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12-03-2009, 10:49 AM   #1
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Looking for advice...

I want to trade up on my 18-55 kit lens, and am torn about what to get, and if it will really help me take better pictures.

I hate the low-light performance of the kit lens. So I'm thinking about this:

TAMRON 17-50mm XR f/2.8 Di II Found it for $389, which I think is a good price.

Is this a worthy upgrade, or should I spend another 2-300 on the Sigma? The Pentax version scares me due to all of the negatives I've heard about failures.

Or maybe I should learn to take better pictures with my lens :-) I've only been at it for a year, and have a lot to learn.

Thanks for any advice,
Allan

12-03-2009, 10:58 AM   #2
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How low is the light? If you mean, normal indoor situation, then 2.8 should suffice. But if you're talking about concert, it's a different matter.

Maybe you should buy a fast 50mm first, like A 50mm 1.4. Or the auto focus version if you don't like manual focusing. It is much better for low light, and you can try various aperture, 1.7, 2.0, 2.8 and see whether 2.8 is good enough for you. I'm recommending the manual A version because it's cheaper (yet still automatic exposure wise, just need to focus manually) and you might still have enough money for the 2.8 zoom.
12-03-2009, 11:13 AM   #3
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I have the Pentax 50 1.4. It's great, but I'm looking for more of an all-purpose walk-around thing. Something that would work for normal indoor situations, and also for low-light outdoor shots, where the wide angle is preferable.
12-03-2009, 11:16 AM   #4
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FA 31 or FA 43


cheers

Neil

12-03-2009, 11:21 AM   #5
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Maybe I'm not being clear. I'm looking for a replacement for the kit 18-55, so I don't want another prime. I want something versatile, that can give me wide angle for landscapes and city street shots, something good for portraits and indoor stuff like birthdays and dinner shots. 17-50 seems to fall within that range. Or the 28-75.... but I already have a 55-300 and a 70-300, so I think the wide angle would be better for me. I'd like to spend around $500...not ready to go over $1000 for the really good stuff yet!
12-03-2009, 11:38 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by qtopplings Quote
Maybe I'm not being clear. I'm looking for a replacement for the kit 18-55, so I don't want another prime. I want something versatile, that can give me wide angle for landscapes and city street shots, something good for portraits and indoor stuff like birthdays and dinner shots. 17-50 seems to fall within that range. Or the 28-75.... but I already have a 55-300 and a 70-300, so I think the wide angle would be better for me. I'd like to spend around $500...not ready to go over $1000 for the really good stuff yet!
I see no other choice then...its the Tammy 17-50 2,8 or the Sigma counterpart.

They're both great lenses!
12-03-2009, 12:38 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by qtopplings Quote
Maybe I'm not being clear. I'm looking for a replacement for the kit 18-55, so I don't want another prime. I want something versatile, that can give me wide angle for landscapes and city street shots, something good for portraits and indoor stuff like birthdays and dinner shots. 17-50 seems to fall within that range. Or the 28-75.... but I already have a 55-300 and a 70-300, so I think the wide angle would be better for me. I'd like to spend around $500...not ready to go over $1000 for the really good stuff yet!
Hi there. Your initial remark of finding a kit lens replacement to improve your shots has me thinking that you may also benefit from learning more about how landscapes and portraits work photographically. The kit lens has been used to capture some stunning landscapes, but sure it falls quite short on being a good portrait lens.

So with your budget there are a few options... if you're not 'afraid' of SDM, then the DA* 16-50 is a good choice. IQ is amazing. Tamron 17-50 comes quite close behind. Then perhaps the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8. There are not too many other fast wide-normal zooms for Pentax available, so take your pick from these and all the best!
12-03-2009, 01:08 PM   #8
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What I mean by that is the kit lens performs poorly in low-light, and so it's prevented me from shooting indoors without a tripod/flash, or I've been unable to take some shots after sundown. I certainly can and will learn more about improving my skills, but want to have the opportunity to get pictures that I'd otherwise miss.

But thanks for the help! I think I will give the Tamron a try.

12-03-2009, 01:20 PM   #9
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No worries, I'm sure the Tamron will impress you.
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