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09-17-2012, 06:19 PM   #1
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K-30_Ready to Buy_need Lens choice help please

Hi All,
I'm a newbie to the forum and Pentax but ready to make the plunge into a quality DSLR after many years using "prosumer" models. I love the new K-30 Blue bomb but am having difficulty deciding which lens or lenses, to go with it. Read enough disappointing reviews of the kit 18-55mm lens to pass on that but not sure where to turn. Most of my photography interests are for landscape, macro and wildlife pics. The reviews for the 16-45mm lens are really good but I don't understand why it is not mentioned in the K-30 Lens lineup here on the forum? It seems like it would be perfect for landscape and macro use. The 18-135 mm lens seems a good choice for a walk around lens but there are just as many negatives mentioned as positives.
Am I better off getting a 200mm or 300 mm prime lens for when I do wildlife pics?

Will much appreciate any and all commentary....in fact, anxiously awaiting your replies!

Also, is there a price advantage buying the camera through the forum via Adorama/B&H?

Thanks!

Mr. Yo
Rutledge, PA

09-17-2012, 06:29 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mr_Yo Quote
Hi All,
Read enough disappointing reviews of the kit 18-55mm lens to pass on that but not sure where to turn.
It's not THAT bad. It's just not fantastic.

QuoteQuote:
The reviews for the 16-45mm lens are really good but I don't understand why it is not mentioned in the K-30 Lens lineup here on the forum?
The 16-45 does not come as part of the package with the k-30. In the lens guide, it's technically in the same spot as the DA*16-50, which is more expensive and a bit better (and WR). At 0.26x magnification, it's not really a macro lens, but it'll do pretty well. It's a good lens - I would highly suggest it.

QuoteQuote:
The 18-135 mm lens seems a good choice for a walk around lens but there are just as many negatives mentioned as positives.
Am I better off getting a 200mm or 300 mm prime lens for when I do wildlife pics?
The DA 18-135 is a great walk around lens, and is as sharp as the 18-55 (so not as sharp as the 16-45). It's main benefit is that it's a nice wide range and also WR.

For wildlife, most people would recommend 300mm at the minimum. This is because you want to keep your distance from wildlife (unless you're in a petting zoo). If you are willing to spend, the DA* 300 is a great lens, and so is the DA* 60-250. Alternatively, the budget DA 55-300 is also very good.

QuoteQuote:
Also, is there a price advantage buying the camera through the forum via Adorama/B&H?
It'll give you marketplace access and guaranteed warranty as well as very good 30 (or 60) day return policy. But no price advantage.
09-17-2012, 06:32 PM   #3
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First of all, welcome to the forum.

I've not used the k-30 myself, but I can tell you that the WR version of the kit lens is definitely worth a go. I've got two - a WR and non-WR one that came with my k-x and k5 and they're not bad lenses at all for what they are. Stop down a little and they're sharp enough for most things, the colours are good and having a cheap 'basher' lens that can withstand most things and that you don't care much about is very useful.

There are always loads in the marketplace on this site and on ebay for very low prices so might be worth grabbing a second hand one and giving it a go. If you don't like it you'll be able to sell it for what you paid.
09-17-2012, 06:36 PM   #4
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JinDesu covered your questions. I'd just like to add that I have the 18-135 and really love it. Sure, it's not a prime quality lens - few zooms are. But it's so versatile and so much fun to use, plus it's WR.

If you don't want to spend the money on the 18-135, the 18-55 is really not a bad lens at all. It's a fine starter lens and you get it with the camera for next to nothing. You could get that and then go out and shoot and figure out what your needs really are -- what focal lengths you like to shoot at, what you're missing, etc.

I agree that the 55-300 would be a great lens to get if you plan to shoot wildlife. I have the DA L version, and it's really quite good. For the price, it's a very nice value. I don't think you'd want to just have a 300mm lens to walk around with, though. That's why the budget 55-300 might be a good choice for your telephoto needs.

The K-30 is a fantastic camera! Enjoy it, no matter what lenses you end up with!

09-17-2012, 06:51 PM   #5
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Lenses I own 3 -18-55s, they never get on the camera, 10-17 fisheye, 21 ltd , 35 mm 2.4, FA 50 mm 1.7 , Tamron 90 macro, DA* 60-250. The lens I have on the camera all the time is the 18-135. I don't know who these guys are giving it a bad rap, but if you read the photozone reviews and actually read the charts... some of it's edge sharpness could be a lot better, but it always has above average centre sharpness.

If you want better... you're probably looking the Pentax 16-50, Tamron 17-50 or Sigma 16-50. Then you'd need the 50-135 or a 70-200 (Tamron or Sigma).

Or you can do what I did. Use the 18-135 but carry the 21, 35 and a 50 to change to when you want images that are better corner to corner for landscape.

You can check out my images here, if there's something seriously wrong with this lens, I'm seriously not seeing it. It is a kit lens. Not DA* quality. But if you're talking zoom, you're going to have to go to a DA* to beat it. Or a group of DA primes or FA primes.

If I had one lens, this would be it, and often I go out with nothing but it. Until I can afford the DA*s, that's the way it's going to be.

I vote DA 18-135- with the discount you get for buying it as the kit lens, get a 35 2.4 and get started on your prime collection.

09-17-2012, 07:44 PM   #6
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QuoteQuote:
Read enough disappointing reviews of the kit 18-55mm lens to pass on that but not sure where to turn.
Don't believe everything you read. The Pentax kit lens is quite good and will deliver images far above what you are getting from your pro-sumer. Is it prime lens quality? No, of course not, it is a $100 lens, Pentax's DA*16-50 with roughly equivalent range costs more than $1,000.

QuoteQuote:
The reviews for the 16-45mm lens are really good but I don't understand why it is not mentioned in the K-30 Lens lineup here on the forum?
The reviews for the 16-45 are generally good but this lens is often over shadowed by the DA*16-50 and the Sigma and Tamron equivalents @ f/2.8. I think a lot of people when moving up from the kit lens just go all the way to the f/2.8 models and skip the f/4 lens, so it does not get mentioned as much.

QuoteQuote:
The 18-135 mm lens seems a good choice for a walk around lens but there are just as many negatives mentioned as positives.
There were some initial reviews that did not rate this very well, possibly people were expecting too much, or maybe the initial runs had some QC issues. But I rarely see anything but good reports now. I have some very good primes but this is on my want list for a vacation zoom. It may not be top of the line but for the price and range it is hard to beat.

QuoteQuote:
Am I better off getting a 200mm or 300 mm prime lens for when I do wildlife pics?
Better off? Maybe, but long primes also restrict you to a particular distance depending on the subject. If your subject walks towards you, what do you do? But image quality will be best that way. I would take a look at the DA 55-300, it is very good within it's limitations, slower than the primes that will reach there and slower to lock focus than I like but for the price it is an absolute steal.

You ask a rather simple question but really only you can determine where on the quality / budget curve you are. If you are in this as a business and image quality is the only thing that counts, or if budget is just not an issue, then lot's of people here will be delighted to help you spend money. Lots of good glass out there if you have the money. But otherwise, everything is a compromise, how much do you want to spend for what quality? Just remember quality is not a linear function of price. The DA*16-50 costs at least 10x the DA 18-55 but it is NOT 10 times better, as the lenses get better they get proportionally more expensive as it gets harder to improve them.

If you want my suggestion get the kit with the 18-135 and add the DA 55-300. That will give you a great starter kit that will cover just about anything you want to do. If you see an area you want to add to you can do that as you learn what lengths you shoot at more. Add a Sigma 10-20mm and you have 10mm to 300mm covered in three lenses. That's a pretty complete kit for general photography.
09-17-2012, 08:05 PM   #7
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To answer one of your questions about buying through the forum from Adorama or B&H -

There is no price advantage - you will pay the same price. But, when you click through the link here at the forum to make your purchase, pentaxforums gets a little share. Since this is a non-commercial forum that has no advertising (yah!) every little bit helps to keep the servers running.

And while you are talking about the kit lens (18-55), take a look through this thread which is one with images taken with the 18-55 kit lens.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/45425-kit-lens-club.html
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