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12-05-2011, 03:03 AM   #1
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Seeking advice on lenses for KR


Essentially, a rehash of my introduction posted elsewhere on the forum earlier today. I am a newbie who is about to purchase my first DSLR camera. This will be a Pentax KR. Most of my camera use is in the traditional family photos or portrait shots. Occasionally, I'd like to photograph my son at soccer or my daughter at ballet, where greater distances are involved. My original intention was to settle upon the standard 18-55mm kit lens that comes with the camera and purchase a zoom lens at a latter time if required. In my hunt over the internet for prices of the KR, I see options to purchase "twin kits" which includes an extra lens, usually the 50-200mm or 55-300mm focal lengths? Am unsure whether these are worth the investment as yet and is probably overkill in relation to my current skill and needs. Recently, I've seen a twin kit that offers an additional lens which is 28-105mm at a very reasonable price for my budget. I am sorely tempted to purchase this, as I suspect that this may cover my above requirements, though unsure whether it is a good aquisition in the longterm scheme of things. Unfortunately, I haven't seen much information upon this this lens and am a little concerned that whats supplied in the 28-105mm lens is already serviced by the standard 18-55mm kit lens.

Given my limited experience with DSLR's, I'll pose some questions to the much more experienced members of this forum.
Would the 28-105mm complement the standard KR DSLR camera with the 18-55mm lens?
Is it best to wait and purchase a larger zoom lens at a later date?
A fellow countryman has proffered the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 telephoto, which I'll be sure to investigate. Am sure that this will prove to be a sound recommendation.

Again, thankyou for the time and am open to professional advice.

12-05-2011, 03:18 AM   #2
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Welcome. The K-r is a great camera, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. The two lens kits are definitely worth the extra money, as it's a considerable savings over buying them separately. The 55-300 is regarded as better optically (at least by a bit) than the 55-200, and you get that extra reach. I'd highly recommend that kit. I don't know much about the 28-105, and have never seen it sold as a kit lens, so maybe that's something a particular retailer just decided to do. Hopefully someone else will be knowledgeable about that particular lens and help you out.

QuoteOriginally posted by Cptn_Goodvibes Quote
A fellow countryman has proffered the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 telephoto
Awesome. Fast zooms are spendy and sought after. If you can get one at a decent price, you'll likely be thrilled with it, though it would make the 55-300 somewhat redundant. Personally, I like having something longer than 200 with me, but it depends what you're into.
12-05-2011, 03:59 AM   #3
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I'd just get the 18-55 first; take a lot of photos; review the photos; consider what you're missing. This should start to lead you towards your next lens.

As far as the 18-55 is concerned, they're plentiful on ebay, etc, so look at the cost of body + lens from a shop/retailer Vs. body only + lens from ebay.

The answer to the question about which lens to buy is driven by what it is that you want to photograph, hence take photos with a kit lens (the 18-55 is highly regarded) and decide wheer you want to go next.

If you really can't wait, the 55-300 has better IQ than the 50-200.

Good luck, but watch out for LBA (lens buying addiction)
12-05-2011, 04:01 AM   #4
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Firstly welcome and congratulations on your impending purchase of a superb camera.

As regards the 28-105 (is it even still in production or is the seller getting shot of old stock ?) this is the review section on it here (a mixed bunch of reviews) but basically it seems to be no improvement over the standard kit lenses (and it doesn't offer WR or go wide enough compared to the 18-55) : Pentax-FA 28-105mm F3.2-4.5 AL [IF] Reviews - FA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

In your shoes I'd go with the 18-55 (probably the best kit lens offered by any manufacturer) to start with but for telephoto for your children you are going to need something longer and probably faster, especially for your daughter's ballet indoors (though the high ISO on the Kr is superb and will help you achieve faster shutter speeds on slower lenses).

The Sigma 70-200/2.8 is a huge step up (in IQ quality, build quality, focusing speed ....... and weight !) on the kit lenses.

f you can give us a budget to work on we will have a much better idea of what lenses to recommend to you (anything from the Tamron 70-300, Pentax 55-300 thru the Pentax 50-135 etc. all the way up to the Sigma 70-200 / Tamron 70-200/2.8 top quality lenses).

12-05-2011, 11:26 AM   #5
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I have the KR with the 18-55 & 55-300, great for anything I have needed so far. The only lens I have added is the 35 f2.4 for low light use. I also have some old manual focus lens but auto focus is better with kids. For soccer you can't beat the DAL 55-300 I like it better than my Tamron 70-300 because sometimes the play gets close and I needed the 55 end, the 50-200 would be to short for most soccer shots


Last edited by hnikesch; 12-05-2011 at 11:36 AM.
12-05-2011, 11:35 AM   #6
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For cost-effectiveness, the 18-55 plus 55-300 kit is impossible to beat -- highly recommended. I personally don't like that combination because I shoot a lot in the 35-70mm range and I hate swapping lenses around 55mm. My first dSLR kit wasn't a package. For my K2-D, I chose the DA10-17 fisheye (the lens that drove me to Pentax), the FA50/1.4 for action and low light, and the DA18-250 for almost everything else. The DA18-250 and its Tamron twin are no longer in production but are widely available used.

The Kr body plus DA18-250 plus FA50/1.4 set will cost rather more than the Kr plus DA18-55 plus DA55-300 set. The two-kit-lens set is a good starting point. The superzoom plus Fast Fifty set is more useful IMHO. So it depends on your budget and desires. Ask yourself: Where do I want to go, and what will get me there, and how much will satisfaction cost? Good luck!
12-05-2011, 01:44 PM   #7
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I bought my K-r with 18-55 and 55-200mm DAL kit lenses then I noticed that I was missing shots while changing my lenses. I was taking most of the pics in 30 to 90mm range and changing lenses was very annoying. Also, it was letting dust to settle on the sensor.

Then I got my eye on Tamron 18-250mm, I was lucky to get a new copy of this lens for a very good price(Grey market). Since then, it has never left my K-r. I occasionally use my Pentax-A 50mm F2 for indoor but 50mm is even too long for taking pictures inside a room (~75mm equivalent)

Look for used/new copy of 18-250mm Pentax/Tamron (optically both are same), if you cannot get 18-250mm Tamon than I would suggest you to get Tamron 28-75 F2.8 and 50-300mm DAL
12-05-2011, 03:27 PM   #8
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First off, thankyou everyone for the wealth of information. I must say that I am most impressed with the friendliness and helpfulness of the contributors to this forum. For myself, it speaks volumes about the Pentaxian community and puts it in a very positive light. I am digesting your advice and filing it for future reference.

Presently, am in the middle of Christmas shopping and my budget is little tighter than usual. I've set my purchase limit to around $750 AUD, which is similar in terms of US dollars. Under these circumstances, I think the standard Pentax KR package is well within my means, but estimate that a "twin lens kit" including a 55-300mm puts it out to about $1,000 AUD. So it looks like the telephoto lens will have to wait for now, but this at least allows time to learn more about the standard 18-55 lens, determining what ranges most of my shots are likely to be and get my head around the basics. From the discussion, I gather that the 18-250mm Tamon mentioned, serves as universal lens to cover most situations and negates the need to carry multiple lenses. The 18-55mm and 55-300mm compliment each other, but necessitates a change of lenses to make the most from each best operating ranges. As I understand it, each solution has its good and bad points. Then there are more lenses for the closer indoor shots. As someone mentioned earlier, this can get very expensive. I see the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 telephoto listed at around $1,000 AUD new. Is a lot like graphics cards being the most expensive component when building a computers, only much, much worse. Guess you have to pay top dollar for specialised equipment and advanced optics.

Incidentally, I further investigated that 28-105mm lens which I mentioned earlier. Heres a link with a picture of it in the background. Photo Details Part of a package selling for $738 AUD including various accessories like a bag and cleaning kit. Anyway, I think I've positively identified it as the SMC-Pentax FA Zoom 28-105mm f/4.5 elsewhere on this website. It does have a positive review, though am unsure whether this would suit my requirements for now. However, I have concluded that I'll need to acquire the 55-300 lens somewhere down track. If not today, then later on in the new year.

Many thanks for your time and patience.


12-05-2011, 03:44 PM   #9

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QuoteOriginally posted by Cptn_Goodvibes Quote
I think I've positively identified it as the SMC-Pentax FA Zoom 28-105mm f/4.5 elsewhere on this website
There are actually three different Pentax FA 28-105 lenses. The one in the picture at the webise is the first one, the FA 28-105 f4-5.6, introduced in 1991, which features a powerzoom motor that assists in zooming. It's allegedly a decent lens, perhaps slightly better than the 18-55, but heavy: it weighs over 500 grams. It's a lens designed for 35mm film cameras and generally is not regarded as providing as suitable a range for APS-C digital cameras.

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