All around lens choice


stratosk

Link Posted 23/07/2013 - 09:42
Hello!

I want to buy my first lens for my Pentax and i am a little bit confused.
I am between: Pentax 50-200, Pentax 55-300 and Tamron 18-200.

I have the K10d with the kit lens 18-55 on it and i am looking for a lens that:
a)Is better from the kit lens!
b)I can use it in almost any occassion (i think it's called a travel lens?)
c)Is cheap...

I know i am asking a lot but i don't want to invest yet a large amount of money for a lens, since i start now to learn photography.
From what i have read so far, Pentax 55-300 is a winner between the others (correct me if i am wrong), but for a indoor occasion i must switch the lens to 18-55.
Is Tamron a decent lens for my needs or i better choose one from the other two Pentax lenses?
Do you have any other lens to suggest me?
I saw also Sigma 18-125 but it's too expensive for now.

Sorry for my extended message, and thank you in advance for your help!

Stratos
Last Edited by stratosk on 23/07/2013 - 10:01

johnriley

Link Posted 23/07/2013 - 10:05
As you are new, I think for now you should stick to the 18-55mm and really learn how to use it. When you have used it for a while you'll start to realise what the limitations are.

If you don't feel the lens is long enough, you might want distant details pulled in more, then add the 55-300mm to it.

If you find you can't get everything in that you want to, perhaps because you like shooting interior shots, then you need something wider such as the 12-24mm.

If you find you want to shoot insects and small creatures and can't get close enough, then perhaps you should look at a proper macro lens.

Finding your own needs before buying will be much better than randomly buying somebody else's favourite lens.
Best regards, John

Papa_Lazarou

Link Posted 23/07/2013 - 10:07
Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 would be a good bet for image quality.
For the extra 100 the Pentax 18-135 WR has a very focal range.
My Flickr Page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/philnmorgan/
Last Edited by Papa_Lazarou on 23/07/2013 - 10:07

fritzthedog

Link Posted 23/07/2013 - 10:15
Hi Stratos

You will undoubtedly get many varied answers to this question - we all have our personal favourites - and that is the difficulty with such a question - personal preference is a factor.

You do not say what your main interests are or how much you want to spend both of which are factors. If for instance you photograph wildlife or sports events - then the 55-300 would be the obvious choice as the best combination of price and performance.

To me though this is not really a travel or "walk-around" lens as it is not wide enough.

The Pentax 50-200 is a very good lens for the price (WR version) - seriously under rated in my view. Again though - not wide enough to be a 'walk around' for me.

The Tamron gets very mixed reviews - owners seem to think it is better than the reviewers do - I have no personal experience of this lens whereas
I have owned the Pentax 50-2200 and 55-300.

As you already have the 18-55 - you do not really need to cover this length again - unless you are set on having one lens to cover all (which is unlikely to get you the best performance on a budget).

There are many other lenses to consider but I do not want to confuse you further.

My advice if you are wanting to keep cost down and do not need a long lens for wildlife - would be to go for the Pentax 50-200 WR. You can get a good used version for around the 90 level, If it turns out that you do not like the lens - you would be able to re-sell it with little or no loss and try something else. When budget is important and you are starting out - this is by far the best way to buy lenses - allowing you to try lenses at minimum cost.

For what it's worth - my favourite walk around lens is the Pentax 17-70, does everything I want it to do when I want to travel light - however this lens is probably more than you want to spend for now.

Good luck

Carl
No matter how many lenses I have owned - I have always needed just one more

fritzthedog

Link Posted 23/07/2013 - 10:21
Papa_Lazarou wrote:
Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 would be a good bet for image quality.
For the extra 100 the Pentax 18-135 WR has a very focal range.

Agreed - but one of the points was that the lens must be cheap - 300 and 400 lenses are not my idea of cheap - wish they were
No matter how many lenses I have owned - I have always needed just one more

dpm

Link Posted 23/07/2013 - 10:31
A secondhand Sigma 18-125 would be my recommendation unless you really need any more length.

bettyswolloks

Link Posted 23/07/2013 - 10:38
Out of the 3 you listed Pal I'd pick the 18-200. I used a sigma 28-300 on my K10 for a couple of happy years

McGregNi

Link Posted 23/07/2013 - 10:39
There are two issues to decide on firstly - do you need to extend your available focal length range, wider or longer - and do you want better quality in and around the range you already have. ?

I would support the advice given by John above - take plenty of photos with the lens you have, at all zoom settings, and get a feel for when you are struggling to either a) 'get it all in' or b) fill the frame and get close enough.

I wouldn't spend money at this stage on upgrading to a higher quality lens that covers much of your current focal length range.

Also, especially in magazine articles and photography books, a very long zoom is often sold as the next obvious step - I'm thinking things like a 55-300 for example, which all the brands offer, sometimes in kit package. This is an enormous range to consider, and the question is what would you actually shoot at the longer end ? And even with our Pentax shake reduction, it is not easy to get steady shots at 200 - 300mm (I'm talking about those of us less experienced with such lenses) unless you're going out with a tripod regularly.

Only you can decide which way to go. If it has to be a longer zoom, then for general photographic subjects, a more modest range might be practical. I find my older 75-150 plenty, and the new 55-200 has been referred to also here.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

MrB

Link Posted 23/07/2013 - 11:21
fritzthedog wrote:

My advice if you are wanting to keep cost down and do not need a long lens for wildlife - would be to go for the Pentax 50-200 WR. You can get a good used version for around the 90 level, If it turns out that you do not like the lens - you would be able to re-sell it with little or no loss and try something else. When budget is important and you are starting out - this is by far the best way to buy lenses - allowing you to try lenses at minimum cost.
Carl

I agree with Carl. If you want to keep the cost down but extend the focal length range, you will probably have to accept the need to swap between the 18-55 and the 50-200.

Alternatively, you might like to try a prime as your walk-about lens - you can see the excellent quality of the relatively cheap Pentax da 35mm f/2.4 on other threads here, e.g. link.

Philip
Last Edited by MrB on 23/07/2013 - 11:23

stratosk

Link Posted 23/07/2013 - 11:35
For my needs, i believe Tamron 18-200 is the best choice because it covers a wide focusing range. It's a lens that it will be put on my camera and stay there all the time. I think that a longer range would be useful.
But i have read many negative reviews about this lens, so the next choices around my budget was pentax 50-200 and 55-300.
Maybe you re right. I don't need to buy another lens right now but you know ... i just wanted a new "toy" in my camera bag!

Russ

Link Posted 23/07/2013 - 11:51
stratosk wrote:
Maybe you re right. I don't need to buy another lens right now but you know ... i just wanted a new "toy" in my camera bag!

Been there and done that....many times

I recently bought the Tamron XR 17-50 2.8 stunning lens but it cost 180 secondhand, at f6.3 and above it didn't actually perform any better than the 18-55 kit lens. Its AF was slower and i missed the Pentax hood with its natty filter window. So sold the Tamron.

If you want a toy to play with i can highly recommend one of the older Pentax-A 50mm F1.7 lenses. Tack sharp, awesome bokeh effects and great fun to walk around with. Really makes you use your feet to find a good shot, i find it more fun than the zoom. Bought mine for 30 but they are usually 50. There is an M version which is totally manual and goes for a fraction but still the same optics. Easily the cheapest way of getting proper decent optics on a budget.
Also have the older Pentax F 70-210, bought from here for 50. I find the optics better than the new 55-300 and the AF just as fast.
Just a couple of budget ideas.

stratosk

Link Posted 23/07/2013 - 12:21
Russ wrote:
stratosk wrote:
Maybe you re right. I don't need to buy another lens right now but you know ... i just wanted a new "toy" in my camera bag!

Been there and done that....many times

I recently bought the Tamron XR 17-50 2.8 stunning lens but it cost 180 secondhand, at f6.3 and above it didn't actually perform any better than the 18-55 kit lens. Its AF was slower and i missed the Pentax hood with its natty filter window. So sold the Tamron.

If you want a toy to play with i can highly recommend one of the older Pentax-A 50mm F1.7 lenses. Tack sharp, awesome bokeh effects and great fun to walk around with. Really makes you use your feet to find a good shot, i find it more fun than the zoom. Bought mine for 30 but they are usually 50. There is an M version which is totally manual and goes for a fraction but still the same optics. Easily the cheapest way of getting proper decent optics on a budget.
Also have the older Pentax F 70-210, bought from here for 50. I find the optics better than the new 55-300 and the AF just as fast.
Just a couple of budget ideas.

I already have a Pentax-M 50mm f2, from my ME Super... I've never tried to mount it on K10d, cause i am a little bit afraid to damage my k10d. Shall i try it?

fritzthedog

Link Posted 23/07/2013 - 12:33
stratosk wrote:
Russ wrote:
Quote:
Maybe you re right. I don't need to buy another lens right now but you know ... i just wanted a new "toy" in my camera bag!

Been there and done that....many times

I recently bought the Tamron XR 17-50 2.8 stunning lens but it cost 180 secondhand, at f6.3 and above it didn't actually perform any better than the 18-55 kit lens. Its AF was slower and i missed the Pentax hood with its natty filter window. So sold the Tamron.

If you want a toy to play with i can highly recommend one of the older Pentax-A 50mm F1.7 lenses. Tack sharp, awesome bokeh effects and great fun to walk around with. Really makes you use your feet to find a good shot, i find it more fun than the zoom. Bought mine for 30 but they are usually 50. There is an M version which is totally manual and goes for a fraction but still the same optics. Easily the cheapest way of getting proper decent optics on a budget.
Also have the older Pentax F 70-210, bought from here for 50. I find the optics better than the new 55-300 and the AF just as fast.
Just a couple of budget ideas.

I already have a Pentax-M 50mm f2, from my ME Super... I've never tried to mount it on K10d, cause i am a little bit afraid to damage my k10d. Shall i try it?

YES!

It will not damage your camera - and is a great little lens -you just need to remember to set the camera up to accept a manual lens - explained in the user manual

Carl
No matter how many lenses I have owned - I have always needed just one more

stratosk

Link Posted 23/07/2013 - 13:16
Ok, thank you everyone for your answers!

I hope you don't think i am just a crazy, fool guy who has a little idea of photography and likes to spend his money on lenses that he doesn't need!

I will study again (and again...) all of your answers carefully.

Thank you!
Last Edited by stratosk on 23/07/2013 - 13:18

davidstorm

Link Posted 23/07/2013 - 21:25
You already have a 18-55mm which is a very good lens and perfectly adequate for the 'walk about' use you have mentioned. It is also capable of taking excellent landscape shots if used correctly - keep it around F7.1 to F11 and it will be sharp.

I you are going to keep the 18-55 (which I think you are), the most obvious choice is the 55-300 which is a magnificent lens for the money. Even more so if you go for the DA L (plastic mount) version. This is optically identical to the DA (metal mount) version and the only downside is the lack of 'quick shift' focus, i.e. the ability to manually focus the lens without switching the camera to manual focus. The plastic mount should not be a concern, I've never found I to be a problem.

I love my 55-300 and would not swap it for anything.

Once you have developed your photography and learned your lenses / camera inside out, you may feel the need to upgrade the 18-55; if so the DA 17-70 is a 'no brainer'.

Regards
David
Flickr

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs
Add a Comment
You must be registered or logged-in to comment.