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06-21-2014, 04:06 PM   #1
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next Lense for my K-3?

Hello to all forum members:

I am trying to decide to on which lens I should get next. I just upgraded to the K-3, I was a nice brother and my sisters camera/gear got stolen, so i gave her my K-5 and lenses. So I upgraded and got the K-3 with the 18-55mm WR lense. I am trying to decide on what to get next, i shoot a lot of sports, landscapes, flowers, street photography. Budget is about 500$ give or take!!

Thanks for your advice..oh anyone have experience with the new 55-300mm HD lens, I do need a telephoto eventually as well.

06-21-2014, 04:12 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Guardian720 Quote
Hello to all forum members:

I am trying to decide to on which lens I should get next. I just upgraded to the K-3, I was a nice brother and my sisters camera/gear got stolen, so i gave her my K-5 and lenses. So I upgraded and got the K-3 with the 18-55mm WR lense. I am trying to decide on what to get next, i shoot a lot of sports, landscapes, flowers, street photography. Budget is about 500$ give or take!!

Thanks for your advice..oh anyone have experience with the new 55-300mm HD lens, I do need a telephoto eventually as well.
Looks like you've picked out your next lens already. The 55-300 is well regarded for what it is and sharper than the various 70-300s. You might find a Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 used in your budget.
06-21-2014, 05:50 PM   #3
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The Tamron 70-200/2.8 would be a better way to spend your money. You'll also need a Tamron 17-50/2.8 or similar lens eventually too.
06-21-2014, 06:02 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Guardian720 Quote
Hello to all forum members:

I am trying to decide to on which lens I should get next. I just upgraded to the K-3, I was a nice brother and my sisters camera/gear got stolen, so i gave her my K-5 and lenses. So I upgraded and got the K-3 with the 18-55mm WR lense. I am trying to decide on what to get next, i shoot a lot of sports, landscapes, flowers, street photography. Budget is about 500$ give or take!!

Thanks for your advice..oh anyone have experience with the new 55-300mm HD lens, I do need a telephoto eventually as well.
I suggest you buy a better normal zoom to take advantage of K-3's sensor capabilities--either Tamron or Sigma 17-50; I have the latter, and it's a fantastic piece of glass. If you don't mind manual focusing you can also get a cheap 135mm f2.8 with the A setting; most 135mm are excellent and cost under $50. The Pentax M 135mm is the lightest & smallest I know of (250 grams), but its max aperture is only 3.5. An 135mm prime will be at least as sharp as the DA 55-300mm. If you prefer a shorter tele length, the Samyang 85mm f1.4 is great, esp. for portraits.

06-21-2014, 06:43 PM   #5
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What about the Sigma 150-500mm, the Kodiak Brown Bears are hinting for me to go out looking for to photo them too? I read reviews on this lens, but seems to have mixed reviews?
06-21-2014, 07:13 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Guardian720 Quote
What about the Sigma 150-500mm, the Kodiak Brown Bears are hinting for me to go out looking for to photo them too? I read reviews on this lens, but seems to have mixed reviews?
For that kind of money most people say you're better off getting one of the *300 lenses (one of my two favorite lenses), even if you have to crop the image later. All 3 AF generations work well - especially on that camera. In fact the older 2 should focus even faster and give slightly better IQ, though they lack WR and the screw-drive AF still makes the usual amount of noise.

The Sigma can't seem to achieve the same level of sharpness, and it's heavier too. In addition, the *300 lenses work well with the new HD 1.4x TC.

Last edited by DSims; 06-21-2014 at 07:20 PM.
06-21-2014, 07:19 PM   #7
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Wish I had 1300$ laying around for that lens!! I can get the Sigma 150-500mm for 860$
06-21-2014, 07:22 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Guardian720 Quote
Wish I had 1300$ laying around for that lens!! I can get the Sigma 150-500mm for 860$
Shop around for a used *300 - the FA* usually has the best prices.

Personally, once I'm spending that much I want to get the right thing, so I actually consider my F*300 (which was between those prices) to have been a much better value.

06-21-2014, 07:37 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
For that kind of money most people say you're better off getting one of the *300 lenses (one of my two favorite lenses), even if you have to crop the image later. All 3 AF generations work well - especially on that camera. In fact the older 2 should focus even faster and give slightly better IQ, though they lack WR and the screw-drive AF still makes the usual amount of noise.

The Sigma can't seem to achieve the same level of sharpness, and it's heavier too. In addition, the *300 lenses work well with the new HD 1.4x TC.
I have a newer (May 2013) Sigma 150-500. It's very sharp throughout the range, including the top end at 500.
06-21-2014, 07:41 PM   #10
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TO DSims:

Do you have any sample images of your FA* 300mm?
06-21-2014, 08:16 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
The Tamron 70-200/2.8 would be a better way to spend your money. You'll also need a Tamron 17-50/2.8 or similar lens eventually too.
Greetings, DSims. May I inquire, how do you like that compact 17-50/2.8 Tamron vs. the (some ounces heavier) Sigma competition, particularly filling the gap here or there between the DA 15 Limited and the FA 31 Limited for landscapes and "travel" subjects where border-to-border sharpness (within reasonable bounds), texture/detail, and a relatively flat field are important considerations? I know you put a very critical eye to zoom lenses (I like that!), and that's what I'd like you to do here.

I ask, because I've just acquired that Tamron from an original, careful owner as a practical option for circumstances where my primes are less well suited. For the present, I also have the DA 12-24mm as part of this equation (but have picked up the DA 15 Ltd. now). You like the substantial 8-16mm Sigma, I know. But it's that 17-28mm part of the range on APS-C that particularly concerns me. As I'm presently figuring it, that range from the little Tamron... plus my CV Ultron SL IIn 40mm (NAI-P) or the DA 40mm, Ltd. or XS, and Oly 60mm/2.8 weather-sealed AF macro on my E-PL5, and I'm covered for zero [ad hoc] lens change "walkaround", even in iffy weather conditions.

BTW, I also have an FA 20mm/2.8 coming in from Japan, which I hope will turn out to be a super fine deal... AND the Tokina 20-35mm/3.5-4.5 full-frame along with it: I just got fed up with twisting my head around, trying to come up with a hi-rez, sweetly rendering totable solution to plug that disquieting contemporary prime lens gap I keep grousing about here. At least, this way, I'll eventually have evidence at hand. Thanks so much for any way you can help steer me right here.

As I've explained before, I personally feel this [prime] FL 'gap' in Pentaxian kits is one particular thorny issue of general interest; or, at least, I think it should be... for those folks strongly IQ oriented and interested in the kind of subjects I've described. Regards, as always, Fred

ADDENDUM: A bit of correction, cleanup, & clarification was undertaken in the early A.M. after some sleep; but there are no substantial changes.

Last edited by Kayaker-J; 06-22-2014 at 03:44 AM.
06-21-2014, 08:30 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Guardian720 Quote
What about the Sigma 150-500mm, the Kodiak Brown Bears are hinting for me to go out looking for to photo them too? I read reviews on this lens, but seems to have mixed reviews?
I like mine!
06-21-2014, 09:19 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Guardian720 Quote
Wish I had 1300$ laying around for that lens!! I can get the Sigma 150-500mm for 860$
That ($860) is about the price I paid for the FA*300mm f4.5 and it is great lens.

The IQ is on par with most prime lenses and the FA* is smaller and lighter (more portable) than the DA*.

+1 with DSims

Last edited by hcc; 06-22-2014 at 02:34 PM.
06-21-2014, 10:06 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Guardian720 Quote
TO DSims:

Do you have any sample images of your FA* 300mm?
Actually the one I have is the F*, not the FA*. As usual, there are slight differences in IQ between the generations, but the use the same optical formula and the images are very, very close.


I usually shoot action, but here's what I get when the subject is sitting still:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/258324-tele...m-range-2.html

---------- Post added 06-21-14 at 10:35 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I have a newer (May 2013) Sigma 150-500. It's very sharp throughout the range, including the top end at 500.
Here's the most recent discussion I remember on this topic. The OP might want to search for others as well. The general consensus seems to be that the Sigma 50-500 and 150-500 are similar in IQ over the shared FL range:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/265362-comp...0-w-hd-tc.html


I'm curious, is there supposed to be any difference in the IQ of the most recent copies of the 150-500, such as you own? Are there any design differences, or is the manufacturing supposed to be better?

Last edited by DSims; 06-21-2014 at 10:38 PM.
06-21-2014, 11:10 PM   #15
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I'm putting the bottom line at the top here, because it's what so many of us (and maybe the OP) have to face:

The DA*50-135/2.8 gives really impressive IQ, and it can potentially be the only lens one owns in this range. Combine it with a *300 and the long end is covered excellently for a (relatively) reasonable price. If AF performance is more critical than IQ, then some people are better off substituting a Tamron 70-200/2.8 for the DA*50-135/2.8.


There is no such beast in the 16-50mm range, and even 10-16mm is difficult.

So you have to make compromises here and be prepared to accept them at whatever level suits you. The DA15 (or sometimes the DA10-17) is really the only lens that satisfies the wide end for IQ fanatics, with the Sigma 8-16 being close (and potentially the whole solution) as it covers the entire range with impressive sharpness.




Having said this, I'll try to answer some of your challenging questions:
QuoteOriginally posted by Kayaker-J Quote
Greetings, DSims. How do you like that compact 17-50/2.8 Tamron vs. the (ounces heavier) Sigma competition, particularly filling the gap here or there between the DA 15 Limited and the FA 31 Limited for landscapes and "travel" subjects where border-to-border sharpness (within reasonable bounds), texture/detail, and a relatively flat field are important considerations? I know you put a very critical eye to zoom lenses (I like that!), and that's what I'd like you to do here.
I think it's critical to get a good quality zoom in this range in order to reduce the perceived need to fill it with too many primes. Nevertheless, the learning experience from collecting "too many" primes in this range may be worth the trouble anyway.

In practice I think the DA*16-50 has IQ that's just better enough than the Tamron to make it worthwhile. It also has WR. The Tamron 17-50/2.8 is the best value here. I think the Sigma trails, but the latest Sigma lenses keep getting better as each new model/update is released. I'd buy any of these used (except perhaps the Sigma). For me the DA*16-50 gives me the freedom reduce my primes in this range to only the FA*24/2 (and occasionally the FA31 as well). The FA20 is nice but I hardly ever use it because the FA*24 is a stop faster (maybe more considering actual IQ), plus I like 24mm anyway. I think for most people either the DA*16-50/2.8, Tamron 17-50/2.8, or Sigma 18-35/1.8 could fill this role.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kayaker-J Quote
I ask, because I've just acquired that Tamron from an original, careful owner as a practical option for circumstances where my primes are less well suited. For the present, I also have the DA 12-24mm as part of this equation (but have picked up the DA 15 Ltd. now). You like the substantial 8-16mm Sigma, I know. But it's that 17-28mm part of the range on APS-C that particularly concerns me. As far as I'm concerned, that range from the little Tamron... plus my CV Ultron SL IIn 40mm or the DA 40mm, Ltd. or XS, and Oly 60mm/2.8 weather-sealed AF macro on my E-PL5, and I'm covered for zero [ad hoc] lens change "walkaround", even in iffy weather conditions.

BTW, I also have an FA 20mm/2.8 coming in from Japan, which I hope will turn out to be a super fine deal... AND the Tokina 17-35mm/3.5-4.5 full-frame along with it: I just got fed up with twisting my head around, trying to come up with a hi-rez, sweetly rendering solution to plug that darn gap I keep grousing about here. At least, this way, I'll eventually have evidence at hand. Thanks so much for any way you can help steer me right here.
If you're a Sigma fan (I'm not, but they've still been earning my respect lately) I think the answer is relatively easy: Get an 8-16, an 18-35/1.8, and whatever primes "grab" you (e.g. your DA15 and FA31). If you're not, substitute the Pentax or Tamron 16 or 17-50/2.8 for the 18-35/1.8 and do the same thing with everything else.

You can probably soon get rid of all other zooms between 10 and 50mm (including the DA12-24)

Last edited by DSims; 06-21-2014 at 11:31 PM.
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