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05-11-2012, 03:09 PM   #1
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I think I need the 17-70mm lens

Pretty much a n00b around here and I have a question. I have the k7 with the DA 35 f 2.4 lens and the VIvitar Series 1 70-210mm. I'm still learning how to use those but obviously I need to add some more lenses to my kit. For starters I want to add a pretty good lens and go from there in the near future. Here's what I My interests are:

I like macro ie. flowers, insects, and telephoto ie. birds, animals, nature
Going to parks with the 3 and 8 yr old boys and out around town
Soccer/sports with the kids
I take a lot of pics of the kids inside and outside and often take the camera wherever I go.
Will be travelling to Wash. DC for a vacation soon-need walkaround lens
Start dabbling with portrait work.

Hence, I want something that's pretty fast to capture that spur of the moment shot and I want very good IQ. That's important for the most part.
it seems to me the 17-70mm would be a good start and I would add like a 70-300mm down the road. Is the 18-250mm a better way to go? Is there something else I should consider?
Thanks,
Bill

05-11-2012, 03:56 PM   #2
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looks like you are interested in many area of photography. that is good.
but If you want to take photo of everything with one lens, only superzoom can do it.

Last edited by liukaitc; 05-11-2012 at 04:05 PM.
05-11-2012, 03:58 PM   #3
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The Sigma 17-70 does a respectable job is 2.8 at the wide angle and i am continually surprised at its capacity to take macro. I have had mine since the first batch about 6 years ago. Other than my K5 shots with this lens I would call ordinary.

I think the pentax F4 17-70 is a brilliant lens. I have only used it and was extremely impressed. If you intend to upgrade to the K5 or K3? at some stage and want a great zoom I would recommend it.

Sigma have and Tamron have17-50 F2.8 that constantly get rave reviews

The difference between a zoom from 17 -70 and 17 -50 is big, you will probably use the 70 end a lot.

I use primes for all my wide angle work. If I was to buy an all purpose zoom and wasn't worried about macro, I would own the pentax 17-70 without hesitation even though it is F4. In my opinion my Sigma 17-70 is good but not fantastic and the macro (really close up) capacity is really respectable (I have three dedicated macros and it is able to compete)
05-11-2012, 04:40 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by wpg Quote
Pretty much a n00b around here and I have a question. I have the k7 with the DA 35 f 2.4 lens and the VIvitar Series 1 70-210mm. I'm still learning how to use those but obviously I need to add some more lenses to my kit. For starters I want to add a pretty good lens and go from there in the near future. Here's what I My interests are:

I like macro ie. flowers, insects, and telephoto ie. birds, animals, nature
Going to parks with the 3 and 8 yr old boys and out around town
Soccer/sports with the kids
I take a lot of pics of the kids inside and outside and often take the camera wherever I go.
Will be travelling to Wash. DC for a vacation soon-need walkaround lens
Start dabbling with portrait work.

Hence, I want something that's pretty fast to capture that spur of the moment shot and I want very good IQ. That's important for the most part.
it seems to me the 17-70mm would be a good start and I would add like a 70-300mm down the road. Is the 18-250mm a better way to go? Is there something else I should consider?
Thanks,
Bill
Ok,
For Macro: DFA 100 f/2.8
Out with the boys: da 16-45, DA*16-50 or DA 17-70
Soccer sports: use the 70-210 or get a DA 55-300
Traveling to DC: DA 18-250 and either DA 12-24 or Sigma 10-20
Portrait: DA 70 ltd or FA 77 ltd

05-11-2012, 06:29 PM   #5
Brooke Meyer
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QuoteOriginally posted by wpg Quote
Pretty much a n00b around here and I have a question. I have the k7 with the DA 35 f 2.4 lens and the VIvitar Series 1 70-210mm. I'm still learning how to use those but obviously I need to add some more lenses to my kit. For starters I want to add a pretty good lens and go from there in the near future. Here's what I My interests are:

I like macro ie. flowers, insects, and telephoto ie. birds, animals, nature
Going to parks with the 3 and 8 yr old boys and out around town
Soccer/sports with the kids
I take a lot of pics of the kids inside and outside and often take the camera wherever I go.
Will be travelling to Wash. DC for a vacation soon-need walkaround lens
Start dabbling with portrait work.

Hence, I want something that's pretty fast to capture that spur of the moment shot and I want very good IQ. That's important for the most part.
it seems to me the 17-70mm would be a good start and I would add like a 70-300mm down the road. Is the 18-250mm a better way to go? Is there something else I should consider?
Thanks,
Bill
Why assume you need more lenses? What can't you do with what you've got? Think tripod, wired and /or wireless remote release, Bryan Petersen's Book "Understanding Exposure. You have two good lenses that if I were shooting an event, would be on separate bodies. Instead of more lenses, get another K-7 and walk about with both. Often, there isn't time to change lenses. Get a tripod. Find out what you can do with a $65 manual flash and a $20 wireless trigger. The 70-210 is great for parks, kids, DC and portraits. Can even do macro with tripod. 35/2.4 is wide and fast for inside and close. Get extra batteries and memory cards. Get a Spyder or Huey and calibrate your monitor. Buy a used copy of Real World Camera Raw and read it and you'll know more than most. LIghtroom. Shoot Raw. Make a lot of mistakes, take chances. Good glass is important but it won't make you a photographer.
05-17-2012, 03:19 PM   #6
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I also have the older Sigma 17-70 that I got used here. Not quite the same IQ as the DA Ltds or the 12-24, but it is the right focal length for a flexible single-lens option.

17/18-50 is not long enough (sold it), and the 28-75 was not wide enough (sold it).

If you are thinking "70-300" in the future, consider the Pentax 55-300 instead, which is much better IQ than the Sigma or Tamron.
05-17-2012, 11:45 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by wpg Quote
I have the k7 with the DA 35 f 2.4 lens and the VIvitar Series 1 70-210mm. I'm still learning how to use those but obviously I need to add some more lenses to my kit. For starters I want to add a pretty good lens and go from there in the near future. Here's what I My interests are:

I like macro ie. flowers, insects, and telephoto ie. birds, animals, nature
Going to parks with the 3 and 8 yr old boys and out around town
Soccer/sports with the kids
I take a lot of pics of the kids inside and outside and often take the camera wherever I go.
Will be travelling to Wash. DC for a vacation soon-need walkaround lens
Start dabbling with portrait work.

Hence, I want something that's pretty fast to capture that spur of the moment shot and I want very good IQ. That's important for the most part.
it seems to me the 17-70mm would be a good start and I would add like a 70-300mm down the road. Is the 18-250mm a better way to go? Is there something else I should consider?
Whew, that's a lot of ground to cover! Here are a few points and suggestions:

* The DA18-250 or its Tamron twin are just the most flexible zooms around -- in decent light. I can do much of my shooting with my DA18-250 -- during the day. It's my basic walk- and drive-around lens. In lower light, you'll need to boost ISO on your K7. High-ISO noise can be fixed in PP, but motion-blur can't.

* The fast (and heavy) f/2.8 zooms in the ~17-50 or -70 range are popular. I'll have to try one someday. I do use slower 28-80 and 35-70 lenses to good effect. There are a couple kinds of speed: wide aperture, and fast AF. The most agile lens I know is the F35-70: VERY fast AF, sharp as a bag of primes, good for close (almost macro) work, and CHEAP.

* Fast sports and not-close action and wildlife|birding take either long fast heavy costly (if AF) lenses, or boosted IQ. My only glass in that area is the same as yours, Vivitar Series 1 70-210. (I have a f/3.5 version 1 and a f/2.8-4 version 3.) With careful use, and some Catch-In-Focus help, I almost don't care they're not AF.

* Even 15-16-17-18mm won't be wide enough for many situations. I had the option to get either Sigma 10-20, the DA12-24, or the Tamron 10-24. For reasons of IQ, range, cost, warranty, and QC, I chose the Tamron.

* My gotta-get-the-shot lens is the FA50/1.4, almost as agile as the F35-70. For low light, action, DOF control, a Fast Fifty is hard to beat. For a bit more reach with no speed loss, I'll screw a Sony 1.5x tele adapter onto its front. (NOT a rear-mounted TC, which eats light.) Similar glass by Olympus, Canon, Kowa etc is available, usually cheap. With or without an add-on, the FA50 is good for portraiture.

* For shooting squirmin' vermin (my grandkids) indoors, I use fast manual primes, especially the Vivitar-Kiron 24/2 and the slightly fishy Zenitar 16/2.8, as well as the FA50/1.4. Also the F35-70 with an ISO boost, because sometimes its agility is more important than a wide aperture. But wider lenses offer a unique advantage: you can shoot at slower shutter speeds and still stop motion.

* Macros -- a huge subject. Allow me to plug my article: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/152336-cheap-macro-b...lose-work.html

So, a 17-70/2.8 would probably be a good lens to have, but I don't personally know it. To supplement what you have, I *would* recommend obtaining some subset of:

* AF DA18-250 for utility. It's my basic lens; all my 235 others are specialty items.
* AF Tamron 10-24 for tight situations; and MF Zenitar 16/2.8 where speed matters.
* MF Vivitar-Kiron 24/2 for speed; and AF FA50/1.4 for speed, DOF control, portraits.
* AF F35-70 for fast reaction or near-macro; and see my CHEAP MACRO article.

Hope this helps. Have fun!

Last edited by RioRico; 05-18-2012 at 01:40 AM.
05-18-2012, 01:11 AM   #8
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I have a K7 as well, along with a Sigma 17-70 and Sigma 70-200 f2.8 APO (one of the early versions).
That's not a bad kit so far, and I really only want to add a Sigma 30mm f1.4, and maybe a Sigma 70mm f2.8 macro.
Then again, the Samyang 85mm f1.4 and 8mm lenses are looking good. Must go now and take my LBA pill.

Regards

05-20-2012, 06:44 AM   #9
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The simple answer is, "Yes, you do".
Sigma 17-70, 2.8-4.5, older version is my "kit" lens (replaced the original Vivitar 28-105 Series 1).
05-26-2012, 10:37 PM   #10
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I have a Pentax 18-250 that I haven't used in a year. I should probably sell it. It's not a bad lens but isn't as sharp as using 2 higher quality lenses over that focal length. There will always be the tradeoff between the convenience of a super zoom and the sharpness and speed of shorter range zooms. There are times I've missed a shot when changing lenses. There have been other times that I've gotten poor photos because the 18-250 has such a small aperture.

I have a Tamron 17-50 and a Pentax 55-300. Those covers a lot of bases, and the same focal range as a 17-70 + a 70-300. The Pentax is a better lens than the Tamron 70-300, though it's also more expensive.

The funny thing is that my 35mm 2.4 lives on my K-5 most of the time now. I guess it's not funny. I started Pentax cameras with the K-1000 and a 50mm, so spent years with that focal length. My next lens will be the Sigma 24mm 1.8. Then I'll have the modern equivalent of my two old standbys a 50mm and a 35, or close enough.

If you want to get serious about closeups, you'll probably want to consider a dedicate macro lens. General purpose lenses don't do great macro shots and macro lenses are very slow focusing for general purpose work, especially with moving targets, like kids.
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