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07-31-2009, 01:18 PM   #1
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Second Lens Advice for Newbie ??


I've had a K100d for the past few years, that came with the standard 18-55mm lens, which I have made work in many situations, but would like to upgrade to add another lens and see what you pros out their suggest.

I know it would have to do with my many preferences, styles of shooting, etc, but let's just say another good all around lens - prob a tele/zoom I think would be a good investment.

Would something like an 18-200mm be a good fit with my other lens for an addition?

Please suggest!! And keeping it on the low price range as well - just a hobbyist here


07-31-2009, 01:32 PM   #2
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Hello, El!! Shortly after I got my K10 I noticed that nearly every shot I wanted to take, I always wanted to be closer. I therefore deduced that I needed a longer lens. But the thought of giving up my wide angle...well...I just didn't want to do that. So I got the 18-250 and I can honeslty say, it rarely comes off my camera except when I want to do speciality shots. The IQ is perhaps not as sharp as other lenses, but I haven't missed a shot while changing a lens. I have had hardly any problems with dust on the sensor. And I am totally content with 95% of what I have shot. It is a GREAT all-purpose lens.
07-31-2009, 01:50 PM   #3
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If the 18-55 serves you well, and you haave the $, the 50-135 will not dissapoint. Although for an all-purpose lens, you probably can't beat the 18-250. Then there's Tamron's offering of the 18-270, which I'm not sure has been released on a Pentax mount.
07-31-2009, 02:18 PM   #4
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If I was going to limit myself to just 2 lens then I would probably go 18-55 which most everyone has and a 55-300. not real fast but for general purpose use they do a very good job at a very reasonable price. jim

07-31-2009, 05:46 PM   #5
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If you've already got 18-55 covered, no reason to dupliate it with an 18-200, unless you'd rather get rid of your 18-55. The basic telephoto zooms most people would be considering are the DA50-200 and DA55-300. The 55-300 is longer (obviously) and also somewhat better, but more expensivea and quite a bit bigger/heavier. I'm perfectly content with my 50-200.
07-31-2009, 05:54 PM   #6

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When I bought the K100 I got the 16-45 and the 50-200. I've been happy with both (but not with the 10-20mm Sigma, so far, so I'm at least a little bit fussy.) At the time I bought there was a rebate on the 16-45 so it was a pretty good deal. If you can save some money on the 50-200 (last I looked, still cheap) vs. its alternatives, and put it toward the 16-45 (maybe sell the 18-55), you may find the 4mm on the bottom end could be a big deal. I guess I'd miss the 4 on the bottom more than 50 or 100 on the top, although, if everything else was equal, I'd obviously rather have both. And it all depends what you're doing with the camera, of course.

08-01-2009, 03:44 AM   #7
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I don't mean to imply that I've chosen the best route, but here's what I've wound up with and why.

My first priority on a new lens was for non-flash, lower light people and central subject shots; at home, in Bistros, theater, museum, etc.

For this I got a 50mm F:1.7. I think it might be the last lens I'd give up as it will be successful in a very broad range of lighting conditions; ie. it can always be stopped down when there's enough light, but my other lenses aren't so fast & often can't be opened wide enough. Even though I've difficulty in zooming with my feet due to physical limitations, the fast fifty at least makes a lot of shots possible (maybe I'll have to foot zoom, but at least it is possible.).

Lens aperture has often been limiting for my choice of subjects; when using a long lens for wildlife I can't hand-hold unless the shutter speed is high; but the speed can't be high with a slow lens. This problem is compounded at dusk, dawn, and in the forest.

Unlike many others, I find scant use for wide angles as I tend to emphasize a subject when I frame a photo - usually I fill the frame with a subject, so my 18-55mm kit lens gets little use at the wide end. The lenses in my knock-about bag now are Tamron 28-75mm F2.8, Pentax DA 55-300 F4-5.8, Pentax F 55mm F1.7, Raynox DCR 150 for impulse close-ups, & a 1.5X teleconverter.

I'd dearly love a faster long zoom lens but haven't found anything suitable in weight* or cost yet. I use a manual Soligor 200mm F2.8 for situations demanding longer reach in lower light; a 1.5x converter stretches that to 300mm f4 when needed.

Dave in Iowa

*I'd love to find a plastic Beer-Can Zoom maybe 70-300mm F2.8-4. (75-300mm F:2-4 should be possible I think....Oooo!)

Last edited by newarts; 08-01-2009 at 06:46 AM.
08-01-2009, 07:15 AM   #8
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You each make a very good point and I appreciate all the responses. I like the idea of a 55-200 or 28-200 right now with my budget and learning curve.

I've seen a Sigma 28-200 AF on ebay for pretty cheap (IMO) and am curious if anyone has had good experiences with this lens...

Thanks again for all the advice - much appreciated.

08-01-2009, 07:51 AM   #9
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I just wanted to echo what newarts said. I got both the 18-55mm and the 50-200mm(both were in the kit), but I rarely use the longer one. In fact, the first (and only... so far) lens that I bought separately was the FA 50/1.4 and it rarely leaves the camera. I love the fact that I can shoot handheld even in low light. I don't miss the zoom much, I just walk around a lot. Now that I think about it, every now and then I do miss wide angle, because sometimes in tight places no amount of walking can help.
08-01-2009, 07:56 AM   #10
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For a self-described newbie, my advice is to procure the Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 (or the newer f3.5 constant) or a fast prime, something along the lines of f2 or faster.
08-02-2009, 12:28 PM   #11
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I say go with the longer lens, as the longer FLs will give you more options. If you've got the money, go for the DA55-300, but if money is really tight, the DA55-200 can be had for under $150, used.

If you're looking for something fun, cheap, and that will work well in lower light situations, then see about picking up an A50/1.7, which can be had for under $100; the A50/2 can be had for around $50 or a little less.

08-02-2009, 06:56 PM   #12
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I would do one of three things: I would get the Tamron/Pentax 18-250 (an all in one solution, although a slow lens at the long end), get the Pentax 55-300 (a better quality lens that won't duplicate the range of the 18-55) or get a fast prime (one of the 50's probably). I guess, I would probably do both of the last two. It sounds like you want a tele and the 55-300 is about the best you can do for a reasonable price range. At the same time, you can get a manual focus 50 for pretty cheap and those can be an awful lot of fun as well as opening up new horizons.
08-03-2009, 07:21 AM   #13
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I hate overlapping, so I got a 28-80 and a 70-200.
08-03-2009, 08:35 AM   #14
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Go gators

I just read that you're from Gator Country, I'm at UF for one more year of grad school starting in the fall. GO GATORS!
Hope the lenses work out for you.
08-03-2009, 09:53 AM   #15

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I went for the 50-200 and have been very happy with it. I think it's a very much underappreciated lens. It's pretty sharp if you aren't wide open. I do wish for a bit more reach so I'm looking for something a bit more powerful but you can't beat the 50-200 for the price. I picked mine up on ebay for 100 bucks. That left me with a few bucks for a couple of primes and a macro from the local pawnshop.

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