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05-27-2009, 03:20 PM   #1
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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?

05-27-2009, 03:27 PM   #2
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You will need 1:1 lenses for proper Macro, editing software for colorful and skill for sharp.
05-27-2009, 03:45 PM   #3
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As an owner of the D-FA 100mm f2.8 macro, Volna-9 50mm f2.8 macro, Voigtländer Apo-Lanthar 90mm f3.5 close focus, and now a Tamron SP 90mm f2.5 macro, bellows, extension tubes, reverse mounts, macro focusing tele-converters, whathave you, I will say this; for macro, you don't need AF, period. As much as I like the Pentax, and will likely not sell it off any time soon, I hardly ever use the AF; thus go for what people tell you has the best optical quality regardless of AF/MF; which usually means, if you're going to spend the same amount of money, you should go for a high quality MF lens in great condition.

BTW, all four of those lense I listed are fantastic, although only 1 of them does 1:1 straight up.
05-27-2009, 04:15 PM   #4
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It really depends on what you are taking photos of. If you are capturing non-moving things, I love the DA 35. It doubles as a decent walk around lens, although the auto focus is a little slow. Definitely very sharp and great contrast.

If you want to take photos of bugs and moving things at a macro level, you could either go with extension tubes, or a dedicated macro lens of longer length. A lot of folks seem to like DFA 100, although I don't have it personally.

05-27-2009, 04:19 PM   #5
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You can look up any lens in the database in this forum, so links should not be needed. You can also do a search, though use Google since it is better than the built-in search here. I recommend the DA35 to cover the macro, landscape and general walk-around functionality. And then the FA77 for portrait. You might also want to get a Raynox for this lens so it can double as a macro.

These are no-compromise lenses. Examples follow. Many more can be found on this forum.


Stereo
FA77 with x2 screw-in adapter.



Bee Home 2
DA35




Self-Destruct Sequence Completed
DA35

05-27-2009, 04:56 PM   #6
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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. And anything else you might have in mind - candids, say, or architecture/interiors, or wildlife, or sports, or performances - won't be covered *at all*.

For instance, if you just wanted a great macro lens and a great portrait lens, I'd suggest the DFA 100 and the DA70 - and the 100 would also do well for performances. But good luck shooting landscapes or candids or interiors with nothing shorter than 70mm, and good luck shooting wildlife with nothing longer than 100mm. So maybe you'd try the DA35 for macro, but it's not really well suited for living creatures because you have to be too close. You'd gain a lens that would do well enough for candids and would be serviceable (if not very flexible) for landscapes, but you'd lose the 100mm focal length that would have been useful for indoor sports and performances, and you'd be in even worse shape for wildlife than you would have been with the 100mm. And so on. Or maybe you'd think abut the DA*16-50 and 50-135, which are quite versatile and cover a lot of ground (as they should for well over $1000!), but you still wouldn't have macro or anything for wildlife.

So don't knock the concept of a "starter lens" - a lens (or two) that can do a number of things reasonably well, as opposed to a lens that does one thing extremely well but can do virtually nothing else at all. It allows you to take a much wider variety of pictures *now* while you better learn and understand what your needs really are and what tradeoffs you personally are willing to make (there are *always* tradeoffs involved!), while saving you money to use toward the more specialized lenses later. And maybe allowing you to get *one* of those now.

Given your described interests, I'd consider the 18-55 that often comes with the camera as a fine lens for landscape and most general purpose use, plus the DA55-300 for general purpose telephoto use (including being "decent" for portraits), which *together* would cost less than just *one* of the DA* zooms, and then adding a dedicated macro or portrait lens. Perhaps the Sigma 70mm macro, which can double as both,.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 05-28-2009 at 03:52 PM.
05-27-2009, 11:18 PM   #7
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I'll second Marc's advice - very well put.

You might consider the Tamron 90/2.5 for macro - it can also double as a portait lens and, with the matching 01F flat-field teleconverter, you get a 180mm telephoto for covering some wildlife work.
05-28-2009, 04:37 PM   #8
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As usual, Marc is making pretty good recommendations.

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Perhaps the Sigma 70mm macro, which can double as both,.
While it doesn't get talked about much the Sigma 70mm macro is exactly what comes to my mind if one wants a single good lens that can do both macro and portraits. I personally find 90-105mm a bit long, particularly for portraits. I also think 70mm is a very handy length for small things like flowers as well.

One could do a lot worse than a DA16-45/4 + Sigma 70/2.8 Macro. Add a telezoom like DA55-300/4-5.8 and you're really rolling...

05-28-2009, 05:38 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by OregonJim Quote
I'll second Marc's advice - very well put.

You might consider the Tamron 90/2.5 for macro - it can also double as a portait lens and, with the matching 01F flat-field teleconverter, you get a 180mm telephoto for covering some wildlife work.
If you get the Tamron 90mm f/2.5 Macro (the old MF version, either 52B or 52BB Tamron 90mm f/2.5 1:2 Macro #52B) you might also consider the 1:1 matched extension tube #18F in addition to / in place of the 01F 2x teleconverter. Also look for the #18FH optional hood.

You might also consider the Vivitar Series 1 105mm f/2.5 P/KA Macro - a complete, 1:1 Macro lens (an entirely different and higher price range) - very sharp and nice bokeh..

Both are available here and / or auction sites fairly often - the Tamron almost constantly available in conditions ranging from NIB to decent/used.

Either makes a serviceable portrait lens, but the Tamron does it better, as it was designed with that secondary use in mind. Amazingly sharp and the most stunning "SNAP" into focus of any lens I have ever owned.
05-28-2009, 08:38 PM   #10
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The OP needs a junkie

Sound advice Marc, but the OP said nothing of wildlife or sports or performances. Let's get him in the fold with two lenses that meet his requirements and then infect him with LBA

My $.02...

DA14, DA15 or DA21 for landscapes
DA35 or FA50/2.8 for macro and portrait

As with everything, there are compromises with every decision, but those are all fine lenses.
05-28-2009, 09:34 PM   #11
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For shooting macro, and portraits (on a tripod), AF is irrelevant. I got an old M42 Vivitar 90/2.8 macro (US$3) that's superb for both. Some say that 90/2.8 is too slow for portraits; a FA 50/1.4 (great low-light AF lens) with a 1.4x teleconverter makes 70/2, a preferred close-portrait match.

You didn't say what kinds of landscapes you're interested in - near or far? With a tripod, AF is again irrelevant - it's hard to beat the sharpness of old Takumars. 24mm and wider are reasonable, and 28s and 35s and 50/55s are dirt cheap, and all are razor sharp. For longer shots, that Vivitar 90 or any of its ilk, and Pentax 135s and 200s, are splendid. And cheap. I can't counsel you on newer lenses, I specialize in oldies (they're what I can afford).

It's unfortunately true that a two-lens kit just won't take you very far. A macro/portrait lens can also do longish landscapes, stopped down a bit. Something like the new waterproofed 18-55 would probably be fine in the medium-wide-to-slightly-long range, also stopped down a bit. Such might be your minimal startup kit, along with a tripod and flash. But you might want that FA50 and some fast Takumar primes before long.
05-28-2009, 09:50 PM   #12
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I am a mf junkie, and if you want I can recommend a lot of old mf lenses...

But if I was looking for 1 very good AF lens to shoot portraits and good macro it would be the Sigma 70mm 2.8 macro, or maybe the afore mentioned Tamron 90mm macro.
I am not a landscape kinda guy, but the Sigma 10-20 or the Pentax 12-24 would be up my alley if I was.
05-28-2009, 10:18 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
DA14, DA15 or DA21 for landscapes
DA35 or FA50/2.8 for macro and portrait
50mm is a bit short for macros in the field - 90 to 105 is more convenient. I'd quibble about those ultrawides as 'landscape' lenses - they're more for close contextual shots and cramped spaces. Vistas get lost at such focal lengths. I find most of my landscapes are shot between 24 and 50 on APS-C, or 35 and 70 on 135 film.

I just shot all over Lake Tahoe for a few days with various APSC+135+120 cameras, and 'normal' plus-or-minus 20% accounted for most vistas. Long teles for distant mountains, and ultrawides for cramped groves, sure - but those aren't landscapes. Next time I'll put 135 carts in 120/620 6x6 and 6x9 folders, maybe cut off sprocket holes from the shots in printing - those make for satisfying landscape panoramas. But I digress.
05-29-2009, 09:50 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I'd quibble about those ultrawides as 'landscape' lenses - they're more for close contextual shots and cramped spaces. Vistas get lost at such focal lengths. I find most of my landscapes are shot between 24 and 50 on APS-C
Me too - with my 18-55, most shots are right around 28m or 40mm, so I mostly leave the zoom at home and just carry my 28 and 40. But others see the world differently.
05-29-2009, 10:07 AM   #15
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Sigma | 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro Lens for Pentax | 669109

get the sigma 17-70

you can use the wide side for landscape the tele side for portraits and its a Macro lens.

get experience learn the basic of different styles of shooting then buy more specific lenses for each task
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