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10-24-2007, 07:44 PM   #1
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What single lens can do it all? is it possible?

Hello,
I just got K10D and 18-55-F3.5-5.6 AL.
What single lens can do it all?
I just got K10D and 18-55-F3.5-5.6 AL.
Is it good lens?
Which lens will be the best to:
1) take picture at high school basketball game motion not the best lighting in the Gym?
2) Good weather sunny outside views or distance shooting some zoom needed.
3) What 18-55-F3.5-5.6 AL is the best for?
Please help me to get the right lens ( that can do most of the job) and is cost effective. Also if I can get help with settings that are the best for this particular lens @ each condition.

I appreciate any help.

10-24-2007, 08:38 PM   #2
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LOL... you're going through the same anguish as I: what single lens indeed?! From what I'm hearing you say, it sounds to me like the 18-250mm Tamron (Pentax have one but have not released it yet) would be just about perfect. I'm still going through the decision-making process myself. Like you, I have the kd10 and the kit lens (which I understand is a decent little zoom lens even though it is very inexpensive). I know that after our first outing I was very pleased with the results. My question at that time was: do I augment it with the brother kit ... the 50-200mm Pentax or do I opt for the "single" lens about which you are questioning.

So, best wishes in your decision and welcome to the forum.
10-24-2007, 09:30 PM   #3
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Just about perfect, outdoors!

"1) take picture at high school basketball game – motion – not the best lighting in the Gym?"

this sounds like a situation where it wont do good at all, unless you are using flash, and even at that the focusing at f6.3 in dim light will struggle.

The kit lens is also a perfectly fine lens. the problem with your request is that situation #1 is one that really requires expensive glass. long and fast. thats a combination that yields some of the most expensive lenses on the market.
10-24-2007, 10:49 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by bolek Quote
Hello,
I just got K10D and 18-55-F3.5-5.6 AL.
What single lens can do it all?
I just got K10D and 18-55-F3.5-5.6 AL.
Is it good lens?
Which lens will be the best to:
1) take picture at high school basketball game motion not the best lighting in the Gym?
2) Good weather sunny outside views or distance shooting some zoom needed.
3) What 18-55-F3.5-5.6 AL is the best for?
Please help me to get the right lens ( that can do most of the job) and is cost effective. Also if I can get help with settings that are the best for this particular lens @ each condition.

I appreciate any help.
Hi Bolek,
The kit lens (18-55) will handle most of the situations you have mentioned, except for the high school basketball.
For that type of photography where you are combining action with low light, if you want to do it well and not be dis-appointed, go for the new DA* 50-135. Its not cheap, but remember the old saying....you get what you pay for.
Cheers
Grant

10-24-2007, 11:03 PM   #5
and
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The 50-135 should be great, but, depending on the gym, it can be a bit short. Unfortunatley there is no current longer, fast zoom for pentax. There are some lenses in the works, including the tamron 70-200 f2.8 which should work fine.

if the 50-135 is long eanough then thats a good choice. but its expensive. and it doesnt do everything because of its limited range. but in that range it does it well. but i dont think you can say its a lens for general photography like the op is asking for.

the bottom line is that the single lens solutions have compromises, a lot of compromises.
10-24-2007, 11:36 PM   #6
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If someone comes out with a 18-1000mm f2.8 lens that gives me the same image quality I get with my present lens collection then I'll buy it.

This lens could not weigh any more than my Sigma 135-400.
And I wouldn't want it much bigger either.

In my opinion it isn't impossible, although it would be expensive.
After all Tokina makes a 70-210mm f4-5.6 lens around the same size as our kit lenses.

Until then there is no single lens that can do it all for me

That being said there is no bad lens in my collection.
I like them all including the 18-55mm kit lens.
10-25-2007, 07:30 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bolek Quote
What single lens can do it all?
NO such lens. If there were such a lens, the K10D would be sold with it -- and the cost of a K10D would be around $5000.

Question almost doesn't make sense. Remember, one of the main advantages of DSLRs is their ability to use interchangeable lenses. If having a single, very capable lens is central to your happiness with a camera, send the K10D back and get a high-end fixed-lens camera like the Lumix DMC-FZ18 or the Canon G9 or SX100 IS. These cameras have excellent lenses aimed at a very broad middle range of uses, and they can take outstanding photographs.

That said, the Tamron 18-250 is a wonderfully versatile lens and has pretty good image quality. But whether it's a good lens for you, depends on what you're shooting. I got the 18-200 fairly early on, when I was still trying to get my dslr to work like my old Canon PowerShot S3. I recently sold my Tamron 18-250 because, excellent though it is, I just wasn't using it. For many amateur photographers, the 18-250 will be a great lens. But if you are really using your dslr to its best advantage, then you're going to move more and more to special lenses for special uses. If you're shooting indoor sports, the 18-250 is not fast enough. If you're shooting birds, the lens is not quite long enough. If you're doing street photography and trying to be inconspicuous, this lens is too long. If you're doing macro or portrait photography, well, this might not be the best choice for either of those tasks, either. For product or fashion photography, the image quality is not tops. And so on.


QuoteQuote:
I just got K10D and 18-55-F3.5-5.6 AL. Is it good lens?
What's "good" mean here? Is it reasonably sharp? Yes. In that sense, it's good. Not great, but it's good. I'd prefer to say "fine", but it sounds like fine will be good for you. Generally reviewers seem to think that the Pentax kit lens is one of the better kit lenses available. I gather that the kit lenses from Nikon and Canon are not very good.

That said, I sold my kit lens shortly after buying my first additional lens. When I bought my next two cameras, I bought bodies only. I now have a Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 that I think is a good bit better than the kit lens -- but it cost a lot more, too.


QuoteQuote:
Which lens will be the best to:
1) take picture at high school basketball game motion not the best lighting in the Gym?
There have been a lot of threads here on that subject, many of them started by me. Basic answer is that you need a fast lens to shoot indoor sports. Maybe NBA auditoriums are so well lighted (for television) that you could live with f/3.5, but in the school gyms that I shoot in, f/2.8 seems a minimum, and I get better exposed shots with my 50mm f/1.4. Of course the problem with the 50mm prime is that it's not a zoom. So I go back and forth.

What zoom range you need depends entirely on where you're going to be able to stand. I have been shooting elementary school volleyball and basketball, and elementary through high school swimming. I am generally able to stand right at the edge of the action. Last volleyball game I shot I used my Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 and it works fine, although I cropped the shots more than usually. I would have used my Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 if I still had it. Sometimes I use the 50 f/1.4 and live without the zoom. Shooting a swim meet indoors last weekend I used the Pentax 50-135 f/2.8, but the pool was large and 135mm isn't really ideal for reaching to the other side of the pool. Earlier in the summer, at a meet outdoors, I was able to use my Tamron 18-250 and get good results -- in great light.

You asked also about exposures. If you're shooting basketball or volleyball indoors, you're going to want a reasonably fast shutter speed. I do sometimes go below 1/320th sec but I'd prefer not to, and when the lighting's good enough to go to 1/500th sec I'm much happier. However, in the school gyms in my experience, setting the shutter to 1/320th sec and opening the aperture wide open (f/2.8) means I have to set the ISO fairly high -- quite often 1100 or higher. One of the nice features of the K10D is TAv mode. Check it out.

QuoteQuote:
2) Good weather sunny outside views or distance shooting some zoom needed.
No one answer here. See above. What are you shooting outdoors? Distant wildlife? Get a 500mm lens or at least a 300mm lens. Flowers up close? Get a macro lens. Your family picnic? The kit lens will work fine there, probably.


QuoteQuote:
3) What 18-55-F3.5-5.6 AL is the best for?
It's a "normal" shooting lens, for people in good light, at fairly close range -- the kind of photos that the average amateur wants to take.

Welcome to the world of the (d)SLR. Hope this helps.

Will
10-25-2007, 07:37 AM   #8
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I always learn so much from your posts, Will. Thanks for taking the time and expending the energy in providing such complete answers to our questions. Much appreciated.

10-25-2007, 07:57 AM   #9
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I'd consider the 50-135 f2.8 for most of what you want.

In my film days I shot lots of HS basketball with a cannon 70-210 FD f/4. Focal lengths satisfied me (functionally they are the same). I found myself often wishing for one or two more stops though, which the f2.8 coupled with 1600 ISO can get you when needed.

For closer shots you can swap to the kit lens and use flash if needed.
10-25-2007, 08:24 AM   #10
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Hum,

If zoom capacity is an issue and you need to shoot in relatively low light, there is no solution to the problem.

You could consider buying a superzoom P&S camera. The Panasonic comes with very (!!) sharp Leica lens with an incredible range, extremely fast focus, long zoom macro, and a truely effective shake reduction. Also they are small and light and easy to handle.

You'd be stuck with a small sensor though and its noise issues. However, you can control it somewhat by shoot raw and PP.
Don't forget, the camera comes at a price half of a Pentax lens.

How do I know? I have one.
IQ is less than that of my K10D. The K10D's resolution, colour and DR are better (using RAW that is).

As soon as I can find a lens with the sharpness and quality and versitality of the Leica glass of my panny, its mine.
10-25-2007, 08:43 AM   #11
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Not to make fun of anyone here looking for a single lens that can do it all, but, if such a lens existed, there would not be a market for SLRs at all.

In some ways, an SLR is a compromise, because to provide the TTL view finder and mirror box forces lens design to a great extent. The SLR concept is that there are specialized lenses for special tasks.

So perhaps the question needs to be re-phrased a little.

What is recommended as a general walk around lens? But even this will be somewhat skewed by the user's general photographic interest.

Let me give some examples:

- good walk around wild life lens - Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 plus 1.4x TC or similar speed and focal length range.

- good sight-seeing lens - any 16mm - 50mm+ zoom

- good interior and archetctural 10-20mm sigma or 12-24mm pentax ultra wide angle

If you want to have all of the above , i wish yoou luck.
10-25-2007, 09:00 AM   #12
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Not possible right now. The entire concept of a interchangable SLR system is based on the premise that no lens can do it all. There are superzoom marcos which try to do it all but lens technology at this time make such lenses a comprimise (either IQ, speed or weight). To do "it all" would entail you buying at least a couple lenses.
10-25-2007, 09:11 AM   #13
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Agreed: no lens can do it all. Even a couple of lenses couldn't realistically "do it all". As Will pointed out, ALL needs to be defined and that would obviously include: macros, portraits, available light, telephotos, extreme wide angles and so on.

And while I agree that one of the purposes of the dslr system is the interchangeability of lenses, that doesn't necessarily mean that everyone needs a bunch of lenses in his/her bag. It really depends on what sort of shooting you do, your own circumstances (even age or disability could enter the equation) and so forth. For me, since I love to travel and do not enjoy carrying a lot of equipment on my back, one lens is a "good thing". I'm willing to compromise at least at this particular juncture. That may not be the story down the road in which case I'll acquire a second lens. But I'm me and my view of "one lens does it all" is strictly predicated on my own likes and dislikes.. my own circumstances. One of the great advantages I've found stepping up to a dslr is the view I now have through the viewfinder. Wow! What a difference! I had forgotten this difference, having gone nearly ten years since I last made use of an slr. It was quite a revelation and made me very happy to have returned "home".
10-25-2007, 01:19 PM   #14
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Oh you guys.

Why don't you guys know about the 9-480 Voightax 1.4 UltraZoom? It's simply the best and weather sealed too. In the wide range (9-15mm) it's a glorious fisheye, it's also close focusing for the macro side of the equation and 1:1 in the 90-110mm range. It's fast beyond belief, both in terms of aperture and focusing (it has just been re-released to take advange of SDM - so you have to buy a new one (version2) and not an original for the SDM feature), it is not longer than 4" at it's longest and only weighs a mere 20 grams and the bokeh, I saved the best for last is purely the standard to which all other lens are measured.

Oops that's just an imagination at work again.

For basketball I find my 50 1.4 covers at least part of the court with an aperture capable of delivering enough light for a quick shutter. I have my sights set on the 50-135 /2.8. I have found playing with some of my other zooms, that for my style, or lack there of, that this is about the range I tend to shoot in the most for this type of basketball. A little longer reach would be great but the speed is way more important.

Will's (WMBP) threads on basketball could very well be a good homework assignment. His posts are almost always clear and comprehensive (can't recall one that isn't but don't want to say all and have someone point to one of his when he maybe hit the send button too early or something ).
10-25-2007, 05:32 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
(snip) Question almost doesn't make sense. Remember, one of the main advantages of DSLRs is their ability to use interchangeable lenses. If having a single, very capable lens is central to your happiness with a camera, send the K10D back and get a high-end fixed-lens camera like (snip)

Yes, interchangeable lenses are indeed one of the benefits of a DSLR, allowing him to use a single lens of his choice and you to use multiple lenses of your choice. That capability also allows him to decide on a different lens later if his requirements change and you to do likewise. The fixed-lens camera you describe pretty much eliminates both that choice and that later decision making process. So, in this regard, I suppose his question makes a lot of sense.


QuoteQuote:
(snip) I recently sold my Tamron 18-250 because (snip) If you're shooting indoor sports, the 18-250 is not fast enough. If you're shooting birds, the lens is not quite long enough. If you're doing street photography and trying to be inconspicuous, this lens is too long. If you're doing macro or portrait photography, well, this might not be the best choice for either of those tasks, either. For product or fashion photography, the image quality is not tops. And so on. (snip)

The Tamron AF18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro lens is my latest toy. And I'm finding it to be an excellent performer in nearly all the areas you've mentioned. While I haven't shot indoor sports with this particular lens yet, I've had no problems in the past using lenses with a similar aperture range. I'd probably choose a faster lens if sports photography was a profession, but this lens is fine otherwise. And I rotate between this lens and an even slower (cheap) 100-500mm manual-focus zoom when shooting birds and similar. However, when it comes to street, macro, portrait, product, fashion, and so on, the Tamron AF18-250mm has so far been more than adequate for the task.

stewart
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