Which Lens as Upgrade From Kit Lens


YorkNeil

Link Posted 23/06/2015 - 14:10
Hi

I recently entered the world of DSLR buying a K20D from a member here. The camera seems fine but the photos are at best mediocre - very soft and colours a little washed out. Low light performance is way below where I would expect it as well. I have some very nice old Prime lenses which work fine with the camera so I'm looking for a good all-rounder zoom lens which handles low light better, and has decent IQ. As the camera is WR maybe the lens should be the same? I'm very much in the early learning phase of DSLR life and don't want to panic buy various lenses hoping that one will fit so you advice and direction would be appreciated.

Many thanks

Neil
Last Edited by YorkNeil on 23/06/2015 - 14:11

Mike-P

Link Posted 23/06/2015 - 14:23
An idea of you budget would be good
No equipment list here but thanks for taking an interest. My Flickr

JohnX

Link Posted 23/06/2015 - 14:32
Hi, and if I haven't said it, welcome!

Could be the 'issue' is as much camera settings as kit lens, so I would start there?

I also have a K20D, and spent some time here and elsewhere researching suggested settings when I first got it, and the changes made quite a difference.

Obviously the settings are ultimately a personal preference, but if you want I'll see if I can dig them out?

As to a lens, others will come along with their suggestions, but fwiw I changed out my kit zoom firstly for the Pentax 16-45, (now only available used, but worthwhile step up), and then the Pentax 17-70.

YorkNeil

Link Posted 23/06/2015 - 14:43
JohnX wrote:
Hi, and if I haven't said it, welcome!

Could be the 'issue' is as much camera settings as kit lens, so I would start there?

I also have a K20D, and spent some time here and elsewhere researching suggested settings when I first got it, and the changes made quite a difference.

Obviously the settings are ultimately a personal preference, but if you want I'll see if I can dig them out?

As to a lens, others will come along with their suggestions, but fwiw I changed out my kit zoom firstly for the Pentax 16-45, (now only available used, but worthwhile step up), and then the Pentax 17-70.

Thanks very much, those settings would be much appreciated.

As to budget it's a movable feast but around the 2 - 300 mark and I don't mind second hand.

johnriley

Link Posted 23/06/2015 - 16:21
Probably the most useful could be the 18-135mm. It's versatile, produces nice punchy images and is WR as well. I use mine most of the time.
Best regards, John

PeterKR

Link Posted 23/06/2015 - 17:10
johnriley wrote:
Probably the most useful could be the 18-135mm. It's versatile, produces nice punchy images and is WR as well. I use mine most of the time.

And I'll second that !

They are fairly pricey new but look out for offers or a used one.
There were some bad reviews when this lens first came out but I got mine last year and am extremely pleased with the quality it returns.
So if you go for a used one try to find out if it was an early one before buying.

kh1234567890

Link Posted 24/06/2015 - 00:29
JohnX wrote:
As to a lens, others will come along with their suggestions, but fwiw I changed out my kit zoom firstly for the Pentax 16-45, (now only available used, but worthwhile step up), and then the Pentax 17-70.

The DA 16-45 is still available new. An excellent lens.
Flickr Stream

Jimd

Link Posted 24/06/2015 - 07:18
DA 16-45. I wouldn't part with mine

michaelblue

Link Posted 24/06/2015 - 07:32
kh1234567890 wrote:
JohnX wrote:
As to a lens, others will come along with their suggestions, but fwiw I changed out my kit zoom firstly for the Pentax 16-45, (now only available used, but worthwhile step up), and then the Pentax 17-70.

The DA 16-45 is still available new. An excellent lens.

What a superb advert for that lens........and the photographer! Super pictures!
Regards,
Michael
My new website:link

sterretje

Link Posted 25/06/2015 - 07:09
Sigma 17-70 Contemporary is also a good candidate. And obviously the (newish) Pentax 16-85. I would prefer the former but have no experience with either.

With regards to 'soft images'; have you tried to adjust the AF.

'Washed out colours' might depend on the settings; see page 154 of the (English) manual. It can also be a matter of overexposure; did you do a 'reset to factory defaults'?

And yes, the K20D is not a low-light champion. But another (faster) lens will not really help as you will run into the issues just a little later. And a f/2.8 lens will result in shallower DOF (when used at f/2.8 ), also not something you always want.
Pentax K10D + Vivitar 55/2.8 macro + Super Takumar 55/1.8 + SuperMultiCoated Takumar 85/1.8 + SuperMultiCoated Takumar 135/3.5 + SuperMultiCoated Takumar 200/4 + Super Takumar 300/4
Pentax K100D + DA18-55ALII + DA55-300
Pentax K5 + FA31Ltd + M50/1.7 + DFA100WR + M120/2.8 (+ DA18-55WR at occasion)
Last Edited by sterretje on 25/06/2015 - 07:10

Chrism8

Link Posted 25/06/2015 - 07:48
I've had a normal Sigma 17 - 70 for years, a solid performer and my general walk-about lens,

Superb when stopped down from F5.6 to about F11/ F13 and great when you need the extra light at F2.8 with fairly shallow DOF.

Check my PF for examples, prob 60% of my images have been shot with this lens, the exif is in each image.

Chris
Chris

www.chrismillsphotography.co.uk

" A Hangover is something that occupies the Head you neglected to use the night before".

-------------------------------------------------------------
K1 - Sigma 85mm F1.4, Pentax 150 -450 F4.5 / 5.6, Pentax FA 24 - 70 F2.8

Sigma 100-300 F4, Samyang 14mm F2.8, Sigma 70-200 F2.8,

K5iis - Sigma 17 - 70 F2.8, Sigma 70 - 300 F3.5/F5.6, Sigma 18 - 200 F3.6 / F4.5.

geordie01

Link Posted 25/06/2015 - 08:02
Another vote for the 16-45 can be picked up for about 130-150 used and worth every penny

YorkNeil

Link Posted 25/06/2015 - 20:31
Thank you all for recommendations and ChrisM8 for your gallery!

I was in I.T. for a few years implementing new systems and the number of users we had saying there was something wrong with the system. We assured them that it was a "carbon based error" and talked them through the correct steps - again. Bearing that in mind I really thought about what I was doing today and took a couple of glorious shots - for me that is, but I was delighted.

As someone said earlier it's important to get the basics right.

So the Sigma and the DA16-45 sound just the ticket but I'm going to become more competent with the camera first.
Last Edited by YorkNeil on 25/06/2015 - 20:31

bwlchmawr

Link Posted 25/06/2015 - 21:03
Try a Tamron 17-50. It has a constant aperture of 2.8, is compact and quite nicely built. Stopped down a bit, mine produces lovely images with consistent focusing, plenty of detail and good contrast, albeit on a K5 (which has a much better sensor, of course). It comes with a 5 year guarantee for peace of mind.

The best bit is the price: a quick inter-web search revealed new lenses available for around 160 which isn't bad.

Then, with the 100 or so you've saved, look out for a clean K10 to go with it: you won't get disappointing or washed-out pictures with one of those!

(Check out my recent Snowdonia pictures on Flickr which were all taken with a venerable K10 with kit lens.) https://flic.kr/s/aHskdXjV8S
Best wishes,

Andrew

"These places mean something and it's the job of a photographer to figure-out what the hell it is."
Robert Adams
"The camera doesn't make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But, you have to SEE."
Ernst Hass
My website: http://www.ephotozine.com/user/bwlchmawr-199050 http://s927.photobucket.com/home/ADC3440/index
https://www.flickr.com/photos/78898196@N05

YorkNeil

Link Posted 26/06/2015 - 06:14
I read about the K10D having superb picture quality - last of the pre CMOS machines I think. The Tamron is certainly a consideration - thanks for the suggestion. The photos are not so washed out now that I changed the custom image setting.
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