15 June 2013

another old friend returns

Prodigal lenses surround me!

First it was the 28-90 Sigma/Quantaray (top), then a  100-300mm of the same vintage (left).  While seeking a wide option I rediscovered the Tamron 17-35 (right).  And now a used-but-effective 18-200 Sigma has reappeared (bottom).  I have many good memories from these lenses, from backpacking to general bikeabouts; the 18-200 is decently sharp for its type, shows far less chromatic fringing than the DA18-135, and reads f/5.6 out to 170mm before dropping to f/6.3 beyond that. Yes that means it's 5.9 with rounding but good enough for me!  Truly one could take prize-winning shots with such a lens, but I do not plan to dump everything else upon its arrival.

Depending on its focus speed it could be ideal for the K-01, and this plus a Limited prime in each pocket will do great things any time.  It's only 1:4ish for closeups, but I have just allowed my macro lens to leave the nest; seems I very seldom do more than 1:2 so extreme closeups are not my 'thing' and the 28-90 can do that.  At least I tried and I know my macro interest now, after trying out three dedicated macro primes!

So while this could be a kit-rearranging move, I expect that the budget is more likely the item that will cause changes.  As a newly retired human with smaller checks in my future, I may need to think about what gets used often and what just looks nice on my shelf.  We shall see!  In the meantime I can comfort myself with the knowledge that the four lenses cost me a total of just over $400 - and that's quite a lot of versatility for a relatively small price!

News Update 6/28
Well I did it again, but for a very good reason: a sub-$200 DA16-45 became available.  Compared to the Tamron 17-35 I gain coverage both wide and long, and shed 10mm off the filter size and 80 grams off the bag weight.  In exchange I lose full-frame/film coverage, f/2.8 at the wide end, and an  aperture ring.

 This change voids the last month or so of acquisitions, as the 28-90mm can go too: the DA16-45 goes nearly 1:3 on closeups at f/4 with smoother bokeh, so the 1:2 at f/5.6 is less amazing.  For that matter, even the 15mm fisheye is now at risk from the 16-45!  I'll probably keep the 28-90 for $35, and it can join the $25 100-300 as the film-capable lenses.  The 18-200 can stay too, as it's hard to beat as my casual lens.

In other news, the two excellent Rikenon lenses have moved on. They are both deserving of more time.  The 28/2.8P and 70-150/4 XR served me very well!  The Promaster 28-200 is also on the runway awaiting final instructions.

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