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Old Dec 19, 2006, 5:53 AM   #11
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OK - I have to bring that up again, after reading lots about lenses in the past days I think I can understand you with your advices way better than before now.

So that's dilemma I'm in (and all are in with the (d)SLR's).

- You can have lots of lenses (LBA=lens buying addiction?) with very good optics and very bright and fast and so on. That's nice.
- BUT you gave to carry around that whole bunch of expensive glass.
- on the other hand - it's like in the 12 networking truths: "fast, cheap and reliable: pick any two - you can't have all three at the same time". So you CAN build a bright and excellent lens, even zoom or super-zoom - but it will cost a fortune and weight a lot. *sigh*

Darnit. The problem is - I am not fixed in what I photograph! Sure - if I go out and KNOW it will be animals... far away, but good light. Heavy zoom, tripod, lunch box... fine.

Landscape? depending on wind (moving trees not good on long exposures) and composition more likely in the 1:1 range or a slight zoom for getting better details in a panorama. Hm.

Buildings? Architecture? Indoor? A fast wide lens with a bit zoom range would be nice...

Yeah... I hear you... but that's a huge and expensive bunch of glass!

I think I'll really have to look for a fast and bright all-purpose zoom starting with a good wide (18mm on kit lens is already nice, something in that range) and somewhat tele (a bit more than the 55mm of the kist lens). This and a good zoom (starting at about 50mm and going to 200mm+, maybe till 300mm or so) for the other situations.

Will do some further research on my choices - are there other vendors than Pentax, Sigma and Tamron you could point me at? I found Voigtlaender (http://www.voigtlaender.de) and Cosina as others so far...

To give you an idea - they sell a 28-210mm f/4.2-6.5 from Voigtlaender at ebay for 99,00 EUR: http://cgi.ebay.de/Voigtlaender-Pent...QQcmdZViewItem

Cosina tele lens 100-400mm for 129,90 EUR:

Also Voigtlaender/Cosina seem to have some nice other lenses like a 28-105mm F2.8-3.8 zoom, but it's not available for Pentax (at least I haven't found information on that).

So what other companies am I missing? Or is it really Pentax, Sigma, Tamron to choose from?

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Old Dec 19, 2006, 11:39 AM   #12
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Tokina makes lenses for Pentax as well - but not sure if they have a superzoom. Pentax made a 28-200 at one point, you can find it on ebay sometimes - I'm pretty sure its a rebranded something else.

If you really need the range, the 18-200s seem to be the best bet. If you are willing to go with 2 lenses, I would think the Pentax 18-55+50-200, or the Sigma 17-70+70-200/300 would be a good option

If you need fast glass - there is always the upcoming DA* lenses - 16-50, 50-135 and 60-250

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Old Dec 19, 2006, 12:56 PM   #13
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Here is a Tokina 100-300lens for sale, NZ110 is about US75.

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Old Dec 20, 2006, 12:35 AM   #14
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The Tamron 18-250 is very interesting but only coming out, and no one really knows what its image quality will look like. Expected price is around USD $600 last I heard, and no faster than the 18-200, so that last 50mm of zoom doesn't come cheap.

I have a long zoom digicam background, and my main two lenses are the Sigma 18-125 and the Pentax 50-200. I skipped the kit lens because I wanted more range. I really like shooting at 18mm---most digicams can't go that wide---and would choose an 18-200 over a 28-300. For birds and airplanes in flight, there's a need for 300mm+, but 18mm makes for really nice wide angle landscapes.

The Sigma combo (17-70 and 70-300) is the best two lens solution for image quality, but at USD $400+ and $800+ respectively, they are quite a strain on the wallet. The kit lens and the Pextax 50-200 is better than an 18-200 alone, and cheaper, and lighter, but you have to change lenses.

The 18-200s and the Pentax combo are both very common options, and the choice basically depends upon how willing & able you are to change lenses. Either would be within your budget and an excellent choice.
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Old Dec 20, 2006, 4:03 AM   #15
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Black Knight wrote:
I Know of a few people that use the Sigma 18-200 F3.5-4.6. However i cannot say if the lense is all that great.
I checked this lens out and compared it against the Tamron 18-200mm.

In short, the Sigma doesn't focus at all well beyond 135mm.

The Tamron is better and IMHO would suffice as a walk around lens. Check out the review here:

BUT, the Pentax 50-200mm knocks spots off both the Tamron andSimgma (obviously given my earlier comments).

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Old Dec 20, 2006, 9:29 AM   #16
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Where's the cheapest and most reliable place to get the pentax 50-200mm lens online? before the rebate.
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Old Dec 20, 2006, 10:07 AM   #17
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I think Adorama@ $219 before rebate is about as well as you'll do. B&H (bhphotovideo) is $10 higher. If you find a price much lower than that, I would check the seller at a site like resellerratings before buying.

FWIW, I think a solution using 2 small and light lenses is handier that one large, heavy lens. There are a lot of situations where you'll know you only need one of the two light lenses. Pretty hard to break that one big one in half .

Both edits for grammar. I sometimes faster think than write I.:?
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Old Dec 20, 2006, 12:21 PM   #18
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Thanks for the test shots and many thanks for the recommendations! If the difference in image quality is that huge I really think a 2-lens solution is worth the effort when you can tell in most cases in advance what range you'll need.

Anyone knows something about the Voigtlaender lens I linked?

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Old Apr 25, 2007, 4:29 PM   #19
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This Voigtlander lens being sold in Germany looks identical to Vivitar Series One being sold in the US. In addition, both have the same range and speed and both are made by Cosina. Kameta Camera is selling these on e-bay for $99. According to the tests I've seen these lenses (at least, the Vivitar) have pretty mediocre image quality.
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Old Apr 25, 2007, 6:38 PM   #20
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pentax 50-200 destroys them
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