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04-02-2009, 12:53 AM   #1
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Looking for a new lens collection for $1000

Alright I think I made a bad purchase. I went ahead and bought a k20d (body only) and ordered the Pentax DA 10-17mm fisheye ($400) and the Pentax DA 18-250mm zoom lens ($450).

And now just as I was about to consider a fast prime I thought maybe I should just return the fisheye and 18-250mm and get two fast lenses and still spend less than $1000. I don't really want to sacrifice image quality for convenience, as I am trying to build up a sort of semi-pro lens kit and actually do this seriously.

So I decided that since fish eye isn't really a big thing and that 18-250mm would be bad overall (too slow, poor bokah, blah contrast), I would rather spend it on less on focal length and more on higher quality--to match the quality of the k20d.

I have The DA 18-55mm kit lens From my *ist DS and most people are right--it's lackluster. There's no real "pop" to it.

So $1000 is my limit for a decent set of lenses.

Ok, what do you think of this combination.

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD ($419.95)
or Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro ($369)

AND

Pentax SMCP-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED ($319.95) How much better is this lense than the Tamron 70-300mm which I already have? If the Tamron OK, then I would rather spend my money more on a super quality prime than on the Zoom. Being that the 17-50 is already 2.8 I don't think I need another prime in that range.

And if I have some $$$ left over

Pentax Normal SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 ($200)
Or a Pentax 70mm f/2.4 DA Limited ($474)
Both would give the same focal length but the 50mm gets very good reviews and would be a good "fill in" for the 50-80mm gap and would be mainly for portraits.

Can you think of any other combination for around $1000


Last edited by aweir; 04-02-2009 at 12:59 AM.
04-02-2009, 02:29 AM   #2
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Go for the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 (Have one and love it ) and since you already have Tamron 70-300 with macro 1:2 spend the money on FA 50 1.4.

Trust me, you will be trilled and well served and probably with some money left .

My 2 cents

(PS - I have the three lenses so "I can talk" )
04-02-2009, 06:05 AM   #3
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you have been misled

QuoteOriginally posted by aweir Quote
Pentax Normal SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 ($200)
Or a Pentax 70mm f/2.4 DA Limited ($474)
Both would give the same focal length but the 50mm gets very good reviews and would be a good "fill in" for the 50-80mm gap and would be mainly for portraits.

Not true, you have been misled
50mm is always 50mm
70mm is always 70mm


just because its made for 35mm, the 50 is still a 50, it just has a larger image circle than a 50 built for APS
The 70mm on a APS sized sensor only roughly equates to the coverage of a 50mm when the 50 is on a full-frame or 35mm body.
04-02-2009, 07:09 AM   #4
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well doing it properly would be primes only imo

04-02-2009, 07:24 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
well doing it properly would be primes only imo
I'm with you.
I started with zooms, and end up with a 40 yo prime almost all the time.
Or go with really high quality zooms (16-50, 50-135).

-50 mm is a nice one. I don't use so much since I like wide.
-31 L is a beautiful option (color, contrast, SHARPNESS). Bit expensive though, but worth every penny from what I hear.

Ok, I must stop now. LBA is kickin' at my door.
04-02-2009, 08:03 AM   #6
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Go ahead for Tamron 17-50.. It's a strong competitor for DA*16-50..

You won't regret it.. Check the lens review section....
04-02-2009, 09:07 AM   #7
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So what is the image quality comparison of Tamron 17-50 vs. Pentax 16-50?
Tjhat's a big price difference for just one mm.

31 ltd is nice but it wouldn't make sense to have two lenses covering the same focal length.
04-02-2009, 09:51 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by aweir Quote
So what is the image quality comparison of Tamron 17-50 vs. Pentax 16-50?
Tjhat's a big price difference for just one mm.

31 ltd is nice but it wouldn't make sense to have two lenses covering the same focal length.
From what I've read (full disclosure: I've never used the DA* and have only done a few test shots with the Tamron zoom) in comparative testing the Tamron does a little better in across the frame sharpness. The DA*, on the other hand, is a little wider, excels in color rendering and contrast, and has the silent wave motor and weather sealing over the Tamron.

I think your plan to get the Tamron lens and the Pentax 55-300 is a pretty sound one. Get those two lenses and use them a lot. If you find yourself lacking at a particular focal length, or want a specialized function like 1:1 macro, you can fill in later as needed.

I think with your current plan you could afford to get both zooms and then have a little money left over for a fast prime, probably in the 70-135 mm range. Of course, there's already a pretty awesome Pentax zoom in that range (DA* 50-135), if you can afford to swap it in for the DA55-300. There's also the two 70-200 mm offerings from Sigma and Tamron.

04-02-2009, 11:05 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by aweir Quote
So what is the image quality comparison of Tamron 17-50 vs. Pentax 16-50?
Tjhat's a big price difference for just one mm.

31 ltd is nice but it wouldn't make sense to have two lenses covering the same focal length.
You don't get f/1.8 with any zoom
04-02-2009, 12:02 PM   #10
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Buy a used 16-45 and 50-135. You should have enough money left over to at least buy a manual focus 50mm and maybe even enough to get a used autofocus 50mm f1.4. It's more money than what you've got budgeted, but I always thought a good combination would be the 12-24mm, the 35mm macro, and the 50-135.
04-02-2009, 12:14 PM   #11
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Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 and Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 covers the range most shoot at. Then pick up a couple of primes when you find the range you generally shoot at.
04-02-2009, 02:28 PM   #12
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I'd buy a nice bagful of excellent Takumars and have $500~700 left over.
04-02-2009, 02:40 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
Buy a used 16-45 and 50-135. You should have enough money left over to at least buy a manual focus 50mm and maybe even enough to get a used autofocus 50mm f1.4. It's more money than what you've got budgeted, but I always thought a good combination would be the 12-24mm, the 35mm macro, and the 50-135.
That would be my first option...

QuoteOriginally posted by ivoire Quote
Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 and Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 covers the range most shoot at. Then pick up a couple of primes when you find the range you generally shoot at.
This would be my second.... and if you were able to find a little more money, get the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 for about $300 and that is a great bag. Then start on the primes.
04-02-2009, 02:47 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by aweir Quote
Alright I think I made a bad purchase. I went ahead and bought a k20d (body only) and ordered the Pentax DA 10-17mm fisheye ($400) and the Pentax DA 18-250mm zoom lens ($450).

And now just as I was about to consider a fast prime I thought maybe I should just return the fisheye and 18-250mm and get two fast lenses and still spend less than $1000. I don't really want to sacrifice image quality for convenience, as I am trying to build up a sort of semi-pro lens kit and actually do this seriously.

So I decided that since fish eye isn't really a big thing and that 18-250mm would be bad overall (too slow, poor bokah, blah contrast), I would rather spend it on less on focal length and more on higher quality--to match the quality of the k20d.

I have The DA 18-55mm kit lens From my *ist DS and most people are right--it's lackluster. There's no real "pop" to it.

So $1000 is my limit for a decent set of lenses.

Ok, what do you think of this combination.

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD ($419.95)
or Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro ($369)

AND

Pentax SMCP-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED ($319.95) How much better is this lense than the Tamron 70-300mm which I already have? If the Tamron OK, then I would rather spend my money more on a super quality prime than on the Zoom. Being that the 17-50 is already 2.8 I don't think I need another prime in that range.

And if I have some $$$ left over

Pentax Normal SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 ($200)
Or a Pentax 70mm f/2.4 DA Limited ($474)
Both would give the same focal length but the 50mm gets very good reviews and would be a good "fill in" for the 50-80mm gap and would be mainly for portraits.

Can you think of any other combination for around $1000
Here's one thing to consider:

Tamron 17-50 2.8 for $369 from Prodigital2000

Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 for about $640 from B&H.

That's right at your $1000 budget, and those two lenses will make you very happy.

You can throw in a used F 50 1.7 for $120 or so, and you have an excellent kit right there. Then, supplement with Taks, K's, M's A's, and various Russian beauties and pretty soon you're one of us.


EDIT: I see Ivoire already suggested this very thing. OK, then I'll just say +1 to that.



.
04-02-2009, 09:44 PM   #15
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I have had the Tamron 17-50mm on the K20 for a year now. I am very happy--it is a high quality zoom. For the price, it is difficult to beat. It at least performs with the Da 16-50mm.

As Jay & Ivoire have already suggested, I think the Tamron 70-200 f 2.8 would be an awesome complement to the 17-50mm.
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