17-70 or 18-135 or....?

Started Mar 29, 2011 | Discussions thread
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markgv
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17-70 or 18-135 or....?
Mar 29, 2011

I'm kind of thinking out loud here, but perhaps someone can help me think through this...

I bought the K-x with the DAL 18-55 and DAL 55-300. I love the 55-30 and don't feel a need for anything more at the long end. I was not happy, however, with the results I was getting w/ the 18-55, and I ended up buying a used DA 16-45. It really was a great step up, and I found that the extra width at the short end is noticeable and appreciated. It worked out very well on a recent trip: http://bit.ly/h2zwqg

But...

there were quite a few times when I didn't have time or opportunity to switch lenses, and I really wanted more zoom than the 45 offered. As much as I like the 16-45, I'm thinking of trading it in for a 17-70 (Pentax or Sigma) or the Pentax 18-135 or Sigma 18-125. I'm hoping I wouldn't lose much quality in order to gain the greater telephoto capability.

(As noted above, the width at 16mm was appreciably greater than the 18mm, and I will regret losing that width. If I go with a 17-70 or 18-xxx, I would hope someday to get an UWA Sigma 10-20 or Tamron 10-24. I do find that it is fairly easy to create wide angle views using panorama stitching in Photoshop Elements 9, even when the pics are shot handheld.)

I did find a cheap Pentax F 35-70 which is very nice. Using it, I can get most of the longer shots, but I can also see how 125/135 at the long end would be more versatile. 35mm on the APS-C was not wide enough for a lot of the shots I tend to take, though. (BTW, I do also have a Pentax M 50 1.7 for my low light situations.)

I guess I'm thinking more of a walk-around lens. So, I'm mainly wondering what degree of quality I will be losing by going from the 16-45 to a 17-70 or to a 18-125/135... Will I be satisfied w/ 70 at the long end or happier overall with 125/135? I'd like, of course, to just buy them all, but the reality is that the 16-45 would have to go in order to get one of the others.

I've checked all the reviews, and the lens I've mentioned all are commended, but each does have limitations, and it's hard to make direct comparisons.

So, does anyone have experience in comparing these lens? Is there some other lens I should be considering? Thanks for any all advice you can offer!

 markgv's gear list:markgv's gear list
Pentax K-x Pentax K-30 Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Pentax smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6ED AL [IF] DC WR +2 more
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