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02-23-2010, 02:35 PM   #1
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Choices - Lens or Body

Hello,

I am new to the forum, I think I signed up the last week or so.

A little bit about me which may help you folks help me come to a decision.

I have been around for a wee bit, Got my first SLR in 1962 from a pawn shop, no light meter, no battery, just a straight up, bare bones Petriflex. I learned shutter speeds and apertures and how they related off of the Kodak FX and PX film inserts (Yeh, I know, some of you are asking "What's FX & PX" & I hope no ones asking what film is).

I am an advanced amateur 'cause I don't shoot full time although I have shot a load of Weddings, Portraits, and Pets.

I have been out of Photography for about 10 years when I decided to get back in about 6 years ago. I want to go back part time again. Why I left had nothing to do with photography, just too many things going in the 90's that something had to go. Sadly it was photography.

My dilemma: In 2007 I bought the K10D with the 18-55 kit lens and the 50-200, 540 flash, and hand grip. I had some good stuff left over from the old years. The reason I went Pentax is I knew of their quality and reputation from way back. I have owned C & N's but chose to go Pentax and so far other then a few areas I am not disappointed.

I am no dummy I can't go semi pro with that glass so here are my choices that I need help with.

I can afford only the following:

Sigma 70-200 2.8 Or
Pentax 17-70 f4.

Now here is where it gets dicey:

The K7 body. If I buy the K7 then I can't get the glass for awhile. If I buy the Glass I can't afford the body for awhile.

The reason I am thinking of the body is for the pet end of it, shooting dogs doing agility meaning hi ISO, indoors and no flash, and quicker more accurate auto-focus.

With the 70-200 2.8 on the K10 I have a better chance with getting better focus but will most likely have to limit ISO to 640 or 800.

If I end up buying the 17-70 that would be ok for weddings, portraiture and pet portraits.

Any thoughts, questions, answers?

Thank You,
Steven

02-23-2010, 09:43 PM   #2
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Steven:

Why don't you buy the Pentax Kx body. The ISO performance is excellent, much better than the K10d. You can get one, with the kit lens, for $550 ish--not sure if a body-only deal exists, but you can search. That would leave money for the lens fund.

Another idea, is to pick up a K20d--the ISO performance is at least a stop better than the K10d, and it has many other bennies too.
02-24-2010, 12:14 AM   #3
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Sigma's 17 - 70mm is an excellent lens, which I imagine costs less than the Pentax version. Leaving you a few extra $ towards your next camera body.
Plus I believe that the warranty is better than Pentax's.
02-24-2010, 12:21 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steven363 Quote
Hello,

I am new to the forum, I think I signed up the last week or so.

A little bit about me which may help you folks help me come to a decision.

I have been around for a wee bit, Got my first SLR in 1962 from a pawn shop, no light meter, no battery, just a straight up, bare bones Petriflex. I learned shutter speeds and apertures and how they related off of the Kodak FX and PX film inserts (Yeh, I know, some of you are asking "What's FX & PX" & I hope no ones asking what film is).

I am an advanced amateur 'cause I don't shoot full time although I have shot a load of Weddings, Portraits, and Pets.

I have been out of Photography for about 10 years when I decided to get back in about 6 years ago. I want to go back part time again. Why I left had nothing to do with photography, just too many things going in the 90's that something had to go. Sadly it was photography.

My dilemma: In 2007 I bought the K10D with the 18-55 kit lens and the 50-200, 540 flash, and hand grip. I had some good stuff left over from the old years. The reason I went Pentax is I knew of their quality and reputation from way back. I have owned C & N's but chose to go Pentax and so far other then a few areas I am not disappointed.

I am no dummy I can't go semi pro with that glass so here are my choices that I need help with.

I can afford only the following:

Sigma 70-200 2.8 Or
Pentax 17-70 f4.

Now here is where it gets dicey:

The K7 body. If I buy the K7 then I can't get the glass for awhile. If I buy the Glass I can't afford the body for awhile.

The reason I am thinking of the body is for the pet end of it, shooting dogs doing agility meaning hi ISO, indoors and no flash, and quicker more accurate auto-focus.

With the 70-200 2.8 on the K10 I have a better chance with getting better focus but will most likely have to limit ISO to 640 or 800.

If I end up buying the 17-70 that would be ok for weddings, portraiture and pet portraits.

Any thoughts, questions, answers?

Thank You,
Steven
Were I you (and yes, I do remember film, still use it in fact for MF and LF), I would look at it like this. The price of the bodies always comes down. The price of the lenses always goes up. That's been the case since I bought My first K10d in hopes of picking up some 'cheap' pentax glass. Didn't happen that way though but that was the hope. Anyway, the K7 is a gorgeous body and I don't regret for one second buying it. I already had most of the nice lenses to use with it so the decision was easy for me. However, in the past 8 or 9 months, I've seen nothing but climbing prices on lenses.



02-24-2010, 12:50 AM   #5
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If the 18-55 and 50-200 kit lens are the only lens you have, then I would DEFINITELY go for new lenses. However like Jeweltrail said, you could also go for the K-x 18-55 kit (No body-only exists) which is the same price as the DA 17-70 f/4, and still have leftovers for the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 while keeping the 18-55 kit lens.

But it really depends on whether you want to keep your K10D or downgrade to get some upgrade, bassically a trade-off. Because the K-x has no grip, it's smaller, it has no AF adjustment nor does it have weather-sealing; but at the same time it has superior low-light noise levels and faster screw-drive AF motor, but the Sigma 70-200 and DA 17-70 are HSM/SDM which doesn't apply to these lenses.

Aside from the DA 17-70 f/4, I would like to make a recommendation to go with your Sigma 70-200 f/2.8, you could buy a Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 or 17-50 f/2.8 for the same price as the DA 17-70 f/4. But unless you're going for that silent AF then I suppose that's understandable

Last edited by LeDave; 02-24-2010 at 12:55 AM.
02-24-2010, 01:01 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeDave Quote
... But it really depends on whether you want to keep your K10D or downgrade to get some upgrade, bassically a trade-off. Because the K-x has no grip, it's smaller, it has no AF adjustment nor does it have weather-sealing; but at the same time it has superior low-light noise levels and faster screw-drive AF motor, but the Sigma 70-200 and DA 17-70 are HSM/SDM which doesn't apply to these lenses.
Neither has the K10D (at least not user accessible).
02-24-2010, 07:54 AM   #7
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Lots of choices now

Wow! I have a lot to think about. You folks have given me much to think about. As far as bodies I will most likely stay with the K7 but for lens choice it makes sense to go with the Tammy 28-75 as suggested. I would like the 17-50 but I have not been able to find it with the Pentax mount.

Thanks for all your help,
Steven

Last edited by Steven363; 02-24-2010 at 07:55 AM. Reason: spelling
02-24-2010, 10:29 PM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
Steven363 Wow! I have a lot to think about. You folks have given me much to think about. As far as bodies I will most likely stay with the K7 but for lens choice it makes sense to go with the Tammy 28-75 as suggested. I would like the 17-50 but I have not been able to find it with the Pentax mount.

Thanks for all your help,
Steven
Hi Steven--not trying to talk you out of anything--just wanted to add a bit. If your main objective is "shooting dogs doing agility meaning hi ISO, indoors and no flash, and quicker more accurate auto-focus," then I think you really should consider the high ISO performance of the Kx. F 2.8 is about as good as you'll get for auto focus, but that will just not cut it indoors, low-light, without flash--IMO. Either of the Tammys you mention are a great lenses, even wide open, but for those tough conditions you'll need to couple f 2.8 with ISO 3200 to freeze action shots--just my experience.

The Kx also allows you to buy a lens--the K7 holds you back, until funds replenish. Just trying to help. Believe me, I think the K7 is an awesome body--no doubt here--just not convinced it is best for your situation, not the way I read it here.

I really see the Kx and Sigma 70-200mm a killer combo for what you seek to do. Best!


Last edited by Jewelltrail; 02-24-2010 at 10:38 PM.
02-24-2010, 11:50 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steven363 Quote
Wow! I have a lot to think about. You folks have given me much to think about. As far as bodies I will most likely stay with the K7 but for lens choice it makes sense to go with the Tammy 28-75 as suggested. I would like the 17-50 but I have not been able to find it with the Pentax mount.

Thanks for all your help,
Steven
Steven363
You were given a solid range of good advice. I may add two points:

- You will always some very helpful advice on this forum. There are a good bunch of nice people who want to help. (read https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/91445-thanks-al...king-time.html).

- Both the K-7 and K-x are great cameras but for different people. The K-x is an excellent entry level with great IQ at high ISO. The K-7 is mid-range camera with great features, sometimes indispensable for some of us (eg Weather Resistance).

All the best in your selection and welcome to the forum.
02-25-2010, 12:09 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steven363 Quote
Wow! I have a lot to think about. You folks have given me much to think about. As far as bodies I will most likely stay with the K7 but for lens choice it makes sense to go with the Tammy 28-75 as suggested. I would like the 17-50 but I have not been able to find it with the Pentax mount.

Thanks for all your help,
Steven
Prodigital2000 has the 17-50 f/2.8 in Pentax mount for $389 on ebay. Throw in 8% bing cashback and that's a pretty hard deal to beat. I bought my 50-135 from prodigital, and many people here have had good experiences with them. As for the lens vs body choice, I was poised with a similar situation last year when the K7 came out. In the end I stuck with my K10D and added 3 new lenses to my setup. Ordinarily this question would be a no-brainer, but your indoor dog shooting slightly complicates the equation.

The main thing I would consider is how many shots you have right now that would have been great if they were a little cleaner or more in focus. In my opinion a new camera body is not going to increase the maximum quality of your shots, but rather, increase the quantity of shots that you can get. For most shots with good light and a steady subject, I would be hard pressed to tell the difference between an entry level dslr and a pro-grade body.

If you do decide that you will continue to struggle to get the shots you want without the aid of quicker focusing speed and higher fps, I would get the K7. Otherwise, I feel that the 70-200 f/2.8 will make the biggest and most appreciable difference with your photographs. One thing to also consider is that the 70-200 will be a full two stops faster at the tele end than the 50-200. The K7, while better than the K10D, will not give you 2 stops of improved ISO quality. For that you will have to step down handling wise for a K-x.

As for the 17-70, I would pass unless you are specifically looking for the range of the zoom, since the main appeal is its range as a walk-around lens. The image quality is on par with the 16-45, so while quite good, it's going to be more of a subtle upgrade over the kit lens. With the 18-55 you're looking at instances of less bad, rather than more good if you will. At some focal lengths and apertures the kit lens was every big as good as the 16-45 I replaced it with, but some focal lengths (mostly wide open on the wider end) were a complete mess. So while the 17-70 is a great lens, I feel you are paying a lot for the convenience, and due to your budget you would get a bigger bang for you buck elsewhere.

Personally, I would go with the 70-200 f/2.8 unless you really need the speed or the video of the K7. I too started out with a 18-55 and 50-200 lens setup, but I never really liked the 50-200. I often couldn't achieve sufficient shutter speeds due to the slow max aperture, and I always found the 50-200's bokeh to be slightly busy. The 50-135 f/2.8 was a huge step up in usability for me, and I would imagine a 70-200 2.8 would be as well. It would clearly be useful for the acrobatic dog shows, as well as good for weddings, portraiture, and pet potraits.
02-26-2010, 05:28 PM   #11
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Hello,
There is a little exciment going on in this old household right about now.

After carefulley reading and debating all of your terrific suggestions I ended up purchasing a used, mint condition, genuine Pentax DA*50-135 f/2.8 lens.

It was a little more then I wanted to spend and I will have to wait awhile before I get another body or lens but I know that my K10D will appreciate me putting that lens on. I read all the reviews I could and knew that this was the way to go. It will give me the best of both worlds for a little while.

Thank you for all of your help and suggestions. It made a big difference.

Steven
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