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09-01-2011, 07:54 AM   #1
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K100D - Lenses

Hi All,

New to the forums. A few years back I picked up the K100D and the standard lens that came with the body. I've wanted to pick up some additional lenses but have no clue the direction to go. i have an 11 month old son who is definitely the focus of the majority of my photography interests...wildlife & nature would make up the balance. Yesterday I went to the Rocky Mountain National Park and realized quickly that this one lens wouldn't cut it if I wanted some good shots.

Obviously the budget is the biggest factor for which lenses to purchase so I don't mind buying used. I'd like to get a good "zoom" lens and a good low light lens.

Max I'd be able to spend right now is probably $200/lens.

Any suggestions or advice as to what I should look at?

Thanks much,

George

09-01-2011, 09:38 AM   #2
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By zoom lens, I think you mean telephoto zoom. The lens you have now is actually a zoom lens too, it just zooms between 18 and 55. If you want more magnification you want a telephoto lens. I'd recommend the DA 50-200, it is like the brother to the lens you have now, and offers the ability to get in close to subjects that would otherwise be out of reach. This lens goes used for around $100 here in the marketplace, give or take. New it is still under $200.

As far as a low light, affordable lens goes, I would get the DA 35 f/2.4 lens. This could produce a nice blurry background behind your son when taking portraits of him, and it focuses very fast. Very useful lens at a standard focal length, I'm very happy with mine. You can get these new for under $200 as well.

Lastly, there are many old lenses for sale in the market place that will work better in low light, but they are manual focus, and it will be hard to capture the little one once he gets a bit quicker. In my opinion, I'd stick with the autofocus lenses above.
09-01-2011, 09:44 AM   #3
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AWESOME!!! Thanks for the advice. Am I correct that most (if not all) the Pentax lenses fit the K100D?

I will look at the marketplace.

Thanks again - George
09-01-2011, 09:49 AM   #4
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Yes, all old k-mount pentax lenses will fit the K100D. There are old(er) m42 mounts (mostly takumars), they require an adapter then they will fit.

Caveat: Beware the Ricoh pin. Some old third party lenses made to fit pentax k mount had what's now called the Ricoh pin. They mount fine on the older manual film pentax bodies, but now that pin just happens to be in the AF screwdrive indent by coincidence. It can cause the lens to get stuck on the body. Mostly, you don't have to worry about that, just keep an eye out for it. No pentax branded lens will have these pins though, no matter how old.

09-01-2011, 09:55 AM   #5
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Hi gmoney -
Yes, all Pentax K-mount lenses will fit and work on your K100D (except SDM lenses, unless you have the K100D Super). I agree with Firefly's suggestions - and taking it one step further - the 55-300 is a highly regarded lens as well. You might find one in the ~$200 range and it offers a bit more reach than the 50-200. Manual glass is a fun & economical way to get quality low-light shots. For example, the M50/1.7 can be had for about $50 and is an amazing lens. For your purposes, however, the AF DA35/2.4 is a great choice - I hope to add one to my arsenal soon. Good luck!
09-01-2011, 10:01 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulh Quote
Yes, all Pentax K-mount lenses will fit and work on your K100D (except SDM lenses, unless you have the K100D Super)
Good call on the SDM Paul!
09-01-2011, 10:31 AM   #7
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how is the tamron 70mm-300mm?

I've seen it new online for $175.

Or is it better to stick with pentax lenses?
09-01-2011, 10:59 AM   #8
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gmoney,

I don't have experience with the Tameron 70mm-300mm, but I have used my Tameron 18-200mm for Pentax. It's a bit more expensive new than what you are looking for ($300), but I sold my kit lens when I got it and couldn't be happier. I think it takes slightly nicer pictures at the 18-55 mm range than my kit lens did. It's nice to use as an all-purpose/travel lens since it offers so much versatility in a single package.

Of course you can get some money back by selling your kit lens if you go that route.

09-01-2011, 11:18 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by gmoney0725 Quote
how is the tamron 70mm-300mm?

I've seen it new online for $175.

Or is it better to stick with pentax lenses?
I have the Promaster version (rebadged Tamron with another name...). It's a good lens for the price, but the image quality isn't quite as good as the Pentax 50-200 or 55-300, I'd say. On the other hand, it still sees a LOT of time on my K100D! Here's a sample shot from a recent walk about town: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/roxndox-albums-gig-harbor-town-pics-picture28349.jpg

It's a decent lens, not top of the line by any means but good enough for many things...

Jim
09-01-2011, 11:38 AM   #10
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Thanks for the info - perhaps I'll stick to the Pentax lenses. Hopefully it won't take too long to track a few down.
09-01-2011, 03:08 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by gmoney0725 Quote
Thanks for the info - perhaps I'll stick to the Pentax lenses. Hopefully it won't take too long to track a few down.
The Pentax name is by no means a guarantee of quality. My 55-300DA (bought new) was a clunker, clearly underperforming my 50-200 and 100-300F (yes, the dreaded 4.5-5.6 version.) You have to test any lens you get, and make sure you can return it without hassles if it's not what you want. That applies to other brands also, of course.

I would suggest sticking to lenses that function fully automatically on your camera, but others feel differently. At least beware of what's involved if you go with something like a screw mount or M lens.

Remember you need to allocate money for a "clone" hood if purchasing the DAL version of the 55-300 Pentax (the DA version comes with the hood included.)

Paul
09-01-2011, 04:57 PM   #12
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If you need autofocus (AF), the DA18-250 or its Tamron twin is the most flexible all-in-one option IMHO. These are out of production but widely available used. My basic minimal travel kit contains the Tamron 10-24 for tight spaces and the DA18-250 for everywhere else. And the FA50/1.4 for low light and/or fast movement.

If you are comfortable with manual focus (MF), zillions of fine used lenses are available, cheap, from long zooms to superb primes (fixed focal length). But I prefer AF zooms for dynamic situations, and MF primes for concentrating on images. Feel free to ask about these. Good luck!
09-01-2011, 06:09 PM   #13
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you guys are all so helpful. I appreciate all the insight/advice. I guess worst case scenario if I buy a lens I don't like, I can always sell it.

Thanks again
09-02-2011, 07:55 AM   #14
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I just gave my brother an inexpensive Sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 for his *ist DL, and he was very excited. But here's why 300mm can be on the edge of too far for general handheld use. The lenses you can afford open to f5.6 or f5.8. You want a shutter speed of something like1/250, depending on your handholding ability and faith in SR. At ISO 100, those values translate to EV 13. Exposure values are explained here:

Exposure value - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

That means you need fairly bright conditions to use the lens at base ISO. With a K100D you're at ISO 200, and with SR and handholding ability, EV 10 is possible. If you want to use f8 for more depth of field and better optical performance, it probably means ISO 400. It's not impossible in daylight, but it's close to the limits. You probably don't have enough flexibility to use a lens like this indoors (at 300mm).
09-02-2011, 11:13 AM   #15
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My last post was a little off-topic so I'll add some <$200 lens recommendations arranged by focal length. Prime lenses only, because I like them better.

Zenitar-K 16mm f2.8 - This is a fisheye lens made in Russia. It's not an all-around lens perfect for everything. There are probably as many reasons to get one as reasons not too. But it is fun, very wide-angle, and low-light capable. Look at the fisheye lens club for many examples, and the lens forum for lots of threads on using it. Exchange rates make it a little expensive now and buying from Russia is not always smooth. I think the current price is around $190 new.

Sigma Super-Wide II 24mm f2.8 - A good older prime that's still wide-angle on a DSLR. There are three or four versions of it, and prices depend on the versions. The oldest version is a manual focus, manual aperture, and doesn't have the "II" in its name. The "II" indicates versions with manual focus but a KA mount, allowing the camera to control the aperture. The AF version is maybe over the $200 price limit. It's sharp from wide open, but it doesn't handle flare as well as a Pentax lens. Maybe $60-100 for the manual focus versions. Another 24mm lens is the Kiron 24mm f2.0. It's more expensive because it's very fast. The KA version is rare and even more costly.

DA-L 35mm f2.4 - I think this is a clear winner at 35mm. Some older lenses are cheaper but not very good. There's a faster version that's about twice the price and discontinued, and a Limited macro lens that's even more. It comes close to being a "normal" field of view. An alternative might be the Pentax-F 28mm f2.8, maybe over the price limit but a slightly wider lens.

Pentax-F 50mm f1.7 - This is a very good optical formula, has AF and isn't too expensive. This was a "normal" lens for film. I think it works as a portrait lens for digital. Some people don't use 50mm, some use it all the time. Speed is cheap at this focal length.

Three Pentax-M lenses: The M28/2.8, the M50/1.7, and the M135/3.5 are each around $45-65. If you're careful, you can get an M200/4 too and still stay under $200. The M series have limitations that make them a little harder to use, but optically, you get a lot for your money.

A macro lens: New ones are out of the budget but you can get something used for that. RioRico has an article on doing macro for very little money. If you want to spend the whole $200, I like a Tamron 90mm f2.5 Adaptall-2 lens, model 52B or 52BB, with a PK/A adapter. Somewhere in between, a Pentax 100mm f4 macro lens. Many threads discuss these and other macro lenses.
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