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12-19-2013, 07:28 AM   #16
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And get a sling-type camera strap so it doesn't fall off your shoulder. It's more comfy than around the neck, too.

What do you REALLY want to do most - get long shots? 55-300 is pretty good for that, and the WR version might be worth it. Since you have the 18-55 WR you might be tempted to skip the 18-135 nice though it is.

I'd consider a wide prime or zoom, though. They're very versatile.

12-19-2013, 07:56 AM   #17
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QuoteQuote:
You love seeing beautiful colors in your photos, greens, reds ,blues, all of it is glorious!
Apart from the polarizer, you need to learn to PP. YOu should be cranking your colours to way beyond what looks good and scaling them back to where they pop, in PP. Any modern sensor and lens combination should give you the good to raw material to work with.

QuoteQuote:
You love to backpack and shoot landscapes.
First thing… nice lightweight compact tripod.
Definitely the DA 18-135 and 21 or 15 ltd. Don't look at the 55-300 unless you also shoot a lot of wildlife. The 21 is probably a better "street" lens and is a great landscape lens as well.

My own purchasing sequence went..

18-55 and Sigma 70-300, both no longer used, although in the case of the 70-300 it still sees occasional use for close up work.
FA 50-1.7
DA 10-17
DA-18-135
DA 21
Tamron 90 macro
DA* 60-250
DA 35 2.4
40 xs (came on my K-01 and almost never gets used.)
SMC- A-400
Sigma 18-250 (A great "one lens on a trip" lens for travelling light, but not often used close to home where we have a large selection.)
Sigma 8-16.
SIgma 70 macro (we have two shooters in the family and need two good macros, for one person, just the Tamron 90 would do.)

Currently I consider very few of the early images taken with the 18-55 or Sigma 70-300 to be useable, although many of them would be great images if taken with a better lens.

If someone stole all my stuff and I got an insurance settlement, the 18-55 and Sigma 70-300 are probably the only ones I wouldn't buy again. I'd take a DA 55-300 instead of those two.

So, all I can say is have a plan, and start with the 18-135 for your hikes.
After shooting for a while, check to see what Focal Length the largest number of you pictures are taken at, realizing that if you have a lot of 18mm images, you probably need a wider lens, and if you have a lot of 135mm images, you probably need a longer lens.

Look at not only the number of images you took, but which ones you wish were better. You might have a pile of images taken in snapshot mode at 24 mm, that are the majority of your images taken, but, they suit your needs and you don't need to improve them, while you have a few images taken at 70 mm, you really wish were taken with a better lens. Those are just examples, not suggestions, only you can make those decisions.

Starting with primes will box you in and not allow you to determine which focal length most suits you. You'll learn to make do, but you won't find what your personal preference is unless you get real lucky and actually buy the prime that best suits your style.

At some point I'd still like to pick up a 31 ltd and 77 ltd. but, for the most part, I'm done. Others have a different list, based on what they do and how they shoot. But as soon as you say hiking or outdoors or travel, the first thing I think is WR and wide range to avoid lens changes. That's the 18-135.
You won't find a more outdoor lens.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/179869-da-1...at-can-do.html
Pentax SMC Da 18 135 mm F 3 5 5 6 DC Lens Brand New 002707517376 | eBay
12-19-2013, 08:48 AM   #18
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Used Pentax DA 18-135 and a used Sigma 150-500 HSM. It can be done.
12-19-2013, 09:58 AM   #19
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I'll second the motion for the DA 12-24. It may seem expensive, but it is a superb lens. There are some shots with it on my Flickr site that show it's good and bad. I find the good outweighs the bad by far. I have tried an unusual light package a few times this year, and was surprised by how little I missed covering the focal length gap between 24mm and 55mm when carrying only the DA 12-24 and DA-L 55-300. I guess it is landscapes and animals for me.

12-19-2013, 10:01 AM   #20
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Are you suuuuuuuuure you cant go just a little past $1000?
http://www.keh.com/camera/Pentax-Digital-Zoom-Lenses/1/sku-DP07999113685R?r=FE
Like new 60-250mm for just $170 above your budget.
12-19-2013, 10:05 AM   #21
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I understand the idea of upping your game. You already have a pretty capable, general use system. All of the above advise is a bit meaningless, because we don't know in what specific way you want to improve. From here on in, the lenses get to be much more specialized. For example, my first order of business after the kit lens was I wanted shallow DOF, good low light indoors. So I bough a Sigma 30mm/1.4. It fixed my specific problem. After that, I wanted a lens with really consistent across the frame performance, so I added the DA40. After that, my biggest want was long exposure, so I got an NDX400 filter and a tripod. I wanted to shoot closeups of flowers from underneath, so i got the DA35 Macro. And so on until I got the kit I have. Each thing I bought was bought to solve one (or two) specific problems. The CAN do other things, and it's fun finding those things, but the purpose was specific.

What I suggest to you is a slow approach. Just pick one very specific problem you want to solve, and buy one and only one thing to fix that, and then work on that one thing for a monthnor two. find your new limit, buy something to fix that, keep going until you are happy or broke. Do not go out and spend all $1000 at once.
12-19-2013, 10:09 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by spectamaniac Quote
You have exactly 1000 dollars,a k-30, and a 18-55 WR lens. You love seeing beautiful colors in your photos, greens, reds ,blues, all of it is glorious!
You love to backpack and shoot landscapes. You love street photography, day and night. You love shooting concerts and festivals. The idea of shooting portraits is definitely appealing. The idea of a prime lens IQ is very riveting, but the versatility of an 18-135 is also pretty appealing. You have been shooting for a little over a year with your K-30 and have decided it is time to up your game. You are torn between buying a few 2-300 dollar lenses, or one badass 900 dollar lens. The idea of buying a couple vintage lenses in combination with a nice 7-800 dollar modern lens will work as well.
So I have been researching off and on for quite awhile, and I am getting ready to make a move, I just thought I would get the opinion of some veterans that may have some nice insight into my situation. Thanks!
how about a different approach, because with $1000 you could blow it all on a single lens.

get yourself an M42 to K adaptor, and build an M42 lens kit.

although I have spent about $1400 now on my kit, here is what i got.

Zenit 16/2.8 fisheye
Tamron Adaptall 2 24/2.5
vivitar 28/2.3
S-M-C tak 35/2
super tak (8 element) 50/1.4
S-M-C Macro-Tak 50/4
S-M-C tak 55/1.8
SMC Tak 55/2
Helios 58/2
Super tak 85/1.9
Tamron Adaptall 2 90/2.5 macr0
vernon edonar 105/2.8 preset
S-M-C tak 135/3.5
Tele-Lentar 135/2.8 preset
Tele-Tokina 180/3.5 preset
S-M-C Tak 200/4
Tele Coligon 200/4.5 preset
tak 200/3.5 preset
Nikkor H 300/4.5 (modified to M42)

now sitting at 19 lenses in total (at about $1400 in total) so average price of $70 but in fact only 2 of the lenses cost over $100 and a whole bunch for less than 50

it covers from wide (although fisheye) to long tele. most expensive items were the super tak 85/1.9 and the zenitar 16mm fisheye which was bought new. subtract these, and you are under a grand, subtract duplicates at any focal length and you are likely in the $850 range.

limit yourself to 135mm and below, and you can likely add back in the super tak 85 and the zenitar and still be at a grand.

there is a lot you can do, the lenses are great, different than what you can get today, and a whole lot of fun
12-19-2013, 10:12 AM   #23
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I second (or third) the suggestion of the 100mm wr macro. I rented it for a while and loved it.* It ticks off many of your boxes (IQ, nature, portraits), keeps your kit small and light and is WR too. Being a true macro, it is a bit slow to focus, but it also has quick-shift, so you can help it along. New, it eats up most of your budget (850), but you can find it used for less (e.g., at KEH in LN- condition for 650). Add something older (or the 35mm f/2.4), and you're set for most if not all of what you listed.

* I didn't buy it because I don't shoot a lot of (any) macro and I have both the 77mm and a 135mm, so I couldn't really justify it financially.

While I was typing, other answers popped up... I also support Kozlok's recommendation that you add one lens at a time... I still think that the 100mm wr macro is an excellent first addition.

12-19-2013, 10:16 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Currently I consider very few of the early images taken with the 18-55 or Sigma 70-300 to be useable, although many of them would be great images if taken with a better lens.
I had very good results back when the DA18-55WR was my only WR lens. I do notice all the better in the DA16-50 I got later but the kit lens was really good stopped down to f/8 or f/11.. More so for landscapes. So I am intrigued, as I know you print large, is that the reason you find the kit lens images unusable? or because it wasn´t wide enough? I am also puzzled because I see heavy post prossesing on the images you share frequently and thought that might minimize the performance difference between the kit lens and the DA16-50 for example.
12-19-2013, 10:28 AM   #25
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Lowell has a great list IMO.

But for: 'You love shooting concerts and festivals. The idea of shooting portraits is definitely appealing. '

I'd go first for:

SMC Tak M42 F1.4 50 mm. 7-element. (75mm equiv. given 1.5 crop factor) Late rubber ring. Maybe $60 tops for mint. Low level light concerts, portraits where you can control depth of field easily. (Bokeh). I have both the 1965 Tak 8-element 1.4 and the later 7-element. 8-element is usually $200 or so - even more. No Go given your budget. 7-element is still great.

SMC Tak F4 150mm - great lens. Cheap. Maybe $30 - $50 tops. Longish 225mm equiv - concerts again.

'Colors, Backpack, Landscape' - F4 50mm M42 MACRO Tak. 4-element Tessar. Great colors, contrast. Light. 'Built-in' lens hood. Maybe 'longish' for landscapes - but worth it for close-ups, lightness, colors, contrast, sharpness. Getting tougher to find reasonable - maybe $70 sometimes less. Sometimes up to $200 asked. Shop - wait.

Must get the genuine 30120 M42 adapter. Adorama has them sometimes (search on 30120). B&H seems to usually have them - at twice the price.

Last edited by cahudson42; 12-19-2013 at 10:38 AM. Reason: add F4 MACRO Tak
12-19-2013, 11:42 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by cahudson42 Quote
Lowell has a great list IMO.
thanks
QuoteQuote:

But for: 'You love shooting concerts and festivals. The idea of shooting portraits is definitely appealing. '

I'd go first for:

SMC Tak M42 F1.4 50 mm. 7-element. (75mm equiv. given 1.5 crop factor) Late rubber ring. Maybe $60 tops for mint. Low level light concerts, portraits where you can control depth of field easily. (Bokeh). I have both the 1965 Tak 8-element 1.4 and the later 7-element. 8-element is usually $200 or so - even more. No Go given your budget. 7-element is still great.

SMC Tak F4 150mm - great lens. Cheap. Maybe $30 - $50 tops. Longish 225mm equiv - concerts again.

'Colors, Backpack, Landscape' - F4 50mm M42 MACRO Tak. 4-element Tessar. Great colors, contrast. Light. 'Built-in' lens hood. Maybe 'longish' for landscapes - but worth it for close-ups, lightness, colors, contrast, sharpness. Getting tougher to find reasonable - maybe $70 sometimes less. Sometimes up to $200 asked. Shop - wait.

Must get the genuine 30120 M42 adapter. Adorama has them sometimes (search on 30120). B&H seems to usually have them - at twice the price.
you have a few good suggestions, for shooting portraits, though, I would propose the OP to look at for the long end, preset (with round aperture) 135's and 200's the rendering of the OOF is quite different than a non preset lens, even though the lenses at the same aperture have the same DOF. the presets add a dreamy quality to a portrait, and are great (especially tele's) for outdoor portraits.

for low light a 50/1.4 is a good lens, but you may also want a relatively fast 24 or 28 as well.

Below 24 it gets tough to get low cost glass, but the 16mm zenitar is a good, and available brand new for $175 in M42 mount, with modern cotings and great contrast and color (IMO)
12-19-2013, 11:49 AM   #27
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I'd get the FA 31 Limited. Or, a nice carbon fiber tripod you can take backpacking with you.
12-19-2013, 02:03 PM   #28
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Wow, Thank you for this great response, I am looking thru them all and taking notes, I will ask /comment a little more later today after I have researched!
12-19-2013, 04:12 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
thanks

you have a few good suggestions, for shooting portraits, though, I would propose the OP to look at for the long end, preset (with round aperture) 135's and 200's the rendering of the OOF is quite different than a non preset lens, even though the lenses at the same aperture have the same DOF. the presets add a dreamy quality to a portrait, and are great (especially tele's) for outdoor portraits.

for low light a 50/1.4 is a good lens, but you may also want a relatively fast 24 or 28 as well.

Below 24 it gets tough to get low cost glass, but the 16mm zenitar is a good, and available brand new for $175 in M42 mount, with modern cotings and great contrast and color (IMO)
Just to second Lowell's 'long end' suggestions: I also have the preset 200mm F5.6. Sharp. Lightweight for a 200 (backpacking). Preset is actually easier to use on the K-01 than the A/M switch. And as Lowell mentioned, the diaphragm on a preset is both usually closer to the front, plus has a greater number of blades (10 in this case) for the bokeh effect...

The 150mm F4.0 can be found in SMC for $20-$40. They are all over the place (though I now see some are asking obscene amounts). Mine was $18 - with a Spotmatic thrown in. Given your budget, I thought it a 'no brainer'. It is also light - a little lighter than the 5.6 200. The 200mm F5.6 is a little more - mine was $40.

Perhaps Lowell can comment, but it seems to me more and more are catching on to the value for money of these M42s, and prices are trending up...
12-19-2013, 04:13 PM   #30
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I wouldn't get anything that overlaps your 18-55. If you like zooms I'd suggest maybe replacing it, with something like the 16-45 or 12-24. If you want to try a prime, I'd suggest something outside of the 18-55 range, like the FA 77 Limited, then you'll have enough money left over for a cheap lens too.
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