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08-03-2009, 04:48 PM   #1
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A potential K-7 user

Hi All,

Nice to meet you guys! I have searched and read many articles here, found it is a so friendly site and finally like to join. Here is my little history of using (Pentax) DSLRs:

In July 2007 I got my first DSLR, Pentax *ist DL w/ 18-55, 50-200 kit and 50/1.4 prime. I enjoyed the DL and 50 prime so much until my son was born in March 2009. They help me preciously witnessed and recoded the laboring process. But after my son grows a little bigger I found the DL is not capable to focus when he is moving or in low light. So I decided to upgrade my camera. I wondered between K20D and Nikon D90 and finally chose the D90 for its fast AF tracking.

So that I sold all my Pentax gears including the F remote. Now after a month use of D90 w/ 18-105 and 50/1.4, I found it is hard or impossible to match the Pentax colors so I thought about jumping back. So I ordered a K-7 with another 50/1.4 from Amazon and am waiting to test it against the D90 to see if there is something not as good. Hopefully I will keep the K-7 and sell again my D90 gears. I know I gonna lose some benefit to Ebay but I just want the Pentax magic color and fast & reliable AF on the K-7. I wish I won't be disappointed again. Pls comment on my decision.

Because all my zoom lens were sold, I am now considering getting a new walkaround lens a level higher than the kit. The budget is $300-500. I have looked into the DA 16-45, Tamron 17-50, Sigma 18-50, DA 18-250, Tamron 18-200, etc and really can't make up my mind. So any suggestions from you are highly appreciated and welcome! BTW, on ebay I found several old FA lens, eg. 28-90 and 28-200, some FAs also appear on Amazon. Could you pls comment if they would be as good as the DAs for K-7 in terms of IQ and colors? Should I go with a DA or FA zoom? Many thanks!

Cheers,
Tony

08-03-2009, 05:00 PM   #2
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The best lens to use is the one you can afford, so if the FA lenses are falling into your budget, then why not. But you need to do some research before bidding, since some are not "super performer". They would likely do the job, but if you pay too much for what they are worth, then it's not such a wise investment.

As for the K-7 focusing ability, it is an improvement over other Pentax DSLR, but I would not call it class leader. It is good, just not great. But my K20D's AF was doing the job for me, so the K-7 does it even better.
08-03-2009, 05:03 PM   #3
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I have no idea if it is any good but if I were you I would take a close look at the Pentax 17-70 F4. If you find yourself missing the Pentax magic I would stay away from the non-pentax lenses you have listed and i would stay away from super-zooms all together.

I'd get either
Tamron 17-50
Pentax 16-45
Pentax 17-70

Good luck
08-03-2009, 05:11 PM   #4
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Thanks flyer,

It will be fine if K-7 AF is on the same level with D90. That's my biggest concern before deciding to order one to have a head to head test. Do you think that'll be the case?

08-03-2009, 05:28 PM   #5
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Thanks flyer and kunik for your quick response on the lens.

I am leaning toward the 16-45 now. As for the 17-70, I read some negative feedbacks on Amazon but non for 16-45. Quite debates were on the Tammy 17-50 vs DA 16-45. They have similar price at $350+. So kunik prefers the Tammy?

On ebay and Amazon I found the following old FAs, pls comment:

Pentax SMCP-FA 28-105mm f/3.2-4.5 AL [IF] $140 used
Pentax SMC-FA 28-90mm f/3.5-5.6 $100 new
SMC PENTAX FA 28-80MM 1:3.5-5.6 ZOOM LENS $70 used
Pentax SMC-FA 28-200mm f/3.8-5.6 IF AL $120 used

Thanks,
Tony
08-03-2009, 05:55 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by fulcrumx29 Quote
Thanks flyer and kunik for your quick response on the lens.

I am leaning toward the 16-45 now. As for the 17-70, I read some negative feedbacks on Amazon but non for 16-45. Quite debates were on the Tammy 17-50 vs DA 16-45. They have similar price at $350+. So kunik prefers the Tammy?

On ebay and Amazon I found the following old FAs, pls comment:

Pentax SMCP-FA 28-105mm f/3.2-4.5 AL [IF] $140 used
Pentax SMC-FA 28-90mm f/3.5-5.6 $100 new
SMC PENTAX FA 28-80MM 1:3.5-5.6 ZOOM LENS $70 used
Pentax SMC-FA 28-200mm f/3.8-5.6 IF AL $120 used

Thanks,
Tony
I much prefer F2.8 zooms over anything else and the Tammy I have (28-75) is quite good so I assume the 17-50 is also good? In terms of DOF and available light there is a big difference between F4 and F2.8.
08-03-2009, 07:10 PM   #7
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Thanks!

So is the Tammy's color as good as smc? I really love the green rendering of Pentax. You know I live in Hawaii.

Tony
08-03-2009, 07:10 PM   #8
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The only problem with zooms that start at 28mm is that they start at 28mm. That is decently wide on film, but not very wide at all on APS-C (it's about 40 mm on film equivalent). I guess I would go for the 16-45 and get an external flash if you feel like you need better low light capability (although you'll have the FA 50, so that should work pretty well).

08-03-2009, 08:43 PM   #9
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I'd go for a used 16-45mm. Currently, the prices are too high for a f/4 zoom to my tastes. in fact, the 16-45mm use to be $250 until the price was brought up to what I believe is now $350. I'd suggest getting the 17-50mm f/2.8 or get a cheap, used 16-45mm and upgrade later to a 16-50mmf/2.8. From what I have seen, the 16-45mm looks like a fantastic lens.
08-03-2009, 08:49 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by fulcrumx29 Quote
...On ebay and Amazon I found the following old FAs, pls comment:

Pentax SMCP-FA 28-105mm f/3.2-4.5 AL [IF] $140 used
Pentax SMC-FA 28-90mm f/3.5-5.6 $100 new
SMC PENTAX FA 28-80MM 1:3.5-5.6 ZOOM LENS $70 used
Pentax SMC-FA 28-200mm f/3.8-5.6 IF AL $120 used

Thanks,
Tony
Of these, the only one I would consider is the FA 28-105. The rest are slow kit/consumer zooms - slow as in maximum aperture, not AF. The faster your lens is and the better its contrast wide open, the faster your AF will be.

The K-7 can eliminate CA from DA lenses, which is a point in the DA 16-45's favor. The DA 16-45 also has great contrast and is good at the wide end. It was a popular choice before the DA 16-50/2.8 came out, but then again it was almost the only choice. You can probably find used ones at a better price than new. I don't know how it compares to the Tamron.
08-04-2009, 12:40 AM   #11
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Tamron SP lenses from my experience has a trademark cold tone to the pictures. This isn't to say the colors are not nice, but it's quite different from Pentax. It's more neutral. If you want to keep the Pentax colors on a budget I'd say go with 16-45 + 50-200, then upgrade to 55-300 later.
08-04-2009, 12:47 AM   #12
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Thanks guys!

I'd rather go with 16-45 (used or new) and 55-300 plus my 50/1.4 prime. Does it sound like a good all-around kit for you?

Cheers,
Tony
08-04-2009, 02:11 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by fulcrumx29 Quote
Thanks flyer,

It will be fine if K-7 AF is on the same level with D90. That's my biggest concern before deciding to order one to have a head to head test. Do you think that'll be the case?
Tony,

I'd say the K-7 is fairly similar to the D90 in AF performance. My only issue with it is that the two outermost (non-cross type) AF points have a hard time locking on low contrast and/or low light subjects, apart from that I think it performs very well.

This is my first Pentax, so I can't compare to older K models, but I come from Nikon (and Olympus) and I'd say the K-7 stands up quite well in comparison.

Thomas
08-04-2009, 02:48 AM   #14
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Wow! Great to know that! Can't wait for my K-7 in just 2 days for UPS!

My other concern is that D90's 3D tracking would be something I miss and does K-7 has a viewfinder indication of AF point?

Thanks,
Tony
08-04-2009, 04:30 AM   #15
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Also consider the Sigma 17-70mm!
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