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02-15-2013, 06:04 PM   #1
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Upgrading Camera. What lenses do I need?

I am planning to upgrade from an ist D, probably to a K30 (although I have considered a K01 because of the price). Principally I want to be able to blow up my prints larger than the 6MP I have will allow, probably to 24x16 or even 30x20. However, I only have the two kit zooms which came with the camera (18-55 and 70-300) and I understand that at some point the quality of the lenses will start to limit the quality of large prints.

I take all sorts of photos but mostly landscapes.

My questions are:

1/ How much better off will I be with 16MP if I can't afford a prime lens?

2/ How much I am going to have to spend on a prime lens to take full advantage of the extra megapixels?

3/ Should I at least purchase the newer 18-55mm kit zoom?

4/ Are old M pentax prime lenses, which I probably could afford, better than current kit zooms?

Thanks for the help!!

02-15-2013, 09:14 PM   #2
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I use all my old glass on my K5. I don't think there is much optical difference between the newer 18-55 and older versions. I'm still using the one that came with my K10D on my K5. I wouldn't buy a new 18-55. Put your money towards something that will be significantly better such as the DA 35/2.4 which is very reasonably priced or any of the Limiteds. Old Pentax primes are still very good. My M135/3.5 gets a lot of use as does my Super Takumar 28/3.5. I have several old 50 and 55mm Pentax and Takumar primes that are excellent although I don't shoot with that focal length much anymore. The kit lens isn't all that bad, especially stopped down.
02-15-2013, 09:18 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by GarethPrice Quote
I am planning to upgrade from an ist D, probably to a K30 (although I have considered a K01 because of the price). Principally I want to be able to blow up my prints larger than the 6MP I have will allow, probably to 24x16 or even 30x20. However, I only have the two kit zooms which came with the camera (18-55 and 70-300) and I understand that at some point the quality of the lenses will start to limit the quality of large prints.
I take all sorts of photos but mostly landscapes.
My questions are:
1/ How much better off will I be with 16MP if I can't afford a prime lens?
2/ How much I am going to have to spend on a prime lens to take full advantage of the extra megapixels?
3/ Should I at least purchase the newer 18-55mm kit zoom?
4/ Are old M pentax prime lenses, which I probably could afford, better than current kit zooms?
Thanks for the help!!
First, you are going to have a lot more improvements that megapixels, lower light shooting with higher ISO, better auto focus, and on. If you want new primes the 35/2.4 is very good and not that outrageously priced, the new 50/1.8 is supposed to be very good also. You can get some manual primes pretty cheap, and they can be very good. Be patient and shop around for those old primes and you may get a good deal or two, the best old lens deals usually include a camera as a lens cap. Focus peaking on the K-30 makes focusing the MF lenses easy. I would not purchase a new 18-55 if you already have one, I doubt you would tell any difference as I think they are all pretty close to the same lens formula, your other lens should be OK too, not great, but OK. However if you can afford the K30 with the 18-135WR do it, it's an excellent lens, a big improvement over the 18-55 in image quality. If you want to see how good the old manual lenses are look them up in the Pentax Forums reviews. Some are fantastic and some are average or worse. And there can be quality variations and condition issues. I have a Kiron 28/2 that I bought for a really good price at an estate sale, it is super sharp and the blades are clean and snappy, the reviews show the lens to sometimes have oily blades, I got lucky on that one.
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