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Old Sep 13, 2007, 1:26 AM   #1
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Coming from a Panasonic FZ7, which has worked very well for me as a travel camera, I'm ready to step up to a DSLR (obviously, I'm here) so my tools catch up with my ambition (not pro, just awesome photos of where I've been and then who knows?). I've already decided to go with the K100d, because of price and the convincing arguments of others that lenses matter more than body. Also, smaller and lighter for travel. I travel a lot, I shoot landscapes (14 National Parks the last two years), wildlife, cities and closeup nature shots. I haven't done much with people, but I'd like to get into it. Although it would still be secondary to nature and travel photos. So here's what I think I want to start with for my $1000. Either this:


18-55 Kit Lens (lukewarm reviews for serious pics, but pentaxphotogallery.com has great photos from it)

Sigma 10-20

LowePro AW 200 Slingshot (Hiking and City walking, I like the front access)

Leftover Money for Cokin ND set and other minor accessories

Telephoto to be purchased later, when wife allows it (*the FZ7 will still work for big zooms if I need it)

Or This:


Pentax 16-45

Tele Zoom like either Pentax 50-200 or Sigma/Tamron 70-300 "Macro"

Same Lowepro Bag and Cokin Filters

*This would still leave me $100 + so please recommend any upgrades over current lenses selected

Do these look like good choices for lenses I can keep for quite awhile without needing to upgrade? I'm open to primes, but coming off a 12x zoom I just can't wrap my head around the idea of that limitation. I also bought a SMC-M 50 f/2 for $25 (including shipping) online already (what can I say, I'm excited about the camera).

Of course, another option is to sell my little FZ7 kit (cam, .66 wide, 1.7 tele) filters, etc. for more lens money.

I've looked at a million forum posts and opinions and lens and camera reviews. What do you folks think? Sorry this is so long-winded, guess I've been saving up!


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Old Sep 13, 2007, 2:49 AM   #2
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I'd personally go for your second option, simply because I don't use much wide-angle.

I just think you'd enjoy a good tele lens like the Sigma 70-300 APO DG a lot more than an ultra wide-angle, especially with a brand new DSLR. Even more because this particular lens isn't too bad for some macro either.

You could also just start with the kit lens and see if it's wide enough for you...

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Old Sep 13, 2007, 5:57 AM   #3
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I would vote for option #2 also. I bought the 18-55 kit lens and the 70-300 Tamron when I bought my K10d, and I haven't regretted either for a minute. Particularly if you're shooting in national parks, I think you would find yourself frustrated very quickly when you couldn't get a wildlife or distant detail shot for lack of a longer lens. The Tamron/Sigma would also give you a pretty good macro lens for detailed nature shots.

Neither is going to give you the performance of the best primes, but they don't carry the hefty price tag either, and both will give you solid performance. Although I have somewhere around a dozen lenses at this point, I carry four in my "carry-around" case that Ipack when I don't know what I might run into that I might shoot--the 18-55, the 70-300 Tamron, a 135mm f2.8 MF, and the SMCP-50mm f1.4 AF. (You won't regret the 50mm f2.0. I just got the f1.4 this week to upgrade from the f2.0 MF, a very handy little lens which was the fourth lens I carry everyday till I got the new.)

Either way, you won't regret your choice, and it sounds like you're going to have some great opportunities for shooting. Congratulations!
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Old Sep 13, 2007, 7:22 AM   #4
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Option #2 looks better-I have a DS, 16-45, 50-200, 40 2.8, and the kit lens. The 16-45 was an expensive disappointment-50-200 has much better sharpness. Of course the 40 2.8 blows them all away. My kit lens is ok.
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Old Sep 13, 2007, 9:21 AM   #5
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DMJJR wrote:
Option #2 looks better-I have a DS, 16-45, 50-200, 40 2.8, and the kit lens. The 16-45 was an expensive disappointment-50-200 has much better sharpness. Of course the 40 2.8 blows them all away. My kit lens is ok.
I've more lens now than I really need but when I go on photo safaris I take the Kit lens my 50mm f/2 M lens, one of my Vivitar series one or at least the equivalent 70-210's. and my Tamron 70-300 or a Vivitar 300mm Prime. There you have the full range of what you really need. Just got a dedicated 105 Macro lens and may start taking it instead of the 50mm. That will give me the whole range and not bog me down too much!

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Old Sep 13, 2007, 10:22 AM   #6
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Thanks for the thoughtful responses!

DMJJR: If 16-45 was a disappointment, is it close to the kit in quality?

I'm really stuck on the wide angle, as I like to do dramatic, largelandscapes. I really don't know how wide I need. If I went prime, the Pentax 14mm would be the first I'd look at. My Panny could get to 24mm equivalent with my WA attachment lens, and I definitely want at least that wide, hence the 16-45 longest minimum wide angle choice.

I'm right in understanding that the 70-300 Sigma or Tamron lens is a good enough, inexpensive tele zoom? Will ANYTHING I get at any range produce better quality pics (11x14 or 12x18 standard, with the occasional 16x20) than my p&s?Or are there lenses that will take me back down to that level? For that matter, will the camera be enough? Or is a K10d much preferable?

Oh man, now I'm looking back at my camera choice...

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Old Sep 13, 2007, 1:02 PM   #7
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Hello tnaskedov,

If wide angle is something you like then the Sigma 10-20mm would do well. Roger who shoots with it and the Bigma has shown some great results.

Either the APO version of the Sigma 70-300mm or Tamron LD Di 70-300 1:2 Macro (I have the Tamron and find it to be a great lens)would do you fine. There is however some CA to be found when using those lenses. Some simple PP would make that a moot point but just so you know. They are best in the 70-200mm range but it is nice to have that extra reach and with a tad bit of softness aside as well as some CA they are best bang for your buck lens *New* or used.

The older glass that are now becoming scarcely available due to what is out there or the crazy prices asked for them are viable resources if you happen to come along any of them. Just consult the many here that have quite the collection and examples posted to show how great those lenses are.

Keep the FZ7 with everything you got for it. You may regret it due to the reach it has and what you would get in return for what you would lose out. It is not a great cam for low light situations as only Fuji for P&S cameras has been able to deliver good low light shots.

The 50mm F2 should do well by you in that regard.
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Old Sep 13, 2007, 1:34 PM   #8
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You can go to PBase PBase Photo Database - Photo Hosting - Photo Sharing - Web Photo Galleries
and do a search for the lens you are interested in to get an idea of what kind of shots it can produce. Of course there are other places including here to see some shots from a variety of lenses. I am just not sure how may have search functions for lens type.
I have to agree that your second option is the better one for over all ability and variety.Good luck and enjoy your new gear.
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Old Sep 13, 2007, 1:59 PM   #9
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Hi Todd,

Another option might be the Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5 and either the Sigma or Tamron 70-300.

With the rebate, the 16-45 is a great deal (and a great lens), and this option would cost more, but give you complete coverage of FLs between 17 and 300 mm. I don't think that I'd want to give up the 45-70mm focal lengths as they are your prime short to medium long portrait perspectives (68-105mm 35mm Eq).

This would give you about the same FL Eqs that your Panny gave you with the wide adapter, and without the tele adapter, from @26-450mm Eqs.

I'd keep the Panny -- I've still got my FZ1v2 and FZ30, and still use them, but my Pentax DSLRs (DS and K10) just blow them away for IQ and high ISO performance. You'll probably appreciate the small, very versatile package in some situations.

I'd also consider an external flash (high ISO can only go so far. . .), a dedicated macro, an ultra-wide and/or fisheye, some select, fast, high quality tele primes, a couple of premium TCs, the fast DA*zooms, and at least one serious tripod and a pro-featured ballhead . . . sorry, I get carried away. . .:-)

Welcome to the forum and the realm of LBA!


edit: BTW, your thinking seems to mirror mine when I first bought the DS -- I figured that I could cover the wide side with the DSLR, and use the Pannys for the long end. If you look up my past posts, you'll see that I work mostly at the extreme long end with my DSLRs and have a small fortune in fast tele primes and HQ TCs -- so much for that logic. . . I found that the IQ was astoundingly better with the DS, and the high ISO performance made even the slowish consumer zooms better for birds than the fast ultrazoom limited to low ISO. Of course, YMMV.
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Old Sep 13, 2007, 3:24 PM   #10
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Should I be concerned at all with buyingALL 3rd party lenses? Based on what I need, I could see one option as the Sig 10-20, Sig 17-70, and Sig or Tamron 70-300 for a good starter package and 10-300 range. I couldn't get all three at once, of course, so I guess I'd have to wait on the 10-20 most likely. Then I could buy primes later as I find real specific shooting lengths I like. Does this sound good?

Otherwise, I could go with the 18-55 kit and 14 prime since I know I'll use it for landscapes, and wait on the tele (using the fz7 in the meantime).

16-45 does have a nice price, but as snostorm mentioned, if I then went with 70-300, I'd have a gap. Guess I could make it up on foot if I had to.

btw, love the suggestions snostorm, but I should mention I'm a public school teacher. If I went after all (or even one quarter) of that stuff,I could only afford to take pictures at home. I need to save a bit for the travel part! But thanks for the sigma suggestions!

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