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03-23-2015, 08:14 AM   #1
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Is the K-50 kit with 18-135mm lens good value?

$750.

I'm a newbie/amateur who wants to take good photos. Is this the only lens I will ever need?



Or is it better to get the 18-55mm and 50-200mm kit for $550?

03-23-2015, 08:48 AM   #2
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I would get the 18-135 and not look back. Then add the 55-300 WR down the road and you have a large range covered. That's what I did until I discovered primes but that's a different story
03-23-2015, 08:53 AM   #3
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Ummmm...YEAH ! Its about the best place to start out at.
Depends on what YOU need. I know there are many people who will never need any more than this.....get the 18-135 and don't look back !
03-23-2015, 08:57 AM   #4
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Yes, no, and no. The 18-135 is definitely a better lens than either of the other two kit lenses you mentioned, covers a much more useful range of focal lengths than either of those two by themselves, and is good enough to be your final purchase of a "walk around" zoom. If you end up replacing a kit lens because you find a better lens out there to cover the same photographic situations, it doesn't matter how cheap it is. Saving $200 now doesn't do you any good if you end up spending $400-750 later for a better walk-around zoom.

I started with the 18-55 kit lens, supplemented by a manual-focus 70-210 lens. Once I got the 18-135, my photos in the 18-55mm range look sharper and my usage of the 70-210 almost dropped to zero. Since then I've purchased a 35mm F2.4 and a 90mm f2.8 macro to cover situations the 18-135 can't do well, but I don't see the need to replace it with another zoom. My next lens purchases will be a prime wider than 18mm and a longer telephoto zoom to get closer to wildlife.

03-23-2015, 08:59 AM   #5
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I agree. The 18-135 is a great start. Other options are better for specific purposes (e.g. low light, birding, mostly portraits, etc), but as an all-rounder, the 18-135 is terrific.

The new 16-85 is another option that is optically better, has an extra 2mm at the wide end, but is 50mm shorter at the long end. Depending on what you shoot, you'll probably miss the 50mm more than the 2mm.

Last edited by Paul the Sunman; 03-23-2015 at 09:09 AM.
03-23-2015, 09:09 AM   #6
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18-135 is the place to start. Covers an extremely useful range and may be the only lens you will ever need. If you see you need a little more reach at some point add the DA 55-300. And eventually for low light add a DA 50mm f/1.8 and you have a light weight, 3 lens kit that is hard to beat.
03-23-2015, 11:10 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxjaxfl Quote
$750.
Is this the only lens I will ever need?
...... not if you hang around here very long......
03-23-2015, 02:55 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
18-135 is the place to start. Covers an extremely useful range and may be the only lens you will ever need. If you see you need a little more reach at some point add the DA 55-300. And eventually for low light add a DA 50mm f/1.8 and you have a light weight, 3 lens kit that is hard to beat.
The only thing I would add is a really wide angle (possibly a zoom like my 10-20 Sigma) if you do a lot of city/town sightseeing - but I would then drop the 55-300 because, personally, I rarely use it. OTOH, something like the 10-20 Sigma is a relative monster in the pack, but I would not be without it on many occasions. BTW the 18-135 is a permanent fixture on my K-30, although I also found it useful on my k-3 last summer at an airshow for fast aircraft taking off from a runway that I was close to.

03-23-2015, 04:17 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeallen01 Quote
The only thing I would add is a really wide angle (possibly a zoom like my 10-20 Sigma) if you do a lot of city/town sightseeing - but I would then drop the 55-300 because, personally, I rarely use it.
And I don't own an UWA and love telephotos, so it depends on what you shoot, where you live and the type of photos you like. I consider an UWA like the 10-20 to be a rather exotic, specialist lens. I simply would not get any use out of it. I'm sure others think I'm nuts for using the da*60-250 as my "walk around" lens
03-24-2015, 08:46 AM   #10
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Speaking as someone who bought the 18-55/50-200 kit a little over a year ago, my advice is don't do it! The 18-135 kit is a much better way to go.

After a few months I bought an 18-135WR and I love it, it lives on the camera 90% of the time. Later, I also purchased a 55-300WR. Now my 18-55 and 50-200 sit on the shelf unused. They aren't worth enough to bother selling but I don't see myself ever using them again either. I told my daughter in law that if she bought a K-50 body I'd give them to her so maybe they'll get some use someday...
03-24-2015, 02:36 PM   #11
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As someone who just picked up a K-50 with the 18-135mm kit, it was a good move. Great advice has already been given by everyone else.

In general, being your only lens depends on what you want to do. In my personal experience and situation, I already knew that I needed a steady walk-around all purpose lens. When out with family or going sightseeing, the main purpose is to just capture all kinds of situations, from people far and near, zooming in on features, capturing wide landscapes, etc. Don't have time to change lenses just for one or two shots. Coming from my B.P. era (Before Pentax), I only ever had an 18-200mm which satisfied me enough. Wasn't spectacular but couldn't complain as it did what I expected. With the 18-135mm (and now the K-50), I'm enjoying the IQ increase and although I'm missing the 200mm end a little, that isn't what the 18-135mm is for. I feel like the compromise in the longer end makes the entire range and other qualities of the lens stronger. So overall, the 18-135mm is great at it's intended purpose: to provide everyday situation coverage with great results, good build quality, in a compact size and weather resistance to boot! Of course, now that I have a very capable image taking machine in the K-50, it's inspired me to do more than just the everyday so I'm now interested in more lenses to do other things better than the 18-135mm can.

In a recent day trip out with family where there was a lot to take pictures of, I confirmed the 18-135's limitations. Here and there I wanted to take macro-like pictures, reach out to things farther away, take in wider scenes, shoot things in shadow both near and far, etc. No one lens can do these well. You can work around them and get OK results. Or you will want to get specific tools for these non-everyday things. I'm now interested in better tools for the job so I picked up a DA 35 f2.4. I'm having fun with that being able to use larger apertures and shooting with a different goal in mind. I feel like it's the everyday, all-purpose prime equivalent of the 18-135. Now I'm looking for a wider angle and portrait prime that will make taking the 18-135 off the camera worth doing. I'm not really into super reaching telephotos but if one day I would, I'd probably go with the 55-300.

If you want my opinion on why the 18-55 and 55-200 combo isn't for me or why it isn't a great combo in general when the 18-135 exists for a decent price, the biggest thing for me is that range surrounding 55mm is common to jump around in. Having to be limited in one or another, and having to spend time and missed shots changing between lenses, is just too much to give up. Not unless you lean heavily towards shooting in the 150-200mm range. Then I can see why you'd have the 50-200mm on all the time and have the 18-55 for occasional uses. Then again, there are 18-200 lenses for a good price and give similar IQ with less hassle. I picked up the K-50 + 18-135 combo for between the two kit prices you quoted. Could have saved even more if I was willing to go with an open box. If you are under a strict budget, you can always go used for both the camera and lens. Commonly, you could probably save $200 total. Only you can say if that's worth it for you.

Hope any of that helps!
03-24-2015, 10:37 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimS_256 Quote
Speaking as someone who bought the 18-55/50-200 kit a little over a year ago, my advice is don't do it! The 18-135 kit is a much better way to go.

After a few months I bought an 18-135WR and I love it, it lives on the camera 90% of the time. Later, I also purchased a 55-300WR. Now my 18-55 and 50-200 sit on the shelf unused. They aren't worth enough to bother selling but I don't see myself ever using them again either. I told my daughter in law that if she bought a K-50 body I'd give them to her so maybe they'll get some use someday...
This!

I made the same mistake when buying my K50 in Japan last september. I did my holiday with those two lenses, found it to be a right pain in the ass changing lenses all the time. I lasted all of about 1 week back in australia before i bought a sigma 18-250. With the intention of that being the only lens i would need, needless to say that isnt my only lens anymore. But thats another story.

Grab the 18-135, it will take care of 90% of photos you'll want to take
03-26-2015, 04:36 AM   #13
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Sounds like the 18-135 mm is very highly recommended, compared to the other bundles.

Are there any other everyday-type lens similar to the 18-135 at similar price point?

So, if the 18-135 lens can be used for 90% of photos, can the lens be kept on the camera indefinitely, even when not in use?
03-26-2015, 05:28 AM   #14
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I think the only comparable lens in Pentax-fit is the 18-125 Sigma, but I think that's a bit larger and heavier and not generally as good - so that's why I bought the 18-135 a couple of years ago.

There is no reason that the 18-135 cannot be left on the camera body for long periods ("indefinitely" is an undefinable term unless you bury the whole lot in concrete and underground to be left for some future generation!), and mine stays on the K-30 body almost the whole time (the 18-55 that came with the body went into a cupboard as soon as I bought the camera 18 months ago, and has not been taken out since then).

John
03-26-2015, 08:37 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxjaxfl Quote
can the lens be kept on the camera indefinitely, even when not in use?
If you want to break the sealing of your camera and lens when the camera is not being used, open the little door covering the SD card holder. I think I can feel air movement if I extend and retract the lens, so that would be one way to equalize the humidity of the air inside and outside the camera. But if that is a concern, you should remove the lens from the camera and store both in air tight containers with desiccant in them (and hopefully dust from the desiccant doesn't get into the camera or lens).
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