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03-19-2010, 10:36 AM   #1
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Dream Trip - Which Dream Lens?

I'm going to be going on my "dream trip" this summer - the Trans-Mongolian Rail from Moscow to Beijing. Think Red Square, church interiors, the Gobi Desert - wide angle comes to mind.

I have the DA L 18-55mm that came with my K2000. It's an okay lens, but I don't like that it's F/3.5-5.6. I'd really like a faster lens.

I also have the DA 40mm F/2.8 and DA 55-300 F/4-5.8 that I'll be taking with me.

So, I'd like to replace the DA L 18-55. But which lens? Unfortunately, my budget is rather slim and I'd like to spend below $500 (and closer to $400 is more like it).

I was thinking of the Sigma 18-50 F/2.8 but it won't give me any more wide angle than I already have with my 18-55 kit lens.

Or the Sigma 17-70mm F/2.8-4.5 - but will I be happy with the speed? (And can I find one?)

The Tamron 10-24 is a nice wide angle, but then I have some gaps and it's not very fast at 3.5-4.5 so that's out probably out based on that.

There's a Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8.

I could go on and on. This is a tough decision so any suggestions are welcomed.

03-19-2010, 12:18 PM   #2
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From 24mm of the Tamron 10-24 to 40mm of the DA40 is not a big gap. From 40mm of the DA40 to 55mm of the DA55-300 is also not a big gap.

My gear in the film days consisted of 28/2.8, 50/1.7, 70-210/4 and never missed a shot because I needed a 35mm or 60mm. So I don't think that that should be a big issue in the decision making.

Your problem (NOFI) is that you do not really know what you want (or that you want too much). You want faster but also UWA. So I suggest that you try to figure out first for yourself what has the priority. Next the decision will come automatically (or at least it will be easier because you can compare apples with apples).
03-19-2010, 12:23 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
Your problem (NOFI) is that you do not really know what you want (or that you want too much). You want faster but also UWA. So I suggest that you try to figure out first for yourself what has the priority. Next the decision will come automatically (or at least it will be easier because you can compare apples with apples).
Okay, based on what you're saying, I know that a faster lens is a priority over a wider angle. So which lens would you suggest? Thanks.
03-19-2010, 01:00 PM   #4
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Why do you need a faster zoom?

QuoteOriginally posted by sealonsf Quote
I also have the DA 40mm F/2.8 and DA 55-300 F/4-5.8 that I'll be taking with me.
You have the DA40/2.8, no zoom will be faster and no zoom wide open will beat your DA40 wide open.

When you buy a 2.8 standard zoom (eg 17-50) you'll gain a better lens, but the lowlight advantage at 18mm/2.8 over the kit 18mm/3.5 is not that big and on the longer end you're covered with the DA40.

So I would buy either a significant wider lens than the 18-55 or a lens (zoom or prime) with a significant better general quality (sharper, better bokeh, etc), but the 18-55 is not a bad lens and a replacement which is really a step up would be expensive and a lot bigger.

What is the situation in which you find your 18-55 really lacking?

03-19-2010, 01:52 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by tomtor Quote
What is the situation in which you find your 18-55 really lacking?
In low light it's just not as good as my 40mm (more noisy) and overall, the quality of the photos just aren't as good as my other 2 lenses.

Thanks for the thoughts. I know I would not be happy with a much bigger lens than my current 18-55 - it's all rather heavy to carry as it is.

Maybe I'm better off just saving up the money for a prime, fast 14mm. But then, I won't have it for my big trip. :-( You truly can't have it all!
03-19-2010, 02:03 PM   #6
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I am from Shanghai in China. I strongly recommend you take a DA21mm with you. This length is perfect for taking picture in China. You should believe me, wish you a best trip.
03-19-2010, 02:13 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by sealonsf Quote
In low light it's just not as good as my 40mm (more noisy) and overall, the quality of the photos just aren't as good as my other 2 lenses.

Thanks for the thoughts. I know I would not be happy with a much bigger lens than my current 18-55 - it's all rather heavy to carry as it is.

Maybe I'm better off just saving up the money for a prime, fast 14mm. But then, I won't have it for my big trip. :-( You truly can't have it all!
Your heading says is all... Dream Trip.

I would be looking for a wide angle prime even if you need to stretch your budget.

Nothing worse than returning from the trip with "If only I had taken a ***" on your mind.

good luck and I hope you enjoy yourself.


cheers

Neil
03-19-2010, 03:43 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by nulla Quote
Your heading says is all... Dream Trip.

I would be looking for a wide angle prime even if you need to stretch your budget.

Nothing worse than returning from the trip with "If only I had taken a ***" on your mind.

good luck and I hope you enjoy yourself.

cheers
Neil
I agree with Neil. You will need something wide. The kit 18-55mm lens is excellent with great contrast and sharpness. I won't be replacing it with a faster Tamron or Sigma, I find no need.

Two years ago I went on a 2 week 3500KM road trip through the Canadian Rockies in BC & Alberta. I had a DA 14mm f/2.8, 40mm f/2.8 and a DA 55-300mm. I just went through that folder on my compter; DA14: 250 photos, DA40: 104 photos, DA55-300: 152 photos. The DA40 usage would have been less as I bought the 55-300 about half way into the trip. 40mm on APS-C is an odd length for trips imho.

With the gear you currently have I think you'll be fine. I currently have the DA-L 18-55mm and the DA 50-200mm. If I were to do the same trip again I'd feel just as comfortable using these 2 lenses.


Last edited by ajuett; 03-19-2010 at 06:03 PM.
03-19-2010, 05:27 PM   #9
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Wide

I'd get the wide, as people have said 24mm to 40mm is nothing. I have the 12-24mm and from that I often just go right to 50mm.

I think a wide angle is very important. My 12-24mm is my standard walk around. That or my macro, the Tamron is even better it focuses closer than the 12-24mm.

But I think it might be out of your price range.
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