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11-01-2012, 02:19 AM   #1
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Best pentax lens to acquire?

Hi. I'm new to this forum and am new to DSLRs. I came from Fuji point and shoot cameras but I find the HS-30 pictures and focus speed sorely lacking. I also have a hard time creating Bokeh effects even though i've been fiddling with it's manual focus ring. So most probably, I'd be sending it back.

I'd like to be able to do some fast focusing to capture precious family moments and some HD videos. I also value largely indoor party shots with some great nighttime photography with minimal noise on the side. Am planning of getting the Pentax K-5 or K-30, although I haven't made up my mind. All my buddies are recommending getting second hand Nikons and Canons for reasons such as lens availability, resale value and image quality. I wanted the flexibility of being able to use the camera for stunning night scenery shots without worrying about it getting exposed to the elements so that's why I keep coming back to the K-5 and K-30. Can someone comment should I be off with a Pentax or just settle for used Nikons and Canons?

The problem is I only have money for one WR lens. As lens type affect focus speed and sharpness, I know I need to get the proper lens for my money since I really don't have much any of it. Any suggestions as to the lens and the reasons why? Should I get a standard WR kit lens, Macro or wide or zoom lens? Thanks! All your input will be greatly appreciated.

11-01-2012, 02:31 AM   #2
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For a one lens solution, the WR 18-135mm will be your best option, it covers a large range and the quality is decent without costing a lot. However, Pentax aren't known for their amazing video capabilities, they are primarily a very good stills camera, like an SLR should be. If video is a high priority for you, maybe Canon would be the answer.

Also, indoor parties are usually poorly lit, so investing in an external flash would be a good idea. High ISO will only get you so far, especially without an expensive fast lens.
11-01-2012, 02:39 AM   #3
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May I suggest the OM-D EM-5? Its stunning for its size. I doubt the WR can hold up to the standard set by the Pentax cameras though. Pair it with the Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 for a highly versatile kit.
11-01-2012, 03:00 AM   #4
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If you go with Pentax, you'll get very good low-noise performance at high ISOs. You've probably already noticed this in your research, but you can see how the K-30 even outdoes the K-5 in DPReview's K-30 review they released a few days ago. It's an outstanding value if it meets your needs.

It's true that video is not Pentax' strong suit, but it can still do a decent job if that's not your main function. Canon is certainly stronger here, but the trade-off is they don't have the low-noise performance of Pentax or even Nikon. Sony may give you a little of both, and they have an well-regarded new 16-50/2.8 lens which is reasonably priced for Pro-quality. However, I'm not sure you'll get much WR there, and you'll want to get the lens bundled with a camera for the best price.

The 18-135 WR lens is generally a much better choice than the 18-55 WR kit lens. You should get longer reach, better image quality, and the 135mm end will allow you to get much more blurred backgrounds when you want it. Also keep the DA35/2.4 lens in mind - a great lens, nice bokeh, and a great value (and even a little cheaper used!). There's also a large number of older, inexpensive, high quality manual focus lenses.

11-01-2012, 04:30 AM   #5
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Check out Pentax Forum's review sections:
Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Check out especially the DA limited and FA limited lenses. (The FA 100mm macro--non-ltd--is superb, too, but the Tamron 90mm macro also is extremely good.) If you can shoot manual, there are plenty of options: old, cheap K, M and A lenses. (A lenses have the "A" setting for auto-aperture, K and M lenses are fully manual. Takumars can be used with an adapter.)
For a WR walk-around, get the 18-135mm: relatively cheap and better than the kit lens, with greater FL.

For cameras, the in-depth reviews:
Pentax Cameras - DSLR Reviews and Comparisons
11-01-2012, 04:39 AM   #6
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If you plan on doing more than a few minutes of video at a time, don't get a K5.
11-01-2012, 05:02 AM   #7
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The best answer to your question will depend on your final budget and the type of pictures you want to take. A 18-55 is ultra compact, a 100 macro is fantastic but fixed focal length, a 16-50 is larger, faster, with silent focusing, a 18-135 is a convenient package with good IQ, a 50-135 or 60-250 much more expensive and doesn't cover wide angle, and the 200 and 300 are high-quality, fixed FL behemoths
11-01-2012, 05:51 AM   #8
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If WR is a priority and your budget allows for one lens, I'd go for a zoom. 18-135 is most versatile, 16-50 or 50-135 will do better in low light and bokeh. If video is the priority, go Canon.

11-01-2012, 05:54 AM   #9
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k-30 with 18-135 as a packagr. Spend a few bucks on a tripod and shoot without SR or handshake.
11-01-2012, 06:20 AM   #10
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If I had to choose one lens, it would also be the 18-135 for its WR. I bought a 16-45 when I bought the K-10, and it's still a good lens indoors and in lots of situations - I'm still trying to decide whether it's sharper than the 18-135, but it's certainly less versatile.

I'd look for some manual or A series wide lenses for your landscape work, too. A nice fast manual focus 28mm would be great for night tripod work, I think, particularly time-lapse. Those older lenses have a lot going for them, color rendering seems richer, for one thing. They're also pretty inexpensive...
11-03-2012, 05:01 PM   #11
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Thanks for all your suggestions. I've been also looking at the K-30 and sony a-65 as an alternative to the k-5. I have read the review of the K-30 vs the K-5, but i'm the verdict is still out, can anyone post their thoughts on the comparison of the cameras. Thanks.
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