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07-05-2013, 01:48 PM   #1
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Lens Suggestions? Help!?


I recently (within the past few months) purchased a K-30 kit (in black) from Costco and I am really enjoying it immensely! What a great little camera with great flexibility and features! The kit contained both the WR 18-55 & WR 50-200. I just returned from my trip to Paris, Rome & Greece and had a lot of fun taking photos. I am now really interested in purchasing some different lenses and I need some help from all you pros out there.

Wide Angle Zoom Lens:
I am seriously considering the Pentax 12-24. I was really saddened during my trip not having a wide angle and the reviews on the 12-24 seem amazing! Who here in Pentax land has used this lens compared to other Wide Angle Zooms? What are the thoughts out there? What suggestions do you have?

Zoom Lens:
I have been researching a bit and it would seem having the Pentax WR 55-300 would be a good investment for the money (based on the reviews). I like the WR feature as well. I don't use my Zoom a lot, I am more so into architecture and some landscape. That being said, after being in Rome, I did use my WR 50-200 a number of times to capture some ancient writing and statues high atop some ruins and buildings. Suggestions out there? Again it will not be used a lot, but something more sharp and crisp would be great (rather not pay a lot as it will be used less).

Portrait Zoom Lens:
Also, I have the kit WR 18-55 (most of us probably do as it is a staple). It takes a nice photo, but not all the time. What other recommendations (if any) for an all around semi-zoom/portrait similar to the 18-55, but which takes better photos? This would be for the day-to-day shots, out and about, hiking etc. Or, would most just recommend to stay with the kit WR 18-55?

All-in-all I believe I would like to stick with Pentax regime of lenses, but open again to suggestions.

On a side-note. If I am going to purchase the Pentax 12-24 or any newer lenses what filters are recommended? I have a couple Tiffen currently (not overly impressed). I have heard that Hoya is the better option for filters. Any thoughts regarding that as well? I'd like to purchase a nice polarizer for my wide angle when I decide to purchase.

Thanks for your help in advance, it certainly will be welcomed and most appreciated as I am newer to the Pentax digital world coming from a Canon G10.



07-05-2013, 01:55 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by allpowerfultim Quote
WR 55-300 would be a good investment for the money (based on the reviews).
The 55-300mm delivers better image quality than the 50-200mm, but there is no WR version.

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07-05-2013, 01:59 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by allpowerfultim Quote
Wide Angle Zoom Lens:
Read this review: DA 12-24mm vs Sigma and Tamron 10-24mm Comparison - Introduction - I have the DA 12-24 and would recommend it but the others have fans as well.

QuoteOriginally posted by allpowerfultim Quote
Zoom Lens:
DA 55-300 is NOT WR. It is a fine lens but if you already have the 50-200 I would think carefully before buying it. I think the 55-300 is a better lens but not hugely better than the 50-200.

QuoteOriginally posted by allpowerfultim Quote
Portrait Zoom Lens:
Your next step would be something like the DA*16-50 which is a lot more expensive. Read here: DA* 16-50mm vs. Sigma and Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 Comparison - Introduction -
You might also consider a prime like the DA 70mm Limited or the DFA 100mm WR for portraits.

QuoteOriginally posted by allpowerfultim Quote
What filters do you need? Polarizers are still useful but are problematic on ultra wide angle as the sky is not an even color and you get an un-natural looking change in color. They are useful for cutting glare on more normal focal lengths though and I always carry one. The only other filters of much use on digital are ND grads or ND's. I'm not sure I would advise running out and buying those until you have a need for them, they are a bit specialized and no need to spend the money until you have a use for them.
07-05-2013, 02:03 PM   #4
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For hiking I like my 18-135wr.

07-05-2013, 04:53 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
...but there is no WR version.
THAT is the biggest travesty in the whole Pentax lineup. Forget FF, we need WR55-300!
07-05-2013, 05:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
THAT is the biggest travesty in the whole Pentax lineup. Forget FF, we need WR55-300!
+1, Though I'm past that now since I bought the DA*60-250. But I agree a DA 55-300 WR would be a killer addition to the lineup. Hmmm, how about DA 55-300 WR DC, with the DC motor from the 18-135? Now that would be a nice zoom. Or how about a DA 120-400 WR DC, so a kit would be the 18-135 + 120-400! Now we are getting somewhere, 18-400 in two lenses.......

Oh, never mind......
07-05-2013, 06:13 PM   #7
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Better Lenses?

Hello Tim, Welcome to the Forum!
It sounds like you've reached a point that comes to us all; Wanting better 'Glass'. I must say you got there faster than most!
But it's only a step on the learning curve, not an end. My first suggestion is to do more shooting, LOTs more, and keep checking the EXIF data on the shots you like best. Notice how many of your favorites are grouped around the same general focal lengths. For some, it's 20-24mm, others might be 35-45mm, etc. You get the idea.
Now, check out threads dedicated to prime lenses in that length. For example, in your quest for a good wide angle, instead of a zoom, look at "The 15mm Ltd controls my mind!". Will this image quality be more satisfying to you than the convenience of a zoom?
For portraits and walk-round shooting, I'd rather have a good 24mm, 35mm and 70-85mm (the 70 Ltd is on my wish list!) than any zoom.
Although some may not agree, my opinion is that a great prime is better than 10 average (or, better than average) zooms. Because of budget constraints I've acquired the primes I want in the Pentax M or A series, which are manual focus lenses. Most old Pentax primes are good glass and many are great.
For starters, look for the lens everyone should own, at least in the beginning; A 50mm f/1.7, either M or A series. Use this for a few days and your outlook on zooms will change dramatically.
Regarding filters, buy the best quality brands you can afford, never degrade your images with low-quality filters. Marumi and B + H are top names.
Good luck and post some photos!
07-19-2013, 04:22 PM   #8
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I have the 55-300 and it is a very good lens, sometimes surprisingly. As rbefly suggests, look at thrift shops and pawn shops for a 50 a 1.7 - if I see one I'll let you know. Cheers.


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