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08-27-2016, 03:47 AM   #1
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that age old question... which WR lens

So im off to Australasia soon.

I'm planning on the taking the K-3ii only and planning to keep things light/minimal.

I thought I'd take the K-3ii + FA31.

I don't have a WR zoom other than the 50-135mm, which is a bit of a beast for travelling.


Its the classic battle... do I pair the FA31 with a 18-135 or 16-85 either of which I would hope to source 2nd hand




08-27-2016, 03:49 AM   #2
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The 18-135mm is a bit more compact, while the 16-85mm is sharper and wider. I'd base my decision on whichever you feel you need more

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08-27-2016, 04:04 AM   #3
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Compare the two "Show us what it can do threads" and decide which type of shots you're most likely to want to take.I've owned both and the size difference is not a factor but the extra wide end is,especially for landscapes.
From the copies I had of the lenses IQ of the 16-85 is superior,not that I was any way disappointed with the 18-135 when I had it.I'm sure either would serve you well.
08-27-2016, 05:00 AM   #4
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When I went to Australia, I took the DA15, FA31, and the DFA 100. The 15 and the 100 saw the most amount of use, the 31 not so much. The 100 was my only WR lens, not that it rained too much, but I did have to be careful on the beaches. Since I've moved out there (now with a K-1), I'm mostly using the DA300 and FA31. Maybe it's just me, but it seems to be a place for wide, long, or macro. Just my 2 cents (or 5, seeing as that's the smallest coin you can get over there)

08-27-2016, 05:02 AM - 2 Likes   #5
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I have both the 18-135 and the 16-85. The 18-135 is just a very good all-rounder that is perfect for travel. It is sharp at centre, has great colour rendition, but is a little weak at the edges. But really, the edge "weakness" is hardly noticeable in most holiday shots. Strongly recommended, especially in Australian sunshine, where it renders the big blue skies quite beautifully.

The IQ of the 16-85 is a notch or two higher. Very nice across the frame. No weaknesses at all. The extra 2mm at the short end is very useful, especially if you don't have a DA 15 with you.

If I were travelling with only the FA31 and a zoom though, I think I'd opt for the extra 2mm at the short end for a mostly urban visit, or the extra 50mm at the long end for mostly rural scenery. My "small travel kit" is actually DA15 + DA 40 + DA 16-85 + DA 55-300, but without the 55-300 I think I'd opt for the 18-135 instead of the 16-85.
08-27-2016, 05:04 AM   #6
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I just looked at your profile and saw that you have the 15 and the 100. You'll be kicking yourself if you don't have those two on you
08-27-2016, 06:01 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Conqueror Quote
Its the classic battle... do I pair the FA31 with a 18-135 or 16-85 either of which I would hope to source 2nd hand
Sounds like a cool trip!
The FoV between those lenses is quite different. I think it comes down to whether you are a wide angle or a telephoto shooter. For example, 85mm might not be enough for animals, wildlife, for things that are far away. On the other hand 18mm might not be wide enough for certain landscapes or indoor photos. The other factor is how lax your IQ standards are - by all reports the 16-85mm is quite good. Since you already have FA 31mm and possibly DFA 100mm and DA 15mm ltd, then you might want uncompromising IQ, so the 16-85mm might have an edge.
Good luck, and feel free to post some photos on these forums as you travel

Edit: If i were you I would go with DA 15mm ltd, DA 16-85mm and DFA 100mm. Gives you a wide range, true macro, decent WR, and UWA. But that is three lenses, so it might be too big to carry. Difficult choices I usually carry three or four primes when i travel. But I don't have a WR camera, so don't need WR lenses lol
08-27-2016, 07:35 AM   #8
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I'm not sure that you can go wrong here. I really like my DA 15 + 18-135 two lens travel kit for small size and weight. The 18-135 isn't perfect but I've produced some nice images with it. It's not real hot on the long side; 80mm is where things are starting to soften and such.

If I were in your situation I might be tempted to put up a Wanted ad here on the Marketplace for either lens and see what turns up first. Another lens I would consider, and this is for my own photog interests so it may not apply well for you, is the 20-40. Size, WR, image quality all seem like something I would enjoy using. And it would fit in with your current lens collection well... if you didn't already have an FA 31. Not so easy to figure out what the best path is.

08-27-2016, 03:30 PM   #9
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Took the K3 with the WR 16-85 to London recently as my only lens. Wonderful combination and great for travel. Sad to leave my K-1 at home though :-)
08-27-2016, 04:26 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by robthebloke Quote
Maybe it's just me, but it seems to be a place for wide, long, or macro.
This is a very astute observation, for anyone at all interested in the natural world in Australia or NZ.

I think you really want something wider than 18mm, and preferably wider than 16mm - for NZ as much as for Oz. Take your 15 for sure.

I think you will be very frustrated if you don't have anything longer than 85, 100 or 135mm. Don't go to Australia for a holiday without a telephoto lens. The new 55-300 PLM would be ideal (with the firmware update in the K-3ii). I'd get it sight unseen for a trip, if I had a compatible camera, as you do. Failing that, the HD 55-300 WR (which at least has the advantage of being half a stop faster). If you only want to purchase one new lens, I'd prioritise that over a 16-85 or 18-135.

The light in Australia and NZ is generally good enough that you won't really need f2.8 zooms, unless you are going to shoot indoors a lot.

Don't obsess too much about WR for Australia/NZ (unless you are going to the tropical north of Australia in the wet season, or spending a lot of time in SW Tasmania or NZ's Southland). Yes it's useful but I'd suggest prioritising the appropriate focal lengths and IQ.

So my suggestion - assuming that you only want to purchase one lens - would be 15, 55-300 and one (or maybe two) of your excellent primes: FA 31 Ltd, DA*55, FA 77 Ltd and DFA 100. The obvious candidate there is the 31, but you could make a case for any of the others (e.g. the 55 or 77 for people, or the 100 for macro, WR and superb quality moderate tele), depending on your shooting preferences.

If you can't bear the gap between 15 and 31, you need to bite the bullet: leave them both behind and get a 16-85 to pair with 55-300.

And don't forget the polarising filter(s).

Last edited by Des; 08-27-2016 at 06:02 PM.
08-27-2016, 04:55 PM   #11
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!Wide because its a wide place,Long because once you get here and see how much there is you will want to stay a while more
08-28-2016, 02:51 AM   #12
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lots to think about, it sounds worth taking the 15mm

I'm just wondering how much I will need >100

As perhaps I could get away with

15/31/100

would not need to purchase anything then... I would potentially miss some shots with this prime only setup... but that is ultimate IQ and quite compact/light... I rarely use macro, but there might actually be a chance to macro

--------------------------------------

the 55-300mm PLM looks good though, but also £400 .. it seems the logical backpack/travel zoom for pentax dslr now

I do own the 300 DA* but it is quite big


Another thing is the 1.4x HD TC can be had for £285 new... this could get the 100mm DFA to 140mm... and also one day it could in future be paired with the 300mm DA*
08-28-2016, 03:13 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Conqueror Quote
lots to think about, it sounds worth taking the 15mm

I'm just wondering how much I will need >100

As perhaps I could get away with

15/31/100

would not need to purchase anything then... I would potentially miss some shots with this prime only setup... but that is ultimate IQ and quite compact/light... I rarely use macro, but there might actually be a chance to macro

--------------------------------------

the 55-300mm PLM looks good though, but also £400 .. it seems the logical backpack/travel zoom for pentax dslr now

I do own the 300 DA* but it is quite big


Another thing is the 1.4x HD TC can be had for £285 new... this could get the 100mm DFA to 140mm... and also one day it could in future be paired with the 300mm DA*
The wildlife there is mental, that's mainly why you'll want a longer lens, and macro for all the spiders. Shot with the DFA 100 between manly and Shelley beach: water dragon | Rob Bateman | Flickr

Some of the larger birds aren't all that scared of people, but some of the more interesting ones tend to be a bit skittish. On my first visit there I did on occasion wish I had something longer than 100mm if I'm honest, but most of the time I could get by with it. Some examples with the k-1 and the 300: Raptors | Flickr

Some examples of what you can get away with with the k-1 and 77: Sydney | Flickr
08-28-2016, 03:23 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Conqueror Quote
15/31/100 would not need to purchase anything then... I would potentially miss some shots with this prime only setup... but that is ultimate IQ and quite compact/light... I rarely use macro, but there might actually be a chance to macro
That's very similar to what I usually carry. I take Samyang 14mm, DA 35mm, DFA 100mm. And sometimes switch the DA 35mm for DA 40mm or some other prime between 28mm and 58mm, depending on what I anticipate. I only rarely "miss" a shot because I am switching lenses. But that's just part of reality and I accepted that I cannot photograph 100% everything I see from every angle and FoV that would be interesting. That 16-85mm is still tempting, though. At least the DA 15mm is compact and light, unlike the Samyang 14mm which is heavy. The DFA 100mm is pretty compact for what it is. So even if its three lenses, it might be light enough overall package
08-28-2016, 04:47 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by robthebloke Quote
The wildlife there is mental, that's mainly why you'll want a longer lens
Exactly.



And I haven't even started on the marsupials.
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