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07-09-2018, 02:47 PM   #1
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Some travel issues with Pentax lenses. Or: Will there be a 15-30mm f4. anytime "soon"

I'm currently seriously thinking about abandoning my Pentax system and buying a Sony A7 III instead. The main reasons for this consideration is that I really am kind of tired of traveling with big lenses. Just bought a 15-30mm Pentax to cover the ultra wide angle range my 28-105mm can't cover. I'm convinced that this is an excellent lens, however, for traveling and constantly carrying it together with the Tamron 70-200mm 2.8 all day long becomes more and more a burden for me.

I know that Pentax is about to introduce a shorter/lighter 70-200mm (f4) lens, which I appreciate. However, I would also like to see a trimmed version of the 15-30mm 2.8. Especially in wide angle, I don't really need f2.8. So a 15-30mm (or so) f4 would be a vital improvement which might hold me back from switching since my backpack could finally lose some weight.

Anyone out there who has read/heard something that hints into this direction? I see no reason why they should spare out this lens since all their competitors have a lighter ultra wide angle zoom within their product line.

Carrying a K-1 and an attached 70-200mm 2.8 or also the Pentax 15-30mm 2.8 via a PeakDesing camera strap isn't that much fun.

07-09-2018, 03:10 PM   #2
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I don't have any info on further additions to Pentax's smaller, slower lenses catalogue. I will, however, say that we can almost-certainly expect any release schedule to be leisurely and less prolific compared to bigger manufacturers.

I understand why you find a full-frame DSLR and f/2.8 zooms to be tiring. Whilst I don't own a K-1, I do have a similar size / weight full-frame setup and fast zoom lenses in Sony A-mount. They're worth the trouble, but I find them tiring for a full day of shooting, or for casual use. My solution there is to stick with lighter primes where necessary, and for ultra-wide angle, a variable aperture film-era zoom. I don't know if such a zoom is available for K-mount, or if you'd be prepared to use older glass. Otherwise, wider angle primes are certainly an option, but might not offer the flexibility you want.

A number of folks here are quite anti-Sony, but I like their equipment. I don't see it as competing with Pentax - it's something different, and if you can afford the cameras and lenses (especially the lenses), it might be a practical move for you. If you go with the A7 MkIII, you'll lose some resolution compared to the K-1, of course, but that may not be a problem for you. It's all down to priorities. If you've used a Sony mirrorless camera with EVF before, you should be fine with it. If not, be sure to try one out - not just in the shop, but for a few hours if possible. Some people really don't get along with the EVF, although personally I like the one in my A7 MkII...
07-09-2018, 03:22 PM   #3
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I don't have an insight update on the lenses in question, but do you consider prime? Or step down to APSC + DA limited for travel, and keep FF gears for serious stuff.

Size and weight is a big factor for me too. If i moved up to FF i would go for mirrorless. But I want to wait for more company to enter the FF mirrorless race first.

Last edited by pakinjapan; 07-09-2018 at 04:23 PM.
07-09-2018, 03:24 PM - 2 Likes   #4
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I own both the a7III and a K1. They each have strengths absent from the other. For landscape, astro, high resolution images for large prints, the feature set of the K1 is superior. The a7III offers IQ that equals or rivals any other 24 meg sensored body available. It also delivers superb video as well as outstanding tracking AF for stills and video. It doesn't offer any of the astro capabilities of the K1, not even interval shooting or time lapse without an external intervalometer. For video and more casual shooting the a7III has essentially replaced my GH4.

I won't try to shame anyone regarding size and weight of travel kits, and suggest a gym membership. It's becoming more and more difficult to travel with a large assortment of lenses and a couple of bodies, now that TSA in the US is requiring camera gear to be inspected just as laptops and other electronic devices. A real PITA.


Last edited by CDW; 07-10-2018 at 02:42 PM.
07-09-2018, 03:27 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I dont think Ricoh is planning to anytime soon. If they are planning to, good chance it's on the bottom of their list of lenses to work on.

One thing I ask is are you willing to pay that "$ony Money" to switch systems?
The closest equivalent lenses to yours (I'm leaning more on the cheapish side), for Sony's 16-35 f4, 24-105 f4, & 70-200 f4, you end up up paying $4,144 + $2,000 for the body, so over 6 grand in total.

---------- Post added 07-09-18 at 03:34 PM ----------

Dont get me wrong I'm not anti-xyz brand, in this case Sony (their system is good, just not for me), my point is when somebody's planning to switch systems most people don't think about the money side of switching, like dealing with the hassle of selling their current gear in order to fund getting the new gear.
07-09-2018, 03:38 PM   #6
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There is a large gap between the fast, heavy zooms, and the slow, more lightly built lenses. It isn't just Pentax. Look to see how few lenses there of any make of 70-200 f/4 or similar spec. Come to think of it, a 50-135mm f/4 zoom for the APSC cameras would be pretty compact, and not too heavy.

I just can't bring myself to buy a zoom that is f/5.6 or 6.3 at the long end; all those years of manual focus film SLRs, I suppose. The only option is the f/2.8 constant aperture zooms. I would seldom use maximum aperture, but would have to lug round all the glass for it
anyway.
07-09-2018, 03:54 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by CDW Quote
I won't try to shame anyone regarding size and weight of travel kits, and suggest a gym membership. It's becoming more and more difficult to travel with a large assortment of lenses and a couple of bodies, now that TSA in the US is requiring camera gear to be inspected just as laptops and other electronic devices. A real PITA.
Another consideration regarding size and weight of kit - and one I appreciate only too well - is when physical impairment gets in the way. Since I started suffering from rheumatoid arthritis back in 2014 at the age of 45, I increasingly find that a heavy, full-frame, fast zoom lens setup simply isn't viable for long periods of time. Suggesting a gym membership would be insulting to me, so I'm glad you avoided that
07-09-2018, 04:43 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by zeitlos Quote
Just bought a 15-30mm Pentax to cover the ultra wide angle range my 28-105mm can't cover. I'm convinced that this is an excellent lens, however, for traveling and constantly carrying it together with the Tamron 70-200mm 2.8 all day long becomes more and more a burden for me.
They are rare, but a ZK 18/3.5 MF prime is a lighter way to cover the wide end.
If you're willing to give up some IQ, an M 20/4 is a smaller option
(as would be the Voigtlaender Color-Skopar 20/3.5, which I've never tried).

07-09-2018, 04:49 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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There is nothing like a 15-30 f4 on the lens roadmap. There's always a small chance of a surprise release, but it's much more likely that such a lens is a minimum of 3 years away, if ever.

Consider a Tamron 10-24. It covers the full K-1 sensor in the 15-24 range. It's a much lighter lens than the Pentax 15-30.
07-09-2018, 04:51 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by zeitlos Quote
Anyone out there who has read/heard something that hints into this direction?
The only hints anyone has are what is on the lens roadmap. I really would have liked a 15-30 f/4 or 20-35 f/4 or even a new 15 f/4 but bought the DFA 15-30 f/2.8 instead because I did not want to wait. Pentax may eventually provide such lenses but I would guess delivery would be 2024 or later (if ever).

There is an "Ultra-wide angle single focus" lens on the roadmap for 2019 or later but what that actually turns out to be is anyone's guess. I'm hoping for a FF equivalent of the DA 15mm Limited but that is just wishful thinking on my part.
07-09-2018, 04:52 PM - 1 Like   #11
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not a slower solution, but try what i've incorporated in my last vacation trip.
i took the 24-70 2.8, the 100mm macro, the 77mm, and 70-300 tamron.
the LEAST used lens was the 24-70. out of the 900 shots i took, i think i only used the 24-70 once.

what i wanted to experiment more with was if i can limit using the 24-70 as much as possible. the answer is 'YES'. just stitch your images together.
as in, rather than taking 1 shot at 24mm, i took 3 or 4 shots (sometimes 30 shots if i'm really pushing myself) to cover the same image.

what i'm trying to say is, take the 28-105, and shoot panoramic shots. ditch the 15-30. and if you are not doing night photography or milkyway, then you can easily get away with it too.

so my next trip, i'll be taking the following:
28-105, 77, 100. thats it. small. light. compact. able to shoot low light. can be used for landscape and portraits, and everything in between. doesn't have reach, but i dont care for animals much (for photography at least)
07-09-2018, 04:57 PM   #12
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re. general travel, my Pentax K-1 remains my main kit near home and on road trips.

I added a small micro43 kit for airline travel and strenuous hikes. Body (Panasonic GX85) and 2 small lenses covers 24-300mm equivalent for $600 total. Dynamic range and noise lags behind the K-1, as expected, but is a good alternative when space or weight is limited.
07-09-2018, 05:32 PM   #13
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I don't have any insights into future offerings as I don't consider the projections for new lenses to be very reliable. However, I have grappled with your dilemma myself. I think you've highlighted the most difficult challenge for Pentax shooters. My standard travel kit for landscapes was the 24-70, 15-30 and 60-250. I added the 28-105 which gives me a pretty good FL range with just one, relatively small lens and the IQ is impressive. I have also bought an FA 20 and a Samyang 14 which give me some options for UWA when I don't want the weight of the 15-30. If I pick one of these two and the 28-105 I can travel very light / small. I also have a very light tripod and I always travel with a photo backpack when I take multiple lenses on a trip. But ultimately my goal is to get shots that are beautiful when printed at least as large as 20 x 30 inches. With this in mind, if I expect great shot opportunities I'm taking my original set of three lenses in spite of the weight to optimize the resulting shots. Good luck!
07-09-2018, 06:06 PM   #14
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Obviously, the versatility of the F 2.8 15-30 is a tool that can prove itself valuable in many situations and provide a range that covers a good deal of wide landscape. If you opted for an aps-c setup, you could use the 16-85, but if you still wanted the F 2.8 and the super wideness of the 15-30 you would most likely want to just stay with it and your full frame system.

I have a Pentax 70-200 that has the F 2.8 aperture option. It weighs near what my Sigma 150-500 does. After shooting with it on my K-1 II, I know I would never switch to any other system. It is built very well and having the opportunity to use it is why I love it.

If you want the performance of the 15-30, you may just want to keep it. If you have other interests that seem more viable or comfortable for you, you are also free to approach those.

Good luck!
07-09-2018, 06:21 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Buy yourself a Pentax KP for travel purposes. Keep the K-1 for when Full Frame is necessary. ( I'm not really sure it is but that is an argument for another time). I don't think it is the lens that is the problem but the format you are using.
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