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08-30-2012, 03:11 PM   #1
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Total Pentax newbie!!

Hi everyone
I'm new to this forum and have been reading a few threads to familiarize myself with the Pentax K5 camera and lenses as I'm thinking about buying this camera. I'm fairly new to photography and have been pursuing this hobby for almost a year now.
I currently own just one camera (and sometimes thats enough i guess!) which is a fixed 35mm lens and i'm now thinking of expanding into a system with more lenses.
The K5 really appeals to me because of IQ and size and ergonomics. I guess also because my dad many many years ago had a pentax film camera and remember that!
So my question is... which lenses go with the K5 that have Auto focus and are equivalent to the 50mm pov? I also love to take candid portraits off the street and would like to add a portrait lens also in the future..
Which lenses do you recommend that are easy to focus (auto) and are fast so i can use them in low light.

Any help\advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

08-30-2012, 03:30 PM   #2
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Welcome to the board!

Because the K5 has such a wide range of ISO, I would concentrate my lens choices more towards sharpness than speed. While all Pentax K mount lenses will work with the K5, only those with the "A" designation on them are automatic. So if you don't wish to shoot manual, look at "A", "F" "FA" and any "D" lenses.


Asking what lens is best is a lot like asking what car is best - everyone will have different opinions, and many will work very well. One lens to consider is the Pentax 50mm macro lens, notably the A version, which can be purchased quite reasonably used. At F2.8, it isn't that slow, and would work well for street photography with the added benefit of macro capabilities should you ever desire them. You can read the reviews on it here:

Pentax A 50mm Macro

A 28mm will be closer to matching what a 50mm is on a 35mm film camera, but don't get hung up on that. Cropping software can be downloaded cheap or free and can give satisfactory results even with a longer lens, due to the number of pixels of the K5. One think you find is a shortage of lenses, and many of us here are afflicted with LBA (Lens Buying Addiction).
08-30-2012, 04:10 PM   #3
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Welcome to the Forum. As far as a first lens for a dSLR body, I would recommend the kit lens, for a number of reasons. The Pentax kit lens tends to be a bit better than what is available from the other makes. Its AF and a zoom which gives you a pretty broad range of focal lengths - from wide angle to short telephoto. Since you are looking for a normal focal length, something in the 28 to 35 would do just fine. However, it does provide you with the advantage to explore the shorter focal lengths too. The cost is also pretty nominal. You can find the older models for as little as ~ $30. This would also enable you to explore using other focal lengths, and see which ones actually appeal to you.

The K5 is an absolutely wonderful body. I have one and its just terrific. That said, for someone new to dSLRs, I would say to also take a look at the K30 also. Its essentially a K5 with some newer capabilities, and also some minor deletions. At the current price - which I just saw of about $700 (body only), you could have a pretty wonderful equipment setup, at a very reasonable price.
hope that helps....

08-30-2012, 04:43 PM   #4
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Welcome.
The k-5 is a great body, and at current pricing an incredible bargain. Any Pentax lens that starts with 'F', 'FA', 'DA' or 'D FA' will work with auto-focus on the k-5. If you want to learn more about the various Pentax lenses look here for the lens database on the forum.

A normal POV on a 1.5x crop camera is about 31mm, so if you really want that exact POV then a 28mm or 35mm or the FA 31mm Limited would work.

A good 'starter' set that covers all of the bases and lets you learn would be the DA 18-55, DA 55-300 and maybe the new DA 35mm f/2.4 that gives you a range of 18 to 300mm in the zooms and the 35mm is close enough to normal POV and is considered an excellent prime and a very good price.

But there are many, many options, for example if you are interested in macro, the DA 35mm Limited is close to 'normal' and has macro ability as well. Browse the lens database and do some research first before deciding.

08-31-2012, 11:07 AM   #5
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thanks all
which zoom would you recommend for auto focus on this camera?
08-31-2012, 11:10 AM   #6
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also what is the crop on the K5 so i can figure out which is the closest to a 50mm?
i'm sorry for the stupid questions but i honestly don't know
08-31-2012, 11:14 AM   #7
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The DA 18-135 WR is hard to beat as an all-around lens. It's motorized so it's quiet and I've found it tracks focus very well. It's also weather resistant so you'll have no problems. It's the lens I usually have on my camera for walking around the neighborhood. If I'm at a park or walking along the river when I expect to see wildlife I'll take the 55-300 for better reach.

The 16-45 is much less expensive ( $200 used) and works very well on the K-5. I bought that for my K-10 and kept it when I got the K-5. I still use it for indoor work since I don't need the long zoom. Focus in my experience is quite accurate.

There are other options, the several 17-70s, the 12-24 short zoom, even the DA WR 18-55 II kit lens is supposed to be pretty good and you can get that for less than $100.
08-31-2012, 11:16 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by camelot98 Quote
thanks all
which zoom would you recommend for auto focus on this camera?
The best in the Pentax line (but a little pricey , though a rebate is in effect for september) is the da*16-50.. It has been known to suffer issues with it's SDM focus system so a longer warranty may well be worth it. Aside from the SDM issue (which many people have not experienced) it is a top notch lens. Fast (as zooms go) at F2.8. covering an excellent range from moderately wide (16mm would be a 24 on an older film camera) to 50mm which is a nice short tele portrait length It also benefits from the highest level of dust and weather sealing.
the link to bh photo for it is
Pentax SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens 21650 B&H Photo Video

at a lower price the Tamron 17-50 2.8 is a very popular lens in the same range not the same build quality and noisier (but more reliable) screw driven AF

08-31-2012, 11:16 AM   #9
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You can look up the crop factor, but it's not too important. That 35mm recommended earlier is inexpensive and very nice - the "plastic wonder." I'd get that if I were you. Somewhere between 24-35mm is going to be equivalent to the 50mm on full-frame.

Here's one:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographic-equipment-sale/197467-sale-d...-shipping.html

I've rented the Sigma 28mm f1.8 Macro, and liked it but it's big and relatively expensive. It should be compared more with the DA 35mm Limited Macro. Which I also don't own.

Last edited by TER-OR; 08-31-2012 at 11:22 AM.
08-31-2012, 09:08 PM   #10
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I would recommend Sigma 17-70mm 2.8-4.5 DC MACRO, excellent fast lens for low light indoors and walk around outdoors, I have two of them, can buy for ~$200 used.
plus , earlier mentioned , DA 55-300 for the longer reach.
crop factor = 1.5
09-01-2012, 04:33 PM   #11
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I have a DA* 16-50 and I love it. I also have a DA* 50-135 which is the best zoom lens that I have (so far) had the pleasure of using.

But I also have a DA 18-135 and that is a very good lens to start out with. It gives you the normal POV that you are looking for as well as a decent zoom range. I used Pentax film cameras a long time ago and with those I only shot with primes. But I have found that the higher quality Pentax zoom lenses paired with the K-5 body can produce images that rival those made with even a limited prime lens.

So many lenses - so little time!
09-02-2012, 09:44 AM   #12
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thanks for all the responses!
will keep u posted on a purchase
09-09-2012, 02:00 PM   #13
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If you kit it up you should go with the 18-135 WR, it is sooo quiet. Also, for you 50mm equivilent the Sigma 30mm f1.4 is very nice, extremely fast and fantastic in low light, a bit heavy though.
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