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11-28-2011, 04:03 PM   #1
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Lenses in Addition to the Kit 18-55mm

I bought a Pentax K-5 with the kit lens, and am considering which 2-3 lenses to add to my quiver next. I am an advanced amateur and the types of photography I most enjoy and practice, in no particular order, are: kids sports (inside and outside), portraits/family photos, low light/night photography, street photography, landscapes and closeups/macro. I know, that's pretty much everything, but I really do enjoy it all. These lenses seem to be good choices, but what else should I consider?

  1. Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED
  2. SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.7 (macro with 2x or 3x Adapter)
  3. SMC Pentax-DA Limited pancake lenses 15 or 21 mm for wide angle and 35 or 40 mm for portraits/street photography
I am open to older, discontinued lenses and other manufacturers.

Thanks, Toby

11-28-2011, 04:29 PM   #2
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Your criteria leave you open to just about any lens on the market, which means you are only limited by your budget.

There is nothing wrong with the lenses you are already looking at for trying out new focal lengths. You may be better served by picking up something like an F or FA 50mm f.1.7 or f/1.4 and some extension tubes (or an A teleconverter to gut the optics out of) rather than a manual 50mm but it depends on how much you value autofocus and auto aperture control.
11-28-2011, 05:11 PM   #3
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All these lenses constitute a sound roadmap after the kit lens. Nothing wrong with any of these lenses.

Beyond, you might in the future consider the FA Ltd series (highy reputed). Once you know better what you want to shoot, you may then consider more specialised lenses.

All in all you have a nice, well-laid list.
11-28-2011, 05:39 PM   #4
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I started my K20D with a DA10-17 fisheye zoom, DA18-250 superzoom, and FA50/1.4 Fast Fifty. I later filled-in my kit with a couple hundred more lenses. (I trade gear on eBay.) The 18-250, which is still my most-used lens for travel and dynamic situation (ie, I don't know what's gonna happen), also let me know what other lenses I wanted that would counter its shortcomings. My approach is to ask myself, "What do I want to do that I can't do with what I have?"

My recommendations:

1) An AF Fast Fifty is always good to have. An F or FA f/1.4 or f/1.7 is ideal -- a used FA50/1.4 may be most cost-effective. I have a zillion MF Fifties, some pretty fast, but the FA50/1.4 gets used most -- it's my gotta-get-the shot lens.

2) Get the DA (or DA-L) 55-300. I personally dislike the 18-55 plus 55-300 pair because I shoot a lot between 35-70mm, and swapping lenses at 55mm is a pain (and means losing some shots). But those make a good starting package. Use those, and note which focal lengths you use, and which focal lengths you wish had much faster apertures. This should help you choose faster / better / kewler lenses.

Use those for awhile, follow the lens discussions here, ask questions, and we'll be happy to help you spend all your money. Just tell us your credit limit, and we'll design a custom kit for you. Cheers!


Last edited by RioRico; 11-28-2011 at 06:59 PM.
11-28-2011, 06:01 PM   #5
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The DA55-300 makes the most sense to add next, it's great for outdoor sports and does a pretty good job of portraits and candid family shots.

If I was buying primes all over again, I'd buy these in roughly this order:
FA31 (or Sigma 30 f/1.4)
DA15
DA70
DA21
FA50/1.4 or K50/1.2
11-28-2011, 06:39 PM   #6
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All good choices, my 55-300 is my most used lens. Go with the DA, I use quick shift all of the time to pre-focus. It's not a fast lens, but far better IQ than the competing xx-300 zooms. Make sure you get something fast for those indoor shots. I recently got the D FA 100 2.8 WR Macro and I'm having a lot of fun with it. Not sure if it would be fast enough for indoor sports unless the lighting was very good. One of those fast 50s may do you well if you can get close enough.

There is a free program called exposure plot that will scan your hard drive and tell you what focal lengths you use most, with your one lens you are probably using the extremes most, but it will give you an idea of what you may want to go for next. I found I took very few 50mm shots, but a lot of 35mm shots. My widest is 18, I found I took a lot there, meaning (to me) that I need wider, that's next.
11-28-2011, 07:01 PM   #7
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I would agree with Tom on the 55-300. I've used it now for a year on middle school sports where it's superb for outdoor sports with good lighting. Your K-5 will do a lot better indoors than the K-7. I've resorted to a Manfrotto monopod at the 300 range since I'm old, gray, and in the way. It's helped immensely.

Last edited by lukulele; 11-28-2011 at 07:02 PM. Reason: deleted words
11-28-2011, 07:02 PM   #8
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Get the DA 55-300 and a fast 50mm next

11-28-2011, 07:29 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lukulele Quote
I would agree with Tom on the 55-300. I've used it now for a year on middle school sports where it's superb for outdoor sports with good lighting. Your K-5 will do a lot better indoors than the K-7. I've resorted to a Manfrotto monopod at the 300 range since I'm old, gray, and in the way. It's helped immensely.
Good call on the obvious ISO differences, I use a K20D and you're light years faster.
11-28-2011, 07:41 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tobman Quote
These lenses seem to be good choices, but what else should I consider?

  1. Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED
  2. SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.7 (macro with 2x or 3x Adapter)
  3. SMC Pentax-DA Limited pancake lenses 15 or 21 mm for wide angle and 35 or 40 mm for portraits/street photography
I am open to older, discontinued lenses and other manufacturers.

Thanks, Toby
The 55-300 is as good as you will get for new auto-focus in that range for the money. I only sold mine because I had 3 longish lenses and it somehow stopped getting into the bag.

If you must go with primes, then the 15 is good for fairly-wide. I would probably recommend the 12-24 instead as it has excellent IQ and a very useful range.

35 or 40 is a bit short for portraits.

Never bonded with the fast 50.
11-29-2011, 02:10 PM   #11
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Thanks, all good suggestions. I think I will ask for the DA 55-300 for Christmas. :-)
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