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11-29-2009, 07:48 PM   #1
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Looking for Zoom lens suggestion

I just ordered my first DSLR - Pentax K-x with a 18-55 kit lens. The two lens kit with DA 55-300 lens was not available. I am thinking of buying a zoom lens similar in IQ to DA 55-300 and would like to stay within $250. I've looked through the lens database and have found a few reasonably priced zooms but it is not clear how they measure up against DA 55-300.

I would greatly appreciate any suggestions on Pentax and/or third party lenses of good quality.
Many thanks.
ayp

11-29-2009, 08:19 PM   #2
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I'm in the same situation. I wanted the white k-x, so now I need to come up with a zoom lens. Thing is, I don't want to spend too much, but want decent image quality.

I got a headache looking at all the options, an all in one 18-250, or a nice fast two lens combo, or a cheap zoom telephoto zoom lens to go with the first kit lens for now. The all in one still costs a big, but has compromises, and all the fast lens or primes oddly cost so much more, and who knows if inflated prices will suddenly drop just after buying them.

The cheapest option, just so I have something, seems to be a Tamron AF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 LD for about $129 or a Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro for around $169 just to have something for now.
11-29-2009, 08:22 PM   #3
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My suggestion is the Tamron 70-300mm macro. It's a great lens for under $200 with a decent close up ablity (2:1 or half life sized). Plus it holds decent resale value if you decide to go to one of the faster zooms.

Btw, the fast glass will always be expensive. Always have and always will.
11-29-2009, 08:25 PM   #4
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Yes, the Tamron is a good choice - better than getting a superzoom IMO.
The kit lens and this one will be sufficient for you as you discover more and know what you specifically want in a lens later on.
All the best with that.

11-29-2009, 08:35 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Yes, the Tamron is a good choice - better than getting a superzoom IMO.
The kit lens and this one will be sufficient for you as you discover more and know what you specifically want in a lens later on.
All the best with that.

When exactly is that Ash? I've been shooting a little over 25 years and I'm still buying a lens every once in awhile.....

Kinda like asking me what I want to be when I grow up (haven't figured that out either).
11-29-2009, 08:47 PM   #6
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I have the silver fa 100-300 4.7-5.8 and its great shots are always sharp and it can be had for around 120$
12-02-2009, 09:08 PM   #7
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Sigma 70-300

Did some more looking around... Here is another alternative - Sigma 70-300 F4-5.6 DG APO Macro. Based on this thread looks like a good alternative to Tamron:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/57560-tested-p...-70-300-a.html

No clear winner between Sigma and Tamron. Price is about the same. Tamron is sharper at the wide end, Sigma seems better at the long end of the zoom.

Any other reason to choose one over the other (weight, construction, features)?
12-02-2009, 09:34 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ayp Quote
Any other reason to choose one over the other (weight, construction, features)?
I've never been too keen on the Sigmas I've owned. I've had much better luck with Tamrons, although I've never owned either of the 70-300's. I'm also not a huge fan of the dust-magnet finish of Sigma lenses, so take that for what it's worth.

12-02-2009, 09:56 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
When exactly is that Ash? I've been shooting a little over 25 years and I'm still buying a lens every once in awhile.....

Kinda like asking me what I want to be when I grow up (haven't figured that out either).
OK, I worded that quite vaguely - apologies Peter.
I meant to say, with time and some experience, from all the lenses available to buy, the ones best suited to him at that point in time will become more clear... (emphasis intended as it is clear LBA wreaks havoc with regards to what lenses we 'need')
12-02-2009, 11:06 PM   #10
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I think the OP could pull a used DA55-300 cheaper, if he could spare 25 bucks or so ! I got mine for 275. actually, I got 2 offers with a 275 pricetag. both were in excellent condition. was suppose to pickup the first but was second in line, found another a week later for the same price. so if I were the OP, I'd invest that additional 25 bucks and start scouring the net for a 55-300. though the Tammy is a good performer, I'd go for the better DA55-300. the lens is just really suprisingly great. unexpected from a budget lens which is suppose to be only a tad better than it's kit lens relative.
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