their value or perhaps even appreciate. In other words, you get the use of a wider variety of lenses while you are building up some equity. Then later on, if need be, you can resell some of them to help finance the purchase of a new(er) or more high-end lens.....while in the meantime getting a better idea through your experiences of just what sort of lens will best fit your particular needs.
04-07-2007, 06:48 AM   #8
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 441
QuoteOriginally posted by wmmk Quote
Any recommendations for a 16-35, 24-40, and 70-200 would be greatly appreciated. If you feel that I should be looking for different focal lengths altogether, I'd be interested in hearing your opinions and reasoning.
Those focal lengths reflect specific lenses from Canon (and I don't think that they even make a 24-40 any more). What you want is to simply cover the range of wide angle to medium telephoto with Pentax-compatible lenses.

For the wide end, the soon to be available Pentax DA* 16-50 f2.8 is the obvious choice (as others have stated). It will work fine with the K100 and when you upgrade in the future you can take advantage of the in-lens motor. This lens should be available in a month or two. If you want ultra-wide on the Pentax APS-C sensor (the equivalent of 16 to 20mm on a full-frame 35mm camera), you need to go to something like the DA 12-24mm f4, or a DA 14mm f2.8. IMHO, the 16-50mm will be plenty wide for most purposes.

For the long end, the Pentax DA* 50-135 f2.8 will also be available soon. With the Pentax APS-C sensor, it has the same reach as a 70-200 on a Canon full-frame sensor. It will be in the same price range as the Sigma 70-200 and will probably be a better performer at the long end. If you really want a longer reach, the Pentax DA* 60-250 f4 will be out around December. It is one stop slower and will be larger and heavier than the 50-135, but probably no larger or heavier than the Sigma. The Sigma would also be a good choice and a few dollars cheaper than the DA* zooms.

My suggestion: get the pair of Pentax DA*f2.8 zooms. The 16-135 range will cover most situations you are likely to encounter at present. When you gain more experience you can then decide if you need wider or longer lenses.

04-07-2007, 07:11 AM   #9
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: West Chester, PA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,420
I'll ditto that yours is a very nicely written request.

First let me recommend that I've had better experience with Tamron than Sigma, and consider the image quality better from the former for comparable lenses. That being said, Sigma offers a 17-70 that, while not f/2.8 across the whole zoom, is f/2.8 at its widest and seems to produce excellent results. There is currently no comparable Tamron for that lens.
Second, I owned the terrific Tamron 28-75 f/2.8. I whole-heartedly recommend this lens to everyone.

As to the point of being a photojournalist, I'll draw a comparison to a print journalist. I'm sure if you asked your mother what you need to be a successful print journalist, she'd tell you that a laptop was indispensable. Yet that speaks nothing towards learning how to be a journalist, that simply speaks towards the equipment after you are one.
With that in mind, I would honestly recommend that you find yourself a used 50mm or 28mm lens (or a 24mm if you can find a reasonably-priced specimen) and walk around shooting with it. Photojournalism is less about equipment and more about knowing where and when to be.

Take care,
Sean
04-07-2007, 07:13 AM   #10
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: West Chester, PA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,420
Supreme - does your mother know you use this name?!?
04-07-2007, 07:34 AM   #11
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Queensland, Australia
Posts: 668
QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
Supreme - does your mother know you use this name?!?
Hahaha, what do you think? It ain't literal, I swear
04-07-2007, 07:49 AM   #12
Veteran Member
philmorley's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: in a house in Armidale, Australia
Posts: 472
QuoteOriginally posted by wmmk Quote
Hello everyone,
To start off I am 13. I do web design to help pay for my photo gear, but can't paid much, regardless of the quality of my work, because people would rather have use a pro, and I need to be competitive to get jobs at all. Anyways, what this means is I can't just buy lenses and new cameras on a whim like some people can.
I've loved photo for quite a while now, and got serious and started using my Grandmother's 35mm SLR (a Nikon N8008) almost two years ago. I bought a K100D last November and haven't looked back since.

At first, I was completely engrossed in landscape photography and thought of all news and journalistic photography as snaps that anyone could do. As a blessing in disguise, I had a terrible bike accident this fall and broke my neck. When my mom, who writes for the Chicago Tribune, wrote a story about all of this, a staff photographer came to our house to take a portrait of me for the story. I expressed my interest in photo and he said that I should spend some time with him on assignments. I jumped on the opportunity, and spent all of Friday in the Tribune photo department. He showed me a lot of his work, which was all truly amazing, yet it was this slideshow that really opened my eyes to great photojournalism.

Due to this and many other factors, I'm now thinking of photojournalism as a career. I thought I wanted to use all primes when I was in to landscape, but I've talked to a lot of press photographers recently, and all of them say that besides an occasional 35, 50, or 300, they use all zooms all the time. From what Alex (the guy I spent time with on Friday) recommended, I should go for a 16-35, 24-70, and 70-200, all being f/2.8. To be honest, I'd love to get a 30D and use all L glass, but I'd have to wait longer between lens purchases, miss out on IS, and have to use a f/4 70-200 instead of a f/2.8. So I'm staying with Pentax (and most likely Sigma glass).

Start reading here if you don't want to hear my long rant:
The Sigma EX 70-200 seems like a no brainer. For $890 (adorama), it's fairly cheap, relative to Canon and Nikon alternatives. I know there was/is a FA 80-200 f/2.8, but I haven't seen it in any stores. One issue is that the K mount version of the sigma is not yet HSM. Should I wait for an HSM version?

As to a 24-70 or something similar, the $380 Tamron 28-75 seems nice because of its price, but the better optics, extra flexibility on the wide end, and macro ability of the sigma 24-70 ($430 at adorama) makes it rather attractive.

Finally, when it comes to wide zooms, I'm fairly lost. I want f/2.8 throughout the complete zoom range, and just don't see anything that fits my classifications.

Any recommendations for a 16-35, 24-70, and 70-200 would be greatly appreciated. If you feel that I should be looking for different focal lengths altogether, I'd be interested in hearing your opinions and reasoning.

Many thanks,
Will
Hi,

All comes to how much you can spend. I'd be seriously looking at the da* lens esp the 16-50 otherwise my personal opinion is that the tamron 28-75 is cheaper and a much better lens than the 24-70. But as you want wider the sigma 17-70 is well regarded and would probably fits your needs better. The da 50-200 although not 2.8 is excellent in quality size and weight and I don't think anything comes to it for the money, and also worth looking into. From what you said you need / can spend these two will leave you more money for other purchases later or looking into flashes etc you may want.

(Tamron will also release 70-200 f2.8 later this year, but we will have to wait and see what it is like.)

Phil
04-07-2007, 07:52 AM   #13
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: West Chester, PA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,420
QuoteOriginally posted by SupremeMoFo Quote
Hahaha, what do you think? It ain't literal, I swear
LOL, I probably would have used a similar name at 16.

What I've learned since then is that very few cogent arguments are made with profanity, and the less you use it, the more impactful it becomes.
04-07-2007, 08:03 AM   #14
roy
Inactive Account
roy's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: D/FW area, Tx.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,712
wmmk,
if you want to view some of the best photojournalism ever taken check out w.eugene smith.
04-07-2007, 08:15 AM   #15
Senior Member
wmmk's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Chicago
Posts: 106
Original Poster
Wow! I am absolutely astonished by the quality and amount of replies.
Although it may (and should) seem rather preposterous for someone of my age to feel the need for these types of lenses, I can actually think of a specific type of event or subject matter that I currently shoot to justify the purchase of each 3 types of lenses I mentioned.

I shot a few school basketball games (I'll be doing this more next year when I'm in high school) this year with my terribly soft Tamron 28-200 f/4-5.6. While I must (sheepishly) admit that I ended up taking some very good images, having a 5 fps camera and some 2.8 glass would have helped. I just looked through a Lightroom collection of the last game I shot, and at least 60% of the shots I took were from 70mm to 200mm. The majority of the rest were shot between 30mm and 45mm. As I said, being able to use a slower ISO would help things quite considerably.

As to the wide angle, I use this type of lens mostly outside, but the occasional panorama of action on the court like this:

A wide angle is certainly nice to have! I also tend to use wide angles for landscape scenes to add to a sense of perspective.

I completely understand the need to actually be journalistic taking precedence over the need to own expensive photography equipment and wholeheartedly agree with this statement. I am admittedly not an amazing photographer at the not. I will certainly not be buying all of the lenses I mentioned at one time.

To those who mentioned using flash, I find it ironic that you have mentioned this. I recently purchased a used Vivitar 285HV on keh for $40 along with $20 Japanese gray market RF transmitters (the digitalinfinity brand). Although I've become somewhat more comfortable with its operation, I feel as though I should 'get to know it' better before going out and getting any new equipment. Besides strobist.com, is there any good resource for getting familiar with the use of off-camera shoe mount flashes?

In terms of paying for all of this, let's just say that a single webdesign job will cover the sigma 70-200 and another would cover a sigma 24-70, a $400 wide angle, and an AF360FGZ to be used as a 2nd flash.

Finally, many thanks to carpents and Mike Cash for being so kind in their comments on the topic of my writing. These are greatly appreciated.

P.S. Would having 16-50 and 70-200 with a gap from 50 to 70 make any sense?

EDIT: does anyone know of software to plot the focal lengths of all the images in my library (on a mac)? I've seen some apps like this for windows, but none for OS X.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
f/2.8, glass, hsm, k-mount, nikon, pentax lens, people, photo, photojournalism, sigma, slr lens, time, version
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pentax lenses prices Andrzej Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 18 02-26-2010 09:58 AM
help to find lenses lizamo1 Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 4 02-25-2009 06:19 AM
Prices for new DA lenses ogl Pentax News and Rumors 24 01-29-2008 11:01 AM
How to find Lenses CowboyPookie Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 14 12-09-2007 10:22 AM
Where do I find old Takumar lenses? switters Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 3 10-26-2007 07:35 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:36 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top