Christmas & Holiday Pentax Shopping Guide
Gift ideas and more!
By PF Staff in Articles and Tips on Dec 19, 2011
With Christmas Day just 5 days away, we felt compelled to put together a holiday shopping guide for those of you who have yet to buy gifts!
Unfortunately, Pentax have kept quiet lately, and no new DSLRs or K-mount lenses have been announced this year. This doesn't mean that now's not the time to buy a Pentax, though! Plus, you can always treat yourself to lenses or accessories, which (hopefully) never become obsolete.
If you want a new yet affordable DSLR, you should go for the K-r before stock runs out! Having been discontinued several weeks ago, retailers' supplies are running out, and the camera is no longer available directly from Pentax. However, you can still get the following K-r kits new, while supplies last:
- 18-55mm + 55-300mm K-r kit at B&H ($709)
- 35mm K-r kit at Adorama ($629)
- White K-r body-only at Adorama ($499)
When the successor to the K-r is announced it likely won't be as affordable as the K-r currently is for a while, so get it while it's hot (and around!).
Another choice is the K-5, which still has best-in-class image quality and is the most affordable high-end DSLR of its kind. It can be had for as little as $1089 on Amazon, while most others retailers are selling it for $1199 (the $300 instant rebate is in effect through January). For more information on the K-5, please take a look at our in-depth review.
If someone you know is in to novelty items, then you can treat them to a Pentax Q: the smallest interchangeable-lens digital camera in the world. While it's certainly not the sharpest tool in the shed, it does a very good job for its size, and has an extremely solid build. For more remarks on the Q, see our in-depth review.
Finally, we know we're a Pentax site, but we just have to recommend the Fuji X10. Good luck finding one before Christmas, though!
There is currently a number of deals and discounts on Sigma lenses for Pentax, all of which are listed in the following news posts:
Another lens which we hold in high regard is the Tamron 17-50mm. For only $414 (after $25 mail-in rebate) it outperforms the Pentax DA* 16-50mm in terms of image quality: see our findings in the 16-50mm vs 17-50mm comparative review.
We are currently unaware of any rebates on genuine Pentax lenses; however, they all seem to be readily available at retailers nationwide, with the exception of the DA 12-24mm.
Lastly, we'd like to mention that the classic Pentax-FA 35mm F2 lens has re-appeared at B&H, despite having been flagged as discontinued twice in the past year. Pentax must either be producing these once again, or a lot of stock must have been found. See what users think about the Pentax FA 35mm.
If you'd like to save some money you can also pick up this lens's cousin, the DA 35mm F2.4. If you can live with having a plastic mount, then it can be had for under $170.
If own any expensive lenses, it's always a good idea to get a UV filter to protect the front element. Don't cut corners here by getting a $2 filter, though, as some UV filters can have an adverse effect on image quality. We recommend Hoya filters - they're available in all sizes (the three most common sizes for Pentax lenses are 49mm, 52mm and 67mm).
Another handy little toy is Giotto's rocket blower. For under $10, this thing can clean sensors, lenses, your computer, and more!
If you use your external flash a lot, a neat accessory is the Gary Fong lightsphere, which is an innovative diffuser designed to make your flash deliver the softest light possible.
If you rely on the on-board flash, there's still hope: Gary Fong's "Puffer" diffuser attaches to your camera's hotshoe and works with the on-board flash! If having a compact setup is a priority for you, then this can certainly come in handy.
It's these smaller accessories that make great gifts!
For more powerful lighting solutions, B&H carries a variety of discount products under the "Impact" brand that get the job done quite well despite their affordable prices: for example, this two-umbrella kit is only $98!
Pentax flashes are quite expensive, and only the one for $400 (the AF-540FGZ) can tilt and swivel. Well, you can get the same functionality from the Metz-50, and it even includes a free softbox and diffuser!
If you shoot Pentax but don't have at least one legacy lens, you're missing out on half the fun! Visit our Marketplace for great deals on vintage Pentax gear. Another great source for used Pentax gear is KEH.com.
For a comprehensive listing of all the goodies Pentax (and other manufacturers) have produced in the past, visit our Pentax Lens Database!
If you're a student, you're in luck: you can score lighroom for as little as $89, and the whole basic Adobe suite for $299.
$1000 of Free Stuff
If you don't want to pay for your new gear, you don't have to - but you'll have to wait until the start of next year! In the PentaxForums.com holiday giveaway we are giving away over $1000 in B&H gift cards! Best of all, the giveaway isn't luck based. Simply write a photographic article that others will find helpful or useful and if ends up being one of the 7 most popular entries, it will win!
Many thanks for to B&H Photo for sponsoring this event!
Don't Ebay Your Gear!
If Santa decides to bring you a shiny new Pentax or lens, don't sell your old one on eBay! Make gear easily-accessible to the Pentax community and avoid fees by selling on our marketplace - all it takes is a $7.50 donation and you'll be able to sell for 3 months, or, choose to donate $15 for a full year of access.
You can also upgrade another member's account with Marketplace access- see this announcement for details.
Finally, you can also score free marketplace access by supporting us and shopping at our affiliates. Details here.
Happy Holidays! After Christmas is over and everyone has opened their presents, we'll post a thread on the forum in which you can share the excitement!