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09-01-2011, 05:59 AM   #16
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Morning,

Overall, you are either going to be lens limited or body limited - those are your two paths, and its one or the other, as you can't do both. So it comes down to which one is optimal. Photography is an exercise is dealing with compromises. In a strict photography sense, and economically - initially going with an entry level body would usually be the better path, since it would enable you to acquire better lenses initially, thus having the potential of better pictures. How much better - is a rather tough call. Are you going to be lens limited and be able to tell the difference? A good photographer can use inadequate equipment to make great images. Others can use great equipment and make poor images. The other thing to remember is that lenses hold their value while bodies depreciate.

On the body side, you can go with the K5 which commands the highest price currently. Yes, it should last for quite some time. My K20, I have had for 2.5 years. In terms of bodies, you have the K5, K7, K20, K10 - which are all sealed (but for complete WR you need WR or * lenses). Two wheels and better user controls. The entry level bodies Kr, Kx, Km/2000, K200 (is WR), K100 super - no WR, but provides a higher ISO capability have a single wheel and have less body controls (buttons) with the controls in the menus.

If you go with an entry level body, then you do have quite some freedom with the lenses, or the option of not spending all the funds, or picking up lenses over time as you make various decisions on what you really do want. Another aspect to consider is that folks moving to a dSLR, tend to have images that are not as good as the ones taken with the P&S, while they are learning the new camera and lenses. And on the topic of lenses, it has been written that it takes about 1,000 shots to understand a new lens.

There are excellent arguments for all of your available options. There is really no bad option, as they all lead to the same place. Only you are in the position to determine which path is best for you.



09-01-2011, 06:38 AM   #17
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That is too funny, I had the SAME issue back in April. I was pondering the exact same question. I got a 1500 dollar bonus from my company, and decided on a K5 and then I bought an after market grip and extra batter. I bought the camera form B&H, and have not regretted it at all. My poor Kx, gets very limited use now, but get the K5, you will not regret that decision.
09-01-2011, 07:19 AM   #18
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Nope! Those are all valid ideas, not a bad one there, but if you don't end up with the K5, you will always feel shortchanged. I hate that feeling, and it is better just to bite the bullet now and live without regrets. Get the K5...it will provide you with the Top Notch camera you will want going forward for the next several years.
Maybe it is right that the end result is not the camera but the shooter. I won't disagree, but for those like me that need all the help they can get just to get a half decent shot, the K5 is a dream come true. If I had to, I would go without eating for a month to get one.....of course, I would still feed the Squirrels!
Regards!
09-01-2011, 08:22 AM   #19
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Hey, just wanted to put in my two cents... I'd picked up the K5 last friday for the hurricane (I wanted to get some nice cloud front shots). And initially I was a bit frustrated coming from a Nikon d5100 as that camera relies heavily on auto functions. Even in 'manual' mode, there's a lot that you have no control over in. My choices were the D7k/ Canon 6d/ and the K5 (which is the most expensive of the three). I bit the bullet and landed on the pentax and couldn't be happier. After studying the manual for this past week, the layout seems a lot friendlier to me and the choices that this camera allows me to make put a smile on my face. Mine came with the kit 18-55 which isn't the most exciting lens ever, but its okay. I'm happy to learn again and I think that's the most important part of my purchase. The cool thing about the pentax, its got all of the cool features and in-camera production that all the *big* brands have PLUS! and the preview mode rules, and the side-by-side, and the W/B programs, and the ability to save 5 of my most used settings, the ergonomics, THE ISO RANGE! Best of luck in whatever you land on, but you will not regret purchasing this camera. Check craigslist for preowned lenses too, you may find something decent. Adorama has a few preowned lenses too.

09-01-2011, 08:38 AM   #20
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Speaking from the perspective of a K7 owner, I would still look at the K5. You mentioned specifically some lower light situations
QuoteQuote:
as well as lower lighting/ambient lighting for nature and wildlife,
. though i have no issues with the K7 up to say iso 1200 or so it is limited. Dynamic range on the K5 will allow you to pull shadow details you would lose on the K7. The WR kit lens in my experience is a quite usable first lens, and then you can shop for good value in used lenses to satisfy your needs. If you get the K7 I can tell you you will be happy with it (It is a really nice camera) but the upgrade itch will hit a lot sooner, so as mentioned by someone else above in the long term the K5 may well be the better buy. When I bought my 7 used the k5 was brand new and $1500 body only (plus the Sensor issues that existed originally)
I don't regret the purchase but I know If I had bought the K5 I would probably have gone a couple of years longer between upgrades as there is little it misses imo.
09-01-2011, 08:55 AM   #21
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I agree with the advice to go with the K-5. I got mine a couple of weeks ago (body only) as an upgrade to my K-x. I love the K-x, and debated for a long time before taking the plunge. The K-5 is just amazing, and my only regret is that I didn't get it sooner!!

Get the K-5 and don't look back. :-)
09-01-2011, 09:37 AM   #22
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This latest offer from Pentax might help you decide:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/official-pentax-news/157403-pentax-announ...eflex-com.html

Last edited by paulh; 09-01-2011 at 10:03 AM.
09-01-2011, 09:44 AM   #23
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The perfect solution

Hi rtpguy and welcome to the forums. I'm going to jump on the K-5 bandwagon. Excellent camera, outstanding high ISO quality, arguably the best dynamic range in an ASP-C camera, weather sealed, in body stabilization (called shake reduction by pentax marketing) and backwards compatible with ALL K mount lenses (and M42 lenses with an adaptor)
Camera with the 18-55 lens can be had for $1350 at Adorama click here

So what to do with the "extra" $150?
a: buy the wife something nice or take her out for a nice dinner for being so understanding.
or...
b: Indulge yourself in your first attack of LBA (lens buying addiction) Someplace in your post you mentioned "manual second hand lenses" or words to that effect. The pentax A 70-210 F/4.0 can be had for that amount or even cheaper, in fact Adorama has one listed in it's used dept for that amount. The lens has gotten great reviews, after using a friends I immediately sold my Pentax DA 55-200 and couldn't be happier with the trade. It's only problem is that it's manual focus, but it does have auto aperture, and it has none of the metering problems some of the fully manual lenses can exhibit in spot meter mode. It's relatively fast for an old telephoto zoom, the IQ is excellent, color rendition is excellent and bokeh (out of focus areas) is smooth and the best of all my zooms.

NaCl(btw DO NOT mention LBA to the wife!)H2O

09-01-2011, 11:31 AM   #24
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Thanks very much for all of the comments, guys, as well as the picture with the 18/55 through the window. I do see both sides here, or am trying to (entry body + better lens vs better body and lens limited for 6 months or so). Why doesn't 4 grow on trees again? I should have a year-end bonus coming that would likely be putting a decent lens under the tree, so it's not

I have looked for a used K5 without luck, but am somewhat hesitant there, as I believe I wouldn't be able to then buy the extended pentax warrantee - not to derail the intent of this thread, but the mirror flop issue as well as the cheap insurance ($20-$40) makes that a no-brainer, as much as i generally avoid any extended warrantees elsewhere.

I took a break while writing this, and pulled the trigger. It looks like a small price drop just hit - Adorama was at $1270-something yesterday, now is price-matched with Beach Camera at $1199 for the body or $1349 for body and DA 18/55.
I had also seen a 'kit' that I clicked through that turns out to be the body, 18/55 + bag, small class 10 SD card, spare 3rd party battery - at $1349. Called and confirmed it's USA version, identical to the Pentax body + 18/55 Wr kit, so went ahead on it on the phone. I did get asked about accessories, but that's typical - no high pressure, I told them I'm at my spending max and if it goes up I'd have to look for a refurbed instead, which is quite true. I added the +2yr pentax warrantee for $19.95 and he threw in a uv filter for $2, was told out the door at around $1368 and that it would be here Tuesday.

This is my first purchase from Adorama - I've bought a lot of misc electronics from B&H previously. So, I'm a bit nervous, as I haven't received an email order confirmation with details yet. I've ordered tens of thousands of $ of gear online easily, but the whole grey market/'unexpected charges' has me a bit paranoid overall. If anyone's done a recent phone purchase from them and can ease my fears a bit (or let me know if I need to call them back and nag for an emailed total), please do! Of course, after the order I saw the 'site supporter' info, here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographic-equipment-sale/97599-free-ma...opaz-labs.html

If you're going to buy online, the above has click-through links for BH and Adorama that will give PF some credit on the sale. Servers as well as time cost of a site like this one isn't zero, so - wish I'd have seen it sooner, but hopefully someone else will see it before purchase, and I'll use it in the future.

I did get the 18/55 WR with it, as it seems to be generally well regarded, and I'd like a WR lens *now* to become the default walk-around when inclement weather is pending and I'm in the middle of nowhere.
The 'free' bag and spare battery (I'm hoping it's a spare, and they didn't remove the pentax battery from the original kit? :-/ Again, hopefully this is just my paranoia kicking in after reading about AJ richards and other semi-scam/bait and switch tactics..) will at least ease the incidentals costs and let me pick up a used non-WR lens, although that's turning into it's own huge research project in itself. This will *have* to be a budget lens, up to around $130 - anything higher and I'd start looking at a DA 50-200 new. Any suggestions welcome - I do expect to be able to buy a higher grade lens or two in 3-4 months or so.
The 'expected' additions are:
1. ~f1.7 or f2 50mm for portraits and lower light.
2. something with reasonable zoom - it's just not possible to get as close to some things as I'd like to in the mountains.

I'm at a toss-up between the two to buy 'right now' - I think I can find a 50mm reasonably priced that I'd keep for some time, looks like i can find a used M50/1.7 for ~$50 or so. This may make the most immediate sense, as the wife is wanting to do a lot of portrait/inside pics, and I think I'd likely hang onto that lens for an indefinite period of time (basically, until/if I could justify an FA at several x the cost of the above..)

In the telephoto/zoom area...I'm willing to take a sub-$100 lens for now, anything to get me reasonably closer than the 18/55 - and I'm knowing that it will later very likely be re-sold and replaced by either a fixed or zoom of higher quality. It will 'do for what I need' for a few trips coming up, and will also help me to decide on what the right better lens mm will be in the future. Having said that, it seems a total crapshoot, any guidance for a 'good enough while learning, taking a lot of nature shots' would be great here..without suggesting a $500 lens I just can't do 'right now'. (Actually, those are welcome too, as an addition to 'right now' and will file it away for when the $ does come available.)
~120 Pentax Zoom Telephoto 70-210mm f/4 SMCP-A Manual Focus Lens for K
120 Sigma Zoom Telephoto 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Autofocus Lens for Pentax AF
120 Sigma Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 Compact Hyper Zoom Aspherical Macro Autofocus Lens for Pentax AF
120 - Promaster Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto 28-200mm f/3.8-5.6 LD Manual Focus Lens for Pentax K
70 - Sigma Zoom Telephoto 70-210mm f/4.0-5.6 UC II Autofocus Lens for Pentax AF
70 Cosina Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto 28-210mm f/4.2-6.5 Aspherical Autofocus Lens for Pentax AF (Silver)
70 - Tamron Zoom Telephoto AF 80-210mm f/4.5-5.6 Autofocus Lens for Pentax AF
quantaray 70-300 f4-5.6 62mm 99 on sale

I haven't yet combed ebay (but will), not much locally on cl, but any direction on cheap but 'good enough for now' telephoto/comments on the above or better to try to locate used would be great.
09-01-2011, 11:46 AM   #25
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M 50 1.7 is a no brainer great lens easily available for $50 or less (one of mine was $15 the other $25)
I haven't used any of the above zooms so can't help there (for cheap I have a Tamron 28-200 3.8-5.6 ASPH IF that is the same lens as the Pentax 28-200 3.8-5.6 and it's a pretty good walk about lens (more useful on film than Digital so I don't use it much but shot thousands of slides with it ) usually it's a little more than $100 but you never know what you can find
09-01-2011, 04:00 PM   #26
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FWIW I have the Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro, and it is a great lens as far as I'm concerned. I have taken many, many great shots with it. You can pick them up for about $150. Maybe I got lucky and got a good copy, but I have no problem recommending it :-)
09-01-2011, 09:20 PM   #27
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Some samples from the Sigma 70-300 APO (apologies for newbie error - not sure how to display the images in the forum. Any help is appreciated )

On the K-x:

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On the K-5:

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[IMG]undefined[/IMG]

Last edited by Jimmy_Dean0; 09-01-2011 at 09:41 PM.
09-02-2011, 04:32 AM   #28
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Hi rtpguy

Check out my post just above yours. I own the Pentax A 70-210mm. It is a very good lens, great bang for the buck. "Reasonably" fast for an inexpensive telephoto zoom at constant F4.0 aperture, plenty sharp, and good color rendition and contrast. It even has a "macro" (read close focus) function at 70mm. One of the things I really like about this lens is its very nice bokeh for a zoom. I would say that it's only downside is that it is manual focus, but even with my 62 yr old eyes, I haven't found that to be much of a problem.
BTW you can find lots of reviews of the lens and more samples here







NaCl(the very nice thing about pentax is that ALL these old lenses work on the new digital bodies)H2O
09-02-2011, 03:16 PM   #29
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Thanks again to everyone. I just wanted to update on my totals here, and the pair of lenses.
~$1389 - (US) K5 body + DA WR 18/55, plus 'packaged kit' - bag, pentax extended warrantee, cleaning kit, uv filter, 8GB Class 10 Kingston (yeah, I know, will need a bigger one, but it came in the package), spare battery - basically, I got the extra kit and warrantee for $39 over the non grey market K5 body + 18/55 package pricing elsewhere.
$70 - used exc. pentax-a smc 50mm f1.7 w/caps - maybe I could have found for slightly less, but most of the M50 1.7s I found were going for within $20, with some trying to sell an M50 f1.7 for $100+ :-/
$100 - used exc. pentax-a smc 70-210mm f4 w/caps

Total was slightly higher than my max I wanted to spend, but the only thing I really can see 'needing' at this point is an extra, larger sd card, possibly a 2x doubler down the line, and a lens hood for the 70-210.
I did find a ton of used lenses, some which were cheaper than the above, but for the 50mm, the pentax M and A 1.7s come highly recommended, so why mess with success for a very few $ difference there?
The zoom was harder to sort through, there are tons out there, and it's quite confusing with all the variants, not to mention it's not a foregone conclusion like 'any Tamron lens = goodness', and the five Star/Cosmicars, Sears and random other rebrands just confused things even more.

This should keep us busy for quite some time to come. I deliberately chose the A models to hopefully ease the transition slightly. I expect at some point a larger AF zoom may come into the picture, with some various primes, but i think this should cover most of our shooting until we've got enough experience to best choose the next lens purchases.

The pics and comments (and search function ) have been invaluable, thanks again guys. I'm sure I'll have dozens of questions once everything arrives.
09-02-2011, 04:03 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by rtpguy Quote
the only thing I really can see 'needing' at this point is an extra, larger sd card,
Well, there is the D-BG4 grip that could come in handy with the extra battery.
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