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07-17-2011, 02:11 AM   #1
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best walk around lens for K-5

I consider to buy K-5, instead of D7000. And I need walk around lens which starts around 18mm till somewhere reasonable far (more then 100mm).
I tried to read some posts, but market seems to be limited.
But I might be wrong, so I started "kind of traveler zoom" thread again.
Please help me to find optically best traveler zoom for K-5, good enough for shooting at daytime in various situations.
By performance (quick focus, good IQ) seems to be number one 18-135 WR, BUT fails in optic. So what should I choose? I don't care WR or not. Just wanna something with low vigneting etc.
I have (for 3 months) Nikkor 18-200. It is ok for casual photography.
But I became highly upset with controls of mine D3100 and its very often overexposing. So I wanna sell it and step up to K-5.
Thanks for any suggestions.

PS: aside of this traveler zoom I wanna buy one good prime for shooting still nature in forest (40, 50, 70mm?? Which one is better? Any suggestions?It should be my superior lens to enjoy capabilities of K-5. Or is there possibility that any of "basic" zooms perform well?)
And if needed, then probably anything which reaches to 300, but this might wait if traveler zoom covers long range.
My budget is normal. Not rich, not poor. I am shooting in jpeg and try to avoid any postprocess on computer.
BTW what is difference if lens of same range is macro or not?

07-17-2011, 03:22 AM   #2
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As far as i know, the Nikon's 18-200 and the Pentax 18-135 gives very close results in terme of optics. Like the Nikon, it's rather good on all the range, except at 18mm with some vignetting.

And if you take the kit "k5+18-135", the lense is not that expensive.

For prime, a good walk around is the DA40mm, or all the F/FA 50mm f1.7/1.4.
(You can find them at really decent price on the bay, or the PentaxForums' Marketplace.)
But i said as walkaround; i don't shoot nature so, i can't tell you more than that.

for a long zoom, the DA 55-300 does a really good job, for a decent price.

If you want something more expensive there still is the DA* 60-250 but that's not the same price at all.

Macro is suppose to mean that the thing that you take in picture, will cover exactly the same "space" on the sensor and in reality. So a square of 1inchx1inch, is supposed to cover 1inchx1inch on the sensor. That is the case when the Macro is said 1:1.
If the Macro is 1:2, it mean that the sensor image will be 50% of the real size.
If macro is 1:3, that mean that the sensor image will be 33% of the real size.
etc ...

So check what is the value of the "Macro" when you check some lenses. (usually, the big zoom lense said they are Macro, but it's usually like 1:4 or 1:5, wich is not macro. A good macro lense, will be a Prime, especially if you want a 1:2 or 1:1. See for exemple the Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro, Pentax FA/DFA 100 macro, FA 200mm macro. etc ...)
07-17-2011, 06:02 AM   #3
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Up to 300, I would recommend the 55-300. For the still life, I am not sure of what you are talking about. If by still life you mean macro, there are a lot of options from the 50mm to around 100mm.
A macro lens with a rather long focal length (let's say from 70mm can be a good portrait lens as well).
For the "traveller zoom", I'll pass.
07-17-2011, 06:18 AM   #4
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I am no expert, but I would consider the Pentax 17-70 F4 which I think is very impressive and I love my 35mm Ltd macro which might meet your nature needs. That doesn't stretch it out to where you want to be, but I think the kind of lenses you are talking about compromise picture quality

07-17-2011, 06:59 AM   #5
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Thank you both.
I definitively go for Pentax DA 55-300. As a sailor I see land from far distance very often.
But I am getting stuck with my superior lens and my zoom. Market obviously doesn't offer anything well balanced (low vigneting, precise focus in low light, relatively sharp at whole picture). 18-135 is quite expensive, but probably most reliable? The other option can be Tamron 18-250 IF from second hand (can be lower price then Pentax 18-135). It would be very useful to have reasonable good zoom for tourism.
I came from ultra-zoom, so I can not easily imagine my life without zoom (to be constantly changing lens), when with friends or family on day trips.

According prime, I am walking through this thread:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5-forum/123731-no-more-tests-just-pictures.html
There are plenty of amazing pictures!! What should I do as Dslr beginner?
Prime lens vs. something as 28-70 F2.8 or 50-135 F2.8??
It starts to be a bit confusing now to make decision.
07-17-2011, 07:07 AM   #6
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Thanks Bob as well.
I guess 35mm on Pentax is accurate to eye view. It might be the way for me around 35/40mm. Step close when need, but not to be lost in too much zoom.
Can any short range zoom with fixed aperture achieve quality of prime lens?
What is the difference having DA lens vs. FA on K-5? Why some lens are supposed to be made for APS-C?
07-17-2011, 07:26 AM   #7
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Hello Zav. These are examples of still life in forest. To me, still life is actually anything in there.
http://www.deviantart.com/download/72013362/FOREST_BACKGROUND_by_mysticmorning.jpg
Forest still life | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Forest Still Life 1.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
07-17-2011, 07:31 AM   #8
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Hello Aurele.
I still can not imagine, how it affects picture if, lets say, there will be one shot at 35mm macro and then the same thing with 35mm normal lens?

07-17-2011, 07:38 AM   #9
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I have no macro lense, so i reversed some of my lense (the front element is in front of the sensor, and back lense element is in front of the subject). So it's some macro, but the reproduction size is different.

Few exemples :

Reversed 50mm : probably around 1:3 or maybe 1:4


Reversed 28mm : probably around 1:1 or a bit more, like 1.2:1 (it means that the projected image of the subject is bigger on the sensor than in reality)


Reversed 18-55 @18mm : Probably around 2:1 or 2.5:1 (The projected image of the subject is 2.5x bigger on the sensor than in reality.


I never had a 35mm macro, but i have a 35mm. Let's say that with the non macro you will get the 1st picture, with a macro, you get the 2nd one, or closer maybe, but not bigger. Macro allow you to do focusing closer of the subject than non macro lense.

Last edited by aurele; 07-17-2011 at 08:22 AM.
07-17-2011, 07:59 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ladabu Quote
It might be the way for me around 35/40mm. Step close when need, but not to be lost in too much zoom.
I have a 28mm, 35mm 50mm, and i have to say that 35mm is a bit frustrating because it's wide but not enought or it doesn't bring you visually close enought (not enought zoom effect, and not wide enought).
So i rather like the 50mm, but i'd love to try the DA 40mm, i guess it would be my perfect prime

QuoteOriginally posted by Ladabu Quote
Can any short range zoom with fixed aperture achieve quality of prime lens?
Some very few, and expensive ones. Most of time "No". Primes are build to give the best quality for a unique focal lengt, and zoom can't have that.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ladabu Quote
What is the difference having DA lens vs. FA on K-5? Why some lens are supposed to be made for APS-C?
F/ FA lenses are build for film (24x36), DA are build for digital (23,6 x 15,8 mm). F/FA lenses fit all body without vignetting. DA lense still fit on all body but with vignetting sometimes.

Basically, Pentax use the same lense mount for 3 decades, and 3 decades ago, digital didn't exist, only film. But using the same mount allow you to mount lenses made for film on a digital body, and few lenses made for digital can be mount on a film SLR (like the DA(L) 35mm f2.4, or the DA*300mm for exemple.)
I use a film body and a digital body, and all my lense fit correctly without vignetting on each body (exempt the kit lense 18-55mm.)

Last edited by aurele; 07-17-2011 at 08:05 AM.
07-17-2011, 08:06 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ladabu Quote
I guess 35mm on Pentax is accurate to eye view.
On an APS-C camera, a 35mm lens is a short tele, with AOV (angle of view) equivalent to 52-54mm on a 135/FF camera. (It varies slightly because APS-C sensors may be different sizes.) The 'normal' focal length for any frame format is the diagonal of the frame. For official APS-C, that is 30mm. For my K20D, it is 28mm. On 135/FF, that is 43mm, and there are technical reasons why 135/FF SLRs had 50-55mm kit lenses. But on Pentax dSLRs, 28-30mm are 'normal'.

But that doesn't mean that when you look through a SLR viewfinder (VF) with a 30mm lens, you'll see just the same as with your naked eye. I put a 28-70mm zoom on my K20D. At 'normal' 28mm, subjects look far away and under-sized. At 'portrait' 70mm, what I see in the VF is the same size as what I see with my naked eye. At 50mm, the VF image is slightly smaller than my naked-eye view. But 35mm definitely looks inaccurate. This is because of the VF's magnification.

QuoteQuote:
Can any short range zoom with fixed aperture achieve quality of prime lens?
Yes. The main difference is that the zoom lens will be larger and heavier and rather more expensive. You will find references here to zooms that are "like a collection of primes". See the lens reviews here for details. I can't comment on those specifically because I can't afford them.

QuoteQuote:
What is the difference having DA lens vs. FA on K-5? Why some lens are supposed to be made for APS-C?
DA lenses made for APS-C sensors can be smaller than FA lenses of the same focal lengths, which are designed for the larger FF sensors/frames. There are also small optical differences to optimize DA lens performance, but FA and other FF lenses perform quite well on APS-C. Any weaknesses in FF lenses usually appear around the image edges. These weaknesses mostly disappear on APS-C, cropped out by the smaller frame.
07-17-2011, 08:14 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Quote:
Can any short range zoom with fixed aperture achieve quality of prime lens?
Yes. The main difference is that the zoom lens will be larger and heavier and rather more expensive. You will find references here to zooms that are "like a collection of primes". See the lens reviews here for details. I can't comment on those specifically because I can't afford them.
that's the main point : Money. Zoom can have very good quality, but very rarely as good as a prime, but it means being heavy, and so very expensive.
07-17-2011, 08:30 AM   #13
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Tamron 28-75 f2.8 is pretty good. It should do for most situations.

Pair it with a second hand 18-250 tamron or pentax when you need to shoot at extremes and the lighting is good or you can use a tripod. These super zooms are not going to get you as good image quality but they are good when you are travelling and not sure what you will be shooting.
07-17-2011, 09:20 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ladabu Quote
In this case, I would say DA 35 Ltd macro. You can't get really get the 1st shot with a tele like a 100 macro in a forest.
07-17-2011, 09:26 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by aurele Quote
I have a 28mm, 35mm 50mm, and i have to say that 35mm is a bit frustrating because it's wide but not enought or it doesn't bring you visually close enought (not enought zoom effect, and not wide enought).
I notice interesting progressions in my favorite focal-length lenses. I'll start with the Zenitar 16/2.8 which defishes to about 12mm. Next is a 24mm, twice 12mm. Next is a 50mm, ~twice 24mm. Next is 100mm, twice that. And next is 200mm, twice that. A slightly different progression goes 16-28-55-110-180mm, again almost doubling, but fitted to taste. The next progression goes by ~1.5x not 2x: 16-24-37-55-85-135-200mm. Do those of us with several lenses each have our own favourite progressions of focal lengths?

As for 35mm on APS-C: Like you, it's not my favorite. But I didn't really like its 135/FF 'equivalent' of 50-55mm either -- too long for normal view, too short for tele. My most-used primes now on my K20D are 16-28-(50-55)-(85-105). 28mm seems to capture a more natural view than 35mm, and 50-55mm are better for more concentration on a subject. But these aare for environments rich in nearby targets. If subjects are far away, it's the 500/8 mirror!

QuoteQuote:
Primes are build to give the best quality for a unique focal lengt, and zoom can't have that.
SOME primes are built that way. Some are just cheap. My F35-70/3.5-4.5 does rather better at 50mm than does my Meyer Domiplan 50/2.8. And the Domi cost more!

QuoteQuote:
I use a film body and a digital body, and all my lense fit correctly without vignetting on each body (exempt the kit lense 18-55mm.)
The DA10-17 vignettes rather severely on a FF body, but that's mostly because of the built-in hood-let. If I could remove the hood without trashing the lens, I'd have a WIDE fisheye! It would have FOV equivalent to 6.5-11mm on FF! Yow!

ObTopic:
The 'best' walkaround lens depends on where you walk, and how much you want to spend. My basic lens is the DA18-250, backed by the Tamron 10-24; all others are specialty tools. If I had the money and was in the right places, an f/2.8 around 16-135mm would be great. It all depends...
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