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03-01-2014, 09:35 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by fretlessdavis Quote
55-70 is such a small gap, it's not really worth noting.
I agree. For many years, while still broke more than I am now, my kit was three primes: 28, 55, 135. I have gone out with just the 12-24 and 55-300, and not noticed the gap. I'll keep the 16-50, though. It's faster and it's AW.

03-01-2014, 09:38 AM   #17
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I never missed the 55-70 range when I only had a 18-55 and 70-300.
03-01-2014, 10:17 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by fretlessdavis Quote
55-70 is such a small gap, it's not really worth noting. I use primes almost always, and have nothing between 58 and 90, and rarely carry anything even between the 58 and 135. I never miss anything in that range. I've never missed a shot because of it. It's easy to 'zoom with your feet' in that range. I can hardly imagine any scenario where a couple steps forward with the 55mm setting, or a couple steps back with the Sigma at the 70mm setting wouldn't be possible.
Yes, it does depend on your subjects .... one of my favorite lenses is my F 35-70 precisely because it covers the same gap as between 55 & 70. At largish family social events where I am taking candid photos, zooming with your feet isn't always practical. It draws too much attention and the subject will often react.
03-01-2014, 10:21 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
Yes, it does depend on your subjects .... one of my favorite lenses is my F 35-70 precisely because it covers the same gap as between 55 & 70. At largish family social events where I am taking candid photos, zooming with your feet isn't always practical. It draws too much attention and the subject will often react.
Longer lens and a little bit further back, they'll be less likely to notice-- I've done this. With a bit of practice shooting with nothing but primes isn't any more difficult than zooms.

I personally think it's a bit ridiculous to need every possible focal length, with no gaps, but that's just me. Shooting with primes will make you a better photographer, anyway. Having gaps in a zoom range will force you to think more instead of twisting away.

03-01-2014, 11:10 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by fretlessdavis Quote
Longer lens and a little bit further back, they'll be less likely to notice-- I've done this. With a bit of practice shooting with nothing but primes isn't any more difficult than zooms.

I personally think it's a bit ridiculous to need every possible focal length, with no gaps, but that's just me. Shooting with primes will make you a better photographer, anyway. Having gaps in a zoom range will force you to think more instead of twisting away.
As someone who learned photography using only primes for a long time because 30-40 years ago zooms were big, heavy, very expensive and substantially less optically than current zoom models, I understand what you are saying, and politely disagree. "Zooming with your feet" - forward or backward, isn't always practical and in fact can lead to unwanted compromises in your composition, or final image if you have to crop. Thought alone doesn't replace a needed tool. There is a place for primes and a place for zooms. My photographic kit has both. And I don't agree that focal length restrictions has a direct correlation to learning composition.

And who knows if the original poster is new to photography or just to a Pentax system?I am gathering the original poster is just getting started with a Pentax dSLR and like many photographers, has to work within the limits of a budget. Right now, that means two lenses, the kit 18-55 and a longer lens. There is no harm in fully covering a focal range, but the opposite may not be true. Over time, our new Pentax owner will discover the focal lengths he/she really uses, and as funds become available, expand or replace his/her glass collection.
03-01-2014, 05:50 PM   #21
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I would like to thank everyone for your kind and educational responses. I think the answer I got from most was to get the Pentax SMC DA 55-300/4-5.8 instead of the 50-200 or Sigma 70-300. So after a day of thinking that is what I did. I had some points to use up on my credit card so it ended up costing $210. I think that is a pretty sweet deal.
03-01-2014, 08:07 PM   #22
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Be sure to test the 55-300 very, very carefully, at a variety of focal lengths and distances. Look for consistency between each edge/corner, while you can still return it at minimal cost. I don't have experience with the sigma, but would say the same about any lens. It's really been a surprise to me, having owned more than a dozen SMC takumars and Canon FDs in the past and not had any issues with them, how many quality control issues there seem to be with modern lenses. Or maybe we can just see the problems more easily now, but I'm more inclined to think that there are actually more problems today.
03-01-2014, 08:40 PM   #23
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Congratulations on your purchase. I'll second sireddy - test it so you can swap it for a better one if it is not working right. Mine is ok, first try, but you never know.

03-01-2014, 11:36 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
Since you indicate your other lens is the kit 18-55, buying the Sigma 70-300 is going to leave you with a gap in focal range. I can almost promise you that will periodically kick yourself for creating that gap.
As said before by fretlessdavis, that's not a gap

//edit
oops, just see that you already discussed on page 2

Last edited by sterretje; 03-01-2014 at 11:42 PM.
03-01-2014, 11:57 PM   #25
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On the point that a budget is a budget - be willing to look at secondhand lenses. The old manual focus lenses have very little that can go wrong which is not obvious if you can see the lens. Newer lenses with auto focus have more that can go wrong. At least with the Pentax SR in body you get SR on any lens (effectively) and it is not something that could go wrong with the lens.

If you do move in the screw mount direction, remember, an adapter for that to K mount was part of the original K mount concept, and the genuine Pentax product is still the best.
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