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11-10-2012, 11:18 PM   #1
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New user, the lens question

Hi, it's the old "new user, which lenses?", I'm afraid. Any advice much appreciated.

I'm a new Pentax user, or at least I will be when my recently purchased K-5ii arrives, and I'm fairly new to photography in general. I'm upgrading from a Canon 20D, and have chosen Pentax mainly because I have a bit of a thing for old lenses (finding them and trying them out) and Pentax seems to accommodate this well. I currently just have a couple of inherited lenses, including a Sigma 100-300mm and a Takumar 28mm prime.

I'm looking to buy new (or recent) relatively budget versions of:
- a walk-about lens- the Tamron 17-50 seems to be recommended?
- a telephoto zoom, mainly for sports and wildlife photography- trying to decide between the Sigma APO 70-300mm f4-5.6 DG Macro and the Pentax DA L 55-300mm f4-5.8, or perhaps I should think about cutting back on the walkabout (going for a cheaper, kit-type secondhand lens) and try to stretch the budget to a Sigma 170-500mm? I'd probably be using the 300mm end of the range quite often, for action/sports type shots.
- a portrait type lens- I currently use my Canon nifty fifty all the time, I'd like a Pentax equivalent, but the 50mm 1.4 seems quite pricey.

I don't do much landscape photography, a bit of macro, but mainly kids and animals, lots of outdoors all-weather photography.

Thanks in advance!

11-10-2012, 11:35 PM   #2
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If you are into shooting manual there are a bunch of lens that can be had than are quite good for less than $50,the Sears 50mm 1.7 is a good one.Take a look at the lens database for user reviews
11-10-2012, 11:53 PM   #3
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FWIW, I've found my 70-300mm used as a walkabout lens quite often. That said, its also quite soft at 300mm. Other than that, my 70-300 is probably one of my favorite lenses, and has me resisting the urge to pull the trigger on a 150-500mm come tax season. If you don't mind resisting the urge and using the thing at sub-250mm, the lens is amazing.

I can't talk for the IQ of the 55-300mm as I don't have one, but I hear its soft when shot long as well.

With all that said, Pentax is releasing a rebadged Tamron 18-270mm soon. No idea what the price is, but it could be an option as well, especially since it will have a nice beefy zoom range to it which would cover two points for the price of one for you (walkabout long zoom).
11-11-2012, 12:01 AM   #4
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mjk05,

Its always a good time to be a Pentax convert; the backward compatibility of all the old glass on the new bodies made me go for a K-5 last year. One of the best sources for manual focus lenses (and bodies) I've found is shopgoodwill.com . That along with local thrift stores have yielded a few gems for me and hopefully will do the same for you. The only downside to the goodwill source is that the shipping charges can be as much as what you pay for the camera/kit.

All best,
Wayne

11-11-2012, 12:03 AM   #5
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Some excellent references are the PF in-depth comparative reviews:

DA* 16-50mm vs. Sigma and Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 Comparison - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

Fast Sports Zoom Lenses for Pentax - 70-200mm Sigma & Tamron - PentaxForums.com

Pentax 50mm Prime Lens Shootout - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

You may then look at individual lens reviews, sometimes subjective but always with insights.
11-11-2012, 10:16 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mjk05 Quote
- a portrait type lens- I currently use my Canon nifty fifty all the time, I'd like a Pentax equivalent, but the 50mm 1.4 seems quite pricey.
I think very highly of my SMC Pentax 55mm 1.8. Excellent image quality and much less expensive than the 50mm 1.4.
11-11-2012, 05:15 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mjk05 Quote
...I'm looking to buy new (or recent) relatively budget versions of:
- a walk-about lens- the Tamron 17-50 seems to be recommended?
I think the Pentax DA 16-45mm f4 is a consideration, but only at used lens prices, say $200-250. For maybe $100 more used, the Tamron is a pretty good deal.

QuoteQuote:
- a portrait type lens- I currently use my Canon nifty fifty all the time, I'd like a Pentax equivalent, but the 50mm 1.4 seems quite pricey.
This is a great area to experiment especially if you don't mind manual focus. Pentax has a recently released DA 50/1.8 but it's still not at the Canon price level, and used 50mm lenses with AF still start at around $200. I like the Pentax-F 50mm f1.7 for autofocus. But with manual focus, you can go with a Cosina 55mm f1.2, a Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 50mm f1.4, a Pentax-M 50mm f1.7, a Russian copy of the Biotar 58mm f2or a dozen other choices.

QuoteQuote:
I don't do much landscape photography, a bit of macro, but mainly kids and animals, lots of outdoors all-weather photography.
Maybe a DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR? The problem is, although the lens is not very expensive, most people will want to have something with more reach.
11-11-2012, 06:31 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mjk05 Quote
I currently use my Canon nifty fifty all the time

Try the Helios 44-2. A unique rendering for sure, and works so nicely on a Pentax.

11-11-2012, 07:19 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by mjk05 Quote
I'm looking to buy new (or recent) relatively budget versions of:
- a walk-about lens- the Tamron 17-50 seems to be recommended?
- a telephoto zoom, mainly for sports and wildlife photography- trying to decide between the Sigma APO 70-300mm f4-5.6 DG Macro and the Pentax DA L 55-300mm f4-5.8, or perhaps I should think about cutting back on the walkabout (going for a cheaper, kit-type secondhand lens) and try to stretch the budget to a Sigma 170-500mm? I'd probably be using the 300mm end of the range quite often, for action/sports type shots.
- a portrait type lens- I currently use my Canon nifty fifty all the time, I'd like a Pentax equivalent, but the 50mm 1.4 seems quite pricey.

I don't do much landscape photography, a bit of macro, but mainly kids and animals, lots of outdoors all-weather photography.

Thanks in advance!
Welcome to Pentax!

My kit includes the Tamron 17-50 and it does most of the duty. It is sharp, even at 2.8 and focuses quickly. I really like my 55-300 for outdoors shots; I have used it for BIF and sports with success. Neither one of these is weather sealed however.
As for portraits, there is a plethora of old 50mm lenses out there. I have the M 50 mm f2.0 which I don't use much as I find it too soft for my liking (although that may work well for portraits).
11-12-2012, 05:09 AM   #10
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I agree with the 17-50 and Pentax 55-300 though for portraits I'd suggest the Rokinon 85mm f1.4.

It's a manual lens and is highly recommended by those that use it. It produces sharp images through it's range and can be purchased new for less than $300(US).
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