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Old Jan 24, 2007, 4:49 AM   #1
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I'm considering the K10D, and trying to figure out how it could cover the entire range of subjects that my FZ-7 handles now. A Sigma xxx-500mm zoom for the birds would come first. After that my budget is nearly empty. Aside from birds, I also take landscape photos, from wide angle to a bit zoomed, smaller-scale nature scenery such as meadows, and bog and forest interiors, and finally down to photos of individual plants, ferns, moss, rocks, etc.

If my budget was $350, or $250 plus the kit lens, what lens(es) would cover all this best? Is there one quality zoom that would cover it all with style, or would it definitely be better to use two lenses?

Another possibility would be to stick with the cheap kit lens and use the FZ-7 to fill in the gaps. Is there a better option for my money than the kit lens?

tia...
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Old Jan 24, 2007, 8:18 AM   #2
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Just my opinion, but for the money you can't beat the kit lens. Yes, there are better and faster lenses out there, but they all cost a whole lot more money. For what you pay for the kit lens, get it, then see what else you might want later on. That can cover you for wide angle landscapes (it isn't the fastest lens in the world but will be fine for outdoors).

Remember when you are looking at lenses and comparing it to your FZ-7, that there is the 1.5 multiplication factor. So the Sigma (people call it the Bigma) would be the same as a 750mm equivalent, and it's heavy. If you'll be carrying your camera around for day-to-day stuff, you might want a lighter lens with less zoom. I have the DA 50-200 which is light and quite a few people really like. Mine is OK, it's light and relatively inexpensive, but think I'm going to look at upgrading to one of Pentax's DA* lenses when they come out this year. It makes a good general walk-around lens when you want some zoom but are not birding.

Since you are talking about individual plans and ferns, it sounds like you might want to get either a fast 50mm lens (like an M version - the old manual lenses are much cheaper and the 1.7 is super sharp through its whole aperture range) and a set of extension tubes for macros (and to cover low light if you need to), or else a dedicatedmacro lens (something in the 100mm range - I havethe cheap Phoenix 100mm 3.5 lens that works quite well, though cheaply made). My experiment with a homemade extension tube wasn't the most successful - I find I do better with the Phoenix lens. The Phoenix does well with macro, is light and very inexpensive. You could buy one for not that much more than a set of auto extension tubes. And there's always the option to upgrade to a better lens over time.


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Old Jan 24, 2007, 8:55 AM   #3
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For birds you'll need something more than 200mm though.

I wouldn't pass up on the kitlens, it can do nearly everything.

Then for tele reach, for the birds, both Sigma and Tamron have a very good price/quality 70-300mm zoom out. The sigma 70-300 APO DG and the Tamron 70-300 LD Di

If you want something more, one of those big sigma's would be nice too...
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Old Jan 24, 2007, 12:28 PM   #4
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500mm would be a bare minimum for birds. I'm hoping it'd be slightly more powerful than the FZ-7's 736mm equiv. If I couldn't handle the 500mm it wouldn't make any sense to try a DSLR at all. I was thinking about stuffing 6 pounds into a PVC tube to try out the weight.

Would the kit lens really work well for landscapes, or would I find myself wanting something different?

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Old Jan 24, 2007, 1:17 PM   #5
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bkrownd wrote:
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500mm would be a bare minimum for birds. I'm hoping it'd be slightly more powerful than the FZ-7's 736mm equiv.
The Panasonic FZ-7 has a 35 - 430mm equivalent lens, not 736mm, see here: http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_reviews/fz7.html

it actually has a 6-72mm lens, but due to the smaller sensor size compared to 35mm film, you get a FOV (Field Of View) equal to that of a 35-430mm lens on a film camera.

DSLR's like the K10D have a similar "FOV crop factor", as the sensor is 1.5 times smaller than 35mm film. So for a 70-300mm lens you get a FOV of 105-450mm, so even slightly longer than your FZ-7 fully zoomed in

Although those big Sigma's are great lenses, they are expensive. And anything above 300mm will be very hard to handhold, so you'd need a tripod.

I tried handholding a 200mm lens with a 2x teleconverter today (so 600mm equivalent), and I couldn't hold the image still in the viewfinder to save my life...
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Old Jan 24, 2007, 1:43 PM   #6
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bkrownd wrote:
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Would the kit lens really work well for landscapes, or would I find myself wanting something different?
Definitly. 18mm is very wide already (compare it to ┬▒twice as wide as your FZ-7 when not zoomed in), and it gives nice sharp & colourful images.
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Old Jan 24, 2007, 1:45 PM   #7
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TDN wrote:
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The Panasonic FZ-7 has a 35 - 430mm equivalent lens, not 736mm,
432mm equiv. * 1.7x teleconverter = 734mm equiv. Even that isn't as much reach as you'd want for birds.
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Old Jan 24, 2007, 1:45 PM   #8
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When I'm doing a landscape/car trip or not hiking, I normally I keep the kit lens on one camera and a long tele on another camera (I have both the K10 and the K100). I actually slightly prefer the color on my kit lens to the DA 50-200 - does very well for landscapes.

If I'm wandering around with only one camera I usually taketwo lenses - a24mm 2.8 and a 50mm 1.7, because it is nice to have the lower light capability. They are both 25 year old prime lenses and very sharp. Their low light capability aren't particularly useful for landscapes though.

Here's a series of landscape pictures I took in November with several lenses (the kit lens, the DA 50-200 andan A*300). I think the kit lens holds its own quite well in this series: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...=80&page=1.

My suggestion for lenses in addition to the Bigma would be:

1. Kit lens
2. DA 50-200 (light-weight and sharp, walk-around lens for general use) - don't need the extra reach of the 70-300 lensesif you have the long Sigma.
3. Either an inexpensive macro lens like the Phoenix OR a 50mm 1.4 or 1.7 and a set of extension tubes. The latter gives you the advantage of having a fast, sharp prime for the occasional low-light situations. To save money you might consider a used manual 50mm 1.7, especially if you will be using it mostly for macro shots (don't really need AF for macro), and a less expensive set of extension tubes.

Later on you can decide if you want to add to this collection.
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Old Jan 24, 2007, 1:50 PM   #9
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previous reply edited, appearantly the forum deleted everything under a link I put at the bottom of the post...had to retype the whole thing


Like I mention there, don't forget you wont have the SR in the viewfinder like you have with the FZ7, + you'll be holding a heavy lens. Basicly you'll need a good tripod.

If you have one already, I'd consider a 400 or 500mm sigma too. They have some great glass.

Otherwise, you'll need to calculate another 100$ in for a decent tripod. (at least)
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Old Jan 24, 2007, 1:56 PM   #10
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Btw, that 350$, is that after getting the Sigma 500mm and K10D?

If so, you can already get some great lenses for that

Look on ebay for a fast 50mm, they're awesome. And if you don't mind using manual focus, it won't even cost you 50$.

The kitlens is too good to pass up for the few extra money if you ask me...
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