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08-05-2012, 09:59 AM   #1
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lens advice

Hello Folks,

Iím using an 18-50 DAL that was sold with my K-50, and a 50-200 WR that I bought afterwards. The 50-200 is my ďwalking aroundĒ lens, and I use the 18-50 for indoor portraits and fairly close up shots. Overall Iím satisfied and Iím getting a lot of very nice photos.

However, I would like to have a super lens. Iím thinking about some of the really nice landscape shots that I get from time to time. The 50-200 satisfies my telephoto needs, as my shots are always hand held and I donít think I can hold a longer lens. Iíve been looking at the SMC Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Limited, but with my limited experience, I donít know if it would be a good lens for me or not.

So, Iím turning to you for advice. Iím open to suggestions, and not at all fixated on the DA 21 mm. For a walking around, woods and general outdoor lens, what would you suggest?

Thanks, Tom

08-05-2012, 10:05 AM   #2
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For a walking around lens I suggest you the DA*16-50, but this is like a replacement for the 18-55. If you consider as a walking around lens the 50-200, I think that you can found quality in the DA*60-250.
I don't understand instead, if you want to change your 50-200 with a 21. This makes no sense! In my opinion the best for landscape are the 12-24 and the 16-50.
08-05-2012, 11:00 AM   #3
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Earlier on I would have said the 16-50 but after using the 21 for a while it is my first choice to take out. Small and very very good.
The Upper Canada Village shots are with it here.

Flickr: purbob_2000's Photostream
08-05-2012, 11:07 AM   #4
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Set your 18-50mm lens to 21mm & see if this focal length covers your 'walk about' requirements; at least this way you get to experience 21mm without the cost of a Limited Lens!

08-05-2012, 11:13 AM   #5
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I second the advice to take a lot of pictures at 21 with your 18-55 and see if that length works for you. Another way to go about it is to take all the landscape pictures you already have that you like and put them in a folder. Then you can have a program like Exposure Plot analyze the photos data and give you an analysis by all sorts of dimensions, one of which is focal length. You can review your previous photos and see what length you find pleasing from them that way. If you find that most are at 18mm then perhaps a 15mm Limited would be more your style? If you find them clustering around 20-24 then the 21mm is probably your choice. Good luck.
08-05-2012, 11:14 AM   #6
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I don't have the DA21mm limited, but I have the ones on both sides of it. The DA15mm limited and DA 35mm Limited are both very nice lenses. The 35mm is also macro. Both imho render very nicely.

When I walk the nature trail, I take the 15mm and the 300mm. If Im going to the park that's more groomed and lots of flowers and ducks etc.. I take the 35mm and 300mm. All that said, if I'm taken one lens I tend to take the 15mm more than rest. I wish they were WR as well, but they not, so if it looks like rain the DA* 55mm goes with me.

Take a peek at the lens user reviews here if you haven't already.

Another good test site is

Last edited by Riv; 08-05-2012 at 03:41 PM.
08-05-2012, 09:54 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tatume Quote
The 50-200 is my “walking around” lens,
If that's the case, then perhaps you'd be most comfortable with a prime within that range of focal lengths. If you're OK with manual focus, there's tons of 50mm's around. They're quite sharp and very economical. Or maybe the 70mm Limited--also a very nice lens.
08-05-2012, 09:56 PM   #8
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DA12-24 or DA15 for landscape are heartily recommended by Pentaxians.

08-05-2012, 10:11 PM   #9
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sell your DA L 18-50 and get Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 MACRO ( non HSM) they go for under $200.
I have two of them and love them, some pictures:
Sigma DC 17-70 MACRO 2.8-4.5 - a set on Flickr
I do have DA 50-200, nice, very compact lens, with this Sigma you will have very capable kit, Sigma is also excellent indoors, much faster than DA L kit lens.
08-06-2012, 04:25 AM   #10
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Thank you fellows.
08-06-2012, 04:28 AM   #11
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DA12-24 + lightroom is a superb team
08-06-2012, 11:57 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
DA12-24 + lightroom is a superb team
Listen to Twitch, he knows his Pentax gear!

When I got into photography, my very first order was in early 2007. I got a K10D, Tamron 28-75, 50/f1.4, 50-200 and the DA12-24.
The DA12-24 is the only lens I kept out of those four.

It is truly a GREAT lens and has so many applications. Coupled with LR4 and its PV2012, providing you shoot in RAW, you can get amazing results.

It's not fast though, so not appropriate for low-light walkaround photography.

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