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03-02-2012, 03:41 AM   #1
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K-mount lens variety...what should i get?

Hi all,

I recently took my K-5 on a test trip to Geneva. First off, I love the camera and think that it comes to par or performs better than some of the more popular brands now. On the trip, I had with me a Pentax 18-55mm WR and a tamron AF 70-300mm Di. For most of the trip, I had the Tamron lens mounted. I do love the telescopic/macro feature of the lens but had trouble taking pics objects at obviously a closer range. Although I have both lenses with me, I fear that constantly changing between the 2 lenses can damage the camera in the long run.

So my dilemma brings me to considering swapping out the Tamron 70-300 lens for a more versatile lens, say an 18-250mm one and hopefully getting a better telescopic one in the future for sports/wildlife photography. Do you think this is a wise move and what lenses would be good to choose from?

Thank you all in advance! I do appreciate all your input, especially since I am a newbie at this.

03-02-2012, 03:48 AM   #2
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Firstly don't worry about damaging the camera by changing lenses, I do it around a dozen times a week. Tamron is a very respected maker of budget lenses, you didn't mention a budget for your new lens. Tamron do an 18-270 telephoto lens which should meet all your needs. At the other end of the price spectrum is the Pentax DA 60-250 F4 lens, a highly regarded lens for it's quality, but quite expensive. If you're using the lens for sports/wildlife shot's I would recommend a monopod, it's easy to carry and will improve the number of sharp images you get.
03-02-2012, 03:55 AM   #3
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Thank you for the input! I do have trouble getting sharp images. As for the budget, I may stick to the cheaper lenses for now. I have just discovered that getting a camera and having one or 2 lenses is not the end of it hehehe. If i do decide to go for an 18-270, should i ditch the 70-300mm and the 18-55 i currently have?
03-02-2012, 04:21 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by chuck-e-cheese Quote
If i do decide to go for an 18-270, should i ditch the 70-300mm and the 18-55 i currently have?
I doubt you'll be any happier with the sharpness of one of these "superzoom" lenses, any more than you are with the kit lens and 70-300 you have now. Figure that if they produced great IQ, a lot more people would be using them due to convenience. But, I wouldn't suggest you ditch any lenses at this stage. There will be times where they are what you want to use.

Another way to go would be to pick up a couple of the less expensive primes. If you don't mind manual focus, there are tonnes of cheap A and M series lenses that are very sharp. Some of the F and FA series are also quite affordable, and do autofocus. For new lenses, the DA 35mm f./2.4 AL is very cheap, and very well regarded. It would be a great way to get your feet wet with primes.

03-02-2012, 04:26 AM   #5
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there is n18-270 in Pentax mount AFAIK.
according to the recently published K mount lens road map there is a 18-200ish lens coming out this year, so you might want to wait for it if you would like that option, although it will probably be more expensive then the Sigma version of similar range, which is the only option for a new lens at this moment. either way, if you value the WR of your camera setup, you might want to keep the 18-55 just for that.
03-02-2012, 04:29 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Philoslothical Quote
I doubt you'll be any happier with the sharpness of one of these "superzoom" lenses, any more than you are with the kit lens and 70-300 you have now. Figure that if they produced great IQ, a lot more people would be using them due to convenience. But, I wouldn't suggest you ditch any lenses at this stage. There will be times where they are what you want to use.

Another way to go would be to pick up a couple of the less expensive primes. If you don't mind manual focus, there are tonnes of cheap A and M series lenses that are very sharp. Some of the F and FA series are also quite affordable, and do autofocus. For new lenses, the DA 35mm f./2.4 AL is very cheap, and very well regarded. It would be a great way to get your feet wet with primes.
I have been looking at some prime lenses. I do agree the price is astronomically cheaper than the newer ones. I saw a Ricoh 28mm f/2.8 that is very affordable. I have to say, I was quite apprehensive getting a Pentax since most of the people I know were using Nikon or Canon bodies and boasted about the lenses available to them. But now, especially with the compatibility with the older lenses, I think I made the right choice
03-02-2012, 04:33 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pablom Quote
there is n18-270 in Pentax mount AFAIK.
according to the recently published K mount lens road map there is a 18-200ish lens coming out this year, so you might want to wait for it if you would like that option, although it will probably be more expensive then the Sigma version of similar range, which is the only option for a new lens at this moment. either way, if you value the WR of your camera setup, you might want to keep the 18-55 just for that.
Thanks for the heads up...being patient is not my strong point, but I will try and hold out for now I think hahaha...i feel like a kid again in a candy store!
03-02-2012, 05:10 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by chuck-e-cheese Quote
I have been looking at some prime lenses. I do agree the price is astronomically cheaper than the newer ones.
I have a zillion lenses. My few AFs (mostly zooms) cost on average 20x more than my many MFs (mostly primes). For your sports/wildlife shooting, look at used longer primes. My brilliant M42 Alpa-Chinon (Cosina?) 300/5.6 cost just US$27 shipped. Faster long lenses cost more but are absolutely worth it, and will give much better results than almost any zoom. Even slower long glass ain't bad. My little old Sakar 500/8 mirror (US$13 shipped) is slightly slower there than my huge Lil'Bigma 170-500/5-6.3 (US$1075 new) but is much more convenient.

03-02-2012, 06:09 AM   #9
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More Lenses?

Hi Chuck-e, Welcome to the Forum!
Since you mentioned using the 70-200mm more often and wanted a closer-focusing macro, you might consider a 100mm macro. I have the M series 100mm f/4.0 and it's a dandy.
Yes, it's manual focus and manual aperture, but neither is a problem with close-ups, where you generally have time to work. Actually, I prefer the MF for macro, AF often gets fooled by the extremely short depth-of-field.
They run about $100.00 on eBay, in good condition. Warning! Macro is addicting, you'll never go back.
And the DA 35mm would be a good choice for a walk-around/candid lens, too.
Good Luck!
Ron

Last edited by rbefly; 03-02-2012 at 07:06 AM.
03-02-2012, 11:11 AM   #10
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Thanks Ron. The more I learn the more I'm getting excited to try new things
03-02-2012, 06:10 PM   #11
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Changing the lens often shouldn't cause damage to the camera it is what these things are built for. However, my main concern when changing lenses is dust entering into the body and clogging up the sensor. Not a big deal if you are careful. As for lenses the 18-250 is out of production I thought and you would have to find one second hand. As the for the 18-270 from what I understand it is mediocre at the polar ends. My suggestion is looking into the da 18-125? It's a little bit pricey but it is an WR lens with a DC motor. It would be able to cover your wide angle problems and the mid range.

Since you mentioned that you are constantly changing lenses you are neither here or there with either. I'm going to assume that the issue is you are lacking in the range between the 55 and the 70 where when you have the 55 on you want to reach just a little bit further maybe 100 or something therefore having to switch. Or when on the 70 you want to get at 35mm or something like that.
05-04-2012, 09:02 AM   #12
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Hiya,

I bought my K-5 last year with the 18-135mm lens. I love the K-5 but wasn't too impressed with the 18-135. So before spending fortunes on more modern and possible disappointing lenses I decided to start buying some old Pentax manual lenses from eBay - its brilliant! They are loads of old prime lenses (24mm, 28, 50mm, 100mm) and loads of auto-focus zooms (100-300mm) etc. My Pentax-A 50mm F1.4 is just astonishing and although its not 'perfect' for lots of conditions, the results are always so great that its my most used lens.

IMHO Buying budget 'one-size-fits-all' super zooms to save money is a false economy, I would recommend buying some old lenses, having fun with them and see what type of photography you end up doing, then when you are really sure, you can spend $800-1200 on exactly the lens you know you will use.... actually, I am still in the 'having fun with old Pentax primes' stage!
05-07-2012, 10:35 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by tcarnell Quote
I decided to start buying some old Pentax manual lenses from eBay - its brilliant! They are loads of old prime lenses (24mm, 28, 50mm, 100mm) and loads of auto-focus zooms (100-300mm) etc. My Pentax-A 50mm F1.4 is just astonishing and although its not 'perfect' for lots of conditions, the results are always so great that its my most used lens.
Welcome to the Fast Fifty Gang! Those f/1.4s will just capture images that are impossible for other lenses. Abundant cheap primes include especially 28-35-50-55-100-135-200mm. Other focal lengths are a bit rarer, and some (like 85mm 'portraits' and 90-100-105mm macros) stay non-cheap usually -- although one can get lucky. (I'll resist bragging here.)

QuoteQuote:
IMHO Buying budget 'one-size-fits-all' super zooms to save money is a false economy, I would recommend buying some old lenses, having fun with them and see what type of photography you end up doing, then when you are really sure, you can spend $800-1200 on exactly the lens you know you will use....
One exception: The DA18-250 and its Tamron twin really *are* great superzooms. Not as one-size-fits-all solutions, but as reliable flexible tools in dynamic situations where the unknown is likely. The DA18-250 is my 'drivearound' lens, perfect for car travel and wandering around strange places for the first time. I didn't buy it as a money-saver, but as insurance against missing shots whilst changing lenses. The IQ of a missed shot is zero.

I've mentioned that my minimal kit contains the Tamron 10-24 for tight spaces, the DA10-17 for REALLY tight or odd spaces, the FA50/1.4 for dimness or action, and the DA18-250 for almost everything else. I supplement those with the F35-70 for its agility and sharpness in its narrow range, and with various peerless old MF primes: fast f/2s in 24-28-35-58-85mm, medium f/2.8s in 16-50-100-135mm, and slow f/4+ glass in 35-40-50-100-135mm. Most of those were pretty damn cheap.

And this leads to an under-appreciated species of lens: old slow glass. The tiny Enna Sandmar 35/4.5 and Tele-Sandmar 100/4.5; Meyer Primagon 35/4.5 and pancake Heliogon 40/4.5; Isco Westar 100/4.5; Jupiter-11 135/4; etc. These were not unreasonably slow lenses on FF. These are all sharp and have a different character than newer glass. Some of those are always with me.

Yeah, the cult of speed isn't everything. For great bargains, look for slow old German and Russian lenses.
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