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02-14-2018, 04:34 PM   #1
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Lens suggestions for light k3-ii hiking setup....

I just grabbed a k3-ii for mostly sports photography and my FA 80-200 f2.8 and F300 f4.5, but want to add a small light lens to keep on it for occasional on the fly shots and when I go hiking. I used to have the old pancake lens for this purpose in the old film days.

I really miss having a camera with me when I go hiking, the last few years I have just been using my phone, but with the k3-ii's gps I figure its time to start bringing camera again.

Any suggestions on a good zoom or prime lens that would work with my new k3-ii and my old k200d?

I am from the the old SMC-A and FA days, and all the new lenses confuse the hell out of me.

02-14-2018, 04:39 PM - 2 Likes   #2
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Either the DA 16-85 or the DA 20-40 Limited.

The 16-85 is excellent ( though not f/2.8 by any means) and basically lives on my K-3II. The 20-40 is much smaller, has excellent image quality and build but a more limited focal range.

Check the lens database to see what each weighs.

Another option is the DA 18-135 but I prefer the 16-85 YMMV.

If you want a prime, the DA 40mm Limited is about as small as you can get. Perhaps the successor to the pancake you had?
02-14-2018, 04:41 PM   #3
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What range are you liking to shoot in? Does size matter as much as weight?

DA 18-135 is a pretty good do it all without giving up too much. DA 16-85 is also very good but heavier if I recall. The DA 20-40 is very light and superb. The standard 18-55 isn't bad.

A little more weight and size and range info will help narrow the field.
02-14-2018, 05:20 PM - 1 Like   #4
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My hiking (backpacking) lenses are the DA 18-135, DA-L 55-300 and the DA 15. I keep it lightweight, but functional.

If I am out for a day hike, then I probably just take the DA* 300 and DA 15.

02-14-2018, 06:34 PM   #5
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1st choice - DA21/3.2 is a superb all-purpose wide on the APSc bodies. The DA15/4 is really a specialty lens. Second choice is the DA40/2.8.

The HD coatings are a legitimate improvement over the classic SMC, as are the rounded HD blades versus straight blades on the SMC, but a good used SMC at the right price is a good choice.

The DA35/2.8 Macro might work if you think you will step off the trail to shoot ground flora, moss, lichens, mushrooms and insects. The DA70/2.4 is outstanding, but awfully close to the short end of your 80-200.

The DA20-40 is a possible choice, but comparatively large and heavy versus one of the pancakes (21, 40, 70). Frankly, I carry all three pancakes in my KP bag and add a specific lens if I think I will need it. They’re tiny and light.

There really isn’t a bad DA Limited.

Last edited by monochrome; 02-14-2018 at 07:27 PM.
02-14-2018, 06:40 PM   #6
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I hike with the DA 18-135 on the camera. That's all I take much of the time. On an extended trip I might have the the DFA 100 macro, and the DA*200 with a couple TCs, the 1.3 and 1.7x and in the future probably the recently acquired Rokinon 14 2.8.

Sometimes I take the DA*60-250 instead of the DA*200, but, that's getting heavy. It all depends on how long the hike is and how I'm feeling that day. On any hike I may have the 21 ltd and 40XS tucked in somewhere. They don't take any space.
02-14-2018, 06:47 PM   #7
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Tamron 18-200, Lightweight, autofocus and compact. not as fast as the 2.8 but probably smaller and lighter. DA 40xs 2.8 is a cheaper 40mm option, or the DA 20-40 Ltd cannot be beaten for a high quality WR package.
02-14-2018, 08:33 PM   #8
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Agree with the 20-40, itís living on my K-3II during our New Zealand trip (except when the 10-17ís on!)

02-14-2018, 09:08 PM   #9
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I do backpacking and canoeing, and my choice is a camera with moderate wide angle, at the ready (neck strap plus strap around the back). I think a 30~35 mm FF equivalent and not very fast lens, is small/likely robust/and a good choice for hiking outdoors. I would possibly supplement this with a second lens--such small macro, or fisheye, or whatever more specialized area interests you--but I think the moderate wide angle would do almost everything.

For a specific lens--I likely would take M 20 mm f/4, or the equivalent in a more modern AF--except I don't have/use them.
02-14-2018, 09:15 PM   #10
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The DA21 or DA20-40 Ltd would seem to be ideal for the scenario you describe, Mapguy. In particular, the Ltd is weather resistant and metal.
02-14-2018, 09:50 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
The DA20-40 is a possible choice, but comparatively large and heavy versus one of the pancakes (21, 40, 70). Frankly, I carry all three pancakes in my KP bag and add a specific lens if I think I will need it. Theyíre tiny and light.

There really isnít a bad DA Limited.
243g for HD DA 21 f3.2 + HD DA 40 f2.8 vs 283g for HD DA 20-40 f2.8-4 plus the zoom is weather resistant and requires zero lens changes. I think it is hard to call that heavy. Larger, certainly but barely heavier than the two lenses it covers. As for size there's an advantage to not having to swap lenses that I think outweighs the on camera size in this case. Don't get me wrong, I sometimes use my 15, 40 and 70 as a light kit, but not for hiking. I'd rather not stop and change lenses.

---------- Post added 02-14-18 at 11:52 PM ----------

To be fair I have hiked with primes on occasion, mostly with m43.
02-14-2018, 10:16 PM   #12
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I knew somebody would call me on that. I didn’t want to look it up.

Hiking isn’t Alpine Trekking. The choice is carrying gear or not carrying gear. I’ve debated whether two pair of half ounce socks would protect my feet, or should I carry 1 ounce socks.

Last edited by monochrome; 02-15-2018 at 06:39 AM.
02-14-2018, 10:23 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I knew somebody would call me on that. I didnít want to look it up.

Hiking isnít Alpine Trekking. The choice is carrying gear or not carrying gear. Iíve debated whether two pair of half ounce socks would protect my feet, or should I carry 1 ounce socks.
In that case i recommend m43 or a compact zoom fixed lens camera to save oodles of weight. I don't backpack camp, I day hike.
02-14-2018, 11:01 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
In that case i recommend m43 or a compact zoom fixed lens camera to save oodles of weight. I don't backpack camp, I day hike.
I was not going to bring it up--but yes the K-3 is very large and heavy for backpacking. In my case, I now carry a Q and pick two lenses from the 01, 02, 03, 04. Usually the 03 (fisheye) and 04. Except if I anticipate very wet conditions (like the camera sitting in water), in which case I take the (rather heavy) Nikonos III + 35mm lens.

I also suppose if resolution was more important (and I wanted digital) I would consider taking the K-x and Lithium AA batteries. (Except for sitting in the canoe in water) water resistant camera/lens are not to meaningful IMO.

Last edited by dms; 02-14-2018 at 11:07 PM.
02-14-2018, 11:12 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
In that case i recommend m43 or a compact zoom fixed lens camera to save oodles of weight. I don't backpack camp, I day hike.
I packed a disposable film camera in a double-zip freezer bag and made them count.

My post was about picking one DA Limited prime to add to the lenses he listed.

Q-7 + 01 would be a good choice but on a long Trek you’d need a solar charger - not worth it. We maxed out at 55 lbs. per pack including 14 days of freeze dried food for 6-8 Trekkers. The most challenging planning consideration was water. Humidity is 25% at elevation, so filtering (preferable) or treating 8 quarts each per day.

Anyway, I can tolerate 20 pounds max on a day hike, less gear if I’m toting water.

Last edited by monochrome; 02-15-2018 at 06:41 AM.
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