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Old May 10, 2010, 6:44 AM   #21
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Haha... I wouldn't call it sick... I would rather call you a man with a mission... or a man with a passion

I guess it's time for me to finish my studies and earn some bags of $$$ so I could pursue the shared dream of getting all those lovely looking lenses
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Old May 10, 2010, 11:30 PM   #22
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If you ask a self-selected sample of people what lens you should buy, you'll receive opinions colored by emotional and financial involvement, as well as experience. The 18-250 is the only walkaround lens you need! No, you MUST have the monstrous 50-500! No, without the 12-24, life isn't worth living! No, throw away all those decadent zooms, you MUST use purified metal-body primes ONLY! And yada yada yada.

Ask yourself: Where am I going (what do I want to do)? What will get me there (what gear will make it happen)? What will make me happy (what can I afford)?

If you NEED a long lens, get a long lens. Remember that long lenses are tricky. If you NEED an ultrawide, get an ultrawide. Remember that it's best in small close spaces. If you NEED a general-purpose fast AF portrait-macro-tele prime, get one. Remember that for macro and portrait work, automation is not your friend. And you can never have too many ultra-fast lenses, eh?

My recommendation: shoot what you have. The best lens is the lens you use. Study your lenses carefully. Learn their strengths and weaknesses. Note which focal lengths you're most likely to shoot. What do you want to do that you can't do with what you have? Then you'll have a better idea of what further lens(es) to acquire.

After shooting your AF zooms for a year or so, you might start thinking about old cheap manual primes. I love them. I can afford them! Besides the 10-17 and 18-250 that were my first dSLR lenses, my ideal prime kit might include: 14/2.8; 24/2; 35/2; 50/1.2; 85/1.5; 135/2; 200/2.8. That's my ideal. What I carry now are all slightly slower, but close enough for most work; and sometimes, slower means sharper.

Oh yeah, macro. The expensive way is with a new super-duper macro lens. The cost-effective ways are:

* a mount reversal ring ( <US$10 ), so your prime lens is ass-backwards for close sharp work.
* macro tubes ( <US$10 ), which give you great image quality and some flexibility of magnification.
* a thread reversal ring (or just gaffer's tape) to 'stack' a reversed lens onto your primary, for HUGE magnification.
* an old cheap manual lens like my US$3 M42 Vivitar 90/2.8 macro -- but I was lucky.

You want opinions? I can give you opinions at no cost, and they're worth every centavo. But I think it's better for you to decide what and how you want to shoot, and what lenses you really need, if any. Good luck!
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Old May 11, 2010, 8:28 AM   #23
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Thank you Rico,
I'm happy to get all the opinions and experiences I can get. This makes me a better informed photographer and will hopefully help me to not buy I lens which is not worth the money e.g. compared to another lens. And also it helps me to get more aware of what is out there wrt old, new, used lenses etc.

It is hard for me to know what I really need and want. Ideally I should try a certain lens for about 2 weeks and then make a decision. Unfortunately I do not know any pentax users who live nearby.

Anyway.. it's hard to decide what (not) to get... especially when you're on a budget.
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Old May 11, 2010, 10:50 PM   #24
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I've only bought lenses when I've felt a real need for it (or a thirst/desire that just won't go away). If you aren't sure what you want beyond macro, don't get anything except something to do macro with. Later on if you feel a need for something wider than what you have or longer or (fill in the blank) then buy a lens to fill that particular need. If you aren't feeling a need (or thirst) for a lens, then don't buy anything. Enjoy what you have. I admit I have bought two lenses that I didn't really have a huge need for, but boy did I have a thirst for (one that I fought for at least a year in one case, kept trying to talk myself out of it).
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Old May 24, 2010, 5:09 AM   #25
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I finally made up my mind..
Yesterday I went to a camera store to buy either the DA 55-300 or the Tamron 70-300.
I eventually got the tammy.. even though the 55-300 seems to perform better (@200-300).. the Tamron was about $200 cheaper.. plus the tamron has a macro function and an aperture ring so I could use my teleconverter and my extension tubes. I must say a wonderful lens especially for the money... and very fun to play around with the teleconverter and the tubes.
Only downside so far is the purple fringing.. but I knew that in advance. But hey... there's nothing a little pp can't do

Will post some pictures shortly

Carlo
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Old May 24, 2010, 3:19 PM   #26
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Congratulations - the agonizing is over, and you recognize you made the right choice at this time. A relatively inexpensive lens of this quality is a good way to start with serious close-up photography. I have "better" lenses, but I often seem to fall back on his one - for a walk-about lens the flexibility of having a macro zoom range of 180 - 300mm is unbeatable for keeping you far enough back from your subject to avoid compromising the shot by getting too close. You could buy a 180 and add a TC and/or tubes, but how many opportunities would you lose while you fumble with changing gear? And where else would you find a 300mm 1:2 macro? Seems like a no-brainer to me. After you have done a fair amount of work with this lens, you may find you want to "move up" to more sophisticated and specialized equipment for certain types of work, but the time spent with this lens will have been worth the while, and you will still have it reserve when you need it for more general use. The temptation to reach for still more magnification is great, but just remember the more stuff you pile on the lens, the more DOF you will lose, the closer it brings you to the subject, and you have lost the advantage of the long working distance.
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Old May 24, 2010, 10:35 PM   #27
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I think youll be happy with the tamron. Cant wait to see you post some pics with it. Very true about the DOF Penolta. Very small dof i like sometimes for effect but found the stacking was tiresome in a long day of macro shooting with tubes. I use a magnification enhancing ring onthe end of my vivitar 90-220 macro when needed, which is already great magnification on the cropped sensor. Youll have fun with the tammys macro.
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Old May 25, 2010, 6:36 AM   #28
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Thank you both penolta and nm.
I already posted one macro picture in the macro shootout topic (5th page or something)
NM the magnification enhancing ring you mentioned.. is that something like a sigma achromatic lens? Or perhaps a raynox 150 or 250? I'm thinking of getting something like that to get more magnification but keep the DOF.
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Old May 25, 2010, 10:24 PM   #29
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yes, I am using a cheap Zeikos. I can not remember the exact magnification but it is enough! I was worried about the IQ and was hesitant to use at first but Im it looks fine on my k20, even handheld. Ive seen nice shots with the raynox but never tried them, if its anything like my Zeikos its definitely usable. I wouldnt reccomend buying one used, theyre cheap enough to get New in box and unsmudged glass

Last edited by NMRecording; May 25, 2010 at 10:26 PM.
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