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01-05-2013, 06:03 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2013
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[Q]New K-r user - lens and settings tips needed

Hi, I am new to the DSLR world and decided to start with the Pentax K-r ...wasn't easy at all to choose between Nikon D3200 and Pentax K-r, but i finally got the Pentax
I do take a lot of shots with my kids outside but also inside with a kit lens 18-55mm...I would like to get another lens, better one, but can't decide .... Tamron or Sigma ? How are the all around lenses built ?I would like a 28-135 f/2.8 - any recommendation ?

I also need some Infos regarding the correction settings in the menu: distortion and highlight - do you recommend to have them on or not ?

Thanks a lot for your time and ofc HAPPY NEW YEAR !

01-05-2013, 07:17 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Herefordshire, UK
Posts: 197
Congratulations on your choice of the Pentax. I had a K-x (the previous iteration of the K-r) and thought it was a great camera.

Regarding lenses, a good place to look is the databases on this site, with user reviews of both pentax and third party lenses:
Pentax Lenses by Sigma, Tamron, Zeiss, and more - Reviews and Specification Database - Pentax Lens Review Database
You can also see sample images with camera/lens combinations at:
Pentax Camera & Lens Sample Photo Search Engine -

The Sigma 17-70 is a good general purpose lens to replace the standard 18-55. But as a rule of thumb, you get what you pay for, and a good quality lens will last you for many years. Prime lenses generally give the best image quality, rather than a zoom, but then you sacrifice some flexibility. The Pentax range of 'Limited' lenses (DA 15, 21, 40 & 70 as well as the FA equivalents) are all pretty decent, and the 40mm lens may be a good one to start with - good enough for portrait style pictures and ok for small groups as well, and generally a decent price.

Regarding distortion correction, I believe that works only with Pentax DA and (most) FA lenses, but not with third party lenses.
Regarding highlight correction, that's not something I've ever used as I shoot most of my images using RAW (DNG) format, which gives more latitude and control when subsequently processing your images.
Having these options turned on may slow down camera operation if you are taking photos in quick succession, as you are giving the camera more work to do processing the images before taking the next one. This may or may not be an issue for you - just try it and see how you get on.

Last edited by percy; 01-05-2013 at 07:27 AM.
01-05-2013, 07:58 AM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Slovenia, probably
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When you use the kit lens, which end do you use the most, 18m or 55mm? Take this into account when getting a new lens.
Almost any lens you buy will be as good as or better than the kit lens. You might want to look at the Pentax 16-45mm. Pentax also has some pretty great prime lenses (fixed focal length, but much better IQ and low light performance), a few even at a very low cost (the DA 35mm, DA 40mm XS, and DA 50mm). These only downside is that you have to zoom with your feet. As in, walk forward or backward

I would only turn on distortion correction if you shoot jpeg and you actually notice distortion that bothers you. Highlight correction can help you if you notice you often have "white skies" (when a part of the photo is completely white, even though to our eyes it has colour). A lot of people here don't like highlight correction due to the way its implemented in the camera, as it may slightly degrade image quality (in the part that isn't too bright). With these settings its usually best to play around, maybe take some test shots with and without, and build your preferences. And quickly learn how to use Av and Tv modes, as these are usually the best compromise between automation and control over the photo.

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