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Old Dec 4, 2010, 12:52 AM   #1
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Default I have $500 to spend on a lens...

Ok, so i just bought a sigma 30mm f1.4 for my pentax k-r... I did a few tests, and it really front focuses and in-focus area is a bit soft between 1.4-2.5. Also, it is a bit too similar to my 50mm f1.4 in terms of focal length.

SO, I plan on returning it and buying another lens with the money (hey, its like "free" money to me)...

Here is what I have already:

Body: Pentax K-r
Lens: pentax 50mm f1.4
sigma 18-250mm f3.5-6.3
sigma 70-200 f2.8
pentax (kit) 18-55 (I am trying to sell it)
pentax (kit) 55-300 w/ a canon 500D macro lens (will eventually sell both for a dedicated macro lens)

My photographic style is pretty eclectic.. I like shooting macro, people/family (but not "staged" portraits), sports, food, vacation pics, hdr landscapes/lakes...

I'd like to spend no more than $500.. Things that are on my radar so far are the Sigma 105mm f2.8 dedicated macro, a fisheye, another wide angle fast prime (less than 30mm), a sigma teleconverter...

Anything that anyone can recommend would be awesome!
Thanks,
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Old Dec 4, 2010, 2:02 AM   #2
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The lack of a dedicated macro lense jumps right off the page. As does maybe something like a Sigma 10-20 - actually my most used lenses this Summer.

The Sigma 105 is a great lense ... and on a par is the Tamron 90 (but more popular if that indicates anything - prices are almost identical). I love my T90 (check out my Smugmug portfolio below - there are a lot of macro shots in there and 99% of those were taken with the T90) ! The 90 also makes a wonderful portrait / street lense.
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Pentax : 15 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 43/1.9 Ltd, Cosina 55/1.2, DA*300/4, Contax Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8, Raynox 150/250, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.

Nikon : D800, D600, Sigma 500/4.5, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 35/2.0, Nikkor 85/1.8G, Sigma 50/1.4. Nikon x1.4 TC, Sigma x2.0 TC
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Old Dec 4, 2010, 3:30 AM   #3
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For as far as I see it, a macro and super wide angle would be great. (as FF said)
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Old Dec 4, 2010, 3:41 PM   #4
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I'd be looking for the macro first, I think. I want the new Pentax 100 WR macro and I already have the Viv S1 105. Or something really wide. If you like to play with a specialty lens, you might look at the 10-17 fisheye. It's not for everyone, and it's not an every-day type of lens, just a fun one. With you mentioning having a macro add-on lens, I'd look at the macros first. If it comes down to the Sigma or Tamron, I've always thought the Tamron slightly (very slightly) better, both can give you excellent results. But I really like the bokeh from the new Pentax lens, it's better than the Viv (but the Viv is really, really sharp and easy to use).
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Old Dec 4, 2010, 4:05 PM   #5
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I have the DA 14mm f2.8 which is an excellent lens, it may be available in your price range. As mtngal mentioned the DA 10-17mm fisheye is an amazing lens since it is super sharp and the distortion at 17mm is tolerable in many images while 10mm gives you the real fisheye look. Other than that I would say a good macro is the other choice.
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FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, FA 80-320mm f4.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Dec 4, 2010, 4:45 PM   #6
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Ok, i suppose i'll get the macro.. The Pentax one is about $610, a bit out of my current price range. The Sigma 105 macro is $480. The Tamron 90 is $460...

mtngal thinks the tamron may be slightly better? does anyone have any experience with the sig or tamron? which lens's depth of focus is larger at f.28? I dont want a super razer DOF.
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Old Dec 4, 2010, 4:52 PM   #7
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I have the Tamron 90 (like I said - check out the link below to my Smugmug account - lots of macros taken with it there). As John (Goldwinger) said - you'll have to tear it from my cold dead fingers before I'll give it up

DoF is going to be very narrow at 2.8 (the closer you are the narrower it gets) because at 1:1 you are no more than 6" away so DoF if probably just a mm and that will be the same for any 1:1 macro lense.
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Pentax : 15 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 43/1.9 Ltd, Cosina 55/1.2, DA*300/4, Contax Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8, Raynox 150/250, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.

Nikon : D800, D600, Sigma 500/4.5, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 35/2.0, Nikkor 85/1.8G, Sigma 50/1.4. Nikon x1.4 TC, Sigma x2.0 TC
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Old Dec 4, 2010, 5:03 PM   #8
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the sig, pentax, and tamron all say their minimum focusing distance is between 11.4"and 12".
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Old Dec 4, 2010, 5:56 PM   #9
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I know that the Tamron in Nikon mount is an excellent lens that is highly recommended by the people I know who own it. I don't think you can go wrong with either of these so the least expensive model is the best value.
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Current equipment
Pentax K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, FA 80-320mm f4.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Dec 4, 2010, 7:06 PM   #10
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Hi, Eric.
I'll jump in just to reinforce what the others have said.
I've no experiences with any macro lens other than Tamron but, I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. That Sig would give you that little bit of extra reach that might come in handy at times. One thing I thought of, I don't know about the other macro lenses but, the Tamron 90mm while it shines as a macro lens, it doesn't do too well as a short tele, pics are too soft.
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