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10-30-2011, 04:39 AM   #1
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Pentax K5: Wich Lens to buy

Hi!

For a long time now I'm planning to buy my first DSLR. With a budget of circa 850 Euro (1250 Dollar) for body and kit only, I will go for the Pentax K5.

The next question is what lens to buy. For an additional 90 dollars more I can get the kit lens with the body. From what I've read the kit lens is relatively good compared with kit lenses from other brands. Plus it has the weather resistant (WR) sealing which makes the sealed k5 body complete. Next to the kit lens I want to have a f2.8 all-round zoom-lens. But I don't know what to do. There are a few options:

Budget for an additional lens only when: 550 Dollars
  1. Buy the body + kit lens + Tamron 17-50mm f2.8: Problem here is that I now have 2 lenses with the same zoom range. Will I use the kit lens when I have this Tamron Lens? Probably only if its raining. Or does the kit lens have other benefits over the Tamron 17-50?
  2. Buy the body without kit lens + tamron 17-50mm f2.8: I will save 90 dollar, but won't have that relatively good kit lens with WR.
  3. Buy the body + kit lens + Tamron 28-75mm f2.8: Will I miss the F2.8 lens at the 17-27mm range? Or is the kit lens fine for this range?
  4. Is there an other possibility with a f2.8 lens?
I think I will shoot quite a lot of indoor and outdoor portraits. Plus candid, and some landscapes for the holidays. Maybe not relevant but I really love photo's with a nice bokeh.

I already have some old lenses from my fathers camera (from 1980):
  • Asahi SMC Pentax-M 1:2.8 28mm
  • Chinon 80-200mm 1:3.8 (will not use this one to much because of the weight)
  • Asahi SMC Pentax-M 1:1.7 50mm
Of course, it's my choice and nobody can make the decision for me, but if anyone who has had experience of either of both of these would like to comment I would be very grateful.

Many thanks,

Tom

10-30-2011, 05:19 AM - 1 Like   #2
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You could get the K5 with kit lens (not for the WR - unless you live in the wilds or sport shoot in the rain then it's over-rated to be honest) and add one of two lenses (the excellent 28-75 you mentioned or the 55-300). You have the excellent 50/1.7 for low light if you don't mind MF.

Personally for your budget I'd first sell your 28 & 80-200 and I'd get the K5, Tamron 17-50 & Pentax 55-300 - not f2.8 of course - (if not immediately then when funds permit), along with your 50/1.7 that is a very nice kit.
10-30-2011, 06:01 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Personally for your budget I'd first sell your 28 & 80-200 and I'd get the K5, Tamron 17-50 & Pentax 55-300 - not f2.8 of course - (if not immediately then when funds permit), along with your 50/1.7 that is a very nice kit.
@ Frogfish: Thanks for the reply! So basically your advise is to not buying the kit lens, and instead buying the Tamron 17-50 and pentax 55-300? I'm allowed to use my fathers lenses, but I can't sell them. So I that case I would buy the Tamron 17-50, and the Pentax 55-300 later when I need the extra range for holidays and saved some extra money. So basically that would be option 1 which I described earlier. When I should buy the Tamron 17-50mm, is it still useful to get the kit lens as well for the 90 dollars? Or is it totally useless?

Someone else who has an other idea on this?
10-30-2011, 08:12 AM   #4
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The 28-75 is an amazing lens. If you're just going to be taking pictures of family and friends at events, I'd say get it. If you want a long lens then I agree with FrogFish.

10-30-2011, 08:31 AM   #5
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Thanks both!

Again: Does de kit lens have any use above the Tamron 17-50 if I buy that one as well? Or is the kit lens useless when I have the Tamron 17-55?

@ Kenafein: Is the 28-75 a good lens for indoor shooting or is the zoom range to long for a crop sensor? In that case I have my kit lens of course, but is the kit lens suitable enough?

Last edited by Tomm; 10-30-2011 at 09:20 AM.
10-30-2011, 09:25 AM   #6
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The 28-75 is a great all around lens. If I could only have 1 lens, it would be the 28-75. It is a great walking around lens. It's the bargain wedding shooter and event shooter lens. It goes from about normal to portrait and it is a functional macro. It's a lens you can have on the whole day and not really need to swap lenses. I could see wanting to switch between the 17-50 and the 55-300 quite often, but you could make it work. I have seen a lot of great shots from the 17-50 as well, but I've never had one. The kit lens is inadequate for indoor shooting in many situations. Either Tamron would be good for indoors.
10-30-2011, 09:32 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I was taking some shots at a wedding yesterday (just as a guest) and although at times I did wish I had packed the 17-50 (didn't have room for more than 3 lenses) I got by most of the time with the Sigma 30/1.4 and Sigma 50-150/2.8 (the third lens was the 15 Ltd). I am sure you could mange with just the 28-75 but you will need a wider lens too so if you go for the 28-75 then absolutely pick up the kit lens for $90. Otherwise it's whether you feel you will need a WR lens - if yes buy it, if no then save your $90 to put towards the 55-300 because you'll not be able to sell it for more than you paid for it !
10-30-2011, 10:12 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Well, you'll probably get as many different opinions as replies so heres mine...

I would go for K5 + kit WR lens + DA55-300

The kit lens because it's a decent quality lens (not great, but decent) and it's good to have at least one WR lens with a sealed body like the K5. Also with the great high iso performance of the K5, it's less critical to have an f2.8 lens like the Tammy 17-50 (though I'll admit that the 17-50 is a wonderful lens), plus you already have a fast 50mm.

DA55-300 because it completes the kit and gives you a complete reach. A quick browse thru the photos on this site proves that this is a decent quality lens.

None of those lenses are "the best", but for the money they are what I consider the best value and most versatile. Add them to the fast 50mm and 28mm you already own and you will have a kit that rivals most out there.

Just my 2 cents of course, your mileage may vary.

Pat

10-30-2011, 10:55 AM   #9
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Nice, I'm getting closer to the final decision!

I think I will use the Pentax 17-50 when I'm walking through the forest for example on a rainy day. Just as a lens during more 'unstable' conditions, so I don't have to worry it will break (its cheap anyway).

And Pat, you're right a f2.8 zoom isn't really that important with the primes and the high ISO possibilities.

At the moment I'm leaning to the kit lens only to find out what range I use most. I will get the 55-300 eventually when I will need it for holidays et cetera. Possibly I will figure out that 28-75 is the best lens for me, but I will notice that soon.

@ All: using my 50mm/1.7 and 28mm/2.8, is it hard to work with them as a beginner? They don't have AF, and they won't communicate aperture settings.
10-30-2011, 11:05 AM   #10
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The 55-300 is a budget lens for birding, sports, etc. When you can't get close. It is a specialty lens for me that I rarely use, but it is nice to have. Maybe you should try out a long lens before you buy one. Try out your 80-200 and see if you need/want longer.
10-30-2011, 11:25 AM   #11
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Kenafein, that's a good point. I will do that! With my compact camera I rarely zoom but is hasn't a great range. I think I will rarely use long zoom ranges, only when on vacation to a far destination or on a possible safari, but that's maybe once in the 3 year. I shall decide at that moment if I will buy such a long zoom.

My first purchase after the kit lens will probably be a f2.8 zoom. With the kit lens and 25mm & 50mm primes I should go for the 28-75 most likely or am I wrong? Only problem is that I see that as an all-round lens, but is the 28mm wide enough with the crop factor? I'm hesitating again!

Not buying the kit lens and buying the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 instead is still an option. But will I miss the WR of the kit? Someone who has experience with that? And is the tammy suitable enough for portraits?

And using my 50mm/1.7 and 28mm/2.8, is it hard to work with them as a beginner? They don't have AF, and they won't communicate aperture settings..
10-30-2011, 11:42 AM - 1 Like   #12
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I made do with a kit, 50/1.4 and a 70-300(cheap tele) for years. It was a good kit. I used the FA50 1.4 for almost everything, but it has autofocus. A 28mm prime, like you have, is great for APSC. It is a true normal lens. It is wide enough for me, on my Tamron 28-75, for almost everything, and you'll have your kit lens if you want to go wider, I use my DA21. I would certainly get the kit lens. It is cheap and good, and you can get very good results for it, especially outside, it could be your landscape lens at F8, where you don't need the speed.
10-30-2011, 12:08 PM   #13
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Kenafein, sounds like a good deal! You are saying you was using your f1,4 50mm all the time. They cost around 450 dollars (350 euro) in the Netherlands, is it worth it to buy one of those instead of the 28-75? I have the 1.7/ 50mm already of course but mine is not AF. I know that they are totally different from each other, but who knows.

Not looking at that 1.7/50mm, I thought it through and I'm now leaning to the Tammy 28-75mm. I think it suits best with my style, with it's good DOF possibilities and indoor performance. With the kit I have the wider angles.

I keep asking this question for as anyone may know: using my 50mm/1.7 and 28mm/2.8, is it hard to work with them as a beginning DSLR user? They don't have AF, and they won't communicate aperture settings..
10-30-2011, 12:25 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tomm Quote
Kenafein, sounds like a good deal! You are saying you was using your f1,4 50mm all the time. They cost around 450 dollars (350 euro) in the Netherlands, is it worth it to buy one of those instead of the 28-75? I have the 1.7/ 50mm already of course but mine is not AF.

I thought it through and I'm now leaning to the Tammy 28-75mm. I think it suits best with my style, with it's good DOF possibilities and indoor performance. With the kit I have the wider angles.

I keep asking this question for as anyone may know: using my 50mm/1.7 and 28mm/2.8, is it hard to work with them as a beginning DSLR user? They don't have AF, and they won't communicate aperture settings..
I like my FA50/1.4, some people say the lens is soft wide open, but I am satisfied with mine. You might consider the Sigma 50/1.4, the DA*55/1.4, or the FA43/1.9 or the DA 40mm/2.8(the smallest pentax lens). I have since switched to using my FA35/2(or you might get the Sigma 30/1.4 or 28/1.8) more than my FA50, because I like getting half to full body shots of my daughter, and it's lighter than the Tamron 28-75. Really if you go the prime route and buy AF primes, like I did eventually, you're going to end up spending way more money than if you buy a couple of fast zooms, but I am hooked. You may find that you prefer zooms(your wallet will thank you.)

Manual lenses are fun to use. The wider they are the more depth of field they have and the easier they are to use as well. You can set what is called the hyperfocal distance on your 28mm and use it almost like a point and shoot outside. I don't think manual is anything to shy away from. I enjoy my manual lenses, but it takes a bit of practice. If you setup Catch In Focus, it's really easy. Catch in focus will automatically fire the shutter for you when you achieve focus. Your manual 50 could be used specifically for low light and portrait photography where you don't need autofocus so much.
10-30-2011, 12:49 PM   #15
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Lots of thanks Kenafein! I will stay with de zooms than and the primes I already own

I've read something about that Catch in Focus technique. The downside of it was that the SLR could take the picture while you're still focussing, so you get focussing blur. What's your opinion about that? An other thing: the somewhat newer Pentax-A (+-1985) lenses seems to have automated aperture (that's the translation of diaphragm right?). Apart from the focussing, how does the SLR deals with the aperture? Aperture clearly have impact on ISO and shutter speed right? And since the camera gets no info about the aperture setting, how does it deal with that?
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