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03-28-2019, 12:54 PM - 1 Like   #16
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Your assessment of travel lenses is entirely correct, IMO. My travel kit is the DA16-85 and the DA55-300PLM, with the KP, (and previously the K-3 and DA55-300 WR with the DA16-85). I find this kit to be my practically perfect travel kit, through Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Galapagos, and more local trips. It fits quite well in my ancient, and small, Lowe-Pro Mini-Magnum bag. Further long distance trips are coming up, and I have no plans to change this kit.

My trips do not include long hiking in the mountains (used to do great backpacking trips, but in younger days, when I carried 35 film cameras and 3 lenses), but I carry this kit all day, each and every day of the trips, while walking, except for being in various vehicles (planes, trains, buses, and automobiles). I find image quality, quick framing versatility, light weight, and WR to be very important for travel. I feel that this kit does not require any real compromises in my images.

YMMV.

03-28-2019, 02:40 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Qman Quote
The DA 55-300 gets weaker IQ and slower aperture the longer you go. Lately I've not traveled with it. Instead I bring the 16-85, a longer and faster prime like a 135mm or a 200mm, and the DA14. I get fantastic image quality out of the 14mm, The extra 2mm of width, and its close-up abilities, make it genuinely useful. I'm going on a trip in June and I'm debating whether to take my A*300mm. It's compact but heavy. I won't use it often, but there will be a shot that I'll miss if I don't have it. But since it's heavy I likely wouldn't bring it all the time and I'll miss the shot anyway!
What 200mm do you have? If you have a sufficiently fast one - combine it with a TC and you have the best of both worlds.
03-28-2019, 04:15 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Qman Quote
The DA 55-300 gets weaker IQ and slower aperture the longer you go. Lately I've not traveled with it. Instead I bring the 16-85, a longer and faster prime like a 135mm or a 200mm, and the DA14. I get fantastic image quality out of the 14mm, The extra 2mm of width, and its close-up abilities, make it genuinely useful. I'm going on a trip in June and I'm debating whether to take my A*300mm. It's compact but heavy. I won't use it often, but there will be a shot that I'll miss if I don't have it. But since it's heavy I likely wouldn't bring it all the time and I'll miss the shot anyway!
Every lens of this type gets weaker as you go longer, with the possible exception of the DA* 60-250. You use smaller and smaller portion of the front element as the lens gets longer. But that doesn't mean it's unsatisfactory.

Here's a link if you want to check out how sharp it can be.
Search: DA 55-300 PLM | Flickr

The more likely scenario is someone thinks because the lens is 55-300mm you can shoot the same way at 300mm you do at 55. 300 mm does require some skills and often a tripod. I would suggest the 55-300 is as sharp without the TC as the DA* 60-250 is with it. But it goes to 300 without a TC, so how relevant that is is a question mark.

The biggest advantage to the DA 55-300 is, it's there in theban. There's no real reason to leave it home.

I use my heavier lens when at home or near the car. Walking around... softness? What softness?
Full reach, cropped to 3840 so 1/3 has been cropped away, still razor sharp on a 55 inch TC or 4k monitor. No sense even thinking about a lens that wasn't there because it was too heavy to carry 5 km and most of my walks are at least that much. You don't define a lens by the worst image any photographer takes with it. You define it by the best you can get with it. That someone didn't achieve that is not on the lens.


Last edited by normhead; 03-28-2019 at 04:24 PM.
03-28-2019, 04:22 PM   #19
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I have both the 16-85 and the 18-135 for my K-5. If Iím driving somewhere I will take my 16-85. If I am flying or may be walking around a lot, I go with the 18-135 to reduce the bulk and weight some. The 16-85 is not too much biggeróboth are easy to carry. The 16-85 has slightly better image quality IMO.

I find that I donít typically use my 55-300 on travel but I do pack it if I am driving somewhere. My other two lens I like for travel are my DA 10-17 and my DA 21. The DA 21 is great for landscapes and panoramas.

The DA 21 is also s nice compact lens if you want to travel really light. For instance I might throw on my 21 mm when I head out for dinner but might want to catch a sunset or do street photography on the way to dinner or coming back.

03-28-2019, 04:39 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
What 200mm do you have? If you have a sufficiently fast one - combine it with a TC and you have the best of both worlds.
I was suggesting the 200mm more for the OP. Mine is a Tak 200mm 3.5, which is bigger and heavier than my 300mm! If I had a more compact 200mm then the TC would be a great idea. But, looking at what is available, all the decent 200's are about the same size and weight as my 300mm. I'll be bringing my F 135mm 2.8, and it would be nice to have something longer too.

Last edited by Qman; 03-28-2019 at 05:34 PM.
03-28-2019, 04:53 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Every lens of this type gets weaker as you go longer, with the possible exception of the DA* 60-250. You use smaller and smaller portion of the front element as the lens gets longer. But that doesn't mean it's unsatisfactory.

Here's a link if you want to check out how sharp it can be.
Search: DA 55-300 PLM | Flickr

The more likely scenario is someone thinks because the lens is 55-300mm you can shoot the same way at 300mm you do at 55. 300 mm does require some skills and often a tripod. I would suggest the 55-300 is as sharp without the TC as the DA* 60-250 is with it. But it goes to 300 without a TC, so how relevant that is is a question mark.

The biggest advantage to the DA 55-300 is, it's there in theban. There's no real reason to leave it home.
In my past testing the DA* 60-250 easily outperformed the DA 55-300 but it was subtle.
03-28-2019, 04:54 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaphil Quote
Hi everyone,

I am looking for 1-2 new lenses for my K-3ii. I had an 18-135mm, but it's broken. Now I am looking 1 or 2 new lenses for travel and landscape photography.
I am thinking about Pentax HD DA 16-85mm f3.5-5.6 ED DC WR and Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4,5-6,3 ED PLM WR. The 16-85 for landscapes, and the 55-300 for wildlife and also landscape.
I've read many threads and thought about getting 1-2 limited primes, but I think the option with the two zoom lenses is more versatile.
What do you guys think?

Next destination will be Azores ;-)
I hike a lot and love to shoot photos in all weather conditions.

Thanks

Philipp
You already made a great choice with the 16-85 and the 55-300 PLM. I take them everywhere with my K-3. They make a compact very versatile kit with the K-3 and there is always room for a fast prime when you need it. For me that would be either the DA 40 Limited or FA 50 f1.7 Another great prime to supplement the two zooms would be the DA 15 Limited

Last edited by jddwoods; 03-28-2019 at 05:01 PM.
03-28-2019, 08:37 PM - 9 Likes   #23
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DA 12-24. Used will work just fine.





03-29-2019, 01:40 AM   #24
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Thank you all for your answers and suggestions :-) I got a great offer for the 16-85 and 55-300. So I will test this combination. Maybe I will add a prime lens later. It's great to see that so many helpful people are here. Thanks again :-)
03-30-2019, 01:01 AM   #25
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The 16-85 and a 55-300 (PLM or not) is a great combination for travel. You can't really go wrong, unless you need something fast for evenings or dark interiors.

My APS-C travel kit would also include some DA Limited primes, since they are so small, but that's just my preference.
03-30-2019, 01:22 AM   #26
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Great choice, can't go wrong with the 16-85 and 55-300 combo. Just a suggestion though, also look at the 18-50 WR as an option to supplement that 55-300.
1. Same filter size
2. Much smaller than 16-85.
3. Much cheaper.

Add the 15 limited to cover the wide angle or the 50 1.8 to cover low light based on your needs.
04-01-2019, 08:00 AM - 5 Likes   #27
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Light travel kit

Hello ! In the old days (2014), I traveled from Eastern Canada to California with a Pentax K5, a DA 16-45 mm f/4 and a DA 55-300 mm f/4-5.8. This kit was perfect for the resolution level of the K5. When I got a Pentax K3, this combo proved somewhat inadequate, particularly the old DA 55-300 mm. I did research and finally purchased a DA 12-24 mm f/4 for wide-angle scenery, an FA 35 mm f/2 as a fast standard lens of magnificent quality and a DA* 60-250 mm f/4 for longer uses. I take essentially landscape pictures and this kit provides the best possible images (here are a few pictures from 2018).



Last edited by RICHARD L.; 04-01-2019 at 08:06 AM.
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