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02-05-2014, 10:14 AM   #1
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What would you carry?

My camera bag goes with me where ever I go. I'm new to photography and never plan to be a professional. I just like to be able to take a decent pic when the opportunity presents itself. I like outdoor nature stuff. Birds, wildlife, scenery, etc. I also need to be able to take pics of people, both inside and out. And of course I need to have my macro lens. I have a k5ii. Now with that knowledge what lenses would you have? Other than the macro I can carry 3 to 4 lenses.

Currently I have the pentax 18-135 wr, 55-300 wr, 35mm f/2.4, and my 100mm vivitar f/2.8 macro.

Chris

02-05-2014, 10:25 AM   #2
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I usually carry only two lenses, 35/85 or 50/135. From what you have, 35mm should compliment well with 100mm.
02-05-2014, 10:45 AM   #3
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Take It Or Leave It?

Hello Treedo, Welcome to the Forum!
What you take or leave out depends on where you're going and what you'll be photographing. I believe most photographers have a favorite 'Kit' of all-purpose lenses (usually zooms) that will work for different situations, but it's difficult to carry everything for every purpose.
So, if it's primarily an indoor or 'close-in' event like a fair, street carnival or concert, you would leave the 55-300mm zoom and take the other 3, plus possibly a small flash. In other words, the 'widest' lens and fast primes. Since the 18-135mm has a slower maximum aperture, you may need to add some light with fill flash.
On a outdoor nature hike, the telephoto zoom would be necessary, but probably the flash wouldn't.
I think your lens selection is versatile enough for many applications, but don't try to take everything, every time.
Another tip is to invest in a couple (or more) different-size bags. The smallest 'light kit' pack, a 3-4 lens bag and possibly a backpack type that holds your full kit.
It may seems wasteful now, but as you add gear (and, you will!), different bags allow different configurations for all the possible situations.
So, again, take what you need for the (expected) situation and maybe a bit more.
Good luck!
Ron
02-05-2014, 10:48 AM   #4
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Id throw a fast 50 in there and you will have more than enough

Just IMO

02-05-2014, 10:49 AM   #5
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I think that you have assembled a decent kit. You have covered a wide range of focal lengths from wide-angle to longer reach. Your 35/2.4 and macro lenses complement the zooms, with the 35 providing some lower-light capability.

Happy shooting.

- Craig
02-05-2014, 10:59 AM   #6
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What you've got, OP, is what I would take. I wouldn't add to it. For example, I have a K-5ii as well. In my bag that I take everywhere: F 35-70, F 80-200 (210, I can't remember), DA 40mm Ltd. (love, love it), DA 70mm Ltd. (on there 80% of the time). I use the zooms mostly for family pics, snap-shotty kinds of pics, situations where I only want to carry one lens and I KNOW there will be enough light to shoot at the sweet aperture of this lens: the F 35-70 when I'll be close but also want a portrait-type shot but don't want to change lenses. And the F 80-200 for sports where I know I'll be in the bleachers. These lenses and focal lengths give me a flexible kit. For another example: I knew I would be taking shots on campus of a construction project. I came across an old bag that I used for my point and shoot. I knew I wanted the F 35-70 for flexibility and I knew I did NOT want to change lenses. I knew I would be outside, so the sharpness of this lens would not be an issue. I knew I would be shooting outside at f8.0-f11.0. My K-5ii with F 35-70 fit into this tiny bag no problem, and I was able to condense my messenger bag setup into a quick grab and shoot setup. It was awesome.
02-05-2014, 11:18 AM   #7
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I always carry 4 primes: 28 2.8, 35 2.4, 50 1.4 and 135 2.8. The DA 18-55 AL II weighs next to nothing so it's usually in the bag, though I can't remember the last time I've used it. The M 50 1.7 has found its way back in there too.

To the OP: your setup seems to make a lot of sense. Enjoy it, take lots of pictures, and you will soon find out if you have anything that you will need to change...
02-05-2014, 11:30 AM   #8
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You have a nice kit already. What I would add, if I were you, would be wide and ultra wide lenses. Plenty of threads on those. Either the Pentax DA 15mm ltd, Pentax 12-24mm, or a Samyang 14mm, Samyang 16mm. This will give you the chance to take stunning landscape shots, astrophotography, and photos in tight spaces.

The other thing you might be missing is a "fast" lens for low light. Like the DA 50mm f1.8, FA 50mm f1.4, or even an older 50mm f1.7 (M or A series, A is more convenient, but M is also popular). Can't go wrong with a fast 50mm! Nifty Fifty!

This will give you a very versatile kit. Only thing beyond that is I would eventually update the 100mm macro. I love the photos the DFA 100mm WR produces, and it has (decent) AF, plus its WR.

02-05-2014, 11:35 AM   #9
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I go for my "drive" almost every morning and my basic bag contains DA 35mm 2.4, 50mm 1.4 (M), Tamron 90mm 2.8 Macro and the DA-L 55-300. I live where I might catch an eagle in a tree or mushrooms growing from a dead stump anytime, but still a small city of about 80,000 people.
02-05-2014, 11:38 AM   #10
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My bag usually has three lenses, with a fourth on my camera.

Lately its been my Sigma 10-20mm, a Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4, and a pair of old Sears zooms (28-70 and 70-210). The 28-70 has been an exercise in frustration as I've been trying to learn the lens, but overall its pretty blah. It'll probably wind up getting swapped out or simply left out to make more bag room. If I do replace it, it will probably be with my FA 28-90mm since that's basically what was bumped out to begin with (and is a superior lens).
02-05-2014, 12:26 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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I'll take a different tac: join the "single in" challenge and shoot with one lens everyday for a month. Repeat until all of your lenses have had their month. What this exercise teaches you is what you really wish you had that you don't have. It will provide a personal framework for what YOU need to fill out YOUR kit.

As part of the group, you will see and comment on everyone else's photos, and that will teach you what you could do with other lenses. Since you will see the same group of photographers over several months, with each of them changing lenses once per month, you will have a real feel for what different lenses do to a person's style. I highly recommend it. Also a super friendly group of folks.
02-05-2014, 02:46 PM   #12
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15mm, 43mm and 77mm on my camera (K-5)
02-05-2014, 03:43 PM   #13
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Why not bag a decent fisheye lens
02-05-2014, 04:25 PM   #14
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Gnereally I decided to have two separate (sort of) lens kits for my K5ii. First off is the "have to get the shots" kit (family functions such as weddings...not main photographer, birthday's etc) for this I have two zooms.....17-50 2.8 and a 70-200 2.8 and my DA15. Second kit is for me to have fun and when I go on holidays.. DA 15, 21, 40 and FA 77......maybe also 90mm macro.....flash taken if likely required.

You need to have several camera bags as well........ a camera and lens only, a light kit (camera and a few primes), a two zoom, maybe flash and a prime kit and a one of everything bag and one of everything and laptop, cables and charges etc bag.
02-05-2014, 04:57 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Treedo Quote
... Other than the macro I can carry 3 to 4 lenses. Currently I have the pentax 18-135 wr, 55-300 wr, 35mm f/2.4, and my 100mm vivitar f/2.8 macro...
It sort of depends on where you are going. I'll keep it to 3 lenses based on your existing lenses:
  • If going out in nature pack the 55-300 for wildlife. Then you need a lens for landscapes and the 18-135 looks like your widest lens for that but the 35mm prime is probably sharper; pick one for the day and work within its strengths. That leaves room for the 100mm macro you said you always need to have.
  • If headed to a dense city the 55-300 is unlikely to be needed. The 18-135 is a good all purpose walkaround lens. The 35mm is good for street photography, plus it's your fastest lens for indoor use and narrow depth of field. And finally the 100mm.
I like to have an ultrawide angle rectilinear (not fish eye) lenses for indoor use, cityscapes, and landscapes. Consider adding a Tamron 10-24, Sigma 10-20, or Pentax 12-24 wide angle zoom. You can add that to the above as a 4th lens to carry.

As you get more familiar with your lenses you'll predict which lenses you'll need on any given day. I used to carry 4 lenses, now I find that I often go out with only 2: my primary lens for the day and a "just in case I unexpectedly need a different focal length" lens.
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