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12-28-2014, 07:10 AM   #1
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Additional lenses

As a matter of fact it's always difficult to find the right additional lenses for yourself after you get used to your equipement. I got my K-3 almost a year ago with the Pentax 18-135 WR and the Penatx 50mm f1.8. After nearly 4k of pictures in any kind of environment - animals, cars, nature, party, sports and wedding too, it's time for me to put one or two additional lenses into my kit. Just read the "Holy Trininty" for Pentax owners and consider now some of the following stuff:

one of these
Pentax Objektiv smc DA 16-50mm 2.8 ED AL IF SDM
Sigma Objektiv AF 17-50mm 2.8 EX DC OS HSM

don't know if it would suit me:
Sigma Objektiv Art AF 35mm 1.4 DG HSM

and for a better zoom outdoors:
Pentax Objektiv HD DA 55-300mm 4.0-5.8 ED WR

Another fact would be the money, like i could purchase the Sigma 17-50 plus Pentax 55-300 for less than the Pentax 16-50 and around the same as for the Sigma 35.

My questions is, is it worth to spend the money on the Pentax 16-50 instead for the Sigma 17-50, which cost half price?
The Sigma 35mm is a hot shot , i read so far, but would it fit into my style of photos, is it an every day lens?
Any other suggestions, which would fit into this specifications, and price range maximum Pentax 16-50?

Best regards in advance

Some pics of my portfolio

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Last edited by zamke14; 12-28-2014 at 12:47 PM.
12-28-2014, 07:34 AM   #2
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Pentax 15mm f4 & pentax 35mm f2.8 limiteds. Those would be my choices!

I'm not much of a zoom fan, but from what I've read the 18-135 is very highly rated (more so than the 16-50). The sigma 35mm f1.4 looks to be a great lens - the only real downside I can see for me is it's physical size (but yes, I'd say that it would be worth money, and I'm sure you'd find excuses to use it almost all the time!).

The 55-300 looks to be an ok lens, but whether it's useful depends on whether you want the extra reach. My 50-200 never sees any action - the limited primes are just too good - and personally I never have a need for telephoto lenses. That one will come down to your own style really.

I can't comment of the sigma zoom, so I'll leave that for others to discuss.
12-28-2014, 08:01 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by robthebloke Quote
Pentax 15mm f4 & pentax 35mm f2.8 limiteds. Those would be my choices!
+1

They will provide good complements to the DA 18-135 and DA 50/1.8.
Add in the DA 55-300 if you need long, and you're covered!
12-28-2014, 08:20 AM   #4
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I was in the same situation as you a few years back. I found there were many occasions when I wished for a wider angle, rather than a longer zoom. Skies become more dramatic, architecture becomes easier to frame and interiors look better.

I have found the best images are the ones properly composed at the time of exposure and those are easily done with a zoom.

I think you should consider the Pentax DA 12-24mm. It is a screw driven focus that the K3 drives very fast and is very reliable. (I have never heard of a failure in this lens.)
It is very sharp and in my experience rivals primes in it's focal range.

If you really need a long zoom, the DA 55-300 is very nice and all versions are very similar in performance. You will be able to save some money if you consider the DAL version. That's what I ended up doing because taking shots in the rain at high magnifications never really yielded great results for me. Also, I am waiting for the rumored new Pentax 135-400 zoom.

Of the two zooms you are looking at, I would choose the Sigma 17-50 over the Pentax 16-50. Both lenses are very sharp, fast and have good colour. The Pentax loses by a fraction due to it's SDM focus motor and it's very short warranty compared to the Sigma. There are just too many stories of SDM failures out there. I would consider one if Pentax gave a very long warranty on the AF motor.

You have also mentioned the Sigma 35 prime. That is a wonderful lens from the reviews I have read. However focusing below f/2.8 can be a challenge. A much better choice would be the HD Pentax DA 35mm F/2.8 Macro. At one third of the weight and equally sharp, it is a really great lens. It also fills a spot in you lens lineup for a dedicated macro, yet performs really well in almost any other application. I believe every photographer must have at least one macro lens.

Good Luck on your shopping!

12-28-2014, 08:26 AM   #5
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I would extend your limits, for fun and for greater capability. 10-17 fisheye zoom, which can appximately equal the 15 with distortion adjustment pp, and the 55-300 WR zoom, so that you have 18-300 WR capability, and the 55-300 has better IQ than the 18-135 between 100-135, so you are actually improving your overall IQ. And the 10-17 is such fun!
12-28-2014, 11:55 AM   #6
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That was quick, thx so far for the respond!

@robtheblock: if i look at the budget line, there would only be one lens the choice now and i am not sure, if the Pentax 15mm f4 & pentax 35mm f2.8 limited are my choice. Because i think the Sigma 35mm f1.4 would be still in favorite position compared to yours. And i don't care so much about the weight. I use the K-3 with the battery grip and the sniper sling from Sun.

@Hamiltom: Thx for your suggestion about the Pentax DA 12-24mm, but it's about more expensive than the 16-50 and the f4.0 is nice, but i like the f2.8, or even f1.4. But i fully agree with the zoom 55-300 and the difference between DAL and WR is only 10 bucks, so not a big decision to make. Not sure if i really need a macro, and i love to play below f2.8 again not easy decision, though the Pentax 35mm would save some money.

@Bagga_Txips: well you are right with the fun of the fish eye lens, but i think i am not this kind of a guy who will use this lens quite often compared to the money. Again fully agreed with the 55-300mm lens, which would just be a good match to the 18-135 and less money compared to 60-250.

I think so far the 55-300mm will be in the basket, if the price for a lens prime or zoom is reachable. And the good thing is, i am not in hurry, it's just because to make a next step forward in this kind of hobby.




12-28-2014, 01:07 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by zamke14 Quote
Not sure if i really need a macro, and i love to play below f2.8 again not easy decision, though the Pentax 35mm would save some money.
Based on your style I suspect you'd like the DA*50-135 even more than the DA*16-50. You could sell the DA18-135 after you discover how much more you like the DA*50-135, then add a DA16-45 or the Sigma 17-50/2.8 you mentioned (or the Tamron 17-50).


The DA35/2.4 is also quite good, including very good wide-open (giving nice round bokeh), so you'd probably like it. And the DA55-300 - while not even close to the DA*50-135 in what it can produce (and actually not that great over 135mm, making it somewhat redundant) is noticeably better than the DA50-200, so you still might like it.


You'd also like the M (or A) 100/2.8 (non-macro).
12-28-2014, 01:09 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hamiltom Quote
You have also mentioned the Sigma 35 prime. That is a wonderful lens from the reviews I have read. However focusing below f/2.8 can be a challenge. A much better choice would be the HD Pentax DA 35mm F/2.8 Macro. At one third of the weight and equally sharp, it is a really great lens. It also fills a spot in you lens lineup for a dedicated macro, yet performs really well in almost any other application. I believe every photographer must have at least one macro lens.
The Sigma 35mm f1.4 is a wonderfully sharp lens with great bokeh. However, it is very big and heavy and also overexposes by between 0.7 and 1.7ev on my K3, making it a bit of a pain to use. Depending on your requirements, there may be less troublesome options.

12-28-2014, 01:56 PM   #9
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I am going to chime in with a vote for the WR 55-300. I've had a lot of very positive feedback from pro photographers (including my teachers) who were surprised by the image quality of a zoom lens like this. It's lightweight and compact given the zoom range and is highly versatile for certain kinds of walkaround activity when you want the reach of a longer zoom and the short telephoto range in the 50-70mm range - and you don't want to strain your neck and back to carry it. True, it's not great in low-light situations, but it's a wonderful travel lens, great for photographing people and animals at a distance and for tight portraits taken at a distance. 90% of the images in this gallery were taken with this lens:

Catskill Animal Sanctuary - frogoutofwater photography
12-28-2014, 02:52 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by zamke14 Quote
As a matter of fact it's always difficult to find the right additional lenses for yourself after you get used to your equipement. I got my K-3 almost a year ago with the Pentax 18-135 WR and the Penatx 50mm f1.8. After nearly 4k of pictures in any kind of environment - animals, cars, nature, party, sports and wedding too, it's time for me to put one or two additional lenses into my kit. Just read the "Holy Trininty" for Pentax owners and consider now some of the following stuff:

one of these
Pentax Objektiv smc DA 16-50mm 2.8 ED AL IF SDM
Sigma Objektiv AF 17-50mm 2.8 EX DC OS HSM

don't know if it would suit me:
Sigma Objektiv Art AF 35mm 1.4 DG HSM

and for a better zoom outdoors:
Pentax Objektiv HD DA 55-300mm 4.0-5.8 ED WR

Another fact would be the money, like i could purchase the Sigma 17-50 plus Pentax 55-300 for less than the Pentax 16-50 and around the same as for the Sigma 35.

My questions is, is it worth to spend the money on the Pentax 16-50 instead for the Sigma 17-50, which cost half price?
The Sigma 35mm is a hot shot , i read so far, but would it fit into my style of photos, is it an every day lens?
Any other suggestions, which would fit into this specifications, and price range maximum Pentax 16-50?

Best regards in advance

Some pics of my portfolio
I like the 17-50 sigma. I shot with it. It is very sharp and the focusing is fast. I have no personal experience with the 55-300. The sigma 35 is a legend but has limited utility for general use. I would save up for the upcoming 100-400 range lens. The SDM issues with 16-50 and the general low score in reviews would stir me towards the Sigma 17-50. I did own the Tamron 17-50 for a brief time and in my opinion Sigma is the better lens.
12-28-2014, 03:14 PM - 1 Like   #11
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The 55-300 is a no-brainer for most Pentax shooters, unless they have one of the DA* long lenses. Cheap, great range, decent IQ, and even WR in its latest manifestation. The lens roadmap though shows a ~130-420 on the way; interested to see how that performs.
12-29-2014, 02:15 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
The lens roadmap though shows a ~130-420 on the way; interested to see how that performs.
Don't get your hopes up; so far Ricoh has failed to release lenses that live up to previous Pentax models. The upcoming "*70-200" will be the real test for them - I have high hopes that they'll finally rise to the challenge with that one. It's almost a do-or-die for them. Everyone else (Canon, Sony, Nikon) has a really good 70-200/2.8 lens. The old Pentax could certainly do it; can Ricoh as well?



OK, I suppose they've done it with new 645 lenses and the Q 08. But with new K-mount lenses they've fallen flat so far. And they're overpriced as well. The 08 lens may be the only one that's actually worth its (still high-looking) price tag.

Last edited by DSims; 12-29-2014 at 02:20 AM.
12-29-2014, 05:25 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
But with new K-mount lenses they've fallen flat so far.
That's drawing a bit of a long bow. Most of the PF reviews of the DA 20-40 Limited are very favourable, and the jury is still out on the DA 16-85, though reports are looking promising. Both are overpriced though, I agree, and quality control may also be an issue.

But the most interesting lenses are those still promised on the roadmap. I will certainly suspend any negative judgements about Pentax lenses in the Ricoh era till I see the pending ~12-28, ~130-400, and the ~70-180 "large diameter telephoto zoom". If they get these right, they will be great additions to the stable.
12-29-2014, 06:53 AM   #14
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I think the first step Ricoh should make is to put DC motors in the DA* series and allow user switching to screw drive only as a firmware update for present SDM owners.

It's time to move on from the SDM era with a "new and improved" design.
12-29-2014, 01:18 PM   #15
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Quite interesting so far.
@ DSims: i'm not sure if the DA*50-135 is quite a change, well if you mean from f2.8 on but otherwise i loose on the width from 18-50mm. which is a bit more important to me than to cover 50-135mm. And of course is 55-300 very interesting, if shooting nature, animals and sports for this price almost unbeatable.

@Paul the Sunman: agreed to long DA lenses, but price a bit out of range.

Has anyone tried the Zeiss Distagon T* 2/35 ZK? Or even another Zeiss lens on a K-3?

regards
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