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10-31-2012, 02:03 AM   #1
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Starter lens question

After way too much analysis, I've decided to jump into the DSLR waters and get a K-5. I noticed I'm now too late for the K-5 + 18mm-135mm kit lens combo on B&H. So I'm wondering if it's worth getting the body only k-5 with the18-135mm lens, or do the body and the 50mm-200mm (which is cheaper because of a rebate).

I plan to use the camera to shoot nature while hiking, some night/low light landscapes, and hopefully some action shots while skiing in Tahoe this winter. I'm trying to keep the original purchase more towards $1500 which means getting the 50-200mm lens, and then in a month or two expanding to a portrait style lens (maybe a good prime?) by Christmas.

I'm just wondering since I'm new to the K-5 (any any photography more advanced than point and shoot (with some occasional manual aperture changes) if I'm over thinking this, would I miss out on learning the camera by skipping the usual kit lens? Is it going to be really any more difficult jumping into more specific photography like using zoom and wide-angle lenses?

10-31-2012, 02:11 AM   #2
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The 18-135mm is a very good buy because of its fast/quiet/reliable AF and versatility. I was never a fan of the 50-200mm myself, and it also isn't wide enough to serve as a walkaround for most users (let alone be a landscape lens)

If the 18-135mm were available together with the K-5 at a discount that would be an absolute steal, but it isn't. If you buy a K-5 (and not a K-5 II) plus the lens separately, it'll work out to $849 + $526 = $1375 ish, still well below the $1549 price tag of the other kit. Here are the two items; the original K-5 just got back in stock (guess a shipment was lingering around somewhere):
Pentax K-5 Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (Black) 14748 B&H
Pentax SMC DA 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6 ED AL (IF) DC WR Lens 21977 B&H

There isn't much of a reason to get the K-5 II unless you plan on utilizing your AF when it's really dark, and you can't use the assist light. It's hard to think of an example of such a situation

Pentax K-5 II / IIs Review - Conclusion -

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10-31-2012, 02:20 AM   #3
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Now I realize why things weren't adding up. The discontinued "kit" was a K-5 and the 18-55mm lens. Too many numbers too late at night for me

Pentax K-5 Digital SLR Camera W/18-55mm Zoom Lens (Black) 14762

Let me rephrase as: is it worth getting the 18-55mm kit lens, along with the 50-200mm, and a wide angle lens (really want to play with one so I'm thinking the Samyang 14mm)... which is around my budget price. OR - skip those 3 lenses and just do the 18-135mm lens, which also falls within my budget.
10-31-2012, 03:02 AM   #4
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Well, the 18-135 is water resistant and would substantially remove the need to swap lenses in the field. Given your hiking and skiing pursuits, I think this protection from exposing your system to the elements when used with a weather sealed camera like the K-30 or K-5 would be a huge advantage. Written by someone who just had his K-x sensor and internals professionally cleaned today at great expense after a puff of wind blew a heap of gunk into my open camera while changing lens out in the country last month.

The 18-135 is considered to be a step up in image quality from the two kit lens as well. Other stuff can be added as your budget permits and as your experience with dSLRs growths.

10-31-2012, 03:39 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Less Is More?

Hello Jmonahan, Welcome to the Forum!
I agree with Adam and Southlander, the 18-135mm zoom is the one lens that fits your needs and budget best. After using it for awhile, I'd bet you won't want to add the 50-200mm anyway, it's not as sharp at the long end (from what I've seen posted) and duplicates the focal range of 50-135mm that you'll already have.
If you still want more tele "reach" later, a 100-300mm zoom or 200mm prime would be a much more cost-effective addition to the kit lens.
10-31-2012, 05:53 AM   #6
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Or the budget DA-L version of the 55-300 is available secondhand at very good prices and optically it is the same as the normal DA 55-300, just less lens hood (needed) and a plastic mount. The DA/DA-L 55-300 is a very good long zoom for a consumer grade product.
10-31-2012, 07:31 AM   #7
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I would recommend the camera and the 18-135 also. I have the DA-L 55-300 for longer (as well as the M 400) and the only disappointment I have with it is the lack of quick shift focus. I did not realize how often I used the feature until I got a lens that doesn't have it.
10-31-2012, 11:39 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Thank you all for the advice! After reviewing the lenses, I went with the K-5 and 18-135 (WR and a beautiful piece of glass). I'll play around for a bit and then look at going to telephoto or wide angle in a few months.

10-31-2012, 03:20 PM   #9
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Enjoy your purchase. There's lots you can learn, and the fun starts once you move off the Program setting and take over the thinking.

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