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04-16-2010, 04:51 PM   #1
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Coming back to Pentax....decisions, decisions

So...over the years I've been from Canon, to Pentax, to Nikon, back to Canon....now I'm coming back. To me it was never a big deal to switch because with the advent of ebay, forums like this one, FM, etc it's always easy to get a good return on your gear.

But anyhoo, the Kx has caught my eye and I'm very intrigued by the images I'm seeing it produce...so I just sold the last of my Canon gear, and I have a K-x coming with a kit lens and I have about $700-$800 to spend on some lenses. I don't use flash much and when I do I have a vivitar 283 that is fine for what I need it for.

So I'm trying to decide how to spend my money. For a telephoto...I've pretty much decided on the 55-300 but have one question...is the 'DAL' (kit) version optically the same as the 'DA' version? I realize the latter has a metal mount and an included hood...but is there any difference in the optics?

Now on to my main quandary...

I've typically, through all my bodies, had a Tamron 28-75 Di f/2.8 in my kit as I've always found it an awesome general purpose zoom. But I've been exploring other options this time around to maybe try something different.

Basically trying to decide between the following:

Tamron 28-75
Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.0 (the New one or the old one...anyone have comparisons/thoughts?)
Pentax 17-70 f/4

Those are the 3 main options I'm considering. Although I'm also intrigued by the 10-17 DA Fish as I've always wanted to try out a fisheye lens....so another option would be to get that along with the 55-300 and hang on to the kit lens for the time being. Or I'm reading some reviews on some older lenses (like the FA 28-70 f/4) that get some pretty good reviews that would make a decent option for that mid range lens I need. I shoot a lot of people/portrait/candid style shots so this is a very handy range

I plan to add some primes down the road...but to get me started I'm sticking to some quality zoom lenses.

So....thoughts? Which would you go for....the Tammy, one of the Sigmas, or the Pentax 17-70 f/4? Or would you go for the fish and stick with the kit lens for a mid-range zoom until more funds are available? Decisions....decisions


Last edited by jgmankos; 04-16-2010 at 05:22 PM.
04-16-2010, 04:59 PM   #2
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Yes, both 55-300's have the same optics. Note the "L" also lacks quick shift.
04-16-2010, 06:12 PM   #3
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Is this person me?

The Sigma 17-70mm (old version) is the best and sharpest lens that I have ever used. I seriously could not take a bad and out of focus photo with this lens if I wanted to, the only reason why I ended up getting rid of it was because it wasn't really long enough for me (but I do wish I kept it now, actually). If you get that lens you will never want to get rid of it.
04-16-2010, 06:21 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jct us101 Quote
Is this person me?

The Sigma 17-70mm (old version) is the best and sharpest lens that I have ever used. I seriously could not take a bad and out of focus photo with this lens if I wanted to, the only reason why I ended up getting rid of it was because it wasn't really long enough for me (but I do wish I kept it now, actually). If you get that lens you will never want to get rid of it.
LOL...are you a switcher too?

I'm thinking if I go that route...it's gonna be the old version. I just read you can't use the OS and SR at the same time anyway...and it's only a third of a stop slower at the long end...and can be found a lot cheaper on the used market.

I just had another combo I came up with while I'm mulling over how to start my kit....the 10-17, the 17-70 (Older vers.) and a Tamron 70-300 Di. I had the Tamron 70-300 when I had my K10 and got really good results with it. This would stretch the budget just a bit but would give me a nice lens kit until I can get some other ones (I want a 50-135 f/2.8 eventually, as well as some primes)

Thanks for the thoughts....got some pics online with that 17-70???

Thanks

04-16-2010, 07:20 PM   #5
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Examples for you to think about :

Tamron 70-300 : Cicada



Pentax DA 55-300 : Alstromeria



Sigma 17-70 : Bromeliad Gusmao



Hope I have helped you a little.
04-18-2010, 08:43 PM   #6
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For me, it is the Tamron 28-75mm and Tamron 70-300 Di combination.
This will cover most genaral range unless I go only for prime lenses.
Cheers.
04-18-2010, 10:13 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgmankos Quote
So...over the years I've been from Canon, to Pentax, to Nikon, back to Canon....now I'm coming back. To me it was never a big deal to switch because with the advent of ebay, forums like this one, FM, etc it's always easy to get a good return on your gear.

But anyhoo, the Kx has caught my eye and I'm very intrigued by the images I'm seeing it produce...so I just sold the last of my Canon gear, and I have a K-x coming with a kit lens and I have about $700-$800 to spend on some lenses. I don't use flash much and when I do I have a vivitar 283 that is fine for what I need it for.

So I'm trying to decide how to spend my money. For a telephoto...I've pretty much decided on the 55-300 but have one question...is the 'DAL' (kit) version optically the same as the 'DA' version? I realize the latter has a metal mount and an included hood...but is there any difference in the optics?

Now on to my main quandary...

I've typically, through all my bodies, had a Tamron 28-75 Di f/2.8 in my kit as I've always found it an awesome general purpose zoom. But I've been exploring other options this time around to maybe try something different.

Basically trying to decide between the following:

Tamron 28-75
Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.0 (the New one or the old one...anyone have comparisons/thoughts?)
Pentax 17-70 f/4

Those are the 3 main options I'm considering. Although I'm also intrigued by the 10-17 DA Fish as I've always wanted to try out a fisheye lens....so another option would be to get that along with the 55-300 and hang on to the kit lens for the time being. Or I'm reading some reviews on some older lenses (like the FA 28-70 f/4) that get some pretty good reviews that would make a decent option for that mid range lens I need. I shoot a lot of people/portrait/candid style shots so this is a very handy range

I plan to add some primes down the road...but to get me started I'm sticking to some quality zoom lenses.

So....thoughts? Which would you go for....the Tammy, one of the Sigmas, or the Pentax 17-70 f/4? Or would you go for the fish and stick with the kit lens for a mid-range zoom until more funds are available? Decisions....decisions
The only lens on your short list I have Any experience with is the Sigma 17-70 (old version). That was actually one gorgeous lens in all respects. There were actually some QC issues with it early on but I think they've sorted it all out (wide open at 17mm). I sold that lens to buy a pentax DA 16-45 that I really didn't care for. Sold the 16-45 to get the DA*16-50 that I am quite happy with.

Do note that the Pentax DA 17-70 is an SDM only lens and all of the DA lenses lack aperture rings.

04-18-2010, 10:33 PM   #8
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If you dont need the constant 2.8 zoom go with the sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5
it has the best bang for the buck and its pretty close to a 1 lens solution

04-19-2010, 08:53 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone...

For my Tele I decided on the 55-300. Looks too good to pass up based on everyone's comments here. Got a great deal in the marketplace section on it and am expecting it to arrive in a few days

For my 'walkaround lens'...I just couldn't decide, and couldn't decide...and I guess fate decided for me. I was just going to stick with the Kit lens that's coming with my K-x until I could decide, or find a really good deal on something, and this morning a Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX Macro popped up in the marketplace at a price I couldn't refuse. I had this lens in Canon mount and it was the sharpest zoom I ever had, possibly beating the Tamron's I had. My only gripe about it ever was that it's a little short on the long end for my tastes. But...I'm hoping that the 55-300 is so good on the shorter end that I'll forget about that
04-19-2010, 09:21 PM   #10
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I am glad you are finding zooms you like. There are indeed so many good ones to choose from. But perhaps your time in foreign brand lands have not acclimatised you to the idea of primes, which is really where Pentax shines. At a bare minimum I would get an old fast 50 or a Limited lens if you can afford the cash.

This might change your (photographic) life. Zooms are OK but primes are divine.
04-20-2010, 06:58 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
I am glad you are finding zooms you like. There are indeed so many good ones to choose from. But perhaps your time in foreign brand lands have not acclimatised you to the idea of primes, which is really where Pentax shines. At a bare minimum I would get an old fast 50 or a Limited lens if you can afford the cash.

This might change your (photographic) life. Zooms are OK but primes are divine.
Yes...eventually I plan to have at the very least a 77 Limited and a 43 limited in my bag. I'm going to start out with Zooms and I'll be adding some manual focus primes, and we'll see what I can do with those
04-20-2010, 08:05 PM   #12
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First Prime: DA 40 Limited

QuoteOriginally posted by jgmankos Quote
Yes...eventually I plan to have at the very least a 77 Limited and a 43 limited in my bag.
The DA 40 was my 'slippery slope into prime-land" lens. Do your lens research then get it. After you've used it for a brief time, you'll be "DA all the way".

...my two cents...

Enjoy the season...
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