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08-24-2009, 09:51 AM   #1
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What is the best way to try lens?

Hi!

I wonder what is the best way to try lens before I will buy it? I could not find any camera shops in Houston which trade Pentax lens. Some lens pretty expansive and I am afraid to buy them just by pictures. Is there any way to hold it in hand and make couple of shots?

Or standard routine is to believe manufacturer, buy lens and send back in case of big problem?

Nik

08-24-2009, 10:35 AM   #2
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Here's a link to one lens rental shop, This may be a option for you.
CameraLensRentals.com - Camera Lens Rental for Canon, Nikon, and PENTAX Cameras

Also, check your local camera clubs to see if they have any "Pentaxian" members.

Hope this helps
08-24-2009, 10:44 AM   #3
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It also helps if you read a lot of reviews - both professional and user. It can drive you crazy though. Personally, I find this site

Camera lens tests, user reviews, camera accessory reviews - SLRgear.com!

has about the most complete reviews and reasonably fair comments. I've bought a number of lenses based on their reviews, not been let down, and at times pleasently surprized.

While I like the fact that my local store does stock Pentax lenses, I've found that trying them in the store is just not enough. I got a lot more out of a recent meet up with local Pentax users. We got to really play with other gear and do some real shooting. This was particularly helpful with some of the older M and A lenses that I've never seen (and would be unlikely to see in my local store).
08-24-2009, 12:21 PM   #4
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Thank you guys,

it is a good idea to find Pentaxians in local clubs. I'll try.

SLRgear.com great site. I like Welcome to Photozone! and dpreview.com as well.
But it is only one part. I like to get lens in hand too.

08-24-2009, 03:45 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pigeon Quote
But it is only one part. I like to get lens in hand too.
I think you have your answer then from Shadowulf. Rent it. Not for a used $50 kick around lens of course. I have a BIGMA arriving in 2 days for a week of frolicking so I can decide which $1,200 lens to spend my kids inheritence on. Having rented from them before I can say its been 5 stars as far as the actual lens, packing, shipping and prep to return. Maybe 2 stars as far as prompt tech support or any questions not related to renting.
08-24-2009, 07:36 PM   #6
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I think part of the issue is how to try a sample of a lens before buying, due to sample-to-sample variation. I think all you can do is buy from an internet retailer that has a reputation for accepting multiple returns in your pursuit of getting a good copy, while charging minimal or no fees for exchanges. And being the buying process long before you actually need to have the lens.

Paul
08-24-2009, 08:04 PM   #7
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Reviews are great as far as they go. But there's nothing quite like actually handling a lens before you make a decision (or handling one that is of a similar weight and size). Most of the time I have trouble judging ergonomics from a review. For instance, many people consider the DA*16-50 a heavy lens. Compared to either the DA*200 or DA*300, it's pretty light. I just wish there were more places to actually handle the Pentax equipment, like if they were to have reps periodically travel around like they've done with the K-7 tour (which got me to spend far more money on lenses than I should have).
08-25-2009, 12:49 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtngal Quote
Reviews are great as far as they go. But there's nothing quite like actually handling a lens before you make a decision (or handling one that is of a similar weight and size). Most of the time I have trouble judging ergonomics from a review. For instance, many people consider the DA*16-50 a heavy lens. Compared to either the DA*200 or DA*300, it's pretty light.
True, but comparing a standard zoom to a long telephoto lens, it *should* be light. It's heavy compared to other standard zooms.

QuoteQuote:
I just wish there were more places to actually handle the Pentax equipment, like if they were to have reps periodically travel around like they've done with the K-7 tour (which got me to spend far more money on lenses than I should have).
That road tour was fun indeed. The K-7 demo I could have taken or left, but the opportunity to play with all the current lenses - that was worthwhile in itself!

Actually, I was struck by a similar thought as you - the 16-50, while larger and heavier than slower lenses of similar range, and also probably most f/2.8 standard zooms as well, felt quite a bit better to me than the 50-135.

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