Fast upgrade to Kit lens - advice sought


swarf

Link Posted 08/11/2014 - 11:48
I'm in two minds about whether or not to get a fast(ish) upgrade from the DAL 18-55 kit lens to compliment my DA 18-135 WR. The latter is great as my standard walk-around lens where it's WR capabilities really add to its usability in all conditions.

What I think that I'm after is something in the 16-70 range, fairly fast - F4 or better, with very good image quality to go with my K-5iiS. It will be used mainly for portraits, family & local community events, often indoors, but also for some landscape work. However, WR is not an absolute requirement.

There seems to me to be lots of options out there - DA* 16-50; DA 17-70; Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 HSM'C'; Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC HSM; Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM; Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 XR Di LD and Tamron SP 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD. What's missing from the list to be considered?

Finally, for this sort of use, am I going to get a great enough improvement in image quality over the 18-135 to justify adding another lens to the collection, or is this just a case of trying to satisfy a LBA?

What's your opinion?

Phil
K-5iiS; K-r; ME Super; ME; DA* 16-50 f2.8; DA 18-135 WR; DA 55-300 WR; HD DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited; FA 50mm f1.4; A50mm f1.7; DAL 18-55mm; M40mm f2.8; + assorted non-Pentax lenses

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Conqueror

Link Posted 08/11/2014 - 11:59
Does it have to be a zoom? You already have 18-300 covered by DA WR zooms. Doesn't make much sense to get an overlapping zoom IMO, unless you plan to replace one of those two.

Looking at your collection, it might make sense to get a DA* 55mm, FA 43mm or FA 77mm...

These are going to give you very good portraits... the 77mm is probably most peoples favourite
K-3ii

AndrewA

Link Posted 08/11/2014 - 12:28
I have swapped lenses a lot of times and have now settled on the DA* 16-50 and DA* 50-135 as my 2 main lenses.

Of the ones you mention I have owned 6 of them, and aside from the 2 mentioned above the stand out 2 for me were the Sigma 17-70 and the Sigma 24-70.

If I had to pick one of the Sigmas it would be the 17-70, more useful focal length and is way smaller than the beast which is the 24-70.

Hope this helps,
Andrew

"I'm here because the whiskey is free" - Tyla

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davidstorm

Link Posted 08/11/2014 - 14:04
I have owned a DA17-70 and liked it very much indeed - great colours, great contrast, nice bokeh. The only downside for me with this lens was that focussing was a little variable with some bodies, especially my K-5, but this may have been more due to the camera than the lens. I sold the DA17-70 and instead bought Andrew A's Sigma 17-70 F2.8-4 HSM OS, as Andrew was at that time leaving Pentax for Nikon. The Sigma is a really nice lens, probably better all round than the Pentax, for the following reasons:

- Sharp at all apertures, sharper than the Pentax at all focal lengths except 60-70mm where the Pentax just edges it out
- Nice to have a F2.8 aperture at the wide end
- Nice Colours
- Great HSM focussing

All in all a great all rounder, but don't use with a AV filter as I originally was. This was having a very detrimental effect on IQ, but with the filter off all is fine.

So, I would recommend the Siggy 17-70, it is streets ahead of the kit lens, as is the DA17-70, but for me the Siggy is better.

Regards
David
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Jonathan-Mac

Link Posted 08/11/2014 - 15:11
I have the Tamron 117-50 and it's very good indeed, but a lot of people report focusing problems so I'd strongly recommend going to a place that has several and trying until you find one that's ok.
Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3 & K200D, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses

Simonmac

Link Posted 13/11/2014 - 16:59
AndrewA wrote:
I have swapped lenses a lot of times and have now settled on the DA* 16-50 and DA* 50-135 as my 2 main lenses.

Of the ones you mention I have owned 6 of them, and aside from the 2 mentioned above the stand out 2 for me were the Sigma 17-70 and the Sigma 24-70.

If I had to pick one of the Sigmas it would be the 17-70, more useful focal length and is way smaller than the beast which is the 24-70.

Hope this helps,


macmccreery.com
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Simonmac

Link Posted 13/11/2014 - 17:00
Hi Andrew!

How do you find the weight of these lenses?

Take good care!

Mac
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Cuchulainn

Link Posted 13/11/2014 - 17:25
I had the Tamron 17-50 and really liked it. However, I swapped it for the 18-135 to take advantage of the WR. When I really want quality then I use a prime. Most of the lenses you list are as heavy or heavier than the 18-135, so if you're like me you won't take both out. On the other hand, it's easy to slip a prime into your bag for when you want that extra little bit of image quality. Have a look at your exif to decide what focal lengths you use most and then try to find a prime of that length. All of the limiteds will do the trick, but it's also worth considering the new 35mm and 50mm primes as alternatives if you find one of those focal lengths to be your preferred lenses.

bwlchmawr

Link Posted 13/11/2014 - 17:54
I've used a Tamron 17-50 on my K5 for two years and I like it very much. It seems to suit the camera and is a (relatively) economical option.
Best wishes,

Andrew

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AndrewA

Link Posted 13/11/2014 - 17:58
Simonmac wrote:
Hi Andrew!

How do you find the weight of these lenses?

Take good care!

Mac

They are ok Mac, I have just weighed them - a bit geeky I know - but you can then compare them to what you have now: 16-50 = 625 grms and 50-135 = 800 grms.

Hope this helps, and I still need to get down to Brum!
Andrew

"I'm here because the whiskey is free" - Tyla

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swarf

Link Posted 16/11/2014 - 11:39
Thanks for all your thoughts and suggestions - plenty of room for thought!

Phil
K-5iiS; K-r; ME Super; ME; DA* 16-50 f2.8; DA 18-135 WR; DA 55-300 WR; HD DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited; FA 50mm f1.4; A50mm f1.7; DAL 18-55mm; M40mm f2.8; + assorted non-Pentax lenses

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