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12-27-2011, 07:20 AM   #1
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expensive lens alternative?

i am looking to get a macro or wide angle lens for my k-5... both of them are close to $600... anyone know any other good alternatives? this seems ridiculously high

12-27-2011, 07:25 AM   #2
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There are lots of cheap third-party wide-angles (are you looking for a prime or a zoom?), and there's also the Pentax 35mm (which isn't that wide on aps-c) for under $200.

A great buy for a walkaround is the Tamron 17-50mm, which is currently $414 after a $25 mail-in rebate.

As far as macro lenses go, if you want to get a cheap one, look at manual-focus options. They're just as sharp and you usually won't miss the AF.
12-27-2011, 07:26 AM   #3
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Macro: Sigma 105mm is very good and the Tamron 90mm too.
Wide angle? Zoom or prime? How wide is wide? Sigma 17-70mm gets great reviews. Sigma 8-16mm is really wide and is supposed to be excellent, but pricey.

Good luck!
12-27-2011, 07:32 AM   #4
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i already got a good zoom lens (only one i have)

guess what i am asking then is what all lenses are compatible or how do i know if a lens is compatible??? would be really shitty to get one that doesn't work with the k-5

12-27-2011, 07:37 AM   #5
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If you spend some time browsing lenses and prices and what's available for all the DSLR systems out there, you'll soon find that "around $600" isn't ridiculously high" but quite reasonable, especially considering the quality of Pentax glass. I know what it is to be on a tight budget the lenses mentioned are good glass with better prices. Look for used lenses in the Marketplace and Ebay. You can save a fortune with manual focus lenses and with wide angles and macros, AF isn't all that important.
12-27-2011, 07:40 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by moral decay Quote
i already got a good zoom lens (only one i have)

guess what i am asking then is what all lenses are compatible or how do i know if a lens is compatible??? would be really shitty to get one that doesn't work with the k-5
Any K mount lens from Pentax or third party's will work on your K5. There are some issues with older Ricoh lenses but that can be worked around. M42 screwmount lenses will work with an adapter.
12-27-2011, 07:43 AM   #7
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Have a look at our lens databases.

Every Pentax-compatible lens currently in production is listed there:
Pentax Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Third-Party Lenses for Pentax - Pentax Lens Review Database
12-27-2011, 07:43 AM   #8
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You can find good deals on all kinds of lenses for under $600 in the marketplace. I purchased both my macro (Sigma 105mm) and wide angle (Sigma 10-20mm) for under $400 a piece and they both are basically brand new.

12-27-2011, 07:45 AM   #9
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okay thanks... i'm assuming if using a manual focus lens it won't hurt the camera if the switch is left on AF accidentally or something
12-27-2011, 07:54 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by moral decay Quote
okay thanks... i'm assuming if using a manual focus lens it won't hurt the camera if the switch is left on AF accidentally or something
Leaving the AF switch on AF is fine. In fact it is necessary to use Catch-in-Focus, the poor man's autofocus.

Check out page 134 of the manual.
12-27-2011, 08:20 AM   #11
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okay one more question . THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR THE HELP ...

i was going to try and choose one for now (due to price) ... i've noticed the macro says 100mm, why doesn't it say a lower mm is that it?... the only lens I have is a 55-200mm and i want a good up close lens and thought the macro would be awesome, but it it is 100mm then i am better off to get a standard or wide angle lens... i liked the macro though am just worried why it only says 100mm (was wanting to take up close or insect pics this summer)


CHEERS
12-27-2011, 09:07 AM - 1 Like   #12
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It's a prime. You only get one focal length. If you want what you're taking a picture of to be bigger, you need to get closer. Wider, further away.

I don't know of any 'true' 1:1 macro lenses that are zooms; they're basically all primes. A lot of what is called macro in zoom is only 3:1 or so, but a lot of times that's all you really need, too.


Re: wide-angle lenses - I have the 15mm and the 8-16mm. I call the 15mm the '15mm instapretty'. I like the 8mm occasionally but they're about the same price and I use the 15mm about 5x more often than the 8.
12-27-2011, 09:16 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Assuming you have the 50-200 (55-200 does not exist) which has a 1:4 maximum magnification, it allows you to take a picture of a fly that's e.g. 1cm in real life; on the sensor, this fly will be 2.5mm or roughly 10% of the width of the image. Using a macro lens, this same fly will be 1cm on the sensor as a real macro lens has a 1:1 magnification.

There are different macro lenses; in the current Pentax line up 35mm, 50mm and 100mm. The difference is that to achieve 1:1 magnification, you have to be closer to the subject when using a 35mm lens (14cm for DA35Ltd macro) than when using a 100mm lens (30cm for DFA100WR). There are some advantages in the longer lens
  • you don't chase your subject away when getting really close
  • less chance of the camera being between the subject and the light source
  • a little 'safer' if your subjects are of the aggressive types

If the only lens that you have is indeed the 50-200 (and no 18-55 or similar), I would first look at options to get something 'standard'
DA18-55WR (or similar like Pentax 17-70 / Tamron 17-50) or DA-L35/2.4 as a 'standard' lens.

The kit lens already gives 1:3 (at 25cm) versus 1:4 for the 55-200 (at about a meter).

The cheaper ways into macro include extension tubes and reverse mounting a lens; there are more knowledgeable people than me who can advise on this. You can also add a Raynox adapter (DCR150, reasonably cheap) to the 50-200 to obtain macro functionality (not sure if you can achieve 1:1, but probably quite close to that). Macro work often is manual focus work, so you can also look at some older (second hand) macro lenses as well.
12-27-2011, 09:20 AM   #14
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https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/152336-cheap-macro-b...lose-work.html
12-27-2011, 09:23 AM - 1 Like   #15
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100mm is just about ideal for macro work, which is why they're so prevalent. The shorter your focal length, the closer the front of the lens has to be to your subject. 100mm gives you a bit of distance to work with, while still reaching a 1:1 magnification ratio.

Of course there are LOTS of other ways to shoot macro, such as extension tubes, reversing lenses, reversed lens stacking (one lens reversed on the end of another), using a bellows, the list goes on. RioRico has written up a wonderful article on the subject. Many of these methods will let you go quite a bit beyond 1:1.

The main advantage of a dedicated macro lens is the edge to edge sharpness of them. There is very little of the distortion commonly found around the edges of other types of lens. The second is, they don't eat light like extension tubes (but that doesn't mean not to pick up some tubes, they're great!). The tradeoff is of course price, however 100mm macro lenses also make fine portraiture lenses, so perhaps it can fit for two purposes in your kit.

Edit: I see a couple people beat me to just about all the info here. I'll leave it anyway.
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