Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-20-2012, 02:20 PM   #16
RobA_Oz's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,334
QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I suggest you think of the Tamron for your UWA, as its warranty is better than Pentax and its QC is better than Sigma.
I think you could have safely said that about the Tamron QC five years ago, but from all reports and my limited experience with both, I doubt that Tamron's QC is any better than Sigma's now, and the 10-24 Tamron has been shown to be quite poor in the corners compared with the Sigma 10-20 and the Pentax 12-24. Tamron's major strengths now seem to be compactness and value for money, although they also have some lenses with very good IQ, just not in the 10-24, comparatively.

03-21-2012, 02:14 AM   #17
Junior Member

Join Date: Aug 2009
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27
Original Poster
Thanks again everyone.

So far the decision is as follows:

1. DA 12-24/F4 for the "I need a wider angle" problem.
(I looked at the Sigma 10-20/F4-5.6, Sigma 10-20/F3.5, Tamron 10-24, and the DA 12-24.
I have to admit that I made my decision based mostly on reviews of the Tokina 12-24.
Also, that Tokina 11-16/F2.8 would have been ideal in DA* branding, but alas, how long can one wait...)

2. DA*16-50/2.8 as a walk-around lens with slightly better low-light performance.
(I have a DA17-70 but it's going to the wife. So I considered getting another of those or the DA*16-50, DA16-45/F4, Tamron 28-75/F2.8, Tamron 17-50/F2.8 or Sigma 17-70/F2.8-4.5 - tough choice!!)

3. So, the only decision left is a fast prime in the 20 - 40 range somewhere.
However, the budget is a bit blown now. I will try and find a cheap MF lens on evilBay - any suggestions??
03-21-2012, 02:53 AM   #18
Forum Member

Join Date: Jul 2011
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 73
To answer your original question in this topic - Yes the K5 is far superior to the K7 as far as low light is concerned and will certainly solve your low light problems. Having 'fast glass' depends on your needs. If you are planning to do low light hand held photography then having a fast lens helps. When using manual prime lenses from film era then you better be good at judging focus through the viewfinder under low light conditions as its quite hard to do it. A major advantage which manual primes give you is that they have distance scales on them which will be quite useful for low light photography. Some of the old wide angle primes of pentax and third party manufacturers are very expensive and some of them priced higher than what they were when originally released! So be prepared to part with a good chunk of money if you are planning on buying a fast wide angle prime from ebay! Pentax made 2-3 ultra wide angle primes such as the 20mm f2 [which is priced higher in ebay than its original price] while third party manufacturers such as Sigma and Tamron also made some ultra wide angle primes in the film days. As far as glass is concerned the quality of pentax is far superior to the third party! Samyang makes some really good fisheye and ultra wide angle primes and are sort of affordable if you can get a used one! If nothing else stick with the pentax 16-45 f4. You can make up for the slow speed of the lens with higher iso in the K5
03-21-2012, 03:16 AM   #19
Site Supporter
Sandy Hancock's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,729
I would consider the Sigma or Tamron equivalent before the DA* 16-50.
Or maybe add the Sigma 15/2.8 to you existing lens if you want wide and fast. Mind you, the DA10-17 is 3.5 at the wide end and with that sort of angle and in-camera shake-reduction it's not a real problem. Indoors you can always brace yourself against walls, shelves etc.
You will be surprised how much more you can get out of your lenses with the K-5 though....

03-21-2012, 04:26 AM   #20
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,400
I have similar travel interests to the OP and my current travel kit is a sigma 10-20 and tamron28-75/2.8

I supplement this with other lenses including an 8mm fisheye and 14/2.8 samyang prime. I cannot stress strongly enough that 14mm simply is not wide enough, and for that fact neither is 12. A sigma 10-20 or the newer 8-16 is much better because as the OP has observed, you simply can't back up enough.

As for low light, I started with the *istD, which performed better at high ISO than my K10. The K7 is better than both my earlier cameras and the K5 is even better.

But I must also point out that SR also works very well in compensating for low light situations, and the K10 plus SR is better than the *istD without.
03-21-2012, 07:04 PM   #21
Junior Member

Join Date: Aug 2009
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27
Original Poster
Just bought a Pentax M 50/F1.7 off evilBay for USD50!
Not sure what to expect, but should at least give me practice (and hopefully more confidence) with MF!!

Oh, and now I'm addicted to e-bay browsing...damn, that Vivitar Series 1 105/F2.8 Macro looks soooo tempting...)
03-23-2012, 10:27 AM   #22
Site Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,041
Did you ever try one zoom and one fast lens as travel kit? Pentax does not have a fast wide angle at the moment... but the 1.8/31 could do for you or the Sigma 1.4/30... This is really advantage over f/4 even over f/2.8 in zooms. There are not many decent large aperture wide angle lenses - actually a travel tripod would be quite handy. What ISO is your maximum? 1600 ISO and f/4 get you really far...
There is no need to look for extreme angles and extreme apertures. Limit yourself to finde the pefect combo. My travel set up would be either a 24/55 large aperture combo or a 15/40 hiking combo for minimum size/weight.
03-23-2012, 11:22 AM   #23

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Oregon
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,418
Get a Tamron 17-50/2.8 and Sigma 8-16. Leave the 17-70 on the K-7.

03-23-2012, 11:24 AM   #24
philbaum's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Port Townsend, Washington State, USA
Posts: 3,659
1. First of all, see what your lenses do with the K5. If you go to and look at Pentax lenses shot on the K10 versus the same lens shot on the K5 with 16 mp, you'll find like a jump of 19% in mtf resolution, such as for the DA*40. So your 17-70 will feel like a brand new lens with the K5. (not that i endorse all of's conclusions but there are some facts there that can be used) You will love the K5, it was an amazing change for me.

2. Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it . Seriously, i've read one post by someone who bought all 3 of the Pentax zooms, the 16-50, the 50-135, and the 60-250. and then found them too heavy for the hiking or traveling he was planning to do.

3. I have the Sigma 10-20 f4 and find it plenty fast enough. One thing about FL down that low, I can set it it on 3' and for most FL, its sharp from that distance to infinity for long exposures on a tripod. I once took a picture of a bridge with it, that was going thru a major upgrade, and the bridge workers bought 4 of my framed bridge pictures for a total of about $700. That was a stroke of luck.

4. But i don't really use the 10-20 much any more. But what i LIKE to use and whats been getting me the best feedback from friends and fellow members of a photo club is the DA 50-135. its a moderately heavy lens with some size but the IQ is great. I suppose one could get a 50, 70 & 135 primes(mix of AF and MF to save cost) and have the same thing with a more comfortable carry.

5. So what i'm suggesting is you find the FL you really like to shoot at and you get the best feedback on, and emphasize that for your travel pack.

My fantasy travel bag might include:
a. DA 50-135 on a K5 (have)
b. Sigma 30 f1.4 (hard to ignore that thread - but don't have)
c. DA 21 (have)
d. Metz 48 flash (have)

One doesn't have to get all zooms or all primes, you can mix them and be happy (don't spread this around - its a secret )

Last edited by philbaum; 03-23-2012 at 11:30 AM.
04-05-2012, 07:20 AM   #25
Junior Member

Join Date: Aug 2009
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27
Original Poster
Thanks again for all the input!!
In order to wrap this thread up - here is my final decisions:

The K5 arrived a week ago and yes, the ISO performance is markedly better. I am reasonably confident up to ISO1600 now.

As for the lenses, in the end I stuck with the Pentax DA 12-24/F4 and the Pentax DA* 16-50/F2.8.
It was not an easy choice between the Pentax, Sigma and Tamron options, but in the end I guess I decided to spend the money on the Pentax brand. (I hope that doesn't sound too lame).

And then while the cash were flowing I also got a Tamron 90/F2.8 Macro - WOW! is all I can say so far!

04-05-2012, 10:18 AM   #26
Site Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Castle Rock, Colorado
Posts: 42
I upgraded from K-7 to K-5 because of high ISO capability of the K-5. My first opportunity to try the K-5 with my DA55-300mm was at the Seattle Zoo yesterday. Very pleased with results at ISO 3200. Gray overcast day, don't think I could have done as good with K-7.
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5  Photo 
04-08-2012, 12:14 AM   #27
Site Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Copenhagen
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 493
QuoteOriginally posted by CX15 Quote
1. Low light. I often find that I have to stop shooting because tripod is unpractical/not present and I run into too high ISO problems.
Hi, There are solutions to the high ISO problem, see this thread (especially page 1 and 4, Adam and Chipvn advise):

04-08-2012, 12:40 AM   #28
Senior Member
Tom Woj's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Stafford, UK
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 163
Have fun with the 50 1.7 CX15, combined with the k5 it'll be great.

I'm impressed with the K-r iso performance as it is, wish I had a K-5 for the shot below:

Shot in a church the other week, the only light was a few candles down the isle, and a couple of stands with candles either side of the band, with a bit of light comming through the back window.

1/8, f3.5, 18mm, iso 3200

I honestly didn't think I'd be able to get anything with the kit lens, I mean it was dark. Amazing what these cameras can do eh?

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
bit, da17-70, iq, iso, k-mount, k5, k7, lens, low-light, pentax lens, performance, question, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fast Low light lens for Indoor shots with K100D Mathew J Pentax DSLR Discussion 13 06-18-2011 07:20 AM
taking fast shutter speed pictures with low light peewee Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11 12-07-2010 06:55 PM
Fast Lens telephoto for low light concert photography? superfuzzy Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 49 12-02-2009 12:24 AM
Tips on concert photography, low light, fast objects... praterkeith Photographic Technique 4 04-28-2008 02:47 PM
Low Light - Low Experience - Fix $$$ ? daacon Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 35 04-26-2007 07:52 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:12 AM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]