Upgrade from Kit Lens, Need Advice

Started Jan 18, 2010 | Discussions thread
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James C. Whiteside III Contributing Member • Posts: 962
Upgrade from Kit Lens, Need Advice

I have a small budget of around $200-400 (would like to stay in the $300-350 if possible) to purchase a new/used lens. Below is the type of photography I do, and what I am looking for in a new lens.

I currently have a DL and K100 that I use equally. I have 2 Kit 18-55 lens, Tamron 70-300, SMC M 50 f1.7, and a Old M 35-200 Macro Lens (The M lenses get minimal use), and a AF360.

70% of my photography consist of indoor photos of my 10 month old daughter with the Kit Lens and AF360 Flash. So far results have been great. I like to do natural lighting, but the kit lens is a little slow for this. I have used the M 50 f1.7 and had decent results, but the manual focus makes it tough to keep up with my daughter.

20% of my photography consist of outdoor family outings and weekend adventures. We live in the mountains, so this consist of alot nature walks and such under the tree canopy and along the river. The majority of my work here is with the 18-55, but I occasionally break out the 70-300. I find the 18-55 to be to short on the zoom end, and the 70-300 is to long.

The other 10% ranges from Cave photography to wildlife in our local parks. The majority of this is with the 70-300 on the long end and the 18-55 for the wide end.

What I am Looking For
-A faster lens for indoor natural lighting.
-Something around 2.8 to give shallow DOF when I get experimental.

-Auto Focus speeds that are decent. I understand in this price range its only going to be OK.
-More zoom range than the Kit Lens
-Hopefully a semi macro to allow for close focusing of flowers and such.
-A ALL-N-One Walk Around lens to replace the Kit Lens I have.

-Would like to be as wide as the 18-55, Can go with a zoom lens that starts around 28 if I had to.

Lens I have looked At
-Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5
-Sigma 18-125 f3.8-5.6 (slower than I would like)
-Sigma 28-70 f2.8 (Like this, but wish it was WIDER)
-Tamron 17-50 f2.8 (out of my price range, but looks GOOD)
-Tamron 28-105 f2.8 (New Old Stock)

What ever I choose I want it to be a lens that I can got and order or buy. The last thing I want is to decide on the perfect lens and then not be able to find it. New or Used is OK with me.

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