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01-08-2013, 09:19 AM   #1
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Lens advice

Bought my K-30 in mid November with the 18-55mm WR lens and then picked up a used Tamron 70-300mm on Ebay to give me something for the longer shots as at least a temporary measure. Now I am looking to fill out my lens capability. I am trying to decide if what I want/need is a couple primes, or a fast medium zoom. Here are some of the things I want to do:
1) Available light shots inside with good bokeh for people shots . . . lets say informal portraits and general indoor shooting
2) close-ups of flowers,bugs etc again bokeh important
3) Night shooting of city scapes, star trails etc . . .sharp at wide open

Also, my son is getting married this summer in a wedding on the beach and looks like they will not be hiring a photographer since "I figured Dad would have his camera" so guess that means that I need some sort of zoom that will let me get a wide variety of shots without having to switch lenses given the environment. I am not sure if the 18-55 will give me enough reach.

Thoughts/suggestions. For the record I am retired so have keep costs down.

Thanks for help.

01-08-2013, 09:34 AM   #2
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I'm pretty happy with my Tamron 17-50 in lower light conditions. It's sharp and has a constant 2.8 aperture for low light conditions, though at that aperture you might find in certain cases the face and upper body will be sharp and in focus, but the feet may be blurred some on full body shots.
01-08-2013, 10:10 AM   #3
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Sounds like an f2.8 constant zoom in the mid-range is in your near future. Other than the SDM problems the 50-135 and the 60-250 get rave reviews for IQ. As Scotty said, the Tamron 17-50/2.8 also gets lots of praise for low light and its wide enough that its useful indoors on an APS-C camera.
01-08-2013, 10:37 AM   #4
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I'm going to do some wedding shots soon, and am considering the new Pentax 50mm f/1.8 SMC DA

Pentax Lens: Primes - Pentax 50mm f/1.8 SMC DA (Tested) - SLRgear.com!


Alternatives
Pentax 55mm /1.4 SDM SMC DA* ~$700
The Pentax 55mm /1.4 is substantially more lens than the 50mm /1.8, offering a much higher build quality and price tag. Optically, the 55mm /1.4 is head and shoulders above the 50mm /1.8, offering tack-sharp results at /2.8.
Pentax 35mm /2.4 AL SMC DA ~$250
Of course if you're actually looking for a 50mm field of view, then the 35mm /2.4 is a better choice on the APS-C camera bodies produced by Pentax-Ricoh. We haven't yet tested the 35mm /2.4, but with a similar build quality to the 50mm /1.8 DA, we suspect similar results.
Sigma 50mm /1.4 EX DG HSM ~$500
Sigma also offers a fast prime 50mm /1.4 lens in the Pentax mount. It's significantly sharper than the Pentax 50mm /1.8 DA, but also significantly heavier (505 grams versus the Pentax's 122 grams). Sigma also produces the 30mm /1.4 in an APS-C size in the Pentax mount.

Pentax SMC DA* 55mm f/1.4 SDM Prime Standard Lens w/ Case for Pentax Digital SLR Cameras


Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Lens for Pentax Digital SLR Cameras




Rite



Last edited by Rite; 01-08-2013 at 10:51 AM.
01-08-2013, 11:16 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rite Quote
I'm going to do some wedding shots soon, and am considering the new Pentax 50mm f/1.8 SMC DA

Pentax Lens: Primes - Pentax 50mm f/1.8 SMC DA (Tested) - SLRgear.com!

Alternatives
Pentax 55mm ƒ/1.4 SDM SMC DA* ~$700
The Pentax 55mm ƒ/1.4 is substantially more lens than the 50mm ƒ/1.8, offering a much higher build quality and price tag. Optically, the 55mm ƒ/1.4 is head and shoulders above the 50mm ƒ/1.8, offering tack-sharp results at ƒ/2.8.
Pentax 35mm ƒ/2.4 AL SMC DA ~$250
Of course if you're actually looking for a 50mm field of view, then the 35mm ƒ/2.4 is a better choice on the APS-C camera bodies produced by Pentax-Ricoh. We haven't yet tested the 35mm ƒ/2.4, but with a similar build quality to the 50mm ƒ/1.8 DA, we suspect similar results.
Sigma 50mm ƒ/1.4 EX DG HSM ~$500
Sigma also offers a fast prime 50mm ƒ/1.4 lens in the Pentax mount. It's significantly sharper than the Pentax 50mm ƒ/1.8 DA, but also significantly heavier (505 grams versus the Pentax's 122 grams). Sigma also produces the 30mm ƒ/1.4 in an APS-C size in the Pentax mount.

Pentax SMC DA* 55mm f/1.4 SDM Prime Standard Lens w/ Case for Pentax Digital SLR Cameras

Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Lens for Pentax Digital SLR Cameras

Rite

I own the 50/1.4 and its a great lens in many ways. I also have the 35/2.4 and actually like it better because of its focal length. I also own 3 Limiteds and use them a good bit. However, if I were shooting a wedding (shudder) I wouldn't want any primes except for the posed shots - and perhaps not then. For the shots of activities, the ceremony, etc. a really good zoom is going to be much more versatile. I know we have wedding photogs here and I'll defer to them but in thinking about it, reading their posts over the years, and seeing many weddings I can't imagine trying to do it with a prime as my main lens.
01-08-2013, 11:42 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bcorson Quote
...my son is getting married this summer in a wedding on the beach and looks like they will not be hiring a photographer since "I figured Dad would have his camera" ....
If you wish to keep peace in the family (your and hers), may I suggest that you offer to pay for the services of a professional to photograph the wedding? Consider your son's suggestion flattering, but what does he know? It's his wife and her family that count! No matter how much money your son thinks you will save him, it will NOT be enough. Don't give more than one second of thought toward doing the job yourself.

Trust me... I know from whence I come...

Cheers...M (father of a bride)

Last edited by Michaelina2; 01-08-2013 at 11:51 AM.
01-08-2013, 11:56 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bcorson Quote
they will not be hiring a photographer since "I figured Dad would have his camera"
Seriously NOT a good idea. As suggested get somebody else to shoot it even if you have to pay. As father of the groom you are involved in the wedding and WILL NOT have the time to do a good job with the photography.

My son just got married (well a year ago now) and I decided I was going to enjoy the wedding instead of playing amateur wedding photog. Best decision I ever made. I took some pictures but had no worries that things were going on that needed recorded that I was going to miss. You will have enough to do just meeting and greeting and making sure Uncle Bill doesn't get too drunk or Aunt Sally and Cousin Sue don't get into a fist fight.

QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
No matter how much money your son thinks you will save him, it will NOT be enough. Don't give more than one second of thought toward doing the job yourself.
+1 cannot emphasize this enough!!!
01-08-2013, 12:06 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by bcorson Quote
Bought my K-30 in mid November with the 18-55mm WR lens and then picked up a used Tamron 70-300mm on Ebay to give me something for the longer shots as at least a temporary measure. Now I am looking to fill out my lens capability. I am trying to decide if what I want/need is a couple primes, or a fast medium zoom. Here are some of the things I want to do:
1) Available light shots inside with good bokeh for people shots . . . lets say informal portraits and general indoor shooting
2) close-ups of flowers,bugs etc again bokeh important
3) Night shooting of city scapes, star trails etc . . .sharp at wide open

Also, my son is getting married this summer in a wedding on the beach and looks like they will not be hiring a photographer since "I figured Dad would have his camera" so guess that means that I need some sort of zoom that will let me get a wide variety of shots without having to switch lenses given the environment. I am not sure if the 18-55 will give me enough reach.

Thoughts/suggestions. For the record I am retired so have keep costs down.

Thanks for help.
Forgive me if you've had a child already get married. If not, keep in mind this is an extraordinarily special day for your entire family. Except it won't be for you because you had to go to work and hence miss much of it in the moment. If you can't take off work to attend your son's wedding.....

01-08-2013, 12:12 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
I own the 50/1.4 and its a great lens in many ways. I also have the 35/2.4 and actually like it better because of its focal length. I also own 3 Limiteds and use them a good bit. However, if I were shooting a wedding (shudder) I wouldn't want any primes except for the posed shots - and perhaps not then. For the shots of activities, the ceremony, etc. a really good zoom is going to be much more versatile. I know we have wedding photogs here and I'll defer to them but in thinking about it, reading their posts over the years, and seeing many weddings I can't imagine trying to do it with a prime as my main lens.
--------------------------------------------------------

Any wedding photogs can pipe in any time on the prime -vs- zoom consideration. I've got to order a lens this week ..

Rite
01-08-2013, 12:59 PM   #10
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To everyone who has suggested I get out of doing the wedding photos trust me I know! For my son it is not the money it is the fact that he hates being photographed and quite frankly I think he is counting on the fact that I will be taking limited photos because I am observing. What I don't know is how his wife to be feels about all this. When asked by someone about a photographer she was there when he said no and he figured Dad would be there with his camera and she didn't say a word of disagreement and I certainly heard her voice her opinion on other matters when they were different then his. I need to find a way to talk to her and see what her wishes are.All that aside and regardless of outcome, I fully intend to use the wedding as a perfectly good explanation for my wife as to why more lenses are needed.

Thanks for all

your inputs.

Bob
01-08-2013, 02:20 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by bcorson Quote
perfectly good explanation for my wife as to why more lenses are needed.
And a great reason it is.

Ultimately it is your son and his bride that need to make that decision and it may not seem important to them right now but 5, 10 years from now will they regret not having a full set of wedding pictures? And to be honest the groom is only in a few shots anyway, it is the bride and bridesmaids that get all the attention.
01-08-2013, 02:40 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by bcorson Quote
To everyone who has suggested I get out of doing the wedding photos trust me I know! For my son it is not the money it is the fact that he hates being photographed and quite frankly I think he is counting on the fact that I will be taking limited photos because I am observing. What I don't know is how his wife to be feels about all this. When asked by someone about a photographer she was there when he said no and he figured Dad would be there with his camera and she didn't say a word of disagreement and I certainly heard her voice her opinion on other matters when they were different then his. I need to find a way to talk to her and see what her wishes are.All that aside and regardless of outcome, I fully intend to use the wedding as a perfectly good explanation for my wife as to why more lenses are needed.

Thanks for all

your inputs.

Bob
Bob, I can certainly feel for you and your dilemma. As much as most here enjoy photography, somehow it seems you are the one being cheated in this whole process. Any chance your son hasn't fully appreciated that aspect?
01-08-2013, 02:41 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by bcorson Quote
Bought my K-30 in mid November with the 18-55mm WR lens and then picked up a used Tamron 70-300mm on Ebay to give me something for the longer shots as at least a temporary measure. Now I am looking to fill out my lens capability. I am trying to decide if what I want/need is a couple primes, or a fast medium zoom. Here are some of the things I want to do:
1) Available light shots inside with good bokeh for people shots . . . lets say informal portraits and general indoor shooting
2) close-ups of flowers,bugs etc again bokeh important
3) Night shooting of city scapes, star trails etc . . .sharp at wide open

<snip>

Thoughts/suggestions. For the record I am retired so have keep costs down.

Thanks for help.
I think we all tend to suggest what we personally like and use. I will just be honest and tell you that upfront. I am always on a budget so I hear you.

1. For indoor shots in average light the DA-21 is hard to beat. It isn't all that fast but the camera will handle it well. For really low light on a budget pick up an A series 50mm 1.7. It is manual focus but really sharp. Catch in focus seems to work well with it. Set to infinity it might also be a good general lens for your night shots.
Example: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/34183-colbyt/albums/2860-da-ltd-a...cture21768.jpg

2. Consider extension rings for your regular lenses to get macro. For less than $10 every lens you own can be macro to some degree. I haven't played with mine enough to say anything definite except it plays well with the 50 1.7 and 28 2.8. Also the DA- 21 and the DA-40 are sharp enough that a 100% crop can look pretty sharp. Maybe not sharp enough for a cover shot but good enough for us amateurs.
Example: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/34183-colbyt/albums/2860-da-ltd-a...cture21767.jpg

3. Any prime lens you own if you learn how to use it with bulb and manual settings. The focal length you need depends on your desired field of view and distance from the subject matter. This example wasn't even that; it was full auto mode.
Example: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/34183-colbyt/albums/2860-da-ltd-a...cture21767.jpg
01-08-2013, 08:15 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
And a great reason it is.

Ultimately it is your son and his bride that need to make that decision and it may not seem important to them right now but 5, 10 years from now will they regret not having a full set of wedding pictures? And to be honest the groom is only in a few shots anyway, it is the bride and bridesmaids that get all the attention.
Thanks everyone.
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