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05-27-2009, 04:32 AM   #1
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Looking for a kit lens replacement.

I'm looking for a constant aperture zoom lens in the wide angle to "normal" range. When I got my K20D I gave my K10D body and the two "kit" lenses (along with some other stuff) to my brother-in-law. I now find I'm looking for a replacement for the 18-55. My requirements are:
1) constant aperture
2) no more than a 4X zoom
3) wide end around 16-18mm
4) auto aperture

I don't need but would like to have auto focus.

Perusing the lens databases I've come up with 3 contenders
Pentax DA* 16-50mm F2.8
Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC Macro
Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 XR LD

All the lenses have pros and cons. The biggest con for the Pentax 16-50 is evident in the sticky at the top of this forum, I don't feel like trying 3 or 4 copies to find a "good" one. On the other hand I haven't heard of anyone recently purchasing a new DA* 16-50 who has had the decentering problem. Does anyone know if they've ironed out that production glitch? The other con of the Pentax is that it is considerably more expensive than they other two lenses. The pros of that lens being of course weather sealing and the AF/MF focus shift. It's also 1mm wider than the Tammy and 2mm wider than the Sigma but I don't think I'd notice even the 2mm.

So of the above three lenses which do you recommend? And if there is an older/other lens I've missed I'd like to hear about that too.

NaCl(a new walkaround, wider than my Tammy 28-75)H2O

05-27-2009, 05:18 AM   #2
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I take it you already have a tammy 28-75/2.8? since you have inside/people covered you probably don't need another fast 2.8 zoom lens. Pentax 17-70/4 is a lot more versatile and constant aperture. The strait SDM might be more reliable than the screw drive/SDM combo on the DA*. If only 17-70 had weather seals it would be perfect. (were waiting pentax )
Alternatively you could match the tammy to a da15 ltd, da21lt, or a new kit WR.
Of the three you've chosen all three are good if you get a good copy! The Tammy 17-50/2.8 certainly has the best rep for IQ, although i prefer to choose based on rendering rather than pixel peeping.
cheers
05-27-2009, 05:55 AM   #3
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as noted, if you have the 28-75 why do you want so much overlap.

Also, why do you need constant aperture? unless it is a MF Manual aperture (no A setting) where flash and metering become an issue
05-27-2009, 06:29 AM   #4
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If you're shooting mostly outside in good light, there's really no need for a constant aperture. On a good day shooting handheld, I find myself shooting mainly f8-11 and my Sigma 17-70 does a good job as a walkaround lens--the close focusing feature at 70mm is a big plus, too. At the nature photography workshop I went to last month, it was the lens that stayed on my camera most of the time.

Heather

05-27-2009, 06:31 AM   #5
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Or have you given the 28-75 away? and want to replace it with the DA* 16-50/17-50/18-50?

If so all of them are good lenses. I have gotten the DA* 16-50 recently after using the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 and I loved both of them. The reason I replace the Sigma was because I wanted a constant aperture lens and since the DA* was weathersealed and I was offered a good price, I grabbbed it. Now i am loving it.

Cheers . . .
05-27-2009, 06:38 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
as noted, if you have the 28-75 why do you want so much overlap.

Also, why do you need constant aperture? unless it is a MF Manual aperture (no A setting) where flash and metering become an issue
I want a walk-around zoom wider than the 28-75. As you know there is a BIG difference between 16-18mm and 28mm.
I want constant aperture because I've found that most constant aperture lenses have better other characteristics/specs than variable aperture zooms. Generally speaking, a constant aperture lens in a particular zoom range is a better lens than a variable aperture lens in the same zoom range. It is a single specification that points to 'quality'. Granted there are probably some variable aperture zooms that meet or even beat constant aperture zooms, but most of the time the reverse is true.

NaCl(it's not the constant aperture spec itself but what that spec says about the overall quality of the lens)H2O
05-27-2009, 10:04 AM   #7
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If I were going to drop ~ $590 on such a new lens right now, I'd consider the DA 17-70mm f4 AL IF SDM. If I was on a tighter budget, I'd look at the DA 16-45mm. The former has a slightly better magnification than the 16-50mm and is slightly lighter. The DA* is faster. Both are IF and have SDM and SP coating. The biggest downside to the 16-45mm is the lack of IF. I need to stop. I talking myself into a 17-70mm.
05-27-2009, 10:11 AM   #8
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I have a Pentax 17-70mm, it's a great lens and not to be overlooked.

I can send you some sample shots with it if you like.

05-27-2009, 11:29 AM   #9
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Would you consider a trade, Salty? This may be premature of me, I'm still pondering it a bit, but... I have the Tamron 17-50/2.8 and find I am mostly using the long end of it and have been seriously considering swapping it out for the 28-75/2.8.

I have the 12-24 for when I really want wide. And I have the Tam17-50 and DA*50-135. For the majority of MY shooting though happiness is something that spans across 50mm, ergo the 28-75.

So if you're interested hit me up!
05-27-2009, 12:57 PM   #10
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I had missed the pentas 17-70.

QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
If I were going to drop ~ $590 on such a new lens right now, I'd consider the DA 17-70mm f4 AL IF SDM. If I was on a tighter budget, I'd look at the DA 16-45mm. The former has a slightly better magnification than the 16-50mm and is slightly lighter. The DA* is faster. Both are IF and have SDM and SP coating. The biggest downside to the 16-45mm is the lack of IF. I need to stop. I talking myself into a 17-70mm.
You (and a few others besides) are talking me into to one too!

NaCl(LBA? What LBA? I just NEED more lenses!)H2O
05-27-2009, 01:07 PM   #11
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Jim, sorry but I've developed an emotional attachment to the 28-75. It was the first high quality zoom I owned and even if I get the pentax 17-70 I will probably hold onto the Tammy for where the extra speed and close focusing ability are needed. I'd suggest watching KEH, that's where I got mine. IIRC I paid about $300 for it in ex condition. I was just checking for other lenses and I noticed that they have one "in transit". You can sign up to be notified as soon as it gets to KEH.

NaCl(good people KEH, they've gotten a lot of my money over the years)H2O
05-27-2009, 01:22 PM   #12
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No worries at all. It was probably overly impulsive of me to entertain the idea in the first place. I'm a long ways from having "too many" lenses anyway.
05-27-2009, 01:43 PM   #13
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I know they overlap quite a bit, but I have both the Tamron 17-50 and Tamron 28-75, and love them both. Frankly, the 28-75 spends more time on my camera than the 17-50, but especially b/c the 17-50 is my only wide angle lens, it does get a fair amount of use as well. I was fortunate to pick my 17-50 up for under $250 from Prodigital2000 back during the big cash back and coupons at ebay a few months ago, so that made it a no-brainer for me. But on its own, it is another great lens from Tamron, and well worth considering in your case, even though you will be keeping the 28-75.
05-27-2009, 02:53 PM   #14
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I'm very (!!) happy with my DA* 16-50mm, too bad it isn't 70mm but I can crop that.
The true PLUS is that it makes you dust and weather proof. A quality I've benefited a lot from.
Also I need the 16mm much more than the 50+ length. You can always crop.

- Bert
05-28-2009, 05:44 AM   #15
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17-70 is a great focal length range for an all in one holiday lens. Sigma and pentax are almost identical in sharpness, distortion and weight. The variable vs constant aperture have no effect on quality here. Sigma has a 72mm thread vs pentax 67mm
sigma also has super close focus 1:2.3 whereas pentax doesnt. The sigma colors are the main problem with the lens. The pentax is much nicer in that regard and has dedicated SDM and a seal on the lens mount.
I'm so gonna trade my sigma in when they weather seal the pentax!
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