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08-18-2008, 02:48 PM   #1
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istDS body, which lens best suits this body?

Hi!

I have istDS body, with kit lenses (18-55,50-200), and a few old prime lenses (50mm f1.4, 28mm f2.8) and I desperately need a good zoom lens (50-200).
Since kit lenses are terrible (chromatic aberrations, vignetting, bad dead colors)
I need a good advice on buying a good, sharp lens (any lens).
I would also like to hear your experiences with this body and various lenses.
Any help would be good, I'm so frustrated with those bad kit lenses...
Btw I shoot RAW only, and use Adobe Lightroom for postprocessing.

08-18-2008, 03:25 PM   #2
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how much do you want to spend. If you can find one get any version of sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 EX
08-18-2008, 04:45 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
how much do you want to spend. If you can find one get any version of sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 EX
If I can find a good lense that suits me, I'll first try to find a good used one on e-bay..
08-18-2008, 04:57 PM   #4
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I have 18-55 and 55-200, and they are everyting but not good. Aberrations and vignetting are "fixed" with closing down the aperture a bit, and colors look quite good to me. On the other hand, I have K10D which should make some difference in image quality... And above that, Pentax has probably the best kit lenses than any other brand (except maybe Olympus), so you're happy for not having Canon with his kit lenses

08-19-2008, 05:20 AM   #5
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Take a look at Sigma 17-70mm as a replacement for the kit lens. It has good quality and extends the zoom range a bit. I have it and I love it.

On the other hand, the kit lenses (have/had) them both are very good. The only drawback of the 18-55mm lens was the limited zoom range.
08-19-2008, 09:00 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ilozic Quote
Hi!

I have istDS body, with kit lenses (18-55,50-200), and a few old prime lenses (50mm f1.4, 28mm f2.8) and I desperately need a good zoom lens (50-200).
Since kit lenses are terrible (chromatic aberrations, vignetting, bad dead colors)
I need a good advice on buying a good, sharp lens (any lens).
I would also like to hear your experiences with this body and various lenses.
Any help would be good, I'm so frustrated with those bad kit lenses...
Btw I shoot RAW only, and use Adobe Lightroom for postprocessing.
I know you're asking for a good zoom but you can stick a DA21 on your DS, put a DA40 in your pocket, and make other photographers jealous
08-19-2008, 10:09 AM   #7
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I guess it would help to know what other lenses (presumably for other camera systems) you are familiar with that have set your expectations so high. Or perhaps you have defective copies of these lenses - could you post some pictures that demonstrate the problems you are experiencing? Most reviewers and users of the 18-55 and 50-200 would not rate them as "terrible" at all. They are, in fact, by any objective measure, among the best zoom lenses you can get for *any* camera for the price (around $200 each). The only way to get significantly better quality is to spend a *lot* more money - and frankly, buying used won't really help, as Pentax lenses tend to hold their value very well.

Now, the DA 16-45 is considered a definite step or two up from the 18-55. Same with the 17-70 both Pentax and Sigma versions). But only a step or two. The folks who find the 18-55 to be "fairly decent" find the 16-45 or 17-70 to be "very good", but if you're expectations are so high that the 18-55 is "terrible", you might find the 16-45 or 17-70 merely "average". You might need to step all the way up to the DA* 16-50 to get a zoom lens that meets your expectations.

For telephoto, the DA 55-300 is a step or two up form the 50-200, but again, if you find the 50-200 "terrible", you might not be impressed enough with improvements in the 55-300 to make it worthwhile. So you might need to step all the way up to the DA* 50-135.

But realistically, if you are as concerned with image quality as you say you are, I cannot imagine why you are looking at zoom lenses anyhow. You should just pick up the set of DA and/or FA Limited primes (DA 14, 21, 35, 40, 70; FA 31, 43, 77) and perhaps the DA* 200 for the long telephoto.
08-19-2008, 11:13 AM   #8
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I'm using this lens...

Pentax Lens Review Database - 80-200mm F4.5

For the money, I have to believe it is a great value. I have both the SMC-M and Takumar-A versions. All work fine. The SMC-M seems to be extra good. Effective length is 300mm on the digitals. Who needs AF on a zoom that is most likely going to be used at close to infinity? I find the manual lenses perfectly manageable.

I cannot compare to the modern stuff, I have never used and cannot afford to try. The reviews are good, perhaps due to nostalgia? I think it takes a nice photo.

I love the workmanship and feel...

08-19-2008, 11:23 AM   #9
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My favorite right now is this:

Pentax Lens Review Database - 35-105mm F3.5

I guess this would be more like a modern 50-150 on your digital? I have great success with this lens. With any of these old lenses, you can sell them for the same (or more) than you paid. Do a little searching.
08-20-2008, 01:50 AM   #10
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I think you are wrong calling the kit lenses (18-55 and 50-200) terrible. They are nothing of the sort. For the price (very important) they are actually good lenses.

Even the FA 31mm Ltd has terrible CA if you shoot at 1.8 in high contrast bright sky conditions.

These were taken with the 18-55 and 50-200



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