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11-17-2010, 11:22 AM   #1
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What better zoom lens for the K-r?

Hi all.

My daughter is receiving a beautiful white K-r with its matching white kit lens (18-45?? - not sure) for her birthday (from a very generous "better half").
He emailed me the other day, asking what good/great zoom lens would be the best choice to match the K-r.
I tried to convince him to get her a Kx because she is very new at DSLR's but he decided to go with the K-r instead ... his choice, probably a very good one too?

Anyway, she does a fair amount of hiking, climbing, trekking, etc ... but also wants a lens which could have an interesting focal range, up to 200-250mm, and that is easily portable and not heavy.
It does not have to be "fast" ... but with good enough IQ.
Do Pentax make a zoom of that range that is WR? This is not absolutely necessary but considering what kind of outdoor activities she does ... might be a good idea to consider some sort of weather resistant lens. Yes? No?

I was thinking about the old DA 18-250 (not WR) (I had some good results with that) but I am sure that there are tons of other and better choices out there.
I also thought of the new 18-135 which is supposed to be available soon, but again, I think this just might not be long enough.

Whether it is new equipment or in the used department (MarketPlace? - I am looking though this right now), would anyone give their opinion or suggestion(s) here?

Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers.

JP


Last edited by jpzk; 11-17-2010 at 11:32 AM.
11-17-2010, 01:10 PM   #2
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Pentax makes a WR 50-200. Fairly small for the focal length, and a fair performer.
(The one that comes with the camera is 18-55).
11-17-2010, 01:53 PM   #3
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It would seem a bit silly to get a WR lens for the k-r since the body is not weather resistant (unless there are plans for a weather resistant body in the future).
11-17-2010, 02:11 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by kswier Quote
It would seem a bit silly to get a WR lens for the k-r since the body is not weather resistant (unless there are plans for a weather resistant body in the future).
It's not silly at all. If the OP's son-in-law doesn't get the k-r kit to include the DA-L version, getting the DA 50-200 WR would be a fine complement, whether it's on a weather resistant body or not. A lens made for the wet doesn't care that it's only used in the dry.

It's not the sharpest glass that Pentax makes but it's a capable performer and is quite compact making a good lens for hiking and other physical endeavors.

11-17-2010, 02:34 PM   #5
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The DA(L) 55-300 1:4-5.8 seems to be a good quality (in particular, better than the 50-200) consumer telezoom, there is even a two lens k-r kit with which the DAL version can be had at a very good price.
11-17-2010, 02:49 PM   #6
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I would also recommend the DA 55-300 -- in any of its forms. The DA (L) is the least expensive but should be optically the same. And, as jolepp mentions above, it's already being packaged in a K-r kit.

The old Pentax 18-250 all-in-one isn't being made any more and Tamron's newer 18-270 isn't available in a Pentax mount. But their older 18-200 is still around:

Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II Macro Lens AF014P700 B&H

And Sigma has a 18-250 with optical stabilization for Pentax:

Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM Autofocus Zoom Lens 880-109
11-17-2010, 02:58 PM   #7
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Oh yes, the k-r is a good choice ... basically it is an improved k-x (improved AF with point indicators on the viewfinder, hi-res display, ... not essential, but nice, of course :-) Also, the basic kit lens is 18-55, and actually pretty decent.
11-17-2010, 03:08 PM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
...Anyway, she does a fair amount of hiking, climbing, trekking, etc ... but also wants a lens which could have an interesting focal range, up to 200-250mm, and that is easily portable and not heavy.
Hiking, etc implies lightweight & photos of wide vistas and wildlife (which are always just a little too far away) - Therefore for a one lens solution: used Tamron 18-250, a Tamron 18-200, or Sigma 17-250; for a maybe optically better two lens solution, Pentax 18-55mm & 50-300mm.

Dave


Last edited by newarts; 11-17-2010 at 03:20 PM.
11-17-2010, 04:02 PM   #9
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Note that the DAL version of the 55-300 does not include a hood, which is not cheap. The Marketplace seems to have a "regular" 55-300 from time to time, which might be an option.
11-17-2010, 07:18 PM   #10
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Thanks to all of you people!

I did checked the reviews for a few zoom lenses and one that probably got the best score was the DA 55-300 F4-5.8.
Although it is not weather resistant, it could well be a better choice.
However, it does not have a hood. Any way to fit one on it at all, even a rubber type one?

I did check the Tamron and Sigma as mentioned above. They also seem like possible good choices.

So, I am now in a better position to try to locate what I am looking for.

Thanks to all. If anyone else have suggestions other then those above, please do!

Cheers.

JP
11-17-2010, 07:39 PM   #11
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The DA 55-300 does include a hood. It is the DA-L 55-300 that omits the hood. The non-L version also has a metal mount vs plastic for the L version. The DA-L is only sold as a kit lens but does come up for sale in the marketplace forum.
11-18-2010, 02:47 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
...
However, it does not have a hood. Any way to fit one on it at all, even a rubber type one?
...
With the kit version this is not included (also plastic mount and not quick shift, optically the same though). The hood attachment is there so the original hood can be bought separately, also there are 3rd party ones for this on ebay (I've one of these, the fit is a bit loose though). A generic hood for the 58mm filter thread would also work.
11-18-2010, 02:56 AM   #13
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+1 vote for the Pentax 55-300. I bought the DA and am extremely happy with it so far. Amazingly light and compact (at least compared with my old manual focus Canon of about the same range) and IQ is terrific in what I've done with it so far.

As for the missing hood on the DA-L, just search 'Pentax 55-300 lens hood' on ebay and you'll find various copies on offer for not much. I just bought a similar one for the 18-55 and it's fine - even has the little door for access to filters.
11-18-2010, 02:40 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by DonP Quote
The DA 55-300 does include a hood. It is the DA-L 55-300 that omits the hood. The non-L version also has a metal mount vs plastic for the L version. The DA-L is only sold as a kit lens but does come up for sale in the marketplace forum.
Thanks Don.

I was under the impression that neither had the hood.

JP

---------- Post added 11-18-10 at 04:42 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jolepp Quote
With the kit version this is not included (also plastic mount and not quick shift, optically the same though). The hood attachment is there so the original hood can be bought separately, also there are 3rd party ones for this on ebay (I've one of these, the fit is a bit loose though). A generic hood for the 58mm filter thread would also work.
As long as one hood is available somewhere, I am happy with that.
Thanks,

JP

---------- Post added 11-18-10 at 04:43 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by djb21au Quote
+1 vote for the Pentax 55-300. I bought the DA and am extremely happy with it so far. Amazingly light and compact (at least compared with my old manual focus Canon of about the same range) and IQ is terrific in what I've done with it so far.

As for the missing hood on the DA-L, just search 'Pentax 55-300 lens hood' on ebay and you'll find various copies on offer for not much. I just bought a similar one for the 18-55 and it's fine - even has the little door for access to filters.
Nice to see you like the lens, djb.

I am almost ready to make a deal with someone for buying what seems to be a very good used one.

JP
11-18-2010, 03:21 PM   #15
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If you end up getting the 55-300, an idea for her next birthday might be the Raynox 150. The word is that in combination with 55-300 this makes a nice macro lens substitute :-)
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