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01-14-2008, 10:54 AM   #1
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Please help me choose a new lens for my K100D

I have the K100D and love it.

So... I take photos of my kids, and just want a little extra reach when they are playing outside. I also take some landscape shots from time to time.

I have researched a few lenses in the bottom of the lineup and don't want to spend more than $150.

Anyone used any of the following? Is there a significant difference between them (aside from one not having macro)? I am leaning toward the first lens, being that is is much lighter and shorter, but less zoom and no macro.

Sigma Zoom Normal-Telephoto 55-200mm f/4-5.6 DC $150

Sigma Zoom Telephoto 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro $140

Tamron Zoom Telephoto AF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 LD Macro $130

thanks!

01-14-2008, 11:31 AM   #2
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I don't have any experience with those lenses, but I'll bet someone here does.

I was wondering if you do many shots of your kids indoors?

The reason I ask is that I bought my k10d with a Pentax 18-250 lens that I love for outdoors. It is pricey, but for the type of shooting I do, It will be a very long time before I need another lens for outdoors. I really needed a lens to be able to take pictures indoors without a flash however. Kids games, school events, recitals, etc., etc. where flashes are either not allowed, or will diminish the picture. That is when I read a recommendation to take a look at a fast fixed lens. Specifically the Pentax SMCP-FA f1.4 lens. I am so glad that I bought it, and it is the lens that I use more than anything else now. This may be "old news" for seasoned photographers, but for parents not happy with results from thier kids indoor events using P&S cameras, the combination of a Pentax DSLR with a fast fixed lens is a godsend. I am so happy with the results I am getting, and the other parents seeing the pictures I have taken of our kids during basketball games think that I am some type of "pro."

We get so locked into thinking of the quality of a camera as megapixels and zoom. Heck, if I want a "zoom" of any of the indoor pictures I have taken with the prime lens, I can crop and scale the photo. The lens quality and MP are enough to allow this and still blow away anything I could get with my P&S.

Just thought you could benefit from my experiences so far; one parent to another.
01-14-2008, 11:35 AM   #3
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Funny, I was going to get the Pentax 50mm to replace my M 1:2 50mm since I miss the autofocus.

Maybe I should just go that route instead? Though I intended to get two lenses, the zoom was going to be my first purchase since I have the manual 50mm
01-14-2008, 12:11 PM   #4
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I guess that may change things since you already have a fast lens. the 1.4 lens will gather twice as much light as a 2.0, but 2.0 may still be good for indoor events depending on the lighting if you can live with the manual.

As a test of a comparison of the extreme end of my 18-250 lens to the 50mm prime, I took a picture of someones roof.
zoom test - a photoset on Flickr

One pic is at 250mm, one is 50mm and one is 50mm cropped to look like the 250. (Click on the thimbnail for the description) Obviously at the extreme zoom, the 250 is better, but if you do more with your lens at shorter range and especially indoors, the FA 50mm 1.4 might be a better first lens choice since it is so versatile.

01-14-2008, 12:24 PM   #5
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thanks for posting that! I liked the zoomed pic over the cropped 50mm. Comparing the zoom lens pics I think that anything more than 200mm would be too much zoom for me. I guess I do just want a little more reach than the 18-50mm kit lens.

And I think I will still get the 50mm Pentax. And maybe the Sigma 55-200mm - it picks up where the kit lens ends.

I'm off to do some more research (nothing else to do on a snowy Monday!) and thanks again for the responses
01-14-2008, 12:38 PM   #6
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There is the FA J 75-300. I bought it just to get the reach. But it does work well up to 200mm. As you read about it, people say images turn out soft in the 300mm-end. I saw a deal on amazon for a tamron(70-300 Di) you were looking at. I was going to pick it up.
01-14-2008, 04:21 PM   #7
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Now after more research I discovered the Sigma 18-125mm f/3.5-5.6 DC, which would be great as I would not need to change lenses when out. It costs around $260 but I would only need that lens and not need to carry the kit lens with it.
01-14-2008, 04:34 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by missnewzealand Quote
Now after more research I discovered the Sigma 18-125mm f/3.5-5.6 DC, which would be great as I would not need to change lenses when out. It costs around $260 but I would only need that lens and not need to carry the kit lens with it.
G'day MissNZ....(is that I am missing New Zealand?)
The 18-125 is a good choice, I have had one for several years and it is has performed well. Just don't expect it to perform like fast lens in low light, but other than that, should suit your purpose very well.
We will be going to NZ (South Isl) in April/may hopefully to catch some of the autumn colours and the 18-125 will be on one camera and the Sig 135-400 on the other.
Cheers
Grant

01-14-2008, 05:02 PM   #9
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Well I suppose in reality I am Mrs New Zealand but that does not have the same ring to it eh. But yes, I do miss NZ and no I was never Miss NZ.

I'll be getting my new 50mm soon enough, so that will be my fast/low light lens- the manual one will make do til I get it.

Have fun in NZ!! I'll be sure to check for a thread about pics Course the autumn colours are nothing like New England!
01-14-2008, 05:28 PM   #10
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I have the Tamron 70-300 DI and like it a lot. I think it is sharper than the Sigma but has more of a problem with CA. The front element rotates which is a pain if you want to use a CPL filter. Heck of a deal, of course third party lenses won't hold their value unlike a Pentax lens.

Decent macro as well.

01-14-2008, 05:32 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Red Quote
I have the Tamron 70-300 DI and like it a lot. I think it is sharper than the Sigma but has more of a problem with CA. The front element rotates which is a pain if you want to use a CPL filter. Heck of a deal, of course third party lenses won't hold their value unlike a Pentax lens.

Decent macro as well.

Boy, that's the smallest 70-300 I've ever seen!
01-14-2008, 06:09 PM   #12
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I have the Sigma 70-300 DG Macro. It is pretty good value for money and I've taken some great shots with it already:

Rainbow lorikeet on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21905108@N03/2147540007/

fencedog on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Apparently the APO version of that lens helps reduce chromatic aberrations (eg. purple fringing) a bit more, but to be honest I rarely have a CA problem with my non-APO version of the lens.
01-14-2008, 06:58 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Finn Quote
Boy, that's the smallest 70-300 I've ever seen!
Lolz. Caption: Taken with a Tamron 70-300 Di
01-14-2008, 07:52 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by missnewzealand Quote
Now after more research I discovered the Sigma 18-125mm f/3.5-5.6 DC, which would be great as I would not need to change lenses when out. It costs around $260 but I would only need that lens and not need to carry the kit lens with it.
Sounds like a great solution! Especially if you don't need the higher zooms. I like only haveing to carry one extra lens in my bag. as well.
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