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05-02-2011, 08:04 AM   #1
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Lens choice(s) for K5

So, I've been browsing the forum trying to get some insight as to which lens or lenses I should get when I buy a K5.

It will be my first DSLR. For the last few years I've been mainly shooting a rangefinder film camera with a fast 35mm f1.4 prime, mostly B&W iso 400. So used to shooting easily in available light with high IQ. I've also been using an LX3, which is a great pocket camera.

As I'm getting into DSLR's I'd like to consider zoom lenses but have little experience with them.

From reading around about the 18-135mm WR would seem like a good place to start, however there does seem to be a fair amount of criticism aimed at it. Is it really as bad as all that?

For example, I could buy the 18-135mm and a couple of primes...perhaps the 21mm Ltd and 35mm Ltd...Or instead go for the DA* 16-50mm & DA* 50-135mm ... which have a good reputation, especially if you get a good copy it seems, but may be a bit heavy?

Anyway...there's a lot to choose from and I'd be grateful for any input.

05-02-2011, 08:25 AM   #2
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For my part, I constantly find myself comparing light, consumer market lenses (like the kit lens, or even the 18-135 type) with my primes and DA*; it's not rational, though, and it gives a warped idea of the quality of lenses. I can almost guarantee, though, if you're used to a 35mm f1.4 lens, the wide-range zooms will disappoint you.
05-02-2011, 08:30 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by A440 Quote
So, I've been browsing the forum trying to get some insight as to which lens or lenses I should get when I buy a K5.

It will be my first DSLR. For the last few years I've been mainly shooting a rangefinder film camera with a fast 35mm f1.4 prime, mostly B&W iso 400. So used to shooting easily in available light with high IQ. I've also been using an LX3, which is a great pocket camera.

As I'm getting into DSLR's I'd like to consider zoom lenses but have little experience with them.

From reading around about the 18-135mm WR would seem like a good place to start, however there does seem to be a fair amount of criticism aimed at it. Is it really as bad as all that?

For example, I could buy the 18-135mm and a couple of primes...perhaps the 21mm Ltd and 35mm Ltd...Or instead go for the DA* 16-50mm & DA* 50-135mm ... which have a good reputation, especially if you get a good copy it seems, but may be a bit heavy?

Anyway...there's a lot to choose from and I'd be grateful for any input.
If you are shooting B&W ISO 400 with a 35mm f/1.4 I would first get a prime that is fast and works for your style of photography. K-5 is a pretty serious tool and a big step up.

I would recommend a K-7 for the price it can not be beat, and is still a step up over what you have been using.

The 21mm and 35mm are both excellent lenses, but I would go for something faster.
The Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS HSM is a better lens than the Pentax version, is cheaper, focuses faster, & has a better warranty.
Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 would be my choice over the 50-135mm. Not the exact focal length, but again the Tamron is cheaper, has more range, a better warranty, & sharper.
The DA 12-24 f/4 might be a good choice if you like wider glass, but is is only f/4.

I personally always buy glass over bodies, as bodies are always dropping in value.
05-02-2011, 08:42 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
If you are shooting B&W ISO 400 with a 35mm f/1.4 I would first get a prime that is fast and works for your style of photography. K-5 is a pretty serious tool and a big step up.

I would recommend a K-7 for the price it can not be beat, and is still a step up over what you have been using.

The 21mm and 35mm are both excellent lenses, but I would go for something faster.
The Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS HSM is a better lens than the Pentax version, is cheaper, focuses faster, & has a better warranty.
Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 would be my choice over the 50-135mm. Not the exact focal length, but again the Tamron is cheaper, has more range, a better warranty, & sharper.
The DA 12-24 f/4 might be a good choice if you like wider glass, but is is only f/4.

I personally always buy glass over bodies, as bodies are always dropping in value.
My Sigma 17-50 was indistinguishable in image quality from my DA* 16-50 2.8; I sometimes wish I'd kept the Pentax lens rather than the Sigma because of the weather sealing; instead, I kept the Sigma because of the functional "macro". It is cheaper, though.

I've used the Tamron 70-210 2.8, the Sigma ~70-210 f2.8, and the DA* 50-135, and the DA* was *by far* the sharpest of the bunch, but has considerably less reach. Of course, there's instance variation... many folks are afraid of the Pentax SDM, too. I dunno - I'm just surprised to see someone claim that the Tammy is sharper - I've seen claims that the Sigma was faster (focusing), and of course the Tamron is cheapest, but this is the first time I've read claims that it was sharper than the 50-135. Interesting. I'd *definitely* buy the 50-135 again if it got destroyed; best zoom lens I've ever owned.

I agree, generally, that glass comes first, but there's such a difference between the K-7 and K-5... I used the K-7 and stayed with my K20D because there was insufficient difference. If I were buying old gear today, and didn't need video, I'd STILL choose the K20D over the K-7. But the K-5 is in a completely new class. Nowadays it's kind of a tough call - I used to say, "A K-1000 will make the same image an LX will if you have the same lens", but that's just not true, since cameras come with the "film" permanently installed.

05-02-2011, 08:52 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote

I've used the Tamron 70-210 2.8, the Sigma ~70-210 f2.8, and the DA* 50-135, and the DA* was *by far* the sharpest of the bunch, but has considerably less reach. Of course, there's instance variation... many folks are afraid of the Pentax SDM, too. I dunno - I'm just surprised to see someone claim that the Tammy is sharper - I've seen claims that the Sigma was faster (focusing), and of course the Tamron is cheapest, but this is the first time I've read claims that it was sharper than the 50-135. Interesting. I'd *definitely* buy the 50-135 again if it got destroyed; best zoom lens I've ever owned.
I have the 50-135 and agree that it may be the best zoom I'll ever have, but I have seen enough images from the Tamron 70-200 to know that it is one sharp beast. It's really the only Tamron that's ever tempted me, though I know the 28-75 is also quite good. One thing about that 70-200 though, it's way bigger and heavier than the 50-135. Big enough that for me, it's a tripod-only lens, which means it can never replace my 50-135.
05-02-2011, 08:54 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
I have the 50-135 and agree that it may be the best zoom I'll ever have, but I have seen enough images from the Tamron 70-200 to know that it is one sharp beast. It's really the only Tamron that's ever tempted me, though I know the 28-75 is also quite good. One thing about that 70-200 though, it's way bigger and heavier than the 50-135. Big enough that for me, it's a tripod-only lens, which means it can never replace my 50-135.
Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest the Tamron (or the Sigma, for that matter) was not sharp. They're all worthy of their price tag, and they wouldn't be a *bad* choice - if you need the longer reach, by all means. I was just surprised by the comparison is all.
05-02-2011, 08:59 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
I can almost guarantee, though, if you're used to a 35mm f1.4 lens, the wide-range zooms will disappoint you.
I was wondering about that...

QuoteQuote:
If you are shooting B&W ISO 400 with a 35mm f/1.4 I would first get a prime that is fast and works for your style of photography. K-5 is a pretty serious tool and a big step up.

I would recommend a K-7 for the price it can not be beat, and is still a step up over what you have been using.
I did think about the K7, but felt that as I like doing low light work the K5 is supposed to be a big improvement

QuoteQuote:
The 21mm and 35mm are both excellent lenses, but I would go for something faster.
Very interesting point...I notice Sigma do a 24mm f1.8 lens. Any thoughts about that? Or any other fast prime suggestions?
QuoteQuote:
The Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS HSM is a better lens than the Pentax version, is cheaper, focuses faster, & has a better warranty.
Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 would be my choice over the 50-135mm. Not the exact focal length, but again the Tamron is cheaper, has more range, a better warranty, & sharper.
The DA 12-24 f/4 might be a good choice if you like wider glass, but is is only f/4.
I'll check these lenses out...of course no WR which would be nice to have...but not essential.


QuoteQuote:
I personally always buy glass over bodies, as bodies are always dropping in value.
I'm sure you right about that.
05-02-2011, 07:14 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by A440 Quote

Very interesting point...I notice Sigma do a 24mm f1.8 lens. Any thoughts about that? Or any other fast prime suggestions?
.
Haven't heard good things about that lens, the 30 is good though, and the pentax FA31 is not too bad either. Check out the fa20 and Fa*24 too.

05-02-2011, 10:45 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by A440 Quote
Tai sen sijaan mennä DA * 16-50mm & DA * 50-135mm ... mikä on hyvä maine, varsinkin jos saat hyvän kopion tuntuu


Suosittelen näitä, paras aloitusvaihtoehto ja nämä pelaa viellä monia vuosia uudemmissakin pentax rungoissa. Viellä, kun ostaa hyvän jalustan Manfrotto 055XPROB niin on peruskalusto hankittu. Hyvin kun pitää on kymmeinien vuosien huvi ja hyöty taattu.
05-03-2011, 03:38 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Haven't heard good things about that lens, the 30 is good though, and the pentax FA31 is not too bad either. Check out the fa20 and Fa*24 too.
the fa20 and Fa*24 look promising...but quite rare it seems...

QuoteOriginally posted by 30v iPentax Quote



Suosittelen näitä, paras aloitusvaihtoehto ja nämä pelaa viellä monia vuosia uudemmissakin pentax rungoissa. Viellä, kun ostaa hyvän jalustan Manfrotto 055XPROB niin on peruskalusto hankittu. Hyvin kun pitää on kymmeinien vuosien huvi ja hyöty taattu.
thanks for your opinion... does seem like a very flexible option.
05-03-2011, 04:41 AM   #11
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If you don't mind carrying a bit of extra weight and are willing to spend the money, I can HIGHLY recommend the FA*24 f2.0 as a general purpose lens on the K5.

Single In March - a set on Flickr

The DA35 f2.8 is no slouch either. In fact, you really can't go wrong with Any of the Pentax Limited prime lenses. If, again, weight isn't a major issue the DA* zooms are very hard to beat. One thing I will note with the K5 and those two lenses is for best Balance, you'll probably want to get the battery grip.

I haven't tested all of them on the K5 yet (much) but... take your pick..

Collection: Lenses

05-03-2011, 05:35 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by A440 Quote
..I notice Sigma do a 24mm f1.8 lens. Any thoughts about that? Or any other fast prime suggestions?
I own the Sigma 24mm f1.8 and like it very much, my only criticisms of it are that wide open it is somewhat soft around the edges (like most wide angle fast primes) and like most sigmas it can oversaturate bright reds. Like a lot of other fast Sigmas it is also big. But I can say that I also owned a Pentax FA * 24mm f/2.0 and the Sigma easily out performed it in close focusing, bokeh, and any shot taken below f/2.8. The pentax was bad enough that I may have had a bad copy.

Other prime lenses to look at. Pentax FA 43mm f/1.9 ltd; the afore mentioned Pentax FA 20mm f/2.8; the FA 31mm f/1.8 ltd.

Other zooms; Pentax FA 20-35 f/4.0; Pentax FA* 28-70 f/2.8; Tamron 28-75 f/2.8; Tamron 17-50 f/2.8; the afore mentioned DA* 16-50 and 50-135

Of all of the above if I had to make one choice it would be the FA 43 ltd f/1.9.

NaCl(so many lenses, so little bank account)H2O
05-03-2011, 06:23 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by A440 Quote
From reading around about the 18-135mm WR would seem like a good place to start, however there does seem to be a fair amount of criticism aimed at it. Is it really as bad as all that?
There's an interesting post at dpreview that assesses the 18-135. It focuses on how to take advantage of the lens's strengths rather than focusing on its weaknesses. The assessment may be a bit too positive, but it makes sense to me, and I like that way of thinking. Here's the link: http://forums.dpreview [DOT] com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=38289324

Pentax Forums does not allow links to dpreview, so you need to replace [DOT] in the link I posted.

Jeff
05-03-2011, 07:26 AM   #14
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What are your priorities? Impossible to recommend from all the good lenses unless you apply some constraints.
  1. small size and low weight
  2. fast aperture
  3. versatility in focal length
  4. bokeh quality
  5. weather-sealing
  6. not needing to changer lenses in the field
  7. full-frame compatibility
  8. full Av coupling
  9. auto-focus
  10. low price
  11. etc.

So far you have indicated only 2 as a priority with 5 as "nice to have".
05-03-2011, 07:38 AM   #15
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Budget's got to be one of the biggest constraints. And given that you might not know what focal lengths and what kind of subjects you will be shooting (determining the type and maximum aperture of lenses you would need) it is indeed difficult to advise more than just to suggest the kit lenses at first, as your basic starting point, then going into more specialised lenses when you know exactly what you want.
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