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Lens Suggestions

Posted 16/03/2013 - 08:57 Link
Could anyone suggest a good lens to start off with outside of the kit 18 55?

I shoot mostly wildlife meaning that focal length is very important but on ocassion I do see some nice landscapes, butterflies, flowers or just some situations when a smaller lens would be nice.

Ive looked at the 35mm 2.4 and thought it good for the price.

Any suggestions?


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Posted 16/03/2013 - 09:05 Link
For wildlife would a longer focal length be better than the 35mm?

The DA 55-300 is well worth the money 2nd hand, superbly sharp.

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Posted 16/03/2013 - 09:07 Link
I would recommend the DA55-300 for wildlife, I would suggest supplementing it with an M28mm f3.5 for landscapes.

And not just because I will be selling both these lenses shortly.
Posted 16/03/2013 - 09:15 Link
I also recommend the 55-300 it's a great lens.
Posted 16/03/2013 - 09:49 Link
The DA 55-300 would be an excellent choice as a second lens. It is by far the best of the budget zooms in that range. I have taken some macro like photos of butterflies at the 300mm end from about 2m away, and it obviously will cover things much farther away.
As for landscapes he kit lens is a very respectable performer when stopped down to around f8 so I wouldn't rush out to buy anything else until you establish what focal length you find yourself using most. The DA35 is indeed an excellent lens but you already have that focal length covered so I wouldn't rush into that yet. Besides you can buy three or four M series manual focus primes off ebay for around the same money if you want to experiment. A 28 35 and 50 would be a good selection to start with. I can also recommend the sigma 24mm superwide II in either manual or autofocus versions, however those these are quite a bit harder to come by.
But for a second lens the 55-300 sounds like it would fit your current needs best.
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Edited by MarkD: 16/03/2013 - 09:50
Posted 16/03/2013 - 10:08 Link
You can add a Raynox to the 55-300 for a pretty nifty macro option.
Posted 16/03/2013 - 10:14 Link
start of a slippery road Alistair.
I usually have my Pentax 18-135 in my bag, just as a general lens knowing it is WR.

Other than that I like an ultra wide zoom. Previously the Sigma 10-20, but now the Samsung equivalent of the Pentax 12-24. As well as being good for landscapes, at their long end they are good for architecture and street, shooting from the hip.

The other lens I normally carry about, although it sees very little use is the 35mm f2.4. Very good lens and it doesn't take up much room

Posted 16/03/2013 - 10:20 Link
If you are wanting it for wildlife, the 55-300 will do the job nicely. Good quality at a reasonable price, and it will complement your 18-55 lens nicely. Also quite compact and light.
I'm quite happy with mine, but it will have to go quite soon to make way for a 60-250, which I've been lusting after for a while!
Posted 16/03/2013 - 10:43 Link
Some first class advice has been given already. It all depends on what you mean by wildlife. In the fact of "How close can you get to it." It has been said in this thread already the DA55-300 is the best budget lens. To get you anywhere near enough for decent returns. Though in my opinion the Dal 55-300 is better value. The Sigma 150-500 is the better one to go for. If its wild birds your after. Its not a walkabout lens. A little expensive. Though, It has never been as cheap as it is right now. As for Landscapes I would also stick with the kit lens for now. a great performer. Upgrading to the Sigma 10- 20 at a later date. The Pentax versions in this criteria are in my opinion far too expensive for no more quality.
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Posted 16/03/2013 - 10:46 Link
Alistair already has a Sigma 150-500, and is also already looking to buy a DA*300

Posted 16/03/2013 - 10:49 Link
The Pentax 55-300 is an excellent performer and I would recommend it for a wildlife starter lens. The Sigma 150-500 is a good lens for wildlife, especially if you want the photograph small birds. Technique with steadiness and balancing high shutter speeds, aperture to control depth of field and high ISO and noise, are all necessary at long focal lengths, where good quality photos are required.

I have always found that the Perntax 18-55 is a good performer and certainly ok for up to A3 prints.

A good alround replacement for the kit lens is the Sigma 17-70. This lens performs well and will close focus.

For real close up work you need a proper macro lens. To work at a reasonable distance from the subject a lens in the 90 to 105 mm focal length is a good choice. An old Tamron Adaptall 90 mm manual Macro Lens is a good starter choice. There are 2nd hand 2X Macro Converters available, which coupled with a 50mm manual lens, make an effective 100mm macro set up.
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Posted 16/03/2013 - 10:55 Link
Alistair already has a Sigma 150-500, and is also already looking to buy a DA*300

Sorry I wasnt aware ot that... The choices dont come any better than those, at the long end.
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Posted 16/03/2013 - 11:00 Link
Yes apologies friends. I was implying that I already have considerable length with the 150 500 but was interested in the short primes and zooms. Having said that its nice to hear a resounding applause for the 55 300 Pentax lens which would be nice to save my arms!
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Posted 16/03/2013 - 11:28 Link
Well in that case the 16-45 is a good upgrade from the kit lens. Otherwise a 12-24 or Siggy 10-20 plus a prime at 35, maybe the DA35Ltd as it gives you a macro option. All depends on budget really.
Posted 16/03/2013 - 13:53 Link
Does the Sigma 10 20 suffer from much barrel distortion?
Learn how to live and you'll know how to die; learn how to die, and you'll know how to live.

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