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10-08-2007, 09:11 AM   #1
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Basic lens set ?

I see many people here posing their camera and lens with their images and most of them are not using the standard kit lens

so I was wondering what you feel is a basic lens set since I guess you "need" diffrent lenses for diffrent purposes ?

As I understand it the Kit lens 18-55mm is capable of some zooming (from what I understand 18 is nearby and 55 is max zoom, just to put it simple) so if I want to bring stuff closes (like a helicopter in the sky) I need a lens with a higher focal lenght (like the "Tamron AF 28-300mm XR F:3.5-6.3 Di Asp.Mac Pentax" or "Tamron AF 18-200mm F:3.5-6.3 XR Di II Pentax" and for closer (macro) I need something like the "Tamron SP AF 90mm F:2.8 Di Macro Pentax" or "Pentax SMC-DFA 50mm F:2.8 Macro 1:1"

so logic would tell me that for most needs a set of 3 lenses is enough (even 2 if the Tamron AF 18-200 covers the same as the Pentax 18-55 kit lens) but I guess that's not the case.

so before I go spending loads of money on a range of lenses what lenses should the average photographer need (or is the kit lens more then enough for those average shots and do you only need other for stuff like flowers (macro lens) ?)

10-08-2007, 09:43 AM   #2
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To be honset only you can answer your question. You really only need to buy the lenses that you actually need (or want). I have a few lenses that overlap other lenses focal range. Both the 18-55mm and the 50-200mm pentax kit lenses area good performers but you may want something like the Tamron 18-250mm to use as a walk around lens since it covers such a wide focal range. I have a tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 lens that overlaps part of the kit lens range but since it has a constant f/2.8 its a better performer in low light. I also have a Sigma 50-500mm "bigma" lens. Its a great lens but its size is a bit of an issue at times and I'll leave it home if I'm traveling light.

I guess the bottom line is you should buy lenses based first on your needs and what you can afford. Then, once you cover your needs, start working on the rest that you really want.
10-08-2007, 10:08 AM   #3
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Hmm, so best to wait a while and see what I want/need and then make a selection on the best option for me.
10-08-2007, 10:11 AM   #4
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As generic as it sounds, it really depends on what you want to do with your camera.

Considering how inexpensive kit lenses are, you can buy it and use it. Using a lens you can see what it can and cannot do for you, and from there you can figure out what lenses you would like.

Alex

10-08-2007, 11:19 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cloudy Wizzard Quote
Hmm, so best to wait a while and see what I want/need and then make a selection on the best option for me.
Yes that's it. No need to buy macro lenses of all you shoot is landscapes. No need for a super telephoto if all you shoot is portraits. Its best to see where your interests lie then focus on that (pun intended)
10-08-2007, 01:40 PM   #6
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My 2 cents' worth. I've learnt several lessons, buy the best glass you can afford. Don't buy cheap glass.

When I refer to glass I mean clarity NOT manufacturer. Try before you buy, if you can. If the store won't let you take the lens for a week or so, take the camera lens to the store and test it there - if they let you.
10-08-2007, 02:15 PM   #7
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The kit lens is o.k & many are happy with it. As soon as you try something else though you'll see a big difference, personally I went with the Sigma 17-70

simon
10-08-2007, 07:22 PM   #8
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I wanted to clarify something because in your original post you talk about telephoto lenses (those with high focal lengths) from bringing distant objects close, and then contrasts them with Macro lenses for "closer" objects. While both of those statements are correct, it's a bit strange, because the traditional comparison is between telephoto lenses (generally with a focal length over 100mm) and wide-angle lenses (with a focal length less than 40mm).

What the focal length determines is the field of view of the camera, that is, how wide an angle is "seen" by the lens. A distant object covers a very small angle, so a telephoto lens, by only seeing a small angle, makes that distant object appear bigger. If you want to capture as great an angle as possible (say, you're in the front row of a theater and you want to capture the whole stage), you'd need a wide-angle lens to do that, even though you might not say the stage is "nearby".

What Macro lenses do is that they can be focused on an object that is physically very close to the lens. A typical lens will not be able to focus on an object within, say, .5m of the camera. A Macro lens can. This doesn't really have much to do with the focal length of the lens; it's a separate issue.

My apologies if you understood all that already, but I wouldn't want you spending a bunch of cash because you had the wrong idea about it.

10-08-2007, 09:27 PM   #9
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Technically, my first lens was the 10-17mm fisheye because I got it at the same time as the body-only. But I got the Sigma 18-50 and 70-300 the same weekend.

I ended up getting the Pentax 50-200 because it was light and small compared to the Sigma 70-300, and was pretty cheap. I was hoping to improve the image quality a bit over the Sigma, which it does, with trade offs of range and "quasi-macro" mode.

The 12-24 was my last gasp in LBA. I decided I needed, (really needed), an ultrawide that had straight lines.

Now, if I could just locate and test-drive a Sigma 600 mirror...
10-09-2007, 06:58 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jro Quote
My apologies if you understood all that already, but I wouldn't want you spending a bunch of cash because you had the wrong idea about it.
Actually I didn't know all of that (only a bit). I also noticed that the shop has 5 types of lenses (in the case of the Pentax branded ones).

Wide Angle
Wide Angle Zoom
Macro
Tele
TeleZoom

and I guess the kit lens is a wide angle lens ?
10-09-2007, 07:05 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by JCSullivan Quote
My 2 cents' worth. I've learnt several lessons, buy the best glass you can afford. Don't buy cheap glass.

When I refer to glass I mean clarity NOT manufacturer. Try before you buy, if you can. If the store won't let you take the lens for a week or so, take the camera lens to the store and test it there - if they let you.
So there is no 1 number 1 brand (like ALL Tamron lenses are good) ?

I've been reading one the special SMC Coating by Pentax (been a pretty tough search to find the meaning of SMC as "Super Multi Coating") and from what I've been reading it's considered to be still one of the best coatings today (even since it's developed in the 70's).

So this would mean that most Pentax SMC lenses are pretty good, but I guess Pentax is not the only brand that's using this coating (licensed it's use to other brands ?).

I don't think my local store will lend my their lenses for a weekend, specially since I don't think they have them in stock by default (since I don't think Canon and Nikon are compatible with the K-bajonet lenses from Pentax and Canon/Nikon seem to be their major brands).
10-09-2007, 07:14 AM   #12
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Well I'd say that the "classic" set would be:

(24 or 28mm), 50mm, (85 or 135mm), (200, 300, or macro depending on your interests)

you might want to adjust this for the crop on a digital sensor.
10-09-2007, 09:31 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by rdc Quote
Well I'd say that the "classic" set would be:

(24 or 28mm), 50mm, (85 or 135mm), (200, 300, or macro depending on your interests)

you might want to adjust this for the crop on a digital sensor.
I will second this with 2 exceptions.
When you can afford it both a 85mm and a 135mm.

Plus a 70-200mm or 70-300mm zoom, to fill the gaps.
That is saying that you have the 18-55mm kit lens already.

Although you'll probably get better image quality using the primes (fixed focal length lenses) Personally I'd start with the Zoom lenses to keep within your budget.

I use zooms for most of my paid events, and would be foolish to switch over due to the constant action.
10-10-2007, 01:09 PM   #14
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I'll also through this in as an example. Pentax have, along with their 'kit' lens, 18-55mm, another popular lens that appears to overlap the 'kit' - the 16-45mm. The 16-45 allows a little wider but not quite as far as the kit. It offers a little better quality and at all but the widest a little faster too. Where the 18-55 excels is for use of the onboard flash wider than about 22 or 23mm. If you use the 16-45 and the onboard flash you will get a shadow on your images from the edge of the lens. You apparently don't get that at all with the kit lens. Handy for indoor 'snaps' when you need some extra light but don't have or want to use another flash.
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