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05-11-2012, 03:47 AM   #1
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Lens advice

Hello,

I am new to photography and I am looking to upgrade my kit a bit and work with different lens. currently I am using a Kr with the standard 18-55 lens and the 70-300
I've completely confused myself in reading too much information on all different type of lenses so I need someone to give me their recommendations which to buy next, eventually I do want to work my way up to try out all styles of photography I have only really done flowers and landscape so far.

also Is there a lens out there that's a wide angle AND a zoom?

Thank you

05-11-2012, 05:14 AM   #2
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For a real wide zoom there's Sigma 8-16, Sigma 10-20, Pentax 10-17, Tamron 10-24, then you're up to 12-24 offered by Pentax and Sigma. A consideration is if you will stay with an APS-C (crop) sensor or eventually upgrade to a full frame sensor. That's forward thinking when buying lenses .... look at the compatibility ... APS only or both. Also if you will stay with Pentax or try something else.
05-11-2012, 05:49 AM   #3
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It's hard to advise since we don't know what focal length you are interested in. However, since you have most of the focal range covered with your zooms, maybe you'd like to move into some prime lenses?

A cheap and really excellent quality prime that many people start with is the DA 35/2.4. It's reasonably fast and very sharp! I've never read a bad word about it, an excellent value.

If you want something wider, the DA 15 Limited is hard to beat. Very small and lightweight and just a beautiful performer.

There are lots of inexpensive used 50mm/1.7 lenses available for your camera if you want to get into faster lenses. You have so many choices, I can see why you'd be confused!! Check the Forum Marketplace a lot - there's always some really great deals available there.
05-11-2012, 06:11 AM   #4
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While I'd like to try any of the other lenses GreenMachine mentioned, the only one I have is the 10-17. It's a fun lens, very fishy at 10mm and not super-fishy at 17mm. It's very useful indoors.

Bear in mind you can rent lenses to help you make a decision. Camera Lens Rentals is one I use. I've rejected a couple lenses I had considered buying for various reasons after trying them. Then again, you can often buy a used lens fairly inexpensively (compared to new) and then sell it again for the same price later in most cases...

05-11-2012, 07:44 AM   #5
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I have the Sigma 10-20, and find it very handy for landscapes and tight quarters. Another option to help with defining what you want is to check out the lens club threads here. They have shining examples of what a particular lens can do. Here's the link to the Sigma 10-20 thread, as a place to start.....

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/84539-sigma-10-20mm-club-150.html

Welcome aboard,

Tim
05-11-2012, 08:05 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Ask yourself: What do I want to do that I can't do with what I have? Do you want to shoot ultrawide, ultralong, ultrafast, ultraclose? Do you want to shoot formal or informal portraits, street-town-land-sky-ocean-scapes, astronomical bodies, distant birds and wildlife, action sports? Various tools are best for all sorts of stuff.

I'd been shooting for 5+ decades before I got my first dSLR, the K20D. I decided that what my advanced P&S couldn't do that I wanted to do were wide-long-fast. So my first lenses were the DA10-17 fisheye zoom (the lens that drove me to Pentax), the FA50/1.4 for fast and dim shots, and the DA18-250 superzoom for most everything else. I added the Raynox DCR-250 for closeups, and the Tamron 10-24 for tight spaces, and voila! My basic kit. (Then I bought zillions of other lenses, but that's another story.)

I have these priorities for building a lens kit:

1- Coverage. The Tamron 10-24, DA18-250, and Lil'Bigma 170-500 cover about everything.
2- Speed. The FA50/1.4, and old manual f/2 lenses in 24-28-35-58-85mm, are just right.
3- Specialties. The DA10-17 fisheye, and macros & mirrors & pinholes, handle special needs.
4- Character. Old slow cheap manual primes just render images in ways newer lenses don't.
5- Mania. Whatever weird optical materials I can stick in front of the camera, yeah! Groovy!

So get some idea of where you want to go photographically, and we can advise on specific lenses. If you don't know where you're going, you'll probably end up somewhere else, eh?

NOTE: Shouldn't this be in the DSLR LENS forum?

Last edited by RioRico; 05-11-2012 at 08:10 AM.
05-11-2012, 08:16 AM - 1 Like   #7
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gulrose,
Welcome to the forum.

You already received some solid advice, The DA10-17 mm has been mentioned already and it worth to consider. You may be also interested to read the PF in-depth comparative review (DA 12-24mm vs Sigma and Tamron 10-24mm Comparison - Introduction - PentaxForums.com) on wide angle zooms.

I would suggest also to consider some prime lenses. You alreay have two zoom lenses. The zoom lenses provide some flexibility, but they rarely reach the same IQ as a prime lens (for the same price). Pentax is in particular renown for some outstandiong prime lenses with focal lengths below 80 mm: the FA Ltd series, the DA Ltd series, but also some older MF lenses.

At some point you must start to think of your lens road map and you should consider adding some prime lens(es) to your lens list. Several PF members spoke highly of the DA15mm Ltd (SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited Reviews - DA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database) that you may consider.

I hope that the comments may help.

Last edited by hcc; 05-11-2012 at 02:10 PM.
05-11-2012, 08:53 AM   #8
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Rico's advice about getting some old primes is good - it will help you learn the camera and even the old M50 f/2 lenses can produce very good images.

05-11-2012, 09:10 AM   #9
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Old primes and the DA 35 2,4 are both inexpensive options. I would consider inexpensive ones if you are new to Pentax and to photography. We all end up with our own perferences and subject interests and not all of them are obvious at the start.

In terms of a zoom at the wide end, and also the mention of the DA 15mm my comments are thus: the Sigma 10-20 is no more expensive than the 15 especially buying used like I did for my wife. I am thinking of getting the DA 15 for myself as I want a small light kit that uses 49mm filters but for now I am borrowing her Sigma whenever I can. I would not recommend the Pentax 10-17 Fisheye zoom. I have never used it or even seen it but I do have the 17-28 fisheye zoom that I bought for film cameras (full frame) a dozen years ago and it is not a lens I use much nor would I look at unless one knew they loved and already had wide angle lenses and wanted something different.

The 28 5o and 200 manual focus lenses can be very cheap to buy, get whatever comes your way for $25 to 50 and just have fun. What some of the others have not warned you about is the possiblity of buying too many lenses (I do believe there is such a thing )
05-11-2012, 10:47 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by gulrose Quote
currently I am using a Kr with the standard 18-55 lens and the 70-300
Perhaps is would be useful to go back over the pictures you've taken so far to see if there is a focal length (or lengths) that you have a particular affinity for. That would help you narrow down as to what you'd be looking for lens-wise.
05-11-2012, 12:01 PM   #11
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Gulrose - it's difficult to give precise advice on a specific lens since you don't tell us it's intended use, however you do hint at WA lenses. In which this is a case of modern lenses being far better than older legacy glass and the Sigma 10-20 is a solid piece of advice as it's an excellent lens. Otherwise Rio's words of wisdom ring loud and clear. Older legacy glass from say 28mm and up can be both fantastic and cheap !

For better advice from everyone tell us what you what to shoot next and where/how you want to shoot it. e.g. family portraits, indoors and at family gatherings.
05-11-2012, 12:41 PM   #12
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Thank you all so much for your replies

I've spent most of the evening looking at each lens individually,comparing and looking at the links you have provided. I have narrowed my search down to a few now but I think I'll take the advice and rent a few first before committing to buy as they don't come cheap :/ I hope the local camera shop does this service!
I was not very specific to what I will be using it for mainly, I have been offered to photograph a friends wedding X2 later in the year and early next year but of course I want to practise as much as I can. I am also going to be taking photos from inside a gym / spin / outdoor fitness to help promote a website in the next few months so anything that can cover these.

I never realised there are so many lens options available! I've just been going into Jessops who have offered me one type of wide angle lens for pentax! I think a crash course back at college is needed.
05-11-2012, 12:59 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by gulrose Quote
I am new to photography
QuoteOriginally posted by gulrose Quote
I think a crash course back at college is needed.

If you are truly new to photography, try renting this book from the library> It has over 200 reviews on Amazon and I found it really helpful. I also took a short course in a local school after that and they both together helped.
Amazon.com: Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera (9780817439392): Bryan Peterson: Books
05-11-2012, 01:45 PM   #14
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The basics of photography, in just one couplet (thanks to Tom Lehrer):
You just stand there, looking cute
And when something moves, you shoot!
Otherwise there's a bit of arithmetic, but not much. Mostly we use jargon to describe what we do and how we do it. Learning photography is pretty much just a language course as we soak-up the jargon. Get to know EV (exposure value), ISO (sensitivity), f-stop (aperture), shutter speeds, DOF (depth of field), AOV/FOV (angle/field of view), AF/MF (auto/manual focus), FF/HF (full/half frame), lens descriptions such as 50/1.7, etc, and you're 3/4 of the way to expertise!
05-11-2012, 08:30 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by gulrose Quote
Thank you all so much for your replies

I've spent most of the evening looking at each lens individually,comparing and looking at the links you have provided. I have narrowed my search down to a few now but I think I'll take the advice and rent a few first before committing to buy as they don't come cheap :/ I hope the local camera shop does this service!
I was not very specific to what I will be using it for mainly, I have been offered to photograph a friends wedding X2 later in the year and early next year but of course I want to practise as much as I can. I am also going to be taking photos from inside a gym / spin / outdoor fitness to help promote a website in the next few months so anything that can cover these.

I never realised there are so many lens options available! I've just been going into Jessops who have offered me one type of wide angle lens for pentax! I think a crash course back at college is needed.
Two points :

1. Most suppliers (inc. Jessops) in the UK don't rent out Pentax lenses. SRS are fantastic for selling and renting out Pentax lenses and have impossible to beat service (any issues with lenses and ask Chris and he'll sort you out no problem. I have zero affiliation to SRS). Google them and ask for Chris.

2. Do NOT commit yourself to be the wedding photographer for family or friends if you want to continue your relationship with them ! Honestly, tell them to hire a real pro (not a weekend pro of which there are lots around). Just search for Wedding on this forum and you'll get tons of advice, even the experienced togs (photographers) back away from weddings (there is an incredible amount of work involved - not just on the day - and expectations are always high no matter what they ).
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