Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
12-07-2012, 05:53 AM   #1
New Member




Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 17
Taken the plunge with the K-30 - Which lenses?

After a great deal of research and deliberating I will soon be ordering the K-30. My digital experience is largely with my girlfriends 60D and I was very tempted to stick with Canon, but the K-30 just seems to do everything better at (still) nearly half the price. Leaving me budget for a nice lens. One of the things that made me wary of Pentax though was less familiarity with the lenses, less range, and less of a 2nd hand market than the big two.

But now that I'm happily committed to Pentax I would really appreciate anyone's help. Now, here's the tricky part.

I am hoping to make some money on the side with my photography but can't be doing it full time or dedicating myself to a particular field. Add to this the fact I'm on such a tight budget my thinking was a good walk around lens and then perhaps some affordable MF primes for sellable shots. With roughly 300 to spend on lenses (bearing in mind it'd be nice to have some leftover for filters & accessories) these are my considerations:


1) Be happy with the 18-55 WR kit (no significant discount with buying it in a kit but a lot of leftover budget for high quality primes)

2) The SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm (I've read through the reviews on this forum and it seems mixed, I do like the Macro like focus at full zoom but am a bit underwhelmed by the quality of the bokeh... but that's what my primes would be for, although it'd be a while until I could purchase one with this lense)

3) There's currently a used Tamron 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 LD going on ebay for about 100 (with a lot of interest). Bargain? Is this lense worth its price new? Is it considerably better than its 18-200 predecessor? How does it compare to the Pentax 18-135 above? Are used lenses reliable? So many questions sorry!

4) Are there any reliable (AF issues etc) zoom lenses from the film era I should consider, does anyone have specific k-30 experience with them?

5) I can get the 18-55 WR and 50-200 WR with a body for an extra 210 leaving me wiggle room for primes but how inferior are they to my options above?

6)Should I consider any 17-70? Is IQ that much better than the 18-135? I can live without the long telephoto end but the main point of my walkabout is flexibility and capturing unusual or hard to reach things, and the longer zoom gives me useful shallow DOF.



Finally just to complicate matters further and to field the obvious question, I like to shoot a broad range of subjects. I enjoy landscapes a lot but want to improve my portraiture (and believe it will be one of the things that could make me money on the side) and I'll be moving back to London in the new year and have a keen interest in street art and architecture. Finally its great to get the odd wildlife shot too (I have contacts in the westcountry to whom I could perhaps sell wildlife shots to). I also love indoor, night, and star photography.

So yup that's people, animals, landscapes and buildings I'd all love to photograph!


Anyone's help or experience of particular lenses would be hugely appreciated, particularly the vast range of old MF primes out there. I've spent days researching and pricing which body and which modern lens, I don't have the time to delve in to 60 years worth of Pentax lenses!

12-07-2012, 06:05 AM   #2
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,275
If it were me, I'd get the 18-135. You get the WR AND you do not have to change lenses at 55mm. The 18-55 + 50-200 WR kit would be my 2nd choice if you need the reach of the 200mm kit. Some will advise to get the 17-70, and its IQ is somewhat better but its reach is limited.

If you want to do everything you will need multiple lenses. The 18-135 is the most versatile IMHO of the choices to start off with and gives a good balance of IQ, utility, and speed - plus its silent when it focuses which in many instances is a HUGE plus.
12-07-2012, 07:58 AM   #3
New Member




Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 17
Original Poster
Thanks for the advice.

Maybe I just haven't been out there in that many shooting environments (or with noisy enough lenses) but I don't get how silent focus is such a major plus. Other than for video which I don't have much interest in.

The thing is there doesnt seem to be many 2nd hand 18-135's about but quite a few Tamron's 18-250. But with the WR of K-30 it would definitely be a plus to have a WR walkabout. I could get the WR kit lens and a used Tamron for the price of a new 18-135 though.
12-07-2012, 08:29 AM   #4
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,275
QuoteOriginally posted by Jay-K Quote
Thanks for the advice.

Maybe I just haven't been out there in that many shooting environments (or with noisy enough lenses) but I don't get how silent focus is such a major plus. Other than for video which I don't have much interest in.

The thing is there doesnt seem to be many 2nd hand 18-135's about but quite a few Tamron's 18-250. But with the WR of K-30 it would definitely be a plus to have a WR walkabout. I could get the WR kit lens and a used Tamron for the price of a new 18-135 though.

Infants, animals, churches, weddings, etc. are all situations when silent focus is a real plus. The 18-250 is not a bad lens, I own one. It's just not on my camera unless I am taking a long trip and can not take much gear. Otherwise I have other lenses like the 18-135 + 55-300 that do a better job IMHO.

12-07-2012, 08:55 AM   #5
New Member




Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 17
Original Poster
Interesting you note the 18-135 is a better lense, what does it do better than the 18-250?

I see your point about churches etc but I can imagine quite a few babies who'd be fascinated by loud mechanical noises, might just be perfect for that wide-eyed amazement shot!
12-07-2012, 09:04 AM   #6
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 24,304
This is such a stock answer for me, I should just cut and paste it. If you can get the DA 18-135 as a kit it should save you about $200. Well worth it from my point of view. The if you have money left over, get the DA 35 2.4 plastic fantastic, and see if you can find a used Tamron 90 macro. Those two lenses will get you two of the best primes available for not that much money.

Tamron 90 macro...





DA 35 2.4





DA 18-135




Last edited by normhead; 12-07-2012 at 09:16 AM.
12-07-2012, 10:13 AM   #7
Site Supporter
loco's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Virginia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,841
I know bokeh is subjective, but I think the 18-135 bokeh is superb, especially for a zoom. It's actually known for great bokeh. I was surprised to read you were unimpressed.

I can't really add anything to what's already been written except to say that it's the lens I've used the most since I got it. It's just so versatile and good that I tend to leave it on the camera.
12-07-2012, 11:31 AM   #8
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,275
QuoteOriginally posted by Jay-K Quote
Interesting you note the 18-135 is a better lense, what does it do better than the 18-250?

I see your point about churches etc but I can imagine quite a few babies who'd be fascinated by loud mechanical noises, might just be perfect for that wide-eyed amazement shot!
It is more consistent across its range in IQ than the 18-250 IMHO. The 18-250 has 2 sweet spots in its range but gets soft past 185-200. Don't get me wrong, a telezoom that has that kind of range is a good lens to take on vacation when kit size is a factor, but there are compromises in its design optically.

12-07-2012, 11:31 AM   #9
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 24,304
QuoteQuote:
Interesting you note the 18-135 is a better lense, what does it do better than the 18-250?
Of the measured MTF scales the 18-135 is excellent in 13 of the 18 measured ranges. At 24mm, it's the best landsccape lens edge to edge that Pentax makes, although not equal to the Tamron 17-50, which also excels @ 17 mm and 50 mm.

The 18-250 excels in 5 of it's 17 rated fields (In it's long end it's at the bottom end of "very good", not at all close to excellent. Chromatic aberrations are on average between 1.2 and 1.6, I like them to be below .4.

I tend to buy lenses based on their ability to give me a superlative image used in favourable circumstances. Using the 18-250 I know even if it's at it's best, I'm going to get an observably better image by changing lenses. The 18-135 can give me the best image I'm going to get using any lens at several points in it's range if I use it to it's strength. (the right F stop selected to take advantage of the lens' sharpness at that focal length, and subject that won't be hurt by it's soft edges in the long end, like almost anything with bokeh.
12-07-2012, 11:36 AM   #10
New Member




Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 17
Original Poster
thanks norm that's just what I was looking for. It's hard to find the 18-135 as a kit though, one site in the UK offers it (currently out of stock) but the saving from buying the lens seperately (albeit from abroad) is negligible. But along with the prime recs I think you've convinced me. Loco I look forward to proving my impressions wrong about the bokeh!
12-07-2012, 11:40 AM   #11
Site Supporter
SpecialK's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: So California
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 14,615
The 18-135 makes good sense as a single-lens option for now. You will likely want to upgrade both the 18-55 and 50-200 if you go that route, plus there is the inconvenient swapping-point at 55mm as mentioned.
12-07-2012, 02:08 PM   #12
New Member




Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 17
Original Poster
I agree SpecialK and I've definitely dismissed options 5) and 6) from my mind.


Norm everything you mentioned makes sense, and it'd be nice to use the time I've spent reading up on the 18-135 to know its strengths. But the absolute best I can get the 18-135 for is 300 whilst there's a few tamron's swimming around for half that. I'd hate to plump for the latter though and be disatisfied with its IQ and want an upgrade in no time. But on the other hand maybe it'd be fine for flexibility shots and I can simply switch to a prime for the killer IQ. Gah I still don't know.
12-07-2012, 02:21 PM   #13
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 24,304
I'd love to be able to help further, but, I find nothing is more frustrating than figuring what you can make do with until you get what you want, and trying to be efficient about it. I went for years with the 18-55 kit lens, and a Sigma 70-300, which is cheap and a decent lens from 70-200mm, it starts to get soft around 150, but it's macro and even at 300mm is great for objects that are close to you. Just not so good for things that are further away. I've seen the sigma for as little as $100 used. Those two did me fine until I was able to start acquiring better glass. The Pentax kit lens is probably one of the best out there. You could start with the kit and Sigma and maybe the DA 35 2.4. You want one piece of top quality glass, minimum and the 35 would give you that.
12-07-2012, 02:23 PM   #14
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Oregon
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,417
It depends on your use and standards. I love the Tamron 17-50/2.8 and Sigma 8-16. If you want autofocus for macro, the Tamron 90 is great. so is the Sigma 70. There are many fine manual focus macros available.
12-07-2012, 02:36 PM   #15
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 24,304
QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
It depends on your use and standards. I love the Tamron 17-50/2.8 and Sigma 8-16. If you want autofocus for macro, the Tamron 90 is great. so is the Sigma 70. There are many fine manual focus macros available.
I'd definitely go for the Tamron 17-50 2.8 if you can get away with no telephoto. That gives you a lens you can use forever. That plus the Tamron 90, would be an awesome combination to start with. It leaves you a little short in the long end. But at some point you want to pick up the Tamron 70-200 2.8 or Sigma 70-200 2.8. I find older pentax zooms all the time. We recently found a 70-210 with a camera body for $60. There are a lot of those older style long zooms around.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
budget, experience, k-30, k-mount, lens, lenses, lot, pentax, pentax lens, primes, range, slr lens, wr
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
With HDMI out & 3.5mm stereo mic in the K-01 is better than the K-30 for video jogiba Pentax K-01 2 05-22-2012 01:52 PM
Taken the plunge - New K5 Owner here judderman62 Pentax K-5 6 11-27-2011 02:58 PM
Lenses - Taking The Plunge EasyEd2 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11 02-17-2011 07:57 AM
Finally taken the Digital SLR plunge... Mrelia Welcomes and Introductions 2 03-02-2010 09:06 AM
Who's taken the 645 plunge? filmamigo Pentax Medium Format 84 08-23-2009 10:38 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:17 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top