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View Full Version : "Walk-Around" Lens recommendations wanted



nznhut
08-06-2005, 07:05 PM
I am debating about which of these two lenses - the Pentax SMC-F 70-210mm or the newer Pentax DA 50-200mm - to use as a walk-around lens. Do any of you have experience with one or both of these lenses, and could you make some recommendations as to which you would recommend?

I have also been looking at a couple of Tokina Manual Focus lenses - 35-105mm and their 35-135mm. Both are rated highly.

Any feedback on any of these would be greatly appreciated!

speaklightly
08-07-2005, 06:13 AM
nznhut-

I prefer the newer Pentax 50-200mm lens. It is smaller, lighter, and does very well. Here is a sample at max zoom.

Sarah Joyce

nznhut
08-07-2005, 08:35 AM
nznhut-

I prefer the newer Pentax 50-200mm lens. It is smaller, lighter, and does very well. Here is a sample at max zoom.

Sarah Joyce


Thanks, Sarah! Wonderful photo, and good recommendation

eastbluffs
08-07-2005, 10:36 AM
I am curious:

I've been asked by a friend with very limited funds to recommend a DSLR. She is a typical 20 year-old single office worker who earns probably $8/hr but really wants to pursue this interest and get great photos.

I've considered recommending the Pentax mainly because its just so cheap and the kit lense has a great lense. It'll probably satisfy her quality wise.

However; I just browsed the Canoga Camera site for Pentax lenses an saw NOTHING under autofocus and about 6 selections for Manual Focus.

I figure that as long as a camera meets certian minimum criteria, which all the DSLRs do, the body will equally satisfy a novice, and the cheaper ones may even be better because of features that cader to the less skilled. However; its also "just a capture box" for the real photo that the lense produces.

So I'm concerned about the growth potential for the Pentax line.

Just how wide is the choice and does the lense quality compete with Canon and Nikon mounts? Do most of the best 3rd party lense makers produce their lenses for the Pentax mount?

Also; what are the different lense mounts commonly being sold today? What are they called - so I can also do my own research?

speaklightly
08-07-2005, 04:01 PM
eastbluffs-

Unfortunately, Canoga Camera does not carry many Pentax lenses at all. You would do well to look at B & H or Adorama, who have a much better selection of Pentax lenses.

One of the nice features of the Pentax 1stDS is that it can utilize many of the old Pentax lenses by using the Manual Mode. Thus, older Pentax lenses can be purchased rather economically on auction sites such as E-Bay.

Going back quite a few years ago there was a screw mount design as well. I believe it is called the M42 mount, though I am not positive. There are adaptors available that will convert the M42 lenses to the current Pentax bayonet maount. The adaptors sell on E-Bay for about $12 to $15.

In addition to Pentax brand lenses, Tamron, Sigma and Tokina make fully automatic lenses in the Pentax mount. So the choice is quite extensive. The entire Sigma line is easily available from www.sigma4less.com. I have purchased from them and they have provided good service, prompt shipping, and excellent prices, that easily beat both B & H and Adorama.

I use the Sigma 28-300mm and the 70-300mm lenses and have been quite pleased with them. Here is a sample no flash/handheld photo taken using just existing light at a distance of approximately 100 feet with the Sigma 28-300 lens.

I hope this helps.

Sarah Joyce

eastbluffs
08-08-2005, 12:19 AM
Yes, BH has much more, albiet only half that offered for Canon and Nikon. Manual focus seems pretty useless for a less-than-enthusiast shooter, but the 3rd party ones look all auto, and I noticed a few pretty respectalble lenses there.

The Canon and Nikon made lenses are probably tops, but she'll never afford that so its mute.

Hey "NZNNUT", I'm curious to hear your opinion. First; are you using a Pentax DSLR and second, do you find the lense choice limiting?

Sarah; Not sure why you submitted that photo. Was that taken with your Pentax digital to show low-light capability?

PS: I just ordered the Sigma 70-300 APO DC version for my Canon. Hope you're right about it being a keeper! Cheers.

speaklightly
08-08-2005, 03:49 AM
eastbluffs-

I posted the the Shanghai Acrobatic Show sample, taken with my Pentax 1stDS, to show you some output from the Sigma 28-300mm lens. I actually prefer the Sigma 70-300mm lens to the 28-300mm lens in actual use.

I think you will be happy with it on your Canon 20D. Let me know your reaction to it when you receive the Sigma 70-300mm. Thanks.

Sarah Joyce

eastbluffs
08-08-2005, 08:41 AM
Thanks;

I tried viewing the EXIF on that photo and it doesn't exist. It only shows a creation date of Jan 2004, but that can't be right because the Pentax *ist DS was released in 2005 wasn't it?

Anyway, that's not really the topic of this thread. I'll get the lense in a few days and will try it for a while before posting reviews.

Saw some seriously great low-light photo in another thread by someone hired to do it. He used a prime opened up. Wow!

nznhut
08-09-2005, 04:33 AM
Yes, BH has much more, albiet only half that offered for Canon and Nikon. Manual focus seems pretty useless for a less-than-enthusiast shooter, but the 3rd party ones look all auto, and I noticed a few pretty respectalble lenses there.

The Canon and Nikon made lenses are probably tops, but she'll never afford that so its mute.

Hey "NZNNUT", I'm curious to hear your opinion. First; are you using a Pentax DSLR and second, do you find the lense choice limiting?

Sarah; Not sure why you submitted that photo. Was that taken with your Pentax digital to show low-light capability?

PS: I just ordered the Sigma 70-300 APO DC version for my Canon. Hope you're right about it being a keeper! Cheers.

Eastbluffs -
I recently purchased the Pentax *ist DS and love it on so many levels. I don't find the lens issues limiting - on the contrary, there are many, many lens options available. Sigma, Tamron, and Pentax have some wonderful new "digital" type offerings. However, I am finding some wonderful, high quality lenses available if you are willing to look at manual focus and settings. Pentax has some wonderful glass out there for great prices, and frankly I like this availability. Some of the manual 50mm 1.4/1.7 lenses out there are cheap in price, but high in quality and output. Many of them originally came on the K1000 and other of Pentax's cameras, and there are a bunch of them being sold while still on the camera. I'm still somewhat of an amateur, but this is my recommendation and experience so far.

Rex914
08-09-2005, 03:22 PM
Thanks;

I tried viewing the EXIF on that photo and it doesn't exist. It only shows a creation date of Jan 2004, but that can't be right because the Pentax *ist DS was released in 2005 wasn't it?

It was announced last September and hit the stores a month or two later. That does seem odd. Wrong photo Sarah?

rjromero10
08-11-2005, 09:56 AM
Eastbluff- I agree with nznhut, the is a lot of lenses out there and cheap in price and good in quality. I also bought the camera recently and had an older Pentax 35mm I used the lenses from that camera. The quality of the camera is really good, I have no regrets with it. May I suggest checking out www.buydig.com for good price, I have used them many times with no problems and usually the best price.