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11-27-2012, 03:42 PM   #1
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Hi from a new K-5 owner looking for help from other on best pack of lenses to buy

Hi everyone,

I'm new here and fairly new to photography as well coming from Vancouver, BC, but love my new hobby just like all of you

I'm looking for help as I just bought a new K-5 with the kits DA 18-135mm WR F3.5-5.6 lens so I'm looking to get your opinions on what other lenses I should get to set me up for a basic kit of taking macros, good all around lens on the camera most of time, and one particularly sharp lens for taking sharp, deep colourful photos.

I am open to manual lenses, non-Pentax as I'm trying to keep to a cheaper budget.

Any suggestions are all welcome.

Cheers,
Richard

11-27-2012, 03:52 PM   #2
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First off, welcome to the forum.

As for your question, you will get more responses if you ask in the Lens Discussion area here: SLR Lens Discussion
11-27-2012, 04:02 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom S. Quote
First off, welcome to the forum.

As for your question, you will get more responses if you ask in the Lens Discussion area here: SLR Lens Discussion
Thanks Tom. Is there a way I can move this thread or should I start a new thread in the SLR lens discussion forum and delete this one? Thanks
11-27-2012, 04:07 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by richardwong Quote
Thanks Tom. Is there a way I can move this thread or should I start a new thread in the SLR lens discussion forum and delete this one? Thanks
I've just moved your thread. In the future, you can request that your thread be moving using the moderator contact form, which is linked to from the "forum" dropdown menu in the navbar.


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11-27-2012, 04:15 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Welcome aboard. I'd play with the 18-135 for a while and then use a nice freeware program like ExposurePlot to see what focal length your photos clump at before I rushed to buy another lens.
11-27-2012, 04:19 PM - 1 Like   #6
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The 12-24 for wide angle, DA 300 for telephoto, and Tamron 90 for macro/portraits. Not cheap, but they are all keepers.
11-27-2012, 04:21 PM   #7
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Thanks Doc I appreciate your feedback.
11-27-2012, 04:29 PM   #8
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Definetely the Tamron 90 for macros, cheap cheap cheap, sharp sharp sharp as they say on the Sony forums. The 18-135 should suffice as a walkarond. What do you mean by "and one particularly sharp lens for taking sharp, deep colourful photos."? What focal length? The tamron 90 is pretty damn sharp, also the 35mm f2.4 is a very cheap option which is SO sharp, I own one and holy cow it's the sharpest lens I've ever used wide open. (bar the tamron 90 )
Edit : If you want to kill two birds with one stone, try the 35mm limited macro. IT will give you a tiny working distance but it's really sharp. If you need a longer macro lens with more distance between lens and subject see above.

11-27-2012, 04:33 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by richardwong Quote
Thanks Doc I appreciate your feedback.
I know how it is to get excited about the new camera and want more. Can't blame you in the least. There are some great manual focus options out there for you that won't break the bank and will give you some interesting challenges to play around with as a photographer. On the new, more expensive, modern lenses I really think that the ExposurePlot method ends up with folks getting lenses they will actually use.
11-27-2012, 04:34 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
The 12-24 for wide angle, DA 300 for telephoto, and Tamron 90 for macro/portraits. Not cheap, but they are all keepers.
Thanks SpecialK I'll definitely take a look at all those.
11-27-2012, 04:38 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by gooseta Quote
Definetely the Tamron 90 for macros, cheap cheap cheap, sharp sharp sharp as they say on the Sony forums. The 18-135 should suffice as a walkarond. What do you mean by "and one particularly sharp lens for taking sharp, deep colourful photos."? What focal length? The tamron 90 is pretty damn sharp, also the 35mm f2.4 is a very cheap option which is SO sharp, I own one and holy cow it's the sharpest lens I've ever used wide open. (bar the tamron 90 )
Edit : If you want to kill two birds with one stone, try the 35mm limited macro. IT will give you a tiny working distance but it's really sharp. If you need a longer macro lens with more distance between lens and subject see above.
Thanks Gooseta. I'm thinking about a sharp colourful photo lens that takes good landscape or architecture photos that's better than the 18-135 walkaround lens I'll have as an option. I've noticed when looking at a lot of flickr shots that in a lot of those that the colour and sharpness seems to tail off in the corners. It might be me looking at it, but that's been my perception.
11-27-2012, 06:32 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by richardwong Quote
Thanks Gooseta. I'm thinking about a sharp colourful photo lens that takes good landscape or architecture photos that's better than the 18-135 walkaround lens I'll have as an option. I've noticed when looking at a lot of flickr shots that in a lot of those that the colour and sharpness seems to tail off in the corners. It might be me looking at it, but that's been my perception.
Good Evening,

As has been expressed here already, there is plenty of opportunity to ding your check book in photography. Photography is an constant exercise in compromise. I would suggest several things to start out with, and buying another lens is not one of them - at least for the present and perhaps into the foreseeable future.
  • Sharp colorful photos - Notice I did not include the word "lenses". First, pick up the camera and set it to take images in the RAW format. What this will do is to capture and retain all the information from the sensor, so that you are able to have all of it for post processing. You can sharpen, enhance the color, etc. Use the software that came with the camera to start off. There is other software that is better, but its all subject to your personal preference. Most of the utility packages have trial offers. Plus, during the holidays, there are substantial reductions available.
  • Good Landscape or Architectural photos - The lens you currently have is an excellent all around lens - a little wide angle (18mm), a little normal (35mm), a little portrait (85mm) a little mild telephoto (100mm) and telephoto (135mm). So use what you currently have, experiment - the film is free, along with the processing. For landscapes - most commercial photographers use 24mm to 35mm focal lengths. Why - that is where you naturally have the least amount of distortion. Wider angle pulls more view in and distortion is a byproduct.
  • Wide Angle - the wider you go, the more scene or view is pulled into the frame from all sides (top, bottom, left and right along with the corners). This is done by pushing back the center to make room for the additional view. What this does, is make the foreground more important from a composition stand point. That is, you need something of interest in the foreground to anchor the picture. Experiment with this. You can make your current lens wider by stitching. Stitching is where you take several overlapping images and software (Microsoft ICE - google it, its a free download), will stitch it all together into a single picture. Instant and cheap wide angle. Its called a panorama. You can do it with any focal length. This way you can use the 24-35mm focal length, stitch and bypass a lot of the distortion issues. If you want to do a landscape and have something of interest in the foreground, open the lens up to 18mm and shoot away. Nothing of interest in the foreground, zoom out thus shooting over the uninteresting foreground.
  • Architecture photos - This is the land of perspective control. You are going to tilt the camera up to frame a tall building - and you are going to get a building that leans back in the image and its sides will be tilted inward. You can spend a lot of money on special lenses (called perspective control (PC) or shift lenses), or you can fix it in post processing software - like Lightroom 4.
  • Macro - Everyone will shoot me now as I say, get the minimum focusing distance of the lens, that will tell you how close you can get and then use the zoom to zoom into what ever small thing you are shooting. A poor man's macro. There is an awful lot more to it than that, but its a start to see if its something that interests you.

Overall, Image Quality is one of the big issues with lenses. Sharp in the center and then it falls off the further away from the center you go. You can spend a lot of money chasing after this. One thing is to use older manual focus full frame lenses. Why - well with an APS-c crop sensor camera, you will be using the center of these Full Frame lenses and not the edges and corners, so naturally they will be sharper, and the distortion will be better controlled. This way, you are using the APS-c sensor size to your advantage. The sensor size will work against you in wide angle lenses - as in the wider you go, the more distortion, and more complex the lens (in terms of the optical design), which translates in to much higher prices.

Personally, I would use what you currently have for a while, see what interests me the most, look at the focal lengths I tend to use more than others, and that will guide you to your next acquisition.

Have fun and Welcome to the Forum!

11-28-2012, 10:11 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Good Evening,

As has been expressed here already, there is plenty of opportunity to ding your check book in photography. Photography is an constant exercise in compromise. I would suggest several things to start out with, and buying another lens is not one of them - at least for the present and perhaps into the foreseeable future.
  • Sharp colorful photos - Notice I did not include the word "lenses". First, pick up the camera and set it to take images in the RAW format. What this will do is to capture and retain all the information from the sensor, so that you are able to have all of it for post processing. You can sharpen, enhance the color, etc. Use the software that came with the camera to start off. There is other software that is better, but its all subject to your personal preference. Most of the utility packages have trial offers. Plus, during the holidays, there are substantial reductions available.
  • Good Landscape or Architectural photos - The lens you currently have is an excellent all around lens - a little wide angle (18mm), a little normal (35mm), a little portrait (85mm) a little mild telephoto (100mm) and telephoto (135mm). So use what you currently have, experiment - the film is free, along with the processing. For landscapes - most commercial photographers use 24mm to 35mm focal lengths. Why - that is where you naturally have the least amount of distortion. Wider angle pulls more view in and distortion is a byproduct.
  • Wide Angle - the wider you go, the more scene or view is pulled into the frame from all sides (top, bottom, left and right along with the corners). This is done by pushing back the center to make room for the additional view. What this does, is make the foreground more important from a composition stand point. That is, you need something of interest in the foreground to anchor the picture. Experiment with this. You can make your current lens wider by stitching. Stitching is where you take several overlapping images and software (Microsoft ICE - google it, its a free download), will stitch it all together into a single picture. Instant and cheap wide angle. Its called a panorama. You can do it with any focal length. This way you can use the 24-35mm focal length, stitch and bypass a lot of the distortion issues. If you want to do a landscape and have something of interest in the foreground, open the lens up to 18mm and shoot away. Nothing of interest in the foreground, zoom out thus shooting over the uninteresting foreground.
  • Architecture photos - This is the land of perspective control. You are going to tilt the camera up to frame a tall building - and you are going to get a building that leans back in the image and its sides will be tilted inward. You can spend a lot of money on special lenses (called perspective control (PC) or shift lenses), or you can fix it in post processing software - like Lightroom 4.
  • Macro - Everyone will shoot me now as I say, get the minimum focusing distance of the lens, that will tell you how close you can get and then use the zoom to zoom into what ever small thing you are shooting. A poor man's macro. There is an awful lot more to it than that, but its a start to see if its something that interests you.

Overall, Image Quality is one of the big issues with lenses. Sharp in the center and then it falls off the further away from the center you go. You can spend a lot of money chasing after this. One thing is to use older manual focus full frame lenses. Why - well with an APS-c crop sensor camera, you will be using the center of these Full Frame lenses and not the edges and corners, so naturally they will be sharper, and the distortion will be better controlled. This way, you are using the APS-c sensor size to your advantage. The sensor size will work against you in wide angle lenses - as in the wider you go, the more distortion, and more complex the lens (in terms of the optical design), which translates in to much higher prices.

Personally, I would use what you currently have for a while, see what interests me the most, look at the focal lengths I tend to use more than others, and that will guide you to your next acquisition.

Have fun and Welcome to the Forum!

Thanks Interested Observer - I appreciate all the photography advice as it was very interesting reading and perspective. I am fairly new to photography having used a Fuji X-S1 bridge camera to start and started just shooting and took a course to figure out that the camera I had couldn't let me take more interesting shots.

Your thoughts are very well laid out to understand.

Thanks again
11-28-2012, 10:52 PM - 1 Like   #14
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The 18-135 gives a good range to play around with. One thing it won't do very well (or any kit lens won't do very well) is take shots in dimly lit scenarios, such as indoors, restaurants, at night, etc.

I would get a nice, cheap, fast prime in a more general range, to explore using primes and so your camera isn't a brick in dark situations. Anything between 24-50mm would do. There are lots of cheap options in this range, mostly manual focus lenses, but good deals can be had on great lenses if you look around the local Craigslist listings.

Since you're a Vancouverite like me, I can actually recommend some local stores to you. Gas Town Photo, located in that mall underneath the two downtown convention centers, has the DA 35mm f2.4 permanently at 169.99, which with tax comes to 190. That's a solid deal.

With a 18-135 and a 35, you would be all set to explore!

Don't bother checking any of the second-hand stores in the Lower Mainland, since I've scoped them all out already
11-28-2012, 11:32 PM   #15
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Hi Earl great to meet another fellow Vancouverite here! Interesting suggestion, so you've checked out all the pawn shops then here in Vancouver I'll have to check out the Gastown Photo shop you're talking about. Have you purchased a bit on Craigslist then? What camera do you have?
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