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Old Jun 16, 2009, 10:44 PM   #1
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Default Significantly Different?

I need to get a lens for my camera (took back the Quantaray I was sold). I keep seeing "starter" options from Tamron and Sigma along with Pentax, with varying prices. However, while I feel that (maybe in error) the camera's maker would make the best starter lens to go a body, I hear good things about Tamron and the lower prices seem to be for them.

What I would like to know is, is there something about the Pentax kit lens (18-55mm I) and the 28-80mm offerings from Tamron and Sigma? What about with the 15-55mm I? The Pentax I vs. II? This could be the difference between paying $60, $90 or $119. BTW, all the lenses I've seriously considered have been brand new.

Opinions? Insight? Thanks in advance
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Old Jun 17, 2009, 1:31 AM   #2
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Good Evening, I think I can answer a few of your questions, but not all of them.

In terms of the the "starter" or "kit" lenses, here is a bit of history. Pentax (here in the US) supplied the DA 18-55mm version I lens with the all the camera bodies other than the K20D, which they updated the lens to version II. The difference between version I and II is that the K20D has a 14.6MP sensor and the resolution of the version I did not complement the sensor, hence the upgrade. If I remember correctly you have a K10D, which is a 10MP sensor and the version I would be just fine, which is the kit lens that Pentax shipped with the camera. With the new K7 body, Pentax is using their DA 18-55 WR lens which is new, as it is weather sealed to complement the K7 body which is also weather sealed.

In Australia for example, the company that imports Pentax there, handles Tamron lenses (if I remember right - or is it Sigma), so the kit lenses there are Tamron (or Sigma). Also, Tamron, Sigma and Tokina all produce very good lenses that fit on Pentax lens mounts (the K mount). I do not have any lens other than Pentax, so others will need to comment.

Going back to what you originally asked - Pentax and Tokina (both of which are owned by Hoya) co-designed and developed a set of lenses that Pentax uses - specifically the DA 10-17, 12-24, 16-50. Pentax has also rebadged a couple of Tamron lenses - the 18-200, I believe. Pentax lenses usually command a higher price than that of Sigma, Tamron and Tokina, etc.

The main difference between the Pentax kit lens (18-55) and the Tamron lens (28-80) is the focal length range. This depends upon your interest, more towards wide angle (towards the 18mm end), or more in the close up area (i.e., towards the 80mm range). If you are more interested in landscapes then the 18mm end would probably be more interesting - hence Pentax. If you are more interested in portraits and the like, then the 80mm range would me more helpful - then Tamron. If you do not know yet, then select the lower priced one - just my suggestion.

There is a bit of information that may help, some of which you asked for - some of which you didn't....

Hope it helps...
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Old Jun 17, 2009, 3:46 AM   #3
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Hi Ladyro,
Just for your info I bought my K10 from a major franchise and it came with the twin lens kit, sigma 18-55 & 55-200., I think the only options were the 18-55 or the 55-200 or the twin kit at the time.
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Old Jun 17, 2009, 3:52 AM   #4
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In Australia the wholesaler often has the Sigma 18-55 kit lens packaged with a Pentax body. If you are starting out I think the generally held view is that either the Pentax or Sigma kit lenses are good value. I have both brands and they are very similar except that the Pentax front lens doesn't rotate and makes using a Circular Polarizer filter easier. I suggest going for the cheapest available kit lens first and later adding quality lenses as you learn and figure out what would be most useful for you.
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Old Jun 17, 2009, 9:37 AM   #5
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Here is a suggestion. KEH.com is a very reputable retailer of used equipment. KEH is well known here on Steves, highly regarded, and well thought of. They have a number of Pentax lenses available. To start off, and hold you over until you really know what lenses you are interested in, they have some entry level lenses available.

http://www.keh.com/OnLineStore/Produ...&GBC=&GCC=&KW=

One in particular, a Pentax 28-80 F3.5-5.6 SMC FA J AL SILVER (58) DIGITAL SLR ZOOM WIDE ANGLE LENS for $27 is a full frame plastic lens, that is auto focusing. It is not the best lens in the world, but it will work just fine and its in excellent plus (EX+) condition, plus the price will not break the bank. It will work just find on you camera body. EX+ indicates "Excellent Plus" Exceptionally nice. May have slight wear on finish but visible only under close inspection. Glass very clean*.
Another for $29 - Pentax 28-90 F3.5-5.6 SMC FA SILVER (58) DIGITAL SLR ZOOM WIDE ANGLE LENS is in excellent condition and is an autofocusing lens also (note the FA).

They also have another lens for $13, but it is a manual focusing lens (no FA, just an F).

They are entry level lenses, that can get you started, will perform very well, but more importantly - will buy you time (for very little out of pocket cost), so that you will not feel rushed to find "something".

A couple of years ago, I found a Pentax FA J lens 75-300mm, just like the two above. Not the best in the world, but the price was right and it has been a very good lens, until I found what I really wanted, at the right price.

Just a suggestion....
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Old Jun 17, 2009, 10:05 AM   #6
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Does seem strange that only the 18-55mm needed an upgrade for the K20D

No mention of problems with any other lenses, old or new....
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Old Jun 17, 2009, 1:06 PM   #7
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Thanks for all your help! I decided to get the Pentax kit lens and was able to find a NIB Pentax 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL (I) lens from Abe's of Maine for $88.85 including overnight delivery. If I'd gone back to Ritz to get the same lens, it'd have been $99 before sales tax was added. So, I'm happy.

ETA: I will try to pick up an older MF macro lens and an older AF long lens, if the latter is possible. So, Keh may indeed come in handy at some time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by interested_observer View Post
Here is a suggestion. KEH.com is a very reputable retailer of used equipment. KEH is well known here on Steves, highly regarded, and well thought of. They have a number of Pentax lenses available. To start off, and hold you over until you really know what lenses you are interested in, they have some entry level lenses available.

http://www.keh.com/OnLineStore/Produ...&GBC=&GCC=&KW=

One in particular, a Pentax 28-80 F3.5-5.6 SMC FA J AL SILVER (58) DIGITAL SLR ZOOM WIDE ANGLE LENS for $27 is a full frame plastic lens, that is auto focusing. It is not the best lens in the world, but it will work just fine and its in excellent plus (EX+) condition, plus the price will not break the bank. It will work just find on you camera body. EX+ indicates "Excellent Plus" Exceptionally nice. May have slight wear on finish but visible only under close inspection. Glass very clean*.
Another for $29 - Pentax 28-90 F3.5-5.6 SMC FA SILVER (58) DIGITAL SLR ZOOM WIDE ANGLE LENS is in excellent condition and is an autofocusing lens also (note the FA).

They also have another lens for $13, but it is a manual focusing lens (no FA, just an F).

They are entry level lenses, that can get you started, will perform very well, but more importantly - will buy you time (for very little out of pocket cost), so that you will not feel rushed to find "something".

A couple of years ago, I found a Pentax FA J lens 75-300mm, just like the two above. Not the best in the world, but the price was right and it has been a very good lens, until I found what I really wanted, at the right price.

Just a suggestion....

Last edited by LadyRo; Jun 17, 2009 at 1:09 PM.
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Old Jun 17, 2009, 1:12 PM   #8
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I wondered about that, too. To "upgrade" one and not the others doesn't seem logical. At any rate, I decided to get version I 18-55mm kit lens. I'm not confident there is enough improvement to justify the extra money.

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Originally Posted by Dal1970 View Post
Does seem strange that only the 18-55mm needed an upgrade for the K20D

No mention of problems with any other lenses, old or new....
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Old Jun 17, 2009, 5:55 PM   #9
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ladyro,
i'd suggest getting the 18-250.. this will really give you an idea of what primes you want in the future and you'll be able to sell it for no loss or very little
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Old Jun 17, 2009, 9:56 PM   #10
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Hi Dal,

I was just repeating what I had read when the K20 came out with the version 2 of the kit lens. Since I did not have a K20 then, I just did not worry about that - however, here is what I have found on the web...

http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/p...ifference.html

http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/p...s-updates.html

Ver 2 is a different lens with a different set of optics. Since I have the 16-45 which is a better lens, I never really considered ver 1 vs. ver 2 or why. There is not a lot on the discussion between the two posted on the web, nor a lot of analysis as to why (as there is usually), so I don't know.

However almost 3 years ago now, I picked up the 16-45, because I wanted something wider and I did not want any vignetting (which is suppose to be better than either one or the Tamron or Sigma) (and Pentax had a large rebate on lenses). Since then, I have been saving and judiciously spending on the DA 10-17, along with the 12-24 and lastly the 55-300. My lens collection is complete and LBA cured.

I am using the kit lenses (18-55 and 50-200) on my k100, thinking about trying out some time lapse sequences (during vacation) and my main 4 on the K20 for everything else.
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