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02-06-2012, 04:15 AM   #1
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Lens advice for K5 starter

Hi everyone,
I'm very close now to walking back into that store and putting down some serious readies for a K5 which I picked up and did'nt want to put down. First I need to get some advice on buying my first affordable lenses online. I do a lot of hiking and like taking macro and textural landscape photo's.

The basic kit lens for the K5 Is the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 WR DA which is weather sealed, new and definately compatible with the K5,it and the included EF 530 Sigma flash add about $340 to the unit.

I'm really nervous about the compatibility of used lenses and K5's :

The body from the store is $1100, I thought that instead of the kit, it might be good to get a used
SMC 135MM F3.5 and M50 mm F1.7 in Vgood condition for a hundred and fifty bucks. An adaptor and coupling ring for the 50mm should turn it into a reasonable macro, right?
Feel free to have a laugh and perhaps enlighten me on the best way to proceed.

Any K5 Pentaxian advice will be greatly appreciated.


02-06-2012, 04:45 AM   #2
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Hi Sir,

Used lenses are good especially if it is good condition. Choosing lenses for K-5 depends on what kind of Photography you do. So the best advise is answering this question "what do i use this camera for?"..landscape photography, Portraiture, sports, macro, etc. If you have an answer to this then check out our Pentax Lens database. It is good way to check it out before buying lenses. A lot of Pentaxian's contributed in reviewing these lens.

Hope to see your post's soon.

All the best and Welcome.

Kenneth
02-06-2012, 05:17 AM   #3
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Thanx for your reply, I have read many of the Pentax lens reviews and hope in time to also be a contributor. I am particularly impressed by the resourcefulness of many of the Pentax users. I saw Thomas Shahans youtube post the other day and the results from his ungainly looking pentax contraption just blew me away.

An Introduction to High-Magnification Macro Photography - YouTube.

I like the idea of being able to use older lenses as part of my photographic journey, one contributor just put me onto Dmitrovs link and I'm more than happy to put in a bit of hard work into understanding lens lineage and mount compatibility.

Cheers.
02-06-2012, 05:21 AM   #4
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Used lenses work really well, I often have my old 1.7 50mm on my k5. I've got about a dozen old lenses now, and none have cost more than about 30 and all are worth having with their own strengths and weaknesses. The latest one I bought is a Tamron 80-210mm, and it's a lovely lens with good range, sharpness and colour.

02-06-2012, 05:53 AM   #5
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Thanx mate, I appreciate your response, every little bit of info really helps with how I go about getting my optics sorted. You guys in the UK seem to get shafted with the amount you pay for new stuff in the UK, so I really admire your approach. Like Kenn 100D says, if the lens in decent nick then alls good......as long as you know yer stuff, Dimitrovs table of mounts and lenses makes for a bit of light reading eh?

Cheers
02-06-2012, 06:01 AM   #6
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From your description of desired use paired to a K-5, I'd first consider the DFA 100/2.8 MACRO WR. It's a very versatile lens, great for short telephoto down to fussy tiny subjects (birds to bugs). It's my 'go-to' field lens. Another great lens is the DA 15/4 Limited. It can close focus surprisingly well on tiny inanimate subjects and it's hard to beat for context shots like broad landscapes, or tight urban settings. Lastly, I really like the DA 35/2.8 Macro Limited as a general purpose 'walk about' lens.

If I were to do things over again, I'd get the 100 and shoot it exclusively for about six months in all possible settings. Your local zoo with its diverse collection of settings and subjects is a great place to practice and learn your gear. Next, I'd pick up a 15 and shoot the pair for the remainder of the year. At that time, I'd re-evaluate my needs and perhaps look to the 35 (Santa, do you hear me?). Personally, I could get along just fine with a simple 15/100 kit and forget the rest. Although I absolutely love my DA*300/4 and will never give it up, the 15/100 are my most used pair. They have never let me down.

My 2 cents... Cheers...
02-06-2012, 06:28 AM   #7
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Thanks for your response, interestingly I've looked closely at the DFA 100/2.8 Macro WR and DA35/2.8 ,Macro Limited in my initial research, these are both quality lenses and represent a specific answer to my particular photographic leanings. The versatility comes at a price however, buying one would mean eating porridge for the next two months.......... I think you've just invented a brand new diet plan.

Cheers.
02-06-2012, 06:43 AM   #8
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Seriously, the kit lens is a fantastic bit of glass. My kit for jobs includes the 50-135, the 50 1.4 and the WR kits, mainly because I haven't got the money to upgrade it yet, but it's weather sealed, versatile and sharp enough stopped down, plus it's light and small with autofocus and quick-shift. I generally sing it's praises on my blog. I'd just grab the kit lens, it's not expensive and it's REALLY useful.

For fun though, and sheer photographic happiness, I'd go for a 35mm or a 24mm. The 35mm Macro especially, is VERY highly praised, and I've been looking at swapping out my 35 DA-L for it at some point for the macro function and build quality. The old super takumar 35mm lenses are really highly regarded as well, and they're very cheap.

Be warned, once you buy one Limited lens you're on a long, addictive and expensive road to collecting them all. You'd best get used to eating porridge. Personally, I eat it every morning :P

I wouldn't get the 15mm Limited though, I had it and it didn't quite cut it for me, especially considering the price. For the same price you can get a Sigma 8-16 in the UK, and if you want wide, that will give you wide by the bucket load. And I think as a general lens, a 100mm is way too long. It's a beautiful lens, and what lens you want is up to you, but for pictures of people and friends and all that you'll be hard pressed to fit people in indoors.

02-06-2012, 07:48 AM   #9
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I notice you've used a Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 to take the photo of 'Basement', I'm just taking a punt here, but it looks like it could be a minimal techno/ambient album cover. Thats the business right there, superior optics in low light conditions, superb tonal quality, and of course appropriately priced.
The thing about the kit lens for outdoor use is that it is a light WR item made for the camera, thats a good thing I suppose. I travel 5-25kms in a day so reducing bulk is I believe the key to my issue. A 35mm Macro limited is about 270grams, it makes sense in a strange way, but at $700... I'd be interested in seeing an exhibition of pics taken with sub $100 lenses. Your feedback has been greatly appreciated.
Cheers.
02-06-2012, 07:59 AM   #10
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Welcome aboard. The kit lens is terrific and one of the advantages of the K-5 is the weather sealing. If you are hiking a good bit either one of the WR lenses or a DA* lens, which are also WR, would be my advice. Old glass works a treat on the K-5, no worries. I've had glass on there that is from 1960 and from 2011 and each works fine. Adapters are your friend and if you get any M42 glass try to get an adapter from Pentax or at least read the various advice threads here to know what to avoid! A reverse adapter ring and an old M50/2 lens works incredibly well for macro and costs nearly nothing. The M50/1.7 is optically superior, and costs more, but if you only want it for macro the 50/2 is just fine IMHO. I'd also get a $5-7us IR remote and descent tripod (which contrary to popular myth does not have to cost $1k). Good luck.
02-06-2012, 08:01 AM   #11
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I'm a fan of the K mount lenses, K24/2.8, K35/3.5 for landscape, K55/1.8, K85/1.8, K135/2.5....I have a few concerns for your application;

If you keep your eye out, you might be able to find a good copy for reasonably cheap, but they can get expensive as they are sought after.

Make sure you are OK with "manual everything". I prefer it, but you'll have the camera on M mode, using the green button, and of course they are manual focus. If you have access to a manual lens, you might want to try it for an afternoon to make sure it is right for you.

They are a little heavier and larger than newer lenses, (although the K24 and K35 are quite light).

They are not water sealed. I've never had an issue with this before and I keep a plastic bag in my pack in case it really pours.....

Cheers,
Steve
02-06-2012, 08:05 AM   #12
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Just one point, if you're looking at older manual focus lenses. The A series, which have an "A" on the aperture ring, are electronically identified by the camera, and will imbed EXIF info on the lens and aperture. Older lenses (K, M, M42) do not have any electronics, so you will not have this data in your photo files. This was kind of a big deal for me when I got into photography via pentax. Being able to look at lens/camera info later would help me figure out what I did wrong/right.
02-06-2012, 09:57 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tessl8d Quote
...versatility comes at a price however, buying one would mean eating porridge for the next two months... I think you've just invented a brand new diet plan...
Want to travel light... cut the porridge pledge. Most folks eat too much, anyway.

Keep in mind there's always the Easter Bunny... not a part of your new diet (eating ol' EB is very poor form and not acceptable in polite society), but as a patron. Perhaps your parents, or doting relative, or even a dear friend, might help by splitting the cost? All they can say is... Anyway, when they witness the joy in your heart after you conquer a K-5 paired to a DFA 100 WR, they will feel more than adequately repaid.

Again, my 2 quid... Motor on...
02-06-2012, 10:26 AM   #14
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The kit lens is pretty decent imho and a good starting point for your macro shoots you may just want to add some Kenko tube(s). When or if you find your images need to be better by then you'll have had enough research behind you to dive into LBA (lens buying addiction)

*I'm going on the assumption this is all for personal pleasure* AND Welcome to the forums...there's a lot of knowledgable photographers in here...i'm still learning from them.
02-06-2012, 11:25 AM   #15
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I like larger f-stops that can allow me to control my depth of field more. When a lens stops down to 5.6 when extended there is not much you can do to focus only on the subject because the depth of field is so great. This is why I almost never use my kit lens.

My recommendation is to look at the older prime Pentax lenses. If you want the camera to work in AV or TV and still let you focus manually, look at KA mounts. The 28mm f2.8 lens is my favorite. It works out to about a 40mm lens in a full frame, a perfect lens for just walking around. It is my main lens for weddings too.

I also like the 50mm primes. I have a 50mm, f1.4 that is perfect for portraits and a 50mm f2.8 macro that is great for close ups. The macro lens cannot go to 1:1, but it does pretty good at 1:2.

I do not use a zoom much, but I do have a 28mm to 80mm Pentax zoom. It is ok, but not much better than the kit lens, if at all, with the exception that it is a bit longer. I seldom use it, or my 70 to 210mm Pentax lens.
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