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10-11-2011, 04:49 PM   #1
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Started lens for k-5

I have definitely decided to get a K-5 but I am still not sure what lens to start out with. I have considered getting the 18-55 mm kit lens - it is inexpensive and it gets pretty good reviews considering the price. I have also thought about just getting a body and starting out with a higher quality zoom - maybe the 16-50mm, but I have read about a lot of problems with that lense.

So, do any K-5 owners have any lens suggestions for me?

Thanks in advance.

10-11-2011, 04:55 PM   #2
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Have you read our recent review about fast normal zoom lenses?
Comparative Review: Fast Normal Zoom Shootout - Introduction

The Tamron 17-50mm is an absolute steal at $434.

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10-11-2011, 05:03 PM   #3
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Welcome. There are about 5 threads going on the subject at any one time. :-)

17-70 is a handy range if you only want to tote one lens and catch as catch can (i.e., a "walk-around" lens). I tend toward the wide end of the things, and really like the versatility of the 12-24.

Comparative Review: Fast Normal Zoom Shootout - Introduction

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/161566-walk-ar...a-17-50-a.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/161461-telephoto-get.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/161035-pentax-...-environs.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/160522-fa31-da-300-what-next.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/156845-pentax-...0-28-75-a.html
10-11-2011, 06:08 PM   #4
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There are some advantages (as well as disadvantages) of the 18-55 - but get the WR version.
Whilst it's not fast, it's nice to have one for when you want to travel light. It also doesn't block the built in flash or draw attention to your camera - the K7/K5 looks totally innocuous with that lens on - so good for street shooting (during the day).
It's also a huge bargain when you buy the WR version boxed with the K-5. So even if you get, for example, a Tamron 17-50 2.8, there's no harm in having both.
If I'm going birding, I may carry the 18-55 with me in case I see a nice landscape. A larger lens I would probably have left behind. Also, been a few times when it was raining and I kept on clicking. It's also quite sharp stopped down by one stop. Focuses quite close as well.

Only real minus is the slow aperture, so not so great for subject isolation, or shooting after dusk.

10-11-2011, 08:53 PM   #5
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I would simply start with the kit lens. One day you will find out where the combination limits you and that is the time to decide in what to invest. You might want a better quality lens (if you're not happy with the quality) but it might also be that you need a wider (if you often experience that you can't get the subject completely in the photo) or longer (if the subject is often too small in the photo) or faster (low light, DOF) lens. But as well you might find the limitations of the built-in flash and rather invest in an external flash.

Good luck in the decision and enjoy the photography with the K-5.
10-12-2011, 04:03 AM   #6
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Good Advice

Thanks to everyone for the things to read and to consider for my initial lens selection. Right now I am thinking that I will just start with the kit lens as several people have suggested. That is the WR version everywhere that I have shopped - at least as far as I can tell. I buy a lot of stuff from Amazon and they do not specify the model of lens, only the focal length, although the images show the WR. B&H definitely specifies the WR as the kit lens.

Then I will have a decent general purpose lens that I can use for an everyday walkabout lens while I learn what lenses I need to add later. Right now I am thinking that with the kit lens and a few well selected prime lenses I would be set for most of my needs. I am trying to be good and wait until I have put the lens question to bed, but driving in this morning I was thinking of just going for the kit lens. The K-5 looks really awesome and I am really excited about getting one.
10-13-2011, 04:32 AM   #7
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Update

Last night I was reading the K-5 forum and I had decided to go ahead and order mine with the kit lens. But the threads on either side of mine were about serious QC issues with the K-5. I research all of my big purchases on-line and I know that I can find negative reviews about any product, regardless of the quality. But I do not have to have a new DSLR right now - I just want one and I have a number of other procedural hassles that I am dealing with right now on other things in my life.

So I have decided to just wait and reconsider a K-5 again next year. I understand that it is a wonderful camera when it is working correctly and I really don't want anything else. But I also do not need to buy an expensive camera body that has lens release buttons dropping off, stains on the sensor or malfunctioning mirrors. These are not trivial issues with a flagship camera body and I would be very upset if mine spent 1/2 of the first year at some repair facility as some others have.
10-13-2011, 04:54 AM   #8
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I've read that retailers and distributors get about the same (small) percentage of returns for all the major brands of dSLRs. The reasons vary from DON'T LIKE to some actual technical problem. Of course it's aggrieved customers who bitch about the product. The 99% of happy K5 owners don't complain. Not about their K5's, anyway.

But I won't argue with your decision. I'll just suggest another option: Buy the camera from a dealer with a no-questions return+refund policy. Use it. Use it a LOT. Most tech problems appear soon. If problems surface, return it. Funny thing about the modern world: Purchases, like relationships, needn't be life-long. It's nice if they are, but ordinary if they aren't. With most tech gear we can keep what we like and return what we don't. It's a no-lose game.

10-13-2011, 05:15 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimDickinson Quote
Last night I was reading the K-5 forum and I had decided to go ahead and order mine with the kit lens. But the threads on either side of mine were about serious QC issues with the K-5. I research all of my big purchases on-line and I know that I can find negative reviews about any product, regardless of the quality. But I do not have to have a new DSLR right now - I just want one and I have a number of other procedural hassles that I am dealing with right now on other things in my life.

So I have decided to just wait and reconsider a K-5 again next year. I understand that it is a wonderful camera when it is working correctly and I really don't want anything else. But I also do not need to buy an expensive camera body that has lens release buttons dropping off, stains on the sensor or malfunctioning mirrors. These are not trivial issues with a flagship camera body and I would be very upset if mine spent 1/2 of the first year at some repair facility as some others have.
Don't worry about it. Everyone that has an issue posts on the net. There are many 'no problem' users.

Lens: IMHO, get the 18-135 with the K5. You won't regret it. It is a good general purpose lens and more flexible that the 18-55.
10-13-2011, 06:24 AM   #10
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I waited a year to buy mine, glad I did price-wise but I couldn't wait another year. I know that there are issues, and as indicated on another thread the 'other' brands have issues as well.
I re-read the forums here prior to buying mine last week. Was I worried? A bit but there were so many more happy users than ones with problems that the risk is low. I, as RioRico recommends, bought from a reputable local store, with whom I have a long term relationship. All my cameras have been bought there since the 1960's, all Pentax except a Nikon 995 (which incidentally was almost the same price as my K5!!!) If my camera develops a problem then I am confident that it will get resolved. A positive attitude helps greatly when dealing with issues, irritating as it might be.

When you actually handle the K5 and feel how the controls are where you think they should be then you will come to the conclusion this is the right tool. It is about much more than technical specs. Pentax just feels right, Canikon do not, to me at least.
10-13-2011, 06:48 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spotmatic Quote
Don't worry about it. Everyone that has an issue posts on the net. There are many 'no problem' users.

Lens: IMHO, get the 18-135 with the K5. You won't regret it. It is a good general purpose lens and more flexible that the 18-55.
I like your username - I still have a very functional Spotmatic myself! I do wonder what the chances are of being able to say that down the road with the K-5 though.

I know there are lots of good K-5's on the street, and the design and functionality of this camera really connect with me. I have a Toyota truck and a flagship Sony LCD TV that are perfect - yet I can read all day long about what crap they are on forums.

Some questions. Is the extra size/weight of the 18-135 a burden in real world use? That is actually my first choice over the 18-55 but with some reservations on form factor and investing so much into another Pentax lens right now.

Does anyone know exactly where Pentax stands in the HOYA -> Richo transfer and when we might have some hope of seeing product quality improve? HOYA has a strong reputation in my professional work. I do software for custom developed hardware, sometimes involving advanced imaging systems. I wonder if there is any reason to expect QC to be better under Richo than HOYA as many people seem to think.

I think the suggestion that I buy from a brick and mortar store makes sense, but I am pretty sure that would cost me money. I have a branch of our largest local camera chain very near my office and I will have to stop and talk to them.

So this purchase is not off my personal radar, but it has been pushed back until I have more time to consider all of the various issues.

Thanks for all the feedback everyone!
10-13-2011, 01:28 PM   #12
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Jim - the acquisition was completed on October 1st, there's isn't a really 'where they stand with the transfer' any longer. Ricoh made some statement about getting Pentax competitive with the top brands; we'll have to see what that brings, but it sounds positive, at least. It's possible that QC has improved already, difficult for us to know, really. Sources of problems can be down to design, speccing underperforming parts/materials, supplied parts (being inferior than spec), assembly, post-assembly QC/inspection...some of these can be corrected, or at least attempted to be corrected, by talking to whomever is contracted or doing the assembly or inspection, parts suppliers, etc...but especially if contracting companies are involved, it could be an ongoing process ('yes, yes, we do better'...and don't). The only potential design issues I'm aware of are the lens release button and the mirror flop - each of which may well have been due to a bad batch of parts (retaining rings, or voltage regulator, diodes, etc.).

It's difficult to guess, which is really what we're doing. Those with problems make far more noise than those without, and can easily sway the appearances or frequency of issues.
I do think the lens release button issue is just sheer idiocy, and there's no way it should have ever happened on such a simple thing. It may be as simple as a supplier sending sub-standard retaining ring, and may be limited to a subset of all of the K5s.

It's your call, and personally I'm not 'thrilled' with the number of issues being reported, but i'm also not sure it's an epidemic nor out of line compared to other manufacturers..yet, at least.
10-14-2011, 03:02 AM   #13
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Jim,
I purchased the K5 with 18-135 lens (in Australia it is one of the available kits).
Its on the camera most of the time.
Weight isn't a problem for me, but then I don't do much walking!

Last edited by rod_grant; 10-14-2011 at 03:10 AM.
10-14-2011, 04:15 AM   #14
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The lens release button is stupid - there is no way that something so simple should break - and also no way that the "fix" should include super glue!

But it bothers me much less than the mirror problems. Flop and freezing seem to indicate both serious mechanical and electronic issues that go right to the core of this camera's design/implementation.
10-15-2011, 05:10 PM   #15
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OK - I think I am finally over my pre-buyer's remorse, which caused me to question the quality of the K-5 and to try to find an issue there. I know that all consumer products can have problems and that forums magnify the few that do occur. The K-5 looks awesome and the support of its many happy owners has let me get past that now.

I do want to visit my local camera shop though and maybe get it there just in case I do have any issues.

So I have homed in on three lens choices, and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

1. I could just get the kit 18-55 mm lens while I sort out what I really want in the way of zooms. (suggested several times)
2. I could get the 18-135 mm lens and cover the whole walkabout option with just one lens, but which is still just as slow as the 18-55 mm kit lens.
3. I could go crazy and get both the 16-50mm f2.8 and the 50-135mm f2.8 and have two excellent quality lenses that cover the whole zoom range, but at a significant cost increase.

I have noticed that a lot of people that own the K-5 think that the slower lenses are quite acceptable when mounted on the K-5. If I don't need the f2.8 lenses with this camera, I would rather save the money for some nice primes later on. But I can suck it up and get #3 if that is what I will ultimately end up needing.

Thanks for listening and offering your opinions.
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