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10-21-2009, 09:00 PM   #1
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help

Retirement looms, and the wife says i have to get a hobby, or I will drive her cra zy. I always thougt I would like to get involved with photography, I have had a Pentax ist DSLR for a few years, and have decided to purchase a K7 body, but have no clue which lens I should get. I know i want one lens for now that is in the 18 to 200mm range, and to that end have looked at the lens sites, but i don't understand the technical jargon so I am afaid I would buy the wrong one. I am hoping someone will suggest a lens that would be fully compatible with this camera. As soon as I am able to devote the time I intend to take courses so I won't have to ask dumb questions.

10-21-2009, 09:19 PM   #2
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Hello, I have recently got a K-7 myself. For a lens, I have a Pentax 18-250mm and am quite happy with it.

I don't know what you intend to shoot, but with a lens of this length, I assume that it would be everything. Check the reviews over this lens and see if this is what you're looking for.

I got the lens from the Ritz Camera clearance sale. Check this thread for a link to the Ritz website.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/75897-ritz-camera-...clearance.html

If you have any questions, you have found the right place to ask them. Remember, the only dumb questions are the ones you don't ask.
10-21-2009, 09:42 PM   #3
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I respectfully disagree with r0ckstarr. Don't get a zoom lens. A zoom lens is not what *hooks* you to photography. At least, it wasn't for me. It was fast primes; started off with cheap M42s (Helios-44, Pentacon, Super Takumar 50/1.4), and now it's a bit more upscale (FA 31 Lim, Flektogon 35/2.4, Volna-9, Apo-Lanthar 90/3.5 and Macro Apo-Lanthar 125/2.5).

Zoom lenses will get you good pictures. They're multi purpose. Great for travel. But they will rarely get you the awesome photos, those that you want to print out and hang on your wall; the kind of pictures that makes photography a truly addictive hobby you will be passionate about.


If you are thinking of getting the K-7 so that you may dive into the world of photography as a serious hobby for you to pursue post retirement, I will say, get a good fast prime. I would personally recommend the FA 31mm F1.8 Limited. Everything you take with it will shine, it is just that good.

Sure, you can pick up a zoom at some point. Hell, I have the 12-24, 16-50, and 60-250. They're awesome, and they come in handy when I need 'em. But, besides the 12-24 for wide angle landscape photography, they are the least used of my lenses. When I travel, they're the ones I'll take. When I go into the field (I'm an archaeologist), they're the ones I'll take. But in everyday life, I hardly pick them up. I always reach for my primes. My 2c.
10-21-2009, 10:00 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum musqwa!
Great intro! Wish my wife was that encouraging! Hopefully she won't change her mind about that - photography is a great hobby.

I will not assume you'll be clued up with the reason why some lenses are more expensive than others (despite some being very much smaller! cf. FA and DA Limited lenses), so I'd start at the beginning. In the first instance, this forum has a reasonably comprehensive lens review database located under the reviews tab above. Here is where you'll find lots of USEFUL information about the nuances, pros and cons of each lens - especially helpful if you find a second hand lens to purchase.

By starting off with basic kit lenses (like the DA 18-55 and 50-200), you begin to find out the focal lengths you like to shoot most with (without having to spend a fortune to do so). This is one way of then investing in more expensive and capable prime (fixed-focal length) lenses. Although I would be more than certain the best value prime lens available (a must have for all) is the FA 50mm f/1.4 lens - relatively cheap yet very good quality and capable of creating beautiful images. Consider after that the DA 55-300 - a very good consumer zoom lens that produces reasonably sharp images at great value. A wide angle suggestion could be the DA 16-45, which is good quality at a good price also, but is less suitable for portraits.

It is hard to advise after that, particularly if a budget hasn't been set, but once you realise what you're really after, you then are in a position to hone in on the lenses you desire.


Last edited by Ash; 10-21-2009 at 10:11 PM.
10-21-2009, 11:00 PM   #5
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Welcome, something like an 18-250 zoom is good to start with. The reason I say that is, if you don't know what you are going to be shooting and what focal lengths you are going to be using, this is the cheapest most practical way to find out.
10-21-2009, 11:13 PM   #6
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Either the 18-250 or a fast 50 would be fine choices, but I'm going to buck the whole pack here and offer you should by no lens at all just now.

The lens(es) you have for your *ist will suit the K-7 just fine. Take that money you have reserved for glass and invest in the course/classes you mentioned in your post above.

Armed with the knowledge gained from some formal training you'll be much better equipped to make a wise decision on what lens(es) you will want next.

And welcome aboard, btw!
10-21-2009, 11:32 PM   #7
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With the greatest respect to RawheaD who said -

"Don't get a zoom lens. A zoom lens is not what *hooks* you to photography. At least, it wasn't for me. It was fast primes; started off with cheap M42s (Helios-44, Pentacon, Super Takumar 50/1.4), and now it's a bit more upscale (FA 31 Lim, Flektogon 35/2.4, Volna-9, Apo-Lanthar 90/3.5 and Macro Apo-Lanthar 125/2.5)."

I think a decent 18 - 250 zoom or any other focal lengths will give you all the quality you may ever want or need.
If, at some stage in your photographic development (pun not intended) you find you require greater quality you can always upgrade.
That may probably never occur.
Today's zooms are superb and I believe you will be more than satisfied with their performance.

After over 60 years of taking photos with all kinds of equipment and lenses I am completely sold on today's zooms.

Mickey
10-22-2009, 12:54 AM   #8
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If you don't know what lens to get, definitely get the 18-250mm lens.

- It's not terribly expensive.

- You will have access to most commonly-used focal lengths. After a while, you'll figure out what focal lengths you use the most, then you can get better/more expensive lenses to cover those focal lengths.

- Even later you'll have better/more expensive lenses, the 18-250mm is still useful. It's great when you want to/can bring only one lens, or for a short hike, or a walk in the park, around the neighborhood, ....

10-22-2009, 07:51 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
If you don't know what lens to get, definitely get the 18-250mm lens.

- It's not terribly expensive.
Another option is the 18-200 Tamron lens, which is about 50% cheaper and has the same underpinnings as the 18-250.
10-22-2009, 09:34 AM   #10
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Welcome to retirement! I went into this eight years ago worried that I would never have the kind of money needed to fund my hobbies, but as it turned out, I own better camera gear than I ever dreamed was possible. Also picked up golf, which can be more expensive than cameras, but I play the cheap courses with my buddies. Sure, the pile of acorns is smaller, but I believe our hobbies at age 80 will be much simpler and less costly.

I do wonder though. If you already own an ist DS and don't consider photography a hobby, how will a $!000 body cause you to embrace it in the future? Perhaps I misread your post.

I would guess that the ist came with a serviceable 18-55 zoom, not much different than what they sell now, although the new ones are lighter? Maybe consider the "starter" 50-200mm zoom to complement it. Buy a nice bag and swap lenses as needed. Then down the road, see if you want something like a combo 18-250, or pick up some primes.

If you are looking to carry a single lens, many owners do so, but the strength of a DSLR is being able to twist on a lens that suits the moment. It also builds strength in the poor guy who is carrying a bag full of lenses. If you plan to mainly use just one lens, there are some other cameras that are lighter and more carryable with high image quality.
10-22-2009, 10:24 AM   #11
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Don't buy a K7. Hold onto & learn how to use your perfectly fine *ist. For less than half the price of the K7 body, you can pick up, in mint condition, a used Pentax DA 16-45mm f:4 zoom, a Pentax F SMC 70-210mm f:4-5.6 zoom, a Pentax F SMC 35-70mm f:3.5-4.5 zoom, and a Pentax F 50mm f:1.7 prime, either here on the Marketplace forum, or on Ebay. You'd have all your bases covered with low cost, high quality lenses & a body. From this point you will be able to enjoy & explore the hobby with little sacrifice in quality or initial cash outlay. In the future, any of the money spent on these highly sought after initial purchases can be easily recouped through sales on this site for the same price you paid for them, if you chose to dispose of them.
10-22-2009, 11:23 AM   #12
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I have started with a K200D and an 18-250 myself... and can say that it is a good light versatile setup, specially while you explore the camera and your preferences while taking photos.

And I expect to keep mine, even as I plan to add more "serious" lenses to the bag... since I am sure there will be days when you only want to carry that combination.

You can read more on it here... (1) reviews the Tamron version while (2) reviews the Pentax version...

Tamron 18-250 Review: Full "hands on" review of the Tamron 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 AF Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro
Pentax SMC DA 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF] - Lab Test Report / Review
10-22-2009, 02:39 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mickeyobe Quote
With the greatest respect to RawheaD who said -

"Don't get a zoom lens. A zoom lens is not what *hooks* you to photography. At least, it wasn't for me. It was fast primes; started off with cheap M42s (Helios-44, Pentacon, Super Takumar 50/1.4), and now it's a bit more upscale (FA 31 Lim, Flektogon 35/2.4, Volna-9, Apo-Lanthar 90/3.5 and Macro Apo-Lanthar 125/2.5)."

I think a decent 18 - 250 zoom or any other focal lengths will give you all the quality you may ever want or need.
If, at some stage in your photographic development (pun not intended) you find you require greater quality you can always upgrade.
That may probably never occur.
Today's zooms are superb and I believe you will be more than satisfied with their performance.

After over 60 years of taking photos with all kinds of equipment and lenses I am completely sold on today's zooms.

Mickey

I agree today's zooms are great (I wouldn't have spent 2 grand buying the 16-50 and 60-250 if I didn't think so :-).

It's just that they take good pictures but not amazing ones. At least, not at my skill level. Almost ALL the photos I see on Flickr (where I spend a lot of time) where I say "this is AWESOME" and click that Fave button, are taken with primes––with the notable exception of wide angle landscape shots.

If somebody came and said they wanted a DSLR and a versatile lens combination that is good for all round use (travel, snaps, soccer games, etc.) then the 18-250mm would be at the top of my recommendation list, too.


But I just thought this was a different case. If somebody wants to see if he/she wants to pick up photography as a life-long hobby, a versatile "jack of all trades, master of none" lens, IMHO, shouldn't be the one to base his/her judgment on.


And we're not talking about a complete noob here, the OP already has an istD, and probably a half decent kit lens that came with it. Why didn't he get into photography with that set? If that didn't work for him, do you think a K-7 and an 18-250 would?


I entered this world with the K200D a little over a year ago and a Sigma 18-50mm. It was a good combo, but what really hooked my was the first couple of primes I bought on Ebay and the pictures that they produced.
10-22-2009, 07:34 PM   #14
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thanks so much for all your replies, it has given me food for thought. I am buying the new camera because i am tired of going to my daughters to retrive it and have decided to give it to her. two days ago I never heard of a prime lens, and still have no idea what it is except, I assume it is the same as expensive. boy do I have a lot to learn!
10-22-2009, 07:50 PM   #15
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Not always so, but all the Pentax limited edition and star variety lenses definitely are.
Prime just means you cannot zoom (adjust focal length) to make the image look bigger or smaller in the viewfinder (simplistic explanation). But they generally offer better image quality than zooms.
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