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03-13-2010, 12:10 AM   #1
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Help with deciding on a second lens!

I am about to purchase a Pentax KX and I am REALLY indecisive.

This camera is typically sold with a kit lens no matter what, and I have been looking at a second lens for this camera. I have researched and I want a lens to go good with vacationing (so one with a lot of zoom and a focal length up to around 200-300) so I decided I wanted a 18-200... but wait? I was going to try buying the kit without a lens already there BUT THE PRICE WAS EVEN MORE WITH THE LENS? WHAT?! Hahaha.


Long story short, I don't know what lens would complement the kit lens without me being disappointed in switching back and forth between them. Bringing 2 lenses is no problem for vacation, but I still want your opinions!

03-13-2010, 12:51 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum Nathan.
The 50-200 isn't a bad lens but most people are probably going to recommend the 55-300.

You can buy a kit with the 18-55 and either of those two lenses.
03-13-2010, 01:00 AM   #3
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Would a 18-200MM lens work better or do you recommend a 50-200? Its quite troubling to decide since I don't know much about this yet, would I be able to take a group photo/portrait with a 50-200 if I couldn't switch the lenses at the point in time?


What i'm trying to say is will there be any reason for me to switch lenses after I get a 18-200mm or would getting a 50-200 be more appropriate so I don't totally neglect the kit lens.

Last edited by NathanSanch; 03-13-2010 at 01:09 AM.
03-13-2010, 01:15 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by NathanSanch Quote
Would a 18-200MM lens work better or do you recommend a 50-200? Its quite troubling to decide since I don't know much about this yet, would I be able to take a group photo/portrait with a 50-200 if I couldn't switch the lenses at the point in time?


What i'm trying to say is will there be any reason for me to switch lenses after I get a 18-200mm or would getting a 50-200 be more appropriate so I don't totally neglect the kit lens.
Catch all zooms like an 18-200 are rarely very good. They are good in some areas and always suffer in others. While I can understand your desire for a single lens solution I don't think something like that is a way to go. If you really want to go that way, find a Pentax (or Tamron) 18-250. Otherwise, Get the 55-300 (based on your short list). I have only one reason for saying that. If Zoom is your thing (it isn't mine), 200mm is never going to be enough.



03-13-2010, 01:20 AM   #5
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Thanks so much you really helped me on my decision, it has been bugging me so much!
03-13-2010, 06:06 AM   #6
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One of the reasons most of us got SLR's to begin with was the ability to use different lenses so I always why someone buys one if they only want to use one lens. It takes less than a minute to change out a lens so the group photo/portrait shot shouldn't be an issue. I have the 18-55 on my camera most of the time. I don't have the 18-200 or 18-250 and I can understand wanting one because of its range and it would be handy indeed for hiking trips but I don't think I would be happy having it as my only lens. It's a pretty hefty piece of glass to carry around. My main reason for wanting an 18-250 would be when I'm shooting 75% long with the occasional shot on the shorter end of the zoom. An example would be kids sporting events where I am using the longer lens for the action and want a quick sideline shot during a break. I need to change lenses for that. But for everything else, I have a shorter lens mounted. IMO the combo of the 18-55 kit and the 55-300 will cover just about everything you will want to shoot as a starter kit. I think you will find that the 18-55 will be on the camera most of the time and your neck will thank you at the end of the day.
03-13-2010, 09:13 AM   #7
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the story, told again

After long use of film and P&S's, I started looking for a dSLR two years ago. I wanted to shoot ultrawide; I wanted to shoot long; I wanted to shoot fast. The best affordable ultrawide zoom came from Pentax, so I bought a K20D with 3 lenses: DA10-17 fisheye, DA18-250 superzoom, FA50/1.4 fast prime. Many many used lenses later, those three are still my basic kit. I now have a DA18-55 kit lens, and use it more than expected, but the 18-250 is still my usual walkaround for varied situations.

My other constant companions are a Sakar 500mm f/8 mirror lens (US$13 on eBay) and a great manual Vivitar 90mm macro lens ($3), and assorted CHEAP sharp fast manual primes. Some folks will recommend the DA12-24 ultrawide instead of the fisheye, and various other long superzooms. I'm happy with what I got. But ask yourself: Where am I going? What lens(es) will get me there? What can I afford that will make me happy? Answer those, and you'll have a better idea of what to acquire. And to learn about lenses, see Pentax Lens Review and Specification Database - Main Index
03-13-2010, 10:01 AM   #8
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For your purchase I think your original idea of 18-250mm zoom lens would be a good choice either the Pentax one or the Sigma. Since your going to be mostly using it for vacationing.

Changing over lens all the time to get the perfect shot is very annoying. If you don't mind than put me as a +1 for the 55-300mm option. It's going to give you the cheapest and best quality images for the range.

For myself, for vacationing I'd go with a fast portrait lens anything F1.4 or F1.7 and a good all around zoom lens like the 18-250mm. The F1.4 lens for indoor shots where lighting would be an issue. It doesn't have to be auto focus either to save some cash. Or you can combine those lens together but you'd be looking at a very expensive lens I'd assume.

03-13-2010, 11:08 AM   #9
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I got my K-7 naked, so i don't have a kit lens for comparison. I got the DA35mm, and the pentax 12-24 and lastly the tamron 18-250. I am currently traveling europe, i love using my 35mm and it spends most time on my camera... however for general walking about and letting the wife so snap happy the zoom range on the tammy is very nice, and takes nice photos over the range. I would agree with reef and go the 55-300 which will compliment your kit lens.
03-13-2010, 11:15 AM   #10
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Thanks a lot guys, so far the verdict seems to point to the 55-300.

I was looking at a Tamron 70-300 and its for a really good price of 170 USD. Considering thats the amount my paycheck is tomorrow (I'm only 16 years old by the way) I might just get that.
03-13-2010, 11:37 AM   #11
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I disagree totally, the 55-300 is really overkill for family type wandering about and the 18-250 is very, very, very close to the IQ of the 18-55 and 50-200 with the extreme hassle of changing back and forth at an awkward focal length.

I use a combo of the 18-250 and primes as it's the best of both worlds.

QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
One of the reasons most of us got SLR's to begin with was the ability to use different lenses so I always why someone buys one if they only want to use one lens. It takes less than a minute to change out a lens so the group photo/portrait shot shouldn't be an issue. I have the 18-55 on my camera most of the time. I don't have the 18-200 or 18-250 and I can understand wanting one because of its range and it would be handy indeed for hiking trips but I don't think I would be happy having it as my only lens. It's a pretty hefty piece of glass to carry around. My main reason for wanting an 18-250 would be when I'm shooting 75% long with the occasional shot on the shorter end of the zoom. An example would be kids sporting events where I am using the longer lens for the action and want a quick sideline shot during a break. I need to change lenses for that. But for everything else, I have a shorter lens mounted. IMO the combo of the 18-55 kit and the 55-300 will cover just about everything you will want to shoot as a starter kit. I think you will find that the 18-55 will be on the camera most of the time and your neck will thank you at the end of the day.
03-13-2010, 11:54 AM   #12
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But a lense like that is 150-300 dollars more than a nice Tamron 70-300mm

I looked up a tamron 18-200 and its 379 USD


I think I am making the right choice by buying a 70-300mm. I'd hate to buy a lens that is no good.
03-13-2010, 01:02 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by NathanSanch Quote
But a lense like that is 150-300 dollars more than a nice Tamron 70-300mm

I looked up a tamron 18-200 and its 379 USD

I think I am making the right choice by buying a 70-300mm. I'd hate to buy a lens that is no good.
All the lenses mentioned are pretty good, or better. An 18-250 just gives you MUCH more flexibility -- its range is from pretty wide to pretty damn far. The 70-300 is just pretty damn far only! You mentioned wanting to do group shots. With a 70+, you'll have to be about 30 feet away to get more than a couple people in. It's for working at a distance. Do your friends and family really smell that bad?
03-13-2010, 01:04 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by NathanSanch Quote
Thanks a lot guys, so far the verdict seems to point to the 55-300.

I was looking at a Tamron 70-300 and its for a really good price of 170 USD. Considering thats the amount my paycheck is tomorrow (I'm only 16 years old by the way) I might just get that.
You won't be sorry.
03-13-2010, 03:28 PM   #15
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Just ordered it on Amazon. We'll see how it goes. Ordering the camera later tonight.
Thanks everyone, i'll be a regular user at this forum from now on
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