Beginner looking for a zoom lens.


Kizuya

New Member
Dec 30, 2011
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#1
Been using my Pentax K-R for 2 months and was thinking of buying a zoom lens. But I'm just a newbie and don't really know how and what zoom lens to start with. Was hoping anyone from here would help by telling me what brand or which certain lens would be suitable for me to get sharp images. Price range would be around 100+ to 200+.
 

snapnut

New Member
Oct 1, 2004
580
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#3
The kit lens dal 18 55mm is cheap and good. If you mean telescope zoom the dal 55 200mm is good and cheap.
 

doyle

New Member
Mar 9, 2011
496
3
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#4
Zoom lens arh. Maybe a 55-300 would be a good start..
 

pinholecam

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 23, 2007
10,944
88
48
#5
Its easier to recommend a lens if you can share more information.
1. What do you intend to shoot it with
2. Budget
3. What do you have right now


I also strongly suggest you join one of the monthly outings to learn about technique and equipment
 

Kizuya

New Member
Dec 30, 2011
4
0
0
#7
Thanks for all the suggestions, I have the basic lens the DAL 18-55mm one, I'd usually take photos of figurines and would like to have a zoom lens to have more options I guess, budget around 100+ to 200+. Still a beginner tho.
 

darrrrrrrrrr

Senior Member
Sep 19, 2006
3,209
5
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#8
DAL 50-200
DAL 55-300
Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro
Tamron 70-300 Di LD Macro

Back when things were a lot simpler for me, I started off with a Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro which I really liked. Sold that and got the Tamron 70-300, which feels a bit more solid, is slightly sharper but has some noticeable purple fringing. Briefly tried out the Pentax DAL 55-300 and it was quite nice, image quality is better than the previous two. Also heard good things about the 50-200 and even contemplated getting one as a lightweight substitute for my 70-200/2.8 but never got round to it

IMO any one of these 4 lenses is a good starting point for further LBA....... :devil:
 

felixcat8888

Senior Member
May 8, 2005
9,279
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52
Singapore, Singapore, Singapor
#9
Since you already have the 18-55 Kit lens, I would suggest you get the 50-200 or the 55-300 tele lens. But as pinholecam had mentioned, what are you shooting?

For the budget of $100-200, it is a bit on the low side and even a 2nd hand one will cost a bit more than $200. Unless you are comfortable with manual lenses without any AF.
 

pinholecam

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 23, 2007
10,944
88
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#10
Thanks for all the suggestions, I have the basic lens the DAL 18-55mm one, I'd usually take photos of figurines and would like to have a zoom lens to have more options I guess, budget around 100+ to 200+. Still a beginner tho.
Figurines as in anime/comic toys? Garage kits? 1/35 and/or 28mm Military/Wargame models? Porcelain figurines (western/chinese)?
I'm asking as different sized figurines will need different FL, focus distance and maybe DOF control.

However, generically speaking, I think the kit lens is pretty capable for figurines esp. at 55mm.
Lighting is very important and usually more so than the lens. (plenty of reading material on this on the internet)
Generally, you need a longer focal length (FL) as you want a tight field of view (FOV) so that distracting bkgrounds will be left out (eg. messy table)

With a budget of 200+, you can go for a 2nd hand DA 50-200mm (take not you probably need to use a tripod when using indoors at home).
Else a cheap MF macro capable lens like those Pangor/Vivitar/etc 55/2.8 macro; will be very versatile , esp. for small figures.

If you shoot small 1/35mm or 28mm figures, then a macro lens as mentioned above is the most versatile (if not a requirement)
 

Last edited:

simon6z

Senior Member
Dec 11, 2010
833
6
18
Near Bishan Park Macdonald
#11
Figurines as in anime/comic toys? Garage kits? 1/35 and/or 28mm Military/Wargame models? Porcelain figurines (western/chinese)?
I'm asking as different sized figurines will need different FL, focus distance and maybe DOF control.

However, generically speaking, I think the kit lens is pretty capable for figurines esp. at 55mm.
Lighting is very important and usually more so than the lens. (plenty of reading material on this on the internet)
Generally, you need a longer focal length (FL) as you want a tight field of view (FOV) so that distracting bkgrounds will be left out (eg. messy table)

With a budget of 200+, you can go for a 2nd hand DA 50-200mm (take not you probably need to use a tripod when using indoors at home).
Else a cheap MF macro capable lens like those Pangor/Vivitar/etc 55/2.8 macro; will be very versatile , esp. for small figures.

If you shoot small 1/35mm or 28mm figures, then a macro lens as mentioned above is the most versatile (if not a requirement)
Question from me now! Just receive my Horusbennu 50mm manual lens, I fit into KR set to MF and use it in manual focus mode and turn the aperture ring and focus on subject but nothing happens
 

gummy73

New Member
Jan 9, 2010
958
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44
#12
Question from me now! Just receive my Horusbennu 50mm manual lens, I fit into KR set to MF and use it in manual focus mode and turn the aperture ring and focus on subject but nothing happens
Did u enable your aperture ring setting?
 

Yamakasi

New Member
Jan 26, 2008
1,467
19
0
#14
all working well can turn can focus but on the screen shows F-- what does it mean?
this is normal as it is a manual lens so the lens cant tell the cam which aperture it is at..so you get the F-- sign
 

felixcat8888

Senior Member
May 8, 2005
9,279
18
38
52
Singapore, Singapore, Singapor
#15
all working well can turn can focus but on the screen shows F-- what does it mean?
You need to press the green button to stop down the aperture. MF lenses will give you the F-- unless you have an A on the lens and you put the aperture to the A and your camera can then select the aperture for you.
 

darrrrrrrrrr

Senior Member
Sep 19, 2006
3,209
5
38
30
Singapore
#16
all working well can turn can focus but on the screen shows F-- what does it mean?
Camera doesn't know what aperture the lens aperture ring is set to. To meter correctly at smaller apertures, set the camera to M mode, set the option to "Tv shift" (do some Googling about stop-down metering) and hit the green button. The camera will stop down the lens momentarily and meter and you will have the correct shutter speed. Alternatively if you want to shoot at wide-open, you can leave the camera in Av mode, the camera will meter in real time.
 

simon6z

Senior Member
Dec 11, 2010
833
6
18
Near Bishan Park Macdonald
#19

darrrrrrrrrr

Senior Member
Sep 19, 2006
3,209
5
38
30
Singapore
#20
One time setting, but if you buy a different focal length lens you have to set it when you change lens for the SR and EXIF data recording. Just turn the camera off and back on again you will see the menu. Also just put in the focal length directly, no crop factor or whatever.

Good luck happy shooting!
 

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