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07-08-2016, 09:03 PM   #16
Des
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QuoteOriginally posted by manufocus Quote
I'd also like to suggest to go for a cheaper body and invest into better lenses instead. K30/K50 Bodys can be had used or new for very little mony. I'm running around with a K30 and so far haven't missed any feature when it comes to still photography. On the other hand I have seen the shortcomings of the lenses I use much more. In the end I guess it depends on your shooting style if you go for WR/lightweight which is very strong with the 18-135/16/85/55-300 etc. or if you want to tread the path of the LBA Pixel Peeper.
I think this is good advice for someone with a limited budget: reserve a substantial portion for the lenses, and spend less on the body. Skip the kit lenses and go up a level in zooms. You probably want a general purpose zoom: Pentax DA 16-85 or 18-135, Sigma 17-70, or Tamron 17-50 f2.8 are all popular choices. Depends on the focal range you need, whether you need WR, and whether you need f2.8. For sports/wildilife you might need something with a longer focal length, like the Pentax 55-300 (the cheapest of the three versions, which are optically identical, is the DA-L, which can be had for around $150 or less second hand). If you can squeeze in one or two prime lenses in the focal lengths that you are likely to use most, do so. The "plastic fantastic" DA 50 f1.8 and DA 35 f2.4 that Adam recommended are both great value. For something really special, try a used FA 43 f1.9 Limited - the cheapest of the fabled FA Limited lenses, and a lens that adds a touch of 3D magic to portraits, pets, flowers, or anything else.

The other thing I'd add is that if this is your first digital SLR even the base models from 2013 onwards offer a tremendous feature set, and unless you want wall-size prints 16mp would be plenty. And models like the K-30/K-50/KS-1/K-S2 are noticeably lighter weight than the flagship models like the K-3. And with fewer buttons and options, they make for an easier learning curve. Only caution is that the K-30 and K-50 are prone to failure in the aperture block, which is generally uneconomic to repair if out of warranty. I haven't heard of any similar problems with the K-S1 and K-S2.


Last edited by Des; 07-08-2016 at 09:10 PM.
07-09-2016, 06:58 AM   #17
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K-3 and18-135mm kit, or
K-3 with Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 (The Sigma is a top quality zoon and is on sale now for $399) Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM Zoom Lens for Pentax DSLRs 58C109

The 18-135mm advantages are WR and longer range. The Sigma has a wider aperture and better sharpness along the edges of the frame. I have a K-3 and both lenses. I use each regularly for its strengths.
07-09-2016, 08:26 AM - 1 Like   #18
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I see folks in this thread trying to sway the original poster from his K-3II + a lens plan. And I get that, the K-3II is a bit of money, and maybe he could get by on a more basic body. So here goes with a full kit for $1kUSD (because I kind of love playing this game);

Used K-30 (16mp, WR) - $275
Pentax 55-300 HD WR - $400
Used Tamron 17-50 - $250

Use the remainder for a nice camera strap and bag OR, if you like a possibly frustrating focusing experience, go get a fast manual 50mm prime.

Issues with the above kit; it doesn't go that wide. Nothing wild, no funny bokeh or anything like that. Just a good walk-around kit.
07-09-2016, 12:41 PM - 1 Like   #19
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Thats a good idea!

My suggestion:

275$ K30
20$ Da L 18-55mm
40$ M 50mm f1.7
50$ M 135mm f3.5
80$ M 200mm f4
30$ Macro extension
---
495$ --> 505$ left

The reasoning:
K30 (or similar body): The K30 can already outperform any consumer range lens, so any higher resolution body won't give any advantage. And even if you should decide to get the high end glass it's a long way until the pictures' limiting factor will be it's relolution. Apart from higher MP count the advantages from the K3 are mostly professional-related, i.e. not better pictures but rather compatibility with studio flashes and quick access to functions one might need when shooting 1k pictures at a F1 race. (Please correct me if wrong, it's been some time since I absorbed the articles).
Long term prospect: If you go totally PBA (pentax buying addiction) financially it's not a great loss and you can still use the body to make marvelous Time-Lapse series with thousands of pictures not caring wheather adding 1k to shutter count is necessarily worth it.

DAL 18-55: It's increadibly inexpensive, probably bundled with any body anyway. And since it's on the wide angle side of things IQ isn't that critical since you won't do a lot of cropping anyway. For the price it's unbeatable and after trying it you have a good starting point to see if you want to spend ~300$ on the Tamron/Sigma 17-50mm
Long term prospect: Resell value is probably minimal, but initial investment is as well. And it's still cheaper than reselling a 17-50

M50: To see what can be had in terms of resolution. One of my favorite lenses still.
Long term prospect: Resell value is identical to purchase so no-risk option. If you like primes and want to go AF, theres the DA 50mm f1.8.

M200: This is probably the cheapest and best option IQ wise to dabble in the 200mm Range. Nothing will come close for the price. In fact the next best thing is probably the Tamron 70-200 f2.8 at ~600$
Long term prospect: Same for all old lenses, resell value is very stable.

M135: Never personally liked this focal range much, but it's a good midle ground between the 50mm and 200mm
Long term prospect: same as above

Macro extension: Cheapest way to try if macro photography is your thing.

What to do with the money that's left?
Save it up until you know which lens you want to upgrade, or go for something not included in the current lineup like an ultra wide angle lens. Apart from stitching together photos I'm not aware of any cheap way to get it.

Conclusion: This is my recommendation for an allround try-everything set.

If you already know what you want:
Tamron 70-200 f2.8
or
Sigma 17-50 f2.8 & Pentax 10-17

Those are at least the three lenses (+ TC) I'm saving up for right now after going through many manual lenses and finding out what I wanted.

P.s.
This guide is IQ optimized, if interested in WR or lightweight better listen to someone else ;-)

07-09-2016, 12:42 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
Used K-30 (16mp, WR) - $275 Pentax 55-300 HD WR - $400 Used Tamron 17-50 - $250
That's EXACTLY what I did

Although I went a bit roundabout first, with the kit lens and then the FA 80-320.

Great combo there, and it works well for me. If you wait till black friday, the 55-300 will be somewhere between $250-300 new

I've also got the M 50 1.7 and the A 28 f/2.8. The former is awesome for experimentation, as well as in use with some extension tubes for macro. The later is a "normal" fov lens. I got both from my dad, so I didn't have to buy them, but they are fairly inexpensive, maybe $130 total for both
07-09-2016, 01:16 PM   #21
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There's a 55-300 HD WR for sale right now in the Marketplace that appears to be new in box for $280. My $400 price is probably a touch high. I do like having at least one WR lens in case I want to go out in a bit of rain or snow and not worry.

I don't know if I'd go suggesting a bunch of pre-A type primes as a starting kit in 2016. Maybe with some mirrorless camera that has excellent focus peaking through an electronic viewfinder. Not a Pentax DSLR.
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