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05-19-2013, 02:26 PM   #1
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Please help, i am about to buy a k-30 and i need some advice (mabe a lot).

I will use it for macro and wildlife photography mostly, so i need lenses that cover that for me, but the problem: i am on a budget, i will probably have to choose between macro or telephoto for now, and later buy the other one, i think i prefer macro becouse i could use them in the park while for wildlife i have to travel a bit, i dont know almost anything about dslrs and lenses and extension tubes and that things... well here are my options:

Pentax SMC Pentax DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED WR Zoom Lens

That one is 196 on B&H, but i think it might be a little short for birds and wildlife... one thing i dont understand, it say's that on 35mm format it goes from 70-300mm wich or Comparable APS-C Focal Length: 76.5 - 307 mm, but what does that means, with my k30 will it have 200mm zoom or 300mm zoom? the lightweight and the wr is a real plus i think... but will it get me close enought to birds and other animals?

the other one would be:

Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG APO Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens for Pentax

what i like about it is that it has a macro function, but, ¿how good is it? ¿and for telephoto?

what other options do i have? extension tubes? or what else do i need for a good macro (on a budget).

mabe somebody know a place where i can buy second hand lenses in good contiditions... i cant really spend more than 200 for a lense.


Also sohuld i buy the camera with the 18-55 lense for 580 or the body only for 520? i cant pay the 300 extra for the 18-135.
I actually live in Perú so for everything i buy i have to pay a company that import things from america, so i really need to choose well, and for that i beg for your help : ).

Thanks a lot.

PD: i am sorry for any grammar mistake.

05-19-2013, 04:46 PM   #2
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The K-30 has an APS-C sensor which is smaller than the traditional 35mm sensor. It is "cropped" which means that a 200mm lens has the equivalent magnification of a 300mm lens on a traditional 35mm lens. It has a 1.5x crop factor. This is good for long lenses because it makes them seem longer but makes it harder to get really wide lenses with APS-C. Extension tubes are the inexpensive way to go Macro. The Sigma 70-300 is long but the Pentax 55-300 is just as long, wider, and better optically.
05-19-2013, 04:59 PM   #3
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Welcome to the Pentax Forums!!

I think you might find 200mm a little short for birds and wildlife. The Pentax-DA 55-300/4-5.6 is a decent performer and might be a good one to consider along with the Sigma.

As for macro functionality...the macro on most zooms is not that good. I can't say for sure regarding the Sigma, having never used the lens. As you have already noted, a fixed focal length prime lens with extension tubes is probably the easiest and least expensive routes to high quality macro. Here is a link to a Flickr set by Rense (forum member) using only a vintage Yashica 50mm lens and many of which are macros using that lens with extension tubes.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rensehaveman/sets/72157633403945604/with/8738426877/

Oh, one more thing. Pay the extra $60 for the 18-55 kit lens. It is a decent performer and that is a decent price.


Steve
05-19-2013, 06:50 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Welcome to the Pentax Forums!!

I think you might find 200mm a little short for birds and wildlife. The Pentax-DA 55-300/4-5.6 is a decent performer and might be a good one to consider along with the Sigma.

As for macro functionality...the macro on most zooms is not that good. I can't say for sure regarding the Sigma, having never used the lens. As you have already noted, a fixed focal length prime lens with extension tubes is probably the easiest and least expensive routes to high quality macro. Here is a link to a Flickr set by Rense (forum member) using only a vintage Yashica 50mm lens and many of which are macros using that lens with extension tubes.

Single in May 2013 - a set on Flickr

Oh, one more thing. Pay the extra $60 for the 18-55 kit lens. It is a decent performer and that is a decent price.


Steve
great, thanks both of you for your answers, i cant find the Pentax-DA 55-300/4-5.6, but i find the Pentax-DA 55-300/4-5.8, it cost's 320 used but in good condition, ¿is adorama a safe page? i also find it on ebay for 260, and 185 shipped from taiwan this link:

New Pentax Da L 55 300mm F4 5 8 F 4 5 8 Ed Lens K x K 7 0000270751411 | eBay

do you think they are original? men i am so lost that i dont even know where to shop, what's safe and wath isnt!

I cant find the yashica 50mm either, a question about extension tubes, you need the macro lense and the you add the extension tubes right?

Thanks again for any advice : )

05-19-2013, 07:23 PM   #5
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Sorry about not copying the aperture number correctly for the 55-300. B&H has the lens new for $395. Adorama is a reputable dealer. As for the eBay lens, so much depends on who the seller is. I bought my 77/1.8 limited on eBay from a well-known seller. I am not familiar with Shueido, though the price is very good. I noticed that KEH has one at $219 with 6 month warranty. They are a well-know and reputable online merchant that also does business on eBay (Buy & Sell New & Used Cameras ? Canon, Nikon, Hasselblad, Leica & More - KEH.com). If purchasing used, be sure to confirm that the lens comes with both front and back caps as well as the hood.


Steve
05-20-2013, 01:25 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by carlosodze Quote
I will use it for macro and wildlife photography mostly, so i need lenses that cover that for me, but the problem: i am on a budget, i will probably have to choose between macro or telephoto for now, and later buy the other one, i think i prefer macro becouse i could use them in the park while for wildlife i have to travel a bit, i dont know almost anything about dslrs and lenses and extension tubes and that things... well here are my options:

Pentax SMC Pentax DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED WR Zoom Lens

That one is 196 on B&H, but i think it might be a little short for birds and wildlife... one thing i dont understand, it say's that on 35mm format it goes from 70-300mm wich or Comparable APS-C Focal Length: 76.5 - 307 mm, but what does that means, with my k30 will it have 200mm zoom or 300mm zoom? the lightweight and the wr is a real plus i think... but will it get me close enought to birds and other animals?

the other one would be:

Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG APO Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens for Pentax

what i like about it is that it has a macro function, but, ¿how good is it? ¿and for telephoto?

what other options do i have? extension tubes? or what else do i need for a good macro (on a budget).

mabe somebody know a place where i can buy second hand lenses in good contiditions... i cant really spend more than 200 for a lense.


Also sohuld i buy the camera with the 18-55 lense for 580 or the body only for 520? i cant pay the 300 extra for the 18-135.
I actually live in Perú so for everything i buy i have to pay a company that import things from america, so i really need to choose well, and for that i beg for your help : ).

Thanks a lot.

PD: i am sorry for any grammar mistake.
I would suggest you get the 18-55WR kit with the body. This is a decent allround lens, it even comes with surprisingly usable close-focus, which is suitable for some casual macro shots. This also gives you a weather sealed combo.

Further I suggest the DA55-300, this lens is a true steal-deal. Please note that this lens is available as DA and DA-L versions, where the later is cheaper. The downside of the cheaper version is a plastic mount, no Quick-Shift and a missing lens shade.

For both wildlife and macro a good tripod will come very handy.

Last edited by dragra; 05-20-2013 at 01:33 AM.
05-20-2013, 01:49 AM   #7
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If you get the DA 55-300 (a solid performer btw), you can get the Raynox 150 or 250 macro converter. They work splendidly with the DA 55-300. They're also both cheap, about $50-$75 for the 150 and maybe $50 more for the 250. They don't pop up too often on the forums (in fact, I think that last Raynox 150 I saw on the marketplace was mine that I sold this past December ). That should cover the wildlife and macro needs until you learn more about the various lens offerings.

Oh, and I'll second the 18-55WR kit. If it only adds $100 or so to the total cost, do it, since used 18-55WR's go for around $90 (+or-$10) so when you're ready to move on (TO THE TAMRON 17-50!!!!! ) you can sell it and it should cost you nothing. If it's the DA L 18-55, do it anyways, but keep in mind no one will want to buy it, so when you move on it will end up sitting in your closet. Which is okay, since everyone has a couple of them kicking around anyways.

Welcome to the brother(and sister)hood.
05-20-2013, 04:41 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by carlosodze Quote
I will use it for macro and wildlife photography mostly, so i need lenses that cover that for me, but the problem: i am on a budget, i will probably have to choose between macro or telephoto for now, and later buy the other one, i think i prefer macro becouse i could use them in the park while for wildlife i have to travel a bit, i dont know almost anything about dslrs and lenses and extension tubes and that things... well here are my options:

Pentax SMC Pentax DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED WR Zoom Lens

That one is 196 on B&H, but i think it might be a little short for birds and wildlife... one thing i dont understand, it say's that on 35mm format it goes from 70-300mm wich or Comparable APS-C Focal Length: 76.5 - 307 mm, but what does that means, with my k30 will it have 200mm zoom or 300mm zoom? the lightweight and the wr is a real plus i think... but will it get me close enought to birds and other animals?

the other one would be:

Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG APO Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens for Pentax

what i like about it is that it has a macro function, but, ¿how good is it? ¿and for telephoto?

what other options do i have? extension tubes? or what else do i need for a good macro (on a budget).

mabe somebody know a place where i can buy second hand lenses in good contiditions... i cant really spend more than 200 for a lense.


Also sohuld i buy the camera with the 18-55 lense for 580 or the body only for 520? i cant pay the 300 extra for the 18-135.
I actually live in Perú so for everything i buy i have to pay a company that import things from america, so i really need to choose well, and for that i beg for your help : ).

Thanks a lot.

PD: i am sorry for any grammar mistake.
IF you are looking at the cheaper Sigma 70-300 mm get the Tamron as it is a better lens at or below the Sigma price. Google it for reviews and you can check it out. As far as Macro these are not really MACRO lenses in the true sense of the word . . .that is that you do not get 1:1 reproduction. I ended up getting the Tamron 90 mm Macro and it is true MACRO and a great lens. Look around for used lenses and also try Ebay. You can get some good deals if you are patient. I got my 70-300 mm used for $100 dollars and I got my 90 mm new on Ebay at a great price.

Bob

05-20-2013, 12:55 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by EarlVonTapia Quote
If you get the DA 55-300 (a solid performer btw), you can get the Raynox 150 or 250 macro converter. They work splendidly with the DA 55-300. They're also both cheap, about $50-$75 for the 150 and maybe $50 more for the 250. They don't pop up too often on the forums (in fact, I think that last Raynox 150 I saw on the marketplace was mine that I sold this past December ). That should cover the wildlife and macro needs until you learn more about the various lens offerings.
Raynox macro converters are cheap enough new. The 150 will give an easier working distance than the 250. Results are far better than anyone has the right to expect for the price, these converters are optically very sound, they're not just a magnifying glass. I use my 150 with an M135/3.5 which works splendidly but a zoom lens gives a lot more flexibility in magnification. The main drawback with any of the 'cheap' workarounds is the narrow range of subject distances possible.
05-20-2013, 01:37 PM   #10
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Definitely the 55-300 for budget telephoto work. Can't beat it for value for money.
Then save up for a dedicated 1:1 macro lens. If you want an auto focus one, which for most macro work is not necessary, Pentax have excellent 50 and 100mm versions, Tamron have a good 90mm macro, and Sigma a fine 70mm macro. If you go manual focus to save money, get an 'A' lens like the Pentax A 100mm f/2.8 macro.
05-20-2013, 01:46 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Definitely the 55-300 for budget telephoto work. Can't beat it for value for money.
Then save up for a dedicated 1:1 macro lens. If you want an auto focus one, which for most macro work is not necessary, Pentax have excellent 50 and 100mm versions, Tamron have a good 90mm macro, and Sigma a fine 70mm macro. If you go manual focus to save money, get an 'A' lens like the Pentax A 100mm f/2.8 macro.
Good advice. In this day of digital images and no real cost for trial-and-error the advantages of A Macro lenses over M Macro lenses (optical qualities being equal) escape me. The M50 & M100 lenses can be had for around $80 in good shape and provide very good macro ability for significantly less than their A counterparts sell for at present.
05-20-2013, 02:01 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by SteveB Quote
Raynox macro converters are cheap enough new. The 150 will give an easier working distance than the 250. Results are far better than anyone has the right to expect for the price, these converters are optically very sound, they're not just a magnifying glass. I use my 150 with an M135/3.5 which works splendidly but a zoom lens gives a lot more flexibility in magnification. The main drawback with any of the 'cheap' workarounds is the narrow range of subject distances possible.
Thanks for the recomendation, i will buy a raynox, they have good results, but are you sure i should buy the 150 instead of the 250? its a 6 dollar diference...
05-20-2013, 03:55 PM   #13
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Here is my 5-lens kit and I love it....
  • DA 18-135 WR
  • F 35-70
  • DA L 55-300
  • A 50 f/1.7 (plus a macro converter optimized for 50mm)
  • A 28 f/2.8
The 18-135 covers a LOT of my needs. Its focusing is internal and nearly silent. Sharp enough and matches the weather resistance of the K-30.
The F 35-70 is quite sharp and is perfect for family events. Plus it has close focus capabilities - and since it has an honest aperture ring, I can use it with my bellows.
The 55-300 is a delight. You can purchase a 3rd party hood identical to Pentax's for a lot less than the price difference between the DA and DA L version. In my opinion, Quick Shift is the only reason to buy the DA version. Plastic versus metal mount? Trust me, if something stresses the plastic amount enough to do damage, your DA version isn't going to be working so great either.
A pair of fast, sharp primes? Are you kidding me? Who wouldn't find a multitude of uses for such lenses?
05-20-2013, 08:02 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by EarlVonTapia Quote
If you get the DA 55-300 (a solid performer btw), you can get the Raynox 150 or 250 macro converter. They work splendidly with the DA 55-300. They're also both cheap, about $50-$75 for the 150 and maybe $50 more for the 250. They don't pop up too often on the forums (in fact, I think that last Raynox 150 I saw on the marketplace was mine that I sold this past December ). That should cover the wildlife and macro needs until you learn more about the various lens offerings.

Oh, and I'll second the 18-55WR kit. If it only adds $100 or so to the total cost, do it, since used 18-55WR's go for around $90 (+or-$10) so when you're ready to move on (TO THE TAMRON 17-50!!!!! ) you can sell it and it should cost you nothing. If it's the DA L 18-55, do it anyways, but keep in mind no one will want to buy it, so when you move on it will end up sitting in your closet. Which is okay, since everyone has a couple of them kicking around anyways.

Welcome to the brother(and sister)hood.
Thanks for you reply, i will get de raynox converter, i think the 25 becouse it's only a 6 dollar diference.

Well i decided what to get:

Pentax k 30 with 18-55 wr from adorama becouse it gives a 75 certificate that i will use to buy the raynox converter and a monarch 5 binoculars (for my father).

in the next month i will get the 55-300mm lenses.

I have a question, does anybody knows how does the gift certificate works? i mean i make the pruchase and i get it, then i make the other purchase and add the gift certificate?

thanks for all your support.
05-20-2013, 08:51 PM   #15
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Never mind about the thing i asked about the gift card, i found a k 30 with 18-55 wr cheaper on ebay :

Pentax K 30 16MP Camera Kit w 18 55WR Lens Weather SEALED New | eBay

It's a top rated seller so i guess it will be ok ¿right?
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