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12-26-2011, 03:22 AM   #1
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Starting kit for impending K-5 owner

Hi everyone,

2 months ago, my Canon 50D suffered a painful death at the hands of some extremely (!!) bad Scottish rain. I now need to replace it and have decided the K-5 is my best option, however I'm very undecisive about lensrice combination.

I shoot mainly landscape photography, so really appreciate strong performance stopped down at wide angles. My options are 18-135, 16-45 or 16-50. I'm tempted by the 16-50 but is it worth a 200 premium on the 18-135 and a ~400 premium on the 16-45? The 16-45 looks great and is cheep, but isn't waterproof, which puts me off alittle

In addition, I have very large hands and will be looking at some point to buy the battery grip. Is it worth spending a little less on the lens and getting the battery grip? Would the additional weight of a battery grip be too much for a lens like the 18-135, which felt surprisingly light when I tried it in a shop?

My budget is ideally <1000

Cheers

12-26-2011, 03:39 AM   #2
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Have you seen this comparison of fast normal primes?
DA* 16-50mm vs. Sigma and Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 Comparison - Introduction- PentaxForums.com

You could get the Tamron 17-50 F2.8, the Pentax 18-135mm and a battery grip, and still fit within your budget.

IMO the battery grip is an integral accessory, if of course you're willing to carry around the added weight. It definitely makes the camera easier to hold and handle if you ask me.

Adam
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12-26-2011, 03:48 AM   #3
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the grip is definitely worth the investment imo. i have smallish hands and i still find that the grip makes the k-5 so much more comfortable to hold, which is no small feat considering it feels pretty damn good without the grip.

since your last lens died to rain, the 16-50 might be justified through the merit of its superior build quality and weather sealing. Though its IQ isnt quite as good as the other f/2.8 zooms, its definitely no slouch either.
12-26-2011, 04:38 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by adpo Quote
Though its IQ isnt quite as good as the other f/2.8 zooms, its definitely no slouch either.
And it goes well with the DA*50-135, the two of those are a fine combination.
I use this kit most of the time for almost any situation, from landscapes, concert to portrait photography.

12-26-2011, 05:11 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Have you seen this comparison of fast normal primes?
DA* 16-50mm vs. Sigma and Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 Comparison - Introduction- PentaxForums.com

You could get the Tamron 17-50 F2.8, the Pentax 18-135mm and a battery grip, and still fit within your budget.

IMO the battery grip is an integral accessory, if of course you're willing to carry around the added weight. It definitely makes the camera easier to hold and handle if you ask me.
I had forgotten about the Tamron 17-50. With the K-5 body, that comes to around 940.

The only things that put me off about the 17-50 are the autofocus noise and the lack of WR. I guess I could always get an 18-55 WR cheap for days with atrocious weather.

So that would leave me a bit of headroom to buy the battery grip as well. I like the sound of that option actually. I've been reading reviews of the 16-50 and it just doesn't sound like good value to me.

What about the 18-135 compared to the 17-50? Obviously it's more versatile, quiet and has WR, but is it substantially less sharp? I've just been looking through the pictures I took with my Canon 50D + 17-85 and the sharpness of that lens was really, really bad! I never want to use a lens that soft again....
12-26-2011, 07:11 AM   #6
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Sorry to hear about your camera dying. I just got my battery grip, after having one arrive DOA (it was used), and can tell you that it really adds to the camera for someone with large hands. No longer do I curl my 3rd and small fingers under the base of the K5. I also appreciate the added utility of access to AA batteries in a pinch. It adds weight but if you are on a short outing you can always leave the battery drawer empty on the grip thereby avoiding the weight whilst still enjoying the extra controls and grip length. If you're changing systems because of horrible weather killing your old Canon than you must get the genuine Pentax grip as, according to all reports, none of the knock-offs are weather sealed. I can't offer comparisons of the lenses you are considering as I only have the 18-135 but am finding it a quite competent lens across its range. I asked for it for Christmas precisely because it is weather sealed and it has a nice focal range. Good luck with your decisions.

Last edited by Docrwm; 12-26-2011 at 08:52 AM.
12-26-2011, 11:50 AM   #7
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+1 on grip

Grip is good. The camera with grip will still fit in an Ape Case holster. In other words, it is still a pretty compact unit if you are worried about bulk.
12-27-2011, 06:33 AM   #8
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+1 on Grip. The K5 will do well with either the Sigma 17-50 or the Tamron 17-50. In Adam's link, the DA* did not do so well. But I do own that lens.

12-29-2011, 02:09 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by 99tollap Quote
Hi everyone,

2 months ago, my Canon 50D suffered a painful death at the hands of some extremely (!!) bad Scottish rain. I now need to replace it and have decided the K-5 is my best option, however I'm very undecisive about lensrice combination.

I shoot mainly landscape photography, so really appreciate strong performance stopped down at wide angles. My options are 18-135, 16-45 or 16-50. I'm tempted by the 16-50 but is it worth a 200 premium on the 18-135 and a ~400 premium on the 16-45? The 16-45 looks great and is cheep, but isn't waterproof, which puts me off alittle

In addition, I have very large hands and will be looking at some point to buy the battery grip. Is it worth spending a little less on the lens and getting the battery grip? Would the additional weight of a battery grip be too much for a lens like the 18-135, which felt surprisingly light when I tried it in a shop?

My budget is ideally <1000

Cheers
Come on you provide all the answers in your question. Cheap cannot be good. If you want to save money, do NOT buy the grip in the beginning. Spend money on the lens, then on the camera, then on the grip. Typically a two lens combo spanning from 16-135 would be ideal. Less initial weigtht, typically better image quality, ... The 18-135 is considered a waste of money in some tests like photozone... the 16-50 is worth a premium and plays in a different league compared to the 18-135 or the 16-45. Beter build quality, better image quality, larger aperture, silent focus - but heavy enough so that you will want the battery grip sooner than later. A K5 with the 16-50 feels much more convincing than with the 18-135. Get the 16-50 if possible or the 16-45 as a starter kit.
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