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Old Jun 24, 2012, 10:31 PM   #1
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Default Looking For New Lens For K-5

First of all I own the Pentax K-5 with a Sigma 18-250mm 3.5-6.3 and a Pentax 50mm 1.4. I need another zoom type lens for use in weddings, dances and other low light shoot enviorments - Looking to use it mainly for weddings and other low light people/group shots for newspaper gigs (chamber gatherings, parties etc).

I also have found that my 50mm 1.4 doesn't have great focus on my K-5 and I am getting out of focus images which can be corrected by stopping down to 3.5 or higher number App. When I shoot at 1.4/1.8/2.8 they seem to be very soft and mostly out of focus. Even worse if I use flash.

I noticed Pentax has SMCP-DA 16-50 f/2.8 for over $1,400. I then noticed that Tamron has an SP AF 17-50mm f 2.8 XR Di II LD for Pentax DA Mount for $500.

I am a little concerned that 50mm on the long end may not be enough for general wedding photography inside churches and dance-reception shots. Need to make sure its long enough that I can zoom in and get the kiss etc. I need a good lens that I can slap on the K-5 body for the wedding ceremony and get a good range of shots through the ceremony without spending my time changing lenses. I see that their is also a Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 available that will mount to the K-5.

Can't really afford to get a 70-200 f/2.8 or a second K-5 to have 2 lenses mounted, nor can I see myself within a years time being able to afford to do that. Whatever the best option is I basically have less than $1000 to do whatever with and that amount won't go up by waiting.........

Is the Tamron 17-50mm or the Sigma 24-70mm a good lens (seeing that it costs much much less than the Pentax of same range). I need something that will focus fast and get very sharp images. Looking to use it mainly for weddings and other low light people/group shots for newspaper gigs (chamber gatherings, parties etc).

Any and all advise appreciated. I love the zoom range of my 18-250mm but in churches and at chamber parties I sometimes which I had a brighter-faster lens.... although moving my ISO to 6400 helps...........

dave
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Old Jun 25, 2012, 7:50 PM   #2
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Dave -

I am NOT an expert on wedding photography - have been the photographer for ONE wedding. But will be glad to offer my input anyway - take it with a grain of salt...

First - which Pentax 50 1.4 do you have? I have the A version, and find it sharp even wide open, but very difficult to focus accurately. Did not use that one at the wedding for this reason. I used to have a Tamron 18-250, and ended up giving it away, it was always too soft for my taste...

At my daughter's wedding, my most used lens was the Tamron 28-75 f2.8. Relatively inexpensive, zoom range useful for groups and intimate portraits, and lens was decently sharp even wide open. Second most used lens was Sigma 105 macro F2.8. Almost too sharp, even wide open, but perfect length for individual shots, candids, etc. Used an old A 70-210 F4 for some "long shots." Brought along several other lenses, did not use any of them. Most useful tool of the day was a sturdy tripod!

Do not own the other lenses you mentioned, but hope that someone who does will "chime in" with their feedback...
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Old Jun 26, 2012, 5:31 PM   #3
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Not sure what version of the 1.4 I have, I will have to check on that. Thanks for chiming in.

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Old Jun 26, 2012, 10:12 PM   #4
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The only 50 1.4 I have is the M version of the lens - it's not sharp at 1.4 at all. I prefer using the M1.7 if I'm going to shoot wide-open.

I don't shoot weddings, actively avoid them. But I did shoot a ballroom dancing recital once. I ended up using the 77 ltd mostly. I tried using the DA*50-135 but the focus wasn't fast enough and it was backfocusing, something I hadn't noticed before.

The Tammy 17-50 has an excellent reputation. I would buy one myself if weather sealing weren't top on my priority list (and I still don't have the 16-50, gotten too expensive now). However, I think if you are planning on using one lens most of the time it might not be long enough. For my dance recital the 77 was fine for almost full figure but too short for close-ups (at least from the audience). I think you'd be likely to want something longer than 50 mm.

Good luck with it.
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 3:23 PM   #5
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Hi Dave,

I have the FA 50 f1.4, and it used to misfocus randomly in low light with my K-5, but this seemed to be corrected with the first firmware update. The lens is a bit soft wide open, but stopped down to f2 and smaller, it's very sharp.

One of the problems with any lens this fast is that AF works wide open, so the margin for error is very thin, and with the relatively large AF sensor areas on Pentax cameras, users have to be very careful to make sure that they are focusing on the area that they want to be in focus. This combo can be a bit challenging to shoot effectively. My suggestion is to make sure this lens is dialed in for your K-5, then practice with it a lot to make sure that you can critically focus on what you want it to. User error is unfortunately, easily the most common problem with Pentax AF, IMO.

As Harriet stated, the Tamron 17-50 has a good reputation, and I would definitely try one as it's the most reasonably priced lens in the FL range class.

The traditional wedding photography kit includes a 28-75 ish f2.8, an 80-200 ish f2.8, and a fast 50 for DOF control and very low light shots. Keep in mind that with an APS-C format camera, this translates roughly to a 16-50 and a 50-135 for the zooms, and just about any faster than f2 lens for the lower light stuff (subject to availability, budget, and ability to adjust to the FOV). An alternative for selective focus capability for subject isolation might be a Lens Baby (see "Frogfish"'s thread in the Pentax DSLR Forum

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pe...lens-baby.html)

I've not shot any weddings formally, but have informally shot many events, and I've relied on my Tamron 28-75 f2.8 and DA 50-135 + FA 50/1.4 or F 50 /1.7 as the workhorses. I tend to not shoot wide, and prefer to shoot from longer distances to subjects. I also bought a Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5 DC (first model) to try for the short zoom, but found the f4.5 at the long end was a bit too slow for the AF system in lower light. This was with the K10 though, and the K-5's AF sensor is considerably more sensitive, so this lens might be a viable alternative with the new body. I've not shot any events since getting the K-5 so I can't say how well it might work. The DA 17-70 f4 might be a viable alternative for a wide to short tele zoom for event work with the K-5, so you might want to at least consider it also.

Scott
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 10:10 PM   #6
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Scott thanks for the info. I have found a couple of Tamron 28-75mm and am checking them out and trying to make sure when I get one that it is tack sharp. Great info you have provided to me.

dave
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Old Jul 3, 2012, 7:49 PM   #7
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Settled on a used Tamron 28-75mm that the seller promises me is tack sharp and if not they will take it back. AT least they tell me it is tack sharp on the K-r body. They told me they found it not be wide enough and want with a lens that was 18-55mm to better fill their needs.

Tanks again for all the help and replies

dave
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