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07-08-2012, 01:04 AM   #1
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K5 kit roadmap

I love my K5. And I've recently decided that I will not be buying into a Nikon FF system in addition to my Pentax system...for a few reasons...but the fact I DO NOT NEED FF became the most important.

I've recently added a AF-540FGZ flash. And my lens lineup is extensive in primes. But I have been finding I'm using my 16-50 more and more every day. I've had this lens for what seems like forever, but only recently have I really begun to use it and love it.

So... how does one choose and prioritize!

My roadmap is all in shambles now... with my idea to go Nikon FF it was simple... albeit expensive. Now my budget is dictating one item a month. But my wants/needsmay not work out... here are some booked events that I need to worry about which is messing up my priorities

July 14 - Live music venue. Shooting some hard rock/metal bands. Been using FA 77mm Limited f1.8 at this venue in the past, but could use something wider and faster on the auto focus. Been missing shots trying to manual focus with the M 50mm 1.7. Suspect FA 50mm 1.4 could fill this role nicely.

July 20 - similar event, but much bigger stage/venue. It's a "semi-pro" venue with rock bands that are usually established/touring. 77mm would have to be my wide here..but distances and range could change quickly. Would like to get closer. Unknown which lens would be most promising. No Flash allowed...

July 28 - shooting a vow renewal ceremony and family reunion/party. Between my 16-50 and FA77 I think I got this pretty well covered. Could use something a bit longer for the ceremony I think... DA* 50-135 f2.8 is on the list for this one

July 29 - new born photos! FA77 and my DA40mm limiteds will be perfect.

August 8 - going to be doing some couples photography. They really like this old neighbor hood trail with cracked sidewalks, old trees, cracked retaining walls, all in the river valley. Going to be probably a mix of fashion/punk/vintage styling... or at least that is what they are asking for. A second tripod to hold my flash, along with a the DA*55mm f1.4 could be very useful here. As could a battery grip.

August 18 - going to be doing some "studio" work (I use studio in quotes...because well I haven't built it yet) to be doing some childrens portraits. A nice sturdy tripod would be nice for this. However I think some good lights would be the better investment. Elinchorome Dlite-4 kit is looking very nice

August 26 - Another couples shoot. They want something where they can show off some classy clothes. Looks like we will be doing this in urban downtown setting. Probably would like the DA*55 1.4mm and the DA*50-135 f2.8 with me here.

September 1 - Anniversary photos for another couple. They want that white backdrop portraits kind of thing going on. Elichrome Dlite-4 kit is looking key here.

September 16 - shooting a wedding. I think an second K-mount digital would be nice to have. Maybe a good excuse to grab a K01 or K30 if K5 replacement has not arrived yet.

September 8 - doing some engagement photos. DA*55mm 1.4, DA*50-134, and FA77 would be my preferred lineup.

September 30 - another wedding....

This makes it tricky... Because thats three months of shooting, and a lot of money to spend.

Here is what I'm thinking... anyone else able to help refine?

July 14 - purchase DA*50-135. Try to get by on the band photos with the FA77mm and then use higher-iso (which I hate going higher than 1600 in such tricky lighting conditions) and use my 16-50 for the band photos.

July 30 - Grab a solid tripod. I got a pretty flimsy one right now. I would have around $200 to spend on a decent solid pod they way the budget works out here.. I'm thinking a Induro AKB2 Kit or the Manfrotto 294 Kit

August 15 - Go out and see if I can snatch the Elinchome Dlite-4 studio flash kit. If not the 4, then the 2.

August 30 - Battery grip... I should also probably think about getting a Think Tank Urban Disguise 60 bag at this time too... as I'll want the top load messenger bag style case instead of a backback for quicker lenses changes with the upcoming weddings.

September 15 - DA*55mm to end off the want list.

I think that's one way to get where I would I like to be by the time summers over. I'll be making some okay money from these as well to help fund of it. going to be a busy freakin summer right away...

What other route to take?

Keep in mind my original plan was save up as much cash as possible to have a Nikon D800 and a Nikon AFS 50mm 1.8 G lens in time for the weddings.

07-08-2012, 01:26 AM   #2
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With all that paid work coming up I would think your first buy should be a second k-5 as a second body and backup, especially at current prices.
07-08-2012, 01:43 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Your current line-up:

K5D | DA*16-50mm | DA 10-17mm | DA 40mm | DA 50-200mm | FA 77mm F1.8 ltd | M 28mm F2.8 | M 50mm 1.4 | M 135mm 3.5 | M 200MM 4.0 | Tamron 90mm 2.8 Macro | Sigma DG OS 70-300 4-5.6

My recommendation (what I would do):

Sell the 50-200, M 50 1.4, M 135 3.5, M 200 4.0, Sigma 70-300.

Replace entire line-up you just sold with a
Sigma 30 f/1.4, DA* 55, and DA* 60-250. (in that order, with the Sigma happening immediately since you have the 77, and you need a normal 1.4)

I have the 16-50 (agreed, an outstanding lens that is my workhorse), 50-135, and the 60-250. The 55 is in the mail right now. I found that when I received the 60-250, it completely replaced the 50-135, and with the difference between 2.8 and 4.0 when you take into account the K-5's high ISO ability, I never use the 50-135. When I return from Afghanistan, unless there is a very specific reason not to, I will most likely sell it. The 55 will become the defacto portrait lens, as well as low light. Also, in these venues, sometimes you need low light ability with a wider field of view - the 30 f/1.4 should do very well here. The 60-250 has been an incredible lens, and I am in LOVE with the IQ. I don't see myself EVER selling this lens. Honestly, I much prefer portraits from this lens to the 50-135, and it was something I noticed immediately when I first played with it.

Also, I agree 100% that you should prioritize a second body as your first purchase.

Hope this helps.

07-08-2012, 01:59 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
With all that paid work coming up I would think your first buy should be a second k-5 as a second body and backup, especially at current prices
Very cool that you have a heap of paid work on in the current economy - you should be very happy about that.

I agree with Crewl1 - having a body cark it in the middle of a big paid job would be a real pain - not that I shot images for pay, but for any professional gear failure just hurts you.


Last edited by NZ_Ross; 07-08-2012 at 02:04 AM.
07-08-2012, 02:43 AM   #5
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A second K-5 would be great, but with all the things to buy you maybe won't get that done this time and by the time of X-mass you can add the next camera to your bag and keep the K-5 as back-up.

The 60-250 is way much better then the 50-135mm, but a lot off weight. The FA31mm could also be part of your system.

Selling obsolete old lenses is a good plan and part off your upgrading.
07-08-2012, 03:48 AM   #6

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Agreed about the second body - use them both, keep a wide zoom on one, the FA77 on the other, etc, depending on the venue.

A wedding pro and live music shooter in my area always shoots with two cameras, using a shoulder strap/harness and Kata waist pack. Seems very efficient.

And yes I'd add something like the 60-250 or a 70-200 to your kit for sure.
07-08-2012, 03:51 AM   #7
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i agree with those above with selling off old/redundant gear and going for a second body. In addition to that, I also agree that you should aim for the sigma 30 to complement the FA77.
I'd like to argue against going for the DA*55, as the sigma 30 would make a better low light lens imo and the FA77 already makes a fine portrait lens.

I'd also like to argue against the elinchroms in favor of alienbees. Even if the Dlite heads are cheap, the mods for elinchrom mount are very expensive. The only time i would suggest elinchrom is if you decide to go all the way and go for a quadra setup with the rotalux. Otherwise, go for alienbees for their much more affordable strobes/mods. Going cheap with alienbees would also be a good investment for your first studio strobes, the cheap mods and units help you decide how you want to shoot with strobes, the service from PCB is second to none and you can sell them for about as much as you got them for. In that sense, its like renting until you decide to step up to profoto, broncolor, elinchrom, etc.

Furthermore, i'd like to argue against the DA*50-135 and 60-240. From what i'm getting, it seems like you want the tele zoom for when your 77 isnt long enough and mainly to shoot wedding and concert type shots. In this case, i suggest the sigma 70-200.Here's my reasoning for why: fast HSM AF for concerts, fast 2.8 aperture for better low light over the 60-240, 70-200 for more reach over the 50-135.

Here's what i would do if i was in your shoes:
Sell everything that isn't going to be doing work (pretty much everything but your flash, body, 16-50, 77 and maybe the 40)
Buy second K-5 and battery grips asap
Invest in a solid light stand, go one-light with a single Alienbees b800 and mod of choice (beauty dish, softbox, umbrella, octa, para, etc) along with some triggers (yongnuo 603s if you dont need control, Cybersyncs if you do)
Buy a sigma 30mm
Buy a sigma 70-200mm f/2.8
Slowly invest more into lighting

This would make for a fairly versatile setup in which you can pretty much have a main and auxiliary lens for most shooting. Since you'd have two bodies on you, you'll always have two lenses already mounted and ready to shoot. because of this, the 16-50 and 70-200 together would be able to cover about 80% of all shooting situations. If you need speed, just swap to the 30 and 77. If shallow DoF is what you crave for portraits, you got the 30, 77 and 70-200 at your disposal depending on working distance.

As for where I'm coming from, I'm also currently trying to pick up more work and I shoot with quite a similar setup to what I prescribed: a tamron 17-50, DA*55 and tokina 80-200. I'm planning on getting rid of the 55 and 80-200 eventually to fund an 85 1.4, as well as picking up a second body at some point, as I feel the 17-50 and 85 1.4 would be adequate to cover all my shooting. Unfortunately, school is quite expensive, so upgrading is going to take a tad longer for me
07-08-2012, 11:11 AM   #8
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Original Poster
Thanks for the input guys. A second body is definitely something that could be purchased quickly.

The reason why I choose the 50-135 is 100% because of size and weight. I rarely use (read twice a year so far) longer FL than 135mm (even when I use my sigma 70-300 it sat around the 100mm mark) so I don't see myself wanting the extra reach at the cost of size and weight. Especially since for those rare cases when I need it I can just take the Sigma I have. I have yet to physically hold a 60-250....

The Sigma 30 1.4 sounds like a good addition. Probably will be last on my list or will bump the DA*55 down depending on how things go. I have only recently found needs to shoot wider than 50mm, and that was when I was doing some action shots with the kids in the backyard and shooting some landscapes.

I've thought about selling all my M series lenses. But the truth of the matter is that I have a K1000, MX, and Sportmatic that I also like to enjoy on a regular basis.


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