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10-11-2013, 09:41 AM   #1
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The best 3 AF lens setup for cheap

Howdy people.

Please post what is in your opinion the best cheap 3 autofocus lens setup.
Please list AF lenses only, as with manual focus lenses the choice is simply HUGE, with all the M42 lenses out there etc.

10-11-2013, 09:47 AM   #2
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DA16-45/4 - U$D 250 used
DA55-300/4-5.6 U$D 250 used
DA35/2.8 or DA40/2.8 XS or DA50/1.8 (DA40 is my choice) U$D150 used

Total: U$D650
10-11-2013, 10:27 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 - 300 used
Pentax DA-L 55-300 - 180 used
Tamron 10-24 - 350 used

Next cheapest:
Sigma 18-50 f/2.8-4.5 - 150 used
Tamron/Sigma 70-300 - 120 used
Pentax 50-200 DA-L - 100 used

And now for really cheap:
Pentax DA-L 18-55 - 60 used
Pentax F 28-80 - 40 used
Quantaray 70-300 - 80 used
10-11-2013, 10:40 AM - 1 Like   #4
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More Choices?

Hello Viplala, welcome to the Forum!
First off, to save money, you'll want to buy used. The normal precautions apply; Check the seller's feedback/reputation, look carefully at the photos, write for more info if you're unsure about anything, make sure they have a return policy.
Second, I'm going to include one WR zoom that may not be the sharpest lens available in the price range. It's sharp enough if used properly, but the reason is this. You only get real WR if both the body and lens are WR; Not just the body. So, if you think you'll need some weather-resistance (who doesn't?) eventually, you'll have to settle for slightly lower I.Q. Unless you plan to print wall posters, it won't be very noticeable.
DA 18-55mm WR. Just about the handiest walk-around wide angle-to-short tele zoom going and....WR. $ 150 used, US dollars.
DA 35mm f/2.4AL. Inexpensive normal-length lens, great for low-light situations and very sharp stopped down slightly. $ 150 used, $225-250 new (see the 'Plastic Fantastic!' thread for examples).
DA 55-300mm. One of the better telephoto zooms, now available in WR. The non-WR older versions are about $250 used. I believe the new ones are $400 or so.
Good luck!

Last edited by rbefly; 10-11-2013 at 11:19 AM.
10-11-2013, 10:54 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Most of my ideas are covered already - but here goes:
  • wide end: DA16-45 or 18-55 (WR if needed)
  • tele: DA50-200 (WR) or 55-300
  • bonus prime: DA35/50 or Sigma 50 macro

If you don't expect to need much telephoto go with the DA50-200 which saves on size and money; I've always had very nice copies.
If WR isn't important then the 16-45 is preferred over 18-55 but again cash dictates the 18-55.
Your prime could be almost anything, but the Sigma 50 is the cheapest 1:1 macro I know of.
DAL lenses are cheaper but I really like quick-shift focusing, which means DA only.
10-11-2013, 10:59 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimr-pdx Quote
DAL lenses are cheaper but I really like quick-shift focusing, which means DA only.
QS is overrated. If I need to QS I just press the lens release button...

I have only done it rarely with the DA L 55-300, I have a 18-55 WR with QS and I have never used it on that lens.
10-11-2013, 11:24 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
QS is overrated. If I need to QS I just press the lens release button...

I have only done it rarely with the DA L 55-300, I have a 18-55 WR with QS and I have never used it on that lens.
I feel a bit handicapped without it.
10-11-2013, 11:25 AM   #8
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I have only 2 lenses for a cheap kit. DA 18-55 amd DA 50-200. Total for the pair used $100

10-11-2013, 11:30 AM   #9

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DA 16-45 or F 24-50
DA 55-300 or F/Takumar 70-210/4-5.6
Cosina 100/3.5 AF macro
10-11-2013, 11:39 AM   #10
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Sigma 18-125 HSM f3.8-5.6
Pentax FA 100-300 f4.7-4.8
Pentax DA 35 f2.4 AL
10-11-2013, 11:42 AM   #11
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Really depends what you like to shoot, but if you want to cover as much as possible with best price/performace/weight/size ratio, my take would be

Sigma 10-20/4-5.6
Tamron 17-50/2.8
DA 55-300 (I would ignore DA-L because lack of quick-shift; very usable with this lens as focus may hunt)
10-11-2013, 07:03 PM - 1 Like   #12
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Best value (bang for the buck!)
DA 16-45
F 35-70 (the so-called bundle of primes)
DAL 55-300
10-12-2013, 03:01 PM   #13
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Many lenses are great. For me, I use my 18-135 and Sigma 30/1.4 a lot. A versatile WR zoom and a fast normal. A great pair. As a bonus, they share filter sizes. Add in the DA15 if it controls your mind, or the 55-300 if you want tele. The Sigma 18-125 is a bit better IQ, than the 18-135, but you lose WR (I live in Florida, so I NEED a WR lens). The Sigma 30 is without peer as far as a fast, useable prime.
10-16-2013, 08:04 AM   #14
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Many here have suggested very good options, so I'll go with an alternate style setup

Sigma 10-20 (350-400)
FA 50 (230) or DA 40 (270)
DA 50-200 or DA 55-300

Buy a cheap old body like a K200D and mount the FA 50 on it (to balance the possibly weak ISO performance). Mount 10-20 on the newer body. 10-20 + 50 ready at all times with no lens change is a very potent combo.

Or if you're more of a tele person, you can do DA 35 or Sigma 10-20 on one, and a telezoom on the other
10-23-2013, 05:51 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Viplala Quote
Please list AF lenses only, as with manual focus lenses the choice is simply HUGE
If you can cope with manual focus then do not disregard manual focus lenses, especially Pentax M or A primes. For the price of a takeaway meal you can pick up some really good lenses (28/50/135).

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