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10-22-2012, 05:54 AM   #1
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WR zooms vs IQ zooms being considered

(A previous thread I started, regarding using this currently-hypothetical money for a K-5 or K-30. I list it because it provides some background information regarding my constant second guessing myself)

I'd like your input on a future purchase that hopefully I'll have the opportunity to make. I haven't yet secured the money but wanted to talk through things ahead of time rather than make an impulse purchase if/when I would get the money. The budget would be approximately $850 and could go up to $1100 if I can sell my K-x for $250. I would like having two bodies around though, so there's only one scenario where I would sell the K-x.

I'm trying to decide how important WR and IQ are to me. I do want a lens that I can take out into inclement conditions and take pictures of my daughter splashing around in puddles and whatnot. On one hand, we have the Pentax WR zooms, which obviously are WR; on the other, we have the constant aperture Tamron zooms which I believe are considered to have better IQ (not to say you can't get good IQ with the Pentax WR zooms)

Possibilities I am considering (and BTW I have "settled" on just about every one of these options at some point, only to change my mind the next day/hour/minute):

1. DA 18-135 WR + K-30 (I'd have to sell the K-x to attain this price point)

2. (DA 18-55 WR or DA 50-200 WR) AND (Tamron 28-75 f/2.8)

3. DA 18-135 WR and Tamron 28-75. This combo would get me WR and IQ.

4. Tamron 70-200 f/2.8

Bullet points:

- My wife doesn't care much about lenses other than how much I spend on them, but she has vetoed the possibility of the DA 50-135 due to SDM issues. Yes I know that year 2012+ lenses might be fine but I can't afford New prices.

- I love driving around in the mountains and walking trails with my 3 year old daughter. I'd like the versatility of having a WR lens that's able to do wide landscape type shots, but would also like to be able to have a WR lens capable of the short telephoto portrait range that I've grown fond of, thanks to the M 85/2. Most of my shots are with my A 50/1.7 and M 85/2.

- I'm not sure what I'm leaning towards right now. Maybe option 1? But maybe some insightful person will read between the lines and see what I'm *really* wanting.

Points regarding specific lenses:
DA 18-135: my widest lens is 35 mm, this extends my collection of focal lengths greatly.
Tamron 28-75: I think I would really like this focal length range. Constant f/2.8 is great.
DA 18-55 WR: cheapest, but no 70-85mm range.
DA 50-200 WR: I like the range, but not so much the small aperture.
Tamron 70-200: this lens looks fantastic, I like the zoom range. But since not WR, I'd be leery of using it in inclement weather (and I do love being out in inclement weather). If my kid(s) ever get into sports one day, this would be good for that too.


Last edited by ChooseAName; 10-22-2012 at 06:16 AM.
10-22-2012, 06:03 AM   #2
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I own option 3 but use a k-5 for WR with the 18-135 and indoor low light with the Tammy.

A k-x doesn't get you native WR so without selling it for a k-30 or k-5 you are kinda stuck.
10-22-2012, 06:04 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
I own option 3 but use a k-5 for WR with the 18-135 and indoor low light with the Tammy.

A k-x doesn't get you native WR so without selling it for a k-30 or k-5 you are kinda stuck.
Yes, but I have a K200D.
10-22-2012, 06:10 AM   #4
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Well there you go, you have my vote.

In low light the k-x and 28-75 Tammy are a nice option.

The 70-200 is a great lens too so I'd keep it on the list for future purchase.

I have a 70-200 Sigma 2.8 that only comes out on special occasions such as indoor sports.

Primes and option 3 are used more often.

10-22-2012, 06:17 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
Well there you go, you have my vote.

In low light the k-x and 28-75 Tammy are a nice option.

The 70-200 is a great lens too so I'd keep it on the list for future purchase.

I have a 70-200 Sigma 2.8 that only comes out on special occasions such as indoor sports.

Primes and option 3 are used more often.
Thanks for your opinion. I had also had the thought previously that a 70-200 would be good if my kid(s) ever got into sports. I've edited a small portion of my original post to reflect that.
10-22-2012, 07:57 AM   #6
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There is a new DA* lens on the roadmap for 2013. It's not easy to tell the exact range, but looks like it might be 18-85. Being a DA*, it will be strongly sealed as well as have great IQ. I personally won't sacrifice IQ for WR, so I only have one WR lens now (DA*55). I'm very interested in this new zoom in 2013.
10-22-2012, 07:59 AM   #7
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The cheap option would be to get the 18-55 as the WR lens,
but keep the K-x, A50/1.7, M85/2, and marital bliss.

You've got great IQ with the MF lenses,
and a good compact body with the K-x that is very light and small to carry around.
In rainy conditions, you could keep the K-x in a clear bag while you shoot with the 18-55 WR.

I use a K-x with manual lenses in all sorts of conditions,
and have never bothered about WR.
WR makes sense for zooms and lenses that have a motor in them,
but photographers have used manual primes for decades without WR as such.
10-22-2012, 08:08 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by L33tGreg Quote
There is a new DA* lens on the roadmap for 2013. It's not easy to tell the exact range, but looks like it might be 18-85. Being a DA*, it will be strongly sealed as well as have great IQ. I personally won't sacrifice IQ for WR, so I only have one WR lens now (DA*55). I'm very interested in this new zoom in 2013.
I forgot to mention in the original post that I really wished that the Pentax 17-70 was WR. I'm not so sure I want to wait until 2013 (if the hypothetical money materializes for me before then), but thanks for letting me know.

QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
The cheap option would be to get the 18-55 as the WR lens,
but keep the K-x, A50/1.7, M85/2, and marital bliss.

You've got great IQ with the MF lenses,
and a good compact body with the K-x that is very light and small to carry around.
In rainy conditions, you could keep the K-x in a clear bag while you shoot with the 18-55 WR.

I use a K-x with manual lenses in all sorts of conditions,
and have never bothered about WR.
WR makes sense for zooms and lenses that have a motor in them,
but photographers have used manual primes for decades without WR as such.
Oh, if the money does materialize, my wife doesn't have a problem with me spending it all. It's just that she doesn't want me dipping into savings at all. Thanks for providing your perspective on manual primes. I don't use my lenses in dusty conditions much, if at all, but I would be concerned about moisture getting in (for example, a drop of water on a fully extended barrel, then if I retract the barrel inwards) thereby making conditions a bit more favorable for fungal growth.

I've considered the plastic bag solution, but it just seems a bit...inelegant. Cheaper yes, but it's just not as fun as having a new lens, you know?

(Forgot another thing: Another plus of the Tamron 70-200 would be that it would pretty much allow me to sell the M135 / 3.5, as the Tamron would cover the focal length and at a better aperture)

10-22-2012, 08:48 AM   #9
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If buying a new cam, the 18-135 is often too good a price to pass on. For myself though, the 18-55 will do for foul weather; if more range is vital I will cover the 55-300 or an smc-m telephoto. I like my primes too much to lock cash into a non-kit 18-135.
10-22-2012, 09:54 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChooseAName Quote
I would be concerned about moisture getting in (for example, a drop of water on a fully extended barrel, then if I retract the barrel inwards) thereby making conditions a bit more favorable for fungal growth.
I am generally careful about mopping up any drops
that land in places like the focus scale window,
or the extended barrel you mention.
10-22-2012, 01:19 PM   #11
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My humble experience is akin to yours. I settled on

18-55 WR + 100 macro WR for WR situations, such as camping, hiking, snowshoeing, on the beach, near pools, etc.

Sigma 17-70 as my main lens

Primes (21, 50, 100) for my most serious tasks.

I think when you plan on using your WR lenses, you won't be looking at creating magically saturated pictures, but more documenting your life, grabbing memories so to speak (I might be reading you wrong). So you don't need a stellar lens for this, a very good lens will do.

That being said, I would go with option 2, and I would consider the 100 macro WR if you can afford it, to give you more reach when you need it. I have seen and used the 18-135 and it's fine, but I haven,t been impressed by its performance when compared to the 18-55. It's far from the level of the 28-75.

Your current lineup should also influence your decision to some extend. Try not to duplicate focal lengths too much
10-22-2012, 01:30 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I think when you plan on using your WR lenses, you won't be looking at creating magically saturated pictures, but more documenting your life, grabbing memories so to speak (I might be reading you wrong). So you don't need a stellar lens for this, a very good lens will do.

That being said, I would go with option 2, and I would consider the 100 macro WR if you can afford it, to give you more reach when you need it. I have seen and used the 18-135 and it's fine, but I haven,t been impressed by its performance when compared to the 18-55. It's far from the level of the 28-75.

Your current lineup should also influence your decision to some extend. Try not to duplicate focal lengths too much
Thanks bdery. I think you are reading between the lines fairly correctly, although instead of just taking a snapshot, I would very much like to take a very good snapshot if possible. I'm not much of a snapshooter even with a 3 year old around...I still like to try to create art whenever can, rather than just documenting. Artistic documentation is preferrable to me

I think all of the zooms encompass at least two of the focal lengths that I already have. The 28-75 encompasses the 35 and 50 and very nearly the 85. Yet I'm still drawn to it.
10-22-2012, 03:17 PM   #13
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K200D + 18-135 should do more than fine for your inclement weather escapades. If you want wide angle plus medium telephoto and WR in one lens then there's your move.

I'd say start there, take it shooting for a while, then see what you feel like you're missing. Sometimes it's easier to do it that way instead of trying to plan your whole personal lens roadmap in advance.
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