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02-25-2011, 06:34 AM   #1
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PLease Help a Pentax Newbie with Lenses

Okay, so I'm new to the forum and my first thread received such excellent responses from you Pentaxians that I thought I'd try again.

I think I"ve finally decided to get a K-R and I need to pick some inexpensive lenses to start.

The back story: Former owner of (in order) Olympus e-510, Canon XSi, Canon 40d, Nikon d90, Nikon d700 and Canon 7d. Alas, last summer financial woes forced the sale of all photo equipment . It's been a long 6 months, but I've scraped up around 850 to try again. As a photo nerd, I've obsessed over reviews all winter and have landed on the K-R.

Okay, so the body can be had new at Abe's of Maine for 557(), or 606 with the cheapie 18-55 (DA-L). I hear that the AL II version is better (sharper), but they don't use that one for the kits. It's 100 bucks alone, and I wonder if I'd be better served with an F or FA older zoom for that money (or less). I'm already having to spend twice as much for the nifty 50mm 1.7 than I had to for the Canon and Nikon equivalents, so I have to cut costs somewhere. Looking for sharpest cheap zoom I can get that will autofocus on the K-R.

Man, I gotta work on my lack of brevity.
HELP!!!! (please)

02-25-2011, 06:51 AM   #2
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The 18-55 kit lenses coming with the current Pentax cameras are of the improved "DA II" variety AFAIK. A perfectly decent lens, a bargain even for that sort of price. Executive summary (lifted from photozone.de ) : there are better lenses, but they also set you back much more. (Be sure to check out the photos here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/45425-kit-lens-club.html ).
02-25-2011, 06:54 AM   #3
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All I'll say is, order through B&H, and forget a zoom for now:

Check out the new 35 instead. Then save your shekels for a quality zoom in the range you want.

You already have photo experience, so it's not like you're a beginner who's going to need the "comfort" of a zoom right off the bat. When you do, get the good stuff.
02-25-2011, 07:55 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
All I'll say is, order through B&H, and forget a zoom for now:

Check out the new 35 instead. Then save your shekels for a quality zoom in the range you want.

You already have photo experience, so it's not like you're a beginner who's going to need the "comfort" of a zoom right off the bat. When you do, get the good stuff.
That is a good idea.

02-25-2011, 07:59 AM   #5
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Don't overlook manual focus lenses

With your experience, you might try some less expensive manual-focus lenses. I have several of the Pentax 50mm (f1.4 and f1.7) which are optically very good. The A-versions permit aperture to be set by the camera. You can get a good idea of prices by checking Marketplace sales here.

In your position, I might also choose to get the kit lens since it covers a useful range and is optically quite decent. I've sometimes seen the camera + kit lens prices equal to or lower than the body alone.

Mike
02-25-2011, 08:12 AM   #6
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I hate to differ, but I would go ahead and get the kit lens (DA-L) that is sold with the kr. It is the cheapest way to get to 18mm (which is hard to get to with older lenses) and optically it is the same as the (better constructed) DA 18-55 version II, just without a hood or quick shift capability.

The DA 35 f2.4 does look like a nice lens if you want a prime in addition, but kit lens is decent.
02-25-2011, 08:21 AM   #7
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i tend to agree with Ira, the 35 seems to be a much better lens, and used kits come up cheaper than the $100 on a regular basis, but you won't find a good used AF 35 for cheap. bh is selling the kr/35 kit for a pretty reasonable 769. take a look at Jack's single in February album. it was all shot with the 35. not all stellar shots (none of us achieve that on the single competitions except rense ) but it has certainly given me some serious lba for that lens since it is a focal length i'm missing

jackassp's Album: Single in February - PentaxForums.com

then save for a couple of weeks and you can pickup a kit zoom used if you feel the need or save for a better one like the 16-45 f4
02-25-2011, 08:24 AM   #8
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K-R + DAL 35 is a good start.

More useful than a 50 IMHO.

If you want more focal lengths though (and who wouldn't), check out the

DA 16-45 (f4)

Tamron 17-50 (f2.8).

The tamron is killer.

If you need a bit of extra money, consider buying the K-X instead. Money spent on lenses makes much more sense to me than money spent on bodies.

02-25-2011, 08:26 AM   #9
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My guess is, with your experience you wont be disappointed with the kit zoom on a K-r but you may not be all that impressed.

If you're just getting back in, and want to go inexpensive, the 35 might be a great way to go.

There's also the 50/1.4 which is super cheap, and you can obtain from amazon warehouse deals from time to time for cheaper.

Since, based on your resume of gear, my guess is you're likely to obtain some of the better stuff over time, I suggest sticking to the less expensive primes for the time being, and watch the marketplace here in the forums and your local classifieds for the nice gear as it gets more affordable for you.

Ultimately, there are very few Pentax primes, even dating back to the older A and M series, that will fail to impress. In fact, you can usually pick up a manual focus A 50/2 for around $20-$40 which will perform admirably at that pricetag.

IMO you can't go wrong with the DA and FA limiteds, or the DA* and FA* lenses, but most of them will cost you more than your camera body. They're the ones to save for.
02-25-2011, 09:02 AM   #10
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I'd take the body and kit lense first, then keep an eye out for a used Tamron 17-50/2.8 that covers all the bases discussed here so far (or possibly the Tamron 28-75/2.8 both superb lenses), then either get US$50 back for the kit lense or hang onto it as a back up.

There was a 28-75 going for around $300 on here and on another forum a 17-50/2.8 with 3 months warranty went for US$300.
02-25-2011, 10:22 AM   #11
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I agree with those recommending DA 35/2.4. It's just a better lens, something more in keeping what you probably used on those fine Nikon and Canon cameras you once shot with. If you find you need something wider and are still short of money, you can always pick up a used 18-55 for less than $50 (there's one a keh.com for $39).
02-25-2011, 06:06 PM   #12
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Original Poster
Thanks Everyone!

I'm really impressed with the responses and good will on this forum. Thanks! To start, I'm going with:

K-R body: 559
18-55mm ALII: 39 (thanx for the heads up, northcoastgreg!)
Takumkar 135mm 2.5: 54
Vivitar 75-205 3.8 macro: 29

TOTAL: 750!!! R U kidding me?!? I love it. My last camera cost me $1500. Forget that.

Thanks, again, everyone - you ROCK!!
02-25-2011, 06:31 PM   #13
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good start, the manual zooms aren't my favourite things but for $29 how can you really go wrong if it works it's a steal
great price on the Tak, they are great lenses
hit the junk shops you are sure to find a nice 50 for next to nothing if you hunt around

Oh and welcome to LBA
02-25-2011, 10:11 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
good start, the manual zooms aren't my favourite things but for $29 how can you really go wrong if it works it's a steal
great price on the Tak, they are great lenses
hit the junk shops you are sure to find a nice 50 for next to nothing if you hunt around

Oh and welcome to LBA
Yes. Welcome to LBA..

DA12-24f4, DA15f4, DA35f2.8, K30f2.8, FA31f1.8, FA43f1.9, FA77f1.8, DA*55, DA*300 DA*16-50, DA*50-135, K135f2.5, K105f2.8, K28f2.0, DFA100mm f2.8WR, FA*200f2.8, FA*85f1.4, FA*24f2.0, A50f2.8, A50f1.2, A35-105f3.5, Mamiya 55f1.4, Tak 105, Voigtlander 58f1.4

02-26-2011, 02:26 AM   #15
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OK - I spoke too soon

Thanks again everyone for all the help. I'm really impressed with the knowledge and civility on this site. Wellllll, apparently the manual zoom wasn't available, but I found a replacement, so here's the final lineup, all ordered and ready to ship (from 4 diferent locations ):

K-r body (Abe's of Maine): 559.00
18-55mm AL II (KEH): 39.00 (scratch n' dent)
70-210 Vivitar 3.5 (cameta): 29.00!!!!
50mm 1.7 M (ebay): 27.00!!!!!
135mm 2.5 Tak (adorama): 54.00!!!!!

TOTAL: 708.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Assuming everything works, I cannot tell you how giddy I am at the prices. As a Pentax (and manual lens) newcomer, I truly appreciate the wealth of great information I have found on PF. The only thing I love more than photography is saving $$$$.

Thanks again everyone. Now that I know how inexpensive these lenses can be had for, I'm sure I will bug y'all soon for more suggestions.
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