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01-13-2010, 08:07 PM   #1
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Buying a K-7 Soon...Need starting lenses.

OK So I will be buying a K-7 very soon. Hopefully before the end of this week.

I want to get some good lenses to start off. I am switching from a Nikon D40, and in Nikon I had a 35 1.8, 18-55 and 55-200. The 18-55 and 35 were used 90% of the time. Mostly I used the 35 (50% of the time). I will be giving away the D40 and the 18-55 (and possibly the 55-200, it's so worthless on the used market). I will probably sell the 35 because my mom has no need for it.

My budget is a pretty strict $2000 for the body and lenses. I can go a smidge over if absolutely necessary. The battery grip and other accessories will come later.

Right out of the gate, I know I need the 50 1.4. The 35 1.8 is on my D40 50% of the time.

Outside of that, any suggestions on a wide to normal or telephoto zoom for the price I'm looking for? I want to stay away from variable aperture zooms if possible (unless there is a $200 variable aperture zoom that is great). I want to start my Pentax experience on the right foot. I am not opposed to third-party lenses if the quality is there and the price is right, however.

Please help me. I know very little about Pentax lenses (especially third party options). Thanks!

01-13-2010, 09:30 PM   #2
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for the zoom lenses, I would suggest the Pentax 16-45/f4 and the Pentax 55-300 variable aperture. don't underestimate the 55-300 for having a variable aperture, it's a pretty darn good lens. it's the best among the budget lenses that are being offered. both those lenses would cost you a total of $600-$750. if you want and need the extra 2 stops advantage, you could go for the Tamron 70-200/2.8 which costs around 650-750 and could push your budget for the 2 lenses around 1,000-1,000. great performer but big, long and heavy. also you'll be missing out the 300mm range.
01-13-2010, 09:55 PM   #3
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I don't work at long ranges much these days. I have a 55-200 for my D40 but never use it. Now, I will probably get a long zoom so I will have that range covered, and variable aperture there isn't a huge deal since it won't see a lot of use (will probably buy used if I can). Thanks for the suggestion on the 55-300, I wasn't aware of it.

I am often in lower light, and will probably be doing some portaits, etc in the near future where I will need 2.8 for DOF/light. I am leaning toward the 16-50 2.8 and the 50 1.4. Any different thoughts? My main contention is 50mm isn't a great portrait focal length, but it's not bad. And I'm not doing many portraits now, when I do I can always pick up a lens for that. The 50-135 comes to mind (perfect portrait/tele range).

I've been saving up for this camera for a while now and I don't want to have to re-purchase stuff later on. That's my biggest thing. I bought the D40 and the kit lenses thinking I would never need to upgrade. About a year later I started to see needs that were not met with the D40, and now the camera is almost annoying to me. I outgrew it pretty quickly.

Memory card suggestions? I've been using cheap as nails Lexar/SanDisk/PNY cards with my D40 with no issues other than slow downloads...but the K7 is much faster and has much larger files. Does anyone see a need in upgrading to faster cards? I have a few 2GB, 1GB, and one 8GB card.
01-13-2010, 10:04 PM   #4
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I second the recommendation of the DA 55-300mm. It's a terrific lens at all focal lengths, even if it is variable aperture. You aren't going to get a constant aperture tele zoom for less than twice the price, and it still won't have nearly the range. of the 55-300 unless you spend four times as much.

For the wide-normal (really more of a wide-to-short tele), I'd recommend the DA 17-70mm f/4. It's got more range than the 16-45, the optics are excellent, and the SDM motor is quiet and fast. It's a bit more expensive than the 16-45, but still reasonably priced. (under $500)

You could the above lenses combined for $830 from Amazon right now. Add their price for a K-7 body ($1080) and you could get the whole kit for $1910. I know, that doesn't include the FA 50/1.4. That's going to put you a couple hundred over your budget. But for three great lenses and a fantastic body in the K-7, that package is really a steal.

01-13-2010, 10:48 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions, folks. I am currently torn between the 17-70 f/4 and the 16-50 f/2.8.

Whichever one of those I choose and the 50 1.4 will make my starting kit. I will add a longer zoom, vertical grip, and etc in the future as money allows. Would buying the 50 used make sense? It's been out for a long time, there have to be used ones floating around for a good price?
01-13-2010, 10:52 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by brofkand Quote
I am often in lower light, and will probably be doing some portaits, etc in the near future where I will need 2.8 for DOF/light. I am leaning toward the 16-50 2.8 and the 50 1.4. Any different thoughts? My main contention is 50mm isn't a great portrait focal length, but it's not bad. And I'm not doing many portraits now, when I do I can always pick up a lens for that. The 50-135 comes to mind (perfect portrait/tele range).
The FA 50 is just about as good as you'll get for a fast portrait lens - and is 2 stops faster than the 16-50 and 50-135, although both of these lenses would be fine complements to have.
QuoteQuote:
I've been saving up for this camera for a while now and I don't want to have to re-purchase stuff later on. That's my biggest thing. I bought the D40 and the kit lenses thinking I would never need to upgrade. About a year later I started to see needs that were not met with the D40, and now the camera is almost annoying to me. I outgrew it pretty quickly.
Then I would just go with DA* and/or DA limited lenses from the outset, as long as you're happy with Pentax's SDM mechanism.
QuoteQuote:
Memory card suggestions? I've been using cheap as nails Lexar/SanDisk/PNY cards with my D40 with no issues other than slow downloads...but the K7 is much faster and has much larger files. Does anyone see a need in upgrading to faster cards? I have a few 2GB, 1GB, and one 8GB card.
Definitely buy new faster and more reliable cards. SanDisk Extreme III is the way to go, or its equivalent speed in another reputable brand.
01-13-2010, 10:54 PM   #7
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I dunno if an f2.8 would be enough for you, but if you don't mind that speed, the DA40 would be the perfect fit. otherwise the FA35/2 would be ideal for high/low key portraits.
01-13-2010, 11:03 PM   #8
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I'm not that quite excited about suggesting to you the 16-50 as I'm trying to avoid a future disappointment of a new transferee. actually I had developed a phobia for that lens.
although I would suggest a 3rd party lens instead like the Tamron 17-50/2.8.

01-14-2010, 01:50 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
although I would suggest a 3rd party lens instead like the Tamron 17-50/2.8.
That's a good one - I second that suggestion.

The FA50/1.4 is also a great lens. With these two, I think your budget is spent and it is spent pretty wisely.
01-14-2010, 02:51 AM   #10
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You may consider to explain more what you intend to use the camera and lense(s) for. If you need a single walk-around lens, the Pentax 18-250mm and Tamron 18-250mm are an obvious choice. There have been plenty of recent threads on both. They are excellent lenses with good quality of build (see review of Pentax 18-250mm in Welcome to Photozone!), despite some distortion at 18mm. Nothing major and it can be corrected by the on-board lens correction in the Camera and in Pentax Digital Camera Utility.

I often use my K-7 camera outdoor in situations when I have no time to change lenses, or the environment is too dirty to take any chance in changing lenses. The 18-250mm is the perfect solution then. For my own use, the main disadvantage of the 18-250mm is it poor performances in low-lights (early sunrise or late sunset) and I have a Nokton 58mm f1.4 for these moments.

Hope that the comment will be useful.

Last edited by hcc; 01-14-2010 at 02:52 AM. Reason: Typos
01-14-2010, 03:42 AM   #11
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I have the following setup and I am pretty happy with it.

1-DA 16-45mm, it's for sake of the APS-C crop factor. A must, IMO IQwise not much different than 16-50mm other than extra 1.5 stops, lighter, cheaper. This is my only DA investment, because I am a future FF believer. (new $350)

2-FA 35-80 mm very good lens (used $40)

3-FA 100-300mm this is the incredible star lens among the herd, strongly recommended, Ill post samples if you want to.. (used $100)

4-For the sake of the 1:2 macro Tamron 70-300 LD-Di (new $250), not needed much.

Total of $740, without not so necessary Tamron it's $490, god bless Pentax)jumpurp

Also, I've just tried my wife's Pentax DA 18-250mm, only yesterday, just arrived, it's a mediocre lens, IQwise I can't recommend to anyone except who insists on a wide range walk around lens, or to someone like lens changing hater & having a hard time in transition from ZLR, just like my master.

Last edited by cbaytan; 01-14-2010 at 03:58 AM. Reason: add info
01-14-2010, 03:52 AM   #12
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Easy.

FA35/2
FA50/1.4
Tamron 17-50/2.8.

Since you say you don't have much use for a tele or tele-zoom, why is everyone recommending the 55-300? My suggestions are based on what you say you use the most now with your current body, and the Tamron is an excellent kit lens replacement, and in my opinion a damn fine lens.

Jason
01-14-2010, 04:34 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jasvox Quote
Easy.
FA35/2
FA50/1.4
Tamron 17-50/2.8.
This is a good set, but I would suggest Da 17-70/4 istead of Tamron. Longer range instead of one stop speed advantage. This set has two fast primes for the speed.

If there is no much use for tele then suggest some old used one. SMC F 70-210 is very good for example.
01-14-2010, 05:19 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jyrkira Quote
This is a good set, but I would suggest Da 17-70/4 istead of Tamron. Longer range instead of one stop speed advantage. This set has two fast primes for the speed.

If there is no much use for tele then suggest some old used one. SMC F 70-210 is very good for example.
It's opinion really, but I'd take speed over 20mm at that focal length any day. The IQ of the Tamron is unbeatable too...not to mention smaller, lighter, cheaper, etc.

Jason
01-14-2010, 05:46 AM   #15
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I have the DA* 16-50 and really like it. The only concern at this point is the SDM. I wish I knew what to say with regard to it -- I had the motor replaced in my lens and it seems fine, but there are an awful lot of reports of in lens motor failures.

That said, I would definitely give up a little length in order to be able to shoot at f2.8. It comes in really handy in lower light situations, where as you can always crop a little if you want to get from 50 to 70.
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