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08-27-2010, 08:20 PM   #1
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Whats a good upgrade lens for k-x?

i have kit lens 18-55mm. want to upgrade toa longer lens.
Whats a good lens under 200 bucks that gives me a good range? so i dont have to keep carrying the kit lens i have?

08-27-2010, 08:43 PM   #2
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A new autofocus zoom lens?

Maybe the Pentax 50-200 or Tamron 70-300.

If you go used and/or manual focus, there will likely be more options.

If you want a superzoom 18-250 or similar to replace the kit lens s well as add extra reach, you will need to just about double your budget.
08-27-2010, 08:57 PM   #3

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I don't think you'll find a lens in that price range that will span all the focal lengths you want. Since the 18-55mm is a very good lens, you could add either the 50-200mm Pentax or 70-300mm Tamron and stay within your budget. I have the 50-200mm, but both lenses have advantages and disadvantages, so you should choose what will give you the features most important to you.

08-27-2010, 09:39 PM   #4
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I bought a KX w/ kit lenses and I found that the kit lenses kinda suck. I bought a Tamron 17-50 that I really like. Also bought a Pentax 50mm 1.4 thats really good. Bought a Pentax 12-24 thats awsome and a Pentax 50-300 that I am pleased with. Good lenses arnt cheap though and you wont find a decent lens for 200 bucks.

08-27-2010, 10:55 PM   #5
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It's pointless to argue the merits of the 18-55 kit lens; some people who know how to use it, make their living with it. I can't speak about the 50-200 or 55-300 because I haven't used them. Most everyone who'll bother to answer here will likely trot out their favorite glass. My AF favorites? The FA50/1.4 is a fine lens that costs ~US$360. A good replacement for 2-lens kits is the DA18-250 or its Tamron fraternal twin, but such ain't cheap neither. An affordable FA100-300 gives you reach but leaves a 55-100 gap in coverage. Life isn't fair.

A good way to stay on budget is to go manual. My A-type Tamron 60-300 cost all of US$13. I see A70-200's and A50/2's going unsold for under US$20 on the bay; 50/1.7's cost a bit more. If you're serious about photography, remember than AF zooms make easy shots but manual primes teach you to see. Get some fast-ist glass: a 35/2, a 58/2, an 85/2, a 135/2.8. But don't throw away the 18-55, it's just too useful.
08-27-2010, 11:17 PM   #6
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Tamron 18-200:

the image quality will be pretty lame, but it will be longer and you wont have to change lenses

There's nothing under 200 bucks that will fulfill your needs, heck there's only a small handful of lenses that are under 200 dollars period

but that tamron is pretty close at $230 and seems to be what you're looking for
08-28-2010, 12:07 AM   #7
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I would say spring $40 to $60 or whatever for an A 50mm/2 or an A 50mm/1.7.

I have an older DS, but it is with that same 18-55mm lens. It is a good lens, useful and efficient. It is not brilliant. But I would never get rid of it, like RioRico said. A month or two back I rooted out some old 70s/80s vintage primes I had and wow, what a difference. I am kicking myself for wasting several years using the kit lens and 80-320 FA zoom! I got very frustrated of always having only "average" photos when I knew I should be getting better results. There may be some zooms that can equal the optical quality of those old M, K, and A lenses, but I can't afford them. Get a 28 or 35mm if you want something with less magnification than the 50mm, but I find the 50mm units very workable as a "standard" lens even on digital. And they are cheap and plentiful. There is a lot to be said for cheap and plentiful. If only you could get _____ cheaply and plentifully! (insert whatever you would like in the blank. Maybe we should have a fill-in-the-blank contest!)

If you want "reach," I'd say keep using the kit, and get a 135mm fixed length. I have seen some stunning deals on these if not Pentax brand - there are many decent though not brilliant third part 135mm fixed lengths ("primes") going back decades. I had an M 135/3.5 back in the 80s and it was a very useful lens (I don't know what happened to it!). Keep in mind that is more like 200mm when on digital if you still think in film magnification like I do. My little "go" pack is a modest fanny pack with a 50mm, the kit, a 135mm and flash. By far the 50mm is the 85% of the time lens now. I am installing a split/matte old-school focus ring next month. I am going to grind my own from a vintage ME of mine that died a noble death. You can buy an inexpensive one from China via Ebay for $20 to $30 and it will make your manual-focus life easier. I'm just going to grind down my own to both a) save $30, and b) salvage some part of that old ME; it will be very satisfying to have some late '70s vintage parts now "improving" my DSLR. I saw how to do it from some excellent posts by forum members here - which is one of many reasons I paid to be a "supporter."

But by far the biggest leap for me was taking off the kit and sticking on the A 50/2. Wow what a jump in image quality and my personal satisfaction. Keep in mind if your Kx is like the DS, there are a few tweaks to using it off the "A" setting. I also agree with RioRico's point and if I could afford an FA 50/1.4, that would be my everyday lens. Maybe in a few years. I am thinking I will pick up an A 50/1.4 when I find a good deal. I have not used an FA 50/1.4 but boy would I like too!

Last edited by Oro; 08-28-2010 at 12:15 AM.
08-28-2010, 10:05 AM   #8
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You can buy a longer lens that replaces the 18-55, or you can buy a better lens - take your pick. You won't find both in the same lens. And you'd probably need to stretch your budget a bit to get either. I'd think about the older Sigma 18-200 if I wanted to sacrifice quality to get more length, but personally, I'd spend that $200 on the DA50-200 and keep the 18-55.

Either way, this is about lenses, not cameras, so it's not appropriate for the DSLR forum. I'm moving it to the Beginner's forum, though, because this is an *extremely* common topic among beginners that has been discussed dozens of times before. You might want to read some of the many existing threads on the topic to get ideas as to your options.
08-28-2010, 10:41 AM   #9
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Despite what others may say, I contend that you CAN get a decent lens for under $200. The DA 50-200mm is available for $100-120 used quite often. There was a lot of praise for this lens and its great value and image quality especially before the 55-300mm came out. The lens is still as good today as it ever was.

If you can carry your kit lens and this lens then you have a very versitile kit for cheap. 200mm is a pretty good reach. The lens is also barely larger than the kit lens when retracted, so it is easy to stash.

If you aren't sure exactly what you need except for more reach then this is the easiest way to go and find out.

If you need a ONE lens solution its going to cost a bit more for a super range zoom.
08-28-2010, 08:23 PM   #10
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im really looking for reach. the 18-55 is not that good of a reach. i find myself always wanting to zoom in more.
08-28-2010, 08:29 PM   #11
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I grab a DA 50-200 then, having the zoomed in perspective and being forced to fill the frame instead of getting it all in with the kit lens is fun, I've been using it exclusively lately and I've taken much better shots as I've had to learn how to shoot differently simply by using a different lens
08-28-2010, 09:42 PM   #12
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Sometimes you can pick up the quantaray 70-300mm 1:2 macro for under $100. Its the same a rebadged tamron. In fact in the EXIF it will say Tamron not Quantaray. The Tamron can be had for ~$150 sometimes a little more but usually less.

Here is a video review of it

If you are willing to step up to a high quality REPLACEMENT for the 18-55 look for the tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 or the Pentax 16-50mm f/2.8. The tamron is cheaper but the Pentax is quieter and has weathersealing if you ever step up to a weather sealed body. They are more than your budget though.

When it comes to Lenses you get what you pay for.
08-29-2010, 04:06 AM   #13
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I just bought the Sigma 18-200 superzoom (the older one that Marc mentioned, not the newer one with OS) for my K-x from B&H for $249 with free shipping. It certainly has it's limitations but for me it's a good walk-around lens. I know that's a little more than you wanted to spend, but I think it's a good value for the money if you decide to go that route.
08-29-2010, 04:38 AM   #14
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I second the 18-200 Sigma, mine is quite sharp but it is hard to obtain shallow dept of field and forget low light photography. I use it as an all around lens,mainly outdoors and it serves that purpose well. My other sigma, the 28-70 constant f2.8 is great indoors, however is a bit on the bulky and heavy side. I payed $275 for the 28-70. Some people use it as an all around lens. Quality wise is very close to the Tamron 28-75.
08-29-2010, 08:49 AM   #15
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whats your experience with the sharpness of that lens? 70-300mm.

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