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10-30-2011, 05:07 PM   #1
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Best zoom for K5

What is the best all purpose zoom for my K5?

10-30-2011, 05:24 PM   #2
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define all purpose do you want a superzoom? a fast standard zoom? something in between?
10-30-2011, 05:35 PM   #3
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DA 12-24, DA* 16-50. And DA* 60-250. Throw in the 10-17 just to cover all the bases.
These are the best. IMO. Forget the Super Zoom or all purpose zoom idea.

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 10-30-2011 at 05:44 PM.
10-30-2011, 05:45 PM   #4
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I just want a lens I can keep on the camera 90% of time. What do you think of the Sigma 18-250?

10-30-2011, 05:48 PM   #5
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the definition of a lens that lives on the camera 90% of the time varies from person to person. For me, its a DA*55

as for the sigma its basically a really long and not very impressive lens. Yes, the zoom factor is there, but optically its nothing to write home about.
10-30-2011, 06:14 PM   #6
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ditto depends on the person.
A lot of us don't think superzooms like the Sigma 18-250 are sharp enough. Some don't think it's fast enough for indoor use or has narrow enough DOF to isolate subjects. Some only like primes.

For me, my 90% lens is the sigma 17-70. Pentax also has a 17-70 that's worth consideration.
For other folks, they'd rather have the extra speed/sharpness of the pentax 16-50 (weathersealed) or the tamron 17-50.

so it depends...
10-30-2011, 07:18 PM   #7
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I am a fan of the Pentax 16-50
10-30-2011, 07:34 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony3d Quote
I just want a lens I can keep on the camera 90% of time. What do you think of the Sigma 18-250?
I suggest that you read Favorite Lens: 18-250mm. If you want a lens that will cover 90% of your neeeds, the DA18-250mm/Tamron 18-250mm is hard to beat. It covers a huge focal length range, has a good IQ compared to other al-around zoom lenses, and has an excellent track record.

IMO the Sigma 18-250mm OS HSM is a lesser viable option, because the lens is heavier, larger and has OS which is incompatible/redundant with the camera SR.

Hope that the comment may help.

10-30-2011, 08:51 PM   #9
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The only thing I don't like about the Tamron is the plastic mount!
10-30-2011, 09:25 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony3d Quote
The only thing I don't like about the Tamron is the plastic mount!
What plastic mount?
10-30-2011, 09:30 PM   #11
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DA* 50-135mm f2.8 is amazingly good
10-30-2011, 09:52 PM   #12

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I have the Pentax-branded version of the 18-250 (it is the same as the Tamron) and up until this week was the only lens we've used for the past several years (first on K10D, then K-7). IQ is totally acceptable (we sell our pictures, nobody complains) -- if you were going to fetishize over it, you wouldn't even be talking about a lens to keep on 90% of the time. And we do use the full range -- personally I tend to go to extremes so I'm usually very wide or all the way zoomed in. (And as I recently discovered, if you're not focused at infinity the lens is really only giving you approximately 180mm all the way zoomed-in on close subjects.) My main complaint is that it is kinda slow and so you have to deal with that, but I don't think there is anyway around that with a super-zoom without spending a gazillion dollars. There is noticeable distortion when all the way wide, which you can get rid of with the in-camera adjustment (which is slow on the K-7) of if you use Lightroom or Photoshop you just apply the profile for that lens -- some other software has similar.) Of course it is discontinued now anyway...
10-31-2011, 01:07 AM   #13
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I have a zillion lenses of which 4% are carefully-selected AF zooms. They include, in order of acquisition:

* DA10-17, the lens that drove me to Pentax
* DA18-250, my basic lens, all others are specialty tools **
* FA100-300 (silver), underrated but splendid
* Sigma 170-500, which I don't use enough
* Tamron 10-24, extremely utilitarian
* F35-70, a tiny agile bundle of primes

[My less-carefully-selected AFZ's include DA18-55, FA28-80PZ, and Tamron 28-70, but those were cheap or free.]

There is no 'best' zoom, just the best for certain purposes. For travel and dynamic situations where lens-swapping is out, the DA18-250 is best, period. For extreme inside architecture shots, the Sigma 8-16 or DA12-24 may be best. For weddings, the Tamron 17-50/2.8 may be best. For portraits in controlled situations, my old M42 Sears-Tokina 55-135/3.5 (US$8) is best IMHO. Name an application, and various 'best' lenses will be suggested. If one lens fit all needs, nobody would buy anything else, eh?
10-31-2011, 01:58 AM   #14
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No offense intended Tony but your recent posts have been all over the map. You questioned whether to take your K5 or FZ30 on a trip to Italy; You posted about how good super-zoom bridge cameras are, and if IIRC you've posted a couple of times about all purpose zooms. I'm left with the impression you don't know what you want but there's got to be a bottom line somewhere. Every superzoom lens offers convenience but comes with compromises in absolute IQ, some of which can be mitigated in post processing. You have to decide how much compromise you're willing to accept and move on. My guess is if you're mainly being a tourist and trying to capture memories then absolute IQ is not the end-all/be-all. And many people are perfectly happy with the results from the bridge cameras (my wife for example). But if absolute IQ is your priority then the narrower range zooms or primes are the more expensive, inconvenient option. If you want the best compromise then your K5 and an 18-XXX is pretty much your only option once you decide how much you need on the long end. It tops out at 18-250 which means a new Sigma or a used Pentax/Tamron, each has its defenders, the consensus seems to be either is "decent enough" but few claim they're perfection. I can appreciate your conundrum but the options have been pretty well laid out by now and no one else can decide for you what's most important. I sincerely hope you make your choice and are happy with it instead of endlessly second guessing yourself after the fact.
10-31-2011, 03:36 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony3d Quote
I just want a lens I can keep on the camera 90% of time.
Kit lens or similar? My preferred setup would be something like DA12-24 and DA70 (thanks for feeding my LBA) but not having any of those I will happily do a trip to Italy with only the 18-55 that I have.

I thought you already had settled for the 18-135? What are you worried about? Missing a shot? Don't worry, just enjoy the holiday and come back with some nice photos taken with whatever lens you take with.

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