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07-12-2007, 05:36 PM   #1
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Newbie Lens advice!

Hi everyone,

This is only my 2nd post here and I am the proud new owner of a K10D. I got it on ebay today ($630 new w/receipt & upc) and will be receiving it next week. It is the body only however and I'm now faced with a lens buying decision. Here's what I want to take pictures of.

1. Our 1st baby is due in November, (half the reason for this purchase!) I want great baby shots with natural light and if flash is needed, would want bounce only. Should I get a fast lens or buy an outboard flash?
2. I enjoy macro photography, but don't have any experience with a real macro rig other than my p&s. This could be bought later as it's not as big of a priority.

Since I can put a macro lens on hold for a bit, I guess I'm looking at a standard zoom lense correct? I guess I'd rather get a quality one from the start but the 16-45mm isn't that fast and I like taking natural light pictures. Can you guys give me some suggestions? I know I could just buy a 50mm prime, but I think a zoom would be so much more practical. Should I get a zoom & a macro lens for portrats and macro work? I heard they're good for portraits. What are your thoughts on that idea? Can you recommend some lenses to research? I'm open to any ideas!

Thanks guys!

07-12-2007, 05:53 PM   #2
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You like natural light and taking photos of a baby - so I would avoid flash. I feel sorry for babies that have to put up with flashes and wonder if it has any lingering affects. The Sigma 17-70 is popular anf fastish, gets good reports from users, it is also macroish.
07-12-2007, 06:12 PM   #3
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The Sigma 17-70mm is indeed a nice lens, and you can use available light with it pretty often since it is faster than the usual "kit lens".

If you can get your hands on a FA35 f2.0 AL, it is a superb available light lens for not too much money. IMHO, the focal length is better suited to indoor photos than 50mm (the FA50 f1.4 is another great option if you can find one).
07-12-2007, 06:22 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by anthropas Quote
Hi everyone,

1. Our 1st baby is due in November, (half the reason for this purchase!) I want great baby shots with natural light and if flash is needed, would want bounce only. Should I get a fast lens or buy an outboard flash?
2. I enjoy macro photography, but don't have any experience with a real macro rig other than my p&s. This could be bought later as it's not as big of a priority.

Since I can put a macro lens on hold for a bit, I guess I'm looking at a standard zoom lense correct? I guess I'd rather get a quality one from the start but the 16-45mm isn't that fast and I like taking natural light pictures. Can you guys give me some suggestions? I know I could just buy a 50mm prime, but I think a zoom would be so much more practical. Should I get a zoom & a macro lens for portrats and macro work? I heard they're good for portraits. What are your thoughts on that idea? Can you recommend some lenses to research? I'm open to any ideas!
You do not specify a budget. If you can afford it, the soon-to-be-released Pentax DA* 16-50mm f2.8 would be ideal for the baby pictures. It is faster than the DA 16-45mm f4 so it will be better for available light use. And the SDM motor will be quick and quiet when focusing. It should be out in August or September.

While you wait for the DA* to be released, pick up a Pentax D-FA 100mm f2.8 Macro and have some fun taking macro shots! The 100mm will be a nice compliment to the DA* 16-50mm: it will work well as a long portrait lens and for general telephoto use when the 16-50 is too short. And with an f2.8 maximum aperture, it is also reasonably fast for available light use. The Sigma 70mm Macro lens is another option, and the 70mm focal length is more suitable for portrait work. I think it is also an f2.8 lens, and it's a bit cheaper than the Pentax D-FA 100mm Macro. But the 100mm lens is better for insect shots since it has a greater working distance, and those little critters start to move when you get too close.

07-12-2007, 06:23 PM   #5
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The 35mm and 50mm FA lenses are both great recommendations. I have both and although I know I should probably get rid of one, I just can't let either go.

The 35mm on the dSLR will be like using a 50mm lens on a 35mm camera, if that means anything to you... some people say that with the smaller sensor a 50mm lens is no longer as useful and a 35mm is better... personally I think the 50mm on the dSLR is still very useful, just in a slightly different way.

The 35mm is sharp wide-open at f/2. Probably sharper than the 50mm f/1.4 at f/2. Having said that, for portraits you may want a softer image and for indoor shots you may want a wider aperture. I find the 'bokeh' of the 50mm more pleasant, but the images from the 35mm seem more 'three-dimensional'... they each have their strengths... but one thing is for sure, the 50mm is cheaper. It's also significantly cheaper than an equivalent 50mm from the other companies out there... it's great value.
07-12-2007, 07:29 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by RBellavance Quote
the FA50 f1.4 is another great option if you can find one).
Pentax Normal SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 Autofocus Lens
B&H has them in stock right now.
07-12-2007, 07:57 PM   #7
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Welcome to the Forum and congratulations on the baby!
I would recommend you investigate the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 for your baby portraits. You should research the DFA 100mm f2.8 macro for portraits and macro. I own both and have been very pleased with their performance. The Tamron is the lens I use most to photograph my children, ages 4 and 7.
Best wishes.
07-12-2007, 08:23 PM   #8
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Original Poster
Hi guys,

Thanks for the advice so far. I'm sure I'm falling victim to analysis paralysis, but it seems like the wide angle lenses naturally have: barrel distortion/CA/Vignetting issues regardless of whether they're primes or zooms. The longer zooms don't seem to be really neccessary for what I'm after right now since I won't be doing travel/wildlife/or sports. After looking at the photozone.de reviews a billion times it seems like there's no wide-angle zooms out there without one issue or another. Are there any that aren't listed there (which would mean I'm unaware of them) that I should be considering? Price is an object, so I don't think I'll be after anything above $400 realistically.

Thanks again!

07-12-2007, 09:00 PM   #9
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Versatility (zoom)
or
Optical Quality (prime)

You'll have to base your decision by leaning towards one or the other. In all honesty, I believe that any of the recommended lens will be fine. For your typical 4x6 prints, everything will look great as long as you pick a lens that's fast enough so it doesn't blur. For small prints, even 1600iso on our dSLRs can still look very good.

Even tho I don't know when it'll be available for purchase, the Sigma 18mm - 50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro looks very promising. The lens is just as fast no matter how much you want to zoom in or out, and on our crop sensor, you're at 27-75mm which is wide enough for indoors, and long enough for most portraits. It only costs a tiny bit more than the 17-50mm also.

I would not settle for a flash unit either and sacrifice speed of the lens if you don't want that obviously flashed look. For a flash shot to look natural, you'll still need to set exposure for the ambient where a slow lens will still be a limitation.
12-04-2011, 08:09 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arpe Quote
I feel sorry for babies that have to put up with flashes and wonder if it has any lingering affects..
I feel sorry for all humans that have to be optically invaded by flashes on camera. I find it rude and offensive. Yes I will calm down after my coffee.
12-04-2011, 09:29 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by kshapero Quote
... Yes I will calm down after my coffee.
Once awake, you will wonder why you ever revived a four-and-a-half year old thread.
12-04-2011, 11:17 PM   #12
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I will say go for a fast prime. I have been there with the whole baby picture thing. Most of the time the picture are taking inside. And if your room is as dark as mine and you dont want to use flash then a fast lens is what you need.

Also in low light if your baby is moving all the time you might not get the shot that you want if the lens is hunting all the time.
12-05-2011, 03:09 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
Once awake, you will wonder why you ever revived a four-and-a-half year old thread.
LOL. I was just about to post 'HOW CAN YOU PAY 630$ FOR A K10D...' when I saw the date...
12-05-2011, 04:19 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSM Quote
LOL. I was just about to post 'HOW CAN YOU PAY 630$ FOR A K10D...' when I saw the date...
I was thinking the OP really got ripped off, then I saw the date. I do love the time capsule affect of these forums.
12-05-2011, 05:57 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by GaryML Quote
You do not specify a budget. If you can afford it, the soon-to-be-released Pentax DA* 16-50mm f2.8 would be ideal for the baby pictures.
I got my hopes up about a version 2 for a second there
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