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10-25-2010, 10:49 PM   #1
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The future Perfect Lens Kit? Advice from more experienced Pentaxians please

I got some great advice here a few weeks ago when deciding to choose pentax for my jump to DSLR. I chose a K-7, and a big factor for me in all of this is the Weather Resistance as well as compactness.
So I decided to get the 18-55WR and 50-200WR DA kit set, but then with the release of the 18-135WR DA decided this would likely do much of the job of both of the above listed lenses, just losing some outside range, but the big trade-off being when fly fishing and traveling I could have one lens and wouldn't need to worry about the hassle of frequent lens changes. So I am going to start with the 18-135, hoping it will be available for a reasonable price soon and provide me with the versatility I'm hoping for.
I can't help but think about future lenses to complement this one though, when my college student budget will allow. I was thinking for an all purpose set to cover 99% of my needs, if I added the 12-24 DA and the 55-300 DA I could go anywhere and do pretty much anything with these three lenses (ok maybe the 10-17 fisheye would be cool too, but too much overlap with 12-24?). What do others think of that set of three? Seems like it would be a sweet bit of overlap between them without redundancy, but this is coming from a newby so I might well be misinformed.....any thoughts here?
But I mentioned that Weather Resistance is an important factor for me. This means I wouldn't buy the 12-24 or the 55-300 until pentax introduced WR versions.....I know speculation is common on the forums and doesn't tell us much, but is it unreasonable to think that these two DA series lenses are likely candidates for weather sealing with the current trend? I am hoping these would come out in the next year or two.
Thanks all! -Loren Elliott

10-25-2010, 10:59 PM   #2
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It sounds like a good set up if you want a few zooms to cover everything you want to do. 18-135WR will probably be a good lens and useful to a lot of people.

I wouldn't count on the 12-24mm and 55-300mm getting WR any time soon. The 18-135 isn't even available yet (but soon). DA 55-300WR is requested by a lot of people so that one probably has the best chance of getting WR out of the current lens line up. I don't have high hopes of a DA 12-24mm WR although it would be nice.
10-26-2010, 01:15 AM   #3
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Loren,
First congratulations for the K-7. You cannot get wrong with it, but it is worthwhile to read the instruction manual because the camera has many very useful functions.

I agree with lowspark86 that the 18-55WR and 50-200WR DA kit set is a worthwhile zoom lens set to consider.

The alternative 18-135WR is also a nice option to have a more compact system and limit/reduce lens swapping. Personally I would favor the 18-135WR over the WR kit lenses.

I have a K-7 that I use often outdoor in harsch conditons, and I went on a different way. I chose the DA18-250mm as my all-around lens and I complemented it by fast prime lens (Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4).

The DA18-250mm and its sibbling Tamron 18-250mm is a superb lens in its own category, with all limitations of such a zoom, and all the versability of the huge focal length range. It is well-liked among Pentaxians and the envy of many Canikon users. The 18-250mm is not WR, but the lens is very sturdy. It does not have OS not HSM, and that is an advantage in solidity. See for example: K-7 and Steve Kroeger climb Aconcagua (6962m); yes the lens on the K-7 is the DA18-250mm!!!

The main weakness is the 18-250mm is its low light capability. Hence I complemented the 18-250 by a large aperture lens (f1.4) that makes a huge difference at dusk, sunset, sunrise. The Nokton 58mm is a very sturdy lens that is basically WR 'without the badge'. The fast prime is small and can fit easily in my jacket pocket. And I have a small top-loader bag for the K-7 + DA18-250mm + charger + cables.

In practice, I use the 18-250mm nearly 80% of the time, and the fast prime Nokton 58mm in low-light conditions primarily.

I hope that the experience will help.
10-26-2010, 04:26 AM   #4
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I recommend you start experimenting with the 18-135 and see which focal lengths you really like. THEN you'll be able to decide which lenses to buy to complement your kit.

You could also consider a few inexpensive, manual primes, to see how you like that. A fast prime is a must in most kits.

10-27-2010, 04:10 PM   #5
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thanks for the input all, much appreciated! Maybe I will get a wide angle Raynox a few months down the line, and see how useful the super wide angle is before investing in a lens if I decide to in a year or two.

Thanks again! -LE
10-27-2010, 04:57 PM   #6
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A fast 27mm f/1.4 prime, like the good 'ol days should be the new kit lens. So many photographers would be better of it they don't retard their skills by using a slow zoom lens.

bus since such a thing is unlikely to occur, I actually got My K10D with the 16-45mm f/4 and it wasn't a bad lens. it has since been discontinued AFAIK, and the nearest equivalent would be the 17-70 f/4.
10-27-2010, 05:10 PM   #7
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if you have the money, why not consider parring a 16-50 with a 50-135?
10-27-2010, 05:54 PM   #8
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My future perfect lens-kit consists of many many lenses...

the 10-17mm, 16-50mm,50-135mm, and "a few" primes..
like FA31, a 55mm, FA77,A135 f1.8, da*200
and 100macro.. ..


10-27-2010, 07:27 PM   #9
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I don't have the money for the DA* unfortunately, atleast not now. Of course I realize these lenses will provide superior IQ, be faster, etc making them so pricy, but if I am content with a "good" lens rather than a "great" one, wouldn't the 18-135 make a lot more sens than breaking up that focal range into 2 lenses just to gain 2mm (assuming the 18-135 is a decent lens throughout its range) ?

I have definitely observed on the boards that many look down on zooms in favor of primes. For those of you does the increased versatility really do that little to make up for being a bit slower and losing a little IQ (assuming it's a good zoom)? I am curious why primes are SO favored.

-LE
10-27-2010, 08:15 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Loren E Quote
I don't have the money for the DA* unfortunately, atleast not now. Of course I realize these lenses will provide superior IQ, be faster, etc making them so pricy, but if I am content with a "good" lens rather than a "great" one, wouldn't the 18-135 make a lot more sens than breaking up that focal range into 2 lenses just to gain 2mm (assuming the 18-135 is a decent lens throughout its range) ?

I have definitely observed on the boards that many look down on zooms in favor of primes. For those of you does the increased versatility really do that little to make up for being a bit slower and losing a little IQ (assuming it's a good zoom)? I am curious why primes are SO favored.

-LE
I use zooms for the flexibility; that's my personal choice. In order to use zooms, I paid for the good ones and added DxO software to make some very nice corrections to the lens faults, such as distortion, vignetting, etc. for another $150. The three zooms I carry with the DSLR are the DA and DA* lenses in my signature.

I have not replaced the macro, nor have I replaced the 400, simply because the $$$ are not there right now. Anyone who finds the 250-600 just too heavy to carry around can "lend" it to me.
10-27-2010, 09:24 PM   #11
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Congrats on the K7. An 18-135 zoom is a pretty good size covering a good range. As time goes on you will have a much better idea about which lenses you will want. Everybody is different in what they shoot and the lenses they use. An ultra wide zoom like the 12-24 would be a good addition (or the 10-17 if the fisheye seems more appealing) and a longer tele zoom. Zooms are convenient and I tend to go that route. The 12-24 is said to match a prime with it's IQ. It's on my wish list. Changing lenses a lot outside is going to get dust in the camera and on the sensor so the less lens changing the better. That said, the reason we own SLR's is all the wonderful lenses waiting to be used.
10-27-2010, 09:36 PM   #12
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if you want a single lens solution, I think the 18-135mm would be the best choice and just add a TC if you need the extra focal length. the TC would however depend on how good the 18-135 will be. if not, a 2 lens solution, 18-135 + the 55-300.
10-27-2010, 09:40 PM   #13
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I won't offer any lens suggestions. I will show the comparison of the 10-17 and 12-24. I wish now I had shot the fisheye at 10mm for completeness, but at the time there was no need. Just imagine it wider and more curved :-)

As you can see, the same focal lengths are...different.

10-28-2010, 12:06 AM   #14
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Enjoy your K-7.
As mentioned above, you're getting very disparate results from the 10-17 compared with the 12-24. Simply put, the fish eye distortion creates a larger field of view than the 12-24, which is a 'straight' or rectilinear lens.

I also wouldn't count on more WR lenses to come out soon. The DA*s will be as good as you'll get with WR, and the current kit lenses are just that, but also have WR. I actually think what you have will suffice, particularly if you're out and about in unfavourable weather conditions. The 12-24 won't be a huge overlap (the 12-18mm range offers a massive widening of the field of view compared to the 18-24mm part) but probably won't become WR.

The 55-300 is excellent, even as a replacement for the 50-200 but again isn't WR at this stage, who knows, maybe it will be as speculated above.
10-28-2010, 12:34 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Loren E Quote
But I mentioned that Weather Resistance is an important factor for me. This means I wouldn't buy the 12-24 or the 55-300 until pentax introduced WR versions....
Loren, what prevents you from investing in a special bag or another accessory that will facilitate shooting with non WR in bad weather? If so you invest, your lens choices will be virtually limitless...
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