tachyon1701's reviews

  • Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SMC P-DA

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Good value, quick-shift manual focus, great craftsmanship, good lens hood
    Variable Aperture f/3.5-5.6, not good for use in low light indoor photography

    Great starter lens. Excellent build quality, light weight and comfortable to use. Good for use in outdoors, while traveling, or people starting out in photography and not demanding a lot in their equipment. The variable aperture (like most cheaper zoom lenses) means that this is not a great lens for shooting indoors or dimly lit places without flash. AF makes quite a bit of noise, okay fast on my K200D, and very accurate. Love the quick shift manual focus.

    reviewed May 11th, 2008 (purchased for $100)
  • Sigma 24-60mm f/2.8 EX DG

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Tack sharp, very fast, very well built, fantastic bang for buck
    Lens hood rotates on very stiffly, heavy, takes 77mm filters which can be pricey, zoom rotates the opposite way, pros outweight the cons!

    This is possibly the best $220 i've spent on a camera product. It is fantastic for low light conditions with its constant aperture f/2.8. It focuses accurately, though not terribly fast or silently. It is very well built and takes tack sharp images. For the price I paid, i couldn't possibly ask for more. If you are planning on replacing your 18-55mm kit lens, seriously consider this one. You lose a bit of wide angle (24mm vs. 18mm) but you gain way more in versatily in variable lighting conditions.

    reviewed May 13th, 2008 (purchased for $220)
  • Pentax 75-300mm f/4.5-5.8 AL SMC P-FA J

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    Inexpensive, SMC coating, Light
    Not the sharpest zoom lens, no quick-shift manual focus, no macro, slow AF

    Decent build quality considering price, although this lens is entirely made of plastic. Which also makes this lens light and comfortable to carry around. I haven't experienced any zoom creep issues yet. Silver looks good too.

    Images are not tack sharp at full zoom, there are sharper telephoto zooms out there. No quick shift manual focus like the pentax 55-200 DA, so you'd need to click to MF on the camera body before you can manual focus. Slow Auto Focus. No macro on this lens, so closest focus distances are quite far. You'd need a close up filter for macro nature shots.

    reviewed May 28th, 2008 (purchased for $180)
  • Pentax 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 ED IF SMC P-DA Fish-Eye

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Pentax build quality, quick AF, light
    Can't attach filter to protect lens (like most fisheye lens)

    This lens is so fun! I bought it at first with some hesitation that I might not use it as often because it is seemingly "less practical" than normal lenses. But this has become my favourite lens to bring everywhere!

    You can really be creative with this lens and take some specacular pictures. Excellent image quality, quick to AF, and quality Pentax construction. No attachable filter to the front (most fisheye) means you've got to be careful with the front glass element.

    Try it with the flash and you'll take some fun and surreal pictures with it!

    reviewed June 2nd, 2008 (purchased for $350)
  • Tamron 28-200mm f/3.8-5.6 XR Aspherical IF Macro AF

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Inexpensive, light, good zoom range, decent IQ
    Construction quality, slow focus in low light

    It seems everybody expects every lens to be tack sharp, ultra fast AF, and all for under $200. That is simply impossible.

    What this lens is, essentially, is a vacation zoom. You buy a lens like this because you don't want to have to carry all your lenses with you, so portability is the most important factor. This this lens is fairly light for its zoom capabilities so it meets that criteria with flying colors.

    The image quality is not bad either, i've seen softer images on some 70-300mm budget telephotos. AF works fine in the daytime, but is slow and sometimes gives up at night. Construction quality is typical budget Tamron. While it might not feel like a gem, everything works and seems quite tough.

    The important thing when shopping for a large zoom range lens like this is to keep in mind what you are after, portability. This is one of the lightest of them all, so it is one of the best valued vacation zooms out there.

    reviewed September 14th, 2008 (purchased for $120)
  • Pentax 40mm f/2.8 Limited SMC P-DA

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Tack sharp, very quick AF, small size, light weight, build quality

    This is a true gem in the Pentax's already amazing prime lineup. I mean pancakes are what Pentaxs are known for! Every pentax owner should have one of these in their camera bag. It won't take up a lot of space, i promise!

    From image quality, to build quality, from AF speed, to chromatic aberration control, everything is top notch. People complain that the lens doesnt have a bigger aperture, or the lens cap is too fiddly (it's not, you can always use a generic 49mm lens cap if you don't like the screw-on one), but they don't realise what we are getting for the price!

    Images can't get any sharper, even at f2.8! People pay $1000 for primes and can't get IQ like this! This is a bargain too good to pass up!

    It is also worth noting that a 50mm "normal" prime isn't really normal at all. Just google or wiki it, and you'll find out that the true normal focal length is 43mm.

    reviewed September 14th, 2008 (purchased for $300)