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02-06-2014, 06:32 PM   #1
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Walkabout lens for the brick

I'm starting to get cross-eyed researching all of the possible lenses MF & AF for use as a walkabout lens for the K-01.

Up till now I've been using my old MF primes and the time has come for me to zoom a bit. I sold my super-zoom and other fixed lens cameras and chose to stay with the brick for its versatility and fine sensor.

However I'm not up on zooms even after a solid month of research. I'm looking for something that offers good to great quality in a relatively small package at a very reasonable price. The third requirement is the sticking point however we all want to get the best we can afford.

What would you forum members recommend based on your experiences? I"m fine with MF or AF and am considering possibly two lenses of this type: a shorter one (within the 24-120 range) and a longer one (24-300). I would use the shorter one for everyday walks and the longer for hikes. If I go for two (and can afford it) I would accept the longer one having lesser image quality. The ranges I listed are approximate - a bit longer or shorter is not a problem for me,

Thank you!

PS - brand is unimportant to me - I've been looking at everything old & new: Vivitar, Tamron, Pentax, Promaster, SIgma, etc.

02-06-2014, 06:38 PM   #2
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The Pentax 18-135 is what I'd recommend. If that's too expensive Sigma has a few more affordable options in the same range.

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02-06-2014, 06:38 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Many K-01 Cultists here use F35~70 as I do. It is small, fairly sharp, decent to very good for video and best of all, ubiquitous and therefor comparatively inexpensive. Here's the Forum Review.
02-06-2014, 06:46 PM   #4
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You didn't mention budget other than "reasonable" - that word has highly variable definitions for different photogs! You also seem to want to cover a very broad range (to 300mm)...

Here's my take:
  • Sigma 17-70 Contemporary;
  • Pentax HD DA 55-300 WR (or DA 55-300 if you can find it).
Not sure how good the AF will be on the K-01 with the 55-300 though...

Last edited by Doundounba; 02-06-2014 at 06:47 PM. Reason: range comment
02-06-2014, 06:55 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Many K-01 Cultists here use F35~70 as I do. It is small, fairly sharp, decent to very good for video and best of all, ubiquitous and therefor comparatively inexpensive. Here's the Forum Review.
Definitely second Monochrome on F35-70, super sharp, light, and small. Also keep an eye on the (USA)Sigma Outlet site as the recon zooms can be very inexpensive.
02-06-2014, 06:59 PM   #6

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I have a Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 XR DiII practically welded to my K-01. If you're walking about, you don't need a super-paparazzi-tele, but the zoom on the 17-50 is enough to get closer to subjects where your feet can't or shouldn't go
It's really sharp, great colours and the best lens I have for video on the K-01 as well.
I paid around $320 (new) for mine.
02-06-2014, 09:58 PM   #7
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I tried the DA18-250mm and DA18-135mm on my K-01. The DA18-250mm is very slow and AF focus is reliable. The DA18-135mm is excellent on the other hand. The lens is quite compact, quiet and fast AF. I can recommend the DA18-135mm as the perfect walk-around lens based upon my experience.
02-07-2014, 04:02 AM - 1 Like   #8

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Well to be honest, keep your brick small and don't go all the way to 300mm, since you wil be disapointed.

02-07-2014, 06:07 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Many K-01 Cultists here use F35~70 as I do. It is small, fairly sharp, decent to very good for video and best of all, ubiquitous and therefor comparatively inexpensive. Here's the Forum Review.
Adam's suggestion is the ideal. As a walk-around lens, I'm not sure you can beat the 18-135. However, if you want something'budget friendly', the F35-70 is a good alternative. I use an FA 28-80, but really there are several choices among those old film 'standard zoom' lenses.
02-07-2014, 07:24 AM   #10
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As far more budget choices are concerned, if you have a single body and want a single, walkabout zoom lens, for me bottoming out at 35mm is not wide-enough. I really enjoy my copy of the FA 28-105mm F/3.2-4.5. Bought it for $120. It's very light and compact, with great colors, decent range and fast focus on the K-01. My actual main walkabout though is a version 1 Sigma 17-70mm F/2.8-4.5 (around $220). I really like the image quality and the range though it's a tad bulky and for some reason with it, the K-01 will occasionally just miss focus on a shot... I'm currently considering upgrading to the contemporary version which is faster and has silent AF (or moving to a 3-primes model). Certainly if you need more reach, the 18-135 is also by most accounts a fine choice. I'm not sure I'd pick it over the Sigma 17-70 contemporary for a K-01, because that's not a WR body and I personally don't need that much reach in a single lens.
02-07-2014, 10:30 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the replies so far. There's a lot of information to consider here.

To start with,

@ Doundounba, my "reasonable" is old-school reasonable and that means =<$100. The 70s & 80s were good to me. I understand that the technologically advanced and overloaded AF lenses do some very impressive work and better design and mfg, have a price.

To make my inquiry clearer, I think I was asking for an "old-school reasonable" price -and- a "2010s price." Hmm, there's no way the 2000s are going to roll off the tongue like the 1900s.

@Adam, the lens review pages kept me up all night! The problem I find with this is that there can be extreme opinions and only one or two entries for a particular lens, skewing or averaging out the ratings. However its much better than nothing. The 18-135 makes a lot of sense. How is it for manual focusing?

I notice no one mentioned any of the MF lenses. Until I remembered to inquire here I was looking at almost nothing but MF. I have a 135mm 2.8 M42 mount lens with no name, and when I put that old thing on the K-01 it was great fun and (for me) easier than dealing with AF. I find the focus peaking to be so natural and responsive that for me, AF would not be needed.

How about the series 1 Vivitars and similar lenses? Does anyone have a favorite among them?


Last edited by krema; 02-07-2014 at 10:39 AM. Reason: slow brain, fast hands
02-07-2014, 12:13 PM - 1 Like   #12
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Hmmm, good deals on MF zooms around $100 - that's a bit of a more precise target. Maybe the A 35-105mm F/3.5? It's a heavy beast, but a wonderful lens. I believe the M 75-150mm F/4 has a pretty decent reputation as well and should be inexpensive. Some of the Adaptall SP zoom lenses also have good reputations - I'm on the lookout for a 35-80mm F/2.8-3.8 myself... The thing, for me, with some of the nice older manual glass is that it sometimes goes for what I call "collector pricing" - and most of the Vivitar Series 1 lenses I've watched on Ebay have fallen into that category. It's not a zoom, but there's a gorgeous Series 1 55mm F/1.2 that could be yours right now... for $US1k.
02-07-2014, 01:43 PM   #13
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I can vouch for the 35-105, but can't imagine it being much fun on the K-01. TBH my cheap walkabout lens for that camera, if I owned it, would be the DA40XS (which is currently sat on my K-5iiS). For bigger zoom lenses I'd prefer the extra stability offered by using a viewfinder. You might do worse than either the 18-55 (later versions) or 16-45 DA zooms if you want to keep the costs down. As for Vivitar Series 1 lenses, I think the 55/2.8 macro is superb...but not an obvious walkabout choice.
02-07-2014, 05:59 PM   #14
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I had a Sigma 18-125 lens (forget the full name) and I thought it was a very nice lens for the price (about £100) - with one exception. It flared easily.

In the end, I sold it and bought the 18-135. I originally thought it was out of my budget, but in the end I got it anyway, and happy with it.

However, if you do want something cheaper, I agree with those who recommended the 35-70. I sold that too when I got the 18-135 thinking that it would be redundant. But it was a nice lens. And in fact I just bought another copy. I suspect I won't use it much (as I have the 18-135) but I wanted to own it again, and sometimes I want something smaller or a little faster than the 18-135. Kind of a compromise, halfway between a small fast prime and the 18-135.
02-08-2014, 08:22 AM   #15
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You know, a 18-55 AL II is so cheap on that why not get one of them, even if you end up with something else also you can't really go wrong.

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