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12-08-2011, 12:14 AM   #1

Pentax lens for an amateur


I'm intending to purchase a Kr, but need some feedback on what lens should I get for a beginner. I'll be using it primarily for food/landscape/portrait pictures so it would be good to know what are my choices (without burning a hole in my pocket).

12-08-2011, 12:19 AM   #2
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Your best bet is the 2-lens kit with the 18-55 and the 55-300:
14664 Pentax K-r Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm and 55-300mm DA-L Zoom Lenses, 12.4 Megapixel CMOS Sensor, 720p HD Video, Black

The 55-300mm is especially good for the money, and if you ever need a prime lens for macros or whatnot, you can always get a used manual lens for hardly anything:
Pentax M42 Screwmount Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

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12-08-2011, 01:08 AM   #3
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For the given tasks, a 17-70 sounds like a good option (Pentax, Sigma). But the two lens kit as mentioned by Adam might be a bit more flexible if you need something longer at occasion.
12-08-2011, 03:45 AM   #4
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The amount of lenses that you could get is overwhelming. Get one of the suggested options and make yourself familiar with the camera and the lens limitations. Then, probably in 6 months or so, you will know better what other lens to buy.

12-08-2011, 10:35 PM   #5

Thanks all for the reply, but I think I'll KIV my purchase until there are further news from Pentax regarding the KR replacement. Heard they have stopped taking in orders, hopefully I wouldn't have to wait long for the replacement.
01-21-2012, 07:03 PM   #6
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I purchased a K-r recently in a bundle consisting of the DAL 18-55 and 50-200 kit lenses. I soon sold them and replaced them with the DA WR versions which have much better build quality and are less flimsy and fragile with smoother focusing and zoom action (though still all plastic). They also have metal mounts instead of plastic. And the Quick-Shift Focus system which is great. And also very affordable. But of course even these plastic DA lenses have nowhere near the build quality of my SMC-M and SMC-A lenses. And their optics are also not as good. The DAL lenses feel like toy lenses. It is about time ALL Pentax digital SLR cameras and their lenses were all metal (maybe with a thin polycarbonate coating as in the Pentax 645. Say NO to plastic! Compromising on build quality is a sure way to oblivion.
01-21-2012, 08:03 PM   #7
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Evening and welcome to the Forum -

Pentax as you have heard is starting to cycle their products. On one hand we know what is leaving and on the other we do not know what is coming as a replacement. However, during the transition pricing can be advantageous to you. As an entry level, Pentax products do come with a few more features and capabilities than that of other brands. Your indicated lens needs tend to go across the gamut.
  • Food - will probably be in the 30mm or so (and depending on what you want you may want a macro capability to get close)
  • Landscape - can be anything from say 15mm to 200mm depending on the shot. Most landscapes are done in the 28 to 35mm range since there is very little distortion in the image quality.
  • Portrait - I am not a portrait photographer, but with an APS-C sensor you are probably looking at something like 85mm (head and shoulders).
That is why you have received the suggestions for the kit lenses - 18-55 and the 17-70, since a single lens would cover most of your needs. These are both zoom lenses. Pentax also has a DA 35 f2.4 that would work very well for $200. It might be a bit too wide for portraits but should work well for food and landscapes.

Waiting for Pentax's new models - will most likely increase prices to you. Going with a Kr could nail down a good entry price for a very good camera. One thing that you did not touch on is size. Pentax is rumored to be replacing the Kr with a mirror-less camera. Its size may be a tad smaller. That may or may not make a difference to you.

In any case, Pentax offers a 2 year extended warranty for $20 - its the best deal around (gives you 3 years of coverage and a free cleaning).

03-07-2012, 09:08 PM   #8
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my name is Fabien, new on the forum this is my first post,

I'm a very very new user of DSLR as I've only had pointandshoot cameras (always Pentax) since 2005,

I've bought lately the K-r with a lens 55-200mm but I feel I would need/like a much bigger lens... I've tried to find a little online on what Pentax would offer either on shop or online but didn't find much else than the 55-300mm, I'd more like to have/find something like 600mm, up to 1000mm??.......

Thank you very much,....


03-07-2012, 09:55 PM   #9
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A Sigma 17-70 would be a good candidate. They show up from time to time in the forum marketplace for perhaps $300. There are a few versions. You don't need the "OS" or "HSM" version.
03-07-2012, 09:57 PM - 1 Like   #10
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your name reminds me of a Sony but... anyways there's the upcoming Pentax DA 560, and if you're looking for stuff longer than that, there are ones from the older lines. Not easy to find, and not cheap, either. Speaking of P&S, have you tried the Pentax X90:?
03-07-2012, 10:07 PM   #11
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thank you so much Alizarine for your rapid answer!

I've had a quick look at Pentax DA 50mm, DA 560mm D-FA 645 90mm: CP+ - Pentax Camera News & Rumors -, it might be something that could interest me, as I'm still newbie would this one be mountable on my K-r (it says it is a K-mount, does it mean that it goes on any Pentax K-...?.....) (oups sorry if this looks like being stupid questions lol.....) and do you have any idea of when it will be released?.....

03-07-2012, 11:38 PM - 1 Like   #12
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The DA 50 and the DA 560 are both K mount so they will go on your camera, the other lens is for the Pentax 645 line not K mount. At its simplest Pentax has three mounts the K mount, the 645 mount and the M42 screw mount. There are several others but lets keep it simple. Anything that says K mount on it will fit your camera, Anything that says F, FA, or DA will work with your camera in the automatic settings. Other, older K mount lenses such as the M or the A series will fit but will be manual focus or aperture. M42 lenses will work on your camera with an adapter and there are many fine manual focus ones available. 645 lenses can also be adapted to your camera but I do not think the results are worth it unless you already have the lenses.

As to when these will be released, no word has been given officially but they are listed as 2012 on the lens road map.
03-08-2012, 12:15 PM   #13
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Pentax lenses

Thank you so much jatrax for your answer!! I think I'll focus and wait for the 560mm one..

Wishing you a Great Day!!

03-09-2012, 07:06 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by FabienA380 Quote
Thank you so much jatrax for your answer!! I think I'll focus and wait for the 560mm one..

Wishing you a Great Day!!

May I ask, What is it that you are taking photos of that makes you think that you need the extreme telephoto lenses?
03-09-2012, 08:45 PM   #15
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hi calicojack!

Thank you for your answer!

In fact I'm much impressed by Airliners in Flight -, I'll try to lead my way to something like that.... Also I'd like to make nice shots of the moon hehe......

I went yesterday to a Photograph Shop at the mall and the guy showed me a "Sigma500mm" that could be mounted on my K-r?.... Little expensive though (1300$ I think) and physically huge, I was thinking of something maybe smaller,....... Could that be a good solution to mount a Sigma zoom on a K-r?......


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