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01-19-2013, 05:25 PM   #1
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lens question for new K-5

Hello,
I would sure appreciate some advice. After tons of research, I have decided on the K-5 (sight unseen) for my first DSLR. I think I will be purchasing from Adorama, along with the additional warranty. My question is do I buy the body with the 18-55mm kit lens? Or do I buy the body only, and use the extra money, plus some for a better lens? Perhaps the kit lens is a good one to practice with as a beginner? I just don't know, I have read mixed reviews. I will be using this camera mainly for family photos, mostly of my toddler, and travel photography. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
p.s. I just noticed I have the option to buy the body along with the 18-135mm kit lens as well. Help! I don't know where to start

01-19-2013, 05:30 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by bleuwater Quote
Hello,
I would sure appreciate some advice. After tons of research, I have decided on the K-5 (sight unseen) for my first DSLR. I think I will be purchasing from Adorama, along with the additional warranty. My question is do I buy the body with the 18-55mm kit lens? Or do I buy the body only, and use the extra money, plus some for a better lens? Perhaps the kit lens is a good one to practice with as a beginner? I just don't know, I have read mixed reviews. I will be using this camera mainly for family photos, mostly of my toddler, and travel photography. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
p.s. I just noticed I have the option to buy the body along with the 18-135mm kit lens as well. Help! I don't know where to start
If you have the cash to spare, I'd got for the 18-135mm kit as it has faster (and quiet) autofocus and a lot of extra telephoto reach. Based on what you need the camera for, that lens should be sufficient. If it isn't, you can always add a prime to your kit, such as the 50mm F1.8 or 35mm F2.4.

If you want a premium walkaround zoom lens, then I would recommend the Tamron 17-50mm or the Pentax 16-50mm if you need the weather sealing.

Adam
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01-19-2013, 05:48 PM - 1 Like   #3
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18-135 or the 18-55 WR, I still use the 18-55 and it's not much extra so it's basically nothing for a decent WR lens, it's one of the best standard kit zooms out there in my eyes. If you want the extra reach get the 18-135 as it's pretty expensive to buy alone. It all depends on what you want but both are good alternatives.
01-19-2013, 07:03 PM - 1 Like   #4
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The price for the K-5 from Adorama is about the best available now, you canfind the link that takes you to Adorama around here and this benefits thisforum when you are ready to make your purchase. As for the lens kits, you arealmost paying full price in the kit, as the DA 18-55WR is $159 and the 18-135 isonly $460. This makes it harder on you by giving you no easy choices as you are not really saving in the combo!!!
Personally I have the DA18-55WR and love it. Its not a great lens but it is agreat starter and WR if you get caught out or want to get shooting foggymornings the day you get your K5!. I see an 18-135WR in my near future and itwould be a great lens to play with, helping you to find the kind of length youare looking for when you start buying primes and faster zooms. After that youhave a great all-rounder to turn to when the weather turns.

You will love the K-5


01-19-2013, 07:27 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by bleuwater Quote
.... I will be using this camera mainly for family photos, mostly of my toddler, and travel photography.
I was in a similar position as yours about 3 years ago, when I bought my K-7. Then I wanted a system (camera + lens) simple, convenient, covering all my needs with minimum number of lens(es). My two first lenses were (1) an all-around lens and (2) a fast prime lens. The former is very versatile, flexible and the best way to enjoy travelling in family without a bag of lenses. The latter is a bit more specialised, but very useful to take pictures in low-light: e.g., indoor, at sunrise, sunset... In that sense, I tend to agree with Adam, although I think that there are a few more options
So what are ther options?

(a) New lenses
If you want to buy new, your best choice is IMHO:
DA18-135WR and FA50mm f1.4
A cheaper options is the DA18-135mm WR and F50mm f1.8

(b) New and Weather resistant lenses (both)
The first (a) option had only one WR lens: the DA18-135mm WR.
A WR fast lens is the DA*55mm f1.4. It is more expensive than the DA50mm f1.4 (or F50mm f1.8). It is also a nice lens with great IQ.

(c) Second hand lenses
A third option is to buy second hand the lenses and you have a broader choice.
There are several all-around lens options, the better ones being the Pentax DA18-250mm, Tamron 18-250mm and DA18-135mm IMO.
For a fast lens, you have a very broad choise and then you may need to consider if you want a AF or MF lens. MF lenses tend to be cheaper. Check the Pentax user review section of PF for some user feedback on various lenses.


What would I recommend? In my case, I bought second hand the DA18-250mm and the Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4. That is, I followed option (c) after doing my homework. I love both lensesand they are still my most used lenses.

Hope that the comments may help.

Last edited by hcc; 01-19-2013 at 08:02 PM.
01-19-2013, 08:06 PM - 1 Like   #6
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IMHO, start with just the 18-135. This seems to be a reasonable lens covering a range that is likely to be suitable for most subjects and will be perfect for learning about the camera. You can then buy better lenses, if you feel the need to do so, once you are more familiar with the camera and what you want from it. If you end up no longer needing the 18-135 it will be easy enough to sell it on, either on this site or ebay.
01-19-2013, 10:55 PM - 1 Like   #7
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The kit lenses are not bad, but the K-5 is so good, it demands better. I like the Tamron 17-50/2.8. Sigma's is also fine.
01-20-2013, 12:41 AM   #8
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Thank you all so much! You've given me lots of great info to think about! I'm so excited to order my k5 I can hardly stand it

01-20-2013, 01:13 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Although I have been a Pentax owner for almost 40 years, when I bought my K-5, I bought the 18-135mm lens to go with it and I'm sure glad I did. I'm sure the 18-55mm is a good lens, especially for the price, but the 18-135 just blew me away. I bought it for the extra reach, but I love it because It's compact, quiet, and fast! I really hate using my screw-drive autofocus lenses now, they just seem so clunky. If you can afford it, go for the 18-135, you won't regret it.
01-20-2013, 01:47 PM - 1 Like   #10
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I agree with getting the 18-135. It makes a great all around lens and you can then sear what focal lengths you use the most if you want to add a prime or two. What kinds of things do you expect to shoot? That could make a lot of difference with recommendations as well.
01-20-2013, 03:09 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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You have indicated a broad range of expected uses - family, toddler, and travel. I think that each would benefit from certain lens characteristics:

- Family: indoors, outdoors; group photos and candid portraits. You'd want a fairly fast lens (large aperture) at wide focal length (35mm or wider for indoors).
- Toddler. Here the key to success would be a zoom with fast autofocus. A large aperture would also be useful to permit fast shutter speeds. In parks or playgrounds with a toddler, something in the 50mm-70mm range would work well.
- Travel. Depending on where your travels take you, a single zoom lens could work well. In several cities, I've had success with a moderate zoom (e.g., 35-70mm), although I on occasion a slightly longer reach would have been great. I have also found that a single fast prime lens at 35mm is quite useful on streets, in museums, or for landscapes and general nature (but not for birds!).

The K-5 kit with 18-55mm WR would give you a pretty good start: relatively low cost, a good zoom range for your intended uses, good autofocus and okay image quality. The 18-55 is a bit slow optically (f/3.5-5.6), so you'd be shooting at slower shutter speeds indoors. Of course, the K-5 has very good noise characteristics at high ISO settings, which can partially offset the aperture limitation.

The 18-135mm kit provides a longer reach and is generally regarded as an 'upgrade' over the 18-55 in several respects. The widest aperture (f/3.5-f/5.6) is still a bit limiting, but manageable as in the 18-55.

As suggested above, a faster option would be a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 (~$425) or a comparable Sigma. There is a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, but I think you'd get more use from the longer wide-angle. I'd recommend considering at least one fast lens for your indoors shots (e.g., f/2.8 or wider). The Pentax DA 50mm f/1.8 is a bit long for indoor use; the DA 35mm f/2.4 would be a good choice.

Just to add to the mix: I have a Pentax-F 35-70mm (f/3.4-4.5). It's fairly sharp, and focuses quickly. I use it outdoors frequently. One other benefit - it's cheap. It's long out of production, but available used. Adorama has one in good condition.

If your budget can manage, I'd recommend the K-5 kit with the 18-135mm and the DA 35mm f/2.4.
01-21-2013, 04:42 PM   #12
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Again, thanks for all the great advice, this is such a great forum! You have all been all been so helpful. So, I think I will go with the 18-135mm kit, since overall everyone seems to agree on that being a good place to start. I will be sure to order through the link from this site, and will hopefully be putting my order in today! hooray!
01-21-2013, 08:34 PM   #13
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I purchased my K5 just a few weeks ago from Buydig with the 18-55mm DA L kit lens. I find myself using the wide end more than anything else. So for me my next lens will be the 15mm prime. I'm glad I purchased the kit lens because it gave me the opportunity to discover what focal length I use most. After that I'll probably pick up the 35mm Macro.
01-21-2013, 09:02 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
I purchased my K5 just a few weeks ago from Buydig with the 18-55mm DA L kit lens. I find myself using the wide end more than anything else. So for me my next lens will be the 15mm prime. I'm glad I purchased the kit lens because it gave me the opportunity to discover what focal length I use most. After that I'll probably pick up the 35mm Macro.
Good post that highlights one big reason to get the kit zoom for a beginner, it's much easier to find out what you want/need with something to actually try things out with.
01-22-2013, 12:54 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by bleuwater Quote
Hello,
I would sure appreciate some advice. After tons of research, I have decided on the K-5 (sight unseen) for my first DSLR. I think I will be purchasing from Adorama, along with the additional warranty. My question is do I buy the body with the 18-55mm kit lens? Or do I buy the body only, and use the extra money, plus some for a better lens? Perhaps the kit lens is a good one to practice with as a beginner? I just don't know, I have read mixed reviews. I will be using this camera mainly for family photos, mostly of my toddler, and travel photography. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
p.s. I just noticed I have the option to buy the body along with the 18-135mm kit lens as well. Help! I don't know where to start
I too purchased my K-5 with the 18-55 WR kit lens. Its an okay lens and does a decent job, but I ran into severe overexposure issues when using smaller apertures on bright days. For roughly the same price (under $200), I recently purchased the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM and its like day an night when comparing edge to edge sharpness and overall performance. Its a faster lens and also has its own high speed focus motor so it performs better in low light.
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