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01-02-2011, 06:52 PM   #1
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My 2011 lens lineup ideas

Well I've purchased a K5 and LOVE it, it has also prompted me to re-evaluate my lens lineup, as I do quite often. The AF speed and accuracy of the K5 really is amazing, and it has prompted me to gain confidence in the AF lens lineup, something I have steered away from in the past in both Minolta/Sony and Pentax mounts. Neither my Minolta 7D nor my K10D were accurate enough to keep up, so I just ended up mounted my m42 lenses...a lovely lineup of SMC Takumars, instead.

But...I've been playing with the 31/1.8 for the last 6 months and I can say without a doubt that it's a fine lens, but I found that I rarely found myself in a situation where the AF made much difference. Sure it was nice to have that confirmation, but most of my shots at the focal length can be accomplished with manual focus...so today I let it go, and have returned to the old faithful, 35/2 Super-Multi-Coated Takumar for that length. I also prefer 35mm to the 31...that 4mm is enough to make a difference.

So...I will be abiding by the following lens lineup resolution for this year: Cover the desired focal lengths manual focus primes + AF Zooms (and/or telephotos).

This means for slower, more deliberate and artistic shooting I get the quality and usability of the old school primes, but for the walk-about and back-country shooting I get the portability, AF and conveinence offered by a zoom lens.

My manual focus lineup extends from 17mm-500mm and includes the following:

17/4 Super-Multi-Coated Fisheye Takumar
35/2 Super-Multi-Coated Takumar
50/1.4 SMC Takumar
85/1.8 Super-Multi-Coated Takumar
120/2.8 Super-Multi-Coated Takumar
300/4 Super-Multi-Coated Takumar
500/4.5 Super-Multi-Coated Takumar

I now need to fiture my AF lineup. I'm leaning heavily towards the new 18-135 and either the 55-300 or the 60-250. I have also used the Sigma 17-70mm and am quite impressed. I do have the 55-300 and am not unimpressed so far. While I appreciate it's size and weight, it isn't weather sealed, and it's the zoom lenses that woule likely acocmpany me on backpacking expeditions. More reflection is needed on the AF lens setup. Any suggestions for a two-lens solution?

I'm also leaning towards picking up the 1.7x AF teleconverter for my telephoto primes, though I'd also consider tracking down an AF telephoto prime for more wildlife options, something like a 400/5.6 Sigma APO, though I have a feeling they're hard to come by in pentax mount.

Anyway, just throwing this out there for discussion. Anyone built a similar lineup, or have thoughts or suggestions?

01-02-2011, 10:01 PM   #2
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I suggest that you first make up your mind You mention the Sigma 17-70 but at the same time you complain about the 55-300 not being weather sealed; how weather sealed is the Sigma?

So if weather sealing is important, your options are limited. You can add the DA*16-50, the DA18-55WR and the DA50-200WR in the mix and that's it (except for the primes).
01-02-2011, 11:04 PM   #3
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WR isn't an absolute necessity, it just seems like a good idea The limited reach and "enh" IQ of the 50-200 WR keeps it low on my list, and if I had a 18-135 I wouldn't bother with something that stopped at 200mm...too much overlap.

If only they would make a WR version of the 55-300...that'd be a great lens.
01-02-2011, 11:09 PM   #4
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I have been considering the same thing for when I get my K-5. My wife and I do a lot of camping/hiking/rafting/canoeing etc. which is why I wanted the K-5 in the first place for the WR.

My goal is to have the K-5 and 2 WR lenses for when I am likely to be in a situation where I would not take my older manual lenses. I have been thinking about the 18-55 kit lens (so cheap I have to try it) and 1 additional telephoto lens out of the following: DA50-200W or the *60-250, unless the 55-300 is weather sealed?

Any lenses I got after that would not be used on any outdoor backwoods excursions.

01-02-2011, 11:26 PM   #5
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Do you enjoy changing lenses constantly? You have too many lenses.
01-02-2011, 11:33 PM   #6
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Nice post.

Firstly I'd say to check whether the 300/4 will play nicely with the AFA x1.7 - I have both and so far they don't. I can't get focus at all and not sure what is wrong but since I didn't buy the AFA to work with that lense I am not going to bother exploring it further. THe AFA works fine with other lenses so it's either compatibility or a problem with the 300/4 (works fine otherwise).

From your line-up you are missing an UWA lense. These are so much fun. I have and love the Sigma 10-20 (see the dedicated thread on here for examples) but the Tamron 10-24 and Pentax 12-24 are very similar.

For a two lense WR kit then the DA*16-50 and DA*60-250 is superb and if you add the AFA then has you covered all the way up to 425mm. With your MF skills I'm sure you'll just love the AFA.

If you are considering the 17-70 (non WR) then I'd also consider the Tamron 17-50 and Sigma 17-50 - both cheaper than the Pentax DA*16-50 and just as good - but without WR - all those three have a constant f2.8.
01-02-2011, 11:39 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by dhugo3 Quote
I have been considering the same thing for when I get my K-5. My wife and I do a lot of camping/hiking/rafting/canoeing etc. which is why I wanted the K-5 in the first place for the WR.

My goal is to have the K-5 and 2 WR lenses for when I am likely to be in a situation where I would not take my older manual lenses. I have been thinking about the 18-55 kit lens (so cheap I have to try it) and 1 additional telephoto lens out of the following: DA50-200W or the *60-250, unless the 55-300 is weather sealed?

Any lenses I got after that would not be used on any outdoor backwoods excursions.
The 55-300 is not WR, but an excellent budget long lens none the less.

There is a world of difference in pricing between the 18-55 at one end and the 60-250 at the other ! You really need to decide on your budget first. Some people here have said the 50-200WR is an excellent under-rated lens though I haven't used it myself.
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