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11-29-2011, 10:28 PM   #1
sarabyrd270
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Need lens advise

Okay my brother wants me to pick out a lens for my sister-n-law without her knowing for christmas... Ive tried to explain how MANY different lenses there are but he doesnt understand...so any advise would be helpful! She has the Pentax K-r DSLR Kit Digital Camera. She has been taking kid portraits so maybe a better lens for that would be good...I've seen where some of these cameras come with a 55-300mm lens... would that be a good lens to get for a beginner?

Thanks!

11-29-2011, 11:19 PM   #2
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I think if she only has the standard 18-55 kit lens the 55-300 would be welcome, not knowing any other info.
11-30-2011, 12:38 AM   #3
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You don't give your budget which is the numero uno criteria we need to know !

Without knowing that, and whether you SiL prefers zooms to primes, here are some suggestions : an improvement on what she uses now (Tamron 17-50/2.8 or with more length theTamron 28-75/2.8), a complementary zoom (the excellent value for money Pentax 55-300), a great little prime for not a lot of cash (Pentax 35/2.4).

More info will garner more suggestions from other posters !
11-30-2011, 03:45 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Tamron 17-50/2.8
What is the deal on this lens? Anyone with experience with this?

11-30-2011, 04:34 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by sarabyrd270 Quote
Okay my brother wants me to pick out a lens for my sister-n-law without her knowing for christmas... Ive tried to explain how MANY different lenses there are but he doesnt understand...so any advise would be helpful! She has the Pentax K-r DSLR Kit Digital Camera. She has been taking kid portraits so maybe a better lens for that would be good...I've seen where some of these cameras come with a 55-300mm lens... would that be a good lens to get for a beginner?

Thanks!
As others have mentioned, you should preferrably indicate a budget. As for portraits, there are quite a few, fast primes in the 50 to 100mm range - both Pentax and Third Party - that might make her happy, (some of which are good for macro work too, if that would be of interest).
11-30-2011, 05:16 AM   #6
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In regards to the Tamron 17-50/2.8 its meant to be sharper than the DA* 16-50mm, it is a fast zoom and costs nearly 1/3 the price or less. Negatives are that it isn't waterproof, have the DA coating which makes the DA* have that warm image or the smooth bokeh. Paying $399 for a sharper lens which is the same speed and covers a similar range, is it really worth paying 3x as much for waterproofing?

Also, if budget isn't in the equation, the lens I find that I use the most is the DA* 50-135 f2.8. Brilliant focal length and fast especially coupled with the high iso of the K-r.

But also a +1 for the DA 35/2.4 or the FA 30/2.
11-30-2011, 11:23 AM   #7
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@ sarabyrd

Since you are looking at the DA 55-300, I'm assuming that your budget is between $350 to $400. If you are willing to spend a little more, the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 can be had for $424 at Adorama with the added $25 mir. It is a wonderful lens and I can highly recommend it. It will perform much better than you SiL's kit lens in low light situations, and is probably sharper.
If that's too steep the DA 55-300 is also a great lens, one of the best performers in it's price range. Personally, I would stay away from prime lenses unless I knew for certain that she would like one. Many of us love primes, but they aren't for everybody. That said I can attest to the quality of the DA 35mm f/2.4. I own it and it has replaced a much more expensive prime of the same focal length.
Since I have no idea of you photo expertise I'm going to mention that if you decide for the Tamron, make sure that you get it for the pentax mount. I hope that doesn't insult you but if you don't know, all the camera makers lens mounts are proprietary.

NaCl(hope that helps)H2O
11-30-2011, 06:45 PM   #8
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What about a fast 50? That would give thin DoF for portraits, and more hand-holdability in low light than the kit lens.

11-30-2011, 07:25 PM   #9
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Assuming she doesn't own a 55-300, buy that, or if you have a much bugger budget, the DA*50-135 is a fantastic portrait lens.
11-30-2011, 08:36 PM   #10
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Get one of the limited lenses. That is what I wish I would have gotten when I first got my camera. The DA70 would be good for portraits.
12-01-2011, 08:07 AM   #11
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lens

You don't mention what your budget is. I assume she has either the 18-55 now. You also say she takes pictures of her kids, in which case a fast lens with a maximum fstop of 2.8 or more would be helpful. The 50-135 would be a fabulous addition but it costs over $800 as do most of the fast lenses. I would suggest you look for the 50-200 WR or the 55-300 which sell for around $300.
Personally, a single focal length prime lens would be very nice. The Pentax DA 70 f2.4 would be a great lens for portraits and complement the kit lens nicely. It sells for around $500

Last edited by jeverettfine; 12-01-2011 at 08:08 AM. Reason: correction
12-01-2011, 05:40 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by sarabyrd270 Quote
Okay my brother wants me to pick out a lens for my sister-n-law without her knowing for christmas... Ive tried to explain how MANY different lenses there are but he doesnt understand...so any advise would be helpful! She has the Pentax K-r DSLR Kit Digital Camera. She has been taking kid portraits so maybe a better lens for that would be good...I've seen where some of these cameras come with a 55-300mm lens... would that be a good lens to get for a beginner?

Thanks!
The 55-300 would probably be the most bang-for-the-buck in terms of additional capability that she doesn't have now. A 1 or 1.5-stop faster zoom or fixed-length lens in the same range as she has now would be more marginal in terms of added capability beyond what she has now.

Paul
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