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03-10-2012, 09:53 PM   #1
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lens help

hey guys

I'm buying a k5 next week and i can't decide which lenses i need, its all new to me but i like to have as good a gear as i can afford for my hobbies.

My general use will be close ups of wildlife, landscapes, trying to get images of fish feeding on the surface.

i would like WR lenses to start with because i do spend a lot of time around water and with winter coming up here it will get wet.

what kind of difference is there image wise between the 18-55, 18-135 and the 50-200 wr's?


03-10-2012, 10:48 PM   #2
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I would go for the 18-135mm: it's a notch above the kit lens and the AF is very fast, silent, and reliable. The 50-200 is a fine lens, but nothing special.

Pentax-DA 18-135mm Zoom Review - Overview -
Pentax-DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED WR - Review -

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03-11-2012, 12:50 AM   #3

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If you already haven't done so, look at PENTAX : Welcome to the PENTAX Photo Gallery and, to a lesser extent, Pentax Cameras with Photo Samples and Pentax Lenses on Pixel-Peeper . You may also want to see the reviews on . Then you can get a good idea what you like. The DA17-70 is good too - I had one until I got a significant number of other lenses (mostly primes) that covered the same territory. I (and most people on this forum, apparently) definitely think the DAL55-300 is better than the DAL50-200, so if you're not going for the DA18-135 or DA*50-135 (or something similar) at least go for that.

I should add that, since you haven't bought the camera yet, I believe you're much better off investing in lenses than a camera body. Lenses contribute more to the image quality, and they mostly hold their value (and sometimes increase in value). Camera bodies depreciate and usually get updated in 2 years or less. I didn't bother upgrading from my K-x to a K-5 until I'd spent many times the cost of my body on lenses. And when I did upgrade I didn't notice much difference, because the quality was in the lenses. If you don't believe me, compare the cameras' studio shots on DPReview.

If you don't mind ordering overseas, right now Adorama has a great deal on the K-r with the nice DA35/2.4 lens (worth around $200 by itself) for $630. If you use the links on this site you can get free site supporter status on these forums as well. Then buy yourself the DA*50-135 (which is WR) with the money you save - either new or used, as you wish. Don't worry about the camera getting a little wet unless you're dipping it in water (which I wouldn't do anyway) or are really in a heavy rainstorm. The early winter rains certainly didn't hurt my non-WR Pentax body when I was in Brisbane and Noosa a few years ago. Then you can easily pick up a 18-55 lens (WR if you like, but at that price I wouldn't worry about the lens getting damaged), or any of a number of Pentax/Sigma/Tamron lenses in the same range. With the K-r and DA*50-135 you'll get better image quality than most people who spend over twice as much with other brands.

While it's true the K-r is likely to be updated before the end of the year, so is the K-5, and at this low a price the K-r can't depreciate much.

Last edited by DSims; 03-11-2012 at 02:02 AM.
03-11-2012, 04:53 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forums! For landscapes the 18-55 WR is a fine choice, or the 18-135 WR as Adam suggests which also gets you more reach. But probably not enough reach for wildlife closeups, unless you are able to get very close to your subjects. The DA* 300 is the longest weather-sealed lens on offer, and also has a short minimum focus distance for those fish closeups. There's also the DA* 200 and DA* 60-250 for more weather-sealed long options.

DSims is right that camera bodies, in this digital age, lose resale value more quickly than lenses. But if you can afford the K-5 and some good lenses then by all means get the K-5. The K-r isn't weather sealed, for one thing.

(I don't agree that lenses really hold their value, in terms of resale. Very few lenses do so in real (inflation-adjusted) terms. But they do depreciate slowly, and, well cared for, they give decades of service, which is more than we expect from DSLR bodies.)

03-11-2012, 04:21 PM   #5
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cheers guys, food for thought

any idea how well the 300 wr performs with a teleconverter?
03-11-2012, 06:03 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rocksy Quote
any idea how well the 300 wr performs with a teleconverter?
Speaking strictly in terms of function (not optical performance), there are issues when combining a DA* lens with some TCs. Short answer, best bets appear to be the Kenko or Tamron TC with PZ contacts, the Pentax 1.7 TC, or a plain KA-type TC if you don't need autofocus. More information:

Kenko 2X KAX Teleplus MC4 Lens Reviews - Miscellaneous Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

Pro-Optic Multi-Coated 1.4x Lens Reviews - Miscellaneous Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

Note that the recently-released Pentax lens development roadmap includes a TC, which one would hope will be fully compatible with the DA* line. But the roadmap shows it not till 2013 or later.
03-11-2012, 06:32 PM   #7
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cool thats mate,

I might just get the DA18-55, the 100mm macro and either a sigma 50-500 or a 150-500 for the sniper shots. possibly a sigma 8-16, they take a good landscape from what i've seen

that should cover what i'm likely to shoot in the near future, gives me something to work off when i upgrade.

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