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Old Jan 29, 2008, 5:35 AM   #1
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Hello,
I like using my P-A 50/1.7 and it really gives me great pictures, hands down... but there are those situations where you'd like to have a wider lense or a tad more tele.

I am not talking about 8mm fisheye, nor 300+ mm ultra-tele, just a tad to give more room for composition.

My problem: I am doing a lot of low light/available light shots and am looking for a lense that produces good / sharp / detailed pictures wide open or close to wide open. As for the P-A 50/1.7 I usually get good results up from 2.0

What do you think would be a good addition to my lenses? I could either go with a zoom lense (17-70, 24/28-60/70, whatever) or choose 2 other prime lenses, maybe one around the 24-30mm or a little less and the other between 70 and 110mm roughly. Aperture should come down to 2.0 or the like (1.8, 1.9 all fine, 2.8 *might* work if pictures would be tack sharp wide open, but I doubt that)

I am looking for A or F lenses, am fine to focus by hand, but fully MF is too much hassle in most situations. Older lenses are fine.

What are your recomendations? I am planning to spend 200-300 EUR, not more (atm... if there is nothing in reach, I'' have to wait)

Thanks in advance.


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Old Jan 29, 2008, 1:39 PM   #2
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You ask a little too much. You can choose between low cost:
  • A 35-70 f4 is a fine little lens, very priceworthy or one of it's autofocus varieties[/*]
  • A28 mm f2.8 or F28 mm 2.8
[/*]

and
  • A/F/FA 135 mm 2.8 not that cheap, but within your price range
[/*]
or fast lenses, probably required for the type of shooting you describe
  • FA 35 mm f2.0 ~ 200–300 EUR, a very, very priceworthy little marvel[/*]
  • A*/FA* 85 mm 800–1000 EUR, amongst the best you can find, but priceworthy?
[/*]

and of course
  • the Limiteds series 31/43/77 mm, still in production, can be bought new or just as expensive on the used market
[/*]
and lastly you have the expensive but not that fast zooms
  • FA* 28–70 f2.8[/*]
  • FA* 80–200 f2.8
[/*]
If I were you I'd buy the FA 35 mm f2.0 now and save up money for a Limited 77 f1.8 for later.

As I'm a die-hard Pentax loyalist I can't comment on lenses from other manufacturers. Maybe there are some real good alternatives.

Kjell


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Old Jan 29, 2008, 2:10 PM   #3
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fa28-70/4 is very good and rated as good as it's big brother the *28-70/2.8and the
28-105 mm f/3.2-4.5 for modern lenses. also seen some great shots from the 18-250..

one of the best ever made is the A35-105/3.5 but it's manual focus..
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Old Jan 29, 2008, 2:11 PM   #4
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from the results of nikon/canon versions, I would consider the tamron 17-50 2.8 ( coming in march for pentax ) or the tamron 28-75 2.8 ( already available and slightly cheaper and heavier being full frame ).
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Old Jan 29, 2008, 5:21 PM   #5
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Hi thkn,

I have the Tam 28-75 f 2.8 XR Di. . . -- bought it with my DS, and have never regretted it. Other than the teles, it's my most used lens, and the first lens I grab when I'm going to shoot people. Highly recommended.

Scott
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Old Jan 29, 2008, 6:09 PM   #6
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Yes, like scott says, I'd go for either a:

Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 (250-300 euros) - very good quality, compact and a little more tele.

Sigma 24-60/70mm f2.8 (about 300 euros) - also good quality, with a little more wide-angle (this actually makes a difference vs. 28mm!) but the 70mm is on the bulky side...

Sigma 28-70mm f2.8 (can be found under 200 euros) - I have the first version (EX Aspherical) of this lens, and I like it. + it only cost me 190 euros used.

Tom
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Old Jan 29, 2008, 6:45 PM   #7
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TDN wrote:
Quote:
Yes, like scott says, I'd go for either a:

Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 (250-300 euros) - very good quality, compact and a little more tele.

Sigma 24-60/70mm f2.8 (about 300 euros) - also good quality, with a little more wide-angle (this actually makes a difference vs. 28mm!) but the 70mm is on the bulky side...

Sigma 28-70mm f2.8 (can be found under 200 euros) - I have the first version (EX Aspherical) of this lens, and I like it. + it only cost me 190 euros used.

Tom
I can add one more
SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II (Model A16) which is available in Japan in early March. Likely it should ship to N Am in late March.

Daniel
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Old Jan 31, 2008, 9:14 AM   #8
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Thanks for your advices,
how do these lenses perform (nearly) wide open?

@bilybianca
yes - the 28/2.8 + something else is one possible choice, but I checked Stan's and from the 135/2.8 lenses only the FA ones get a recommendation...

I was hoping for something like the 100/2.8 Macro in A or F ... but way too expensive atm.

35/2.0 sounds phantastic, be it A or FA, will keep my eyes open, but am on a budget :sad:

@robar
Thanks for the A 35-105 hint - never took that lense into consideration, but saw that Stans says good things about it too! Manual focus is fine as long as auto aperture works

@snowstorm and TDN
Yes... these non-pentax lenses look promising, but what I don't know is the image quality wide open... I think at f=3.5 or so they are all ok - but I am using f=2-2,5 a lot with my A 50/1.7 and getting great results... so I think I'd use a f/2.8 lense 60%+ of the time at f/2.8... any info's for that kind of usage would be appreciated.

@All
Any recommendations on non-Pentax primes, like Sigma f1.8 wide lenses etc?

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Old Jan 31, 2008, 12:21 PM   #9
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Thkn,

All the images in this post (click) were taken with the Sigma 28-70mm EX Aspherical (click on the images to see larger versions). This is the oldest EX lens in this range, so you can expect newer versions to be even better.

See the EXIF with Exif Viewer for firefox

At a concert: http://tdn9.be/?p=217 and http://tdn9.be/?p=210

[align=center]This one's an excellent example of how sharp it can be at f2.8, 70mm:


[/align]
[align=center]This one's at f2.8 , 28mm:
[/align]
[align=center]
[/align]

[align=center]A portrait at f3.5, vignetting and softness added in PP:
[/align]
[align=center]
[/align]

I really like my copy of this lens. For the 190 euros I paid for it, it's great value. It's become my main lens to take with me on assignments as a reporter.

Hope this helped.

Tom

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Old Feb 1, 2008, 6:39 AM   #10
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@TDN
Thanks for posting these shots, I had a quick go with the guitar guy and found it to be quite detailed and sharp - it responded very well to different sharpening methods so to my mind you either were lucky in getting a high quality lense or the people saying that those lenses wide open are blurry/smooth (which wouldn't be such a problem)/have low resolution just ask for way too much.

OK - good. Will try to concentrate on a FA 35/2.0 or a 28-70/2.8 (or something in that range) first.

Happy snapping!
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