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12-24-2009, 10:18 AM   #1
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DA* lenses overkill?

Hi. Recently purchased a K7 body for X-Mas. It will be surprise for wife. I'm not sure what lenses to get. DA* lenses seem great: great glass, WR, etc. but will they be overkill?
Wife and I, but mostly wife, be shooting a lot of family, our kids, inside and outside. We will take camera to travel to shoot outdoors, landscapes, wildlife, churches in Europe, kids in sports, etc. Wife was semi-serious amatuer photographer in college.
So, I guess I'm looking for a few general purpose lenses that might fit the bill reasonably well for all these applications.
Thanks!

12-24-2009, 10:33 AM   #2
axl
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they are only overkill, if you don't need their features. Shooting kids indoors, fast af zoom comes handy. Faster long lens too, and for wildlife long good tele. If you're thinking of DA*s I'd say go for 16-50, 50-135, 300.
If you think it would be overkill, cheaper version would be 16-50 +n 60-250. If it's still expensive, You have 18-55WR and 50-200WR but you are loosin f stops here. Which ever way you'll decide, you are one generous husband

BR
Peter
12-24-2009, 11:46 AM   #3
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Hi Sammie.
The K-7 is an excellent body to pair up with the DA* series.
Only you can determine if it's overkill or not - ask yourself whether you'll get value for the money you pay for it. They're certainly excellent lenses, the best available for Pentax.

But there are so many other options also. If you're finding Peter's apt suggestions of the 16-50 (landscapes, some architecture), 50-135 (portraits, kids sports) and 300 (sports and wildlife) unreasonably expensive for you, then consider lenses such as:

Pentax DA 16-45 or Tamron 17-50 for wide-angle to normal range (add Sigma 10-20 or Pentax DA 12-24 if 16mm is not wide enough for your achitecture shots)
Pentax FA 50 f/1.4 (excellent low-light lens with very wide aperture)
Pentax DA* 50-135 for normal to mid-telephoto range (nothing in this range beats this lens, but the much larger and heavier Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 may come close) or the Pentax DA* 60-250 as Peter suggested
Pentax DA 55-300 for a general purpose telephoto zoom (cheap and reasonably good quality but slow) or one of the more expensive, heavy and bulky Sigma telezooms such as the 50-500, 100-300 f/4, and 120-400 lenses. The Sigmas would do well for wildlife and sports especially in good lighting conditions.

All the best in this.
12-24-2009, 12:47 PM   #4
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I like the DA* lenses that I have because they are bitingly sharp and contrasty, and allow me to take full advantage of the K7's high resolution sensor.
If you think this is important, then they may be a worthwhile investment for you too. If this isn't so important to you, then there are options out there that will cost far less money, and with enough unsharp masking will even give the impression of being decently sharp.

12-24-2009, 01:36 PM   #5
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Folks, thanks for the advice and lens suggestions. Merry Christmas!
12-24-2009, 09:44 PM   #6
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The DA*'s are stellar lenses, you will not be sorry for the investment.

Of all my lenses and I love my primes the DA 16-50 is my most used lens. It is either on my K7 or my GX20 and never in the bag.

cheers

Neil
12-24-2009, 11:35 PM   #7
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The DA* lenses are fantastic for their color, contrast, sharpness, and overall "look", but there is alot of other stellar glass available for less money.

I would recommend DA* lenses in particular if you will take advantage of the weather resistance. I had a bunch of DA* lenses, but the few times I shot in the rain, I used my other lenses as often as not (covering them with plastic or just wiping them frequently if the rain was light). I've found that for me, water resistance is nice, but not required, so I'll buy lenses based on other features and price.

I think if I were to outfit a K-7 with three lenses right now I would chose the DA 12-24mm f/4 (or maybe one of the other ultrawides like the Sigma 10-20mm or the Tamron 10-24mm, esp. for churches in Europe from what I've heard), the Tamron SP 17-50mm f/2.8, and the Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8.

In particular, the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 is one of the sharpest zooms I've ever used and one of the sharpest lenses period (and that includes the DA* 16-50, 50-135, 300mm, as well as various Canon L zooms). I'm a big fan of Tamron lenses (the "SP" line in particular) and in the US, they carry a six year warranty which beats Pentax's one year coverage (especially when you read all the reports of SDM focusing failures on DA* lenses).
12-25-2009, 09:52 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote
The DA* lenses are fantastic for their color, contrast, sharpness, and overall "look", but there is alot of other stellar glass available for less money.

I would recommend DA* lenses in particular if you will take advantage of the weather resistance. I had a bunch of DA* lenses, but the few times I shot in the rain, I used my other lenses as often as not (covering them with plastic or just wiping them frequently if the rain was light). I've found that for me, water resistance is nice, but not required, so I'll buy lenses based on other features and price.

I think if I were to outfit a K-7 with three lenses right now I would chose the DA 12-24mm f/4 (or maybe one of the other ultrawides like the Sigma 10-20mm or the Tamron 10-24mm, esp. for churches in Europe from what I've heard), the Tamron SP 17-50mm f/2.8, and the Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8.

In particular, the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 is one of the sharpest zooms I've ever used and one of the sharpest lenses period (and that includes the DA* 16-50, 50-135, 300mm, as well as various Canon L zooms). I'm a big fan of Tamron lenses (the "SP" line in particular) and in the US, they carry a six year warranty which beats Pentax's one year coverage (especially when you read all the reports of SDM focusing failures on DA* lenses).
Geeze, why use a Pentax at all if you are going to shoot Tamron glass?

12-25-2009, 06:25 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Geeze, why use a Pentax at all if you are going to shoot Tamron glass?
Well, actually, I wouldn't (but I can confirm that the Tammy 70-200/2.8 is great on the 5DII too), but the Pentax at least makes all those lenses stabilized which is something people seem to value.

The DA* 16-50mm was my most used lens when I was using Pentax and if I switched back today I'd probably buy another one - but if I needed to save a little money (a couple hundred bucks) I wouldn't hesitate to buy the Tamron SP lens call it good. I really think the real advantage of the DA* lines is the weather sealing, and if you don't need that, they might indeed be overkill. Not that I'm against overkill, hell, I'm shooting a 21MP camera and not printing large very often (and loving it)... I'm all for overkill if you can afford it, but if you are putting together a whole system at once, you might add another lens (for instance the Tamron SP 90mm macro ), or an AF540FGZ or plane tickets to Hawaii with the money saved by not going overkill on the DA* lenses.
12-25-2009, 08:58 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Geeze, why use a Pentax at all if you are going to shoot Tamron glass?
I'm using all non-Pentax glass right now and have no problem with it. I used to own several Pentax glass but not anymore. Not for awhile. The 28-75 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 offers just as good and if not better IQ than the 16-50 and 50-135 (despite the huge focal length differential). Although not WR and not as hefty in the build quality, the optics is what I am going for and with it being cheaper overall, I also don't have to worry about SDM failing on me and getting a good 16-50 copy. Heck even my next could be a 90 2.8 Macro despite the fact that there is a DFA 100 2.8 Macro, the Tamron is cheaper and with the IQ being near-matched.
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