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12-29-2009, 12:14 AM   #1
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Kit Lens Replacement

I have a K20D with the 18-55 kit lens. I really like the camera but was thinking about upgrading the lens. What would be a good replacement for this lens for general purpose picture taking?

12-29-2009, 12:33 AM   #2
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If you use an image processing software that tells you what focal lengths you use most, you probably get a good idea.
Depending on your shooting style (or the values you found as a statistic):

1. More towards portrait and tele, no landscape: Tamron 28-75/2.8 (or Sigma 24-70/2.8)
2. You like the general zoom range of the 18-55: Get the Pentax* 16-50/2.8 or Tamron 17-50/2.8

These lenses should all outperform the kit lens. 28-75 is considered an "odd" range on APS-C, but I think it can have its advantages, too.

Some people may suggest the Pentax or Tamron 18-250, but if you want to "upgrade", I do not think that it is the right lens for you.

D.
12-29-2009, 12:36 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum reddog.
'General purpose' is a little vague - it's better to stipulate the focal length range you're after.
If just to replace that of the kit lens, then there is a range of good upgrades:

Pentax DA 16-45
Tamron 17-50
Pentax DA* 16-50
Pentax DA 17-70
Sigma 17-70 (NB. variable maximum aperture)

...and there are others but these are reasonably reputable and available.
All the best in your search.
12-29-2009, 01:23 AM   #4
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DA* 16-50mm is the logical 'replacement'

Id suggest you keep the kit lens and look at adding more focal lengths... like a DA70mm or something longer.

12-29-2009, 01:52 AM   #5
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awesome - thanks for the suggestions
12-29-2009, 07:19 AM   #6
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how about the da 55 - 300? Between these 2 lenses you will have a better idea of the focal lengths you prefer and can make a more informed decision as to the which primes/ zoom range you could spend more money on.

By all accounts the 55 - 300 is a great lens, and can be sold on for not much less than you spent when you decide to make the move to specialty ranges...
12-29-2009, 07:30 AM   #7
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QuoteQuote:
was thinking about upgrading the lens. What would be a good replacement for this lens for general purpose picture taking?
I would answer in a slightly different way -
  • Is there a specific reason for wanting the upgrade?
  • Is the kit lens limiting you in any way?
  • Do you find yourself wanting to go to longer or wider focal lengths?
  • Do you need better image quality?
  • Do you need better low light capability?
  • Do you want a smaller sized lens?
12-29-2009, 08:55 AM   #8
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The usual two that are recommended without muddling it with other lenses are the Pentax DA 16-45 and the Sigma 17-70.
These are also good as a walkaround lens since it covers a wide range to a good tele.

12-29-2009, 10:15 AM   #9
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You should base your decision on what you need. If you find you are shooting a lot in low light then a faster lens would be in order. If you need more reach then a longer zoom. Lots of wide angle then maybe a wide like the 12-24. If you are shooting mostly landscapes outdoors for example, then the 16-50 probably won't be much of an upgrade. For myself, I'm looking at a 17-70, probably the Sigma as I find the kit lens not long enough for a walk around for my uses. Your needs may be entirely different.
12-29-2009, 03:29 PM   #10
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Hi Reddog - welcome to the forum.

Just to ask a question - what does your 18-55 not do that you need it to. If you can answer that, it will be easier to suggest an alternative.
12-29-2009, 07:43 PM   #11
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Dispose of the kit-lens as quickly as possible. It really limits what you get with the K-7. You can make it into a fancy coffee-cup if you don't sell it

The DA* 16-50mm F2.8 is the best replacement and includes weather-sealing and a bright
aperture.

You can get the DA 17-70mm F4 instead which has great optical quality without the weather-sealing and one stop less of aperture compared to the 16-50mm. It does get you a slightly longer range.

- Itai
Digital Camera Buying Guide, Photography Articles and Reviews | NeoCamera.com
12-30-2009, 11:01 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
DA* 16-50mm is the logical 'replacement'

Id suggest you keep the kit lens and look at adding more focal lengths... like a DA70mm or something longer.
yes it is.
01-01-2010, 10:29 AM   #13
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This question comes up to almost every shooter after learning their camera and lens. You can ask a hundred different people and probably get a different opinions on what and why they chose what they chose.

Me, I put my kit lens on the shelf after a couple of months and opted for the Tamron 17-50/2.8. This lens I felt was very well priced and the reviews and examples I was seeing were fantastic. I bought this lens and use it as my number 1 zoom.

Good luck with your choice!

Jason
01-01-2010, 04:07 PM   #14
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16-50/SDM/2.8, i kept the kit 18-55 it's my rob me i don't care lens
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