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01-02-2009, 10:28 AM   #1
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Help Me Spend Some Money

I am fortunate to have gotten an extra job TAing this semester so I will have ~$1300 to spend on camera gear at the end of the semester. I would like to upgrade my current set up and pass it on to my wife. In addition, we are taking a trip to Yellowstone and the Tetons this coming July. I mostly shoot landscapes, but would like to do some wildlife, so some extra reach will be needed.

She is currently shooting with film and doesn't like putzing around with changing lenses. I have the following set up:

Body: K100D
Lenses: Sigma 17-70mm
Sigma 10-20mm
Tamron 70-300

She has a Pentax ZX-L with a Sigma 24-135mm

I was thinking about the following upgrades:


Get K20D Body
Keep Sigma 17-70mm lens for K20D
Buy all around lens for K100D and pass on to my wife
Buy a teleconverter for Tamron and K20D


Get K20D body with 16-45mm DA lens
Pass on K100D and Sigma lens to wife
Get teleconverter


Keep current set up and buy Bigma lens.

I'm open to some other suggestions if you have them. I like option 1 the best. My only questions are: what teleconverter should I get and what is a good all around lens in the range of $200-300?

Option 2 isn't really attractive since I love my Sigma 17-70.

Option 3 is the least appealing since I really don't see myself using the Bigma enough to warrant spending ~$1K on it. I would certainly rent it if I could find a place that carries it, but I have been unable to.

Thanks in advance!

01-02-2009, 10:35 AM   #2
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A couple of ideas...
--For her, since she doesn't like switching lenses too much, buy her either the Tamron or Pentax version of the 18-250 and then buy yourself a new body and pass along the K100 to her. With the prices the way they are, you may be able to squeeze in a DA55-300 to upgrade from the Tamron.
--Get her a 17-70 of her own and get yourself the new body and the 55-300 and give the Tamron 70-300 to her.

01-03-2009, 08:33 AM   #3
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Original Poster
Teleconverter and Telephoto.

I talked to my wife and she said that she was fine with shooting film for the rest of her days (she's old school).

So, I would have enough money to buy a nice teleconverter and telephoto lens. Any suggestions on what telephoto and teleconverter I should buy with about $500 to spend?

01-03-2009, 11:19 AM   #4
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Location: France
Posts: 128

Cannot help for the tele (my longest lenses are a Pentacon 200/4 and a Zeiss 180/2.8), but for the converter the Pentax SMC 1.7X AF seems to be the best choice, according to other threads ...
Nevertheless, i cannot say if it would be in your budget or not ...

Hope this helps.

Happy new year.

01-03-2009, 11:54 AM   #5
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I think you have an opportunity to get some great shots on your trip. But I think you need to upgrade your camera to the K20. All that I read says it's sensor is much much better than even the K10 which I have. My brother is in a position similar to yours and I am suggesting he buy the K20 and then one good Limited lens. I use the Tammy 70-300 and get great shots. Your other lens's are ok I think. Good long glass will eat up your money and you will still be putting the data on a less than average sensor, IMHO.

Oh, you didn't mention tripod. I strongly suggest one for the slower shots, which with the Tammy is almost anything unless in real bright light. The Tammy is good when you can stop it down and take slow shots, real speed = 1/focal length or less.
01-03-2009, 06:37 PM   #6
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What other kind of shooting do you do and where does the K100D seem to be coming up short? I noticed that there were no primes in your lineup. I keep the 50/1.4 in my bag ALWAYS because it weighs nothing and you may be able to shoot hendheld where you would have missed a shot. Did I mention that it's CHEAP as well?

As Redwood said, a good tripod and head combo is always nice -- especially if you plan to shoot morning or evening landscapes in the mountains.

The Bigma? Probably not a good option if you shoot mostly landscapes.

Don't forget, if you don't keep the K100D when you upgrade, you could sell it off to add to your gear budget.

Have fun!
01-03-2009, 08:32 PM   #7
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You can get a new K20D now for less than $800 - I recommend that above all else. Your Sigma 17-70 is a good lens and a very good FL range, and that Samsung CMOS sensor will make it shine.
01-04-2009, 02:47 AM   #8
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Just a reminder if you get the new body, you might need more disk space - should you have some extra money.

01-04-2009, 02:56 AM   #9
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Hey runjmb, loooking at the title of your thread, I'll just introduce you to my wife.

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