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12-26-2012, 01:22 AM   #1
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Best all-purpose bang for 150 bucks

Hello - I have inherited a K10D with some crappy sigma lenses with awful chromatic aberration etc. This is my first DSLR (having been into film SLRs many moons ago) and I have played a little but having to spend hours on the computer trying in vain to correct for crap lenses is offputting.

I have a birthday coming up with a budget of around $150. I'm thinking I should just get a DA 18-55 WR . But I thought I would ask here whether there are any other suggestions.

My interests are pretty diverse so any three-figure expenditure is a (necessary) compromise. I like making macro, landscape and architecture photos. I have some old Zuiko OM primes from my film days and will look into using these for macro via extension tubes but I figure for now I'm better off just keeping it simple, get a reasonable zoom I trust not to stuff up the image too badly and just get out there and shoot.

12-26-2012, 02:37 AM   #2
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I will never knock the Pentax kit lenses. They are a terrific value in my opinion. If WR isn't a big deal perhaps you could get an older 18-55 for peanuts and maybe save some pennies for a DA15 or DA 21 for your wide angle interests.
12-26-2012, 02:40 AM - 1 Like   #3
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See if you can source a Pentax 16-45. A step up from the kit lens, but not WR I'm afraid, so if WR is important...
12-26-2012, 03:12 AM   #4
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Check out the reviews for the Sigma 28-105mm 2.8-4 Aspherical. I paid about $110 with shipping for a used one from Adorama.

You get a lot of lens for the money, with very few, if any, serious flaws. I won't belabor what I like/dislike about the lens; I wrote a rather extensive review, so just scroll down to see what I thought.

No, it's not perfect, but it's a great lens for the affordable price. You just have to be able to find one!

12-26-2012, 06:51 AM   #5
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I'll have to give a nod to the DA16-45 as well, used you can get it for about that if you watch and wait. It's a good performer.
Certainly it's not a longer zoom like the Sigma.
12-26-2012, 10:25 AM   #6
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While not a zoom, a wonderful all-purpose prime is the DA 35/2.4. Very versatile, fast, outstanding image quality. It was on sale for $175 new from B&H. Not sure if it still is. It can be picked up used for 140-180 usually. Look at the "Plastic Fantastic" thread in the lens club section for samples!
12-26-2012, 03:26 PM   #7
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Thanks for replies.

Hmm... now you've got me thinking! (Ugh, that hurts.)

The interests I chose to list above are all static subjects. So maybe I should be looking at a nice wide angle prime, even an old manual focus one, instead. The sigmas could suffice for those times I need AF. I was a bit put off by Photozone's findings around chromatic aberrations with the DA 16-45, given my complaint already about the Sigma (18-55/3.5-5.6) which rates as not as bad for CA as the 16-45.
12-26-2012, 07:12 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbuck92 Quote
While not a zoom, a wonderful all-purpose prime is the DA 35/2.4. Very versatile, fast, outstanding image quality. It was on sale for $175 new from B&H. Not sure if it still is. It can be picked up used for 140-180 usually. Look at the "Plastic Fantastic" thread in the lens club section for samples!
It is still on sale at Adorama.

12-26-2012, 08:25 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bullitt_60 Quote
It is still on sale at Adorama.
Does that link need a special login or something? When I click it takes me to the top level pentax menu. When I drill down to find the 35/2.4 it doesn't appear to be on special: $219.95.
12-26-2012, 08:32 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by russell2pi Quote
Does that link need a special login or something? When I click it takes me to the top level pentax menu. When I drill down to find the 35/2.4 it doesn't appear to be on special: $219.95.
A lot of the specials you have to put the item in the cart to see the special price. Not positive on this item, but give that a try. You can cancel or delete if it does not work.
12-26-2012, 08:46 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
A lot of the specials you have to put the item in the cart to see the special price. Not positive on this item, but give that a try. You can cancel or delete if it does not work.
Oh wierd. Is there some other way to find specials other than carting every item in the store and then looking in your cart??
12-26-2012, 08:51 PM   #12
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Check the Pentax price watch section here:Pentax Price Watch - PentaxForums.com

That's what I do.
12-26-2012, 08:53 PM   #13
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Thank you
01-13-2013, 09:17 PM   #14
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Well FWIW, I just bought a DA 35mm f2.4 for $150 on this site.

I do have the 18-55mm kit lens, but I wanted to boost the IQ I don't think there's anything out there that beats it (at least for primes) in bang for buck.
01-14-2013, 08:42 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by russell2pi Quote
I was a bit put off by Photozone's findings around chromatic aberrations with the DA 16-45, given my complaint already about the Sigma (18-55/3.5-5.6) which rates as not as bad for CA as the 16-45.
CA has not been an issue with my copy of the 16-45. Yes, I can find it, if I pixel peep on certain shots, but that's true of most lenses. They tend to sell for higher than your budget, though.
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