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12-30-2011, 08:58 AM   #1
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A good kit zoom upgrade for the K-5

Hello... was wondering if anybody had any reccomendations on a decent upgrade to the kit zoom for the K-5. I noticed the price on the DA* 16-50 lens has dropped to $800 on Amazon but at the same time I have heard some not so good things about that lens.

I have also heard good things about the DA 16-45 lens but that is not weather-sealed (though this is not necessarily a deal breaker).

12-30-2011, 09:13 AM   #2
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In the same focal range or different?
The Tamron and Sigmas score reasonably well. This review is nearly impossible to find (would be very nice if listed when you go to 'lens reviews') but:
Pentax 16-50 vs Sigma 17-50 vs Tamron 17-50mm - Pentax Camera News & Rumors - PentaxForums.com

I'll be picking up a DA 18-135 as a bump in quality and convenience, to be followed by a Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 later for faster/DOF.
What exactly are you looking for with respect to 'upgrade'?
12-30-2011, 09:15 AM   #3
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i had a 16-45 and it is great upgrade from the 18-55.
cost only around $200 now.
use the rest of the budget to invest into limited primes is a better choice.
12-30-2011, 10:18 AM   #4
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If you want to stay around the same focal length your choices are:

Tamron 17-50mm
Sigma 17-50mm
Pentax 16-45mm
Pentax 16-50mm

Personally I don't think the premium you end up paying for the Pentax 16-50mm is worth it. If you really need weather sealing and don't want the 18-55 WR it's your only option though. Optically it's not as good as the competition from Sigma or Tamron. The Pentax 16-45mm is a great lens but it is only f/4 compared to the others which are f/2.8.

I had the 16-45mm but sold it when I got the Tamron and couldn't be happier. The price difference isn't much. The only real downsides are that it uses screw-drive focusing which can be noisy.

12-30-2011, 10:23 AM   #5
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QuoteQuote:
If you really need weather sealing and don't want the 18-55 WR it's your only option though.
If WR is really an issue, camera condoms are about $5 and can be used on most lenses.
12-30-2011, 10:30 AM   #6
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I have the DA*16-50 and love it. It is almost always on my camera and is my default lens.
12-30-2011, 05:53 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by vapentaxuser Quote
Hello... was wondering if anybody had any reccomendations on a decent upgrade to the kit zoom for the K-5. I noticed the price on the DA* 16-50 lens has dropped to $800 on Amazon but at the same time I have heard some not so good things about that lens.

I have also heard good things about the DA 16-45 lens but that is not weather-sealed (though this is not necessarily a deal breaker).
I have the DA* 16-50 f2.8 and have owned several 18-55 kit lenses.

I almost always have my 16-50 on, but the 16-45 got a lot of work and it is a good lens for the price. In fact, it has been on my K7 getting some work in over the holidays.

I really wanted the 17-70 f4 but it seems to be universally not so sharp, but I may tempt fate and buy one anyway as 45-50mm is often just a bit too short.

I had a non-macro Sigma 18-50 f2.8, which was a steal and performed very well. It was small and well built and quite sharp. Sigma often has many versions of the same or similar lens, but I would definitely suggest looking for the non-macro 18-50 f2.8. I think I sold mine for about what I paid for it, which was $200 or so.

Personally, I just do not buy non-fixed aperture zooms anymore as I do not like thinking about the changing aperture as I zoom, not to mention the impact on flash when the aperture changes. This is why I have never really been too interested in some of the zooms from Sigma or Tamron that others give good reviews about.

This does not mean you should not consider these zooms, however. It depends upon your intended use.

Good luck.

Ray
12-30-2011, 09:52 PM   #8
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If I had my time again (I got a Sigma 17-70 which isnt bad BTW)
Pentax 16-45 F4 (wider and smaller, my first choice)
and/or Tamron 28-75 F2.8 (for portrait shots if you dont shoot wide)
Tamron 17-50 F2.8 (if you still need wide)
Pentax or Sigma 17-70 (if you need both)

12-30-2011, 10:03 PM   #9
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Read Adams comparison of the DA* 16-50, and the Tamron and newest Sigma 17-50 lenses. I've tried all three. The Pentax is water resistant. Both the others have superior optics. I settled on the Tamron and have loved it. And it's just over half the price of the DA*. Another great choice is the Pentax 17-70.
12-30-2011, 10:12 PM   #10
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A curious near-miss is the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8-4.5. This thing could be WR if Sigma would add a rubber band to the flange really, it has HSM and internal zoom so very little gets exposed. They could add a few seals and sell it at $230 (it's $199 as is). I tried it for a while when I got it for a steal of a price, kinda wish I'd kept it but I could say that about a dozen or so lenses.. IQ was too similar to the kit WR so I let it go. I've owned the 16-45 and it is a great optic, but definitely exposes itself if the weather is poor; nothing a plastic bag or brand-name cover won't fix though.
12-30-2011, 10:33 PM   #11
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Or you could get the DA18-135 WR if you really need the WR. I have both the DA*16-50/2.8 and the DA18-135/3.5-5.6 WR, and both perform very well. I have both the K7 and the K5 and hav tried the 18-135 on the K5 and it is really good.
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