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04-22-2012, 09:11 PM   #1
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medium zoom lens

OK, I have been looking and looking at the lens database and have read others posts, but would like to get specific recommendations if you have any.

I would like a medium telephoto lens for my walking around lens/ taking pictures of the kids/camping/hiking etc. Auto-focus would be nice. All I have currently are manual lenses, which work great for posed portraits, but when you have moving subjects and don't want posed pictures, I , at times, find MF to be problematic.

I know I would like the long end to be 70mm or greater, and the short end I think 35 mm or lower would be nice. I don't want to spend more than $150....

My top considerations so far have been the Pentax f 35-70, or 35-105, 35-135, or perhaps the FA 28-105?
1. Which of these 4 lenses would be your choice? and
2. Can I do better than one of these in this price range?? Any offerings from Tamron or Sigma in this price range that you think may outperform one of these ??

Thanks for helping me decide!!

04-22-2012, 09:29 PM   #2
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I have both the F 35-70 and the F 35-105 and they are fantastic. You can get the F 35-70 for around $50; it is a bargain. Both have "macro" capability as an added bonus.
04-22-2012, 09:44 PM   #3
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FA28-70 mm f4.It's pretty sharp if closed down a stop or two. It is in your price range. Actually I am surprised you did not include it in your list of possibles. Generally has very good user comments. It's the only non-manual lens I own and I only do manual focus with it so I cannot say how good/fast the auto focus is.
04-22-2012, 09:53 PM   #4
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I can second the F 35-105 recommendation. Don't get the 35-135, though, as it seems to be worse optically.


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04-22-2012, 10:49 PM   #5
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I also highly recommend the F35-70/3.5-4.5 as the best in its class. The smallest zoom Pentax ever built; agile (VERY fast AF); sharp as a bag of primes; a real bargain gem.

You can find decent cheap performers by Tamron-Promaster or Sigma-Quantaray in the 28-80mm vicinity that have a bit more focal range. These were the FF equivalents of the DA18-55 kit zoom, which is NOT a bad lens. (All my AF zooms in the 28|35-70|90 area cost me an average of US$11 each.)

I can't comment on many of the others because I don't bother with them -- I'm spoiled by my DA18-250, but it ain't cheap. Most AF 18-200s and 28-200s ain't great. Good luck!
04-23-2012, 02:10 AM   #6
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A Couple Of Choices

Hello Heritage,
I'll add another vote for the F 35-70 f/3.5-4.5. Although the zoom range is short, it covers (for me, anyway) the most useful focal lengths I've needed for walking around, "Street" and candid people shots. It isn't really wide enough for true scenics, you might carry a 24mm or 28mm prime for those.
But the short zoom range is the very reason the lens is so small and discreet; It's hardly bigger than a standard prime.
The macro feature is great, the IQ and resolution are very sharp throughout the focal range and it's the fastest-focusing A/F Pentax I've ever seen.
If the overall zoom range isn't enough for your needs, I can also recommend the FA 28-105mm f/4-5.6. This is a re-badged Tamron lens and was sold by Pentax, Tamron and Promaster. The main differences between the three is the lens coating (SMC, MC or not specified, respectively) and the rubber zoom grip.
Otherwise, they're the identical, as far as I know.
I have the Promaster version. Aside from the occasional lens flare problem and resultant loss of contrast, it is a very good medium zoom. Perhaps not quite as razor-sharp as the 35-70mm, which approaches prime sharpness when stopped down, but "sharp enough" for everyday use.
The cons? It's big, maybe three times the size of the F 35-70mm, heavier and wider- 58mm filter vs 49mm for the F zoom. It's not as sharp wide open and at the longest focal length. It's slower at both ends.
Hope this helps!
Ron
04-23-2012, 05:33 AM   #7
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Dunno. For moving subjects (i.e. kids / pets) you need some extra speed so you can get faster shutter speeds. I had the F35-70mm and it never quite did for me what I was hoping it would. I ended up with a lot of "impressionistic" (blurred) pictures. It is an absolute bargain, though, no doubt about it.

Double your budget and the Tamron 28-75 would do the job. Sigma lenses are all very large and the decent ones, such as the 17-70mm, are quite expensive to boot.

Thinking outside the box, the DA 35 2.4 would have the required speed and you could "zoom" with your legs.
04-23-2012, 06:13 PM   #8
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Much appreciated everyone! It sounds like I'd probably be pleased with the FA28-70 f4 as well, dms. Thank you for bringing that one up. Otherwise, it sounds like the 35-70 has the most fans for its price point, but if the optics are of equal quality, I'd love to have the longer reach of the F 35-105. Now to see what kind of deals I can find!!

04-23-2012, 06:40 PM   #9
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Don't dismiss the Tamron 28-75 f2,8...it's been my worhorse till now and you may find it at a decent price. The constant aperture is nice, 2,8 is fast enough for lot's of things, and it's quite sharp. You won't find it for 50$ but f2,8 and overall quality might be worth the price difference.
04-23-2012, 07:37 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
...I can also recommend the FA 28-105mm f/4-5.6. This is a re-badged Tamron lens and was sold by Pentax, Tamron and Promaster. The main differences between the three is the lens coating (SMC, MC or not specified, respectively) and the rubber zoom grip.
Otherwise, they're the identical, as far as I know.
I have the Promaster version. Aside from the occasional lens flare problem and resultant loss of contrast, it is a very good medium zoom.
Hope this helps!
Ron
I can also recommend the Tamron 28-105, I have a Tamron and Promaster version, both are equally very sharp. The EXIF identifies them as FA28-105. They can be found at a much lower price than new lenses. I also had a FA28-105 Powerzoom which was sharp at close range, but not at distance, and was also much heavier.
04-25-2012, 07:13 AM   #11
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Your profile says you have a K100D. For an all-round lens you should get wide-angle in its range. For a crop sensor camera like the K100D, this means you should get a lens that goes down to 18mm (IMO). I have the DA17-70/F4 and its a great lens but I probably would have bought the DA*16-50/F2.8 if it was out at the time. Check out these two lenses.
04-25-2012, 07:37 AM   #12
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I can second above complements of the F35-70... Although not a lens I use often it is one that is consistantly placed in my bag...

It is a sharp and contrasty lens...
04-25-2012, 01:00 PM   #13
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I love my F35-70, but if you want something wider and longer, I also really like my Tamron 24-135 which you may be able to find for around $150.
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