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japers45

Link Posted 06/07/2011 - 08:42
I started a thread in a similar vein a few months ago- I am now in a position to buy but I really am undecided. It is an upgrade of the 18-55 kit lens that came with the K5. I am considering the following

DA*16-50
pros- (1)It "matches" the DA*50-135 I have which I really like.
(2)Great build quality (3)Weather Resistant.(4) Fast (5) A touch wider than some of the others.

cons (1) Quite expensive compared to other options (2) Very mixed views on its optical performance ranging from very negative to very positive(more confused than ever on this point) (3) Its quite big compared with the others mentioned.

Tamron 17-50
pros- (1) It seems very good vaue for money (300) (2) Quite compact (3) Fast (4) Views on its optics seem generally positive (I suspect this is in view of the price)(5) Fast

cons (1)Possibly a bit plasticky (2) No WR (3)Not a Pentax No SMC etc.

Pentax 16-45

pros (1) Very good value for money (2) A Little extra width (3)light and compact.

cons (1) Maybe a bit short (2) No WR (3) not as fast as the DA* or Tamron.





Pentax 17-70

pros (1) Flexible focal range (2)Reasonably priced (3)Generally positive reviews (4)SDM (5) Compact

cons (1) No WR (2) comparively slow.

I think I can see the differences in spec but could anyone offer the benefit of their experience regarding real world performance.

I will use the lens for all situations- walkaround, landscapes, portraits, more formal occasions, indoors and outdoors.


What I would really like is a DA*16-70 2.8 for 300!

thankyou

johnriley

Link Posted 06/07/2011 - 08:52
The 18-55mm WR is actually very good and also has that magically useful WR feature.

Why not look to broadening your repertoire rather than repeating it, although the 18-135mm would be tempting as it does increase the reach whilst still being a WR lens. It also has the DC motor.

I might think of a fast prime for low light use, that could be the 35mm f2.4, at a very modest cost.

Then I would look at something longer and the 55-300mm could be ideal.

In this way you won't spend a fortune, you'll have some really good lenses and you'll extrend the sort of photography you can do.

i-Berg

Link Posted 06/07/2011 - 08:52
Sounds like you've almost talked yourself into the DA*16-50 then!

And I think John's right FWIW - a prime or two may be handy?
http://www.pbase.com/iberg
Last Edited by i-Berg on 06/07/2011 - 09:01

Smeggypants

Link Posted 06/07/2011 - 09:05
Don't forget to consider the Sigma 17-70/f2.8

It has excellent optical quality for it's price range and as well as a good focal range it has a really close focus distance which is very useful indeed.

I soon grew out of the kit lens and bought the Sigma 17-70 as a stop gap before my intended goal of the DA*16-50. I love the 17-70 so much I'm not that bothered about getting a DA*16-50 now.

The other advantage is the Sigma 17-70 doesn't have SDM

Quote:
What I would really like is a DA*16-70 2.8 for 300!

... and it isn't far behind that at all.
Last Edited by Smeggypants on 06/07/2011 - 09:06

japers45

Link Posted 06/07/2011 - 09:52
johnriley wrote:
The 18-55mm WR is actually very good and also has that magically useful WR feature.

I might think of a fast prime for low light use, that could be the 35mm f2.4, at a very modest cost.

Then I would look at something longer and the 55-300mm could be ideal.

In this way you won't spend a fortune, you'll have some really good lenses and you'll extrend the sort of photography you can do.

Sensible advice John as always- I do already have the 35mm 2.4 (so cheap its rude not to- I leave it on the camera most the time). I also have the SMC FA 50mm f1.4 which I dont use a lot but when I have it is very good (low light indoors).

the 55-300 is on my wish list eventually, I have the 50-200 WR but seldom use it.

I have recently taken some landscape shots with the 18-55 with detail across the frame at F8-F11 and found the results at the edge to be quite soft. Admittedly I would not have noticed this 6 months ago but as I accumulate knowledge I think I am becoming more discerning.

I think I could definately work on technique (a lot!) but I'm afraid I find buying lenses very good fun. I am fortunate that occasionally I get a bonus from work that falls outside my normal budget so it rather burns a hole in the pocket.

Smeggypants- I hadn't considered this one. Looks like it may tick a lot of boxes. I'll take a look.

Blythman

Link Posted 06/07/2011 - 09:52
A Sigma 10-20 (356 delivered from Mifsud on ebay) and a Sigma 24-70 f2.8 (329 from SRS) for not much more than a DA 16-50 (619 from SRS)
Alan


PPG
Flickr

Apache

Link Posted 06/07/2011 - 09:56
If I were you I would seriously consider "new" Sigma 17-70.
The lens got some great reviews for its optical quality. It has HSM engine and OS which, according to several opinions I read, is definitely more efficient then the body's.

It is brighter than DA 17-70 and much cheaper. And gives you additional 15mm as compared to the kit.

If you really need f/2.8 throughout all focal range - go for Tamron. In you seek very good overall performance and universality (and good value)- go for Sigma.

wvbarnes

Link Posted 06/07/2011 - 09:57
Blythman wrote:
A Sigma 10-20 (356 delivered from Mifsud on ebay) and a Sigma 24-70 f2.8 (329 from SRS) for not much more than a DA 16-50 (619 from SRS)

Microglobe still have the excellent Sigma 10 20 for 357 includinhg next day delivery. These EX quality lenses are superb.

japers45

Link Posted 06/07/2011 - 10:01
Sorry guys- I have the Sigma 10-20 (329 from SRS in April free delivery- too good to miss) probably should have pointed that out- it is very good.

Its clear that I have early onset of what you guys call LBA (I have assumed this stands for Lens Buying Addiction, but am not totally sure, please enlighten me if it doesnt mean this !)

johnriley

Link Posted 06/07/2011 - 10:03
Quote:
I have recently taken some landscape shots with the 18-55 with detail across the frame at F8-F11 and found the results at the edge to be quite soft.

It may be exactly so, but in general worth checking that the softness isn't due to either camera shake or subject movement. Trees and plants sway in the breeze....
Best regards, John

japers45

Link Posted 06/07/2011 - 10:10
John. again good advice- the images are nice and crisp in the centre- the softness occurs at the edge of the frame on some stone buildings-

It was handheld- would the edges be more affected by camera movement than the centre?

I have stopped reading articles on the science of optics because I felt a bit swamped and bamboozled by it all!

wvbarnes

Link Posted 06/07/2011 - 10:12
My recent portfolio shots include the Sigma 10 20 at F11 (waterfall) and a top and bottom crop to create a panorama of Parga at f8 using the Pentax 18 - 55 MKII (recently bought from SRS with my new KR body). Glad i didn't buy the plastic DAL again! I guess the WR is the same quality.

I would expect the Sigma to show softness but only at max aperture and really only for architectural shots. A little softness in a landscape is rarely a big issue. The Pentax 18 - 55 is excellent and as you an see fine for most landscape situations especially when cropped slightly to create a nice panoramic feel.

johnriley

Link Posted 06/07/2011 - 10:16
japers45 wrote:
John. again good advice- the images are nice and crisp in the centre- the softness occurs at the edge of the frame on some stone buildings-

It was handheld- would the edges be more affected by camera movement than the centre?

I have stopped reading articles on the science of optics because I felt a bit swamped and bamboozled by it all!

The distance to the subjects at the edge of the frame might be a factor. If they fall outside the depth of field then sharpness would suffer. A simple way to find out is to pin up a newspaper page on a wall, make sure the camera is central and parallel to the subject and make test exposures at various apertures. How the newsprint is reproduced will tell a lot about how sharp a lens is.

On a tripod using the 2 second delayed action.
Best regards, John
Last Edited by johnriley on 06/07/2011 - 10:18

Algernon

Link Posted 06/07/2011 - 10:20
Over the years I've done careful comparison tests (mostly at f/8 ) between the 18-55mm Kit Lens and various 24 - 28mm primes and non of the primes even come close. I sold my Pentax_A 24mm f/2.8 as a result and might as well sell the Pentax_A 28mm f/2.8 which is a league below the 24mm anyway.
Other primes were Vivitar, Sigma, Tamron, Ensinor (Good) etc.

It's mostly the edges that let the primes down, the Kit Lens is good. I prefer NO SR on wide angles.

From online test sites it seems that the 16-45mm could be sharper than the 18-55mm from 16-24mm, but it has some PF.
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi
Last Edited by Algernon on 06/07/2011 - 10:24

japers45

Link Posted 06/07/2011 - 10:28
Algernon wrote:
Over the years I've done careful comparison tests (mostly at f/ between the 18-45mm Kit Lens and various 24 - 28mm primes and non of the primes even come close. I sold my Pentax_A 24mm f/2.8 as a result and might as well sell the Pentax_A 28mm f/2.8 which is a league below the 24mm anyway.
Other primes were Vivitar, Sigma, Tamron, Ensinor (Good) etc.

It's mostly the edges that let the primes down, the Kit Lens is good. I prefer NO SR on wide angles.

Algernon, I hadn't considered turning off the SR, I wonder if this would make a difference. I am surprised by your findings as it I thought it was an almost universally held view that primes beat zooms across the board

John- I now have a mini project for tonight- I will put all my lenses thorugh their paces and see what's what.
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