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03-22-2013, 08:49 AM   #1
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Travel Lens Setup

Hello All!
This is my first post but I've been enjoying looking at your pictures and reading posts here for months. I was wondering if any of you would help me make a decision.
I consider myself a Nikon shooter as the majority of my equipment is Nikon and I love the system. I purchased a K30 last September, while my D90 was being fixed, to shoot at an annual outdoor party we look forward to attending every year. I picked it over the D5K because of all of the weatherproof sealing as this was an outdoor event and it is known to rain for at least 30 mins during this event. I didn't get the WR lens in the kit because I had a budget. Nevertheless, it all worked out and I came to really enjoy the IQ and handling of this camera. So much so that when the K01 got to a reasonable price I purchased one . Not trying to start a debate but I loved the design from the beginning; I saw it first in a Bloomingdale's catalogue. I may pick up another K01!
Now on to my question...I am having a hard time deciding what lens I should purchase for my K30 to take on vacation in 14 days and would like some help. I do have a budget which makes the 18-135wr off limits. In Pentax glass I currently have the 18-55 non-wr, the 50 1.7 sma (manual not taking this), the 40 2.8 pancake, and the FA 28-70 F4. I'm thinking about the 55-300 DAL because I have no reach with my Pentax lens (sometimes there are places where the feet can not zoom ). I would also like the lens to be something I can use for shooting events, if possible to have my cake and eat it too! Additionally, I'm thinking I may want to add the 35 2.4 or the 50 DA 1.8 but they seem really close to the 40 2.8 xs in focal length.
Per Lightroom I am the following type of shooter: (only showing the focal lengths with the largest numbers and I will note that I also own 2 m4u cameras so I have to account for them in that 18-45 focal range as I only own 2 lens for them a 20 1.7 and 18-45 zoom)

654 @ 18
2080 @ 20
2367 @ 35
569 @ 45
674 @ 50
864 @ 70

Thanks

03-22-2013, 09:30 AM   #2
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Not sure what exactly your budget is, but what about the Tamron 17-50/2.8. Covers your most used focal lengths, great IQ, constant and fairly fast aperture for a zoom (making it reasonable for event photography, though may not have the reach you want depending on the event). Can probably be had for ~$300-350 used.

Enjoy your trip!
-Brandon
03-22-2013, 10:16 AM   #3
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You know that you need a WR lens to complete the weather sealing?
03-22-2013, 10:21 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by bpv_UW Quote
Not sure what exactly your budget is, but what about the Tamron 17-50/2.8. Covers your most used focal lengths, great IQ, constant and fairly fast aperture for a zoom (making it reasonable for event photography, though may not have the reach you want depending on the event). Can probably be had for ~$300-350 used.

Enjoy your trip!
-Brandon
Thanks bpv_UW ! I started thinking along those lines when I saw this data laid out. Really good suggestion.

03-22-2013, 10:28 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
You know that you need a WR lens to complete the weather sealing?
Yes, I am aware of that. However, it is sealed pretty darn good without it. On my last trip a few months ago, I took the K30 with the 18-55 and the old FA 28-70 F4. I had my K30 w/FA 28-70 on my R-strap hanging down. I was screwing around in the resort's lobby and I stepped into the KOI pond. The lens went in the water up to the camera mount. I kept the camera point downward, dried it off ,with my always in bag, microfiber cloth and continued shooting the rest of the night and for the rest of the trip. :-) I wouldn't mind having a WR lens and will more than likely add one to the collection but as previously stated, I still see myself as a Nikon shooter and I would probably buy something for my Nikon before I shelled out $400+ for a slow zoom 18-135 just for WR.

Last edited by nvarner; 03-22-2013 at 10:55 AM. Reason: corrected some typos
03-22-2013, 10:43 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bpv_UW Quote
Not sure what exactly your budget is, but what about the Tamron 17-50/2.8. Covers your most used focal lengths, great IQ, constant and fairly fast aperture for a zoom (making it reasonable for event photography, though may not have the reach you want depending on the event). Can probably be had for ~$300-350 used.

Enjoy your trip!
-Brandon
Also the 16-45/4 is a nice one for a little less money, it got really nice rendering.
03-22-2013, 10:57 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
Also the 16-45/4 is a nice one for a little less money, it got really nice rendering.
Ok Thanks! I'll add that to my list of possibles.
03-22-2013, 02:36 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
You know that you need a WR lens to complete the weather sealing?
VisualDarkness here is a photo I took with the FA 28-70 about 30 mins after I baptized it and my K30 in the koi pond. I will add that we were in Punta Cana and it is very humid there so it took a day for the lens to dry fully as under certain circumstances it would fog. lol
The field of view of this lens on the K30 still did not give me quite enough reach as we went to a performance and fully zoomed I was able to get this shot of the performer but it was a small room. I used one of my small nikon flashes in manual to get this. I like challenging myself to see how things work.

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03-22-2013, 03:14 PM   #9
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D90 still not back since Sept.? One way to look at it is - if you were taking the Nikon kit, what would you take with you? Look for the Pentax analogue that you don't have that you would like to go along. From your post, the 55-300 would be a good addition (I really like mine and take it on vacations), but to get one you still have to spend $300 of the $400 that you didn't want to spend for another Pentax lens, reserving it for a Nikon. Probably the first question is - where are you going? Do you even need any more lenses? You have some nice pictures up there, especially the acrobat - why don't you just photo like that? My $0.02.
03-22-2013, 03:43 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by nvarner Quote
VisualDarkness here is a photo I took with the FA 28-70 about 30 mins after I baptized it and my K30 in the koi pond. I will add that we were in Punta Cana and it is very humid there so it took a day for the lens to dry fully as under certain circumstances it would fog. lol
The field of view of this lens on the K30 still did not give me quite enough reach as we went to a performance and fully zoomed I was able to get this shot of the performer but it was a small room. I used one of my small nikon flashes in manual to get this. I like challenging myself to see how things work.
I'm only happy it survived without damage, WR is no 100% security neither so as long as the equipment doesn't brake it's good.
03-22-2013, 03:50 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by GlennG Quote
D90 still not back since Sept.? One way to look at it is - if you were taking the Nikon kit, what would you take with you? Look for the Pentax analogue that you don't have that you would like to go along. From your post, the 55-300 would be a good addition (I really like mine and take it on vacations), but to get one you still have to spend $300 of the $400 that you didn't want to spend for another Pentax lens, reserving it for a Nikon. Probably the first question is - where are you going? Do you even need any more lenses? You have some nice pictures up there, especially the acrobat - why don't you just photo like that? My $0.02.
Hi GlenG ! Sorry if I was not clear, the D90 is back ! lol I was saying that in September the D90 was shipped to Nikon for a back focus issue which in my opinion they did not fix but certainly charged me $250 as though the did, and I had an event that I shoot annually so I purchased the K30 at that time. The D90 actually came back a week after the event lol

1. We're going to Cancun (but probably won't venture too much from the resort area)
I may get a used Sigma 70-300 apo dg maco they are cheap and will give me the extra reach. I want longer on vacation because there will be some performances and I'll be farther away than I was with the acrobat picture. Thanks for the complement.

2. So maybe that used sigma and a normal prime, perhaps, I like to 40 2.8 very much but inside it seem a bit too tight but I take it and be okay

3. I have a Bday event to shoot and I'm thinking I'd like to shoot the K30 vs my D90. my D90 is just heavier I have a grip on it and this thing and that thing. lol I love the camera but thinking I like to use it more now for studio shots or paid environmental portraits that type of thing, if that makes sense to you.

Last edited by nvarner; 03-22-2013 at 04:02 PM. Reason: forgot to answer Glen's questions
03-22-2013, 04:33 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by nvarner Quote
Hi GlenG ! Sorry if I was not clear, the D90 is back ! lol I was saying that in September the D90 was shipped to Nikon for a back focus issue which in my opinion they did not fix but certainly charged me $250 as though the did, and I had an event that I shoot annually so I purchased the K30 at that time. The D90 actually came back a week after the event lol

1. We're going to Cancun (but probably won't venture too much from the resort area)
I may get a used Sigma 70-300 apo dg maco they are cheap and will give me the extra reach. I want longer on vacation because there will be some performances and I'll be farther away than I was with the acrobat picture. Thanks for the complement.

2. So maybe that used sigma and a normal prime, perhaps, I like to 40 2.8 very much but inside it seem a bit too tight but I take it and be okay

3. I have a Bday event to shoot and I'm thinking I'd like to shoot the K30 vs my D90. my D90 is just heavier I have a grip on it and this thing and that thing. lol I love the camera but thinking I like to use it more now for studio shots or paid environmental portraits that type of thing, if that makes sense to you.
There is a tamron 70-300 in the marketplace for really cheap and there also is an 18-55wr for $120 right now too (I have nothing to do with the sellers and I am not vouching for them). I've used the tamron 70-300 and it is very sharp though it has a lot more purple fringing than the Pentax 55-300. I think I saw a DA-L 55-300 in the marketplace too.

If I were going to the tropics, I would have a WR lens with me for sure. You could sell your non-WR 18-55 for maybe around $75 for all the new k01 owners that want something a bit more flexible than the xs40.

One other thought is to get a superwide that matches up w/ your 28-70 - So I'm thinking like the Tamron 10-24 or Sigma 10-20. Maybe this should be your long term direction since if you can't get the 18-135, these super wides are about the same cost as the 18-135. Personally, for architecure and landscape shots, I find superwides indispensable. Given your shot distribution, a superwide would force you into lens changes though... no free lunches, I'm afraid.

My travel kit is usually a Pentax 12-24, Tamron 28-75, Pentax 55-300, a fast prime (usually Pentax 77 1.8 or Sigma 30 1.4) and a macro (either 35 limited or 100 WR). I'll always bring a WR lens for those unpredictable days, but if the weather looks clear, it stays in the hotel safe. So in my cam bag, I'll have 12-300mm covered and I'll have a fast lens for dark areas or when I want a shallow dof and I'll have a good close-up lens (though the Tamron 28-75 does pretty good for detail shots). Although I like the 40 2.8 and the size is great, it usually does not make the trip as it's redundant in my kit (having 28-75 covered in 2.8).

Really, your problems could be simpler if you weren't running two systems... but I'm sure you have your reasons.
03-22-2013, 05:36 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by vagrant10 Quote
There is a tamron 70-300 in the marketplace for really cheap and there also is an 18-55wr for $120 right now too (I have nothing to do with the sellers and I am not vouching for them). I've used the tamron 70-300 and it is very sharp though it has a lot more purple fringing than the Pentax 55-300. I think I saw a DA-L 55-300 in the marketplace too.

If I were going to the tropics, I would have a WR lens with me for sure. You could sell your non-WR 18-55 for maybe around $75 for all the new k01 owners that want something a bit more flexible than the xs40.

One other thought is to get a superwide that matches up w/ your 28-70 - So I'm thinking like the Tamron 10-24 or Sigma 10-20. Maybe this should be your long term direction since if you can't get the 18-135, these super wides are about the same cost as the 18-135. Personally, for architecure and landscape shots, I find superwides indispensable. Given your shot distribution, a superwide would force you into lens changes though... no free lunches, I'm afraid.

My travel kit is usually a Pentax 12-24, Tamron 28-75, Pentax 55-300, a fast prime (usually Pentax 77 1.8 or Sigma 30 1.4) and a macro (either 35 limited or 100 WR). I'll always bring a WR lens for those unpredictable days, but if the weather looks clear, it stays in the hotel safe. So in my cam bag, I'll have 12-300mm covered and I'll have a fast lens for dark areas or when I want a shallow dof and I'll have a good close-up lens (though the Tamron 28-75 does pretty good for detail shots). Although I like the 40 2.8 and the size is great, it usually does not make the trip as it's redundant in my kit (having 28-75 covered in 2.8).

Really, your problems could be simpler if you weren't running two systems... but I'm sure you have your reasons.
Thanks VAGRANT10 ! You are so right about if I had one system. I'm a techie (for a living) and electronic stuff gets me! lol
I also have a Sony Nex5 kit which I will sell on ebay because I like my K01 better!
With regard to Nikon, I own a lot of Nikon film cameras which I still shoot and I love the ergonomics and CLS of the Nikon systems so...I don't see us breaking up anytime soon ! lol
I am however enjoying my new found admiration for Pentax. A friend of mine gave me his Pentax 67 about a yr ago, I haven't shot it as that thing is massive! lol
I have a K01 also and would use my 18-55 on it. I wish that I had purchasedthe 18-55 as a WR lens in the beginning but that put the K30 out of the price range I was willing to spend at that time. In the end I absolutely agree with you that I want to add a WR lens to the K30 kit, it just make sense.
Thank you for sharing your "Travel Kit" as that helps me. For this trip I probably just want to take some candids of me and my friends, some photos of events on the resort in the day and at night, maybe one or two nighttime long exposures of the beach (like the attached pic. taken with the K30 & kit 18-55. This was my first try at night long exposure not the best but I want to practice when I can), some pics of tours of the kitchen or stuff like that. I'm not a big landscape photog but I do own the Sigma 10-20 in Nikon F-mount already.
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03-25-2013, 12:34 PM   #14
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Thank You

Thanks Gentlemen for your time and responses. I wanted to provide an update with my decision. I decided to get the DA WR 50-200.
I will probaly take my 18-55 non-wr in the event I would like to go wider but keep the 50-200mm on camera as my primary lens and shoot it at the 50mm range for normal view stuff. I think this keeps me better protected since I will be around the beach, pools, and a bunch of drunk people with liquid in their hands.
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