Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-20-2015, 12:52 PM   #1
Loyal Site Supporter
AggieDad's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Houston, TX
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 549
Moving up from a Super Zoom

Howdy,

This is my first post on the forum and it is a question or at least an opinion request.

I am moving on from a Canon SX-30 super zoom, and I seemed to have zeroed in on the Pentax K-50. The rave reviews about the viewfinder are a key issue for me with my 72 year old eyes. I would wish for a hinged screen as well, but the viewfinder has more weight for me.

At any rate, I am looking at the K-50 with the DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL DC WR Lens and the Pentax HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens. I like to take photos of flowers and birds and, of course, travel. Lately I have become interested in black and white photos using Tonality Pro and Intensify Pro for much of my editing.

So my question is this: Am I in the ballpark with this setup? There really are no $3,000 ultra-long lenses in my future (just ask my wife), so I am trying to get the most bang for my buck considering what I like for subject matter.

Thanks in advance for you thoughts.

Don

01-20-2015, 01:13 PM   #2
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 9,844
I bought my K50 with the 18-135 and found it a delight. The 55-300 just was added to my arsenal and seems nice also. I have a 60-250 on the way and a 50-135 on the way that may change my use patterns but today the 18-135 stays on the camera all the time when I am not otherwise setup for something specific. (This month I have been shooting the DA 15 Limited as my lens of choice to get used to it.)
01-20-2015, 03:43 PM   #3
Senior Member
LoneWolf's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 141
QuoteOriginally posted by AggieDad Quote
At any rate, I am looking at the K-50 with the DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL DC WR LensI like to take photos of flowers and birds and, of course, travel.
Don
An outfit I have myself and love. It is also great for family pictures too. At current prices it is a good buy. I chose it over the K30, its predecessor, for which there is still a great deal of real enthusiasm, and never regretted it. the K30 is almost identical to the K50, fewer (video) features, a bit cheaper but now considered by many as a true classic.

If your budget is a little larger and you are prepared to wait a few weeks, Pentax appear to be bringing out a new DSLR. It will probably / possibly be formally announced some time in February. First pictures suggest it will be a replacement for the K50. It looks like it has an articulating LCD. Whether or not it has battery inserts for both AA and Lithium, is as yet unknown as are many other features. It depends how soon you want to buy.
01-20-2015, 03:56 PM   #4
Pentaxian
mattb123's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Colorado High Country
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 7,619
I have consulted with several friends who have bought this camera lately and they all love it.
If you are ever unsatisfied with your lens choice, there are lots of other choices. Both of those are good lenses for their intended purposes and both are pretty light and small for what they give you.


Last edited by mattb123; 01-21-2015 at 09:23 AM.
01-20-2015, 07:54 PM   #5
amateur dirt farmer...
pepperberry farm's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: probably out in a field somewhere...
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,902
QuoteOriginally posted by AggieDad Quote
Howdy,

This is my first post on the forum and it is a question or at least an opinion request.

I am moving on from a Canon SX-30 super zoom, and I seemed to have zeroed in on the Pentax K-50. The rave reviews about the viewfinder are a key issue for me with my 72 year old eyes. I would wish for a hinged screen as well, but the viewfinder has more weight for me.

At any rate, I am looking at the K-50 with the DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL DC WR Lens and the Pentax HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens. I like to take photos of flowers and birds and, of course, travel. Lately I have become interested in black and white photos using Tonality Pro and Intensify Pro for much of my editing.

So my question is this: Am I in the ballpark with this setup? There really are no $3,000 ultra-long lenses in my future (just ask my wife), so I am trying to get the most bang for my buck considering what I like for subject matter.

Thanks in advance for you thoughts.

Don
Don - I moved to a K-50 from a Fuji superzoom.. I bought the exact kit you are considering and simply love it...

I didn't need a 'pro' camera and am not looking at dropping big money on lenses in the future, either... I'm taking lots of pictures, learning about the camera and it's multiple settings... and learning a lot about post processing, too....

the K-50 is the perfect step up from a superzoom - lots of features, lots of future expandability, and it's a Pentax (not a Nikon/Canon).....

just remember to have fun...
01-20-2015, 08:12 PM   #6
New Member




Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 9
Love my k-50. I have the DA 55-300 ED/WR lens and it's become my go-to lens. I like to shoot birds and animals during the day. Consider buying a Vivitar 2x macro teleconverter off of e-bay. I bought one and it not only gives your lens extra length, it will turn that 55-300 into a really good macro lens too.
01-20-2015, 08:33 PM   #7
Loyal Site Supporter
AggieDad's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Houston, TX
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 549
Original Poster
Wow!

It's great to learn that my choices (based solely on Internet research) seem to match up with a number of you. What's even better is that you all seem to be more than pleased with this combination. These kinds of responses will make easier for me to "pull the trigger."

Weaveer Could you please post the exact model of the Vivitar 2x teleconverter? That sounds like a winner to add to the package.

Pepperberry I am glad to hear from someone who has taken the path before me. It sounds as though it will be a good move.

Thanks again to all. Any other thoughts are gladly accepted.

Don
01-20-2015, 09:08 PM   #8
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 9,844
It would be helpful to see some pictures done with that 2x tc both macro and distant and samples without that attached.

01-21-2015, 07:11 AM   #9
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 342
QuoteOriginally posted by AggieDad Quote
The rave reviews about the viewfinder are a key issue for me with my 72 year old eyes. I would wish for a hinged screen as well, but the viewfinder has more weight for me.
I'm quoting this line from your original post because this seems to be a deciding factor for you. The one thing to keep in mind with the lenses you have selected is that although they are both highly regarded lenses,
they are on the slower side, so the view you get in your viewfinder is not going to be as bright as it could be. Not terrible, but dimmer than other options. Unfortunately, you'd probably have to spend a lot more on
your lenses to get something faster that will give you a brighter view in the viewfinder ( ie. lenses with lower min aperture ).

I find myself leaning towards faster lenses more and more - not because I want to shoot wide open, but because I want a bright view in my viewfinder. After you've been shooting with an f2.8 lens ( or faster ), it can be very irksome to
squint through a slow tele-zoom ( like my F 70-210 ).

There isn't much you can do on the long end - from what I gather, the 55-300 is a bargain in that zoom range. Note that slapping a 2x teleconverter is going to make the view through the viewfinder even darker.

On the wide end, you could opt for something like a Tamron 17-50 f2.8. It will give you a slightly wider angle of view, and a brigher view through the viewfinder than the 18-135. You'd be giving up WR and Quickshift,
which may both be important to you, depending on your shooting style. Price wise, they're probably similar, but you might be able to get a break on the 18-135 if you get it bundled with the K50.

Just something to keep in mind if the brightness of the viewfinder is important to you. If you can, try the lenses out on the camera body before buying, and compare them to faster options to see what you're giving up.
As I said, there's nothing wrong with the lenses you've picked.
01-21-2015, 07:19 AM   #10
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 9,844
QuoteOriginally posted by arkav Quote
The one thing to keep in mind with the lenses you have selected is that although they are both highly regarded lenses, they are on the slower side, so the view you get in your viewfinder is not going to be as bright as it could be. Not terrible, but dimmer than other options. Unfortunately, you'd probably have to spend a lot more on your lenses to get something faster that will give you a brighter view in the viewfinder ( ie. lenses with lower min aperture ).

I find myself leaning towards faster lenses more and more - not because I want to shoot wide open, but because I want a bright view in my viewfinder. After you've been shooting with an f2.8 lens ( or faster ), it can be very irksome to
squint through a slow tele-zoom ( like my F 70-210 ).
If this is an issue; an option to consider would be this:
Pentax K-3 K-5, K-5II, K-7, K-30, K-50 & K-500 KatzEye Focusing Screen

Select the optibright option, and it should help. They claim it brightens up the slower lenses more than the faster ones and that it doesn't have any real impact on metering. Voodoo magic? I don't know, but I'm ordering one if I can get any feedback on the forum that indicates this actually is the case.

However my 70+ year old dad has just started using a K50 and tried the 18-135 and the 60-250 and neither of them bothered him. He is switching to a 200 f/2.8 however so he may be spoiled from here on out...
01-21-2015, 08:29 AM   #11
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 342
QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Select the optibright option, and it should help. They claim it brightens up the slower lenses more than the faster ones and that it doesn't have any real impact on metering. Voodoo magic? I don't know, but I'm ordering one if I can get any feedback on the forum that indicates this actually is the case.
I like the idea of a split prism focus screen, and I may put one in my K30 someday, but at over $200 the Katzeye is pricey ( half the price of my K30 ?!? ).

But hey, if it really works, it might be worth it.

There's a number of threads around replacement focus screens if you're looking for other people's experiences. There's also user reviews under the Accessories section I think.
Most people seem to lean towards the screens from focusingscreen.com. They're a step up from cheap ones on ebay, but not as pricey as the Katzeye.

Then there's the DIY option, which I may try with an old MX screen I've got. If I decide I like having a split prism in my K30, then I'd probably get something from focusingscreen.com.
01-21-2015, 08:35 AM   #12
Loyal Site Supporter
AggieDad's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Houston, TX
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 549
Original Poster
I read the installation instructions on the KatzEye website. Wow. You have to have the hands of a dentist or surgeon to install it. I don't think I will want to mess with my brand new (and first) dslr.
01-21-2015, 08:57 AM   #13
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 25,869
I keep hearing this thing about the viewfinder not being bright enough. Weird stuff. You guys do know that your eyes adjust to brightness and darkness, and that the camera viewfinder doesn't really appear to be brighter or darker unless you are using a really slow lens because your eye's own internal adjustment will deal quite effectively with the difference in light? My FA 1.7 TC on my A-400 ƒ5.6 gives me ƒ9.6 and under daylight conditions, I get lots of light for focusing etc. It looks no different than my FA 50 1.8. I know full frame fanatics go on and on about the big bright focusing screen, it's a tip off, they are so biased objectivity is beyond them. Unless of course some people shoot all the time in near darkness. There are some things people say that are just ignorant. The "bright viewfinder" being one of them. I have had trouble with my viewfinder with a fast lens in near darkness, and my AF system in a K-5, not even a K-3 focussed perfectly, despite the fact I couldn't have focussed manually. The AF system is better than your eyes, split screen or not, doesn't matter.

To AggieDad

That's great setup, I use the 18-135 all the time, it's a great lens. With the 55-300 it's great combo. Despite people saying that it's slow, at 18mm it's ƒ3.5. If you buy an ƒ2.8 lens, you're gaining a half a stop. (Which is pretty much meaningless.) SO anyone recommending an ƒ2.8 lens instead, is only getting you half a stop at 18mm. From 21mm to 50mm it's ƒ4. So compared to a Tamron 17-50 it's a stop slower. Any other comparisons are a waste of breath. No one cares that it's ƒ5.6 at 135, if the lens you are comparing it to doesn't go to 135mm. So don't feel in any way compelled to go to a faster lens unless, you're going to a prime. I would definitely recommend the DA 50, 1.8 and DA 35 2.4 in that order. They are cheap, and very useful and are based on much more expensive designs but without the bells and whistles.

As for focusing with old eyes, focus confirmation is a lot more useful than a split screen focuser, especially used in combination with the selectable focus points.

Last edited by normhead; 01-21-2015 at 09:30 AM.
01-21-2015, 09:27 AM   #14
Pentaxian
mattb123's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Colorado High Country
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 7,619
QuoteOriginally posted by AggieDad Quote
Wow!

It's great to learn that my choices (based solely on Internet research) seem to match up with a number of you. What's even better is that you all seem to be more than pleased with this combination. These kinds of responses will make easier for me to "pull the trigger."

Weaveer Could you please post the exact model of the Vivitar 2x teleconverter? That sounds like a winner to add to the package.

Pepperberry I am glad to hear from someone who has taken the path before me. It sounds as though it will be a good move.

Thanks again to all. Any other thoughts are gladly accepted.

Don
I have one of those Vivitar macro adapters. I got it a few years ago on eBay and did a little blog post on it.
01-21-2015, 10:56 AM   #15
Pentaxian
The Squirrel Mafia's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 881
The K-50 is one very awesome underrated camera. I recently purchased 2 of them along with 4 Pentax lenses - the 18-55 & 50-200 kit lenses plus the Pentax 50mm 1.8 & 35mm 2.4.

Coming from an older Sony A200 with A-mount glass, the Pentax is far superior in almost every way. From the build & ergonomics to the image quality. Just to give you an idea, I can get a very decent 24x36 print from an ISO 1600 DNG file. They actually look a bit better than a 24x36 print from the Pentax K-3 ISO 1600 DNG file. Less noisier than the K-3 at that ISO, but then it's all relative. It goes downhill from ISO 3200 & beyond, though, but I can still get a very decent 8x10 print from an ISO 6400 DNG file.

The lenses that you are looking getting will be fine. The 18-135 has better image quality than the 50-300 according to several reviews.

B&H Photo has the K-50 with an 18-135 lens for $737.

Pentax K-50 Digital SLR Camera with 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 10916 B&H

It's a good start. All you need to do is add the 55-300 & you're set for now.

One more thing. There are a ton of old & dirt cheap lenses as well. Read up on the forum & then start looking on eBay.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
18-135, 55-300, k-30, k-50, lens, new purchase, pentax, pentax k30, pentax k50, photos, question, viewfinder, wr
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New super-zoom from Sigma arv Pentax News and Rumors 14 12-14-2014 06:43 AM
moving power zoom Gabriele Lunardi Visitors' Center 5 05-17-2013 09:18 PM
Super Takumar 50mm, 1.4 focus ring makes jolt when moving from left to right, normal? insphere Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 2 09-28-2012 09:00 AM
Need Help on Moving up from a Canon EOS 10D to Pentax User01 Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 21 06-16-2011 01:04 AM
Move up from a k100d super? dammit_jill Pentax DSLR Discussion 14 01-12-2009 09:52 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:02 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top