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03-03-2009, 06:16 AM   #1
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Need advice on a lens

I have a new K10D and it came with 2 kit lenses. Tamron 28-80mm and 80-300mm. The 80-300 is a decent lens but I need to know what would make a good starter wide angle lens or just a good lens for landscape photos. Prime or zoom. Under $300.00. Any suggestions??

03-03-2009, 07:18 AM   #2
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I didn't think any of those were kit lenses for the K10D. Myself, I have a K200D, which came with the Pentax-DA 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL II lens. This is supposed to be the best kit lens on the market, and is very reasonably priced.
03-03-2009, 08:37 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by robcap13 Quote
I have a new K10D and it came with 2 kit lenses. Tamron 28-80mm and 80-300mm. The 80-300 is a decent lens but I need to know what would make a good starter wide angle lens or just a good lens for landscape photos. Prime or zoom. Under $300.00. Any suggestions??
Landscape photography is what I love. I would recommend a couple different options for you. First, consider an older manual lens, such as a 28mm f/2 or even an f/2.8. They are around $100 or less and are very nice, sharp lenses. There are tons of other manual primes out there on Ebay or on this forum. Being able to use all the older lenses with the new DSLR's is one of the great things about owning a Pentax. Those older lenses are fantastic!

Another option is the DA 40mm limited lens. It is very sharp as all Pentax limited primes are and will run you around $300. The DA 21mm limited would be a better option for wider angles but it will run well more than $300. I use my 40 ltd all the time and consider it one of my best lenses for landscapes. It's also fantastic for portraits.

A zoom option would be the DA 16-45mm zoom. I've had this lens for some time and really like it. It will run you slightly more than $300. A couple things with this lens is that the reviews are mixed. Some really like it (like myself) and some have a tendency to dismiss it. It will have some purple fringing in high contrast situations but nothing that cannot be corrected in PS. And quite honestly, I have not noticed it all that much on mine. I can only remember one time where I really noticed it at all. I think it's a great lens and under-appreciated. I would say the DA* 16-50mm is a bit better, but it also costs more than twice as much and it's definately not twice as good. I'm very happy with my 16-45mm and wouldn't trade it for anything. It's a wonderful landscape lens.
03-03-2009, 09:22 AM   #4
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Out of those lenses. Which would you recommend for lowlight situations...dusk or dawn..possibly night?

03-03-2009, 09:30 AM   #5
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Amazon has the DA 16 -45 for 274 and change. You can even get free shipping. Overnight and it still comes in under 300 bucks.

Al
03-03-2009, 09:56 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by robcap13 Quote
Out of those lenses. Which would you recommend for lowlight situations...dusk or dawn..possibly night?
For landscape work at dusk, dawn, or at night where long exposure times are not an issue, all of them will do a fantastic job. Color rendition on the M-28mm and the DA 40mm LTD are outstanding. The DA 16-45mm is great as well.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a fast lens to capture action at dusk or at night, they will work in the right circumstance, but they are not designed as "fast" lenses. For that you may need something like a FA 50mm f/1.4....although the M 28mm f/2 will do pretty well.

I'm not sure how well the FA 50mm will do for landscapes. I'm sure it would be fine, but I've never tried it. I have an older M 50mm f/1.4 which requires an adaptor to attach to the camera. I don't use it for landscapes...only when I need a little "oomf" indoors at night.
03-03-2009, 10:25 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by robcap13 Quote
Out of those lenses. Which would you recommend for lowlight situations...dusk or dawn..possibly night?
For low light landscapes, you'll probably fine with any of the lenses mentioned above because you have more flexibility with shutter speed. However, if you're shooting low light of moving objects (like people, for instance) without a flash, you'll want a relatively fast lens, which rules out the zooms, which max out at f/4 at the $300 price point. Zooms often have lesser image quality than primes, also.

If you want autofocus primes, the DA 40mm f/2.8 Ltd. has been highly recommended by forum members in other threads for these situations ($210-$250). Also the DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro Ltd., although it comes in over $300, but not a lot more and give you an extra 5mm width plus macro capabilities. Although there are faster primes available, the depth of field is so narrow at sub-f/2.8 that it's very hard to get accurate focus in low light (or even in bright light for that matter). The FA 50mm f/1.4 is only $200, but might be longer than you're looking for.

If you're willing to manual focus, definitely look at the fantastically broad range of good lenses available for under $100. Like Navcom mentioned, you can easily find a 28mm f/2 or 2.8 in the used market for no more than $100, and you aren't limited just to Pentax branded lenses, either. For $300, you could easily get a set of high-quality, fast, wide to normal primes (say, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm) that would prove to be very versatile. If you bought Pentax-A series primes, you could take advantage of Av mode and not have to worry about stopping down w/ the green button. Used A lenses are a little more expensive than earlier lenses, but not by much and $300 would buy a lot. For a lot of landscape work, you'll likely end up manually focusing AF lenses, anyway.
03-03-2009, 11:29 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by AGW Quote
Amazon has the DA 16 -45 for 274 and change. You can even get free shipping. Overnight and it still comes in under 300 bucks.

Al
I second the motion for the DA 16-45. Alternatively, there is the Tamron 28-75/2.8 as an excellent direct replacement for your 28-80. (The Tamron 28-75/2.8 also has the advantage of supporting 35mm format.) If you need the wide end, the Tamron 17-50/2.8 or Sigma 18-50/2.8 are good alternatives to the DA 16-45. All of these lenses are roughly in the same price range.

Steve

03-03-2009, 11:20 PM   #9
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Another bump for the 16-45.... I can't find anything wrong with this lens, except that it isn't the kit lens.
03-04-2009, 06:24 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I second the motion for the DA 16-45. Alternatively, there is the Tamron 28-75/2.8 as an excellent direct replacement for your 28-80. (The Tamron 28-75/2.8 also has the advantage of supporting 35mm format.) If you need the wide end, the Tamron 17-50/2.8 or Sigma 18-50/2.8 are good alternatives to the DA 16-45. All of these lenses are roughly in the same price range.

Steve
I use the Tammy 28-75mm as well. Nice all-around lens. I have used it for landscapes but I prefer my primes for this type of shooting.

I have used it for landscape panos though, where a little longer focal length is helpful.
03-04-2009, 06:28 AM   #11
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Thanks people. All great advice. Looks like the DA 16-45 f/4 is a great lens. What if I add Macro into the mix???
03-04-2009, 06:33 AM   #12
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Tamron 17-50mm/2.8

My vote....

If you don't have the 18-55 kit lens, I would strongly urge you to check out the Tamron 17-50/2.8.

Fantastic lens, wide and sharp from wide to long and the 2.8 makes it a little more user friendly in low light that the kit lens or an f/4 zoom. Also, wide open is very nice and sharp.

That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it!

Jason
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