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Old Apr 21, 2010, 4:52 AM   #1
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Default Your Ideal Lense Kit

I know a lot of you have LOTS of lenses and some of them hardly come off your camera. So ..... pick your favourites (not from a wish list but from those you actually own) but no duplicating of ranges (well a little overlapping permitted) ! Maybe it will help some of us fill the gaps or perhaps know what to look out for when upgrading or when we spot a potential bargain

Me
Sigma 10-20mm 4.5 / 5.6
Sigma 18 - 125mm
Pentax 43 ltd
Tamron 90mm macro
Tamron 70-300mm macro

Looks like I have a gap that needs filling at 300 - 500mm

And any other piece of kit you could not do without ?
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 6:00 AM   #2
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Pentax DA 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 - Seldom used
Tamron 18-250mm 3.5 - 6.3 - 1 week old, has been on the K20D ever since.
Sigma 24-60mm 2.8 EX - main family event lens
Pentax A 35-105mm 3.5 - great IQ, used when MF is appropriate
Pentax DA 50-200mm 4-5.6 - seldom used.
Tamron 70-300mm 4-5.6 - mainly used for flower macros
Pentax FA 50mm 1.4 - low light family portraits.

My lens kit is hardly ideal..... yet ..... but like most of you, I'm working on it.
I like the theme of this thread - "Ideal Lens Kit". It tells us that we really don't have an addiction, we are simply in pursuit of an ideal - a noble calling indeed.

Jim
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 6:59 AM   #3
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I like the theme of this thread - "Ideal Lens Kit". It tells us that we really don't have an addiction, we are simply in pursuit of an ideal - a noble calling indeed.

Jim
Well said, Jim. May I have your permission to try this line on my wife the next time I want a lens?

There is a good reason for a thread such as this. I can speak only to my own experience, but I suspect many of you went through something similar. I went "lens crazy" when I first got my K10, thinking I had to buy every lens that had ever been produced for the Pentax line. I bought some lenses that went on the front of my camera for a few test shots and never again saw the light of day till they were handed down to my son. Mucho dinero wasted. I have finally found that I will not use a MF lens; I just don't trust my eyesight well enough, so I don't buy them anymore. As a practical matter, my Bigma stays on my K-7 about 80% of the time, and I keep one of my favorite wider lenses, usually the Tamron 28-75 DiLD f/2.8 on my K20 simply because I really like the combo of lens and K20 for general purpose shooting.

"Ideal" kit:

Pentax 10-17 FE
Pentax 18-55 kit lens, water resistant version
Tamron 28-75
Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4
Sigma 70-200 f2.8
Tamron 70-300mm DiLD
Sigma 50-500mm (Bigma)

I included the kit lens only because of its versatility and WR construction. I usually use the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 for this range, but I like to have a lens I don't worry about available. Similarly, if weather is threatening, I will often put the DA*50-135 f/2.8 in my kit.

I know the rule said no duplication and putting in the Tamron 70-300 would seem to violate that. I include it because there are times when you don't want to take the extra weight of one of the two big Sigma lenses. I took only the Sigma 18-50, the FA 50, and the Tamron 70-300 to Hawaii last summer and was much happier than I had been the previous summer with LOTS more kit.

Paul

Edit: Significant hole in my kit. I do not have a quality Macro lens, and that will be my next priority.
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 9:29 AM   #4
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Well mine are.....
  • DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5 FE
  • DA 12-24 f4
  • DA 31 f1.9 Ltd
It may look like overlap on the wide angles, but since the 10-17 is a fish eye lens, you need to consider the field of view, and the FE ends where the 12-24 begins.

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Old Apr 21, 2010, 9:59 AM   #5
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Hmmm - In some ways there's no "ideal" kit for everything. What I consider ideal for hiking is going to be different than what I would consider ideal to travel, which is different than what I'd take to the beach.

Even my list of favorite lenses is different than my most-used lens list.

My favorite list of lenses (at the moment) is:

DA 10-17 fisheye
77 Limited
Viv Series One 105 macro
DA*200
DA*300

My most often used lenses are:

DA 12-24
DA*50-135
Viv S1 105 macro

My hiking lenses are:
DA 12-24
DA 55-300
Viv S1 105 macro
A*300

My road trip kit is:
Pretty much everything I own that works right (though depending on what we'll be doing on the road trip I don't usually take both the DA*300 and the A*300)

My macro kit (which is in the bag today) is:
Viv S1 105 macro
M 50mm 1.4
homemade extension tube

I have a big hole between 24 and 50. It didn't bother me for a long time, but it has been recently, and that's what my next purchase will be - something to replace the kit lens.
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 4:58 PM   #6
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I could only dream of having the setups you guys have.
Still stuck on my two kitlenses (but I'm afraid I can't expect more in just a month)
DA L 18-55
DA L 50-200
and recently secondhand purchased
smc-m 50mm 1.7 together with a 2x vivitar teleconverter.
I would love to have some more range in my kit.. at least to 300
And actually also a dedicated macro.. in search of the rather budget Cosina AF 100mm f/3.5 which might be somewhat better than the 50mm with the teleconverter.

Anyway my girlfriend would never allow me to buy either a longer focal length or a dedicated macro
But if you spot a (European) bargain... let me know

Can I ask you in what timeframe you bought the lenses.. did it took you a thousand years or did you buy most of it in e.g 1 or 2 years?
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 6:18 PM   #7
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Can I ask you in what timeframe you bought the lenses.. did it took you a thousand years or did you buy most of it in e.g 1 or 2 years?
It's been about 4 years for me. I got started before the recent increases. The only exception was the Tamron 18-250mm that I got new for US$329 the week before last. I thought that was a great price.

Ordinarily my wife wouldn't approve of my photo gear spending. But her hobby is collecting all sorts of china, glass ware, and collectibles. I photo them for her and she sells on ebay. It finances my addiction... er pursuit of the ideal.

Jim
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 7:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by JC de Jonge View Post

Anyway my girlfriend would never allow me to buy either a longer focal length or a dedicated macro
But if you spot a (European) bargain... let me know

Can I ask you in what timeframe you bought the lenses.. did it took you a thousand years or did you buy most of it in e.g 1 or 2 years?
"Dear, if I have the perfect lenses, the photos I take of you will just make your beauty jump out. " or try "When I'm shooting photos of a perfect subject, I just want the lenses to be up to the task of capturing that beauty." If neither of those lines work, BEG !

To give a serious answer to your question, I don't think any of us just sat down and ordered a serious kit. I have been building mine over a three year period, and I'm blessed with a wife who's understanding enough to realize that, during our thirty-five years of marriage, I have never had an expensive hobby like golf, fishing, hunting, etc., and I have waited till after we had our kids raised to want to buy these kinds of toys.

Even then, we had to make a deal. Anything I make off photography can be obviously spent on gear, but also, when I do other jobs outside my normal hours at school....P.A., tutoring, proctoring standardized tests, things of that nature.... that I do those jobs to feed my lens addiction so that money goes into my lens account, a separate account from which I can spend when I want to. The bottom line, though, is the first part, the blessing of an understanding wife.

Paul

Note: Edited to protect the image of Arkansas English teachers as being able to write an intelligible sentence.

Last edited by Trojansoc; Apr 21, 2010 at 7:55 PM.
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 11:04 PM   #9
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Can I ask you in what timeframe you bought the lenses.. did it took you a thousand years or did you buy most of it in e.g 1 or 2 years?
I bought my first dSLR in 2006, and I got it with the kit lens only. I already had 5 lenses, some a boyfriend had bought me with my film SLR camera in 1980 and some that my father had bought a few years later. It took me a couple of months to get used to the camera, and the kit lens - I think it was several months before I bought a telephoto zoom to replace the Kiron I had (it had oil on the aperture blades, still does). Another several months before I decided I wanted a macro lens (was frustrated without one). In general I've added a couple of lenses a year, but only as I've felt a need for them. Some years I've added other things instead of lenses. And I'm still not finished with my lens collection - I hope to buy one or two to replace the kit lens reasonably soon.

I do NOT recommend getting a whole bunch of lenses right off. It will take you much longer to really get to know them all, know what they do best, what their limitations are. I highly recommend only buying lenses when you find a limitation that really bothers you (or you can't resist one that's calling your name).

That boyfriend who bought me a camera back in 1980? I still don't have a satisfactory answer as to why he bought it for me - I hadn't asked for a good camera and was happily snapping away with an instamatic. I sometimes suspect that he might regret that impulsive purchase - he's still buying me cameras and lenses!
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Old Apr 22, 2010, 12:05 AM   #10
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From what I have now....

The 18-55 DA Pentax "kit" lens and 50-500 f/4-6.3 APO EX DG Sigma "Bigma" Lens make a full range 18-500mm set made up of only the two lenses. These are my most used and until I replace the 18-55 with a wider lens they will probably remain my most used lens.

105 f/2.5 Vivitar Series 1 Macro lens. I've tried but not found a better macro lens. Close ups and macros will be by this lens from now till I pass on I guess.

50 f/1.7 Pentax-F series lens. This is one of my newer (to me) lens but so far it is a super portrait lens and I hope to get much better with it.

With these four lens I'm very well equipped to do almost any shooting at near pro levels. Only thing holding me back is a better set of skills. LOL

I have well over 60 lens old and new but these so far are the ones I use and prefer to use.
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