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03-17-2012, 04:38 AM   #1
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newbie, not sure of lense combatibilty.

hi all, posting on behalf of my wife, she has an *ist Ds with the standard lense, she wants to shoot more landscape and wildlife, and is considering either the Pentax 28-200mm f3.8-5.6 SMA-FA or the Sigma 28-200mm f3.5-5.6 DL (Pentax fit) (financial constraints apply so we have to go used) would either be suitable and what would be the drawbacks/limitations? thanks in advance. Steve

03-17-2012, 05:06 AM   #2
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Looks like you are trying to nail two birds with one stone. However it is kind of difficult to do with the types of photography mentioned. Generally landscape is a wide angle lens and wildlife is a telephoto lens. I see that you are eyeing some lenses that try to cover the whole range. That's always a good starting point. With the two lenses you mention the kit lens is wider and better optical quality. So all your really missing is the long end. You can get a Pentax 55-300mm DA L for about $150 and have pretty good optical quality and quite good reach for the wildlife photos. Then you've got everything in focal length covered from 18-300mm with two lenses.
03-17-2012, 06:33 AM   #3
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The pentax fa will give you full compatibility but im not sure about the sigma will have to do some research on that. Fa lenses will auto focus and autoexposure with the camera. As for limitations your giving up wide angle 18mm compared to the kit lens but you gain more on the longer end. Which depending on what you normally shoot may or may not be missed (wide angle wise). At 28mm you can still do landscapes so it really depends on preference but for widelife at 200mm it will depend on how quiet you can be. I know my 70-300 even at 300mm im still too loud to get those candid shots of animals. As for image quality i really dont know if they are optically good as ive never had either or seen samples but the 55-300 mentioned above is by far the best for budget. If you only want one lens to carry around and not go two lenses id look into a 18-250 pentax da or tamron (sister lens i believe). You get the wide angle and more reach. Pricewise they shouldnt break the bank.
03-17-2012, 08:21 AM   #4
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I have had two copies of the FA 28-200 and really liked the focal range as a walk around lens. But it is relatively heavy and the image quality I got was not particularly good. I sold the first one thinking I had a bad copy but the second was no different. The kit lens has better image quality.

As noted above 28mm is just fine for landscape but 200mm is too short for wildlife. I would suggest keeping the kit lens for the wide end and get a DA L 55-300 to cover the long end. It is a much better lens and has longer reach as well. It will probably be a little more money but if you watch you can usually get it for $150 or less.

Another suggestion for landscape would be a manual focus prime, Auto focus is not really any help with landscapes as nothing is happening quickly so manual works fine. Take a look at any of the Pentax 28mm primes in either the A or M series. You could also go with M42 mount but maybe that is more manual than you want to deal with.

03-19-2012, 12:51 PM   #5
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For one general-purpose lens, it is hard to beat the DA18-250 or its Tamron twin, both now out of production but readily available used. The 18-250 has better performance than any of the 18-200 or 28-200 lenses I know of. But for 'wildlife' your best budget option is probably the recommended DA55-300. If your wildlife is lethargic, the FA100-300 (silver) is sweet, and cheap at about US$100.

Land-sea-sky-town-etc 'scapes are quite different. Except in seismically active areas, most land+town 'scapes don't move around too much, so a slower wider manual-focus prime lens is quite suitable. For the least distortion, use a prime in the 28-31mm range. For wider pictures, shoot a series and stitch them together into a pano. For sharpest images, use a firm tripod, and slow shutter, and remote control. If a bit of edge distortion is OK, try wider MF primes -- I'll use a 24/2.8 or 21/3.8, stopped-down to f/8 for greatest clarity.

For flexibility, modern AF ultrawide zooms RULE! The DA12-24 is a bit costly; the Sigma 10-20s are well-loved once a good copy is obtained -- these have known QC issues. I recommend the Tamron 10-24, with good optics & price & warranty. I use it in VERY tight spaces at 10-12mm, for from-the-hip street shooting at 14-16mm, and for 'scapes at 22-24mm.

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