Starting from Scratch with Lenses


ferret1981

Link Posted 11/05/2013 - 14:21
If you needed to start from scratch again what lenses would you consider buying to cover the full range for both paid work and leisure photography?

I am returning to pentax from being a canon user and I am currently looking at two setups although I am slightly confused by all the letters and what they mean when I last had a pentax I had the kit lens and some manual smc lenses.

After reading all the reviews I am going with the Tamron 17 - 50 2.8 but not really sure of what to go with to cover the ranges after this. At first I was going to go with Pentax 50 - 135 f2.8 and Pentax 300 f4 but I am now thinking that the 60 - 250 f4 will easily cover the ranges I need a camera for.

So is not having 2 lenses, the extra range of 300 on a prime and losing a stop of light through the mid ranges a good idea? Will the 60 - 250 f4 tick all the boxes for me? I mainly shoot events, portraits and indoor sports.
Last Edited by ferret1981 on 11/05/2013 - 14:39

pentaxian450

Link Posted 11/05/2013 - 15:52
ferret1981 wrote:
I mainly shoot indoor sports.

The 60-250 is an outstanding lens, but not the best choice when it comes to sport. It is super sharp, but with a rather long focus through and a rather slow SDM focusing motor, the combination makes it too slow to focus for most sport. Beside, for indoor sport, a lens that opens to 2.8 is better suited.
Yves (another one of those crazy Canucks)

ferret1981

Link Posted 11/05/2013 - 17:57
Thanks for the advice pentaxian450! Yes, I mainly shot fast moving indoor sports boxing, kickboxing, muay thai and mma and although I mainly used the canon 24-70 f2.8 on a 5d3 i very rarely used it at 2.8 I shot mostly around f4. On full frame I always found I needed more focal length and not another stop of light. At one point I did consider trading the 24 - 70 in for the 24 - 105 L f4 because it is sharper at f4 and had that extra range.

What is sharper/better performer at f4 then the pentax 50 - 135 or 60 - 250?

May not be returning to photograph the combat sports again anyway, my photography is probably going to be more of an enjoyable hobby again.

johnriley

Link Posted 11/05/2013 - 18:12
I'm a big fan of compact kit. It makes exploring easier if the burden is less.

A minimalist kit is the ideal, but the details are really very personal. Primes? Zooms? Tending to wide angles or telephotos? Macro? I. Not sure my choices would be relevant to your needs. However, this is what I would go for: 12-24mm, 50mm f/1.8, 18-135mm, 100mm Macro, 55-300mm or 60-250mm.
Best regards, John

MartinEA

Link Posted 11/05/2013 - 18:15
Hi Ferret.

I have just dropped all my Canon full frame cameras and lenses. The 50-135 2.8 is a great lens that works perfectly at 2.8 and is sharp. Focus isn't as fast as a Canon but not by a huge amount. Can't say anything about the 60-250 as I don't have it.

I would rather have two lenses than the 60-250, I hear the 300 f4 is a gem of a lens.

Regards,

Martin
Last Edited by MartinEA on 11/05/2013 - 18:30

ferret1981

Link Posted 11/05/2013 - 18:47
Quote:
I hear the 300 f4 is a gem of a lens

Yes I agree it looks great!

However I am thinking it maybe overkill for my needs I do not do any wildlife or airshow photography and if I do get the urge to have a go then by all accounts although the 60 - 250 f4 wouldn't be 1st choice it would be fairly capable.

I do want to try my hand at some motorsports though thats why the 300 f4 initially made it in my list.

Quote:
However, this is what I would go for: 12-24mm, 50mm f/1.8, 18-135mm, 100mm Macro, 55-300mm or 60-250mm

Thanks, I'll price this up and see what it comes out at, this would suit most situations for anyone. Whats the quality of the 55 - 300 and 18 - 135mm like they are not classed as pro lenses are they? I'm not precious about this but appreciate any useful feedback???

johnriley

Link Posted 11/05/2013 - 20:58
Both the 55-300mm and the 18-135mm lenses are punching far above their weight. The 55-300mm is the best option in this spec bracket without a doubt. The 18-135mm I fell in love with when I tested it for EPZ. Not the highest technical performance, but a really gritty, sharp and contrasty lens that produces great visual results.
Best regards, John

jeallen01

Link Posted 11/05/2013 - 21:27
johnriley wrote:
Both the 55-300mm and the 18-135mm lenses are punching far above their weight. The 55-300mm is the best option in this spec bracket without a doubt. The 18-135mm I fell in love with when I tested it for EPZ. Not the highest technical performance, but a really gritty, sharp and contrasty lens that produces great visual results.

I've got both now and I love 'em both for what they are and for what they are intended for - but I also have the 10-20,70-200 F2.8 and 100-300 F4 Sigmas because they (unfortunately) do what the currently available Pentax lenses cannot do at an affordable price
K-3 II, K-3 and a K-70 from SRS (having now relegated the K-30 /"K-50" to a backup body), & some Sigma and Pentax lenses (and a lot of old 35mm gear!)
Last Edited by jeallen01 on 11/05/2013 - 21:42

MarkTaylor

Link Posted 15/05/2013 - 14:51
This is always going to vary from individual to individual depending on on people's photographic styles and personal preferences. At the moment I have:

Sigma 8-16
Tamron 17-50 f2.8
DA* 50-135 f2.8
DA 55-300
DA 18-135
Vivtar 100 Macro f3.5

...And this lot really covers everything I need with a 2 body setup. If I shot with only one body my requirements would be different because (with the exception of th emacro lens) my setup is now based on using certain pairs of lenses depending on the situation.

The pairs I use are:

> 17-50 + 50-135 - This 'all f2.8' pair is for night/low light shooting
> 17-50 + 55-300 - Daylight, when a longer reach is needed
> 8-16 + 17-50 - Daylight, when I need to go wider
> 8-16 + 18-135 - Daylight, when I need to wider AND a bit longer

With these combinations I rarely ever feel the need to change lenses in the field.

I intend to upgrade the Tamron to a DA* 16-50 (soon), and the Vivitar Macro to a Pentax 100 Macro WR (eventually). Once I'm there I'll be pretty happy to be honest and probably stick with what I have for a while. I wouldn't mind a Sigma 10-20 f/3.5 to get better wide angle results in low light (I've become quite addicted to ultra wide angle) but I'm not about to trade in the 8-16 for one because I do use it at less than 10mm frequently.
My Flickr Pentax K-5 K-5 II Sigma 8-16mm F/4.5-5.6 DC HSM Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD ASL SMC Pentax-DA* 50-135mm F/2.8 ED [IF] SDM SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F/4-5.8 ED SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] WR Vivitar 100mm F/3.5 Macro AF Metz Mecablitz 58 AF-2

ferret1981

Link Posted 23/05/2013 - 21:33
Please help....
I am about to click the buy button but can't decide which 3 or 2 lens set-up to go with

1.)Tamron 17 - 50 2.8, Pentax 70 2.4, Sigma 150 - 500
or
2.)Pentax 16 - 50 2.8 & Pentax 50 - 135 2.8

Should I go with the quality of the pentax 2 lens set up or go for the versatility of the mixed ranges and various brands?

CIBarker

Link Posted 23/05/2013 - 21:47
Hello, there's a bit range difference in these two setups, I notice in your first post you're shooting portrait and indoor sports, so I can't really see where the sigma 150-500 has come into the equation, because this lens is not designed for these type of shots, it's huge for a portrait lens and focus/aperture too slow for indoor sports. Have you considered a 70-200 f2.8 for this purpose? There'll be a train of thought perhaps to go for a 17-70, 70-200 2 lens combination with constant f2.8 capability throughout the range and I think this would be better suited to your needs, and you can take your pick with brands.
P.s I'm not anti sigma 150-500 it's my favourite lens.

Chris
Last Edited by CIBarker on 23/05/2013 - 21:51

ferret1981

Link Posted 23/05/2013 - 21:59
CIBarker wrote:
I can't really see where the sigma 150-500 has come into the equation

My photography is just going to be a hobby from now on. The indoor sports and portraits were work which I'll probably not be doing anymore. I have always wanted to try my hand with tracksports but never had the chance to have a go. The 150 - 500 seems like a good but expensive choice to go and have a go at this sort of stuff its as simple as that.
I imagine on a crop sensor the 135 end of the 50 - 135 will be useful without shelling out big bucks for the sigma.

simonkit

Link Posted 24/05/2013 - 07:47
I've bought and sold again several lenses over the last few years of Pentx ownership and if I'd had the benefit of hindsight I'd have pretty much the ones I have now...

DA12-24 - very low distortion & very sharp, sharper than both the DA21mm & DA15mm - great for landscapes or architecture

DA17-70 - highly underrated IMHO. Excellent colour/contrast and sharp too

50mm - there are several very good options here, mainly use it for portraits

DA21mm - when I want to travel light

I haven't added a telephoto, although I do own the DA55-300 which is a good consumer lens...for me this is one of the weak areas of the Pentax range though

Simon
My website http://www.landscapephotographyuk.com

My Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/landscapephotographyuk

Find me on Google+ link

ferret1981

Link Posted 24/05/2013 - 09:46
Hi simonkit, am I right in assuming you have had the tamron 17 - 50 in the past?

DrOrloff

Link Posted 24/05/2013 - 10:06
I'd really be looking to find a way to try before you buy.

The 50-135 has superb image quality and F2.8 is a big advantage over f4. However, autofocus is slow. Coming from Canon you might be surprised at how inadequate it is. Af motor failure is common with this lens but the silver lining is that I have heard reports that the replacement motors are much faster. So if you can find a lens with the AF replaced with a recent motor, or even a broken one and have it fixed that could be a solution,

The DA*300 is an excellent lens. Af might be a bit slower than its rivals but the greater working distance means it's much less of an issue. It would be find for autosports.

So great image quality. But to be honest if I were predominantly interested in action then I would be looking at another brand.
You can see some of my photos here if you are so inclined
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