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12-30-2012, 07:26 AM   #1
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Pentax K-30 - First Lens

Hi Guys,

After much contemplation I have decided to get the Pentax K-30 over the D5100. Now I need to decide which lens to get with it & I have narrowed it down to two.

FYI, my primary use will be outdoor photography which will be in somewhat low light at times (hence the weather resistant camera). I plan on buying a nice 35mm or 50mm after some months but I wanted to start off with one of these -
  • Pentax DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 Weather Resistant Lens
  • Tamron AF 18-200mm F3.5-6.3
The Tamron option seems to be an all-round better lens, but the only thing which it lacks is the WR factor. How big a deal is that? The zoom is really tempting, but it lacks WR & the focal length at maximum aperture is 6.3. I would have considered the Pentax 18-135mm WR lens, but that has terrible reviews & is way out of my budget.

What are your thoughts? How susceptible to the weather will the Tamron lens be? How much worse will be 18-55mm lens be in aspects other than zoom? Am I missing out on some better lenses within the same budget?

Any help would be appreciated!

Cheers
Ducky

12-30-2012, 07:47 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I can't speak for the Tamron lens IQ, but the Pentax lens is well regarded amongst kit lenses. Try a few lens review sites (including here).

As to weather resistance, you won't get any with the Tamron. Water, etc, will get in sooner or later.

If you want WR and the Tamron lens you could always buy a rain cover for the body/lens combo. Here's an example> http://www.amazon.co.uk/Op-Tech-Rainsleeve-Twin-Pack/dp/B000PTFDYO/ref=pd_sxp_grid_pt_0_0

There are other WR lenses in the Pentax range, however, other than the 18-135 which, as you say, has had mixed reviews for IQ.
12-30-2012, 07:50 AM   #3
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My K30 is on it's way by UPS. I already have the (non-WR) DAL 18-55, and it is hard to beat it's price/performance ratio. Both are optically identical.
Try to get a DA (or DAL) 55-300 or a used F70-210 instead of that Tamron.

For low light you need at least one of these: 1) a fast lens 2) a flash 3) a tripod

Option 2 is generally the least expensive one.

A M50/1.7 is a budget option 1.

Seb.
12-30-2012, 08:31 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Why not just get the K-30/18-135 kit? Great lens, great focal range, and you won't beat the price. Plus, it's WR.

12-30-2012, 09:09 AM   #5
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Have been planning to get a WR lens for sometime with the 18-55 at the top of the list but looking threw my pictures I find that most are taken at a longer focal length than the 18-55 can handle.My most used lens when walking around are either the 100-300 or the 28-105.I plan to get the 50-200 for my first and probably only WR lens.Had the 50-200 DA and didn't find it the sharpest but not nearly as bad as some reviews.For a non WR lens the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 is very good and useful in both indoor and outdoor shooting.
12-30-2012, 12:47 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ducky13 Quote
I would have considered the Pentax 18-135mm WR lens, but that has terrible reviews & is way out of my budget.
I don't have the 18-135 and I have read some not-so-favorable reviews. However, there are also some very good reviews and a few good photos on the thread here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-30/192015-post-your-k-30-photos-here.html. In particular, on page 4, member robwill added some very nice photos with the k-30 and 18-135. The lens, when purchased with the K-30 kit, is at least a little more affordable.

As for WR, I don't have that, but there have been a few times that I wished I had it, but mostly for protection in case of rain or other incidental water contact, rather than specifically wanting to shoot in the rain. As for your two choices above, I'd suggest the 18-55 WR, as that provides a good zoom lens that is likely to meet most focal length needs, and also provides the WR capability to match the body. Thanks. Glenn
12-30-2012, 01:32 PM - 2 Likes   #7
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Agreed with Loco, if you think you really need WR, then you should definitely re-look at the K-30/18-135 combo kits. I think I remember that a K-30 and 18-135 kit is only like $150 more than K-30 body plus 18-55 WR.

While some underwhelming reviews exist for the 18-135, and the 18-55 is a good kit lens, I think most users who aren't shooting charts would agree the 18-135 is a substantial upgrade over the 18-55. It has plenty more zoom reach, great build, solid macro, and takes quite good pictures (my 18-135 is better than my 18-55 was). Also, if you're planning on having some normal-type primes, you might find that the 18-55 doesn't add much to your photography, since you can get most of the same shots with the primes but with much, much better IQ. On the other hand, if you think you'll end up with a 55-300, the 18-55 makes a more sense (although the 16-45 is quite a bit better).
12-30-2012, 04:17 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the information guys! Much appreciated!

Now I am interested in the Pentax 18-135mm lens, but I can't afford it. Can someone please let me know where I can get it for a bargain? I am based in UK. Body+Lens as well, if available.

Cheers,
Ducky

12-31-2012, 05:35 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
Why not just get the K-30/18-135 kit? Great lens, great focal range, and you won't beat the price. Plus, it's WR.
Thanks Loco... Where can I get the combo? I'm based in UK & can't find it anywhere...
Cheers,
Ducky
12-31-2012, 08:15 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ducky13 Quote
Thanks Loco... Where can I get the combo? I'm based in UK & can't find it anywhere...
Cheers,
Ducky
Here > Pentax K-30 Digital SLR Cameras - Digital SLR Cameras - SRS Microsystems, but be quick. Looks like prices are going up and cash-back is ending.
12-31-2012, 09:23 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ducky13 Quote
Thanks Loco... Where can I get the combo? I'm based in UK & can't find it anywhere...
Cheers,
Ducky
I bought mine from SRS in UK.

Seb.
01-04-2013, 05:39 AM   #12
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Chaps, thank you so much for all the help! I decided to bite the bullet & go for the 18-135WR. I managed to get a great deal on the K-30 + 18-135WR lens + 16GB SD Card + case on SRS Microsystems.

FYI, they are really fantastic. All round best prices for UK stock + warranty & extremely friendly & helpful (they actually knew what they were talking about). I would definitely recomend them.

The whole lot should arrive by Monday.

Cheers & thanks again,
Ducky
01-04-2013, 05:47 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Glad you found a good deal and I know you'll enjoy the combo!
01-04-2013, 08:57 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
Why not just get the K-30/18-135 kit? Great lens, great focal range, and you won't beat the price. Plus, it's WR.
Yep, that what I would recommend as a good place to start with a new kit.
01-07-2013, 02:32 PM   #15
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Chaps...... IT'S HERE!! & it's amazing... Probably the sexiest piece of equipment I have ever owned! Thank you all so much for the help & for giving me that extra push to get the 18-135mm... I'm sure that you will see a lot of me around here as I am officially a Pentaxion
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