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02-03-2009, 08:16 AM   #1
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What to buy!?!?!?!

Loving PentaxForums and appreciate all of the great interaction/feedback among this community - wish I'd switched from **non sooner...

I'm a relatively new K20D owner and have the kit (18-55mm AL) lens as well as the 50mm 1.4 lens; I've got enough money to purchase one of the lenses below, but am having trouble making final decision. I'm leaning toward the 18-250mm or the 55-300mm zoom lens, but would love to hear other thoughts. I could also possibly swing the 55-300 AND the DA 40.

FYI, all prices are what I'm seeing on Amazon as of last night (2/2). Thanks in advance for any/all replies.



Zoom 16-45 Pentax 16-45mm f/4.0 SMC PDA ED AL Zoom Lens $249.99
Zoom 17-70 Pentax 17-70mm f/4 DA SMC AL IF SDM Lens $488.63
Zoom 18-250 Pentax DA 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 ED AL IF Lens $397.90
Zoom 55-300 Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Lens $279.00
Prime 21 Pentax 21mm F/3.2 AL Limited Lens $379.99
Prime 40 Pentax DA 40mm f/2.8 Ultra Compact Lens $219.99
Prime 43 Pentax SMCP-FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited Lens $379.99
Prime 70 Pentax 70mm f/2.4 DA Limited Lens $399.99

02-03-2009, 09:22 AM   #2
YJD
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What type of pictures do you like to take? That will help us help you.
02-03-2009, 09:27 AM   #3
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Welcome! I'm also a recent Pentax convert.

It really depends on your style of photography or what you see yourself photographing the most. From my rudimentary understanding, zoom lenses, especially ones that have a super long range like the 18-250mm aren't as good as a prime lenses, especially with sharpness. I like doing street photography and landscapes, which I find prime lenses more than sufficient. Zoom lenses I find more useful in animals and sports photography (anything fast moving).
02-03-2009, 09:44 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by YJD Quote
What type of pictures do you like to take? That will help us help you.
To this reply and the other, thanks for taking time. If you have a few minutes, take a look at my Flickr stream to get an idea of what I like to shoot. As you'll likely see, my shot tastes run the gamut.

I do love taking landscape shots, but the 50 has opened up the door to some decent quality portraits/street shots too.

Yes I would like to add some range to the mix (for purposes of sports, animals, etc.), so either the 18-250 or 55-300 might make the most sense. Would going with the 55-300 AND DA 40 be too much? In other words, would the 40 be a waste in light of what I currently own and perhaps the BG-2 be a better investment (it's $100 at Amazon)?

Thanks!


Last edited by AlphaGAK20D; 02-03-2009 at 10:11 AM.
02-03-2009, 10:34 AM   #5
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Lou,
The 55-300 is most definitely the better choice over the 18-250 if you want a longer FL range. Since you have the 50 already, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to pick up the 40 since they're both so close in length. I took a quick look at your Flickr photostream and since you like to shoot a lot of landscapes, I would suggest adding a wider prime, like the DA21. I just got a DA21 not long ago and I plan on pairing it up with my 55-300 for trips where I want to travel extra light, but don't need extra wide angle.

Later on, you might consider upgrading the kit lens, but for now, you'll the widest FL range covered with the kit lens and the 55-300. You could also hold off on adding a second prime and upgrade the kit now to something like the 16-45 or 17-70.

HTH,
Heather
02-03-2009, 10:41 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by hwblanks Quote
Lou,
The 55-300 is most definitely the better choice over the 18-250 if you want a longer FL range. Since you have the 50 already, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to pick up the 40 since they're both so close in length. I took a quick look at your Flickr photostream and since you like to shoot a lot of landscapes, I would suggest adding a wider prime, like the DA21. I just got a DA21 not long ago and I plan on pairing it up with my 55-300 for trips where I want to travel extra light, but don't need extra wide angle.

Later on, you might consider upgrading the kit lens, but for now, you'll the widest FL range covered with the kit lens and the 55-300. You could also hold off on adding a second prime and upgrade the kit now to something like the 16-45 or 17-70.

HTH,
Heather
Heather - thank you for this reply. I appreciate that you took time to get an idea of my tastes and your suggestions/reasoning in light of same makes a lot of sense.

Very helpful indeed!

Lou
02-03-2009, 10:42 AM   #7
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I took a look at your flickr. Nice pics! You are much more an experienced photographer than me so take my input with a grain of salt. If I had 18-55mm and 50mm covered and I wanted to take a mix of photographs, I would probably be looking to add some range with a nice telephoto lens. But I also noticed you seem to do a bit of traveling, in which case a Limited lens might be really nice (that is the route I went).
02-03-2009, 10:42 AM   #8
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lenses, lenses...

The 18-250 is a fine lens for a do it all solution. I have had it for about a year and a half now and it serves me very well when I am on the road. This year, I will be traveling more often with my Tamron 17-50 because I find I take more landscape and cityscape shots and the wide angles up to 50 seems to be my range most used and the 17-50, being a much faster lens for inside work and not to mention, a touch sharper than my 18-250, will get the nod this year for travels. I am also looking for a good used, or reasonably priced 55-300 to compliment my 17-50 when I need more reach, which is rare, but does happen.

Hey, I am also a big fan of the 50mm primes and the 35mm primes from Pentax (FA series) and one day will have a Sigma 10-20 for the really wide stuff...that and the 550-300 are on my wish list for 2009.

Back to the 18-250...excellent lens. You will read mixed reviews about it, but then again you will read mixed reviews about just about any lens since I think everyone and their brother are ersatz critics these days thanks to the internet blogging and forums. I was going to sell my 18-250 a couple of months ago, but I decided to keep it...no use trading a very capable lens for something to replace it that is no guarantee to be much better, if only a fraction. It's your call which lens you go with next...the 18-250 or the 55-300 to go with your capable kit lens...each has its pros and cons, but all in all, it's what you do with the lenses that matter and they don't take the photos themselves.

P.S.

Can you mail me a couple of chili dogs from the Varsity over on Haynes Bridge Rd?

Jason

02-03-2009, 10:47 AM   #9
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I would buy the 16-45 or the Tamron 17-50 2.8. Either choice would be a nice upgrade from the kit lens.

I wouldn't purchase the 18-250 or the 55-300, I'm not much of a tele shooter except for the occasional sports event, which I have covered with the 70-300 Tamron. Then again, I rarely use focal lengths over 55, I'm typically in the 18-35 region.

But hey, what do I know...your Blackberry shots on flickr are amazing! Frankly, you don't really need any upgrades...you've already got the eye for taking photos, that's what's important.
02-03-2009, 11:09 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by AlphaGAK20D Quote
I'm leaning toward the 18-250mm or the 55-300mm zoom lens, but would love to hear other thoughts. I could also possibly swing the 55-300 AND the DA 40.
All I know is what I'd do in your situation. I'd buy the 18-250mm, sell the 18-55mm AL for whatever, and then look at primes. Just one lens for my casual shooting.

DO NOT under any circumstances look at this thread https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/31601-takumar-club.html. These are crummy 40 year old lenses, and many of them are radioactive and highly dangerous. Plus the glass turns all yellow. It is really a mess. Stick with those Limited beauties and don't believe anything anyone says about Takumar lenses. Pay no attention to my signature, it is a hoax.
02-03-2009, 11:20 AM   #11
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@greenboy - thanks for the comment about the pics and for your additional thoughts, you brought up a couple of points that I need to seriously consider

@Jasvox - ""What'll you have, What'll you have?" That Varsity is fairly close to my home - drop me a note next time you're in town. We'll have a dog and talk Pentax. Thanks for your thoughts as well and I hear you re: the Sigma 10-20. A buddy let me take some shots with his *#kon wide-angle the other day and I drooled all over myself. Definitely a lens on my long-range wish list.

@edl - thanks for mixing things up a bit with your comments - more food for thought; and thanks too for the comments about the Blackberry shots - honestly, most of my BB shots suck (BB just does not take very good pics), but every now and then I get lucky...

OK...the feedback has been great so far and I hope it's helping other folks who are lurking and wondering the same stuff I posed in my question. The folks who've responded have been very helpful and get gold stars in my book. Let's keep the discussion flowing - this is good stuff!
02-03-2009, 11:31 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlank Quote
All I know is what I'd do in your situation. I'd buy the 18-250mm, sell the 18-55mm AL for whatever, and then look at primes. Just one lens for my casual shooting.

DO NOT under any circumstances look at this thread https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/31601-takumar-club.html. These are crummy 40 year old lenses, and many of them are radioactive and highly dangerous. Plus the glass turns all yellow. It is really a mess. Stick with those Limited beauties and don't believe anything anyone says about Takumar lenses. Pay no attention to my signature, it is a hoax.
Now why did you have to go and muddy the water like that, Bill? I ask you, why? Just when I thought I was gaining some clarity...

Wow...the pics in that thread are lovely. Aside from the nausea and glow to my skin, I think owning a Tak or two would be a good thing. I'd like to add a hoax line to my sig too...

Serious question: For a K20D, what Taks work, don't work, and if somebody were doing research, for historical purposes of course, where would they locate Taks?
02-03-2009, 01:00 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by AlphaGAK20D Quote
Now why did you have to go and muddy the water like that, Bill? I ask you, why? Just when I thought I was gaining some clarity...
Me? Muddy the waters? I am as innocent as a new born lamb. I will have two halos in heaven.

QuoteOriginally posted by AlphaGAK20D Quote
Wow...the pics in that thread are lovely. Aside from the nausea and glow to my skin, I think owning a Tak or two would be a good thing. I'd like to add a hoax line to my sig too...
I told you not to go there!!! But would you listen? NOOOOOO!!! Actually the reason I mentioned the Tak thread is because you would have been bored some evening, and stumbled in there on your own. Then you would have been making noise about why didn't anyone ever tell me, etc.

QuoteOriginally posted by AlphaGAK20D Quote
Serious question: For a K20D, what Taks work, don't work, and if somebody were doing research, for historical purposes of course, where would they locate Taks?
Serious answer. They all work. Not sure I understand your "where would they locate Taks?" question. I'll give my smarta** answer for now. I'd go look in my lens drawer.

For comparison, I paid: Super Tak 3.5/28 $37.23, 3.5/35 $39.00, 2.8/105 $107.59, 4.0/200 $80.00. All had original Caps and hard cases. Total $263.82. All four were bought last year.
02-03-2009, 01:18 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlank Quote
All I know is what I'd do in your situation. I'd buy the 18-250mm, sell the 18-55mm AL for whatever, and then look at primes. Just one lens for my casual shooting.

DO NOT under any circumstances look at this thread https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/31601-takumar-club.html. These are crummy 40 year old lenses, and many of them are radioactive and highly dangerous. Plus the glass turns all yellow. It is really a mess. Stick with those Limited beauties and don't believe anything anyone says about Takumar lenses. Pay no attention to my signature, it is a hoax.
The Takumar club has ruin lives. That is the first step to LBA.
02-03-2009, 01:22 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlank Quote
Me? Muddy the waters? I am as innocent as a new born lamb. I will have two halos in heaven.



I told you not to go there!!! But would you listen? NOOOOOO!!! Actually the reason I mentioned the Tak thread is because you would have been bored some evening, and stumbled in there on your own. Then you would have been making noise about why didn't anyone ever tell me, etc.



Serious answer. They all work. Not sure I understand your "where would they locate Taks?" question. I'll give my smarta** answer for now. I'd go look in my lens drawer.

For comparison, I paid: Super Tak 3.5/28 $37.23, 3.5/35 $39.00, 2.8/105 $107.59, 4.0/200 $80.00. All had original Caps and hard cases. Total $263.82. All four were bought last year.
Tell me where you live and I'll check out your lens drawer...

And re: what you paid for those lenses, I'm guessing the little old lady sold you a '57 Chevy with only 1,000 miles on it too...nice....

By the way, I've been around these Forums for going on a bit more than a month now, why in H#LL didn't you or somebody else tell me about the Tak thread?
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