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01-02-2010, 09:40 AM   #1
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Looking for some lens recommendations


I am planing to replace my lens kits

(18-55mm, 50-200mm) on my Pentax K200D with

18-200 (or 250mm) Super Zoom
Some good wide angle prime (between 16mm and 35mm)

My subjects are mostly landscapes and travel, so i need a superzoom for versatility,
and i want a good wide angle for sharpness and good landscape shots.

I also have pentax 50mm f/2.8 Macro which is great.

Can you recommend me some quality glass as i plan to later upgrade to K-7 ?

01-02-2010, 10:17 AM   #2
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You're looking at the Pentax DA 18-250 for the superzoom and perhaps a DA 15 ltd or DA 14 for the ultrawide primes. There is also the DA 21 ltd, but I'm not sure if that's not wide enough for you.

Be weary the superzooms do lag in image quality, particularly at the long end.
01-02-2010, 10:31 AM   #3
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Don't know about super-zooms, I don't own any and have never wanted to own any. I do however own a handful of wide angle lenses. For landscape work I can heartily recommend the pentax DA 12-24mm F/4.0. Yes, it's not a prime, and yes it's wider than 16mm, but it is my most used landscape lens. For landscapes you can't go wrong with it.
I also own the Zenitar 16mm F/2.8 fish eye, which is a good lens, not as sharp as the 12-24, and prone to flare, but a nice lens none the less. Since it is a full frame designed lens, the fe effect is not terribly pronounced and can be almost eliminated with careful framing. But it does well with landscapes, and is a fun lens to use.
My next wide angle prime is the FA 20mm F/2.8. I love this lens! Very sharp, great bokeh, good close focus, excellent color rendition and contrast. The downside is that it is both rare and expensive. Expect to pay at least $600 for one.
Next in line is the Sigma 24mm F/1.8 This is a nice lens, quite sharp but a little soft in the corners wide open, but it sharpens up nicely image wide by F2.8. It has great color rendition, and contrast is very good but not excellent. It is a good "club" lens for low light interior shots. But it doesn't do too badly as a somewhat wide (for me at least) landscape lens, especially stopped down.
Last lens in the prime department is the FA 35mm F/2.0. Many many swear by this lens. And I admit it is brutally sharp, even in the corners throughout it's whole range. However I've never been able to warm to it, I wouldn't even own it at all if I could afford the FA 31mm F1.8 ltd. However the price of the FA 35mm F/2.0 is easily 1/2 or 1/3 that of the 31, so I own it instead. But if I ever hit the lotto...
Finally, I also own the FA 20-35mm F/4.0. This is my almost-perfect garden lens. Very sharp, excellent color rendition, excellent bokeh for a zoom and a good close focuser. At F/4.0 I wouldn't consider it terribly fast, but it is an excellent landscape lens if you don't need wider than 20mm. This is one of Pentax's "sleeper" lenses, not many sing it's praises, but those of us who own one would usually consider amputating a limb rather than part with it.

NaCl( as you can see I like wide)H2O
01-02-2010, 11:10 AM   #4
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Grunf91... the 18-250mm superzoom is a fine lens - for it's intended purpose. it's available under both the Pentax and Tamron brands (same lens) and I own the Pentax version. I have it for vacations and any non-critical situation where I'm either unsure of what focal length I'll need or if changing lenses presents a problem. But understand it is a compromise lens - any superzoom is. It's fine for snapshots and anything that's not critical. As long as you understand this, you'll be fine.

Despite my own lens inventory, I think owning a superzoom lens for the work described above and a series of high-quality primes for specific areas of "serious" photography makes a lot of sense. I might even move in this direction myself. As for which primes to use, check out the le ns review section of this Web site. It's very helpful. Also, check out some of these reviews at dpreview:

Pentax 15mm f/4 Limited:
Pentax smc DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited Lens Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

Tokina 12-24mm f/4 (same lens as the Pentax):
Tokina AT-X Pro SD 12-24mm F4 (IF) DX Lens Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

Also, look for lens reviews at this Web site:
Camera lens tests, user reviews, camera accessory reviews -!

01-02-2010, 07:38 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Grunf911 Quote
My subjects are mostly landscapes and travel, so i need a superzoom for versatility,
and i want a good wide angle for sharpness and good landscape shots.
An all-purpose lens is a no-purpose lens.

Open your wallet and get a prime set (around 14-24-50-100-300).

Landscapes tend not to run away while you switch lenses.

BTW, here's a pretty good article about landscapes and focal lengths (note that he's using medium format cameras):

The use of focal length in landscape photography
01-02-2010, 09:32 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by grainbelt Quote
I find this thread interesting. I currently have Sigma 10-20, kit 18-55, FA 50 1.4, and Tamron 90mm 2.8 Macro.

I've been pondering the 55-300 to go along with the kit lens, but that negates the idea of a 'walkaround' lens that I can leave on the camera unless I have a more specific purpose (ultra wide, low light/portrait or macro/portrait. Sigma offers the 24-70 F2.8, but it is big and heavy, and not much longer than the kit lens. The DA 17-70 may work.

I think a superzoom may fit the bill, but I'm concerned about the small apertures and distortion issues. . I don't need 250mm of reach, but 150 or so would be nice.

Thoughts on the subject?
Yes. Please start your own thread. It's in general considered impolite to hijack a thread and it becomes very confusing who is replying to who.
01-03-2010, 01:53 AM   #7
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There have been several threads on the 18-200mm and 18-250mm lenses for Pentax mount. See - The Largest Pentax-Dedicated Photography Forum Community- Home and DPReview. In my opinion, there are 3 categories of 'single-lens' setup for the Pentax K-20, K-7 and K-x:
* the Sigma 18-200mm
* the Tamron 18-250mm and Pentax 18-250mm
* the Sigma 18-250mm OS HSM.

The first three lenses are older. The Sigma 18-200mm is the oldest. The Pentax 18-250mm is a re-badged Tamron 18-250mm. Both the Pentax 18-250mm and Tamron 18-250mm are regarded as far superior to the Sigma 18-200mm. See http:/ and Camera lens tests, user reviews, camera accessory reviews -! for example. The Pentax has an advantage over the Tamron: lens correction is available 'on-board' in the Pentax camera, but the Pentax lens is no longer distributed. All in all, see the excellent discussion on Pentax versus Tamron at

The newer Sigma 18-250mm OS HSM is said to be a nice lens, but it is quite pricy. Further the optical stabilisation (OS) of the lens is not really needed since the Pentax K-7 and K-x have already in-built image stabilisation (IS).

There was further recent interesting threads on the 18-250mm lenses for Pentax sDLR at

I have myself the Pentax 18-250mm with a K-7: it is a superb lens and I can recommend it very strongly. Like most 'single-lens', it has a few shortcomings (see the review in Welcome to Photozone! for example), but there are some situations when one single lens is a great advantage: no need to change lens in tricky situations, light weight, small bag, ....

Last edited by hcc; 01-03-2010 at 01:56 AM. Reason: Typos
01-03-2010, 11:21 AM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for recommendations and advices

I am well aware of the compromise on the long end of superzooms, and i have an additional sigma 70-300mm 1:2 Macro, to cover for shortcomings if needed. But the main point of the superzoom was to avoid changing the lens in tricky situations (on the back of an elephant, or panting 1237 steps up to a temple in 30 mins - happened 5 days ago).

I found 18-55 kit lens (II) to be a good lens, and moderately versatile. I rarely take them off, but when i do it's for the sake of 70-300 (50-200 i rarely use), so i figured, to just replace the 2 (18-55 & 50-200) with a superzoom.

The Tokina 12-24 is an interesting choice and covering the focal length gap nicely. I will definitely consider it. Also, what are your experiences with pancakes, namely SMC-DA 15mm f/4 AL ED limited ? and finally is there a polarizer for such a lens ?

01-03-2010, 11:47 AM   #9
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Everyone grunts about superzooms, but I personally think that 1 superzoom + several primes is a great kit. You have your primes when you want super sharp technical excelence and a superzoom when you just want a snap or can't/won't change lens. They are great for travelling light, also, and the optical quality compared to 18-55 + 55-200 is just about the same.

Having sayd that, I don't own a superzoom and don't plan on having one .

As for the DA15, yes, there are polarizing filters for it, it has the tradicional Pentax 49mm filter thread.

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