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Old Dec 1, 2006, 12:55 PM   #1
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for the kind of shooting I'd like to do. I'm wondering is there's one lens that can work all the shooting I like to do. Or if there's 2 or 3 lens that won't break the bank account out there I can buy.

Soon I'll be buying a K100D, my plan was to get the kit lens that comes with the camera, and maybe the 50-200mm lens that alot of people seem to reccomend. Here's the type of shooting I like to do.

Macro/close up
Landscape/architecture/telephoto
wide angle stuff.

The lens don't have to be new, and they can also be Manual focus. SO throw out some old school len selections too. Thanks for any info guys&gals.
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Old Dec 1, 2006, 2:10 PM   #2
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There's a difference between doing it all, and doing it all well.

An 18-200, cost about $300, will do most of what you want, except maybe the macro. Sigma and Tamron both make them, and there's no clear consensus which is best. If you don't do a lot of telephoto, you could maybe get by with the Sigma 18-125. But a jack of all trades is a master of none.

To do the things you want to do *well*, you will need multiple lenses. For wide angle, normal and macro, the Sigma 17-70 gets very good reviews. Only a true macro prime would be better. You could then buy the Pentax 50-200 for telephoto, or even a 70-300 if you want a lot of range. The 50-200 has enough range for me, and I have a long zoom background. For wide angle less than 16-18mm, you really need a separate lens, like the Pentax 12-24 or the Sigma 10-20.

Someone else can speak to primes as I don't have any yet. I'm trying for a 24mm or 28mm on eBay, but I keep getting outbid. :sad: Very active market for old Pentax lenses these days... or maybe I'm just cheap.

All of these multiple lens solutions give better pictures, but cost a good bit more than one lens alone. Welcome to LBA...

Edit: The kit lens is a valid inexpensive substitute for the 17-70, less sharp with less range, and macro not quite as good, but a lot less expensive. $450 or so for the 17-70, well under $100 for the kit lens (difference between body alone and body with lens). Both lenses provide good value for the money spent.
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Old Dec 1, 2006, 3:03 PM   #3
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Plan on having several lenses, and possibly other accessories.

There are a couple of ways you can do macro photos. The kit lens isn't a macro lens. If you want to do it on the cheap, get anSMCM 50mm 1.4 or 1.7 lens (this weekend I'm going to take both of them out and decide finally, once and for all, which one I prefer, then perhaps sell the other one) and a set of extension tubes. This way you'll have a really fast, sharp lens and will be able to focus closely with the extension tubes, killing two possible needs fairly inexpensively. If you'll look back you'll find people who've posted awesome pictures using this method. The M lenses are manual lenses - no auto exposure, no auto focus.

I tried it, but got a little too frustrated so ended up buying a cheap Phoenix 100mm macro lens. This lens has under-rated optics but a light build and the AF mechanism doesn't have a clutch. That means if you have it on AF and it focuses on something you don't want, you have to switch the camera to manual focus to change it yourself (other lenses have a clutch that disengages the AF mechanism on the lens so you can focus manually without messing with the camera's settings). Another thing is that it has a matched adaptor to go to 1:1 - something that screws on and off, like a close-up filter. Some people don't like that, but it only costs something like $150 new (wasn't that much more than a set of new extension tubes - you can do much better buying them on ebay).

The kit lens does pretty well for wide angle landscape and architecture, though because it is slow, its not as good inside. I tend to use a SMC M 24mm 2.8 and the SMC M 50mm 1.7 for interiors.

The DA 50-200 is a nice, sharp, workmanlike lens. It's well worth the money it costs, and I use it quite a bit. Rather than get something like the 70-300 lens, I chose to buy a A*300mm lens. This is an older lens (manual focus) but outstanding quality and expensive. Any lens that is identified with a * (orlimited)is top quality glass (and most likely priced accordingly).

Our local camera shop has a bunch of reps selling things today - I looked at the Tamron lenses (they don't carry Sigma). The Tamron 18-200 has all the low dispersion glass and coatings of their SP lenses and I admit to being tempted.
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Old Dec 1, 2006, 3:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Someone else can speak to primes as I don't have any yet. I'm trying for a 24mm or 28mm on eBay, but I keep getting outbid. :sad: Very active market for old Pentax lenses these days... or maybe I'm just cheap.


you're right about the market being active, especially on ebay. here's the best way i've found to bid on items (you're probably fallen prey to people like me, i'm a swooper!). #1, you have to know what similar lenses have been going for, and you can expect to pay that much. so look at recently completed auctions to find out about the lens in particular, or similar lenses to guage a final price. #2, determine how much, with shipping, you're willing to pay for that lens. #3, wait until the end of the auction, at one minute remaining, click on the bid button, type in your amount - then hit the bid button again and wait at the confirm page until there are only a few seconds left to confirm the bid. it doesn't work every time, but i'd say 8 out of 10 times i'll win an auction that way.

If you bid early, you're only inviting others to bid up the auction and see how much you're willing to spend hours or days ahead of the auction end, it hardly ever works! (one note i'll say on that though, is if i'm the first bidder on an item, i'll put in 2-3 bids - it lists them all in the bid history and makes it look like you really want it - sometimes that deters others from bidding).

don't hate me for my methods! :P :-)



Back on topic, regarding old primes. don't forget all your local camera shops. the national camera chain here is too thick headed and drowning in C&N cameras to realize there is a bustling market for pentax lenses. i've bought 3 older lenses there in the last 2 months - a 50mm f1.7 pentax smc-f (paid $45 sold on ebay for $120 - only because of the next lens i also got!); 50mm f1.7 pentax smc-a for $30 (goes for $60-70 on ebay, but i love the manual lenses too much!) and a 135mm f3.5 pentax smc-m for $18 (going on ebay for $50-70 at the moment). So to summarize, they don't have a clue there - which suits me just fine. I'm sure any relatively larger camera shop that sells used equipment will be the same. and those old pentax primes are awesome, so sharp and fun to use.

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Old Dec 1, 2006, 3:37 PM   #5
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milrodpxpx,

that's good advice but i've found if you DO YOUR researsh then you have an idea of the final price. if i bid early i bid MY final price. if it goes over then so be it. i'll try again later. i've seen lenses that when two people get into a bidding frenzy the item ends up going for 3 times it's worth. i've seen lenses go for over $200 when there's a BIN just behind it for $90. please be aware of what's actually happening.. it's your $$$..

roy
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Old Dec 1, 2006, 3:40 PM   #6
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flaco,
get the kit and the 50-200. this will let you know in time what you are mainly going to be shooting so you can decide if you need faster, more reach, less reach, whatever. it should take about 6 months. you can always sell either for minimal lose and perhaps gain.

roy
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Old Dec 1, 2006, 8:26 PM   #7
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Thanks for all th tips and info.

That usually how I bid on ebay myself. What til the last minute, and try to bid and win. Also if it goes over the price I want to pay, I just delete from my saved list.

And that's more than likely what I'll end up doing just getting the kit lens, and the 50-200mm lens to start with. But I've also been hunting on ebay for manual lens on ebay that alot of people have mentioned. If I find a good price, I'll just go ahead and get it now. If it's not what I'm looking for, just sell back on ebay later. :G

Are any of you guys on pentaxforums.com? Between that site, and here. You guys have been very helpful. Thanks guys/gals. I can't wait to get my K100D and share my photos with you peeps. :|
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Old Dec 1, 2006, 10:04 PM   #8
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milrodpxpx wrote:
Quote:
don't hate me for my methods! :P :-)
No hard feelings, that's how eBay works. If you really want something, bid late.

This assumes, though, that we all sit around our computers all day staring at eBay auctions. Several auctions recently have ended while I'm at work or in bed or doing other things in my life, and I'm not really determined to get any one lens in particular anyway. I just want something good, wide and cheap, as a tool for learning about primes.

Great tip about "national camera chains" not knowing the value of old Pentax lenses. I will admit to a certain surprise that the national camera chains have discovered Savage, MN---unless you're in a suburb of Minneapolis?
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Old Dec 1, 2006, 10:41 PM   #9
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While its not foolproof, there are programs that allow automated sniping (last second bidding) on e-Bay. Auction Sentry is one I have used very successfully.

http://www.auction-sentry.com/

You have to be able to leave your computer on and have the internet available of course, so you want to make sure you have a decent firewall running. There are a lot of good firewall options, some free, so there's really no excuse not to have one anyway.

Not trying to push the approach or the program, but it can be really handy when you want something that's closing when you can't be available. As others have said, it can be very difficult and expensive to bid early on e-Bay. Particularly since almost all the experienced buyers wait until the last few seconds to bid.

The only problem with using a product like Auction Sentry is that if your connection goes down or slows down at the wrong time, you will not get a bid in at all. Of course the same is true if you're trying to snipe manually.


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Old Dec 1, 2006, 10:41 PM   #10
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BrettTurner wrote:
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milrodpxpx wrote:
Quote:
don't hate me for my methods! :P :-)
No hard feelings, that's how eBay works. If you really want something, bid late.

This assumes, though, that we all sit around our computers all day staring at eBay auctions. Several auctions recently have ended while I'm at work or in bed or doing other things in my life, and I'm not really determined to get any one lens in particular anyway.
www.esnipe.com for a modest fee will place your bid for you with 6 seconds to go.

Tim
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