Help with Pentax K-r as a gift

Started Aug 2, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Help with Pentax K-r as a gift
Aug 2, 2011

I'm pondering a "thank-you" gift for my brother, and was thinking about getting some input from some of you guys over here.

The idea is to get him a K-r kit with the DA35mm/2.4 plus a copy of the older Sigma 10-20mm/4-5.6 screwdrive. The gift would be a surprise and is totally unexpected on his part... It is a little bit over my initial budget of US$1000, but I guess it can be done... That's if I can get it past the wife of course

He is mostly into landscape, both nature and urban, and that's the reason for the Sigma. He also has what I'd might call a "documentary" approach to photography... Almost as if he is registering random pieces of history with his photos, whatever it may be. And the reason for the 35mm plastic fantastic is because it seems like a good all-arounder, has better IQ than the kit zooms, and would give him a taste of a prime. It is also quite compact and would fit well with his travelling. And it could also be a great complement to his "documentary" approach to photography.

At the moment he uses a Canon G9 - which is only 35mm at its widest - and has never touched a DSLR. He seems to like the G9, but I get the feeling that his photos could be so much better with a larger sensor and a more appropriate UWA lens. He travels a lot, and takes lots of landscape... It just seems like a waste to have them all come out so point-and-shootish...

So... I am mainly concerned about the limited focal range of my gift-set. If I was to add a telephoto zoom to the kit (not that I will, honey), what would be some of the cheaper/better options? The 55-300mm would certainly be a great choice, but that would just blow my already-blown budget way off... I had a look at the Tamron 70-300mm, and it seems quite OK for its $165 price tag. Even Photozone seems to think it's quite OK.

Does anyone have any samples with the Tamron to share? Also, any experience/samples with the cheaper Sigmas? Any other ideas?

I could also simply just get the 18-55/50-200mm kit instead, and add the Sigma, but somehow that option doesn't feel very exciting. The 18-55/55-300mm kit would be a better option, although still a bit pricier than the 35mm kit. But I dunno, I seem to really shy away from the 18-55mm... Never seen anything from it that I could really say WOW! And that's the whole reason I'm getting him the camera... So I could see him put out some WOW photos I know he is capable of...

Any inputs?

Thanks for reading...

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