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03-19-2012, 03:14 AM   #16
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DA limited 15mm
DA limited 21mm
End of story. Tiny. Light. AWESOME.

If you prefer zooms, I love my DA 10-17, and the Sigma EX 17-50/2.8 is a fine compliment. The DA* equivalent is WR if you need it, but it costs heaps more and the reviews are not universally positive.

03-19-2012, 05:05 PM   #17
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Primes or Zoom?

First you have to decide if you want primes or a zoom, as you said - to avoid changing lenses. I did lots of backpacking in the Sierras in the 70's then the Wind River Range and other parts of the Rockies in the 80's and 90's using just a 50mm and a 28mm lens on film. I never really wanted anything wider than 28, and only once or twice took a 135mm (hardly used it).
So if you don't want to change lenses, I'd get the 18-135. Haven't used it but it's the one I'd get and I don't think you'd be disappointed.
If you don't mind changing lenses, I'd recommend the 21mm Limited and the 70mm Limited; that way you have about everything but macro and extreme telephoto covered. They're both great and small, easy to carry.
03-19-2012, 05:23 PM   #18
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Film shots w/SRT-101

Here are some samples taken with a 50 and a 28, best I can remember.
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03-19-2012, 05:40 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yosemite Quote
So if you don't want to change lenses, I'd get the 18-135.
The one problem with the 18-135 for landscape use is that it has virtually no edge to edge resolution at the long end of the lens. That's fine for portraits, but for landscape the longer range is inadequate and therefore useless. The best Pentax zooms for landscape are the 16-45, 17-70, and the 16-50. I have the DA 16-45 and that's the lens I turn to for hikes and other instances when focal length versatility is required. I chose the 16-45 over the other two primariliy because of the SDM nuisance.

I would not advise getting a wide angle zoom like the DA 12-24 or the Sigma and Tamron varieties if you wish to minimize lens changes. I use to own the DA 12-24, and while it's a terrific lens and I enjoyed using it, I found it didn't stay on my camera any longer than some of my primes, so I swapped it out for the 16-45. The 16 to 45 (or 50 or 70) is a more useful range for landscape than 12-24 or 10-20.

03-24-2012, 10:03 AM   #20
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Thank you, I have been going back and forth over the 17-70 and the 18-135 lenses, reading reviews and blogs. Landscape photography is my main focus, I want to have the ability to take pics on the trail whether I am hiking at a fast pace or when I am strolling looking at scenery and nature. The reason that I would like a all purpose lenses is that I never know where I will be or what I will need and if I have time to dig into a 40 lb plus backpack to make a lenses change. at this point I am leaning towards the 17-70 knowing that I will be giving up on the ability to zoom as close as the 18-135. I do not know if at this time I am ready to try a non Pentax Lenses.

Thank you again for you input.
03-24-2012, 10:18 AM   #21
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Great looking pics, makes me want to hike there today. Looks like the camping gear is vintage. Which trail is this, it reminds me of the trail coming down on Merced Lake, the lake and the waterfall have me wondering if you were in the Glen Aulin area. I have been using a 28 lenses, but have found that wildlife shots are almost impossible to take. This is why I am looking at getting a multipurpose lenses.
03-24-2012, 10:31 AM   #22
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Thank you for you assistance with my dilemma. Your comments have given given me more to think about to help define the lenses that I will buy, As they say I want it all, but reality is what it is and I will have to decide, I am leaning towards the 17-70 Pentax lenses, knowing that right now I am shooting with a 28 and love the landscape pics, but am carving for the ability to shoot distance shots up closer with more detail.
03-24-2012, 04:38 PM   #23
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Yosemite

QuoteOriginally posted by dtmacias Quote
Great looking pics, makes me want to hike there today. Looks like the camping gear is vintage. Which trail is this, it reminds me of the trail coming down on Merced Lake, the lake and the waterfall have me wondering if you were in the Glen Aulin area. I have been using a 28 lenses, but have found that wildlife shots are almost impossible to take. This is why I am looking at getting a multipurpose lenses.
Year was approx 1975. Vintage indeed. The first shot was at an overlook w/the Clark Range in the background, before we jogged back up into the Lyell Fork (basin) of the Merced River. The second and third shots were up high and southeast in the Lyell Fork Basin. Fourth shot was a cross-country (wow!) shortcut back to the main trail. The last one, if I recall, is hiking down from Nevada Falls to the valley.

I think a 17-70 is what I'd take today on a Pentax APS-C. May even do that!

03-26-2012, 07:50 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
2) Sigma 10-20mm (the 3.5-5.6 version is excellent, no need to pay the extra for the f/4 constant aperture version
That's the wrong way round. The older, cheaper, and sharper one is f4-5.6, whereas the newer one is constant f3.5
03-27-2012, 07:49 AM   #25
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I haven't found a way to carry any zoom lens backpacking, comfortably, all day, day after day. The f/2.8 zooms are just bricks, and even the kit 18-55 is just too bulky. Eventually, the camera and zoom lens end up in my pack, which means lots of missed shots because the camera isn't at hand. I haven't looked into the 18-135 - the lovely Pentax primes are just too tempting.

Here's my solution.

I am preparing for the John Muir Trail this summer (200 miles), and will take the K-r, DA 21mm and DA 35mm f/2.4. The K-r with lithium batteries will last 1200+ shots, so no extra batteries. I carry the camera with a "binocular" strap (makes an X across your back), along with a LensCoat body bag, which is designed for compact SLR's, with no lens. The 21mm or 35mm mounted on the K-r easily fit into the LensCoat. The binocular strap doesn't interfere much with the pack shoulder straps. It's kind of awkward trying to get a portrait orientation shot, but it works, and the camera can always be disconnected from the binocular strap with quick disconnect plastic snaps.

The camera rides on my chest, is instantly available, and has a lightweight neoprene jacket to protect it. The lens that is not mounted is in a pocket, so I can change lenses without removing the pack. If it rains, the camera rig fits under a rain jacket, so it's somewhat protected.

For me, the DA 21mm is perfect for landscape, campsite shots, etc. It's relatively slow, meaning you really want to shoot the 21mm at f/5.6-8 if possible. The DA 35mm f/2.4 is very lightweight, can focus close enough for flower shots, and is very good all the way open. If I fall and smash the K-r and/or lenses, well the 21 will probably come out ok, and the 35 is cheap enough that it won't be so bad if it gets destroyed.

I've tried various other setups with zoom lenses for backpacking, and can't figure out how to make a zoom lens work in a practical way. Would be interested to learn what you end up with.
03-27-2012, 08:17 AM   #26
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I'm with the comment above, the one thing i would maybe add is a 50 (the new one may be out in time for your trip otherwise a good used FA is about <300 or the DA70
For a compact kit i am looking at a set of DA ltd even though i swore to myself i would only by FF compatible lenses. a full set of DA LTD take very little space (less than the big zooms you are looking at)
the trick would be to maybe start with what complements your MF lenses, so a 21 or 15 and a 70 (leave the 40 for later). the first 2 on my list are the 21/70 (I too have a good MF28 and a 50 and many others) I'll use my DA14 despite the weight for now and buy the 15 last
If you go for the limiteds try and find one of the Case Logic cases Ned designed. 3 da ltd in the tiny case and one on the camera Case has d rings so it can attache to other things easily



PENTAX 85122 DA LIMITED LENS CASE
03-27-2012, 08:41 AM   #27
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in going over the reviews quickly there are a couple of points that stand out.

the assertation that ultra wide is used for landscape for example.

My feeling is that using a 10-20 for landscape and huge vistas diminishes them to the point where they are unimpressive. To make these features really stand out, they need to appear big in the photo not small. to me, the 17-70 makes the most sense. When I am walking about, i use my tamron 28-75. There are times I would like more width, and I am willing to give up F2.8 at 75mm (given the K5 high ISO performance) and am seriously considering the 17-70 as a replacement.

but do not forget something that can go wide, in forests there is nothing more impressive than looking up, at the canopy with a 10mm or a fisheye. and for some landscape details you can't back up (without going off a cliff), so perhaps consider a pair of lenses, 10-20someting, and 17-70
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