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03-20-2012, 02:22 PM   #1
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Finally ordered K-5 , a question regarding lenses , please help

Hi all,

I had hard time to decide between K-5 and K-01, since K-01 was considerably cheaper, but thanks to the 200$ price reduction, I placed the order for K-5 , and I am really happy about it . Just waiting for Adorama to send it.

I have read lots of posts on lenses, and my final decision was Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 and Pentax 40mm (Limited or the new one). As you see, my price limit for lenses is around 700$.

Then I checked some pics from Pentax 15mm F/4, and they look really good, as expected from a Limited Pentax prime lens.

I have been using Canon S95 before and have always used zooming in and out for composition. My general question is:

- Is it practical to use two prime lenses (15mm and 40mm, with changing lenses and cropping) instead of a 17-50 lens ?

I think it is kinda possible to walk forward and backward with 15mm and 40mm to get results similar to 17-50mm focal range. Although changing lenses should not be that much comfortable (I guess). Does anyone do so, instead of using a zoom lens ?

After seeing results from Limited prime lenses, it is difficult to accept a 17-50 lens .

Thanks everyone and Pentaxforums.

03-20-2012, 02:25 PM   #2
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The 17-50 is a very good lens, and some may say it even compares with primes.

Now, the two primes you are talking about, 15 and 40mm LTDs, are compact primes that Pentax is known for. I imagine it's not that killer to carry both around and switch - both can be used for a wide variety of scenes between their range. Just make sure you take good care when changing lenses to prevent dust from getting into the camera, and you'll be good and dandy.

Heck, technically the two primes are less in size and weight than the 17-50 (100+212g vs 440g).
03-20-2012, 02:33 PM   #3
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The 15mm needs stopping down a couple of stops before its good and the 40 is good and useable at any setting.
Get the 70 at a later date and you will have a realy nice set of primes.
03-20-2012, 02:37 PM   #4
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I have the Tamron 17-50mm and I am very happy with it. Only drawback with the K-5 is that the lens is not WR like the body, but you can't beat the price for the quality of glass. I would love to have a copy of the Pentax 15mm Limited, but I just can't justify that expense to myself.

03-20-2012, 02:43 PM   #5
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You should seriously try some prime lenses - they don't bite. I would also dare to say that with zooms, you're losing image quality, light, size, whatever, for literally convenience.
03-20-2012, 02:44 PM   #6
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One thing I will mention regarding the Tamron.... You do lose two things..... Instant manual focus correction and Auto lens correction in jpg mode.
That can be important for jpg shooters and something you never hear anyone talk about strangely.
I use one myself and the IQ is superb though.
03-20-2012, 02:46 PM   #7
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I have carried the DA 15 and FA 35 with me while travelling (the FA 35 being larger and heavier than the DA 40). It is certainly feasible, and I had no regrets for not bringing a 16/17-50 or 18-55 zoom. Then again, I am a person who doesn't mind "zooming with my feet" -- probably a legacy of all those years with the K-1000 glued to a 50/2 . . .
03-20-2012, 03:06 PM   #8
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I have both the 15mm and 40mm.................I love them and it's a great way to start with your new K-5!!!

03-20-2012, 03:21 PM   #9
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As a person who has shot both zooms and primes... I highly suggest you start out with what you thought, the Tamron and DA 40mm. Shoot a bunch of pictures with them and after you've taken several thousand photos, you'll have a little better idea of if you would really be able to do a prime setup or not.
It's best to work into these things, as some people have started out with primes and only been frustrated.
03-20-2012, 03:49 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone,

Good news, Adorama shipped the K-5

Honestly I am confused. I checked again images in review pages for 15mm F/4 and Tamrom 17-50, and it looks sharpness and focus is not very close, in favour of 15 f/4. may be just in those images.

On the other hand what Ubuntu_user mentioned makes me worry, whick I think is correct. Better IQ but not as easy setup with two primes. Still do not know what to do.

Please keep on posting your great comments. Do not wanna have K-5 here without lenses
03-20-2012, 04:10 PM   #11
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Must say I no longer use zooms between 10 and 50mm. Using primes has improved my photography even though they are more inconvenient for me. I might get the new 17-50 pentax WR when it comes out mostly so I have a good WR setup. But I think the new lens will be expensive and I will have better ways of spending that sort of money on other gear.
03-20-2012, 04:12 PM   #12
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My first prime was my FA 50 1.7. No regrets there. There are times when you just want that 1.7 aperture and nothing else will do. My most used lens is my DA 18-135. If it was 2.8 it would be the perfect walk around lens. But perhaps not the IQ you want. Still if you're starting from nothing.. it's all you need until you can afford some primes.

Apart from the kit lens.. and SIgma 70-300 which can be had second hand for $100, (I like to have everything covered, just in case) my next purchase was the DA 10-17. Not prime IQ, but the advantage of a prime is lost if you can't frame your image efficiently. If you're cropping half your image in a prime, I doubt it's going to out perform a full size zoom, except for the pixie dust thing. My 21 Ltd isn't even rated as being all that sharp, but it sure has the pixie dust. Sharpness isn't every thing.
03-20-2012, 04:31 PM   #13
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Congratulations on the K5. You'll get about as many opinions on lens choice as there are contributors (maybe more because some people waffle a bit). You've got two great lenses coming to you. Enjoy them. There is a nice bit of free software called ExposurePlot that will analyze your photos and give you statistics on how you use your zoom lens. After a thousand or more photos such an analysis will tell you a LOT about what focal length and aperture you use the most. That information will allow you to make a very informed decision based on what YOU use the camera for.

Good luck.
03-20-2012, 04:45 PM   #14
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I have a K-5 and owned a Tamron 17-50 which I sold for a 15mm Limited and a 43mm Limited

The Tamron is a nice lens for sure, but it is large and heavy compared to the 15 and the 40. The Tamron produces nice colours and great sharpness but there is no magic. The 15mm and 40mm will provide at least a touch of the "pixie dust" which make the images a bit more unique. They are also made of metal and built very nicely. The Tamron feels well made, but it isnt the same as a Limited build.

You will also appreciate having a relatively light and compact setup to carry around. I find when I go out, I generally know which prime I want to bring and just use one. Though it would be simple to carry the 15/40 in a pocket just in case

Or buy the Tamron, you can always sell what you dont want here for most of what you paid
03-21-2012, 05:02 AM   #15
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My conclusion is that prime lenses are for those who know more about the situation and what focal length is needed, and since I am a beginner, I decided to get Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 for now.

Apparently many Tamron 17-50 lenses have BF/FF problem. I hope I receive a good copy that at least can be corrected with fine AF adjustment.

Thanks everyone for your replies.

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