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12-19-2010, 01:16 PM   #1
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A few questions from a future owner

Hello Guys,

So... I decided to take the plunge and buy myself a new camera. I've been shooting strictly P&S cams after giving up medium format/35mm due to cost/time. I offloaded all of my equipment(previous Nikon user) a long time ago, so brand wasn't really a factor. In the end, I chose the K-5 because I like Pentax' lens lineup(lots of primes), low light performance, and the fact that you can actually get one today....

I have a few questions... Given that I'm moving into the system... I'm wondering if the kit lens is actually worth getting? The few images I've seen on flickr seemed ok.. I'll replace it in a few months, but for now, if I can get the kit + a 50-120 I'd be very happy. Once I start getting primes into the mix, I'll probably get rid of it.

Should I take a different approach as far as choosing my initial lenses goes? I thought about maybe getting a 35mm and 70mm or something along those lines(w/o the kit)... but then I think I'll be missing some range.(although your legs are the best zoom there is... )

12-19-2010, 01:57 PM   #2
hcc
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Welcome to Pentax. The Pentax kit lens is not bad compared to other brands. It is relatively good value for money... but it is not stellar.

One option is to get the kit lens and to use it while you learn to master the K-5.

Another alternative is to bypass the kit lens and to buy directly what you need. I did so and I have no regret.

However you did not describe much what and how you want to shoot. Without much details, it is difficult to give you much specific details on any lens.

The Pentax & K-mount lens line-up is very impressive with superb prime lenses, as well as excellent zoom lenses. You will get some useful inputs from independent reviews like Welcome to Photozone! and Camera lens tests, user reviews, camera accessory reviews - SLRgear.com!, as well as the Users' reviews at Pentax Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database. All these might be very useful toyou.

Enjoy your k-5 and happy shooting...
12-19-2010, 02:06 PM   #3
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Welcome here.
Indeed, the kit lens is fine for starters. Its performance may not be to the standard of Pentax's DA 16-45 or DA 17-70, but it certainly outdoes any other kit lens produced.
So the WR kit (18-55 and 50-200) will do you well for all weather situations (if that's your inclination), and if so, perhaps later on you'll move onto the DA* variety of lenses. Otherwise, there are plenty of non-WR options for you.
One thing at a time - start learning about how SLR cameras work and the fundamentals of photography, including exposure and composition.
Enjoy your time here.
12-19-2010, 02:14 PM   #4
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I got mine primarily because it was the DA 18-55 WR, and therefore a really cheap way to have a sealed lens and body. The WR kit is probably easier to sell, as it wasn't available for K20D or K10D users.

Aren't there other kits out there, like the K-5 and DA 18-135WR, or with the 35mm f2.4? The zoom is also sealed and may be a more interesting range.

12-19-2010, 06:47 PM   #5
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I would pass on a kit lens unless you want the WR version to keep for inclement weather.

The 35 and 70 would be a good start if you can live without something wide. I can't.
12-19-2010, 07:56 PM   #6
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Coming from a good P&S to my first dSLR, I asked myself, What I want to do that I can't do with what I have? My answers were ultrawide, ultralong, and low light; so with my K20D (and AF360 flash) I ordered a DA10-17 fisheye zoom, DA18-250 walkaround superzoom, and FA50/1.4 Nifty Fifty. And 155+ lenses later, those are still my most-used. I didn't get a DA18-55 until later (CHEAP!) and I use it mostly for hanging filters, optics adapters, etc.

One factor: the 18-55 kit is almost free when bought with a camera.

Another factor: Many buy an 18-55 and 50-300 (or whatever) 2-lens kit, but that means changing lenses at 50mm. I find I do much shooting in the 35-70 range, so I almost never use that set of glass -- I'll use the 18-250, or an agile and sharp F35-70 I got (CHEAP!) a few weeks ago. Each lens has its own window on the world. What sort of window do you want?

Yet another factor: Old manual primes are often MUCH cheaper (and smaller) than new AF zooms or primes. Some of my best glass cost less than US$10 each.

Is the 18-55 worth its price? Certainly! Will you be happy with it forever? Probably not. It's a good start, but don't think that it must anchor your lens lineup, and don't think that you'll immediately need to 'upgrade' for hundreds of bucks more -- not unless you want to make PenHoya managers and stockholders happy. Where you go depends on your desires and budget. You are not a novice. Think about where you want to go, what will get you there, and how much you'll spend for satisfaction. Have fun!
12-20-2010, 09:12 AM   #7
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By all means get the kit... it is a useful tool in that it teaches you what focal lengths you like better. As such... it's a sort of "trial lens" which is less expensive than making a purchasing mistake. You WILL outgrow it, but by then you will have learnt a whole lot about what you should invest in.

Also, the kit lens is a good lens to learn lens care with - if you are going to make a mistake cleaning your lens, it might as well be with the kit lens.

One alternative, which would be slightly hardcore, would be to buy the FA 50 1.4, which is a low-light machine and gives you a huge jump in quality over the kit.

What I ended up doing at the beginning was buying an old manual 50mm lens for very little (I actually got two), and the combination was very useful.

In the end, those cheap manual primes will help you decide where to spend your autofocus money.
12-20-2010, 09:42 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jinxed Quote
Hello Guys,

So... I decided to take the plunge and buy myself a new camera. I've been shooting strictly P&S cams after giving up medium format/35mm due to cost/time. I offloaded all of my equipment(previous Nikon user) a long time ago, so brand wasn't really a factor. In the end, I chose the K-5 because I like Pentax' lens lineup(lots of primes), low light performance, and the fact that you can actually get one today....

I have a few questions... Given that I'm moving into the system... I'm wondering if the kit lens is actually worth getting? The few images I've seen on flickr seemed ok.. I'll replace it in a few months, but for now, if I can get the kit + a 50-120 I'd be very happy. Once I start getting primes into the mix, I'll probably get rid of it.

Should I take a different approach as far as choosing my initial lenses goes? I thought about maybe getting a 35mm and 70mm or something along those lines(w/o the kit)... but then I think I'll be missing some range.(although your legs are the best zoom there is... )
Given your stated experience, I would 86 the kit lenses and go for the DA18-135 unless by 50-120 you mean 50-135 (don't know of a 50-120 Pentax mount lens). The kit 18-55 lens is ok but it will more likely frustrate you than please you.

my 2


12-21-2010, 12:52 PM   #9
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I ended up going with the 17-70 F4 and the 50mm 1.4.. My next purchase will probably be a 70-200 2.4 by sigma and then primes within the 10-70 range
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