Fixed or zoom?


CMW

Link Posted 19/09/2011 - 18:18
I've always had a prejudice against zooms, which I blame on the only one I've ever owned: a kit zoom that came with a Canon EOS I bought in the 80s. I thought I'd enjoy 'zooming', but the quality was drastically inferior to the fixed lenses I'd used on my earlier Practika. So when I bought a K5 body this year, I went for two fixed lenses: a 15 da ltd and a 70 da ltd. I like their compactness and the 70 in particular produces beautiful images. But it can be a faff in some circumstances to carry/change lenses. I'm not really interested in long-range zooms, but is there a moderate one that would give me the quality of the lenses I have, reasonable speed, reasonable weight, and a minimum of compromises?

I'd appreciate your views ...

Thanks
Regards, Christopher

ChristopherWheelerPhotography

Mike-P

Link Posted 19/09/2011 - 18:26
Pentax DA* 50-135mm .. superb lens.
. My Flickr

Gwyn

Link Posted 19/09/2011 - 18:33
Well a zoom probably isn't going to match those limiteds, though the DA*50-135 comes close. If that is too long for you then there is the DA*16-50 or the DA(no star!) 17-70, which is an F4 lens, but is really very good.
The first two are Weather resistant, and though the 17-70 isn't officially WR it holds up extremely well in severe weather.

CMW

Link Posted 19/09/2011 - 22:12
Thanks both! Very helpful.
Regards, Christopher

ChristopherWheelerPhotography

K10D

Link Posted 20/09/2011 - 00:51
The 50-135 is a sure bet and I'd personally go for the 16-50 as I prefer not to have overlapping focal lengths if only two lenses are in the bag.
The 16-50 is also a first choice due to that extra 1mm less focal length. It really does make a difference as I have recently used the Sigma 17-50 and missed that extra FOV at the wide end (now using a 16-50 again).

Best regards
Last Edited by K10D on 20/09/2011 - 00:52

womble

Link Posted 20/09/2011 - 11:20
Modern top-end zooms are such good quality these days that for most purposes (if not all!) you'd be perfectly happy with the results. The issue becomes more about size and speed. Fast top-end zooms are often big and heavy! As much as I love my DA* 50-135mm lens, it gets left at home more often than it should because I have packed a batch of older primes instead. This is partly because I prefer lenses that can be used on both my digital camera (when it is working ) and my film bodies.

K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

Dangermouse

Link Posted 20/09/2011 - 11:54
I know the feeling Kris!

I don't see myself buying the 16-50mm even though it would be the perfect partner to my 50-135mm, mostly as when I want anything shorter I also want a physically smaller lens. At the moment I use the DA 35/2.4 as a walkabout lens, but I'd probably buy a DA 21mm Ltd to complete the set. I seldom use ultra wide angles, around 28mm on digital/40mm on film seems to be my ideal.

I also wish I could still use my DA lenses on all my film bodies. I've probably had more use from the K120 than the 50-135mm for that very reason.
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.
Last Edited by Dangermouse on 20/09/2011 - 11:55

K10D

Link Posted 20/09/2011 - 11:59
Dangermouse wrote:
buy a DA 21mm Ltd.

Yup, just do it, its an excellent lens. I never go out without it.

Best regards

womble

Link Posted 20/09/2011 - 13:17
For many years my 28mm lens was probably my most used one on film. I'd like something similar for digital, i.e., around about 17/18mm. The K18 would be nice but they go for serious money... Unfortunately, the equivalent FoV is somewhere between the 15mm and 21mm lenses. The 12-24mm is such a stunning lens though I don't feel hard done by.

K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

Frogfish

Link Posted 20/09/2011 - 15:55
Well the OP asked for something that fits his 15 + 70 prime range but is light with excellent IQ. For me the Tamron 17-50/2.8 is the closest zoom I can think of that meets that criteria. Very sharp, good colours, light and relatively inexpensive. The Pentax lenses are neither light (16-50 & 50-135) or fit the range (50-135).
http://frogfish.smugmug.com/ Pentax. Pentax DA*300/4, Cosina 55/1.2, Lens Baby Composer Pro & Edge 80, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.
Nikon. D800. D600. Sigma 500/4.5, Nikon 300/2.8 VRII, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 35/2.0, Sigma 50/1.4, Nikkor 85/1.8, Nikon TC20EIII, Nikon TC14EII, Kenko x1.4, Sigma 2.0

Gwyn

Link Posted 20/09/2011 - 16:01
You're forgetting the DA 17-70 Frogfish. And the Sigma equivalent .

The DA17-70 may be an F4 but I have never found that to be a problem with it.

Frogfish

Link Posted 20/09/2011 - 16:11
Gwyn wrote:
You're forgetting the DA 17-70 Frogfish. And the Sigma equivalent .

The DA17-70 may be an F4 but I have never found that to be a problem with it.

You (or someone) had mentioned it already I've heard only good things about it but have no idea of it's size/weight ? Agree f4 on a K5 is not an issue at all.
http://frogfish.smugmug.com/ Pentax. Pentax DA*300/4, Cosina 55/1.2, Lens Baby Composer Pro & Edge 80, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.
Nikon. D800. D600. Sigma 500/4.5, Nikon 300/2.8 VRII, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 35/2.0, Sigma 50/1.4, Nikkor 85/1.8, Nikon TC20EIII, Nikon TC14EII, Kenko x1.4, Sigma 2.0
Last Edited by Frogfish on 20/09/2011 - 16:12

Gwyn

Link Posted 20/09/2011 - 16:24
I did, but in your little summary of Pentax lenses you only mentioned the *lenses .

I do agree the OP should consider third party lenses too - they are far better than they used to be.

Mike-P

Link Posted 20/09/2011 - 16:39
Frogfish wrote:
Well the OP asked for something that fits his 15 + 70 prime range but is light with excellent IQ.

Actually he asked for a moderate range zoom.

Open to all sorts of interpretation .. to me a 50-135/150/200mm is just that although to others it may not be.
. My Flickr

vrapan

Link Posted 20/09/2011 - 18:25
Tamron 17-50, cheap (relatively) quite light and smallish and great IQ. Was my most used lens when on Nikon and till I bought the 35mm.

I was not a big fan of its built quality though so looking for something different. Would have gone for the 16-50 DA* but have heard enough complains to be holding out maybe for a revision or simply not bother and get the 21mm which together with the 40mm will give me all I need from the 16-50 in a more portable package and with amazing IQ
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