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Old May 3, 2010, 12:09 PM   #1
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Default Is it necessary to buy a new lens?

Again I'm asking for your opinion.
For those who don't know already .. I am a beginning dslr user and I've enjoyed my pentax k-x for almost 2 months now. I bought the camera with the 18-55 and the 50-200 kit lens which I get to know and use better and better. In addition I bought a secondhand smc m 50mm 1.7 together with a teleconverter and some macro rings to play around a little with macro (which I really enjoy). After that I bought a budget but quite decent tripod, the cullmann nanomax 260.

The thing is... I'm wondering whether I should/want to buy another lens with a bit more length. I've been thinking about the tamron 70-300 and the sigma 70-300 apo. Both have reasonable quality for budget lenses (I am on a rather tight budget). But I'm afraid that I, either would only use the tamron/sigma or still only use the 50-200 kit lens for telephoto's.. so either way one lens would more or less not be used anymore which is quite a waste.
On a side note.. the sigma/tamron has a macro option 1:2 which might make it even more probable I will not use the 50-200 without macro function that often anymore.

I'm guessing your answer will be somewhere along the lines of: save money for a really good (prime) lens.. or take more time to get to know the lenses you now have..

Anyway I would still love to hear your opinions.

Take care,

Carlo
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Old May 3, 2010, 2:16 PM   #2
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It sounds like you have two ways to approach this - you can either buy the Tamron (which from things I've seen posted is a bit better than the Sigma) and plan on selling the 50-200 since you are right - you probably wouldn't use it much (though its quite a bit lighter and smaller than the Tamron so you might hang onto it for when you don't want to drag a big lens along).

Another way of doing it depends on what you think about manual focus. If you aren't finding manual focus with your M 50mm 1.7 a problem, think about getting another used lens - either the M* or A*300 lens. They would both be more expensive than the Tamron but probably half the price of the DA*300, and they wouldn't make your 50-200 redundant. You don't get any macro capability like you would with the Tamron (the A*300's minimum focusing distance is something like 13 feet). And you run the risk of getting addicted to top quality lenses, which could make you less satisfied with the 50-200. And you'd have to wait until one of them comes on the used market (they tend to be lenses that people hang onto). But it doesn't sound like you are in a great rush so it might be a good solution for you.

Unless you are planning on getting a 1:1 macro soon, the Tamron would make more sense for you. But there's just something about the A*300 that is quite irresistible, it's quite a lens.
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Old May 3, 2010, 3:57 PM   #3
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Thank you for your reply,
I'm not interested in 1:1 macro per se (since, when I get really addicted to macro I'm better off buying a dedicated macro lens) so probably I would rather have the M* or A* 300 lens then which would be an addition to my lens set in stead of a replacement.
Sounds good
However I do need to improve my manual focusing to be able to take advantage of the lens when e.g. taking pictures of wild animals (I find it relatively easy to manual focus on a still image like a portrait).
But I will definitely look for some used *300 lenses... you never know.. maybe I get lucky
(edit: what would be a reasonable price for either the m* or the a* 300 lenses?)
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Old May 3, 2010, 6:40 PM   #4
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Carlo,
You are running parallel to where I have come from, although my first dSLR was the K100D that I bought with the DA 18-55mm and DA 50-200mm kit lenses. My next purchase was a used SMC-A 50mm f2. Then the Tamron 70-300mm.

Comparing the Tamron 70-300mm to the Pentax DA 50-200mm, I would say that my DA 50-200mm gets very little use compared to the Tamron 70-300. However, I think the overall IQ of the DA 50-200mm is a little better. It's the reach of the Tamron that wins out. The Tamron is as sharp but looses some of that at 300mm. The DA 50-200 of course does not have macro capabilities. Where the Pentax DA 50-200 is better is in controlling CA in high contrast situations.

Had I to do over, I think I would take Harriet's advice, since the majority of my shots with the Tamron are at the 300mm end, so might as well just get a 300mm prime. And I asked the same question back then and Harriet gave the same advice. Wise lady.

I struggled also with manual focus using the SMC-A 50mm f2. However I recently aquired an SMC-A 35-105mm f3.5 which is far easier to manual focus.

Another option: I just picked up a Tamron 18-250mm Di II. Although not quite the reach of the 70-300mm it seems sharper to me and covers what the 2 kit lenses does. I don't have enough experience with it yet to comment on control of CA.

Just a footnote: as you can probably sense already, if anyone on this forum tells you to wait and gain more experience before buying more lenses, most do not practice what they preach. We all suffer from LBA to some degree. After the SMC-A 50mm f2, I decided I needed a faster 50mm with Auto focus so I bought an FA 50mm f1.4. I won't give it up, but seldom use it. Then I decided I needed a faster normal zoom and after good advice from Daniel I bought a Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 - it's a great lens. My wife asked "how many lenses can you put on one camera?" Good point, I need more cameras, so I bought a K20D. And so it goes. Come to think of it, I need a larger bag.


Jim
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Old May 3, 2010, 7:03 PM   #5
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Carlo,



Just a footnote: as you can probably sense already, if anyone on this forum tells you to wait and gain more experience before buying more lenses, most do not practice what they preach. We all suffer from LBA to some degree. After the SMC-A 50mm f2, I decided I needed a faster 50mm with Auto focus so I bought an FA 50mm f1.4. I won't give it up, but seldom use it. Then I decided I needed a faster normal zoom and after good advice from Daniel I bought a Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 - it's a great lens. My wife asked "how many lenses can you put on one camera?" Good point, I need more cameras, so I bought a K20D. And so it goes. Come to think of it, I need a larger bag.


Jim
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Old May 3, 2010, 7:31 PM   #6
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I would trade in the 55-200 and get a 55-300 to avoid the redundant range if you can;
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Old May 3, 2010, 7:35 PM   #7
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'My wife asked "how many lenses can you put on one camera?" Good point, I need more cameras'


absolutely hilarious !!!!!!
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Old May 3, 2010, 7:51 PM   #8
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If i could take it all back, I'd buy a decent mid ranged zoom for walk around (like my 28-200 and get primes for the rest.

Currently I've got over 12 zoom lenses and I dont use em. Ill stick my tammy on if im goin somewhere unsure of what to shoot and dont wanna bring a bag but otherwise Im packin a 200mm prime and my 'wide' lens and macro

I wouldnt buy another lens for more range unless youre positive its a range you're really gonna use. I bought the sigma 70-300 because I thought my tamron wasnt enough reach at 200mm. Now the most used lens I have is a 200mm 2.8 prime and very seldom do I wish I brought something else along. (now i dont use my sigma either)

In the rare case the 200mm isnt enough, I bust out the 300mm F4


Now that Im getting back into photography again, I honestly could say theres three lenses I could drop down to if I had to, the 18-55 (only untill I replace with a better super wide angle) 90-230 vivitar macro (4 stage macro lens so perfect for flowers and super tiny insects) and carl zeiss 2.8 200mm

This leaves like 19 other lenses on standby mode and severe waste of cash

IMO prime is the way to go, itd take a super expensive zoom to rival a mediocre prime and unless you know that magical focal range you're great with and use regularly its really hard to buy a keeper lens when theres so many options out there.

So you like the 55-200 but the 70-300 might just make you realize youve got the reach but you'll want something a little sharper at that 300 range and end up replacing it anyways.

Harriet's advice is dead on I believe, if I could take it all back, I coulda got one of the 300 DA* lenses instead of a box full of toys collecting dust.
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Old May 3, 2010, 9:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NMRecording View Post
'My wife asked "how many lenses can you put on one camera?" Good point, I need more cameras'


absolutely hilarious !!!!!!
Does this justify my buying a K-x to go with my K100, K10, K20, and K-7?

I would suggest one of two paths....get the Tamron 70-300 and sell the 50-200....or wait till you're more sure of your need for a longer lens.

As a birder, I love long lenses. The Tamron 70-300, which is use frequently, is my mid-range zoom. The Pentax 50-200 serves much the same function.

I can understand the attractiveness of the *300 lenses, but I prefer the Sigma 50-500mm zoom for my long lens, simply because of the extra 200mm in reach.

It all boils down to your shooting priorities.

Paul
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Old May 3, 2010, 9:25 PM   #10
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Yes, the K-x is a great low light camera. I just did a comparison of it to my T1i from 3200-12800. I wish the k-x was mine, not my brothers . And matching it up with some fast primes and DA* lenses would make it a heck of a all around camera.
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