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12-04-2011, 11:56 AM   #1
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Best lenses?

I love my new K5 but I'm not totally happy with the kit lens. Having been at this for many years now I know that without a good lens it doesn't really matter how good the camera is.
What I need to know, even if it costs me plenty, what are the best lenses for my K5?
I'm looking for the best zooms available. Any suggestions? I want sharp, quiet reasonably contrasty glass. As with most of us I am looking for the WOW factor is my images.
Looking forward to hearing from those of you out there who have lenses they are really happy with.
Thanks - Ken

12-04-2011, 12:24 PM   #2
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Hi Ken I also had the kit lens I wasn't happy with mine due to softness at 18mm, all my photos were quiet blurry on the right side. I got a refund on the lens and bought a Tamaron 17-50mm f2.8 lens after reading about it on this forum, I couldn't be happier photos are nice and sharp. I have also a Nikon D300s with the Nikon 16-85mm lens, this lens retails over $800 and the Tamaron photos look just as sharp as the Nikon lens, I paid $400 for my Tamaron.
12-04-2011, 12:42 PM   #3
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The Lens Review Database here at PF is an invaluable source of info for people's opinions on glass.

For my own use, I absolutely love my DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 as a replacement for the kit lens. It is an expensive option, but it is extremely sharp and faster than most other options.

What exactly don't you like about the kit lens? Stopped down it is supposed to perform quite well.
12-04-2011, 12:53 PM   #4
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I think you will find this review helpful:
DA* 16-50mm vs. Sigma and Tamron 17-50mm Comparison - Introduction

Also, if you're looking for the wow factor, this lens is for you:
Pentax smc Pentax FA 31mm f/1.8 Limited (Black) 20290 B&H Photo


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12-04-2011, 04:39 PM   #5
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Original Poster
Thanks everyone. This is a great help. With respect to the kit lens, I find its overall performance mediocre. The quality just isn't there - good value for money but I need something faster, quieter and sharper overall, both in and out. The Tamron looks like a good choice but I may hold off and get the DA* 16-50 2.8
12-04-2011, 05:49 PM   #6
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If you ranked the best Pentax lenses for IQ alone, no zoom would even crack the top 10.

However, if you want something better than the kit lens then it would be hard to go past the Tamron 17-50 on bang for buck.
12-04-2011, 06:00 PM   #7
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Thanks again.Great advice. Any thoughts on the Pentax f4 17-70 SDM?
12-04-2011, 06:06 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
If you ranked the best Pentax lenses for IQ alone, no zoom would even crack the top 10.
Twitch - I don't know, the DA*50~135 I have I think would be pretty close to cracking it. I was a non believer about modern zooms (IQ, sharpness, AF, etc) up till about 3 weeks ago when I got this thing from dgaies, boy was I ever wrong; photos from this thing look as good as many primes I have seen...

12-05-2011, 03:12 AM   #9
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Hi Ken,
For the cost of a Nikon 17-55 f2.8 DX lens, you can get Pentax 16-50 f2.8 plus Tamron 17-50 f2.8. However, there is no reason to get the two lenses together for Pentax. I have no doubt the IQ of Pentax or Tamron is equivalent to what you can get with the Nikkor.
I own the kit lens plus the FA 31mm Ltd. The 31mm Ltd is amazing. I am not in a hurry to get another lens. I may get a Pentax or Tamron zoom next, when i take 10000 shots with my 31mm Ltd (4000 so far).
12-05-2011, 04:10 AM   #10
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The gentleman asked for zooms so zooms it shall be

I'd say the Tamron 17-50/2.8 and the Pentax 50-135/2.8 would fulfill all your needs. Options would be the Pentax 16-50/2.8 (which doesn't offer any improvement over the Tamron IMHO except for WR at twice the price) and the Sigma 50-150/2.8 which again lacks WR but has HSM, is faster focusing, very very sharp even wide open, has a long long guarantee (if transferable - compared to Pentax's paltry one year, so buy an extended warranty) - the catch being it is no longer in production but they do occasionally come up on here and other Pentax forums (I have seen two in the past 2-3 months) and it's a lens I won't be selling for a long long time !
12-05-2011, 04:13 AM   #11
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I got my K5 this past summer and the 18-55 lens is already toast. Today I'm ordering the 18-135mm DA as a replacement. Hopefully it is a better lens...it certainly costs more.
12-05-2011, 04:15 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by TooLoose Quote
I got my K5 this past summer and the 18-55 lens is already toast. Today I'm ordering the 18-135mm DA as a replacement. Hopefully it is a better lens...it certainly costs more.
I hope you did your homework because I'm not at all sure that lens will improve on the 18-55 in that focal range.
12-05-2011, 04:44 AM   #13
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Ah, but I did my 'homework.' The problem with your statement is...there are so many different opinions on just about everything in the world. Some praise this lens. In truth, I didn't research by peeking over your shoulder and copying from your homework. Had I said that the 18-135 lens was a waste of money, I'm sure I'd get a similar remark from someone else asking me if I had done my homework!

I shoot street photography in a very dangerous area and a zoom lens works for me. I thought about a third party lens, but when I did my 'homework' there, I found camps that were gung ho these lenses and others who were not.

This is the lens that I chose.

Done deal.
12-05-2011, 05:16 AM   #14
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You need to look past the zooms if you want a taste of the best lenses for Pentax.
12-05-2011, 05:22 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
You need to look past the zooms if you want a taste of the best lenses for Pentax.
Agreed. I own two DA * zooms (16-50, 50-135), but the most fun shooting is with primes -- DA *55, DA 70, Sigma 30, DFA 100 WR. Just pick a focal length you like and get a prime in that focal length and watch it change your shooting preferences.

Just to say that I really like the DA * zooms. The 16-50 and 50-135 are both really excellent lenses (50-135 better than the 16-50) and from what I have seen the 60-250 is quite strong as well.
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