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Tachikoma Aug 24, 2010 8:56 AM

Next lens purchase opinions
I'm off to Japan again end of October for a few weeks, and was thinking of buying the 2 week rail pass which is a couple of hundred quid. Thinking further, I realised I could just get the one week rail pass, get all the big travelling done in the first week and get a cheapy new lens.

As to which lens I am having problems, and would like some opinions.

I could get the Pentax WR 50-200 which would be very nice, I liked walking around Cardiff in the rain with my WR kit lens taking photo's, so something with more reach would be nice.

However, for the same(ish) price, I can get the Pentax 55-300, which is a better lens, and has more reach again, but isn't weather sealed.

Thinking at the other end of the spectrum, the 10-22 (Sigma or Tamron, forget which) seems like a nice purchase as well, at the moment only got the kit lens for wide angle shots, and will have lots of opportunity to take wider shots in Japan.

I currently have the older Pentax 28-105 Powerzoom (42-157.5 equivalent on the K-7) as a walkaround zoom which I picked up last time I was going to Japan. It's a nice lens, but it was battered pretty badly before I bought it, and now the zoom jams halfway every now and then. Also the filter mount was dented, so I can't add a filter (not that I really need to, but the option is nice for polarizing filters)

Would prefer faster lenses, but the budget is pretty tight (maybe 200-250), don't mind manual/adaptall/M42 lenses if I can get faster for the same price.

The whole thought process was to get a better walk around zoom, so I don't need to keep changing lenses. But the more I think about it, the more I think I might be better off getting better to replace the Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro (which I now want to get rid of) or just something to fill the gap I never thought I would want to fill.

I know there's a lot of walkaround zoom discussions here, but thought I would make a seperate thread to see if people think it's worth the upgrade or if I should go for the wider end that I currently lack.

Thanks in advance.

lesmore49 Aug 24, 2010 11:19 AM

I almost bought a Sigma 10-20 mm. From what I understand it's an excellent lens. Instead I bought a Pentax 12-24mm, pricier and a couple of mm less wide.

I would suggest you check out this Pentax my opinion, an excellent performer.

Tachikoma Aug 24, 2010 11:36 AM

Thanks lesmore!

Just had a look at prices, and it's 600 for the Pentax compared to about 350 for the Sigma... quite a difference...

I think I am more inclined to go for the wider end of the lens options now, just need to find the right one within my budget.

Will have a look on some of the H.K. import sites tonight, they are normally quite a bit cheaper, even allowing for potential import duties.

lesmore49 Aug 24, 2010 8:31 PM


Originally Posted by Tachikoma (Post 1133111)
Thanks lesmore!

Just had a look at prices, and it's 600 for the Pentax compared to about 350 for the Sigma... quite a difference...

I think I am more inclined to go for the wider end of the lens options now, just need to find the right one within my budget.

Will have a look on some of the H.K. import sites tonight, they are normally quite a bit cheaper, even allowing for potential import duties.

Whatever you super wide angle, you choose, I think you'll enjoy.

Here are some reviews from owners of the Sigma 10-20 F4 and the Tamron 10-24...F 3.5.

Hope they help with your decision.


Tachikoma Aug 25, 2010 4:51 AM

Thanks again, will give those a read!

thkn777 Aug 25, 2010 1:14 PM

Well... as I am somewhat looking for a wide angle lens myself, I might as well throw in my 2 cents.

- If you want just a little wider than the kit lens you MIGHT be able to get an older and decent lens (price, performance). Pro: (almost) no vignetting for a full format lens on your smaller dSLR sensor
- Anything less than 15mm calls for a "digital" lens imho
- as you said, that you are looking for a walkaround lens AND a fast/bright lens you are in the same boat as me and I am leaning towards the Tamron 10-24/3.5-4.5: you get a bit more reach on the tele end, a bit better magnification, it's a bit brighter. All these small bits add up as a "walkaround lens" is not asking for superb image quality in the first place. A jack-of-all-trades is a master-of-none to say so ;) - the mixture is the key to the fun here.

I am a bit jealous, that you'll get the chance to buy cheap, importing new stuff to Germany mostly results in the same prices as internet stores in EU countries offer... and that's more pricey than in the USA or asian countries... oh well. I guess, what I want to say is - don't miss that chance! :D

Good luck in getting a good copy of whatever lens you choose to buy!


P.S: If I had the cash and could buy new I'd use something like the Tammy 10-24/3.5-4.5 and the Tammy 28-75/2.8 for the wide end and street photography, maybe add in a 70-200/2.8 plus a good TC for the tele end. Around 1.300 EUR (~1.650 USD) for the three zoom lenses - but you'd cover quite some range. Of course other vendors give similar choices, but as you said price is a big factor so we are looking at the cheap end... Sigma, Pentax, Tokina etc. will be too expensive I guess.

The Pentax 50-200 WR is like 90 EUR cheaper than the Pentax 55-300 for me, but for the tele end I'd rather go for a faster lens or maybe a used Tokina 80-400 (can get deals at those with a bit of luck)

Tachikoma Aug 26, 2010 5:04 AM

Hi thkn

Yeah I am leaning more towards the Tamron as well, have scoured fleabay for some older lenses, but not found anything that took my fancy yet. I don't want to have to put 50 down on an old lens only to replace it a few months later. And like you said, the crop factor is going to be an issue when looking for an old, wider lens.

interested_observer Aug 26, 2010 7:11 AM

Based on the lenses that you have now and a possible replacement for your older Pentax 28-105, I would go with the 55-300. Its an excellent lens, very versatile, and not too large and heavy. Between this and your kit lens, that would cover just about everything with just the two.

I would not worry about WR too much, you probably are not going to be going out and swimming across the street. Just being careful should be ok. You can also get covers.

Wide angle - you can always stitch using the 18 end of your kit lens. A dedicated wide angle lens is usually not cheap. You can either go prime or zoom. As you have found there is the Pentax 12-24, the Sigma 10-20 and the Tameron 10-24. There is also the DA 15 and 14. Also the Zenitar 16/2.8 fish eye, that a number of folks have here and like. Its wide, fas and relatively inexpensive - and available in the Pentax mount.


RioRico Aug 26, 2010 1:16 PM

You want to buy a Japanese lens to take to Japan? Isn't that like coals to Newcastle? Aren't there shops in Japan where you can buy lenses for less than in Wales?

Weatherproofing: Wear a wide-brimmed hat, and keep a transparent plastic bag around the camera or get one of those rubber 'armour' kits that covers the lens mount.

I won't recommend lenses, other than to say that I'm quite happy with the DA10-17, DA18-250, and FA50/1.4 that were the first lens kit for my K20D. Many many lenses later (mostly cheap M42's) they're still what I use most, except that I use a Zenitar 16/2.8 instead of the 10-17 in lesser light, and I carry some primes comparable to what you already have (M28/2.8, Vivitar 90/2.8 macro). I don't know why you want to dump your Sigma (and I'm not familiar with it); I find that when traveling, my 18-250 stays on the camera most of the time, except for low-light or cramped or other special circumstance.

Tachikoma Aug 27, 2010 2:00 AM

Yeah it's kind of ironic, but the exchange rate doesn't work in my favour at the moment. There's huge camera shops in Japan like Bic Camera, and they stock the Tamron 10-24, but it works out nearly 100 more than buying it here.

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