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06-06-2011, 10:52 AM   #1
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Walk Around Lens for K7

Hello All,

I recently bough a K7 body second hand and am looking to get a WR lens for it. I bought the camera to have a Digital SLR to take with me for a trip to France this summer. I chose a K7 because I could not afford the K5 but still wanted the weather resistance. Anyhow due to that it has led me to the DA 18-135 WR and before I make the purchase wanted to make sure there were not other good options out there I should consider. My budget is $500 or so for the lens and the 18-135 is $429 right now. Are there any Tamron or Sigma WR lenses out there? I am sure to take this camera backpacking and on Climbing trips, so I like the ability to have some zoom as well as WR is importnat to me.

The 18-135 has mixed reviews but I also see some posts that say with the K7 or K5 that the lens correction feature in the body makes up for some of its short comings. I am an amateaur and I am sure anything will seem much clearer and better than what I am use to. I also have an older Ka mount 50mm lens that came on my Program Plus that I plan to use occasionaly as well...

Any help or suggestions would be great,


06-06-2011, 11:01 AM   #2
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I don't think the other guys make WR lenses. The 18-135 should be fine, though it's not really what I would call wide.
06-06-2011, 11:06 AM   #3
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I like to use for lens (and camera) reviews. This forum offers great suggestions as well, but many Pentaxians own everything%>). DPreviewThey is very thorough.
06-06-2011, 11:59 AM   #4
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18-135 is going to be the best single-lens walk-around I can think of.

18 isn't really *that* wide, but you should have no trouble for impromptu moments with it...

06-06-2011, 12:56 PM   #5
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Welcome here Marc.
The 18-135 is a good choice for a relatively cheap but decent quality all round lens.

It's the only weather sealed lens of its class - your other alternative is to have two lenses (i.e. 18-55 WR + 50-200 WR or the more expensive DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135). The other weather sealed lenses are more specialised (DA* 55, DA* 60-250).
06-06-2011, 01:07 PM   #6
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Ask yourself if you really need a WR lens - if not there are several options out there.
06-06-2011, 03:50 PM   #7
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I would not choose the 18-135 for climbing/backpacking trips.

While out in the backcountry, I rarely feel the need to shoot longer than 50mm. The exception would be for wildlife, but 135 is probably too short anyways.

I would rather have the 18-55 WR and something wider, like the DA 15. Even better, if you can sacrfice the WR, I would go with the DA 15 and the DA 40 (or 21).

WR isn't so useful to me. While climbing, if I get caught in a storm, I'm generally not thinking about photography. My camera would stay in pack for the remainder of the climb.
06-06-2011, 10:29 PM   #8
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Back in the day, we had no WR (nor SR nor AF nor WB nor any of that good stuff). In heavy downpours, we wrapped plastic bags around our heads and gear, and shot away. Or we wore rain ponchos. Or better yet, we ducked for cover. Those who were PREPARED, shot Nikonos.

Fast-forward to now. I would really like to have a WR lens for my K20D so I could crawl around in mud and slime during cruddy weather -- except that I don't do that crap anymore. But suppose I really really want to shoot in the rain, on the beach, drowning? Then I use my old 7mpx Olympus 770-SW p&s, rated down to 10m / 33ft underwater and a 5ft drop onto concrete. And it weighs almost nothing. For foul-weather shooting, use a foul-weather camera.

06-07-2011, 10:27 AM   #9
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Hello all,

Thanks for the great replies; they have helped a lot. However in some ways now I'm even more confused as to what to get. I was leaning toward the WR lenses, but I think I can get buy without it or possibly just buy the 18-55 WR for days or situations when I could use it. I was also leaning toward a mid level zoom since when on Vacation in France if I wanted to get a close up of a painted ceiling in a church, I thought that 135 would help. Some of the primes mentioned are out of my price range at the moment due to the upcoming trip expenses, but I could work on acquiring lenses later. What I need now is either one all around versatile lens or perhaps 2 to carry.

For about the same price as the DA18-135WR and also my budget of $500 I have other options I am considering.

Option 1: DA 18-55 WR ($150) and DA 50-200 WR ($209) = $359
This seems like a nice option and I still have my 50mm prime form my old Pentax Program Plus I can use if needed.

Option 2: DA 17-70 ($479)
Reviews say it's a good do everything lens and seems to be higher quality image wise to the 18-135 WR. Nice that it goes a bit farther than the 18-55 so seems like an inbetween compromise to the DA18-135. Con is its near the max of my budget.

Option 3: KEH has many used lenses that may work for me as well. Buy a second hand DA 18-55 for cheap then put the remaining in a new lens or other used lens from KEH.

Option 4: totally disregard WR and am interested in suggestions from others from any lens manufacturer (Sigma 17-70?, Tamron). As I said for this trip I need some zoom versatility and I can worry about buying fancy primes at a later date...

At the moment, despite the high cost the DA 17-70 seems like a good choice..

Sorry for all the questions but for me $500 is a lot to put into a lens or lenses and I just dont have the knowledge to choose by myself. The reviews help, but even they can be confusing. I am sure that whatever I end up with will work great for my ability at the moment and chances are at my skill level I will be less discriminating to the shortcomings of a lens that to others with more background would see right away.

Last edited by addicted2climbing; 06-07-2011 at 10:47 AM.
06-07-2011, 12:06 PM   #10
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The 17-70 is better due to constant aperture. The 18-135 is better due to zoom-range, WR.

If you are always going to be outside, I would select the 18-135. Those longer focal lengths are good for isolating interesting things you might see (and I suspect you will see a lot of them). If you think you need WR, then lens changing will be out of the question. Water or dust inside your camera is a *very* bad thing.

The 17-70 is going to be a little faster on the long end and might have a slight edge in image quality, but I would think that for a long trip, one do-everything lens (plus that fast 50 for night time) would be a great combination.

The tamron alternatives don't have the range, and are pretty heavy (but f2.8). For your purposes I would think that the 18-135 + 50mm would be a great combo.
06-07-2011, 03:10 PM   #11
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Also found a second hand near new Pentax DA18-250 for $450. Should I include it in the mix? Or the Tamron version as well since they share internals.

Reviews seem good on this lens for what I need but 250 may be a bit more than I need... I liek the suggestion of whichever zoom I get for outside and then the fast 50 I have for night time.
06-07-2011, 03:39 PM   #12
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The 18-250 is going to be A) extremely convenient, B) jack of all trades, master of none. Some members here swear by it, because they simply never miss a shot. I can't argue with that.

Even for landscapes, having ultra-long focal lengths are useful. I can't say much other then that about this particular lens.

I personally have little use for focal lengths over 135, but I *do* use them, especially at places like the zoo, nature walks, etc. I'm using an old F 70-210 for that, so I only get that far out, and for everything other than birding its long enough.

Try to find pictures of all of these zooms fully extended... some of them are quite large when you are zoomed out to one end. It's worth taking this into consideration (do you value a light set up / discretion?)
06-07-2011, 05:23 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by addicted2climbing Quote
Also found a second hand near new Pentax DA18-250 for $450. Should I include it in the mix? Or the Tamron version as well since they share internals.
Yes, definitely. The DA18-250mm was manufactured by Tamron and rebadged by Pentax. Second hand copies are readily available at PF Marketplace, and between $350 to 450.

This is the reference all-around lens. The lens has excellent IQ in its category. It is very sturdy and a number of professionals use it.

If you want to use one lens only, it is a must.
06-07-2011, 06:14 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shamwow Quote
While out in the backcountry, I rarely feel the need to shoot longer than 50mm.
I agree to a point... even shots of a friend doing high-ball boulder problems... 50mm is adequate...

For roped climbing shots however you will appreciate the reach of the reach of the 18-135... Setting absails (rappels if if you're a yank) on opposite or next to routes with a bit of reach in your lens can create quite dramatic images...

The 18-135 is by all accounts a sharper lens than the 18-250 and the WR could at some point become invaluable... Just imagine catching your mate topping out of the last of 12 pitches just as the rain starts tearing it down...
06-08-2011, 02:18 AM   #15
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I reckon 18-135, If you had 18-55 and 50-200 WR, You'll be switching lens, but you don't mind switching then get the 18-55 and 50-200 seems like a great price for both.

Atm I'm using my 18-55mm WR everytime i'm out with my camera (but planning to get the 50-200 WR), but I didn't have 18-55mm when i got my K-7 I wouldve picked the 18-135 and not worry about the 50-200).

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