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Old Dec 31, 2007, 12:38 AM   #1
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I am trying to decide which lenses will be best for me, and I thought I might get some good suggestions here. I have a *ist DL, the 18-55 lens, a 50mm 1.7, and a sigma 75-300. I will be traveling to Europe this spring and would like to get a good and versatile setup before going. So far, I have considered selling the 18-55 and 75-300 and getting a sigma 17-70 and 70-300, or keeping what I have and adding a sigma 24-135, or getting something like 18-250 (not sure what the FL's are, but I think Tamronmakes one, probably others too). I find that I like to use wide apertures, so having the f2.8 on the 17-70 and the 24-135 is a plus. I don't know which focal lengths I will want most, I was kind of hoping the experience of this forum could help me with some suggestions. While I'd like good quality, I need to balance it with cost, and as I'm not a professional... My budget is probably somewhere in the $500 range.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Dec 31, 2007, 2:46 AM   #2
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I think you have come to the wrong place.

The general advice here would be to buy the lot, and then starrt serious Lens Bying Addiction (LBA) :lol:

Seriously it does depend on what you want to photograph.

The 50mm would be the first in the camera bag. It should be sharp and good in indifferent lighting conditions.

Many users here like the 18-55 and it does provide that felixible wide angle for scenery and street scapes.

My camera came with a Sigma 18-125 insted of the Pentax lens and it is a good lens for for general work. I still carry a fast 50mm prime as well for more serious scenes.

I usually leave my larger zooms at home (includes a sigma 75-300) unless shooting sports.

If I feel that I may need a longer focal length I would carry my Vivitar Series 1 200mm f3 prime.

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Old Dec 31, 2007, 10:28 PM   #3
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Hi SRT, I am in somewhat the same situation. As Philneast said, the 50mm is an easy selection. The 18-55 is (at least my copy) a very good lens - beter than my copy of the 16-45. I have no idea about Sigma at all. However, given your budget, to convert from what you have now, to a f2.8 baseline, would probably be more than $500.

You can see that I was asking somewhat the same question (a few posts below yours), and from a lot of reading, but no comparisons, the 18-250, most refer to it as a jack of all trade lens that does nothing very well, so I am thinking of just keeping the 2 lens set similiar to yours (unless someone can come up with a good comparison indicating its at least as good as the 18-55 kit and the 50-200 combination). Tameron has one and Pentax just announced one as well.

For low light situations, you can always increase the ISO speed so that the shutter speed will not be really slow. On the wide end, you can always stitch several images together into a panorama.

If your really looking for another lens, within your $500 budget, and you said that you like the wide end of things - Sigma has a 10-20 (its f4-5.6) that people report as very good, and its street price is around $450.

That's just my thoughts....

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Old Dec 31, 2007, 11:35 PM   #4
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You'll get all kinds of answers here, probably as many different answers as there are people who answer.

I just got back from spending a week in Tucson playing tourist. It wasn't the same thing as going to Europe, since we drove and weight wasn't that much of an issue. But having said that, the only lens I took that I did NOT use was the 50mm 1.7.

I mostly used a manual 24mm 2.8 for almost all interior photography (a mission, museumand a missile silo), and the kit lens (interiors with flash, at Old Tucson,and at the Pima Air and Space Museum). I used the DA*50-135 at Tombstone, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, hikingand at Bisbee. I only used the A*300 and the Viv 105 macro at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and the one hike we did.

I've never used the Sigma lenses, but in your shoes, I'd be really interested in the 17-70. It's f2.8-4.5 and does 1:2.3, which would be good enough of a macro for flowers, and plants. It would be limited when it comes to European bugs, but how likely are you to want to practice macro photography on a European trip? It would replace my old 24mm f2.8 and kit lens, both of which I used a lot. The Sigma is also lighter than the DA*16-50, another possibility (faster throughout the focal range but heavier and a lot more expensive).

The only reason why I might not go with the Tamron/Pentax 18-250 would be the fact that the lens is slow, otherwise it would be a good choice. I was very grateful to have the extra speed of the 24mm 2.8. So assuming the Sigma 17-70 is a good quality lens (I don't haven't used it so don't know), I'd probably go with it and the Sigma 70-300 as my two primary lenses, then throw in the 50mm 1.7 in just because it is small and light and you might find yourself somewhere that you'd have to have the extra speed and the longer focal length wouldn't be too big of a disadvantage.
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Old Dec 31, 2007, 11:56 PM   #5
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something else to consider might be a tamron 28-75 f/2.8. this would give you a fast lens for general purposes and with it being a constant f/2.8 over the entire zoom range gives it a step up over the sigma 17-70 imho. take the kit lens for wide angle needs, the sigma for telephoto needs and have the 28-75 as your walk around lens. best of all superb quality at an affordable price, under your $500 budget.
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