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11-05-2014, 10:47 AM   #1
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Walkaround lens (lenses) for K-50, what are your thoughts, please?

I am definitely getting a K-50 and I will be getting a Tamron 90 and the Pentax 35 2.4 and the 50 1.8.

For walk around lenses I could get the two that are included in the kit or get something else. The Sigma 18-200 and the Sigma 18-250 are possibilities. This would give me one lens to cover my walk around range, although I do realize superzooms do have more compromises. Also, buying a Sigma lens would help me support other vendors making Pentax compatible gear.

I could also support Sigma by buying the Pentax 18-55 and Sigma's 50-200.

The only thing I want to avoid is pentax's 18-135 because that seems kinda pricey.

Anybody have some thoughts on this?

Thanks, you guys rock!

11-05-2014, 10:56 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by bladerunner6 Quote
I am definitely getting a K-50 and I will be getting a Tamron 90 and the Pentax 35 2.4 and the 50 1.8.
Welcome to the forums! That is a great kit to start with! Looks like you already did a lot of research.
For walking around you can use the DA 35mm. If you want zoom, try Tamron 17-50mm or Sigma 17-70mm. I would advise against 18-200mm zooms, because once you will take photos with that Tamron 90mm, the zoom will not be good enough for you anymore. People also like the DA 21mm, because it is light, good quality, and it has a good field of view for general city and landscape photography. But it is a little expensive. There are some good sales going on right now, though (and in the coming holidays, I guess)
The 18-135mm might be pricy for its optics, but it is one of the cheapest WR lenses. Keep in mind that if you want to use it in poor weather, a WR camera is not enough, you need a WR lens, too! This is the main reason people buy the 18-135mm, because it has a convenient zoom range, it is better than the DA 18-55mm, and it is WR. Often it can be found bundled with a camera for a more reasonable price; or even buying a second hand copy. But if you don't need WR, the Tamron or Sigma I mentioned earlier are fine choices.
Also, I suggest you take it slow Each camera and lens has a learning curve, if you buy a big kit at the beginning, you might feel overwhelmed. Easy does it!
11-05-2014, 01:45 PM   #3
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Walk-around primes tend to be on the wider side. 35mm on down for APS is good. Otherwise you may find yourself not being able to zoom out by walking away.

The DA 18-135mm is pricey but its a very, very nice lens. It's sharp, has decent contrast, and the colors are neutral. Yes, it's pricey but I think its worth it if you can save up for it.

I have also had great luck with some of the older F and FA lenses. Try the 35-70mm and the 28-105mm f/3.2 lenses. They can be had for under $100. Very, very vibrant colors and decently sharp too. AF performance can be iffy under less than ideal conditions though.
11-05-2014, 02:47 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I love my WR 55-300 and I really like my WR 18-135. I also like the versatility of the overlapping zoom ranges and the weather resistance. When I travelled to Borneo and Singapore last March, those were basically the only two lenses I used and it was a very light and compact walk-around kit that worked for almost all situations.

That said, my usual walk-around kit in the city is the Sigma 17-70 and the Pentax WR 55-300. The somewhat faster 17-70 is worth the loss of range on the telephoto end in many instances. I find the 17-70 is more useful because I can bring it indoors without flash and still get decent images with somewhat less light. However, if I'm outside in good light (e.g., photographing at the farm animal sanctuary where I volunteer, I usually keep the 55-300 on my camera and carry the 18-135 with me, unless I know I'm going to be shooting in the barn).

So from a quality/perspective, I guess I'm saying that the Pentax 18-135 and the Sigma 17-70 are worth the $. You can't go wrong with either.

11-05-2014, 04:36 PM   #5
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Wonderful set of three primes to start off with, Bladerunner.


You might like to look at the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 as a walkaround zoom.
11-05-2014, 04:47 PM   #6
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Even though you say it is pricey, the DA 18-135 has proven itself as my go-to walk around lens and it is WR to boot.
Maybe you can find one second hand for a better price.
The Tamron 28-75 or any of the 28 + zooms will not be wide enough in some situations, like groups in confined spaces.
The 18-200's will be fine, but just don't expect the image quality of your primes.
Look for anything that starts at 17-18mm to give you a little more on the wide end than your current primes will.
If you need reach on the long end, consider any of the Pentax 55-300 variants that fit your budget for best IQ at a reasonable price.
11-05-2014, 04:50 PM   #7
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I like my Tamron 17-50 as a walk around, with my 50's being too narrow. I've also owned a Sigma 17-70, and it was great.
11-05-2014, 05:00 PM - 1 Like   #8
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My advice would be to get a super-zoom, see what focal lengths appeal to you and then get the best prime you can afford at that length.

11-05-2014, 07:11 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by esrandall Quote
I've also owned a Sigma 17-70, and it was great.
That and the Pentax one are analogues of the 24-105 popular with Canon owners.
11-06-2014, 02:16 AM - 1 Like   #10
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the 18-135 is pricey for a reason. its probably (for me) the best general walkaround zoom at the moment. i dont think im ever going to sell it
11-06-2014, 02:30 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
You might like to look at the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 as a walkaround zoom.
this one and the sigma 17-50 f2.8 are lovely walkaround zoom for me !
11-06-2014, 03:29 AM - 1 Like   #12
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You can find a second hand DA18-135 priced very near to a Tamron 17-50, and both will make a good walkaround lens.
If you need f/2.8 and better sharpness across the frame go for Tamron, if you need WR, silent AF and more reach and can sacrifice a bit of corner sharpness, go for 18-135.

Both of them will give you overall better IQ than a 18-200 zoom.
11-06-2014, 11:55 AM - 2 Likes   #13
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I sometimes like to walk around with a prime lens. At first, you see all the shots that won't work at all with that lens. You are missing shots! Stick with it, and keep looking for shots that are perfect for the focal length you have. After a few shots, you start to see the way the lens sees, and shots become natural. I've done this with prime lenses from a 16mm fisheye to 200mm. I think it's more fun in your local area or on a repeat visit. You can always come back for another walk with a zoom.
11-06-2014, 03:36 PM - 2 Likes   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by bladerunner6 Quote
The Sigma 18-200 and the Sigma 18-250 are possibilities. This would give me one lens to cover my walk around range, although I do realize superzooms do have more compromises. Also, buying a Sigma lens would help me support other vendors making Pentax compatible gear.

I could also support Sigma by buying the Pentax 18-55 and Sigma's 50-200.
The only thing I want to avoid is pentax's 18-135 because that seems kinda pricey.
The 18-135 is pricey because it's good, it's not the same quality as the 18-55, it's much better. Personally I would steer clear of those Sigmas. If you want a good cheap walk around zoom look for a used Tamron/Promaster/Pentax 28-105mm 1:4-5.6 (not the Powerzoom Pentax 28-105). It's a nice sharp lens that can be found at rather inexpensive prices.
11-07-2014, 02:28 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I sometimes like to walk around with a prime lens
I'd do the same with my Helios or DA 15 longer than that and I'd feel awkward I'd have to practice a lot more with those (short)tele...
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