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03-18-2012, 03:06 PM   #1
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Decission time Pentax Lenses or ?

I have recently purchased a K-r body only, about eight months ago now and am doing research to help me purchase the right lenses. Before I was using a Pentax MX 35 mm Film and have a number of Manual Lenses, but I would like to purchase an auto Lenses to get the full use out of my Kr. I mainly do landscape photography, every chance I get I go backpacking in the
Eastern Sierras and am looking for a all purpose lenses to eliminate taking three lenses on my trips. I have joined a local photo club and when I asked the head of the club for advice he told me to sell the Kr and either purchase a Nikon or Cannon and my photography problems would be over. Well, I am not yet ready to give up on Pentax and looking at the 17-70mm and 18-135mm lenses, but have not made up my mind and do not know if there are any other lenses out there that would fit my criteria. I would appreciate assistance from the people who know Pentax, thank you.

03-18-2012, 03:17 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by dtmacias Quote
I have joined a local photo club and when I asked the head of the club for advice he told me to sell the Kr and either purchase a Nikon or Cannon and my photography problems would be over.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. I do love the mentality of the drones.
03-18-2012, 03:20 PM   #3
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For landscape you could prefere the DA 15mm Limited
03-18-2012, 03:28 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dtmacias Quote
I have joined a local photo club and when I asked the head of the club for advice he told me to sell the Kr and either purchase a Nikon or Cannon and my photography problems would be over.
QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. I do love the mentality of the drones.
this put sun in my rainy day


back to the main question : the 18-135 is a good and very usefull lens due to its range. And the 17-70 is a good fast piece of glass (f2.8 between 17 and 50 and f4 beyond, AFAIR).

But if your main goal is landscape i would really suggest you either a prime lens or a wide angle zoom like the Pentax 12-24 or the Tarmon 10-24. The Samyang 14mm is good and relatively cheap but only a KA lens without AF.

The 18-135 does some vignetting @18mm AFAIR, and the sigma is quite better on it, with a very negligible vignetting.

So, are you more looking for all purpose zoom lens or a wide angle lens ?

03-18-2012, 03:30 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by dtmacias Quote
I have recently purchased a K-r body only, about eight months ago now and am doing research to help me purchase the right lenses. Before I was using a Pentax MX 35 mm Film and have a number of Manual Lenses, but I would like to purchase an auto Lenses to get the full use out of my Kr. I mainly do landscape photography, every chance I get I go backpacking in the
Eastern Sierras and am looking for a all purpose lenses to eliminate taking three lenses on my trips. I have joined a local photo club and when I asked the head of the club for advice he told me to sell the Kr and either purchase a Nikon or Cannon and my photography problems would be over. Well, I am not yet ready to give up on Pentax and looking at the 17-70mm and 18-135mm lenses, but have not made up my mind and do not know if there are any other lenses out there that would fit my criteria. I would appreciate assistance from the people who know Pentax, thank you.
So he thinks that your manual K mount lenses will be autofocus lenses on a Nikon?
03-18-2012, 03:33 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dtmacias Quote
I mainly do landscape photography, every chance I get I go backpacking in the
Eastern Sierras and am looking for a all purpose lenses to eliminate taking three lenses on my trips.
I'd suggest one of these lenses
1) Pentax DA 12-24mm (expensive and now a bit hard to find, probably becuase it is no longer being manufactured as Pentax have a 12mm-35mm ish lens on the roadmap for release in a year or 2)
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)
3) Tamron 10-24mm
03-18-2012, 03:45 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by dtmacias Quote
he told me to sell the Kr and either purchase a Nikon or Cannon and my photography problems would be over.

What he means is that he doesnt have a clue about Pentax gear and it would make his life easier if you were just another clone. Ask him to explain why your K-r is a better camera for the money than anything C or N make in the price range and then ask him why the big two don't make small beautiful fast and (relatively) inexpensive prime lenses like Pentax do, ask him why you should spend twice as much money to get comparable gear from Canikon and STILL have the same camera problems...and then tell him to ...well never mind...

The answer to your question comes down to three things

1 what do you want to shoot and under what conditions (I'm thinking subject/portability/weather conditions)
2 how much do you want to spend/how important is value versus IQ
3 how flexible do you need it to be?

There are many lenses in the Pentax range that will do a stellar job of making landscape pictures, from the tiny jewel that is the Da*15mm through to someting like the DA 12-24 which is a beast (in pentax terms, still smaller than anything comparable from you know who) , any of the fabulous FA* lenses (31, 42, 77), or even something wild like the fabulous DA* 60 -250 to isolate features in the landscape.

You want an 'all purpose lens'? Have you looked at something like the Tamron 18-250 (which was my starting point in lenses, and my other half now uses exclusively) There is a Pentax variant of this lens if I recall. It is a good lens as far as it goes, and for the job it does, but it is not first class in IQ terms.

Is weather sealing important to you? If so the 18 -135 would be a good all rounder. I have no direct experience with this lens, but from my reading it seems to be a very good 'bang for the buck' proposition.
My inclination is to rate the IQ of the 17-70 slightly above that of the 18-135 just because of the zoom range, (but I have no direct experience with either lens, this only comes from reviews and the physics of making a longer range zoom)

Oh, and ask your camera club leader...if all one has to do is to buy a Nicanon camera to solve all ones camera problems...why are there so many camera classes, 'how to' workshops, on line blogs, etc trying to solve the camera problems of all the Sheeple's out there? Sheesh....

Last edited by wizofoz; 03-18-2012 at 04:14 PM.
03-18-2012, 04:17 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by dtmacias Quote
I have recently purchased a K-r body only, about eight months ago now and am doing research to help me purchase the right lenses. Before I was using a Pentax MX 35 mm Film and have a number of Manual Lenses, but I would like to purchase an auto Lenses to get the full use out of my Kr. I mainly do landscape photography, every chance I get I go backpacking in the
Eastern Sierras and am looking for a all purpose lenses to eliminate taking three lenses on my trips. I have joined a local photo club and when I asked the head of the club for advice he told me to sell the Kr and either purchase a Nikon or Cannon and my photography problems would be over. Well, I am not yet ready to give up on Pentax and looking at the 17-70mm and 18-135mm lenses, but have not made up my mind and do not know if there are any other lenses out there that would fit my criteria. I would appreciate assistance from the people who know Pentax, thank you.
The 17-70 pentax is the best of the pentax standard lenses and would serve you just fine.
you could plum for a tamron 17-50 F2.8 for a bit less but higher IQ but you lose a number of things, such as 20mm off the zoom,
weather sealing, manual focus adjust in single shot AF, and auto lens correction while shooting jpg.
I have the Tamron.... as sharp as it is ( and its certainly sharp ) I now wish I had gone for the pentax at the expense of losing a stop.

03-18-2012, 05:13 PM   #9
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For hiking in the Sierras with fewer lenses, go with the 18-135mm. Most people immediately think "hiking = landscape = wide-angle" which is far from the truth. Sure, there will be sweeping vistas, but also lots of interesting critters and tableaus that don't work in an ultrawide field-of-view, but of course you already know this... and the 18-135 is a very, very good lens for the money.
03-18-2012, 05:27 PM   #10
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I had to choose between my 17-70 and 18-200 Sigmas for my '09 Sierra hike. Despite the former's stellar specs and reviews I took the 18-200; I was very happy with it, and I'd do it again. It's very true that wide angle is great to have, but just stitch two 18mm vertical shots together (with generous overlap!) and your occasional ultrawide needs are covered. I carried a Tamron 14 with me the whole time, but only got it out on the last day to justify carrying it

If WR or silence is needed the 18-135 is perfect, but 18-200s can be had cheaply and they served me well. I'm watching with interest to see what the DA "high-magnification zoom" turns out to be later this year!

As to that club, it's time for you to run for office it seems - they need a mindset transplant at the top.

The good shots are at this picasa site - yes this was my Sony A200 period. I've used the 18-200 in Pentax mount too and was very happy happy with it, but medical bills forced it from my hands. After the first 20 shots at that link the 14mm pops in at times, and the 17-70 which I left in the car!
03-18-2012, 11:13 PM   #11
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No brand-name purchase will solve *your* problems, just the seller's cashflow problems.

When I go walkabout in the Sierras Nevada (from my home base on the west slope below Kit Carson Pass) I don't hike, I stroll. And I take at least my usual minimal kit: Tamron 10-24, DA18-250, FA50/1.4, and Raynox DCR-250. Depending on day and locale, I might add the DA10-17.

Backpacking is a problem. What to take? The best, or the most flexible, or the lightest, or what? For the best and lightest, forget zooms -- spend many dollars on the 15mm and 31mm and 70mm Limiteds. For most flexibility, try a DA18-135 or DA18-250 zoom. For the absolute smallest (and pretty cheap) get the new pancake DA-XS 40/2.8 and just move around a lot to frame shots. But I'll stick with my DA18-250, thanks.

If your 'friends' deride you for not shooting Canikony, they're not *really* your friends.
_______________________________

PS: If you are *serious* about landscapes and you have a pile of money, buy a Pentax 645D system. Nothing made by Canikony is even in the same league -- the 645D's pricier competition includes Hasselblad and Mamiya, and those aren't field cameras. There is just absolutely *nothing* like a 645D. Yes, it's a bit bulkier than a Kr system, but that's the price of ultimate quality.

Last edited by RioRico; 03-18-2012 at 11:34 PM.
03-19-2012, 12:23 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by dtmacias Quote
I mainly do landscape photography, every chance I get I go backpacking in the Eastern Sierras and am looking for a all purpose lenses to eliminate taking three lenses on my trips.
HI, I also do lots of hiking and backpacking and would like to share my experience. I had K-7 and DA 16-50 with me on all the trips and early this year I reviewed the photos concerning focal length. Oh, I forgot to mention that I got tired of DA* 16-50 weight and size and want something smaller and lighter. After reading all the good reviews of 18-135 WR I purchased one. Well, it is definitely way better than 18-55DA L I used once but after DA* 16-50 pictures it looks pale. First, colors are slightly off and, in my opinion, somewhat sigma-like. I think it uses different coating or something. I tested specifically with preset white balance both indoors and outdoors after I noticed it. But the worst thing with that lens is that it lacks something which I defined for myself as "micro contrast". It is indeed a sharp lens, especially at 40-50mm but I had feeling that pictures lack some details, they are flat and do not pop out. So I wouldn't recommend that lens, except, maybe, if you have a WR body (and you don't) and want something to take with you into a sand-storm (so no regrets if it gets damaged).

So, back to focal lengths. Most of the keepers I took outdoors were between 24 and 28mm. I also own FA 77mm so my choice was very easy to do: FA 31mm. It is not exactly that wide but I'll live with that. In your case I think the perfect companion for your trips would be DA 21mm limited. It is very light and compact and the camera with that lens mounted not that far in size from point&shoot cameras. So you could simply put it somewhere in your bag and don't bother about a dedicated photo bag.

DA 15mm limited is a bit too wide for my taste. It is a beautiful lens without a doubt but not as versatile as 21mm. I see its primary usage for indoors photos in tight spaces. I would also get DA 70mm as a short telephoto but it wouldn't be used as much. I've been using Pentax DSLRs for slightly over two years (some slr experience 10 years ago, though) and I found that the Way of Pentax is definitely with prime lenses. I was thinking in terms of zoom lenses earlier but found that what you get in terms of IQ and handling with DA limiteds can not be beaten.

All the above is my own opinion and based on my own experience. Note, that I don't have DA 21mm but from the pictures from Lens Clubs section I conclude that it has very similar rendering to DA* 16-50 (which I studied to bones).

Last edited by disya2; 03-19-2012 at 12:28 AM.
03-19-2012, 01:25 AM   #13
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I'll raise another couple points, about intent. What is your intent whilst hiking? And what do you intend to do with your photos?

If hiking is the main objective and photography is secondary; or if your photos won't be printed poster-size for close inspection; then do you really need top-of-the-line resolution? You might be happier with an Olympus m4/3 system, small and light and capable, and it won't distract you from the fun of the walkabout.

If photography is your main objective and hiking is just a way to take you to landscapes; or if you want|need to shoot the highest quality images possible; then will any consumer-grade system be adequate? You might need the 645D and lenses, a professional field system suitable for ARIZONA HIGHWAYS covers and posters.

If you are budget-constrained and trying to make the most of your Kr, then the DA18-135 may be suitable. I still think the DA18-250 is the most flexible zoom around, and it's not terribly huge, and if you throw a Fast Fifty into the kit with it, most of your shooting situations should be covered. Add a Raynox for macro, and voila!
03-19-2012, 02:08 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. I do love the mentality of the drones.
I'm willing to bet $$$ that someone who shoots Pentax would shoot better not because of the equipment but the mentality of seeking out gear that is right for them, not for everyone else!

I have a friend who has a entry level Canon rebel and kit lenses and he blows away my K7 and FA31 and its not because its a Canon!
03-19-2012, 02:08 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by westmill Quote
The 17-70 pentax is the best of the pentax standard lenses and would serve you just fine.
you could plum for a tamron 17-50 F2.8 for a bit less but higher IQ but you lose a number of things, such as 20mm off the zoom,
weather sealing, manual focus adjust in single shot AF, and auto lens correction while shooting jpg.
I have the Tamron.... as sharp as it is ( and its certainly sharp ) I now wish I had gone for the pentax at the expense of losing a stop.
I believe the Pentax 17-70 is not WR
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