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08-21-2014, 07:48 AM   #1
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New lenses for a begginer

Hi guys, i'm new to digital photography and a few months ago i bought a pentax K-5 with the 18-55 WR Kit lens. Now i'm looking for an upgrade but i cant decide wich lens to buy. I use it mainly to street photography, some landscapes arround 20- 35mm

My budget is arround 1.000 USD.

Here are my options so far based on the reviews:
1. Pentax DA* 16-50 and next year buy the pentax DA* 50-135;
2. Pentax DA 18-135 WR + pentax DA 35 macro limited and next year add some more limited primes

The sigma 17-50 EX also seems to be a very good alternative to the pentax 18-135 since i dont need all that zoom.

08-21-2014, 08:23 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Big zooms are not exactly unobtrusive for street photography :-)

Many people like the DA 21 for its small size and focal length for street shots. The DA 40 is also small, and gets you a bit closer.
08-21-2014, 08:39 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Suggestion: Buy used. The lenses are still good, and you've stretched your budget out considerably.

Since you say your preferred focal length is 20-35mm, maybe the 20-40 limited would be a good choice for you?

Personally, I like my 50-135 much more than my 16-50, but I couldn't use it as my only lens since it doesn't go wide enough. You have the 18-55, so this wouldn't overlap that much, and then next year you could revisit the 16-50 or whatever else might be available then.

Personally, when I'm walking around and don't want to carry much, I bring my 15mm ltd and 40mm xs (I use an op/tech USA double rear cap so the two lenses are linked together and fit into a small pouch) and the 50-135, maybe with a teleconverter in my pocket. I use the 50-135 for most stuff, then either set it down, get my wife to carry it, or if I'm solo and moving I attach a neoprene pouch to my belt, big enough to stuff the 50-135 into. The 40mm doesn't get that much use if I'm carrying the 50-135, but it takes up very little space. If I need to go wider than 40, I can use the 15mm and crop (or if I want to be silly, put the 15mm on the TC for a ~21 /5.6 - I've done it a couple times).
08-21-2014, 09:19 AM - 1 Like   #4
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The Tamron 17-50 is inexpensive and a good choice if you don't need WR and aren't sensitive to size.
The Pentax 20-40 is expensive and a good choice if you need WR and are sensitive to size.

Honestly you could likely get a used Tamron 17-50, a used DAL 55-300, and still have budget left over. Not quite enough to get a Sigma 8-16 but you'd be most of the way there.

8-16: 600 used
17-50: 300 used (? not really sure, $500 new)
DAL 55-300: 150-200 used (? not really sure)

The major thing that is missing from that kit is an unobtrusive lens for your street photography. You might try the 35mm F/2.4 if you want to go less expensive. The 35mm F/2.8 LImited is a better choice if you want the macro capability or the quick shift. Also less expensive and COMPLETELY unobtrusive is the 40mm XS, but I think it's a bit long for street photography (I think the same of the 35mm though).

Depending on what you want to do and what your IQ requirements are... with the 15mm, people don't think you're taking a picture of them. The same is true of the 8-16, but the 8-16 sticks out more in a crowd.


I had an 18-135. At 135 it was very bad in the corners. YMMV but I don't recommend it; depends what you want to use it for; but for landscapes at 135 it's not very good.


Last edited by ElJamoquio; 08-21-2014 at 09:24 AM.
08-21-2014, 10:31 AM - 2 Likes   #5
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The Pentax DA* 16-50mm is not as beloved on these forums as some other lenses are. You might prefer to spend a little less on that type of zoom and get some high quality primes instead. You can get Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 as a significant improvement over the DA 18-55mm (and its still 2.8), and a DA 21mm for landscapes. And you will still have some money left over, you can get a DA 35mm f2.4, DA 40mm XS, or DA 50mm f1.8. All of these lenses would give top image quality, in the same ballpark or better than the Pentax 16-50mm
And you can keep the 18-55mm for those occasions you need WR, provided your camera is WR
Just my opinion

Last edited by Na Horuk; 08-21-2014 at 11:30 AM.
08-22-2014, 01:36 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the responses! Now im considering buying the tamron 17-50 and maybe the DA 21 limited.

Once again thank tou and its good to see such a nice community of pentax users.
08-22-2014, 03:58 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Just one more thing, this forum has a Lens review section.
Pentax Lenses: Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Third party lenses: Pentax Lenses by Sigma, Tamron, Zeiss, and more - Reviews and Specification Database - Pentax Lens Review Database

As well as a Sample photo gallery, where you can search for photos taken by members with certain cameras or lenses.
08-22-2014, 05:12 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by rwifilipe Quote
Hi guys, i'm new to digital photography and a few months ago i bought a pentax K-5 with the 18-55 WR Kit lens. Now i'm looking for an upgrade but i cant decide wich lens to buy. I use it mainly to street photography, some landscapes arround 20- 35mm

My budget is arround 1.000 USD.

Here are my options so far based on the reviews:
1. Pentax DA* 16-50 and next year buy the pentax DA* 50-135;
2. Pentax DA 18-135 WR + pentax DA 35 macro limited and next year add some more limited primes

The sigma 17-50 EX also seems to be a very good alternative to the pentax 18-135 since i dont need all that zoom.
What focal lengths do you shoot now. There are several programs that let you analyze your shooting habits and plot out the distribution of focal lengths.

Start with this plot, because it may show more of where your needs are

08-22-2014, 07:57 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I just remembered the Pentaxforums also had an in depth comparison of some 17-50mm lenses:
Review: DA* 16-50mm vs. Sigma and Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 Comparison - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews
Compares the Pentax and Tamron and Sigma, so you can better decide how to use your budget
08-23-2014, 07:51 AM   #10
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Update:

After reading the reviews i'm considering buying the "famous" tamron 17-50/2.8 and the tamron 70-200/2.8

I can get those two lenses really cheap and still have some money leftover for some prime lenses.

Regards
08-23-2014, 10:09 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by rwifilipe Quote
Hi guys, i'm new to digital photography and a few months ago i bought a pentax K-5 with the 18-55 WR Kit lens. Now i'm looking for an upgrade but i cant decide wich lens to buy. I use it mainly to street photography, some landscapes arround 20- 35mm

My budget is arround 1.000 USD.

Here are my options so far based on the reviews:
1. Pentax DA* 16-50 and next year buy the pentax DA* 50-135;
2. Pentax DA 18-135 WR + pentax DA 35 macro limited and next year add some more limited primes

The sigma 17-50 EX also seems to be a very good alternative to the pentax 18-135 since i dont need all that zoom.
Hello,
Sigma has recently come out with several lenses that are getting great reviews. Most recently the Pentax Forum posted a discussion of the Sigma 18-35 "Art" that is fast and takes superb images throughout its range. I've not personally tried this lens but it may be something you would like to research. The lens is pricey but it sounds like it might cover the range you like for your landscape and street photography.

I use the Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 "contemporary" lens and it is on my camera about 80% of the time. This lens covers a useful range for me and I am extremely pleased with the image quality. I live in Alaska and enjoy a wide angle lense to capture landscapes. This lens is perfect for my needs. I also enjoy macro photography so the lens that's on when my a Sigma is off is my Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro. This lens is also an excellent option if this is a direction you want to take with your photography. I encourage you to look through the Pentax and 3rd party lens review sections of this website. I've found that the forum members do a bang up job analyzing the pros and cons of any lens you may decide to purchase. Good luck on your quest!
08-23-2014, 10:28 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by rwifilipe Quote
After reading the reviews i'm considering buying the "famous" tamron 17-50/2.8 and the tamron 70-200/2.8
That is a sensible kit. I just really suggest you get a Pentax prime, as well. They have a nice character, I prefer using primes over zooms
08-23-2014, 10:44 AM - 2 Likes   #13
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Pick up a second hand da35 f2.4 first. It's cheap, good, and it'll give you something better for low light work. Use that for a few months before making your next purchase. (I wouldn't spend money on a new zoom until you have had experience of a prime!)

If you find yourself stopping down a lot and shooting landscapes, then jump for the da21 hd or da15 smc.

If you find yourself taking lots of bokeh filled portraits, then consider the da70 ltd.

If however you find that you miss the flexibility of a zoom, then you can decide on a 16-50, 20-40, or 18-135.

Don't just buy a bunch of lenses at once, get to know each lens before making the next purchase. That way, Christmas can come along every few months!
08-23-2014, 03:06 PM - 1 Like   #14
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For street photography I find the Pentax MX-1 does the trick. With your budget you could probably be able to get one of these and upgrade your kit lens for landscapes.
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