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Old Jul 15, 2010, 1:22 PM   #1
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Default Wide angle lens with some range

I've been away some while (had a studytrip to Boston, which was pretty awesome. I'll post some photo's soon. And also had some exams, which I all passed ) Anyways, I'm back!

Back with a new question

I'm looking to replace my 18-55 DAL kit lens for a somewhat wider lens, however I do like to have quite some zoom-range in it. Ideally it would be somewhere between 10-18 to 70 mm so it perfectly complements my 70-300.

What options are there available, if any, and what are the pros and cons of those lenses.

Looking forward to you expert advice.

Carlo
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 2:01 PM   #2
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is the pentax DA 17-70 f4 SDM - think its supposed to be a pretty good lens for the price - but barely any wider than what you already have

http://www.pentaxforums.com/lensrevi...Zoom-Lens.html
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 3:13 PM   #3
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I realize this doesn't meet your telephoto zoom requirement, but you can also see if you can find a leftover Pentax DA 16-45mm f/4. This lens just went out of production but can still be found in the $300 range. Used examples go for $200-$250. Very sharp at the wide end. Excellent color and contrast. Just a tad soft at 45mm. Bigger than the kit lens and a very good step up.

Also, Sigma offers two 17-70mm zooms:

Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro - This is available for under $400 and is a good deal because Pentax has stabilization in the camera body:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._DC_Macro.html

Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 OS HSM - This is a bit newer, feature optical stabilization and HSM focusing and is available for under $500:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._DC_Macro.html

Last edited by Biro; Jul 15, 2010 at 3:21 PM.
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 4:52 PM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions so far.
The sigma looks quite nice, however it's only 1mm wider (without adjusting for the cropfactor that is) than the kit lens. I was hoping to get just a bit wider than that.
Hmm maybe I should just look for a wide angle without that much range? However I hate taking too many lenses with me and needing to switch them often.
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 7:18 PM   #5
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your gonna struggle to be honest - about the widest lens you can get that has any kind of telephoto performance is the pentax DA* 16-50 f2.8

anything wider than 16 and dont expect to get a zoom to much past 24

if your not concerned with perhaps optimal image quality and would rather get the wide angle without having to take your lens on and off the camera and saving some weight - you could look at some wide angle converters that screw onto front of your lens - never tried one personally though did consider it for a fisheye effect since i dont want to pay excessively for something i would only want in rare circumstances - but descided against in the end - can live without fisheye until i can afford the geniune article

so the 12-24mm combined with a 24-70mm would be a good route for you to consider if you dont want overalpping lenses
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 11:28 PM   #6
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John is right, there really isn't anything out there wider than 16mm without going to an ultra wide-angle zoom. But three of those come to mind:

First, is the very highly regarded Pentax 12-24mm f/4 ED AL (IF). An excellent lens but big and heavy. Runs about $700:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...mm_f_4_ED.html

If that's too much money, Sigma offers two different 10-20mm ultra-wides:

The first is the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM which offers HSM focusing and a constant aperture that's brighter than the Pentax. But it costs only about $50 less than the Pentax:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...3_5_EX_DC.html

Second is the less-expensive Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC which doesn't offer HSM focusing and, of course, doesn't offer as bright an aperture as the Pentax and the first Sigma. But it's less than $500 and has lots of fans. This lens is pretty much the top choice of most Pentaxians when they can't spring for the Pentax 12-24:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...5_6_EX_DC.html

And then there's the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II which, frankly, doesn't enjoy as good a reputation as the Pentax and Sigmas. However, one still can't call this lens junk and I've seen plenty of beautiful photographs taken with it. On the upside, it's aperture is f/3.5 at 10mm (as fast as the better Sigma and faster than the Pentax) and f/4.5 at 24mm (faster than the cheaper Sigma and only slightly slower than the Pentax). It's zoom range is the biggest of all of these - a very wide 10mm all the way to 24mm (the same as the Pentax at the long end), which means you might not have to change lenses as often. The best part is the price. $449 after a $50 mail-in rebate:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...10_24mm_f.html

Of course, you can also think about fixed focal-length primes - Pentax makes a 15mm f/4 and a 14mm f/2.8. But they're not cheap (the 14mm is substantially more money than the 15mm). I suggest you drop by a camera store and see for yourself (thought a camera viewfinder) the difference between 16mm and 18mm. While not dramatic, it's more noticeable than you might think.

Last edited by Biro; Jul 15, 2010 at 11:37 PM.
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Old Jul 16, 2010, 1:06 PM   #7
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Thank you for the nice tips, I've been doing some research and I seem to be ending with, like you mentioned, either the sigma 10-20 (cheap and expensive one) or the pentax 12-24.
Even though the sigma 10-20 4-5.6 is considered cheap it's still quite some money for me and would be the most expensive lens I ever bought, almost more expensive than my kx body. I hope I dare to take that step (and my girlfriend let me )
I've seen beautiful results withe some wide angle lenses and especially since I'm going to Brasil next month I might crave for a wide angel even more (A)
One other question about the sigma 10-20 4-5.6: how is the travel-ability of the lens. I see it's got a 77mm filter however it's not extremely big or heavy right? So it would be perfectly doable to carry it around all day together with a 18-55 lightweight and a 70-300. I prefer small bags and lightweight who doesn't

thanks a lot

Carlo
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Old Jul 16, 2010, 4:00 PM   #8
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JC... the cheaper Sigma 10-20 weighs almost exactly one pound - or 16 ounces/465 grams. I urge you to check out these two links to learn some more:

http://www.pentaxforums.com/userrevi...uct=314&cat=74

http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/p...20mm-club.html

These links take you to another Web site - Pentax Forums - which is worth joining. Along with Steve's Digicams, you should be set.
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Old Jul 16, 2010, 4:19 PM   #9
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Thanks for the links Biro,

there are some great photos and helpful user reviews on there.
Hopefully I can test the lens at a camera store nearby to see whether it's as much fun as I believe and hopefully convince my girlfriend it is worth the money ( she thinks I'm nuts wanting to buy all kinds of expensive gadgets the ipad is coming up next week)

Cheers!
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Old Jul 16, 2010, 4:50 PM   #10
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i'll just jump in again and say - yes there are lenses out there that cost way way WAY more than your kx (or the k7 for that matter) - but glass lasts - buy a good lens now and in 10 years it will still be a good lens - your camera body on the other hand.......... =)
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