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12-14-2009, 03:57 PM   #1
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General purpose zoom lens about 25-100 mm

Hey gang, I'm going to ask what I fear is an FAQ, so sorry about this in advance.

I just got a K-X with the 50-200 kit, which is fantastic, except that I really find myself wanting a general purpose lens covering somewhat wide to relatively good telephoto. My old 35mm FSLR had about a 30-120 which I loved. Without spending a big pile of money, can you recommend a lens with good IQ and AF that fits this bill (or point me to an existing thread on this?)

Thanks,

-Steve

12-14-2009, 04:04 PM   #2
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DA 18-250. but I think you would spend some considerable money. I believe it's better for you to get a 2 lens kit set instead. the cheapest one that I can advice you to buy is the 18-55 II which sells from $50 used and $100 brand new. that should cover the focal range that you needed.
12-14-2009, 04:19 PM   #3
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Pentax 28-105
12-14-2009, 04:51 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by 713alan Quote
Pentax 28-105
The thread title makes you think that, but the text says "somewhat wide". I think that rules out the 28-105mm lenses, which on APS-C are much more like "normal-midtelephoto". I have one of the FA 28-105 versions and it sits around a lot because of this.

After converting to appropriate focal lengths for DSLRs, I suggest:

1. The DA 18-55, if you don't already have it. You can get a used one fairly cheap. There are four possible variations: the original version I, version II, the DA-L with plastic mount, and the weather-resistant version. It's intended to do the same job as a 28-80 did on film.

2. The DA 17-70. Quite a hike in price over option 1 and not too many on the used market, but the focal length works out almost perfectly to an APS-C equivalent of 28-105. Amazing, it's like they knew!

3. Sigma 17-70. I read there's a new version, which confuses things a bit. The old version was very competitive with the DA 17-70. They've been around a while so you might find one used for cheaper.

4. The DA 16-45. Not quite the telephoto reach you want, but a great wide-angle end to make up for it. The extra 1mm is useful. Available at good used prices, or hunt for a decent new price. A recent thread suggested these could be had for $260 new.

12-14-2009, 05:04 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum.
Superzooms have to compromise on IQ and speed (maximum aperture), given their focal length range.
But overall, either the Tamron or Pentax 18-250 is a good start.
Won't 'do it all' as you'd think (not the best for portraiture and low-light situations) but it'll be the best quality you can get for the range.
I'd suggest a 2 lens setup for a significant boost in IQ - Tamron 17-50 or Pentax DA 17-70 or 16-45 plus the Pentax DA 55-300. Still affordable and yet better in every facet.
12-14-2009, 05:26 PM   #6
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Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I have the 18-55, which is sort of almost there on the tele side. Works for about 75% of my indoor shots. I'll take a look at the others, but I agree that I'd like to see more magnification than what the 70mm would give me.
12-14-2009, 05:28 PM   #7
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Yeah, I think the prices probably qualify as a pile of money. :-)
12-14-2009, 05:30 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by 713alan Quote
Pentax 28-105
This is an FA, right? I've been hesitant to consider FA lenses b/c of format differences between Film and the sensor. I'll look closer at the reviews...

Thanks,

-Steve

12-14-2009, 05:43 PM   #9
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You can use any K-mount lens as-is on any Pentax dSLR (with lens-based limitations).
The FA lenses will work just the same as you'd expect on a film SLR except for the digital crop factor (1.5x)
12-14-2009, 06:10 PM   #10
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The FA 28-105 is a great walk around lens but make sure you get the f/3.2 version.
12-14-2009, 06:42 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by standerstv Quote
This is an FA, right? I've been hesitant to consider FA lenses b/c of format differences between Film and the sensor. I'll look closer at the reviews...

Thanks,

-Steve
don't worry, the FA lenses will work just the same as the DA lenses on an APS-C sensor dslr. the only difference is that the FA works as a dual-purpose lens. it can work in a cropped APS-C sensor dslr and can work and use it full focal length potential in a full frame camera. also the added bonus of having an aperture ring, for those who prefer to have them.
12-14-2009, 09:00 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by standerstv Quote
Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I have the 18-55, which is sort of almost there on the tele side. Works for about 75% of my indoor shots. I'll take a look at the others, but I agree that I'd like to see more magnification than what the 70mm would give me.
Well, 70mm provides the FOV of 105mm in FF terms. So that 17-70 is really pretty similar to your old 30-120, if that's in fact what it was. You said "about", and really, that would be a pretty unusual lens. I wouldn't be surprised if it turned to actually be a 28-105.
12-14-2009, 09:04 PM   #13
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The Tamron 24-135/3.5-5.6 AF AD IF seems to have IQ between the DA 18-55II and the Tamron 28-75/2.8; a little soft above 105 though. It's a close tie with my FA 28-105/4.0~ (Tamron version).

H2
12-15-2009, 09:44 AM   #14
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You guys are great: thanks a lot for your replies. I'm going to hunt around for one of these.

-Steve
12-15-2009, 07:43 PM   #15
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There's a Pentax F 24-50mm f/4 zoom that is pretty nice; and I imagine the FA 24-90 is great, but those are a little more expensive.
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