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02-09-2013, 01:24 PM   #1
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what lens

thinking of going to kenya with k-5,I only have 18-55 & 50-200 kit lenses, should I buy another lens ? or will they be good enough?

02-09-2013, 01:29 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by alan1 Quote
thinking of going to kenya with k-5,I only have 18-55 & 50-200 kit lenses, should I buy another lens ? or will they be good enough?
Consider upgrading the 50-200mm to a 55-300mm: Pentax SMCP-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Autofocus Lens 21720 B&H

Here are our user and in-depth reviews:
SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 Review - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

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02-09-2013, 01:34 PM   #3
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QuoteQuote:
Consider upgrading the 50-200mm to a 55-300mm:

Yep, that's a good move, and a cheap and easy one.
02-09-2013, 01:45 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Consider upgrading the 50-200mm to a 55-300mm:
+1 I would also add a single fast prime in the 30 - 50mm range. Something like the FA 50mm f/1.4 or the FA 31mm ltd. Just so you have some fast glass for low light.

Actually if it were me, and a once in a life time type of trip, I would also add a K-01 with 40mm lens as a backup / second body. At 300-325usd you get a second body and some nice reasonably fast glass.

02-09-2013, 02:14 PM   #5
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How much monies? That 50-200 will need to go. At the long end, where you'll be using it most, it's pretty, well... crap. The 55-300 is an obvious upgrade, but not one that will bring you the reach you'll need. For that, look at a Sigma 50-500, 150-500 or 120-400. Or find an old 400mm 5.6.


Or you could get a superzoom. Which will do long-distance shots much better. And it will be a backup camera.
02-09-2013, 02:21 PM   #6
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After the kit lenses, a typical move is for a fast 50 lens (50mm f1.4). There are a large offer of MF and AF fast fifties.

The next step is to consider the DA Limited series (the 'pancakes') and/or the FA Limited series (the oldies but goodies). Pentax has some superb lenses in both series: the DA40mm Ltd, DA15mm Ltd, the FA31mm Ltd, FA77mm Ltd.... They are not cheap, but they are 'bloody good'.

My personal advice: save and buy good quality lenses. A superb lens is an investment: in yourself and your photography, as well as a financial investment. IMHO you cannot go wrong with the 'infamous' ones.... but you need to save

Hope that the comment may help.
02-09-2013, 03:10 PM   #7
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The 55-300 is a really big step up in reach from the 50-200, and is a better lens in many other respects as well. Top it off with how small it is for its reach and its a gem. I've bought and sold quite a few lenses, including limiteds, and the 55-300 that came in my original K-x kit is still in use on a regular basis. Are there better IQ 300's - absolutely, but none that are as versatile, small, and inexpensive while producing very good photographs. Don't forget that the more reach lenses, like the BigMa 50-500, that have been suggested weigh in at 4.34lbs. (1970g) where the 55-300 weighs in at 15.5oz. (440g)
02-10-2013, 12:23 PM   #8
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thanks for all of the reviews bit of a mixed bag,should I go for another brand lens?

02-10-2013, 01:04 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by alan1 Quote
thanks for all of the reviews bit of a mixed bag,should I go for another brand lens?
That's your call and there are other brands. Just remember that those reviews are written by people of all degrees of experience. Some write bad reviews because they are clueless or because they are disappointed that the particular lens they are reviewing is not what they thought. Some people will give water a down check because it is wet. Read the reviews and learn what people think and decide on each one if you trust what they are saying.

The 55-300 is one of the best consumer zooms out there in that price range. It does not focus particularly fast in poor light, but that is because of the design. It is small and light for it's reach. Is it an f/4 or f/2.8 lens? Of course not. It is what it is. But you will need to spend quite a bit more to get much better. The DA*60-250 is your next step up and that costs about $1,700 and weighs 1120g (36oz) more than twice the 55-300mm.
02-10-2013, 01:18 PM   #10
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They're going on a safari (I assume since Kenya is the destination). Why would they need a fast 50 or even wider?

Buy or rent the longest lens you can, and bring a back up body.
02-12-2013, 04:38 AM   #11
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The DA 55-300mm and the K5 are an excellent combo for wildlife. I did Namibia with it.
And do a firmware update to V.1.14 on the K5 to make it focus fast(er).

The 50-200mm is too short for wildlife. If it not, then you are too close and might be in trouble ;-)

Even though you might want a longer lens in some (wildlife) situations, the above 55-300 is excellent because it is neither huge nor heavy. You can have it at the ready on your lap sitting in a car going on bumpy tracks and take photos out of the window. Try that with a 500mm, no chance ;-)

Another tip: Take photos in TAv mode! From moving car use 1/2000 or faster + shake reduction for sharp pictures of running animals.

Cheers from Berlin, jephi
02-13-2013, 12:30 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
That's your call and there are other brands. Just remember that those reviews are written by people of all degrees of experience. Some write bad reviews because they are clueless or because they are disappointed that the particular lens they are reviewing is not what they thought. Some people will give water a down check because it is wet. Read the reviews and learn what people think and decide on each one if you trust what they are saying.

The 55-300 is one of the best consumer zooms out there in that price range. It does not focus particularly fast in poor light, but that is because of the design. It is small and light for it's reach. Is it an f/4 or f/2.8 lens? Of course not. It is what it is. But you will need to spend quite a bit more to get much better. The DA*60-250 is your next step up and that costs about $1,700 and weighs 1120g (36oz) more than twice the 55-300mm.
thank you jatrax, your reply made good sense ;-)
02-13-2013, 08:14 PM   #13
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+1 on urgarding to DA 55-300 for better reach for wildlife, average+ IQ, covenience, cost justified, fast AF (if firmware 1.14 is installed).

You may 1)consider a tele-converter 1.4x/1.5x for better reach or 2)get a K-01 for wide-angle shot and you can you use your K-5 plus DA 50-200 or 55-300 for tele/wildlife shooting ... !
02-13-2013, 09:38 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
That 50-200 will need to go. At the long end, where you'll be using it most, it's pretty, well... crap.


Some things to consider:

- These were all shot with my K-r and the much maligned 50-200 at the full 200mm.







The last one of the elk was at ISO 800 in shadowy conditions at almost dusk. And it might be the sharpest of the three. Are they perfect or as high quality as one of the telephoto primes? Of course not. But are these on par with most of the shots I've seen from the 55-300? Clearly. Keep in mind these are at the supposed "crap" 200mm focal length. I think if you need shots sharper, and with better contrast and colors than these, then you probably do need a much more expensive lens.
02-13-2013, 09:48 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jephi Quote

The 50-200mm is too short for wildlife. If it not, then you are too close and might be in trouble ;-)

One more consideration. These are wild mountain goats and a moose respectively, in their native habitat. Both were shot with the 50-200.....not at 200mm......but at 95mm.







Often it's how patient you are and how slowly you move around. WIth the goats, It took me a couple of hours of walking around in the vicinity to where I could get this close without disturbing them. The moose was a little different in that it basically came right up to me, but I was not running or moving quickly. I know birds are a bit more skittish, but the owl above did not fly off because I also took a long time to get close to it. My point is that it is often more about the photographer than it is the lens.

Last edited by ccd333; 02-13-2013 at 10:07 PM.
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