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08-08-2010, 01:58 PM   #1
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Using just the kit lenses

I'm thinking about going back to just the kit lenses (18-55/50-200) and focusing less on gear, I had a brief run in with LBA but I think it was just a short phase and the gaping hole in my checking account kind of shook some sense back into me

Unless it will throttle creativity and make me unable to produce decent pictures I don't see any way I can't live with just the kit lenses for a long long time, and I'm pretty sure that's not the case

Just looking at the kit lens club and the DA zoom club I'm pretty sure that they are perfectly fine lenses, but generally everyone emphases the extreme importance of nice lenses, especially in the Pentax camp

Anyone have any thoughts on the switch? Because I'm split right down the middle on the decision and have a little over a week to return my two limiteds, which I can still afford to keep if I had to

(and in case anyone was going to suggest a body switch up to save $$, I can't go back to a Kx because I need WR and can't switch to a K20d because I need video)

08-08-2010, 02:30 PM   #2
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You can definitely take good photos with the kit lenses- hell, a lot of those in our exclusive gallery are taken with them. They only become lacking when you want to shoot close-ups, low-light shots, extreme teles, or want to play with bokeh, but apart from that, they're stellar lenses

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08-08-2010, 02:42 PM   #3
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If you aren't finding your Limiteds conducive to the advancement of your photography then by all means sell them. My opinion is that some people just bond with certain lenses/types of lenses and not others. But, since you have them, do try them out (and especially doing things you might not do with your kit lenses) and see if they end up provoking any inspiration.
08-08-2010, 03:02 PM   #4
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Those DA-WR's are good lenses and will keep you busy awhile. Your Limiteds are great, but I understand the financial pain. Where I see holes: At least a faster fifty, like around f/1.4 and, depending on your preferences, something fast in the 85-105mm range, f/2 or better. A Raynox DCR-250 or -150, and/or some tubes for your M50, if you want to explore macros easily.

As I've mentioned before, I have a zillion lenses, most of them cheap. But I can't carry them all at once. I compare your lenses with my usual load and I see parallels: I use a DA10-17 (slower) or Zenitar 16/2.8 (faster) in place of your L15/4; I may use a 35 or 37 f/2.8 in place of your L40/2.8; my 50/1.4 is just a crucial stop faster than your 50/2; my 18-250 takes the place of your two WR's; and I add a 24 or 28 f/2.8 for 'scapes and an 85/2 or 135/2.5 for faster reach. And my Raynox 250.

Back in pre-zoom 135 days, a working pro might carry the equivalent of a 16 or 19 (24 or 28) wide, a 28 (35) wide normal, a 35 (50) fast long normal, a 58 (85) portrait, and a 90 (135) short tele, all f/2.8 or faster. Your WR's cover that range and more, but slower. Your Limiteds are great, but not fast. I'd counsel: FASTER! And being cheap, I'd advise manual primes.

But you must decide on your photographic goals. Where do you want to go? And what will get you there? Shooting your zooms will give you an idea of what focal lengths you prefer. Then you can decide whether faster is worth the cost.

08-08-2010, 03:06 PM   #5
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Try just not using the limiteds and see what happens. Or just leave one limited on all the time.

As pointed out earlier, the biggest thing you'd be giving up in my opinion is aperture control. If you always shoot f/8, it will be less of an issue of course, as will IQ. And if you don't need wider than 18mm, or if top notch IQ at 18mm isn't an issue?
08-08-2010, 03:08 PM   #6
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I've gone with kit-plus (16-45 and 55-300), plus manual-focus gear. While I'd love to afford a limited or two, these zooms plus a 50 cover the bases for me. The DA* special zooms are too massive for me, so Pentax' DA zooms are great - and I really like the versatility of my 16-45.
08-08-2010, 03:18 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimr-pdx Quote
I've gone with kit-plus (16-45 and 55-300), plus manual-focus gear. While I'd love to afford a limited or two, these zooms plus a 50 cover the bases for me. The DA* special zooms are too massive for me, so Pentax' DA zooms are great - and I really like the versatility of my 16-45.
+1 on this one. not too pricey and heavy, but the IQ is all worth it considering the price.
08-08-2010, 03:19 PM   #8
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Kit lenses need to be of a half decent quality, due to the fact that when many folk buy a camera that's what comes with it and all their first pictures will taken with it.

If the images were no good, both the reputation of the camera and the brand would be tarnished, no manufacturer wants that, hence decent kit lenses.

08-08-2010, 03:22 PM   #9
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The question is, why did you buy the limiteds in the first place? If it's to really use them, no point giving them up. If it's to have them sitting around looking pretty, no point keeping them.
08-08-2010, 03:28 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWyatt Quote
The question is, why did you buy the limiteds in the first place? If it's to really use them, no point giving them up. If it's to have them sitting around looking pretty, no point keeping them.
Good question. I waited about 6 month with just the kit lenses to see what my most used focal lengths were, I almost never put my 50-200 on and sometimes wished that my 18-55 lens was wider or faster so I figured the 2 limited would be a good step up from the 18-55 that would fill all my needs and boost IQ

I chose the 2 limiteds over just one fast zoom because I didn't want to make any compromises in IQ or I would have felt like I was just throwing money away, I'm sort of all-or-nothing with big purchases
08-08-2010, 03:35 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by future_retro Quote
Good question. I waited about 6 month with just the kit lenses to see what my most used focal lengths were, I almost never put my 50-200 on and sometimes wished that my 18-55 lens was wider or faster so I figured the 2 limited would be a good step up from the 18-55 that would fill all my needs and boost IQ

I chose the 2 limiteds over just one fast zoom because I didn't want to make any compromises in IQ or I would have felt like I was just throwing money away, I'm sort of all-or-nothing with big purchases
Sounds like a fair enough purchase. Do you use them?
08-08-2010, 03:40 PM   #12
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I've only had them for a few days and for one reason or another haven't really used the camera all that much since receiving them. I got them at this point in time because I'm going to go on a trip to New York in a week, which I usually come back with at least 4 or 5 hundred pictures

Here's the kicker, I got the lenses form B&H and Adorama so I can return them directly in New York if I wanted to, but the return policies end the first 2 days of the trip so I can't really actively test them in the environment that I basically bought them for
08-08-2010, 04:27 PM   #13
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You could explain your situation to customer service and ask them to provide you with an extra 7 days waiver (but get it in writing). If both say yes, great, try out the lenses. If 1 says no and 1 says yes, return the lens to the company that said no, and pick up the same lens from the other company when you get to NY. If both say no, you can either
- test the lenses in 2 days
- return the lenses, eat the shipping and
...a.) - stick to the kit
...b.) - buy them in person once you get to NY
You could also check out rental prices and weigh the going price of a like-new used lens w/warranty against what you paid for them. If you are confident you can sell the lenses after the trip and only lose $100 or so, you could justify it to yourself like that.
08-11-2010, 03:46 PM   #14
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I could be perfectly happy using the kit zooms for the shots that don't require larger apertures, but I'd still need faster lenses in the normal and medium telephoto range. So the two kit zooms plus maybe the DA40 and M135/3.5.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 08-12-2010 at 08:22 AM.
08-11-2010, 05:37 PM   #15
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It sounds like you (the OP) have a very reasonable setup. It is similar to one that I used for about a year. (DA18-55, DA 50-200, DA40) The DA40 gives you a lower light option in a long normal FL, and the 15mm gives you a significantly wider view than the kit lens. If you are in a semi-minimalist mood, this is a very good collection. I did have some older manual lenses to supplement my formerly minimal DA collection, but I found I did not use them often.
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