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06-13-2009, 12:08 PM   #1
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Lens quandary

After being forced out of the Pentax world for 6 months I have jumped back in with the purchase of a k20d.

I already ordered a DA 50-200 for general usage.

Back when I had my k100d I really enjoyed my FA 50 f/1.4 but I am wondering if I should consider something else this time.

Here is my situation.

I have three young children. Most of the time I shoot them indoors in natural light.

I want something that can shoot an outdoors family portrait shot.

I travel a lot for work.
In the past month I have been on a boardwalk in Newport Beach California and at South Beach in Miami Beach Florida.

I need an ace in the hole that I can pull out of my bag that will give me a dramatic wide shot of a beach and sunset.

I know this probably does not exist in a single lens (and if it does I could not afford it)

Much like everyone else I am not made of money, but I am not afraid of spending out of my comfort zone if it is something really special.

So if anyone could give me some ideas for a lens or three that might get me where I want to be I would appreciate it.

06-13-2009, 12:17 PM   #2
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I own and love the DA* 16-50/2.8. The f/2.8 constant aperture won't do any harm indoors, and the zoom range is about perfect for a walk around lens. On the beach, the weather resistance is a nice thing to have. At 16mm (24mm equivalent) a very nice perspective is there.

On the other hand, if you are really into wide, I can highly recommend the DA 12-24/4.

Tough call, my friend. I couldn't call it, so I bought both. There are some sample images from both lenses on my Flickr site below.
06-13-2009, 01:22 PM   #3
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I get the idea that funds may be a little tight for you, so I'll suggest the obvious:

Do you not already have the kit lens? At f/8 or so, you can get very nice images - plus it's a little gem, nowhere near the size of the 16-50 or 12-24. I may have both of the latter for better images at f/4, like Albert, but could still say the kit does alright stopped down - may need a tripod, though.

The FA 50/1.4 is still the best low-light performer for its price. Would highly recommend that one...
06-13-2009, 01:26 PM   #4
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I was just looking through my old 50mm shots and I realized I just had to have another.

I think the next purchase will be a wide angle.

If I was considering a da-21mm what else should I be considering that is close to its function and price?

06-13-2009, 01:29 PM   #5
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I did not see your reply before I made mine. I did not order the kit lens. I did have a kit lens with my k100d that served me well.


QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
I get the idea that funds may be a little tight for you, so I'll suggest the obvious:

Do you not already have the kit lens? At f/8 or so, you can get very nice images - plus it's a little gem, nowhere near the size of the 16-50 or 12-24. I may have both of the latter for better images at f/4, like Albert, but could still say the kit does alright stopped down - may need a tripod, though.

The FA 50/1.4 is still the best low-light performer for its price. Would highly recommend that one...
06-13-2009, 01:33 PM   #6
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If you're looking at the DA 21, then why not consider the DA* 16-50 or DA 16-45 (for a lot less than a 16-50)?

Great paired with the K20D, either of these lenses produce images with good contrast and sharpness - a big step above the kit lens in this regard.
06-13-2009, 01:47 PM   #7
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The 16-50mm is out of my price comfort zone, but the 16-45mm is squarely inside my range at the moment. I will check out some galleries featuring that lens.

Thanks!

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
If you're looking at the DA 21, then why not consider the DA* 16-50 or DA 16-45 (for a lot less than a 16-50)?

Great paired with the K20D, either of these lenses produce images with good contrast and sharpness - a big step above the kit lens in this regard.
06-13-2009, 01:53 PM   #8
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The 16-45's a great choice.
Was actually quite torm myself 'upgrading' it to the 16-50 for a variety of reasons.
Either way, the 16-45 is a very good wide angle performer. But do stop it down a little (at least f/5.6) at the wide end to avoid softness.

06-13-2009, 11:19 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by acrbill Quote
After being forced out of the Pentax world for 6 months I have jumped back in with the purchase of a k20d.

I already ordered a DA 50-200 for general usage.

Back when I had my k100d I really enjoyed my FA 50 f/1.4 but I am wondering if I should consider something else this time.

Here is my situation.

I have three young children. Most of the time I shoot them indoors in natural light.

I want something that can shoot an outdoors family portrait shot.

I travel a lot for work.
In the past month I have been on a boardwalk in Newport Beach California and at South Beach in Miami Beach Florida.

I need an ace in the hole that I can pull out of my bag that will give me a dramatic wide shot of a beach and sunset.

I know this probably does not exist in a single lens (and if it does I could not afford it)

Much like everyone else I am not made of money, but I am not afraid of spending out of my comfort zone if it is something really special.

So if anyone could give me some ideas for a lens or three that might get me where I want to be I would appreciate it.
With Sigma's somewhat clunky but good IQ-wise 24 f/1.8 you can achieve a narrower DOF. There's a wedding series on flickr done with that lens:

Flickr: Search (You'll find a lot of beach shots among the samples, as well.)
06-14-2009, 12:54 AM   #10
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WOW! I am impressed! Thanks man


QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
With Sigma's somewhat clunky but good IQ-wise 24 f/1.8 you can achieve a narrower DOF. There's a wedding series on flickr done with that lens:

Flickr: Search (You'll find a lot of beach shots among the samples, as well.)
06-14-2009, 10:26 AM   #11
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I'm going to throw in a vote for the DA 16-45mm f4. You don't have to be "made of money" to own this lens (it was the first one I bought to replace my kit lens).

The image quality really is good, especially at 24mm.

06-14-2009, 02:02 PM   #12
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The Sigma 24-60mm f/2.8 EX DG produces very sharp images for low cost. Plus you can leave it on your camera for indoor shots. Its a fairly cheap lens because of the zoom range. The 24-70 is more money.

From 2007-2008 it was selling on Amazon for $200. It has since increased in cost (from what I've seen) but can still be had for ~300 new (or mint) or ~250 used. It gets fairly high ratings if you browse around.
06-15-2009, 01:44 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcmadr Quote
I'm going to throw in a vote for the DA 16-45mm f4. You don't have to be "made of money" to own this lens (it was the first one I bought to replace my kit lens).

The image quality really is good, especially at 24mm.

Yes I agree! It also has good close focusing abilities.
06-15-2009, 10:59 AM   #14
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I am going out of town today and when I get back all my new gear should be here to greet me.

I have a feeling that after I play around for a week or three I will have to pull the trigger on something wider than the trusty 50mm f/1.4. I will do some more research while I am holed up in the hotel for the next week. I am not one to buy and sell lenses so I want to make a good decision the first time.



I also am starting to think of something in the 300mm range. The first two lenses I came across is the PENTAX smc DA* 300mm F4 and the Sigma APO 100-300mm F4 EX DG.

The sigma is slightly more money but it does offer a zoom which could make life easier.

Does anyone have any input on lenses in this focal/price range?
06-15-2009, 02:22 PM   #15
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OK I was about to pull the trigger on the DA 16-45mm but I got to thinking about something.

I do not have the kit lens but I did have one with my k100d. I was not particularly impressed by it. The reviews I have read say that it is a nicer replacement for the kit lens but its not nearly as sharp at the 16-50.

I am in position to drop $700+ at the moment. Spending $350 on the 16-45mm makes more sense from a financial prospective but is it that much better than the kit lens that I could pick up for $50 used?

I mentioned picking up a telephoto on my last post but that would be a toy. I almost need to have something in the wider range since I do a decent amount of indoor shooting and I would like to get some nice wide outdoor shooting in.

AHHHHHH!!!! I'm driving myself CRAZY!

If someone could confirm that the 16-45 is a considerably better piece of glass than the 18-55mm kit lens I would really appreciate it.
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