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07-10-2009, 01:55 PM   #1
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Hello Pentaxforums

Hello Pentax users, my name is Jonas and I have a small dilemma, maybe you can help me?

For almost a year now I have been using the Sony a200, a great camera but it has itīs limitations when you are getting better and better with time!

(Btw, here are some of the "latest" pics from the a200 + Sigma 70-300 APO, wich is highly underrated I think)

When spring came this year I thought about upgrading to the a700, also a very great camera, but as some of you already know, itīs almost impossible to get an a700 these days

Before I knew that the a700 would be impossible to get (atleast here in Sweden) I took the decision to sell of "all" my gear, it wasnīt much but it was a good start into the DSLR world!

So, 1 month has gone by without any camera at all (except a small Olympus compact camera) and Iīm getting desperate! (Didnīt know I could keep myself together this long)

So, yesterday I started thinking about other brands, ofcourse Pentax came up first because of the IS (or what itīs called by Pentax) and the nice line-up of lenses!
If I buy a Pentax, then it would be the K20D since, besides the Sony a700/a900, the camera fits my hands almost perfectly!

So why didnīt I choose another brand, letīs say Nikon, Canon or Olympus?
Well, Nikonīs (especially the D300) do actually feel pretty well, but the lack of in-camera-IS!
Almost the same with Canon, they have a nice and big line-up and lotīs of used equipment is on the market here in Sweden, but the Canonīs feelīs lika a piece of plastic and they donīt have the in-camera-IS aswell!
Olympus, in-camera-IS yes, but none of their models fits my hands...

So thatīs why I ended up with Pentax, and the K20D

So hereīs a few questions:

Iīm thinking of getting the Pentax 100/2.8 as a first lens because I really love macro and also because I can use it for portraitīs (mainly close-upīs and faces) and is tack sharp! (From what Iīve seen in sample shots in the review section)
I am also amazed by the bokeh this thing produces, the best Iīve ever seen

I have also looked at the Tamron 90/2.8 since the sharpness is atleast as good as the Pentax (also here from what Iīve seen, mainly in other forums)!

So, wich one do you recommend between these two?

And after that, if I get a macro, I think itīs time to get a "normal-range-zoom", something in the 16mm-70mm range!

I really wanīt the best, even if I must save for a couple of months, so I was thinking of the DA* 16-50/2.8 - how much better is it when compared to the DA 17-70/4 when it comes to IQ (mainly wide open, but also if you stop it down one or two stops)?

And after that (probably 2010 if I buy the lenses and the camera new) I would love to get a dedicated portrait lens...
Wich one do you recommend?

Iīve seen some wonderful examples of the Sigma HSM 50/1.4, but Iīm thinking of getting the 43/1.9 instead (cheaper when used and looks like a dream), unfortunately I havenīt seen any portraitīs from this lens - could you please direct me to some albumīs (or something likewise) that shows itīs strengthīs?

And btw, the K-7 is to a little bit over-priced (for now), thatīs also why Iīm only looking at the K20D!

Sorry if my somewhat crappy English is non-understandable, please ask if you donīt understand something that I have written!


07-10-2009, 02:08 PM   #3
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Thanks for the links, there is some very interesting conversations and samples there!
07-10-2009, 02:47 PM   #4
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Also consider the new K-7, which has revolutionised some of the K20D's great features.

Macro lens options? Any of the 90-105mm lenses are great and sharp - I've not heard otherwise from them. I have the Pentax FA 100/2.8 and I can certainly vouch for that one.

The DA* 16-50 is a very decent lens - cannot compare with the 17-70 as I do not have one, but the 16-50 has as good an IQ as you can find in that focal range.

Portrait lens? Pentax's pride and joy in the mid-telephoto range is the FA 77 ltd. It is a stellar lens, producing stunning portraits. Otherwise, you'll also find the 100 macros doing an excellent job doing portraits as they're all very sharp even wide open.

But do read up some more as there's a lot to consider when choosing all these things, and you'll get exactly what you're looking for.
All the best.

07-10-2009, 03:08 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick answers, I īm now totally sold (and has been for some time) on the Tamron, both as a macro and a portrait lens!

I mentioned that the K-7 is a bit over-priced for me, but who knows
07-10-2009, 04:19 PM   #6
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Jonas, I think you've made an excellent choice! And if it's any consolation, I think that there are quite a few of us shooting with cameras older than the K-7.

Regarding your plans, I think your macro idea is wonderful. I have the Pentax D-FA 100, and I find it to be my go-to lens for just about everything: portraits, landscapes, street stuff, and of course macro. I've heard good things about the Tamron as well, so I hope you find the focal length useful.

You asked about the 43/1.9 in terms of portraiture. I've declared it my favorite lens in the past, but I have fewer portraits taken with it than I care to admit. I've found the 70-ish range to be more to my liking, but I have a few. You can see all of them here: but here are a couple:

@ f/3.2

@ f/16

@ f/1.9 and ISO 1600 (this one just makes me laugh)

I have the Pentax DA 70 and FA 77 for that longer range, and I can recommend both heartily
07-11-2009, 05:23 AM   #7
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Thanks for the sample images, very helpful!
07-11-2009, 03:08 PM   #8
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I haven't used the macro lenses you mention, but the 16-50 is an excellent lens. The only issue has been with quality control in the early batches. I think the problems with it are mostly past and the nice thing about the K20 is it allows for focus adjustments on lenses. Most people who don't get the 16-50 tend to go for the 16-45, although Klaus at Photozone really liked the DA 17-70.

07-12-2009, 05:00 AM   #9
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I might have a chance to get the K20D + VG and the Tamron for ~$1109,36 (pretty good deal here in Sweden I think...)

Now, please make the time go faster!
07-13-2009, 03:18 AM   #10
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Or the K20D + VG + DA*16-50/2.8 for about ~$1520...

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