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04-16-2011, 06:21 AM   #1
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Help picking a lens

I am sure there is a thread somewhere dealing with this, but I have been looking for some time now and can't find it, so here we go....

I have a newish k-x which I love and it came with the 18-55 kit lens, which is fine. I then added the 55-300 kit lens which I also love.

However, there is no overlap with these two and shootiong my granddaughters indoors yesterday I found I needed something between the two - say 40-120 or thereabouts.

The lens reviews show the SMC Pentax-F 35-135 which looks ideal but an initial search suggests that it may be difficult to source (in the U.K.)

There is also the SMC Pentax-A 35-105mm F3.5 but again that looks difficult to source (and isn't the A series an old one? Will the autofocus etc work?).

I wouldn't know where to start with non-pentax lenses so I am a bit lost. I don't need any better quality than I have with my existing two lenses, and I don't have huge sums of money to spend.

So any suggestions, either which lens, or where to find one of the two mentioned, would be very gratefully received.

Thanks

04-16-2011, 06:50 AM   #2
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First of all, with "A" lenses, there is no AF.

Only "F", "FA", "DA", "DAL" are AF lenses.

The two lenses are quite good, but as i told you before, only the "F" one will have AF.


Then, the best is to tell us how much money you are ready to spend, because when i say something like "I don't have huge sums of money to spend.", i mean like 100$; if my father say something like this, it means 300$. So i guess you get it, how much ? 100$ ? 200$ ? 300$ ?
04-16-2011, 07:16 AM   #3
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I use a Tamron 28-75 f2.8 as my workhorse, i used it in a paid event, and it sits most of the time in my camera...it's definitely a step up from the kit lens, it's fast and the focal range it covers is very usefull..
I would look for a used copy and test it to make sure you ain't got serious front or back focusing problems.
It's got a good price new though, and you get the warranty and the option to send back lenses until you get a problem free copy (it may be out of your price range..but for a fast, constant aperture lens it's got a great price tag).
You can also look into the different 18-135mm-like options..but I can't recomend them, i'm not fond of them and the ones i've tried didn't convince me...too many compromises, besides i like constant apertures.
Sigma has a number of those and some have positive reviews on the lens database you should check them out.

BUT unless you want an improvement from the two lenses you got, i would advise you to stick with them (they are capable lenses) and maybe get a prime...a 40 mm, 30ish or 70 ish and try the diference it carries. It's dificult to get a lens with better IQ that some of the primes out there for the same price (some are prety cheap and well regarded like the DA 35 f2.4).
You got a good range of Focal lenghts covered with lenses that satisfy you, i would not buy another lens overlapping that range unless it's a big improvement and/or a different shooting style.
04-16-2011, 07:17 AM   #4
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Some people like the 17-70mm because it can zoom in a bit further than the kit lens. There are probably some cheaper alternatives, but not so much if you want auto-focus.

04-16-2011, 08:33 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies.

As I said, I am very happy with the quality of the two lenses I have, and will certainly stick with them, but I could use something beteween the two in terms of focal length. Somthing like a 35-135 would be ideal.

In terms of price, I think that is what I am trying to find out but I would guess that up to about $200 (US) would be OK.

Someone suggested Sigma and I have just found this lens on eBay. It looks like what I am looking for. Does anyone have any comments?
04-16-2011, 08:49 AM   #6
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If you finally buy it be sure to remove the ricoh pin (there are tons of threads about how to do it..it's an easy process so...).
Not sure about the quality of the lens...looks like an old push and pull zoom..you might get disapointed with it's IQ, and it's manual focus.
I would save the money for a later, better, probably much more expensive lens. You usualy get for what you pay for...and if you decide to go with a manual lens i would go for one that has a good Rep...Check out the vivitar and the adaptall club threads...there are some fine zooms there that you might find at a reasonable price.
04-16-2011, 08:50 AM   #7
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Tamron and Pentax sold a 28-105mm lens. The one I have is auto focus, and is really quite good for the small amount of money it sells for. Seems like it would fill the gap you speak of. Save even more, look for a Promaster 28-105mm, same as the Tamron, just rebranded. The lens you linked to is not auto focus. Did you want a manual lens?
04-16-2011, 08:59 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Farmer_Terry Quote
Thanks for the replies.

As I said, I am very happy with the quality of the two lenses I have, and will certainly stick with them, but I could use something beteween the two in terms of focal length. Somthing like a 35-135 would be ideal.

In terms of price, I think that is what I am trying to find out but I would guess that up to about $200 (US) would be OK.

Someone suggested Sigma and I have just found this lens on eBay. It looks like what I am looking for. Does anyone have any comments?
Just look out with the lense for the rear contact pins. This Ricoh P lense has an extra pin that can lock up the lense to the camera body. There are threads about this on this forum. Once you remove the extra pin from the lense, it should work fine on your Pentax.

04-16-2011, 08:35 PM   #9
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I have tried a few lenses in that range. I wanted something that I could use for family shots with a hotshoe flash, long enough so I didn't have to get in anyone's face. (The internal flash probably isn't powerful enough and may be blocked by these lenses.) My comments:

SMC Pentax-F 35-135mm f3.5-4.5: Not a bad choice if you can find it. It isn't that great at the long end, and can't focus that close except at 135mm, where it has a close-focus setting. It supplies the focal length to SR, a nice addition. Flash power will run out at the long end, even with an AF540 FGZ. I sold it last year for $50, so if you can find one it shouldn't be costly.

Vivitar Series 1 28-105mm f2.8-3.8: It's a manual-focus zoom with the A position on the aperture ring. The colors with this lens have a yellow tint compared to Pentax. It's adjustable in RAW but maybe a problem in JPG. And you'll have to manually enter the focal length for SR. I liked the range better and it's a nice-handling lens. I think I also sold this for $50.

SMC Pentax-A 28-135mm f4 - This lens is really big (77mm filter) and heavy. It does deliver good quality and a workout. I think it's too big to use. If you were in the US, I'd sell you mine.

SMC Pentax-FA 28-105mm f4-5.6 Power Zoom - the heaviest of the Pentax 28-105s. People argue about IQ but this lens is good enough for me so it's not worth looking at other versions. I kept this one, because it has AF, the right range and works well with flash. The power zoom switch tends to fall off, which looks bad but doesn't affect anything, So it's a chance to get a bargain.

There are a few other Pentax lenses to look for which should cover the focal range well enough, such as the other 28-105 versions and the SMC Pentax-F 35-105mm f4-5.6. (The SMC Pentax-A 35-105mm f3.5 is a very nice lens, different and better than that.)
04-17-2011, 04:27 AM   #10
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Thanks Just1MoreDave for the summary. I am learning a lot here.

I have spent the morning searching online and I must confess, the more I find out the more I get confused. I have found these 3 on ebay, all 3 should be autofocus with my k-x if I have got it right:-

PENTAX AF PKFA IF 28-105mm 4-5.6 Does the PKFA mean that it is an FA lens with a PK mount? If so it looks like one of
Just1MoreDave's "other" lenses and might be a good buy at that price.

PENTAX AF Tamron Aspherical XR (IF) 28-200mm 3.8-5.6
This looks like the lens reviewed here and if so it looks like a good lens, but doesn't it look a bit pricey?

Sigma 28-105mm f/2.8-4.0 Aspherical lens FIT PENTAX DG I have read a couple of reviews of this lens and the conclusion seems to be "soft when wide open, but a good buy at this sort of price".

Does anyone have anything they could add to any of this to help a poor growing-more-confused-by-the-minute newbie.

04-17-2011, 05:03 AM   #11
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also consider the Sigma 18-125 DC HSM.

Just got that lens replacing my kit lens.
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