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08-29-2010, 08:28 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by emr Quote
That was an interesting post, thanks. May I ask how long have you had the stormtrooper by now? Because I'm just wondering if it'll turn to Darth Vader over time like my white MacBook has done.
I've only had mine for a little over a month; however, it's been to downtown Chicago, several outings, Florida, and the Dominican. I baby it, but I haven't felt the need to clean it or anything.

08-29-2010, 08:44 PM   #17
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Ryan, rather than the superzoom, I would recommend getting a DA 55-300. 18-55, 55-300, 50/1.7 and you are good to go. You could even get the L version to save a little cash. That's basically what I took with me on a recent vacation, and it was perfect. I used the wider zoom most of the time, the long lens a little and hardly used a fast prime, but it was nice to have.

Or, for even better savings, you could get a used FA-J 75-300mm. That's what I used for my trip. KEH usually has them for $100-120.
08-29-2010, 10:39 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
Ryan, rather than the superzoom, I would recommend getting a DA 55-300. 18-55, 55-300, 50/1.7 and you are good to go. You could even get the L version to save a little cash. That's basically what I took with me on a recent vacation, and it was perfect. I used the wider zoom most of the time, the long lens a little and hardly used a fast prime, but it was nice to have.

Or, for even better savings, you could get a used FA-J 75-300mm. That's what I used for my trip. KEH usually has them for $100-120.
Second the suggestion you go w/ the 55-300. Excellent lens that surpasses what I'd expect given its price. Pretty light weight too, so it's easy to carry around. But I think you will find that the image quality is slightly better than the 18-250 while saving a bit of money and getting better reach.

You may have to change lenses once in a while, but that's part of owning a DSLR. And most of the time you'll know if you need longer reach...

And by the way, I own a kx in white also - my experience w/ the build quality is much as yours. Nice review and thanks for the comparison to the the other cams you've owned.
08-30-2010, 08:27 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
Ryan, rather than the superzoom, I would recommend getting a DA 55-300. 18-55, 55-300, 50/1.7 and you are good to go.

Or, for even better savings, you could get a used FA-J 75-300mm. That's what I used for my trip. KEH usually has them for $100-120.
QuoteOriginally posted by vagrant10 Quote
You may have to change lenses once in a while, but that's part of owning a DSLR. And most of the time you'll know if you need longer reach...
That's interesting. . . . hadn't thought about that, and I guess there wouldn't be that many swaps. But for buying, that lens (~$450) is out of budget. While I could maybe justify itin a year or two, it doesn't help me for this upcoming trip. Renting it is an option, though.

The FA J you mentioned is here for $109
Pentax Autofocus 75-300 F4.5-5.8 SMC FA J AL SILVER (58) WITH CAPS 35MM SLR AUTO FOCUS ZOOM TELEPHOTO LENS - KEH.com
That might be an option. I could buy it and if I don't think it's high enough quality, I could flip it and rent the 55-300.

However, the more I think about it, I don't think I'll need 300mm. The last time I was in Europe I had an EasyShare DX7590, which had a 38-380 equiv zoom. What I remember is wishing I had the ability to go wider, and I remember zooming all the way in maybe twice. Of course, that camera had no IS, so zooming in was typically disastrous. With the kit's maximum of 18 (28) and a max around 200 (305), I'll have shifted my zoom range in the direction I wanted the last time I was there. Going to 300 (460), it's just overkill for me, and I'm concerned about the weight and length of the 300 when extended. If there's a deal on 300mm zoom that would be optically superior to its 200mm peers, of course I'll take it.

So if you take into account FA lenses, Tamron/Sigma, and the DA (and L) zooms that go to 200ish, I have a number of options. How would you guys rank the following lenses, or are there some to just stay away from? I have half a mind to try a couple of these that are ~$50 and flip them if they suck.

Sigma 70-210 f/4 UC-II - $56 LN- at KEH (got decent reviews on here)
Pentax FA 70-200 f/4 - $65 EX+ at KEH
Pentax FA 75-300 f/4.5 - $109 EX at KEH
Sigma DC 50-200 f/4 - $159 new at Amazon (I'm reading this is less attractive than the Tamron below)
Tamron Di 70-300mm f/4 $154 new at Amazon (got a decent Photozone review, good on here except 200-300 range, where I wouldn't be using it anyway)
Pentax DA-L 50-200 f/4 - $179 LN-, $139 EX at KEH
RENT Pentax DA 55-300 - $92 for 3 weeks

Any opinions on what's the best value among these choices? I'm serioiusly considering just grabbing that Sigma UC-II just to screw around with. At KEH, it says it's Auto Focus but I don't see that mentioned elsewhere. Can anyone confirm that Sigma made an AF 70-210 UC-II?

08-30-2010, 09:47 AM   #20
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I've owned the tamron 70-300 and I was pretty pleased with it. There is quite a bit of purple fringing w/ this lens, but it was sharp and for the most part, Paint Shop Pro (the software I was using for a while) was able to get rid of most of the purple fringing.

Most of this set was taken w/ the tamron 70-300 -
car race w/ the tamron 70-300

It also gives you a pseudo macro, so that may be of some use too.

I've also used the pentax 50-200 and it's a pretty good lens, but I think I'd probably choose the 70-300 over it.
08-30-2010, 03:04 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ryan Trevisol Quote
However, the more I think about it, I don't think I'll need 300mm. The last time I was in Europe I had an EasyShare DX7590, which had a 38-380 equiv zoom. What I remember is wishing I had the ability to go wider, and I remember zooming all the way in maybe twice.
Now you're talking. My trips in Europe (four this year, since I live in Europe!) were completed with a 105mm or 77mm as the longest focal. Unless you are specifically a birder, I think you'll be the same.

Instead, what you will need is wide angle, the wider the better, to capture interiors, streets, etc. The kit lens will do you there, however, since you don't have the budget for a dedicated wide angle zoom. And you've got a fast 50 for portraits and details inside.

So maybe those two are all you need -- travel light, switch lenses infrequently and enjoy the kit.
08-30-2010, 04:12 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Now you're talking. My trips in Europe (four this year, since I live in Europe!) were completed with a 105mm or 77mm as the longest focal. Unless you are specifically a birder, I think you'll be the same.

Instead, what you will need is wide angle, the wider the better, to capture interiors, streets, etc. The kit lens will do you there, however, since you don't have the budget for a dedicated wide angle zoom. And you've got a fast 50 for portraits and details inside.

So maybe those two are all you need -- travel light, switch lenses infrequently and enjoy the kit.
Thanks, I had a feeling. You know what? I can always check my Metadata of my honeymoon pictures. D'Oh!

*some time later*

You're right. I had 15 shots taken at or above 250mm (35mm equiv) with a rating of 3 stars or higher. Most of them were mediocre. One pretty cool one of the golden Mary on top of the duomo in Milan, one of boats in Venice, and one great one of the winged lion in San Marco Square (taken atop the tower) were taken at 380mm (35mm equiv). The rest were 250mm equiv or below.

So what that tells me is that any *-200mm zoom will give me all the zoom that I'll need.

I'd love an 18-105 like Nikon has for the D90. I'd be happy taking just that and the prime, but I don't think a lens with those specs exists for Pentax. At least not in my price range.
08-30-2010, 09:16 PM   #23
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Not sure what your price range is, but check out the Sigma 18-125.

08-31-2010, 12:39 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by clark Quote
1. Yes the backwards compatibility is good, especially with pentax A glass- but pentax M glass works just as well on any mount, I use pentax M on canon and it works even better than it does on pentax! Because closing down the aperture closes down the lens directly, so when you're on AV mode it meters automatically when using M glass!
Hmmm... that's not so good really, since at smaller f-stops the viewfinder would be too dark. Better to press the green button for a metering than have the lens stopped down all the time
08-31-2010, 05:10 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Not sure what your price range is, but check out the Sigma 18-125.
Have you used that lens? This is a range that has always seemed interesting if one were inclined to a superzoom.

I don't hear much about it or the 18-135 (other than some less than so-so Photozone reviews for other mounts), and the few reviews on this board are from folks who are fairly infrequent posters.
08-31-2010, 07:51 AM   #26
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My last trip, three days in Kerry, and my longest lens was the Vivi Series I 105mm macro. I wished for a longer lens only once, when we saw a white-tailed eagle. Truth is, I would have come back with a crappy shot anyway: no tripod, on a boat in a lake, etc.

Take the lenses you like best and enjoy!
08-31-2010, 08:33 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Have you used that lens? This is a range that has always seemed interesting if one were inclined to a superzoom.
No, I have not. And frankly, I've never heard particularly wonderful things about it. But it's the right focal length range and a decent price. Whatever minor difference might exist in MTF scores or whatever, I rather doubt most people in the market for a superzoom would would be noticing much difference between it and the kit lenses or any other superzoom.
08-31-2010, 10:45 AM   #28
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Well the comments on here as well as what I've been reading in other threads is inclining me to believe that my best use of money would be to buy the DA or DA L 50-200, as that should be more than long enough. The consensus seems to be that two kit lenses > one budget superzoom in terms of sharpness, IQ, and resolution. In my price range, lenses seem to have a dropoff in quality toward the maximum of their range, and I don't see myself shooting that much at 200mm. But it's nice to know that it's there.

Thanks for talking me out of the superzoom, and for all the other replies and opinions so far!
08-31-2010, 10:57 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
No, I have not. And frankly, I've never heard particularly wonderful things about it. But it's the right focal length range and a decent price. Whatever minor difference might exist in MTF scores or whatever, I rather doubt most people in the market for a superzoom would would be noticing much difference between it and the kit lenses or any other superzoom.
I agree that few would notice the differences in super/kit zooms. What has always perplexed me about the 18-135(ish) lenses is that there does not seem to be a big difference in quality or size between these lenses and the longer "superzooms." The Canon 18-135 used by a friend recently shooting side by side with me seemed bigger than the DA/Tamron 18-250, and test results are about the same.
08-31-2010, 11:09 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
I agree that few would notice the differences in super/kit zooms. What has always perplexed me about the 18-135(ish) lenses is that there does not seem to be a big difference in quality or size between these lenses and the longer "superzooms." The Canon 18-135 used by a friend recently shooting side by side with me seemed bigger than the DA/Tamron 18-250, and test results are about the same.
Physically the Sigma 18-125 f3.8 is larger and heavier than the Tamron 18-200 f3.5, the latter of which would ostensibly give you slightly better IQ. Weird.

Interestingly, when I had my K100D, an F3.8 lens would only stop down to F4. Even though aperture is logarithmic, that .2 value can't matter THAT much, I'm just wondering if newer cameras make use of it, or if it's a marketing ploy.
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