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07-17-2012, 12:32 PM   #1
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Lenses for a new father with a K7

Hey everyone, I'm a father of a 4 month old and have recently decided to upgrade to a DSLR. I purchased a K7, body only, today and am looking to add a lens to it. I am very much an amateur but I have experience w/ an AT-1. I love primes but given the nature of family and friend get togethers I really want the versatility of a zoom lens. Since this will be my first lens for the K7 and the only lens I have for a little while I want to get something that is capable of helping me get good photos without limiting my ability down the line like a kit lens could. I've been looking at Tamron 17-50 and 28-75, and have heard great things about the Pentax 18-135 WR but that appears to be out of my price range.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

07-17-2012, 12:52 PM   #2
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I would recommend checking out the lens review database. I think the lenses you mentioned are ok. You might crave longer zooms later.
07-17-2012, 12:57 PM   #3
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I have the tamron 28-75 and it is okay. It does hunt for focus more than the DA* zooms. I have heard good things about the 17-50, but I have never tried it out myself.

I would recommend that if you want to go with a Pentax lens that you consider lurking around the forum's marketplace. You might be able to find a decent deal on either of the tamrons and maybe you would be able to save enough to get into a FA 50 1.4 a little faster. I understand wanting a zoom for your purposes, but I think you would also find a fast 50 quite handy.
07-17-2012, 01:19 PM   #4
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DA 35 ƒ/2.4, (approx. $150 used here)
And a P-TTL flash with adjustable head for bounce. (approx. $120 used here for an AF-360FGZ)

That's what I'd do with $270.

07-17-2012, 01:30 PM   #5
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Ditto the advice on DA 35 f/2.4. excellent lens at a cheap cost. and with the K7, you'll want as fast a lens as you can for indoor use.

But if you really want a versatile zoom at a low cost, look into a used Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5. Can be had for $250 or so. Very versatile zoom and you get the f/2.8 from 17-20mm or so.

And if you see a good deal on a Tamron 17-50 that is within your budget, you should get it-- lots of people like theirs, and it would fill your needs perfectly.
07-17-2012, 01:37 PM   #6
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Oh also-- I think you may want to stay away from the Tamron 28-75 if you are only planning on owning 1 lens for a while. 28mm is a bit too narrow on APS-C; you'll wish you had wider, especially when shooting indoors.
07-17-2012, 01:43 PM   #7
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I have the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and love it far more than the kit lens. I am soon to be a father (literally days away) and have been searching for lenses also that would be best to capture my soon-to-be arriving son. I think a 50mm prime is above all highly regarded and I do plan to get one as my "fast" portrait lens. I just stumbled across this thread which might help some or confuse you further haha.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/145599-tamron-...lots-pics.html

As a first lens, having no others, you may want something more versatile or a 50 prime and a zoom.
07-17-2012, 01:49 PM   #8
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I would get the 17-50 Tamron f2.8 and then figure out what focal length of "fast" prime would work best for you. There is a new 50mm f1.8 for 250 that is coming out and then of course, there is the 35 f2.4. Either one would be good, depending on which focal length works better for you (for me personally, it would be the 50, but everyone is different). As others have said, a zoom that starts at 28mm is not quite wide enough to be your primary lens.

07-17-2012, 01:50 PM   #9
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When my daughter was born two years ago, I used a FA 35 attached to my K-X and got some amazing shots at the hospital as well as in the first several months of her life. I also used a FA 50 to capture more intimate portraits. Both are great lenses for babies, but I agree that a zoom would be more versatile and of course if you can only afford one type of lens, get a f/2.8 zoom right now.
07-17-2012, 02:25 PM   #10
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I have the DA35 ltd Marco and it is wonderful....that is probably out of your price range, so I would go with seventysixersfan and the others who suggested the DA35 2.4. I have really heard positive things about that lens, the price is excellent, and I love the focal length of 35 on aps-c
07-17-2012, 03:06 PM   #11
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Thank you all for the advice. There is a 17-50 listed for $300 that I'm strongly considering. I have had tons of exceptional experience with 50mm primes and will try and get one as well, If I can't afford both the prime will be on my christmas list.
07-17-2012, 03:18 PM   #12
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The tamron 28 -75 is a gem of a zoom, priced very low but will deliver the quality you want. Also here's my other question what's your current lens right now? if you already have the 18 - 55 pentax zoom. then you're all set on the wide part.
07-17-2012, 03:45 PM   #13
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I have no lens, bought the body only. I'll probably get a manual prime lens since I have developed a relatively decent eye from my days with the AT-1. Does anyone know off hand if there is an in-lens focusing assist for manual lenses? With Canon you had a circle with a line bisecting it, once both sides of the line were lined up you were in focus.
07-17-2012, 04:39 PM   #14
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The DA17-70/4 was my go-to zoom before I got the DA* zooms and some more primes. Before that I used the FA24-90/3.5-4.5 and it gave me a nice zoom range and many good shots. However, it can be difficult to get AF to lock-on at times, and unlike most lenses there are many average-to-poorer copies that suffer some issues. The 17-70/4 gives nice sharpness near wide-open (at f/4.5), whereas many third-party lenses that are "faster" struggle near wide-open. It also has a semi-WR sealing ring.

If you can find an F24-50/4 get that, or pickup the A version if you don't need AF. It's reasonably priced, and it's really good (far better than it has any right to be as an inexpensive lens).

Then pickup an F70-210/4-5.6 (or even the less expensive Takumar version, which is identical except for some lens coating which usually doesn't matter).


I think those two F zooms are the best values going, which is why I still have mine despite owning many * and Ltd lenses now. I believe each is still under $150, with the Tak 70-210 well under $100. Then you can start looking at primes. I agree with others that the DA35/2.4 is a top choice here, and the new 50/1.8 has the potential to be quite good too.


As far as 50's go, start with the A50/1.7, or the M version if you want to save even more (a lens cheap enough to fit almost any budget, so you could get one right away).

Last edited by DSims; 07-17-2012 at 04:51 PM.
07-17-2012, 04:53 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by AmericanMagpie Quote
I have no lens, bought the body only. I'll probably get a manual prime lens since I have developed a relatively decent eye from my days with the AT-1. Does anyone know off hand if there is an in-lens focusing assist for manual lenses? With Canon you had a circle with a line bisecting it, once both sides of the line were lined up you were in focus.
You'll have to change out your focusing screen if you want this or a similar feature.

What you do have is focus confirmation - that is, when your MF lens is in focus you'll get the same two focus confirmation indicators that you get with AF lenses. It's just that you have to move the focus ring yourself.
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