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05-26-2011, 09:16 AM   #1
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Pentax K-R recommendations for kit and lens

Hello All,

I've been trolling for some time, and I'm about to bite on the Pentax K-R. Seems like at retail price of 699, I can grab a K-R with 18-55MM kit lens, and a 50-200MM lens.

This seems like a good deal when compared to the Nikons or Canons.

I am a little alarmed over a thread I ran into here about firmware issues with the K-R, however. Being that I'm new to the whole digital SLR world, can someone help me to understand the issue, and when I'd expect to see it?

Also, advice on the 50-200MM or the 55-300MM lens would be helpful. It looks like the 55-300MM lens would be about another $100 on the package. I'm willing to spend the extra money if there is a benefit that I can understand.

All help is greatly appreciated! looking forward to posting some of my work here in the future.

thanks.

05-26-2011, 10:12 AM   #2
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If I had known better, I would have gotten my camera with the 55-300 instead of the 50-200. I ended up buying a 55-300 later for 275. Either get the kit without the 50-200 if you think you'll never use telephoto lenses, or spend the extra and get the 55-300. There is a significant difference in IQ and the extra 100mm of reach is very handy.
05-26-2011, 10:51 AM   #3
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One thing that might be important to you is the size/weight difference between the DA-L 50-200 (235 grams, 7.85 cm length) and the DA-L 55-300 (425 grams, 11.15 cm length). I know that the 55-300 is optically superior to the 50-200, but the 50-200 is smaller and lighter to carry around-- it's just a little bigger than the 18-55 kit lens and uses the same size filters (52mm versus 58mm of the 55-300). But I agree with ironlionzion; if I had known better at the time I bought my k-x (with 18-55, 50-200 kit lenses), I probably would have spent the extra $100+ to get the 55-300 lens. For now, though, I'm happy with the small size and portability of the 50-200.
05-26-2011, 11:33 AM   #4
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Here's a thread that discusses 50-200 versus 55-300:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/74656-da-50-20...5-300mm-2.html


I like Gene V's comment that I've copied and pasted below:

"Which kit works for you depends upon what you will do with it. The DA55-300 is about twice the weight of the 50-200 and significantly larger. Its advantage are more reach (300) and better performance at wider apertures, especially at longer focal lengths. Its only disadvantage is that its size greatly detracts from the compact K-x package.

When I traveled with the K-x last month, I took the DA50-200 and left its larger sibling at home. The size just did not fit in with my compact travel gear (or fit in my compact bag). I had little need for the longer length, and found my DA70 long enough for indoor tele work. Outdoors in bright light, where your aperture is F8 or smaller, you will be hard pressed to see the difference in quality between the two zooms.

So, if you are looking for a compact travel rig, the 18-55/50-200 is hard to beat for size and weight. If this is your complete lens collection, and you are not pressed for space, go for the 55-300. It is the better all around lens."


05-26-2011, 11:54 AM   #5
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Double post--didn't realize everything was approved by moderators on this board.

Last edited by maybeitsjustme; 05-26-2011 at 12:29 PM.
05-26-2011, 12:07 PM   #6
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I did manage to troll into that post before as well. It does seem like everyone agrees the 300mm is the better lens.

I guess in my mind, I was more thinking of it as an economical option to also have a second lens for $700, rather than a single one for like $650.

Any word as to how much I would expect to run into the focus issue? It sounds like there are a lot of people experiencing it at different magnitudes. I guess this is a fierce debate and hard to summarize, but if anyone would like to try, I'd be appreciative.
05-26-2011, 07:51 PM   #7
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I'm not sure this is a slam dunk for the 55-300. If you look at Gene V's comments from seventysixerfans post you can see that not "everyone" thinks it's "better" when you consider ALL of the attributes of each. The extra size and weight of the 55-300 is substantial, though I would concede that if you need the extra length it may be worth it. As far as IQ goes, I agree that it's considered to be better.....but how much better really? After hearing all the negative comments on the 50-200, I purchased it somewhat reluctantly as part of a kit primarily because the price for the brand new K-r and both lenses (18-55 also) was $499 on Ebay (I made an offer and they accepted). That's the same price I paid for my *istDL with just the 18-55 several years ago. To say I was pleasantly surprised by the results is a major understatement.

Just for grins, take a look at this shot I took recently with the same setup you were considering......the K-r and the 50-200. This is basically default settings on the camera, using AF-C (which after learning how to use I get almost 90% keepers) AND at the supposedly soft focal length of 200mm. I cropped this shot moderately and then it was additionally downsized by the photo site (click on the image for full size):

IMGP0317-3.jpg picture by ccd333 - Photobucket

Here is the EXIF (also posted on the site)......

Camera Make: PENTAX

Camera Model: PENTAX K-r

Date/Time: 2011:04:30 10:20:56

Resolution: 2058 x 1409

Flash Used: No

Focal Length: 200.0mm (35mm equivalent: 300...

Exposure Time: 0.0002 s (1/5000)

Aperture: f/5.6

ISO Equiv.: 400
05-27-2011, 05:22 AM   #8
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The level of detail in that shot is impressive. Very crisp image, I'm liking what I see.

I think I might bite on the 50-200mm if for no other reason, cost alone. It seems like a toss in at the price, and I probably won't understand it's benefit fully until I learn the camera well.

05-27-2011, 10:54 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by maybeitsjustme Quote

I think I might bite on the 50-200mm if for no other reason, cost alone. It seems like a toss in at the price, and I probably won't understand it's benefit fully until I learn the camera well.
Exactly. It is a no risk venture. If you aren't satisfied you can always get a 55-300 or other zoom later on. Not only do I think you will be pleased with the IQ......you will be utterly shocked at not only how light it is, but how small it closes up! Not only that, the K-r is a great camera! You asked about FF and I have seen no evidence of it on mine....but I shoot outdoors 95% of the time.
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