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03-21-2010, 01:05 PM   #1
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New Aussie

Hi Everyone
My name is Col and I live in Gladstone Queensland Australia. I am very much a beginner having purchased my first DSLR last June - Pentax K-M/2000 with
Kit Lens Sigma 55-200 1:4-5.6 and Kit Lens Sigma 18-50 1:3.5-5.6.

I love photographing portraits, macros and wildlife (birds) in particular and I am currently doing a Beginners Course for Photographers.

I am about to purchase my first Pentax lens and would like to know what you think of my choices.

The first is the Pentax DA 35mm F2.8 Macro. I have read your reviews and I am quite excited about this lens. I am hoping it will meet my needs in particular for macros?

The second Pentax Lens is the Pentax 55-300mm f/4-5.8 DA ED. I would like to go up one more but I am concerned about weight. The Kit Sigma 55-200 doesn't zoom in enough for me.

What filters should I get with these lens?

I have just added a few photos to my first album if you would like to have a look.

I look forward to your advice
Thanks
Col


Last edited by PhotoSmart; 03-21-2010 at 01:17 PM.
03-21-2010, 04:40 PM   #2
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Hey Col,

I don't think you could go wrong with the DA 35/2.8. Although at this focal length you will have to get in quite close for your macro work.

Welcome in.
03-21-2010, 05:10 PM   #3
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Thank you Carl. In order not to have to get so close to the little bugs (!), what lens would be better do you think?

Do you buy your equipment online in Australia and any recommendations?
Thanks
Col
03-22-2010, 03:34 AM   #4
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Sorry, i'm not very familiar with macro lenses. You could always put up a thread in the lens discussion forum asking what would be a good macro lens or alternatively have a look at our extensive lens review section.

A lot of Aussie folk obtain their equipment from the States where it is slightly cheaper.

03-22-2010, 03:48 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum, glad to have you join us. For macro I use a Sigma 105mm F 2.8 DG Macro because it is a sharp lens and gives great pictures. Worth having a look at. Tried to upload a sample taken with Macro but no luck doing it.
03-22-2010, 07:46 AM   #6
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Welcome!

It's incredible how many Aussies are here--considering both the population AND considering Pentax!
04-12-2010, 03:32 AM   #7
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I worked out how to add a sample photo of my macro using the Sigma 105mm Macro lens.

04-12-2010, 04:52 AM   #8
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G'day Col.
Great to see Aussies steadily streaming into the forum.
Welcome and enjoy your time with us.

As for advice on a macro, the DA 35 is excellent. If you need some distance between your lens and the subject though, a 70mm or 105mm macro (as Sigma offer) or 100mm macro as Pentax offers would suit you well. These are not cheap particularly if you intend to buy locally, but are indispensible for flora, fauna and small life photography.

04-12-2010, 05:00 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
G'day Col.

As for advice on a macro, the DA 35 is excellent. If you need some distance between your lens and the subject though, a 70mm or 105mm macro (as Sigma offer) or 100mm macro as Pentax offers would suit you well. These are not cheap particularly if you intend to buy locally, but are indispensible for flora, fauna and small life photography.

Another point with the Sigma 105mm Macro is that it also makes a great Portrait lens as well so you double your uses of it.
04-12-2010, 06:00 AM   #10
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Welcome to the forum, you definitely can't go wrong with the 35mm. It is a stellar lens that will just blow you away everytime.
04-12-2010, 01:08 PM   #11
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G"day and a warm welcome from one Aussie to another. Great to have you on board.
Your choice of the DA 35mm is a great choice. It is a very good Macro lens.
Keep a watch on lens prices in US/Canada in comparison to ours. We are being ripped off.
And remember, you puchase overseas and no Customs Duty up to value of Aus$1000.
I have purchased most of my gear overseas at a fraction of the cost in Aus. Shame on our country.
04-12-2010, 01:33 PM   #12
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Fantastic Photo! Love it! Well just before Easter we went to Brisbane and I now have the Pentax 18-250 which I quite like as it gives such a good range. The Pentax 35mm arrived last Friday so I haven't had a real chance to play with it yet. Yes I would be interested in the Pentax 100m Macro or similar Sigma Lens. Any ideas of cost? Roughly? I tend to want to buy true Pentax Lens but do you think there is a big difference between Pentax/Sigma?

We looked at the huge 500m lens while in Brisbane! But they are far too heavy and bulky and I don't think I would get the use out of it. Yes did buy a Tripod and a Monopod.

I was interested to learn that many of you buy overseas rather from Aus. Is warranty an issue?

Thanks again for all your assistance, I look forward to more advice.
Col
04-12-2010, 03:07 PM   #13
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Welcome to PF! From your initial post it sounds like if the 50-200mm lens doesn't zoom in enough for you, the 55-300mm lens is really the lens you should be looking at buying first to replace your kit lens.

I have really enjoyed the Pentax DA 55-300mm lens since I bought it. I posted a comparison of this lens against the DA 50-200, F 70-210, A 70-210, and Vivitar Series 1 70-210 here :

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/96435-my-biggest-lens-buying-addiction-score-date.html



I don't have any experience with the 35mm macro, although I do have a Pentax-K 35mm prime (non-macro). It is a nice FOV on a DSLR (comparable to a 50mm on a full frame) but your kit lens does cover that range. If you are really serious about getting into macro photography then it might be something to seriously consider, however, in my experience, I like to have more distance between my lens and the subject for macro photography so I prefer a lens closer to 100mm. My best macro shots have come from a Vivitar Series 1 105mm lens - see examples here:
Vivitar 105mm f/2.5 Series 1 Macro Lens Sample Photos and Specifications I have also gotten great results with using a Vivitar Macro Focusing 2x teleconverter with a Pentax-M 50mm 1.4 lens (which makes it a 100mm 2.8).

Macro (close-up) filters or extension tubes would be a good cheap way to see if that type of photography was really something you wanted to get into without spending a lot of money on a macro lens.

Good luck with your decision! The 55-300mm lens is a tough one to beat for a long telephoto lens (especially for the money). If you are on a budget the DA-L 55-300mm lens can be picked up cheap in the marketplace as people are selling them from their K-x kits. The only differences are the mount is plastic instead of metal and the DA has quick-shift focusing and a lens hood.

I would use a polarizer filter or neutral density filter with the 55-300mm lens for shooting water or other reflective surfaces but most of the time, I use it with no filter at all.
04-18-2010, 05:36 PM   #14
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Welcome to PentaxForums! Whether your interest is dSLR & lenses, film photograph or digital, medium (6 x 7, 645, and 645D) format, subminiature (110), or collecting vintage bodies & glass (Spoties, Taks etc) or a combination of the above, you are at the right place. I'm looking forward to seeing some images. There is a strong Australian following here at PF and seems to be growing daily!
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