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09-18-2013, 10:53 PM   #16
hcc
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPE Quote
Hi hcc,
thank you for your prompt reply! There was a similar thread running at the start of this year re: K-30 and Sigma 17-70 lens, so apologies for duplicating.
But great feedback hcc. Furthermore, how do you find the DA 18-250mm as a wide-to-mid range lens?
The DA18-250mm is a good overall lens. Like every zoom, it is a compromise, but the lens is very well regarded by Pentaxians. It is also considered one of the best all-around lenses among many brands.

I would add that the DA18-250mm is very, very sturdy. The lens has the reputation to be sturdy, and my experience indicates that it is true.

For info: when I travel overseas, my favourite lenses are the DA18-250mm nearly always mounted on my K-7 and a fast prime (Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4). The VL58mm is for low light and for poor lighting conditions (eg fogg, smoke, smogg). With these two lenses, I can cover nearly every situation I may encounter.

At the end, both the DA18-135mm and DA18-250mm are very good lens and you will be happy with both.

09-18-2013, 11:01 PM   #17
JPE
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QuoteOriginally posted by PJ1 Quote
The best lens is the one that gets 99% of your work done.The Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM had a good review on Dpreview. I havea Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 II DC HSM (the Pentax version is no longer marked “OS”)which lives on my K-01. I have a review of it on this site, with images andlinks to reviews. It has been called “best in class”. The 18-250 is probablymuch the same performance-wise. The current Sigmas are a new optical formula which is a step upfrom the older generation. Personally, I find 200 mm all I can handle shootinghand held and “on the fly” in the bush. I have tried 135 mm and find it too shortfor most “critters”. I also have some album shots on this site comparing the Sigma 18-200 with the Pentax 18-55 in the 18-55 range. The Sigma came up well in my opinion.
Camerons (and previously PJ1) - death from a thousand kind cuts! Thank you for the hints and suggestions on browsing this Forum further. Really I feel I am spoilt for choice and probably emulate every newbie's first sin of expecting everything in one lens! WR would be nice ... but then again so is macro, reach and versatility! I'm going to enjoy trying them all out at my local camera shop.
You guys have been great.
BTW Camerons, what were you using to shoot your hiking Blog photos? And a fine feline too.
09-18-2013, 11:04 PM   #18
JPE
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
The DA18-250mm is a good overall lens. Like every zoom, it is a compromise, but the lens is very well regarded by Pentaxians. It is also considered one of the best all-around lenses among many brands.

I would add that the DA18-250mm is very, very sturdy. The lens has the reputation to be sturdy, and my experience indicates that it is true.

For info: when I travel overseas, my favourite lenses are the DA18-250mm nearly always mounted on my K-7 and a fast prime (Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4). The VL58mm is for low light and for poor lighting conditions (eg fogg, smoke, smogg). With these two lenses, I can cover nearly every situation I may encounter.

At the end, both the DA18-135mm and DA18-250mm are very good lens and you will be happy with both.
hcc, methinks you have nailed the kiss principle. I like the sound of either as a walk-around and a prime to cover low-light and action.
Once again, Pentax forum users are fantastic.
09-19-2013, 12:40 AM   #19
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You'll definitely do better if you're willing to split the range up into 2 lenses.

The Tamron 17-50/2.8 and Pentax DA*50-135/2.8 would be your best bet (both purchased used, of course). It may go slightly above your budget, but should be very close (at least based on approximate/estimated Marketplace final selling prices here and the currency conversion rate). This will cover the whole range with very high quality. They're also fast, and eliminate the need for primes in most situations (unless you really want to expand your budget!). These 2 lenses combined with your K-30 is almost certainly the best quality you can get for the money from any brand. Take a look at DA*50-135 images here:

PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model
PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model

You're actually not "dreaming" when thinking you can get it right the first time. With your stated budget
QuoteOriginally posted by JPE Quote
In response to Special K, AUD $800-1000 seems about right as a budget.
you can actually do it if you're willing to go to the top end or slightly over.

For macro use you should get another lens. The good news is a number of good macros are available in the $100-ish range. My choice is the Cosina 100/3.5, but there are a number of others (especially older MF lenses, including Pentax) as well. After you cover your basic range of 17-135mm (which should cover about 80-90% of your shots) you can worry about the macro or any primes you might need. I dare you to start with just one of these two lenses and compare it to the Sigma 28-80. I don't think you'll need any more convincing.



So, believe it or not, I think it can be simple.

09-19-2013, 06:29 AM   #20
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I've been shooting with the original Sigma 17-70 for 6 years now, and it's been a great all around lens. I haven't regretted that choice for a moment. Combined with the 55-300, I have a full range with two lenses. WR would be nice, but it just doesn't come up enough to be a major issue for me.
09-19-2013, 03:57 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
You'll definitely do better if you're willing to split the range up into 2 lenses.

The Tamron 17-50/2.8 and Pentax DA*50-135/2.8 would be your best bet (both purchased used, of course). It may go slightly above your budget, but should be very close (at least based on approximate/estimated Marketplace final selling prices here and the currency conversion rate). This will cover the whole range with very high quality. They're also fast, and eliminate the need for primes in most situations (unless you really want to expand your budget!). These 2 lenses combined with your K-30 is almost certainly the best quality you can get for the money from any brand. Take a look at DA*50-135 images here:

PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model
PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model

You're actually not "dreaming" when thinking you can get it right the first time. With your stated budget

you can actually do it if you're willing to go to the top end or slightly over.

For macro use you should get another lens. The good news is a number of good macros are available in the $100-ish range. My choice is the Cosina 100/3.5, but there are a number of others (especially older MF lenses, including Pentax) as well. After you cover your basic range of 17-135mm (which should cover about 80-90% of your shots) you can worry about the macro or any primes you might need. I dare you to start with just one of these two lenses and compare it to the Sigma 28-80. I don't think you'll need any more convincing.



So, believe it or not, I think it can be simple.
DSims,
thank you for the encouragement. And yes, i will be hunting those on the marketplace - there is a DA*50-135 available today - however being in Aus is a bit of a problem!
09-19-2013, 04:00 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by dagaetch Quote
I've been shooting with the original Sigma 17-70 for 6 years now, and it's been a great all around lens. I haven't regretted that choice for a moment. Combined with the 55-300, I have a full range with two lenses. WR would be nice, but it just doesn't come up enough to be a major issue for me.
Hi dagaetch,
thanks for the suggestion - yet another good combo. You have echoed what I have read so far in this thread and many others - we really can't go wrong. Great advice, and believe it or not there is a good chance I can get those lenses (more recent copy of the Sigma) for my budget here in Melbourne, Aus.
Nothing left to do now except make good use of the expertise at my local or more here on the forum.
JPE
09-19-2013, 04:16 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPE Quote
Camerons (and previously PJ1) - death from a thousand kind cuts! Thank you for the hints and suggestions on browsing this Forum further. Really I feel I am spoilt for choice and probably emulate every newbie's first sin of expecting everything in one lens! WR would be nice ... but then again so is macro, reach and versatility! I'm going to enjoy trying them all out at my local camera shop.
You guys have been great.
BTW Camerons, what were you using to shoot your hiking Blog photos? And a fine feline too.
No problems. A lot of the recent photos on my blog are with the 18-135, with various ones from the other lenses in my signature. Before this year it was either just the kit 18-55/50-200 on a Kx or a Canon s95 compact.

I won't tell Zeb that. It will go to his head.

09-20-2013, 05:39 AM   #24
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Quick one... I was in a similar position about a year ago. And I went with the fa50mm 1.4 for my fast lens of the kids. I wanted a fast lens because little kids and flashes can always be an interesting mix so I wanted to maximize pictures by available light and I have a very dark living room where many of the kids pics are taken.

Here is what I would ask (you have great advice on zooms already). How big are your kids? I ask that because it will tell you whether they will be too big for framing in your lens. How big is the rooms you will be in where you take the vast number of your photos? I have a fairly open living room and my kids are 2-5 years old so then a fast 50mm is absolutely no problem. But, if my kids were getting rather tall or where I took my pictures was getting into tighter and tighter spaces then go to 35mm. In fact, if I was thinking of making a buy that would suit my family 5 or 6 years from now, I would probably even look carefully at a fast 28-31 mm range. But I figure that would give me reason for a new lens then!!! Yippee... more lenses!!! And honestly the 35mm and 50mm are quite reasonable.

Good luck! Let us know what you decide.
09-23-2013, 05:37 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by EricG Quote
Quick one... I was in a similar position about a year ago. And I went with the fa50mm 1.4 for my fast lens of the kids. I wanted a fast lens because little kids and flashes can always be an interesting mix so I wanted to maximize pictures by available light and I have a very dark living room where many of the kids pics are taken.

Here is what I would ask (you have great advice on zooms already). How big are your kids? I ask that because it will tell you whether they will be too big for framing in your lens. How big is the rooms you will be in where you take the vast number of your photos? I have a fairly open living room and my kids are 2-5 years old so then a fast 50mm is absolutely no problem. But, if my kids were getting rather tall or where I took my pictures was getting into tighter and tighter spaces then go to 35mm. In fact, if I was thinking of making a buy that would suit my family 5 or 6 years from now, I would probably even look carefully at a fast 28-31 mm range. But I figure that would give me reason for a new lens then!!! Yippee... more lenses!!! And honestly the 35mm and 50mm are quite reasonable.

Good luck! Let us know what you decide.
Hi EricG
Kids are 2.8 and 0.75. Only one is racing around. Small rooms with reasonable windows necessitates a wider lens - perhaps the 35mm is my best bet here? Or faster? Haven't made a decision yet - will wait until the yule-tide rushes in. I am looking at 35 f2.4 or 50 f1.8 because they are quite reasonable from the Aus primary Pentax dealer.

On another note, due to the overwhelming support from previous replies, I have picked up the Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 Macro, and will add either the Da 50-200 or 55-300. Why not the 18-135 wr? Because I have just learned that a 'friend of a friend' is planning on selling his soon! Fingers crossed, and let the lens glut begin!
09-23-2013, 05:51 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPE Quote
Hi EricG
Kids are 2.8 and 0.75. Only one is racing around. Small rooms with reasonable windows necessitates a wider lens - perhaps the 35mm is my best bet here? Or faster? Haven't made a decision yet - will wait until the yule-tide rushes in. I am looking at 35 f2.4 or 50 f1.8 because they are quite reasonable from the Aus primary Pentax dealer.

On another note, due to the overwhelming support from previous replies, I have picked up the Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 Macro, and will add either the Da 50-200 or 55-300. Why not the 18-135 wr? Because I have just learned that a 'friend of a friend' is planning on selling his soon! Fingers crossed, and let the lens glut begin!
Hey JPE;

You have the answer already in your hands. The 17-70 will tell you. Make a conscious decision to shoot with 35mm and 50mm on bright days and see what you think in terms of your composition. If you decide you still need a prime lens, you'll know what you need right from what zoom distance you use a disproportionate amount of the time. I was able to get away with the 50mm because like you, my kids are toddler size. My room is big enough that I could easily take the shots. It is harder once I try to squeeze my partner when she is standing up but I still can do it. But seriously, you are in a great position because your zoom lens can take out all the question marks for you!

Good luck and enjoy the pics of the kids.
09-23-2013, 05:57 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by EricG Quote
Hey JPE;

You have the answer already in your hands. The 17-70 will tell you. Make a conscious decision to shoot with 35mm and 50mm on bright days and see what you think in terms of your composition. If you decide you still need a prime lens, you'll know what you need right from what zoom distance you use a disproportionate amount of the time. I was able to get away with the 50mm because like you, my kids are toddler size. My room is big enough that I could easily take the shots. It is harder once I try to squeeze my partner when she is standing up but I still can do it. But seriously, you are in a great position because your zoom lens can take out all the question marks for you!

Good luck and enjoy the pics of the kids.
Duh! Mental head slap. Indeed I have all the answers already. Great suggestion EricG!
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