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03-12-2014, 12:28 PM   #1
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K-30 AF Lens Recommendation

Hello PF!

I own a K-30 with the kit 18-55mm lens, along with assorted vintage manual prime (a couple 28mm and 50mm) and zoom (up to 200mm) lenses. The kit lens is my only AF glass. While I actually enjoy manually focusing most of the time, I'd like to purchase another auto-focus lens to add to my small collection -- especially when I'm taking pictures of the young kids in my family.

I'm currently mostly interested in portraiture/landscape/architecture photography, less so in wildlife/sports/macro.

With a budget of about $500USD (mayyyybe $600), what lens(es) should I invest in?

Apologies if this sort of question has already been addressed elsewhere in the forum; I tried searching for similar threads. Please direct me to any relevant threads!

Thanks!

03-12-2014, 12:38 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I'd recommend the sigma 17-70:


https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/94-pentax-price-watch/251380-sigma-17-70mm-449-a.html

It's got better image quality than your kit lens, a more versatile zoom range, faster aperture for easier bokeh control, and silent AF.

Adam
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03-12-2014, 02:16 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Be advised that Sigma lenses have zoom and focus rings which rotate in the "Canon" direction, which is to say, the wrong direction.

Some folks don't mind, although it absolutely drives me nuts. And I am a former Canon film SLR user (which by itself could explain a few things).

For that reason, I tend to stick to Tamron or Pentax lenses. Sorry for my mini-rant.
03-12-2014, 02:21 PM - 1 Like   #4
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If you like prime lenses you should be able to get both the DA35 2.4 and 50 1.8 within your budget.
They have excellent image quality.
If you want a constant 2.8 zoom look into the Tamron 17-50 or 28-75 zooms, both are economically priced.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/118765-da-3...ny-photos.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-DA-Lenses-c34.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/reviews/pentax-16-50-vs-sigma-tamron-17-50mm/introduction.html


Last edited by crewl1; 03-12-2014 at 02:28 PM.
03-12-2014, 02:22 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I would suggest either one of my two favorite auto focus lenses: the DA 40 2.8 Limited or the FA 43 1.9 Limited. Both are sharp and render beautifully. Perfect all-rounders based on my experience.
03-12-2014, 02:23 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I'd recommend the sigma 17-70:
+1, it's a great lens. And if you don't mind buying used, there are actually three versions of it with very similar IQ. You can get the V1 (2.8 to 4.5, screwdrive) or the V2 (2.8 to 4, screwdrive) for very little money, you'd have enough leftover to get another lens (maybe another manual prime or even an AF 50mm)
03-12-2014, 03:37 PM - 1 Like   #7
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I'd look at the Pentax FA24-90/3.5-4.5. It was my first AF lens beyond the kit lens. It takes very nice photos.


Make sure you buy from somewhere/someone who will take it back if you have any AF or other problems on your camera - it can happen with this lens. But it's worth the small risk because it's the best combination of quality and range I know of. If you buy from KEH, for example, they'll take it back no problem. Pentax Autofocus Zoom Lenses - KEH.com



Alternately (and for much less) the FA28-105/3.2-4.5 (not the other FA28-105 - this one has much nicer rendering) and the F24-50/4 are the best kit lenses I've seen (and I have both). Nice choices. They actually seem far too good to be kit lenses - much better than the DA18-55.


With any of these three lenses, I'd get a Pentax (or Takumar - same lens but slightly different coating for less money - I've had both but kept the Takumar) F70-210/4-5.6. Then consider a DA15 later (if you got the FA28-105/3.2-4.5 and Takumar F70-210/4-5.6 you might just have enough left over). Buy used, of course, to stretch your budget; the marketplace on this site or KEH being preferred, and eBay if necessary (but on eBay you have about a 1/3 chance of getting a problem lens, vs. only 5-10% here or from KEH). Remember, a new lens may have almost as much chance of problems as a proven, used lens.



Here are examples from these 4 lenses (plus the DA15) from the PPG:

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

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

---------- Post added 03-12-14 at 03:50 PM ----------

I also agree with everything crewl1 said, but I thought you might be better off going in a different direction - particularly for the types of photos you want to take.
03-12-2014, 07:15 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
Be advised that Sigma lenses have zoom and focus rings which rotate in the "Canon" direction, which is to say, the wrong direction.
I had 2 Sigmas (18-50, 70-300) where the zoom rotated in opposite directions. Still, the 17-70 is a handy lens.

03-12-2014, 07:24 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for the recommendations! Lots to think about. I don't mind buying used glass-- especially from users in this forum. I'm a very novice hobby photographer and I'm very glad I found this site.
03-12-2014, 07:48 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
I had 2 Sigmas (18-50, 70-300) where the zoom rotated in opposite directions. Still, the 17-70 is a handy lens.
Right, some of the older Sigmas rotated in the proper direction, but AFAIK, all the current production goes the wrong way. Cheers.
03-12-2014, 08:57 PM - 1 Like   #11
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The DA18-135 is not quite as nice as the Sigma 17-70, but it's weather sealed and has more range. If your 18-55 is not WR, I'd get the 18-135 and enjoy shooting in the rain. Unless you live in a dry place, then never mind.
03-13-2014, 07:53 AM - 1 Like   #12
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It I was in your shoes, I'd buy the zoom lens with the widest angle of view that I could afford. Seventeen millimeters on an APS-C camera isn't wide enough for landscapes most of the time; it's only 28mm equiv on a FF. Although some options (like Sigma's 10-20, Pentax's 10-20 or Tamron's 10-24) wouldn't be useful for traditional portraits such as head shots or 3/4 length shots due to optical distortions, it would be great for full-length environmental portraits, landscapes, interior & exterior architecture.
For me, having a three-zoom kit comprised of an ultra-wide zoom (landscapes, architecture), a semi-wide to short tele (traditional portraiture, general photography) and a long tele (sports, tight close ups, wildlife, etc...) would be the ideal setup. This is the lens set up that I had when I shot 35mm and I rarely ever had the need to for anything else. The only exception is a fast 35 or 50 that's around f/1.4 - f/1.8 for indoor w/o flash type of shots. If I was to get into an APS-C or FF system, I'd get the widest angle zoom and a telephoto zoom. I rarely used the in-between lens except for social events where the ultra-wide was too wide and the telephoto zoom was too tight, the semi-wide to telephoto zoom was just right.
03-14-2014, 12:01 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Welcome!
Another vote for the DA35/2.4 & DA50/1.8. Someone gave them the nickname "Plastic Fantastic". Very affordable.
The DA40 Limited is the gateway drug to the rest of the Limited series. It is also affordable.
The Sigma 17-70 was my first Auto-Focus zoom and the Sigma 70-210 was my second. I can't fault them as a potential path.
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