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04-05-2011, 08:47 PM   #1
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Help me choose my Pentax lens selection

OK, so my Sony gear is all up for sale. I'll miss the dyxum forum, but you seem like nice people here. I little whiny, but nice. I want the smaller, more portable K5 with all it's compactness, quietness and great features. I feel it has the same "sensibilities" as my Sony a850 has had but not so big a brute. Dynamic Range, in body stabilization, similar approach to processing. The limiteds are just too interesting to pass up. I want a small, portable system.

But I have some lens decisions to make! Help?

Route 1 (zooms):
16-50 and 50-135 with a 40 and maybe a 21.

Route 2 (primes with an all-rounder):
18-135 take anywhere, travel, hiking whatever
15, 40, 70 (maybe a 20 instead of 40 to start)

I think I want the 18-135 as a travel, hiking just take it everywhere kind of lens. But I'm used to some pretty sweet Minolta/Sony lenses at the longer end. Am I going to be too disappointed with this 18-135? Too slow? I'd like to hear from a serious enthusiast what they think of it compared to some higher end lenses.

Again, I want to stay as compact as possible! Thanks.

04-05-2011, 08:53 PM   #2
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You could do the 4 DA Limiteds and the 18-135.

2 Limiteds in the same range as the 16-50 makes not as much sense.
04-05-2011, 09:20 PM   #3
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I'd go with the second option as well.

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04-05-2011, 09:47 PM   #4
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If size is your bit, I'd go with the second option. You can pretty much fit all 4 lenses listed into the space of the 50-135 alone. That and the 16-50 is no lightweight.

As someone who previously owned the giant Canon 5D along with L glass, Pentax is a delightful departure. Small, well built, compact. The least "vulgar" of all modern DSLRs IMHO (other than maybe 4/3rds, but who wants that )

04-05-2011, 10:00 PM   #5
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option #2 but with the FA31 instead of the DA40
04-05-2011, 10:36 PM   #6
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I rather go wtih option 1. Just because you have the lenses doesn't mean you have to bring them ALL THE TIME. You can grab the 50-135 and the DA40 OR DA21 and be set for most of the situation. Sometimes its not about size, but convenice. Just my opinion.
04-05-2011, 11:19 PM   #7
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If you want a good portrait lens on the long side of things I would get the 50-135.

Maybe get the 50-135, DA 35 Macro, DA 15?

Pretty versatile kit for the out of doors...
04-06-2011, 12:06 AM   #8
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I'd go Route 1... then get the 40mm or 35mm (or 31mm if budget permits) as a light prime. Why? 16mm is a huge step from 18mm...

04-06-2011, 12:08 AM   #9
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Option 2 looks better to me.
04-06-2011, 12:24 AM   #10
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Option #2 for me as well, unless...
How about DA18-135 + 3 FA ltds?
04-06-2011, 10:57 AM   #11
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I love these "tastes great/less filling" discussions! Seriously, even though there's mixed views, this is all very helpful, so thanks for playing. Anyone else?
04-06-2011, 01:51 PM   #12
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Focus speed will be superior in option 2. The DA*s are not known for fast focusing yet the 18-135 is very fast according to users and reviews .

Major downside is that the 18-135 will not perform as well on the longer end, but you might find that it covers most of your image quality requirements other than that. Bascially it is impossible for any super zoon, including the 18-135, to do as well as the two DA* lenses (obvious I know). The depth of field will not be there if that is important. However, the primes will cover you for the critical stuff anyway.

Other optical sins on the 18-135 - distortion, CA etc are fixed either in camera or PP with lens profiles in DXO or LR 3 (will be supported). The f stop is probably not a big deal either with the K-5 with it's high ISO ability.

Consider getting a smaller prime to cover the long end too at some point. The old F/FA 135mm 2.8 would be pretty good here, but it's hard to find and has bad CA/flare. Others have mentioned the DFA 100 WR macro which is not too big and has the 49 mm thread to share with all of the other primes. The DA* 200 looks like it is fantastic from the reviews that I have seen, but it maybe too big for your bag.

Now I've confused myself. I thought I had it figured out and then you had to startup this thread.
04-07-2011, 04:50 AM   #13
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16-50, and 50-135 for business... Primes for pleasure =)
04-07-2011, 07:56 AM   #14
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I have a line on a 135 SMC f2.8 but I think I'd rather have the 50-135 in my bag as it's a little bigger but no heavier and does so much more. Anyone disagree???

I think I've found myself: 21, 43, 50-135 and may just start with that. Although I'm still interested in the 18-135 with the 21 and/or 43 in the bag for travelling light, so may get that. Even though the 18-135 and 50-135 have redundant focal lengths, I see them as quite different, and the 50-135 covers the medium-long end for when it matters.

It thought about the 60-250 but it's neither light nor small and my guess is I'll hesitate to take it out. If I find I don't have enough reach, I could always sell the 50-135 and get one.

Re the 200/2.8... I have the Minolta version now. It's one of the best 35mm lenses ever built. Some of my best shots are with it. But... I just never take it with me because it's got such a specific use. I think the 135/2.8 end of the 50-135 will serve me well enough but offer a lot more flexibility.

And then I'll see a little later on the wide end whether to get a 15 or 12-24 (size vs flexibility). Tokina, where's that Pentax 11-16, huh? Have to try them when I'm in the city next as I live in a small town and nobody stocks much Pentax.
04-07-2011, 08:15 AM   #15
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I would go with the tamron 17-50 instead of the pentax 16-50. No SDM issues and better IQ.
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