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07-05-2011, 10:35 AM   #1
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Newbie with K-x - good inexpensive AF zoom lense

Hi all, I'm a newbie and just started playing with my K-x (it's awesome btw). The boss (my wife) has given me permission to purchase a zoom lens to use on our cruise in November. So I am looking for a good new or used inexpensive AF zoom lens. I'd like to keep the cost down below $150 (preferably under $100), which will mean PROBABLY I'll go the used market.

Any suggestions? I don't know a whole lot about this except what I read here on the forum and other places.

07-05-2011, 11:17 AM   #2
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What range of zoom are you looking for? Do you have the kit 18-55?
07-05-2011, 11:21 AM   #3
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Maybe look into the 50-200mm f4-5.6. It came with my kit when I bought the k-x. It's a decent performer that should be quite cheap new.
07-05-2011, 11:22 AM   #4
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For long reach it'll be hard to beat the Pentax DA-L 55-300mm kit lens. They usually run in the <$200 range in excellent to mint condition. As mentioned above, what range are you looking for?

07-05-2011, 11:41 AM   #5
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Look into the F series zooms. The 70-210 is common and available for less than $150, the Takumar (non-SMC) for less than $100. The 35-135 is uncommon but is a sleeper. If you want something longer the FA J 75-300 & FA 80-320 can be found for $120-160.

For non-Pentax lenses the Tamron 28-200 can be found for less than $100 but avoid the Sigma 28-200.
07-05-2011, 11:41 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by K57XR Quote
For long reach it'll be hard to beat the Pentax DA-L 55-300mm kit lens. They usually run in the <$200 range in excellent to mint condition. As mentioned above, what range are you looking for?
x2 with a cheapo aftermarket hood as these don't come with one.....great cheap glass though!!
07-05-2011, 11:54 AM   #7
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I'm not sure what I'm looking for. 50-200? something like that?

I'm a real beginner with DSLR, so a lot of this is new to me. I've learned a lot so far on here. My last experience with digital photography has been with Fuji megazoom P&S cameras. I like the idea of zooming in close. I'd like to buy something that is simple to use until I really learn how to use the camera.
07-05-2011, 12:00 PM   #8
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As others said, the 55-300 gives you a hell long range along with good IQ for the price.

Alternatively, I have a F80-200 that can be found in the $50-80 range and gives amazing quality for it's price.

07-05-2011, 12:15 PM   #9
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I should mention that this will be for general use. I'm not looking to shoot anything specific, but just to play around with and get different shots and be able to zoom in on stuff worth zooming in on
07-05-2011, 12:21 PM   #10
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Try looking for an F 70-210, great lens for the money. I got mine together with an SF1N film camera and a F 35-70 for $75 off of my local Craigslist.
07-05-2011, 12:50 PM   #11
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Tamron/Promaster 28-105 (I believe the same as the Pentax F) is a sleeper of a lens and has a pretty useful range. F35-70 is a great little zoom as well.

You can usually get either one of these for under 50 bucks. Get one of these and the 50-200 for a nice basic kit.
07-05-2011, 01:36 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by VaughnA Quote
F35-70 is a great little zoom as well. You can usually get either one of these for under 50 bucks. Get one of these and the 50-200 for a nice basic kit.
I would suggest tracking down a F35-135 instead. It's not really wide enough to be an all-purpose walking around lens but combined with the 18-55 it's good enough for basic shooting. Its "macro" feature is more useful than the 35-70's as well.

Some F35-135 samples

Last edited by boriscleto; 07-05-2011 at 04:04 PM.
07-05-2011, 03:38 PM   #13
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If you have the 18-55 then I'd recommend buying a DA L 55-300 plus an after market hood for it on eBay.
07-05-2011, 04:00 PM   #14
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For around and under $150, I would suggest the Pentax DA 50-200mm.
It is easily found and can be bought cheap nowadays since most opt for the DA or DAL 55-300mm.
The DAL 55-300m is a good lens with good reach but it would set you back nearly $200. It might go below $200 but it would be more in the ballpark of $175-$195.
The DA 50-200mm is a DA and not a DA L which means, it has a metal mount, lens hood and clutch focus. Much better than the DA L 55-300mm.
If you need something on the 300mm range, then you can go as mentioned above by a previous post for the Pentax FA J 75-300mm or the Pentax FA 80-320mm.
For Sigma and Tamron, there is the 70-300mm which is round about the $120-$150 mark.
07-06-2011, 07:11 AM   #15
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You should be aware that your existing lens *is* a zoom lens. Any lens that isn't just a single focal length is a zoom. So 18-55 is a zoom. Meaning, you can already zoom in on things - just not as far as you would apparently like. So you want a lens with a larger maximum focal length, hence the suggestion for lenses that end at 200 or 300. But note, they only *start* at 50 or 55, meaning they basically start where your current lens leaves off. So in case this wasn't clear, that means switching lenses - the zooms mentioned thus far would be useless most of the time when you *don't* want to be zoomed in that far. There are such things as lenses that go 18-200 or more - generally called superzooms. Browse or search around the forums and you'll find plenty of mentions of specific models, discussions of the trafeoffs, and reviews in the Lenses section of the site.
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