Lens/camera Buying HELP!!!

Started Jan 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
neo_nights
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Re: Lens/camera Buying HELP!!!
In reply to wildkat2, Jan 12, 2013

wildkat2 wrote:

OK, here is the deal. I have $750 in "store credit" with Amazon (long story). I have vowed to spend it on camera equipment and I am stuck in an infinite loop trying to decide how best to use it.

Background - I just got my K-5 and my K200 just became my backup body. I shoot a mix of portraiture, sports and nature. About 80% of what I shoot is for my personal use/taste and 20% is commercial (paid shoots & stock). After I retire I hope to flip that ratio. My current lens lineup includes FA 50, DA 35 2.4, Tamron 17-50 2.8, Lensbaby composer with all the optics, DA 50-200WR, DA 55-300, Tamron 18-200 and a bunch of older slow zooms. I am slowly replacing all of my slow glass with fast glass and that is my priority.

Things I am considering:

K-01 w/40mm pancake to be a backup/walkaround ($315)

Sigma 70mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro ($500) (or $370 used)

Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 ($500)

Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8 ($770)

Pentax SMCP-FA 77mm ($770) (would have to get Amazon to pice match)

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 IF EX DG HSM AF ($850 - would require a month or two saving time)

Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 APO EX DG HSM OS ($1300) - 6 months wait

I am leaning heavily toward one of the 70-200mm solutions but I admit a big factor is that "everyone" has a 70-200 f/2.8. Having said that, a combination of the K-01 and either the Sigma 70 or the Tamron 28-75 is pretty attractive too. It would be nice to have a backup that has a modern sensor so I could turn my K200 into an emergency camera.

So the big questions:

Am I missing some other option?

Is the Sigma 70-200mm enough better that it is worth the wait?

Does versatility of the Tamron 28-75mm make up for any lost IQ over the Sigma 70mm?

Is it worth the pain to get Amazon to price match the FA 77mm?

or...Do I go for maximum bang for the buck and get the K01, 40mm pancake and a use Sigma 70mm?

Thanks in advance!!!

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Very happy K5 & K200 owner!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ksuwildkat/

Hi! Many options, eh? I've been going through that as well

Well, perhaps K-01 users won't like what I'm going to say but I barely see the K-01 as a "walkaround" camera. I mean, I've never seen one on person, but from the picture it seems it's as big as the K-5 (which is a surprisingly small camera for its category!) without the prism lump. If I want to 'go light' I put my 40mm pancake and leave the vertical grip at home.

Recently I thought about getting a K-01 since they're sooo cheap (I had a friend on the US and was going to ask her to get me one), but couldn't justify. Not to mention ergonomics, CD focus speed, and so on.

About the lenses, I happen to have both Tamron 28-75mm and 70-200mm F2.8.

AFAIK, the 28-75mm is an older lens and, thus, it doesn't have the same image quality wide open compared to the 70-200mm F2.8 or the 17-50mm F2.8 (which I also have).

But since the 17-50mm is 'too short' sometimes for me, I end up using the 28-75mm a bit more (although some other times, for social photography, the 28mm "wide" end doesn't feel so wide. Guess we can't have everything, right? LOL).

That said, the 70-200mm F2.8 is my favorite lens. It's sharp even wide open at the long end and it focuses really well and quickly enough even for 'mild action' (again, social photography, people walking).

Of course, it's big, it's heavy but if you're going to buy one and take it with you that means you're going to use it. So size and weight won't be a dealbreaker.

Between the Tamron 28-75mm and the Sigma 24-70mm (the newer design, more expensive one), I'd try to see some more comparisons. Perhaps the Sigma is better (specially wide open). Perhaps the 28-75mm isn't my favorite lens ever, but can't deny it's a good bang-for-the buck.

Hope that helps!

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I'm lazy to post my pics here. So you can look at them here:
www.zenfolio.com/neonights

 neo_nights's gear list:neo_nights's gear list
Pentax K20D Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 Pentax K-5 Sony Alpha NEX-6 Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO +7 more
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