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01-16-2014, 11:00 AM   #1
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Kit lenses: DA 18-55, DA L 18-55 WR, and DA L 18-55 (non WR)

So, I'm looking to pick up a K-50 here soon as my k-x has crapped out.

Bodies only seem to be cheaper right now.

I am willing to spend a tad more to get a better lens (optically) than the k-x kit lens

I have the DA L 18-55 that came with my k-x. It works fine.

I saw a DA 18-55 (non WR) that appeared to come with the k-30 for a decent price.

Then, I found an k-50 kit lens DA L WR 18-55 at a good price that would make my entire purchases cheaper than if did the k-50 kit buy.

Is that DA 18-55 (comes with a hood too) worth getting vs my k-x kit lens? (the difference between the DA L and DA escapes me.

01-16-2014, 11:24 AM   #2
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Escapes me too, so unless you require the WR, perhaps expand your range. I don't have either 18-55, since I bought my K-50 body-only too. I ordered the HD DA 55-300 ED WR instead. I have a manual 28mm that rarely gets used, so I don't seem to get down to the 18mm end very often.
01-16-2014, 11:26 AM   #3
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From the optics, they are the same. But the difference between the DA and the DA L is:
  • DA L misses quick shift
  • DA L misses the distance scale
  • DA L usually is delivered without a lens hood (to be purchased seperately)
  • DA L has a plastic mount instead a steel one
For most users, the missing quick shift is the biggest disadvantage of the DA L.

But any WR version would make your body-lens package really WR.
You must know what is more important for you, WR or quick shift.

Of course, a DA WR would be even better (but more expensive).
Presently you should be able to get a used DA WR for $80-$90, with luck even cheaper.

EDIT:
If you don't know about quick shift: it means you can leave the AF/MF setting always at AF, and still focus manually.

EDIT 2:
There are (used) DAs offered from the first series. Of these Pentax thought the resolution is ok up to 10MP sensors only. If you buy a used K-30 with DA 18-55, make sure the seller hasn't bought the lens seperately as a version 1. If it is a plain DA, it should be a 2nd version. This is optically the same as all DA L, DA WR, and DA L WR samples (of the first version, there existed no "L" or "WR").

Last edited by RKKS08; 01-16-2014 at 11:50 AM.
01-16-2014, 11:30 AM   #4
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The DA L has a plastic bayonet, and no Quick-Shift.
I have two, that made my K-x purchases as kits cheaper than a body alone.
If you can live without Quick-Shift, and your copy is good optically,
I'd say that you might as well keep it.

01-16-2014, 11:41 AM   #5
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Personally, things like a hood and quick shift are really important on any lens if possible. In the case of the DA 18-55 lens, not having those two features would make me dump it. It's nice having the WR too. If this is going to be your main lens for a while, why not have the one with most versus saving a few bucks and having less. I've had several DA kit lenses and the only one I've kept is the DA 18-55 WR lens. It's made a nice spare for some shoots and it lives on my infrared converted K100ds as for some odd reason, it's the best general lens for IR work. I suppose as you already have a DAL 18-55 it does require some thought but unless you are going to upgrade you lens to say a DA18-135 or DA*16-50 or Tamron 17-50, why not have the most functional lens you can?
01-16-2014, 12:55 PM   #6
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I have a 18-55 WR and love it. Great walk about lens.


01-16-2014, 01:37 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
Personally, things like a hood and quick shift are really important on any lens if possible. In the case of the DA 18-55 lens, not having those two features would make me dump it. It's nice having the WR too. If this is going to be your main lens for a while, why not have the one with most versus saving a few bucks and having less. I've had several DA kit lenses and the only one I've kept is the DA 18-55 WR lens. It's made a nice spare for some shoots and it lives on my infrared converted K100ds as for some odd reason, it's the best general lens for IR work. I suppose as you already have a DAL 18-55 it does require some thought but unless you are going to upgrade you lens to say a DA18-135 or DA*16-50 or Tamron 17-50, why not have the most functional lens you can?
I never had the quick shift with my k-x, but I can see it's value from my old Nikon film days. That makes the DA tempting for sure.

I thought about keeping my k-x 18-55 and hunt for one of those decent sigma or tamron lenses for a decent price.

I got my question answered, but now I'm pondering different lens options. I shoot a lot of indoor sports at a distance where a 35-80 range lens would be ideal. However, it would have to be fast. I was looking at a DA 50 mm 1.8. Not a zoom, but it should cover most of my needs for sports. (It's just a parent taking pics of the kids, but I want good ones.)
01-16-2014, 01:39 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
The DA L has a plastic bayonet, and no Quick-Shift.
I have two, that made my K-x purchases as kits cheaper than a body alone.
If you can live without Quick-Shift, and your copy is good optically,
I'd say that you might as well keep it.

People keep mentioning this quick shift I never had. I feel like I have missed the boat on this. That DA is looking better and more useful as I keep getting into this

01-16-2014, 01:46 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ziscwg Quote
I never had the quick shift with my k-x, but I can see it's value from my old Nikon film days. That makes the DA tempting for sure.

I thought about keeping my k-x 18-55 and hunt for one of those decent sigma or tamron lenses for a decent price.

I got my question answered, but now I'm pondering different lens options. I shoot a lot of indoor sports at a distance where a 35-80 range lens would be ideal. However, it would have to be fast. I was looking at a DA 50 mm 1.8. Not a zoom, but it should cover most of my needs for sports. (It's just a parent taking pics of the kids, but I want good ones.)
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) AF09NII-700 B&H
01-16-2014, 02:07 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ziscwg Quote
I never had the quick shift with my k-x, but I can see it's value from my old Nikon film days. That makes the DA tempting for sure.

I thought about keeping my k-x 18-55 and hunt for one of those decent sigma or tamron lenses for a decent price.

I got my question answered, but now I'm pondering different lens options. I shoot a lot of indoor sports at a distance where a 35-80 range lens would be ideal. However, it would have to be fast. I was looking at a DA 50 mm 1.8. Not a zoom, but it should cover most of my needs for sports. (It's just a parent taking pics of the kids, but I want good ones.)
The DA 50 f1.8 is a cheap gem of a lens. It has surprised me how good it is. Also interesting is that I've used it on my film cameras as it appears to be full frame. Very cool really.
01-16-2014, 02:44 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ziscwg Quote
I shoot a lot of indoor sports at a distance where a 35-80 range lens would be ideal. However, it would have to be fast.
I agree with @Corto-PA, you sound like an ideal candidate for the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 zoom.

from National Camera Exchange via eBay, $325 shipped, manufacturer-refurbished, with 90 day warranty and 14 day return policy:

Tamron SP AF 28 75mm F 2 8 XR Di LD Lens for Pentax Refurbished 4960371004310 | eBay

(I've been so tempted to pull the trigger on this lens a bunch of times but just haven't done so because I think I'd miss out on the wide end too much. But if you are okay with starting at 28mm on APS-C, then this zoom is ideal.)

This thread will make you want to get a 28-75, and @Edgar_in_Indy used his Tamron on his K-x for a long time:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/145599-tamr...lots-pics.html
01-17-2014, 04:18 PM   #12
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You guys are killing my wallet these crazy, yet good, ideas.

I'm leaning to using the k-x kit lens for zoom, but getting the DA 50 1.8 for more of the sports fun.
01-21-2014, 09:38 AM   #13
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When I want to take pictures of my kids playing from a bit of a distance, I always reach for my Pentax-A 135mm f2.8. Yes it's manual focus, so I do miss a few shots due to not focusing correctly. Also, it can flare pretty badly sometimes, even with the built-in hood pulled out. So I gotta work on my position regarding the sun. But when I do get the pictures right, I'm very well rewarded.
I find that anything slower than 2.8 doesn't work for me. I've tried using my two zooms at F4 but they just can't keep up with the action. So if you are on a budget, and are willing to work a bit harder, primes is the way to go. A prime 50, at least, is a must have, so I think you're in the right direction.
04-04-2015, 11:30 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ziscwg Quote
You guys are killing my wallet these crazy, yet good, ideas.

I'm leaning to using the k-x kit lens for zoom, but getting the DA 50 1.8 for more of the sports fun.

Trust me..... GET the DA 50 f:1.8! It is an astoundingly good lens! Sharpness, color saturation and rendition is top drawer and bokeh is out of this world! A first class lens.... in EVERY RESPECT! You WILL NOT be disappointed! I was fortunate to be the lucky winner of one here on PF and the first few test shots blew my socks off! Here is an image shot with it with VERY little PP involved at all.

Last edited by Dewman; 08-19-2015 at 02:53 PM.
04-05-2015, 12:20 AM   #15
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Optically there no point in thinking as the different 18-55 as upgrades. At least the new 18-50 would be significantly smaller.

If you want something better and affordable:
- try to find a 18-135 kit. This one is very well build, the range is far more interresting, the zoom is WR, has quick shift, is silent, is small.
- buy separately a 17-50 tamron f/2.8 (to replace the 18-55) It is heavier, but another world. Low light capabilities, higher quality overall, much more bokeh possibilities. A tamron 28-75 f/2.8 is also very interresting, you need to keep your 18-55 for wide angle, but you typically cover very well portraiture and events.
- look for 17-70, maybe used, sigma or pentax.
- simply try the DA50 or DA35, too very great but unnexpensive lenses.
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