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05-29-2009, 10:38 AM   #16
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Some more suggestions for you....

If you like zooms
Sigma 17-70mm is highly regarded and likely your man for the job (all of the ones you selected). I haven't used one of these before - so I can't comment further.

If you like primes (like me):
Sigma 70mm macro is hands down the most versatile lens I've ever used. 0.91:1 macro (slightly larger than real life), great focal length for shooting people, almost impossible to get it to purple fringe, sharp, etc., etc. This will meet your needs for portrait and macro as it has excellent IQ (touted as best Sigma lens ever).

FA35 is a great choice for landscapes (pending you like the focal length), as it is sharp wide open, has amazing colour, and renders the outside world like theres no tomorrow. It's also a great portrait length for full body, can be used indoors without flash....and its light and sexy. YMMV though on this lens, as it may not be wide enough for what you are looking for - you'll have to decide that on your own though.

c[_]

05-29-2009, 04:07 PM   #17
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Guys! I can't thank you enough for the feedback..
06-03-2009, 02:25 PM   #18
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PENTAX - 17-70mm f/4 AL(IF) SDM Zoom Lens for Select Pentax Cameras
17-70mm f/4 Lens
Our Price: $599.99

PENTAX - 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Telephoto Zoom Lens for Select Pentax Cameras
55-300 f/4-5.8 Lens
Our Price: $429.99

PENTAX - 300mm f/4 ED SDM Telephoto Lens for Select Pentax Cameras
300mm f/4 Lens
Our Price: $1,399.99

PENTAX - 50-135mm f/2.8 ED-IF SDM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Select Pentax Cameras
50-135mm f/2.8 Lens
our Price: $1,129.99

PENTAX - DA 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 ED(IF) Fish-Eye Lens for Select Pentax Cameras
10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 Lens
Our Price: $649.99

PENTAX - 16-50mm f/2.8 ED AL(IF) SDM Zoom Lens for Select Pentax Cameras
16-50mm f/2.8 Lens
Our Price: $1,029.99

PENTAX - smc PENTAX-D FA 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens
FA 50mm f/2.8 Lens
Our Price: $429.99

Bestbuy is offering all of these for $100 off if you buy the k20D body from them for $719.

Which 2 would you pick if you wanted to take great portraits , great macro shots, and landscapes..
06-03-2009, 02:45 PM   #19
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My answer hasn't changed: no two of these is ideal. You'd need three. So it depends on where you want to compromise. If portraits are the #1 priority, get the 50-135, then decide between the 16-50 and 17-70 as a good general purpose & landscape lens, but accept that macro isn't in the cards yet. If macro is the #1 priority, get the 50, and then again, either the 16-50 or 17-70 but accept that "great portraits" aren't in the cards yet. Decent ones if you don't mind how short 50mm if you use the 50 or 16-50 is or how slow f/4 is if you use the 17-70.

However, the 16-50 or 17-70 plus the Sigma 70 macro would be about as good a 2 lens combo for your purposes as you could hope for. I'd feel way too limited with 70mm as my longest focal length, but you keep stressing applications that don't require anything longer, so maybe that's OK for you.

06-03-2009, 07:37 PM   #20
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Sigma 70mm macro and a Pentax DA*50-135 f2.8 for everything else
06-03-2009, 08:46 PM   #21
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QuoteQuote:
Nothingincommon: I will be getting a K20D shortly and I wanted to buy two lenses. I want to be able to take shots of tiny things (macro) , portraits, and landscapes. I want a lens that can help create colorful, super sharp images. I am a beginner but I am not looking for a "starter" lens. Price range for each, Id say mid range to high end.
QuoteQuote:
johnmflores: Let's get him in the fold with two lenses that meet his requirements and then infect him with LBA
Yes, excellent advice!


Why are some people saying you can't meet your 3 needs in 2 lenses? You can, easily. The question really is how much do you want to spend. I had to make the very same decision you are about to make a little over a year ago. I read your OP as having 3 NEEDS, MET with 2 LENSES.

1) NEED: MACRO I agree with others that Macro really requires at least 90mm focal length--if you want to shoot things which are alive. This leaves you with many choices, some of which have been mentioned. I own the Tamron 90mm and it excels at macro. Read here: PentaxForums.com Third-Party Pentax Lens Review Database - 90mm f/2.8 SP Di Macro

2) NEED: PORTRAII The Tamron 90mm happens to excel @ Portrait work--see the shot below--bokeh is outstanding.

3) NEED: LANDSCAPE I mostly shoot landscapes (big hiker). I find most of my shots for landscape fall into the 17 to 31mm focal length. Of course, your tastes may differ, so get an excellent zoom which covers this area and more. You have many choices and a good deal of wiggle room on price--for example:

Pentax 16-50 2.8
Sigma 18-50 2.8
Pentax 16-45 4
Tamron 17-50 2.8
Sigma 17-70mm

I spent about $800 on 2 lenses to meet these 3 needs and bought these 2 lenses: Tamron 90mm f 2.8 and Tamron 17-50mm f 2.8. Here are 3 shots with the lenses, one in each of your NEEDS category: portrait---macro---landscape--in that order

Last edited by Jewelltrail; 09-25-2009 at 09:11 AM.
06-03-2009, 11:03 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
Why are some people saying you can't meet your 3 needs in 2 lenses? You can, easily. The question really is how much do you want to spend.
There are still compromises. A 90mm lens is longer than most would choose for portraits (and 50 is shorter). If you're willing to make that compromise, sure, that does it, but it wouldn't be the first choice for most people. And 90 isn't very long to have as your longest lens. Even though the OP didn't specific say he want to do general photography too, that still seems a logical assumption, since he says he's a beginner.
06-04-2009, 12:15 AM   #23
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QuoteQuote:
Marc Sabatella: There are still compromises. A 90mm lens is longer than most would choose for portraits (and 50 is shorter). If you're willing to make that compromise, sure, that does it, but it wouldn't be the first choice for most people. And 90 isn't very long to have as your longest lens. Even though the OP didn't specific say he want to do general photography too, that still seems a logical assumption, since he says he's a beginner.
There are always compromises--in all choices in life! But the OP asked specifically for 2 lenses to meet three needs--it is that simple. Marc, one of the choices for a landscape which I listed is the Sigma 17-70. This would give the OP the 70 range for portraits if he feels 90 is too long and he would still be able to shoot wide landscapes. The Sigma is a beautiful lens--I just happen to own the Tamron 17-50. Still, I know many people who make excellent use of 90mm for a portrait lens and the Tamron 90mm has earned the nickname "The Portrait Lens."

I do not think we should be making assumptions when we answer an OP. I think we should do our best to answer the question(s) which they ask. The OP was very specific and clear as to his needs. Will his needs change someday--sure, but then he can post for more advice when that day comes if he so chooses. I mean, we could also make an assumption the OP will someday want an ultra-wide angle too, or a fish eye, or a teleconverter, or a split prism..............

06-04-2009, 01:55 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
Marc, one of the choices for a landscape which I listed is the Sigma 17-70. This would give the OP the 70 range for portraits if he feels 90 is too long
True, but now the compromise is that it's only f/4.5 at 70mm, which isn't ideal for portraits, either.

QuoteQuote:
I do not think we should be making assumptions when we answer an OP. I think we should do our best to answer the question(s) which they ask.
I agree we shouldn't make assumptions. My view, though, is that we should should try to understand is whether the OP actually has the background to be able to make most effective use of the given answer, and if we feel the answer is no, we should help provide that background. If it turns out he already knows these things, then there is no harm done - the answer is still there.

So in fact, if you look over my responses, you'll see I've actually given quite a few 2-lens options, but with each, I've also tried to make it clear what specific compromise one is making with that option. In some cases, the compromise (nothing available for general purpose photography) is not one we know for a fact the OP cares cares about, but still, given that he is a beginner, I judge it at least plausible that he hadn't considered he even needed to mention that. so I want to make sure that he realized which options given left him with holes there.

I do think the two best choices are either 16-50 + Sigma 70 macro or else 17-70 plus Tamron 90 macro, but I also feel it important to be fairly specific about what compromises these entail, so the OP can decide for himself which he is most willing to make.

QuoteQuote:
Will his needs change someday--sure, but then he can post for more advice when that day comes if he so chooses. I mean, we could also make an assumption the OP will someday want an ultra-wide angle too, or a fish eye, or a teleconverter, or a split prism..............
Good points. On the other hand, it's also worth considering that the 2 lenses you'd buy if you truly hoped you would never have to buy another lens are potentially different than the 2 lenses you'd buy if you understood that this was just the beginning. And again, I feel it would be important for each suggestion to make clear how it plays into that. The OP would be free to ignore that if he happened to already be aware of those tradeoffs, but it seems by not including the info, we are assuming he *is* aware of these issues. And as you say, it is better not make assumptions here.

And, BTW, it was specifically his comment about not wanting "starter" lenses that made me question the extent to which he had thought these issues through - as well as the extent to which he was willing to compromise on his three main criteria. Maybe he'd be happier really *nailing* two of the three for now, rather than compromising a little on portraits in hopes of not needing to buy another lens in a year. Or maybe not. Who knows? that's why I think it's important to point these things out.
06-05-2009, 12:18 AM   #25
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QuoteQuote:
Marc Sabatella: The difficulty with what you ask about is that really, if you want a lens that truly *excels* at any of the things you mention, two lenses won't be enough. You'll be able to do two of the three things you mention but not the third.
Marc, these words are what I am responding to; I do not wish to digress too far from my point. I wholeheartedly disagree: the OP can have his 3 needs in 2 lenses met, easily. I believe posts above show this clearly. Are there compromises? Of course there are compromises. Like I said, all choices in life have compromises-that is a given; it is not an excuse why the OP can not have his 3 needs in 2 lenses met. Our differences of opinion on THIS issue is what I choose to highlight here: you say the OP can not have his 3 needs in 2 lenses met; I say the OP can have his 3 needs in two lenses met, easily. I had these 3 needs, and I met them, easily, with two lenses--this is all that simple for me.

Also, the OP never uses the word "excels" in his request. Why do you wrap the word excel in quotation marks? You use it in quotes as if this is a demand on the OP's part. But here is what the OP actually said:


QuoteQuote:
NothingInCommon Recommend two lenses please.

I will be getting a K20D shortly and I wanted to buy two lenses. I want to be able to take shots of tiny things (macro) , portraits, and landscapes. I want a lens that can help create colorful, super sharp images. I am a beginner but I am not looking for a "starter" lens. Price range for each, Id say mid range to high end.

Can you provide links please?
BTW, even thought he OP does not ask for 2 lenses which excel at his 3 needs, combinations of 2 lenses have been presented to him which excel at his three needs anyway. It is just that the word "excel" is highly subjective, particularly in a forum such as this where agendas abound.
06-05-2009, 12:26 AM   #26
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QuoteQuote:
Marc Sabatella: There are still compromises. A 90mm lens is longer than most would choose for portraits (and 50 is shorter).
Marc, how do you know 90mm is longer than MOST would chose for portraits? Do you run surveys on this? Seriously, no sarcasm intended at all. I wish to take this claim of yours to task. Perhaps you can provide data which shows this?

However, even if you could provide solid data to back this claim, that does not mean 90mm can't serve the OPs request. It is an option for portraits thrown out to the OP--it was thrown out to the OP for evaluation, by me.

It was not thrown out for evaluation by you.
06-05-2009, 12:31 AM   #27
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QuoteQuote:
Marc Sabatella: There are still compromises.


This will finish my visit to this thread. Just one last request, by me, for you Marc.

Can you please show me a lens selection, using any 3 lenses you wish, which does not have any compromises?
06-05-2009, 09:18 AM   #28
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I'm just a newbie, but if I could have any two Pentax lenses for an all-round kit, I'd go for the DA35 and the 60-250 zoom. That should cover pretty much everything!
06-05-2009, 09:32 AM   #29
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You are right - one *can* meet all three needs with 2 lenses; it's just a question of which compromises one is willing to make to do it. That, in a nutshell, is why I feel it important to be explicit about the compromises inherent in any set of recommendations - so the OP can decie for himself which compromises he'd be most willing to make.

I'm not sure why you seem so bothered with my comments. I think I've been pretty clear about why I feel the way I do, and I don't see any reason to apologize for providing as opposed to withholding that information. But I am sorry if this has upset you for some reason.

And yes, of course, even a 3 lens solution might involve compromises, although in my judgement, there would be *less* of a compromise in terms of meeting the stated requirements. It's all a matter of degree; the world is not black and white.

Anyhow, as for your other question: do I have evidence that 90mm is longer than "most" photographers would prefer for portraits? No, I do not. I would have thought that was conventional wisdom based on lots and lots of things I've read (the fact that many people seem to be trying to choose between a 70 and 77, the fact that Pentax now offers a 55 as their idea of portrait lens, the fact that many people who use a 100mm lens for portraits on APS-C make specific comments that the focal length is too long in many case, etc).

But this is admittedly all just anecdotal evidence. Would you accept at face value that it's longer than "some" (and not just two or three, but a significant number) would prefer?

So all I can do is mention it is a *possible* issue. If 90mm happens to float your boat, then you're right - your 2 lens choices meet the needs wonderfully. For me, that set would be decidedly "off" in the portrait department - enough so to be worthy of mention.

As for whether you submitted your choices for *my* evaulation of not, the OP was asking for opinions, and specifically stated that he was a beginner. I take this to mean he might need help evaluating options, which is again why I feel it improtant to provide some context here, so no, I don't think it inappropriate to comment on other people's suggestions - it gives the OP more data to work with.

Do either of us know which focal length the OP might happen to prefer for portraits? He's a beginner; I'm guessing *he* doesn't even know. Which is why I feel it important to make the OP aware that there are differences of opinion on issues like this. I personally think he'd be best off with a zoom for portraits, at least until he can narrow down his own requirements a bit more.

Anyhow, those are my opinions, and I've stated why I feel the way the I do. I figure that is the function of responses here and reviews in general. Not just to give recommendations as to what we like or dislike, but to say *why* we feel tha way, so the reader can ascertain for himself if he you be likely to feel the same way or not. Which is why, again, I feel it is important to provide the sort of contextual information I have been providing.

Again, I am somewhat mystified as to why this seems to bother you so much 0 this is not a discussion I would have imagined would generate much heat. But I have no wish to make an enemy of someone for whom I have a great deal of respect, so at this point I'm bowing out of this discussion too.
06-05-2009, 07:48 PM   #30
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I care nothing about portraits so I went with the Sigma 105 2.8 ... I think it's the sharpest of there macros and for 325.oo I couldn't pass it up... the Sigma 70mm 2.8 is the way to go for portraits if you have 500 bucks to spend.
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