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03-29-2009, 12:26 PM   #1
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good 2nd lens to purchase

Hi all, I've got a K100D and it came with a standard kit lens (SMC Pentax DA 18-55mm). That said, I find myself liking landscape shots, or really close up 'macro' shots of things. This lens works mostly ok, but I want a better zoom, so I can be taking a landscape shot, and zoom in on a specific object in the landscape.

I don't know what I'm talking about, mostly. I have heard that generally the wider the aperture can go, the better shot you'll be able to take. I don't know that much about photography, but I know that I'm either doing something wrong, or this current lens isn't getting me what I want.

Thoughts/suggestions?

03-29-2009, 02:40 PM   #2
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For landscape you'd be needing a tripod, so you can stop down for increased depth of field.

If you want to switch zooms, the DA16-45 is crisper than the kit lens at the corners and goes wider. But it won't make a night and day difference.

If you want one lens that's good for landscape and macro, get the DA35 Limited. This may not be wide enough for you, but in those cases you can always use the kit lens.
03-29-2009, 02:48 PM   #3
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Yep ... for a few more sheckled the DA 12-24 f4 never disappoints..... The sigma 10-20 most are happy and is a little wider ... I think Tamrom came out with a 12-24 as well.

The DA35 rparmar mentions is also a close up lens - not really a macro but you can get some real nice close ups.

There are other lenses that offer wide and close ups and are macro abilities like the Sigma 17-70 , Sigma 18 -50 Macro, Tamron 28-75 a stellar lens for the price.

Most true macro lenses are primes like the Pentax 100 , Sigma 105, there is a whole slew of them all the way up to the coveted Voightlander 125 macro (there are larger forcal lenghts just gernally that lens is considerd on of the best)

Depending in the landscape sometimes wider is not always better. What focal lenght do you find yourslef shooting at most oftern ?
03-29-2009, 02:55 PM   #4
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QuoteQuote:
The DA35 rparmar mentions is also a close up lens - not really a macro but you can get some real nice close ups.
no. the DA 35mm limited is a macro lens. it does true 1:1. focal length is irrelevant. it is the magnification that the lens is capable of achieving that is relevant to being a proper 'macro'.

03-29-2009, 03:03 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
no. the DA 35mm limited is a macro lens. it does true 1:1. focal length is irrelevant. it is the magnification that the lens is capable of achieving that is relevant to being a proper 'macro'.
I stand (well sit actually ) corrected not the first time (even today)
03-29-2009, 05:23 PM   #6
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Sounds like you're asking for lots of different things, which in general means lots of different lenses.

When you speak of being able to zoom in on specific objects in the distance, that means you need a longer focal length than 55mm. Then you'd have to decide if you want to *replace* the 18-55 with another lens that starts at 18 - like the 18-250 that's pretty popular - or *supplement* the 18-55 with a lens that stars where the 18-55 leaves off (50-200 or 55-300, for example).

When you speak of liking macro, that means you need a lens that allows you to focus at a closer distance and/or has a longer focal length. The 18-55 already gets pretty close up, but a true macro lens like the DA35 that has been mentioned, or the D-FA100, is much better. But these lack any zoom capability whatsoever - they are the focal length they are. So such a lens wouldn't help your first request.

When you mention large maximum aperture, that doesn't translate into better pictures necessarily- it translates to faster shutter speeds. The pictures will come out better only if your shutter speeds are so slow that you are getting blur - not very likely for ladnscapes. But presumably you've noticed your shots taken in low light without flash are sometimes blurry from too-slow shutter speed. So you'd want something with a wider maximum aperture - f/2.8 or better. But such lenses seldom provide anything like the zoom range of the 18-250, and the ones that zoom at all seldom allow the kind of close focus needed for macro.

A DA35 might do OK for both macro and indoor / low light photography, so that plus a telephoto zoom like the 50-200 might be the best combination. Or, maybe the 18-250 plus a cheap manual focus macro lens and a cheap manual focus lens for low light. Lots of choices; you just need to prioritize, because you can't get it all in one lens.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 03-29-2009 at 08:19 PM.
03-29-2009, 07:09 PM   #7
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The DA35 is so macro objects I'm shooting end up inside the lens hood sometimes.

I soon realise this as a giant shadow descends on my image!
03-30-2009, 10:11 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by summatusmentis Quote
... I find myself liking landscape shots, or really close up 'macro' shots of things.

... I want a better zoom, so I can be taking a landscape shot, and zoom in on a specific object in the landscape.


Thoughts/suggestions?
Sounds like you may be needing 2 lenses.

I have the Sigma 70-300 APO Macro which does ok for macro shots and is a decent tele. But may leave you too much of a gap between 55-70mm.

You might try the Pentax 55-300mm for medium to long telephoto shots and get a Raynox Macro filter/lens to do macro shots. The Raynox 250 would work on both the kit and the 55-300 using the adapter that (usually) comes with it.

03-30-2009, 09:57 PM   #9
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so I like the concept of an additional 55-250 lens (numbers might be wrong), mostly I'm with 'macro'ing with the current kit lens. I've basically been bouncing back and forth between wide-angle and telephoto (or whatever zoom lenses are called).

At this point, I'm worried about money I also don't know anything about manual focus, but I appreciate the suggestions. Would an additional 55-250mm lens cost a lot?
03-31-2009, 04:49 AM   #10
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I think probably the best lens that would fit the telephoto bill for a reasonable price would be the Pentax DA 55-300. It won't be a macro lens, though, so you do have to take that into account.

I think most people go through stages of lens buying. They start with the kit lens, then they add a telephoto lens. Then, usually they add an all in one solution like the 18-250 and finally (if they ever reach this stage) they move to primes.
03-31-2009, 08:04 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by summatusmentis Quote
so I like the concept of an additional 55-250 lens (numbers might be wrong), mostly I'm with 'macro'ing with the current kit lens. I've basically been bouncing back and forth between wide-angle and telephoto (or whatever zoom lenses are called).

At this point, I'm worried about money I also don't know anything about manual focus, but I appreciate the suggestions. Would an additional 55-250mm lens cost a lot?

I bought this lens a few months ago.....

Pentax | SMCP-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Autofocus Lens | 21720


.....and find it a very good lens for what it is, and for the price.


If that might be a little out of your price ballpark, then here's the other one that's been discussed.....

Pentax | SMCP-DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED Autofocus Lens | 21567

You give up 100mm in length, but also save about $100.


Hope that helps,

Tim
03-31-2009, 08:07 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by summatusmentis Quote
Hi all, I've got a K100D and it came with a standard kit lens (SMC Pentax DA 18-55mm). That said, I find myself liking landscape shots, or really close up 'macro' shots of things. This lens works mostly ok, but I want a better zoom, so I can be taking a landscape shot, and zoom in on a specific object in the landscape.

I don't know what I'm talking about, mostly. I have heard that generally the wider the aperture can go, the better shot you'll be able to take. I don't know that much about photography, but I know that I'm either doing something wrong, or this current lens isn't getting me what I want.

Thoughts/suggestions?
You should be able to take great wide angle landscape shots with your kit lens. Wider (or larger) apertures do not usually help with landscape photography. Try setting your kit lens to f/8 (it's sharpest setting) and shoot a few wide landscapes at 18mm.

As for the ability to zoom into details in a landscape, I hear Pentax's DA 55-300mm zoom is an excellent value at around $300 street. I recently spent some time with a $150 Tamron 70-300mm Di Macro lens and came away quite impressed at its performance to $ ratio. The macro function works pretty well (especially with Pentax's in-camera IS) though you have to get pretty far back from your subject.

If you are not on Flickr I suggest you join. It's free and a great place to share your photos and get constructive feedback (if you ask for it). Also, search the various Pentax groups for photos you like the look of then look for the "More Properties" link on the bottom right side of the image page. Click that and you can see all the settings that the photographer used for the shot.

Good luck!
03-31-2009, 12:22 PM   #13
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"Wide angle" is just what it sounds like: it takes in wide angle of the scene your are looking at. On the lens that came with the camera, 18mm is the "wide angle" end. 18mm is the "focal length" of the lens at that setting; you can read that number right on the side of the lens. Anything less than around 24mm is considered wide angle, but the shorter the focal length, the wider the angle.

"Telephoto" is the opposite of wide angle - it takes in a much narrower view of the scene, thus making obejcts appear larger in the picture. On the lens that came with the camera, 55mm is the telephoto end. That's not "much" telephoto, though - its consider "short telephoto". You have to get past 100mm or so before things start getting to "medium" telephoto range, and people shooting wildfile regular use lenses that are over 300mm in focal length.

Somewhere around 33mm (give or take a few mm) is what it considered "normal" - neither wide angle nor telephoto.

"Zoom" is the ability for one lens to change its focal length. The lens that came with the camera is a zoom, since it changes from 18 to 55, and includes all focal lengths between. Probably every lens you've ever used is a zoom. Zoom is *not* the same as telephoto - There are zooms that go from, for instance, 12-24 - which is to say, from *extremely* wide angle 12mm) to "sort of wide angle" (24mm), but never make it to "normal" territory, much less telephoto. It's a common mistake to say "zoom" when you mean "telephoto", but the two words have nothing to do with each other.

Not all lenses are zooms. Imagining gluing your lens so it's stuck as 55mm - now it's a "prime", which is a lens that has only one focal length. There are wide primes (like the new 15mm), normal primes (like the DA35), short telephoto primes (like the DA70), and long telephoto primes (like the DA*200).
03-31-2009, 02:09 PM   #14
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Imagining gluing your lens so it's stuck as 55mm - now it's a "prime"
LOL! I hadn't thought of that trick. Sure would save me a bunch of money
03-31-2009, 02:11 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Robert S Donovan Quote
LOL! I hadn't thought of that trick. Sure would save me a bunch of money
except the kit lens isnt at its best at the extreme ends of its range...
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