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09-23-2009, 10:14 PM   #1
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Looking for a zoom lens

Hi. New to the forum, but have been taking photos for several decades. Used to use Minolta Maxxum 35mm equipment.

Have been out of photography for many years (except for P&S), and am deciding to get back in. I picked up a Pentax K20 because of the overall features.

I hardly ever bought Minolta lenses because excellent lenses were available from other manufacturers at much lower cost. I was just wondering who makes quality lenses that fit the K20 and retain all of the features? I'm looking for a zoom in the 200mm or 300mm range for under $200, so I was hoping to get some advice on possible lenses. I see the 50-200 Pentax DA lenses going for under $200 on ebay, so I was hoping I could get a little more power from an independent manufacturer, for the same price.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

09-23-2009, 10:41 PM   #2
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Quantaray 70-300mm F4-5.6 LD Macro 1:2, a rebadged tamron, which is sharper than the sigma 70-300mm but with more CA.
09-23-2009, 10:43 PM   #3
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With a K20D, I would suggest a DA 55-300, despite being out of your price range.
It is a fine lens, worth every cent it costs, and beats all the 70-300s in every aspect, by far.
09-23-2009, 11:07 PM   #4
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I second Ash's opinion!

I've owned used the DA55-300, and the Quantaray 70-300, and borrowed the DA50-200 for a while...The DA55-300 beats them both, (but between the two cheaper lenses, i'd say DA50-200 is still a better quality lens)

09-24-2009, 03:06 AM   #5
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If you can afford a DA series lens,the 55-300mm seems to be a popular choice by many.
09-24-2009, 07:03 AM   #6
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The motto is "you get what you pay for".

Given the constraints I'd pass on new equipment and look at older lenses which often have superb optical quality with the usual limitation being manual-focus only. That of course doesn't suit every possible use but you should have the autofocus kit lens...

People took great action shots 40 years ago before autofocus so you really have no excuse. With a good viewfinder and a good eye it only takes practice.
09-24-2009, 07:17 AM   #7
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I agree - the Pentax-A 70-210 F4 comes to mind. It is full frame, compact and very sharp and contrasty. It can be found for around $100 and I don't think that it will depreciate in value (like new lenses can). Another choice is the Pentax-M 80-200 F4.5. It is even more compact, but is not auto metering. It can be found for around $50. This will leave you money for a Pentax-A 50mm F1.7 and Vivitar 28mm F2.8 to round out your collection. These can all be bought for less than $200 total.


QuoteOriginally posted by kristoffon Quote
The motto is "you get what you pay for".

Given the constraints I'd pass on new equipment and look at older lenses which often have superb optical quality with the usual limitation being manual-focus only. That of course doesn't suit every possible use but you should have the autofocus kit lens...

People took great action shots 40 years ago before autofocus so you really have no excuse. With a good viewfinder and a good eye it only takes practice.
09-26-2009, 07:22 AM   #8
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i'd say the 55-300 but it costs a bit more. otherwise the 70-210 mentioned

09-28-2009, 12:49 PM   #9
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Does Pentax make the 55-300 lens, or does someone make it for them?
09-28-2009, 02:01 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxman Quote
I agree - the Pentax-A 70-210 F4 comes to mind. It is full frame, compact and very sharp and contrasty.
Just picked up this lens over the weekend. It is anything but compact. And very heavy too, if that's a concern. But, unlike the quick-shift DA lenses, manual focusing is easy and can be accurate with the help of magnifying eye-piece.
09-28-2009, 03:40 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeryst Quote
Does Pentax make the 55-300 lens, or does someone make it for them?
It's a Pentax branded lens made by the Pentax plant in Vietnam from Japanese made components.
09-28-2009, 04:54 PM   #12
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The Pentax 55-300 is the only way to go, you won't regret the decision.
11-10-2009, 08:21 PM   #13
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OK. Just wanted to let everyone know that I saved up for a while, took everyones advice, and was able to get the Pentax DA 55-300 lens. Very nice lens and I want to thank everyone for suggesting it.

Now, since I am broke, can anyone recommend a budget macro lens?
11-10-2009, 09:00 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeryst Quote
OK. Just wanted to let everyone know that I saved up for a while, took everyones advice, and was able to get the Pentax DA 55-300 lens. Very nice lens and I want to thank everyone for suggesting it.

Now, since I am broke, can anyone recommend a budget macro lens?

There are none available for free AFAIK!
But you're best saving up for a manual focus macro - whether you're happy with an M or A variety lens. The most common ones would be 50mm or 100mm. You may be lucky finding one on eBay or this forum's marketplace, though they're such good lenses I don't see them for sale all that often. But look around while you're saving!
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