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01-25-2014, 07:47 PM   #1
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Upgrade Kit lens

Got a new K30 and trying to decide between Pentax 16-45 and Tamron 18-50 as upgrade to kit lens. Know the Tamron is faster and slightly longer. Which gives me better images and durability? Thanks.

01-25-2014, 07:57 PM   #2
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You mean the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 and the Pentax DA 16-45mm f4?
Pentax is wider and darker. Quite a difference between f2.8 and f4. Also, I think the Pentax is a bit odd, since it extends at the wide angle. The Pentax has also been discontinued, so you probably can't find any new copies. Maybe you can look in the sample photo gallery and see some photos. The rendering of the two lenses is pretty different, but hard to say that one is "better"

Lots of people like the Tamron because it has great image quality, but they say its build is not quite as great. The Pentax has character, but its a beloved oddball. I don't have both of those lenses to compare them, though. Doubt either would disappoint you, and both should be significantly better than the Pentax 18-55mm
Edit: But back when I only had the DA L kit lenses on my DSLR, I went for a prime lens next. DA 35mm in my case. That is a more significant IQ boost.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 01-25-2014 at 08:06 PM.
01-25-2014, 09:43 PM   #3
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I'll throw you a curve ball here and recommend a FA 28-105mm lens. It's not quite as wide as the Pentax or Tamron lenses you are considering but you will get a bit of extra telephoto capability. FA lenses are fair weather lenses but the IQ and color rendering is very good in most cases. There are some duds in the FA line and the reviews will reflect that.

Or, as Na Horuk mentioned in his reply, consider getting a prime. I just bought a FA 50mm f/1.7 and I am absolutely loving the IQ. Very sharp and very nice colors!
01-25-2014, 10:35 PM   #4
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Tamron 17-50 from what you posted, and one that you did not post that I'd recommend is the Pentax DA 18-135 WR.

01-25-2014, 10:39 PM   #5
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My first kit upgrade , years ago, was Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 DC Macro ( non HSM) , now have two of them and took well over 40,000 photos with them.
The best walk around and travel companion lens, and very well build.
17mm is very useful while walking through old cities with narrow streets , landscapes and indoors.
2.8 is very convenient for lowlight and indoors.
Recently I purchased new Sigma Contemporary 17-70 2.8-4 DC Macro HSM has a bit better coating and silent fast AF.
The Tamron 17-50 2.8 is also great lens for certain occasions but , for my liking , has not enough reach as a walk-around and traveling lens and feels more plasticky.
01-25-2014, 11:27 PM   #6
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You can check out the guide here at PF. Pentax K-30 Lens Guide - Photographic Articles -

I personally use the 18135 and find it's focusing very fast.

As to IQ between the 2 lenses, I think they are very similar but Tamron has 2.8 so if that's important for you, go for it!
01-26-2014, 12:04 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by DMD Quote
Got a new K30 and trying to decide between Pentax 16-45 and Tamron 18-50 as upgrade to kit lens. Know the Tamron is faster and slightly longer. Which gives me better images and durability? Thanks.
IMO, the ideal upgrade would be the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 C, assuming that you want to stick to a comparable zoom. The Sigma will give you a better zoom range, more light, better image quality, silent AF, and closer focusing. It's hard to beat unless you step it up to a pro F2.8 zoom.

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01-27-2014, 04:07 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info. Looks like I need to check out Sigma. I do have several Pentax A lens including 35-105; 50 (f1.4); 30-70 (f4); and 70-210 (F4). I was mostly looking for help at the wide end.

01-30-2014, 07:00 AM   #9
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The 16-45 is a good bang for the buck lens. You have plenty of ISO to play with.

Go up the price range and the 17-70s and the 18-135 are the next choices. The 18-135 is a great walkaround lens, focuses quickly and is silent. IQ from the 17-70s may be a bit better, but I've been happy with the 18-135.

Getting much wider puts you into specialty lens territory, and will cost you more. That said, there are some really nice lenses in the 10-24mm range.
01-30-2014, 08:59 AM   #10
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The WR 18-135 would be an ideal match for your K-30's WR body. But if you don't need WR, the Sigma 17-70 would be a great choice.
01-30-2014, 03:53 PM   #11
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DA70 Lim in additional to kit. -450-500 USD new
fill the differences.
after that - DA 40Lim - 350USD new

and 21Lim for the dinner - 350 USD used...
end if You still did not destroyed kit - use it in lazy condition, than "lazy" to move. and use zOOm....
01-30-2014, 06:52 PM   #12
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The 18-135 is a better lens from 70-135, and probably from 24 mm to 50mm. No where in it's range does the 17-70 match the 18-135 at the strongest point in it's range 24 mm. So is the best lens the lens that gives you the best edge to edge... or the best centre sharpness. The 17-70 gives you some excellent edge to edge performance at the cost of center sharpness. Shooting walls or test charts the Sigma is better average across the frame, shooting with the subject away from the edges, the 18-135 kills it. GO for the 18-135, unless you're going to take pictures of walls and test charts.

Last edited by normhead; 01-30-2014 at 07:05 PM.
01-31-2014, 07:36 AM   #13
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One more vote for the DA 18-135, Mine is almost always mounted to my K30, it came in handy at Niagara Falls with all the spray
01-31-2014, 06:26 PM   #14
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If you need the WR, then go for the DA18-135, if not then the Sigma 17-50/17-70. Both of which are great lenses.
02-01-2014, 11:33 AM   #15
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I have the 16-45 and am very happy with it, would definitely recommend.

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