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02-22-2012, 05:55 PM   #1
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Do I need a zoom lens?

Hello everyone,

I purchased a Pentax K-5 w/18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL WR last fall. Approximately 2 months later, a Rokinon 35mm F/1.4 AS UMC, and last week a Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM. I have been thinking about replacing the kit lens after my 1st outing with it but found some good deals on these prime lenses and jumped on them. I have also rented a Pentax SMC-DA 14mm f/2.8 ED [IF] and Pentax SMC DA* 200mm f/2.8 ED [IF] SDM. I liked the 14mm lens but not enough to drop 600+ on a new one. The 200mm was amazing! But sadly out of my budget.

This May, my wife and I will be going to Iceland for vacation.I know that I 'need' to take a wide angle lens for landscapes but am leaning towards renting the 14mm again. I am choosing to go with the Sigma as my prime for the AF. My question is should I bother getting a zoom lens? Or should I save up for the 200mm?

I'm not an expert by any means and appreciate any and all suggestions.


Link to photos taken by Rokinon 35mm F/1.4 AS UMC

Last edited by wasure; 02-22-2012 at 06:32 PM. Reason: Added hyperlink to gallery
02-22-2012, 06:01 PM   #2
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I like zooms for vacations. I feel that I may miss shots because I do not really know what to expect as my vacation destination is generally somewhere I have never been to. I also like to minimize lens changes in order to be able to enjoy new things without having to be fiddling with lenses.
02-22-2012, 06:30 PM   #3
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Thanks Gary.

I have been eye-balling the Pentax SMC-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8; what are you currently using?
02-22-2012, 06:43 PM   #4
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I have the DA* 50-135 and it is a great lens. Unless you are doing a lot of low light shots, its probably more than you will need to travel with. It is big and quite heavy.

Last year I traveled to Ireland and bought a Sigma 18-250 which gives you a lot of flexibility. While not even close to the sharpness of a prime, it does cover just about every need you should have (less indoor or night time) without having to change you lens constantly. There is also a Pentax DA 18-250 that is no longer made but sometimes shows up on the marketplace.

Have a great time.


02-22-2012, 06:55 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by wasure Quote
I have been eye-balling the Pentax SMC-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8
I think that most of us have eyeballed this lens at some point... I reckon if you can afford it you'll love it (those that have it rave about it)
02-22-2012, 07:03 PM   #6
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I always recommend the 12-24 for vacations. It is a handy focal length around town, and landscapes.
02-22-2012, 07:13 PM   #7
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Just curious, what do you not like about the kit lens? Not enough reach? Not fast enough?
02-22-2012, 07:35 PM   #8
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Thanks gentlemen.

The 50-135 f/2.8 is appealing for low light conditions (cali92rs I think this is why I was turned off by the kit 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6) but after looking at the 12-24 per SpecialK's suggestion I think I've decided on it, cancelling my need to rent the 14mm.

Thanks a again for your help, now to find a seller that has it in stock and for a reasonable price!

Last edited by wasure; 02-22-2012 at 10:39 PM.
02-22-2012, 07:37 PM   #9
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If you like 14mm, you might want to check out the Sigma 10-20mm zoom. I have the older 10-20mm f/4. I like it and it sells used for around $400 or less. More versatility than a fixed FL lens. The Pentax 12-24mm is highly rated, but more money.
02-22-2012, 07:40 PM   #10
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At present I have something like 45 lenses, this includes M42 primes from 16mm to 200mm, Kmount primes from 8mm to 400 mm, k mount zooms from 70mm to 500 mm and AF zooms from 10mm through 200 mm plus a couple of AF teleconverts to take me out to 400mm with AF zooms.

I have every focal length coved in 3 lens systems, so you might think I have gone overboard but, I use my AF zooms on vacations because they are most efficient, in TCs of taking shots and framing whe I am not on my schedule. I use primes whe I am on no ones schedule except my own
02-27-2012, 07:48 AM   #11
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As gp states, look into the Sigma 10-20. The new version is an f3.5, only a half stop dimmer than an f2.8, so it is pretty wide. I have done a lot of research on this lens and as soon as some money comes in that I am expecting it will be a purchase. I am sure this lens can be rented also.

Have fun in Iceland, and remember, it IS a vacation for your wife too!

02-27-2012, 11:39 AM   #12
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I like superzoom for vacation!!!
02-27-2012, 10:42 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by liukaitc Quote
I like superzoom for vacation!!!
Zoom for a vacation with other people. You would have to see if a DA18-135 WR would satisfy your expectations for IQ vs your wife's requirement for not waiting for you to change lenses all the time.
There's always a DA*16-50 & 50-135 if you really have to have the next level.

Primes are for yourself, no schedule.

For Iceland I'd still take a DA15 though (or a 12-24) anyway. Never been there of course just guessing from what I've seen of it on TV.
02-28-2012, 12:46 AM   #14
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IMHO I'd think that a zoom is a must for travel.
02-28-2012, 08:44 PM   #15
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I'm going to Iceland, myself, this fall. I just purchased the Tamron 10-24 mm WA zoom specifically for this trip. I haven't had much experience with it yet, but I still have a few months. I also plan on taking my Tamron 17-50 2.8, which I love. It replaced the kit lens back on my K10d. Last, I'll probably take the Pentax 55-300 zoom. Every landscape type trip, I've needed this zoom for something. Without fail, I find something that needs that 200-300 mm reach. I'm not sure if it will be needed in Iceland, but if you are going to shoot any wildlife; whales, puffins, other birds, sheep, etc, you may just want that kind of reach.

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