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05-05-2014, 10:59 PM   #16
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Hey, welcome! Too bad about your camera, but the replacement is really good!
Pentax limited lenses are so small you can fit two or three of them in the same space as a zoom lens. I would recommend you get the DA 18-135mm and DA 50mm f1.8 (or FA 50mm f1.4). That way you have a big zoom range with WR, and also a prime lens for high image quality and low light capabilities. If the DA 50mm f1.8 is too big, at least think of the DA 40mm XS. It is literally under a 1cm thick, doesn't cost an arm and a leg, and still provides quite a few things (fast AF, very good IQ, low light performance as good as or better than zoom lenses). When I travel, I always try to have a zoom lens and a fixed focal length/prime lens with me. One for convenience and one for quality. I usually end up using mostly the prime.

05-05-2014, 11:06 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Grunseth Quote
There have been some really good points made here, so here is what I am thinking now- I am going to really stretch my budget and live very frugally for the next couple months. I think I should be able to swing the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD new and a used DA L 55-300mm from eBay.

Not getting gored is a good thing. I do have my rain cover that I used with my K100D, though having a full WR system would be nice, I would rather put up with the rain cover and have the highest possible IQ.
You could even get the Tamron used if you like.

None of these lenses are expensive enough that you should spend much time fretting about whether they'll get damaged without WR. Just cover them up, as you said. They may represent your whole budget for now, but it's clear (from your descriptions of the IQ you like in lenses you've already used) that soon enough you'll be looking at 2-5 lenses in the $400-1200 range.


And actually the Tamron could become the first of these lenses. You could add a couple of other lenses to it later - possibly even a couple of inexpensive primes. Eventually you'll upgrade the DA L 55-300 to something better, but it's pretty good for the first year or so (and some people keep it much longer anyway).

Last edited by DSims; 05-05-2014 at 11:15 PM.
05-05-2014, 11:16 PM   #18
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I'd always go with quality - to take full advantage of the K3!! You should be able to get a 35 Limited which is a fabulous lens, and also gives you the macro function!
05-05-2014, 11:19 PM   #19
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I also suggest you not use ebay. I have purchased maybe 10 lenses from KEH, generally BGN condition, and in couple cases where the lens was not OK they refunded price and they paid shipping. Other non-ebay options are likely similar--just I only use KEH and (in store) B&H.
Also don't buy shortly before the trip--you need to be comfortable with using the lenses/know they are fine--before taking them.
And if you reallly liked the 50 mm f/1.4--it seems to me that is the most important lens you should take!

05-05-2014, 11:25 PM   #20
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I have around 25 lenses which is not unusual (possibly modest for many) for anyone who regularly on this site. However I am trying to get to the other end Antarctica. If I do I will be specifically buying the pentax 18-135. I will be taking one lens and one camera with me on all my landings onto the ice.

The 18-135 is weather resistant among other things. It is below the standard of my primes but there are some situations where one lens is essential. I will be leaving my sigma 17-70 and 16-50 at home along with most of my pentax primes.

I'm thinking that when only one lens can be taken into outdoor photography situations then the 18-135 has the least number of compromises. (it's equivalent to my original 40 year old pentax kit - 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 100mm and 200mm)
05-06-2014, 04:07 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Grunseth Quote
. I think I should be able to swing the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD new and a used DA L 55-300mm from eBay.


)

Pretty good combo, Adam. The DA is a travel friendly size and can be sharp in its centre, and the Tamron is fast enough to do interiors.

Have a great trip!

Last edited by clackers; 05-06-2014 at 04:29 AM.
05-06-2014, 05:28 AM   #22
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Just bought an 18-135 last week. I'm a primes snob and have a few limiteds but there are also days when you just don't want to swap around. I wasn't expecting much but was really surprised with the IQ. It's also compact well built and weather sealed. It's better than my Sigma 17-70 (old model). Also have bought 2nd hand from both Adorama and B&H with no probs. Their quality ratings are pretty accurate. But you have to check for things like original lens caps and lens hoods.
05-06-2014, 06:28 AM   #23
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The Tamron 17-50 will be slightly nicer than the 18-135, but in practice, not much. Where the 18-135 really suffers is corner sharpness above ~100mm or so. The center stays sharp. In practice, for me, corner sharpness isn't very important. I don't shoot flat objects from far away very often, and most of my landscapes are well below 100mm. The WR is very freeing. Rain, mist, whatever, no worries. I'd take the WR of the 18-135 over the faster aperture of the Tamron. You can get an old manual focus 50/1.7 for $50 or so, so that would meet your fast lens needs.
Da18-135 $400
M50/1.7 $50
DA-L 55-300 $200. Or DAL 50-200 $50

If you have no variance on the budget, I'd get the 18-135, 50/1.7 and the 50-200. If you can swing the extra 150, get the 55-300 instead.

05-06-2014, 08:23 AM   #24
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I would recommend checking this one out about the 18-135, https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/179869-da-1...at-can-do.html

I would definitely say that lens is definitely above what you'd expect from a kit lens. With that and the 55-300WR you'd have a heck of a WR kit on a budget. If you go with the Tamron used (I have both it and the 18-135) you might have enough left over within your budget to grab a used 55-300.
05-06-2014, 09:05 AM   #25
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I'm still not sure what I'm going to do.

Here is where I am at right now- If I'm going to stick to what I said originally and just take one lens on the trip, I think I will get the 18-135 DA.

However, there have been some really good arguments made for why taking just a single lens on this trip might be a bad idea. I am open to stretching my budget and getting a couple different lenses. The problem is, I'm not entirely sure what those images should be.

Right now I am considering either the Tamron 17-50 or the Sigma 17-70 along with a used Pentax 55-300. I am wondering, if I do this, would I be better off going with the Tamron 17-50 or the Sigma 17-70? I've been reading a lot about both lenses. It seems some people feel the build quality of the Tamron isn't that great.

Another thing I am considering, since it sounds like telephoto capability might be more important then I previously imagined, is getting a really nice telephoto lens. If I am able to really stretch my budget I was thinking about trying to get a hold of a Sigma 120-400 telephoto and then a second hand wide angle prime.

Also, I should note, I was able to find my 50mm f1.4 lens.
05-06-2014, 09:20 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by mgvh Quote
The Sigma 17-70 f2.8 would be a good choice.
The other one to consider is the Pentax DA 18-135 which is quite a nice lens. It will give you something a bit longer and is also weather resistant.
I agree completely. Either of these will do a fine job. I have the Sigma 17-70c and it's a great walk around lens.
05-06-2014, 09:51 AM   #27
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The 18-135 is the obvious choice. Hard to beat the combination of WR, focal length versatility, and IQ/rendering for an ideal travel lens. I generally travel with a 3 lens kit, the 40 Ltd, the 70 Ltd, and the 18-135, and I would say the 18-135 gets used 90-95% of the time.


Neuschwanstein
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Helsinki Cathedral
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Violinist performing near Prague Castle
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05-06-2014, 10:23 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Grunseth Quote
I'm still not sure what I'm going to do.

Here is where I am at right now- If I'm going to stick to what I said originally and just take one lens on the trip, I think I will get the 18-135 DA.

However, there have been some really good arguments made for why taking just a single lens on this trip might be a bad idea. I am open to stretching my budget and getting a couple different lenses. The problem is, I'm not entirely sure what those images should be.

Right now I am considering either the Tamron 17-50 or the Sigma 17-70 along with a used Pentax 55-300. I am wondering, if I do this, would I be better off going with the Tamron 17-50 or the Sigma 17-70? I've been reading a lot about both lenses. It seems some people feel the build quality of the Tamron isn't that great.

Another thing I am considering, since it sounds like telephoto capability might be more important then I previously imagined, is getting a really nice telephoto lens. If I am able to really stretch my budget I was thinking about trying to get a hold of a Sigma 120-400 telephoto and then a second hand wide angle prime.

Also, I should note, I was able to find my 50mm f1.4 lens.
The Tamron 17-50 build quality is fine to me, and it gives good sharp results.
05-06-2014, 10:31 AM   #29
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I'll be with the minority crowd and say, "why zoom at all".

Why not start a prime collection? Going for the used market, for your budget (500 dollars) you can get the DA 21mm Limited, plus an M 50mm f/1.7 and an M 135mm f/3.5 easily. Looking at the KEH webpage, for example, you can get these 3 for 471 dollars with their 6-month warranty plus shipping, which should be just under 10 dollars (I chose a BGN - bargain - condition M 50 1.7, since I have no problems buying BGN lenses from KEH; the other two were EX).

If you can find your 50 1.4, get a 49mm polarizer and you'll still be under budget...

Changing lenses might seem cumbersome at first but after you get used to it, it's second nature. Plus all these lenses are so small, they'll fit in a jacket pocket so easily, and will reward you with prime quality pictures.
05-06-2014, 02:16 PM   #30
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The only zoom I have experience with that would be relevant is the DA17-70/4 (I don't know how US prices run though). It's a very good lens range for travel, but the DA18-135 is probably more versatile for your trip. When I'm in 'travelling' mode I prefer not to have to change lenses (depends to some extent how tolerant your traveling partners are with you 'messing' with your gear - or how covertly you can do it).

I'd take the 50/1.4 and if you were looking at another prime to go with a zoom, I'd suggest a DA35/2.4 - it's the only real cost effective wider option - I'd prefer something wider but all the other options are expensive and/or hard to find (in the UK at least).

The idea of a DA21, 50/1.4 and M135/3.5 appeals to me also - I'd prefer my FA20-35/4 to the DA21 - but realistically the DA18-135 does the lot in one lens when traveling.
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