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11-17-2014, 08:34 PM   #1
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Should I get a K-3?

Greetings all...
I've been a member since I got my K10D but somehow lost my account probably due to inactivity.
I bought a K-5 shortly after they went on the market. First one had stained sensor. Second one is fine.
I'd like a new camera and maybe the 18-135WR lens.

When I got my K10D I got the 18-55 kit lens which is OK but we all know it's not the same as the 31, 43 and 77 primes which I also have. The reason I'd like the 18-135WR lens is because there are many times I'd like to take just one lens while traveling. That range seems more than enough for me. My question is is this lens build quality more like the primes rather than the first kit lens I got?

After writing all this I realize I should probably be asking this in the lens forum...but I'd appreciate any advice.


11-17-2014, 08:41 PM   #2
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In between. Nice solid lens good construction but not in the same class as the FA limiteds.
11-17-2014, 09:06 PM   #3
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I have a K-5 and recently thought to get a K-3, but I'm just going to hang on for a bit to see what develops. Maybe I'll get some glass instead, but you already have great glass.
11-17-2014, 09:16 PM   #4
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Auto focus is brilliant on the 18-135, so that should be a consideration also. The build quality is as good as you could get given it's not metal (and not internal zoom and focus - but that makes it compact). Probably it's more durable for not being metal. It's way better than the 18-55 in every way, so don't worry that you'll just be getting that lens with the extra 55-135 range. Size wise, it's not noticeably bigger than the 18-55 when using the camera, just the odd filter size meant I had to get a couple of new filters.

11-17-2014, 11:04 PM   #5
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So to me it seems that the current deal where I can get a K-3 with an batter grip and the 18-135WR lens for $1246 is a great deal right?
Is the FLU card worth getting too? It seems that having control from my smart phone while it's tripod mounted would be a cool thing to have....if that's what the FLU is for.
11-17-2014, 11:08 PM   #6
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The 18-135 is a very useful travelling lens. I'm delighted I got it (cheaply) in a kit with the K3. It has very good colour and vibrancy, and good sharpness at centre. Especially toward the long end though, it's a bit soft at the edges and also produces CA there. The latter is easily fixed in pp, but you have to live with the former. Well made, excellent autofocus; a genuine 9/10 useful lens when you don't want to carry a bag of primes, or swap lenses in the field. WR too. Recommended, especially in a kit with the K3.
11-17-2014, 11:10 PM   #7
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Yes it is, particularly if you add up the price of getting all that separately. I have 15 + 35 limited and I'm very happy travelling with just those and the 18-135.

K3 has fantastic metering - never been more than 0.7 ev away from ideal in any of my shots, and that can always be easily recovered without any loss of dynamic range, as it errs on the side of underexposure to preserve the highlights.

Don't know about the flu card. I'm happy with just a regular remote control.
11-18-2014, 02:03 AM   #8
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The autofocus of the K-3 is much much better than that of the K-5. No more front-focusing, much faster and accurate.

That being said, using the limiteds in AF mode makes less and less sense nowadays.
The sensor resolution is now at a point were you need absolutely accurate focus, but the screwdrive AF has considerable slack.
Just try it, autofocus on a subject and then wiggle the MF ring. You will notice the focus point shifts several milimeters / centimeters, depending on the lens.

Just saying this because I was really disappointed by my limiteds on the K-3, while the 20-40 was always tack sharp. Took me some time to figure. On the K5, the AF was so bad, the additional slack didn't make so much difference.

11-18-2014, 02:19 AM   #9

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When you're used to ltds the 18-135 is quite heavy. I bought it for a big trip and at the last minute ended up taking the 15mm and 35mm instead. I never felt the need for a zoom. I don't regret having bought the 18-135 because it's a flexible lens for all sorts of occasions but just not for carrying around all day as a tourist. I should reveal I was travelling with young kids which can make a big difference to stamina. I also have a K5 but I'm still at the stage where it's a much better camera than I am a photographer. I'll probably upgrade when it dies or maybe when the FF is released in 20**. The only advice I can give you is to get a 15mm. It'll control your mind.
11-18-2014, 04:07 AM   #10
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If you are spoilt by your FA limiteds and the range of the 18-135 is more than enough for you, you might want to wait a week or two and see how the upcoming 16-85 performs.
11-18-2014, 05:25 AM   #11
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You have a great camera and some great lenses. If you had a K5 forever you could still take great pictures. The best images taken with a K5 are still better then the vast majority of images taken witj the K3. I suppose the question is what do you need that the K5 doesn't give you?
11-18-2014, 08:47 AM   #12
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The K5 is a great camera! Keep using it and spend the money on lenses!
11-18-2014, 09:38 AM   #13
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When I got my K-30 I debated, but ended up spending the extra money to upgrade to the 18-135. I couldn't be happier with it for an all purpose lens. I definitely use my primes more often, but I do pull it out from time to time for the added reach since it's my longest lens. Also, if I were to go on a trip, I'd take it in a heartbeat, but I'd have to consider which other lenses to take.

The really nice range of focal lengths and the weather resistance make it a no brainer for me as a walkabout lens.
11-18-2014, 09:55 AM   #14
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I wish I could help but I agree with everyone... I love my K-3 and 18-135, I get just as good pictures with my k-5.

A few things about the DA 18-135.

The DC AF motor is faster than SDM.
The only drawback to the lens is high Chromatic Aberations.. to get a zoom with low CA you have to go to a DA*. And you can't get a DA* that covers it's range. For $2500 you can get a DA*16-50 and DA*50-135, that will increase your IQ, cause more lens changes, have you carrying 2 lenses instead of one and costing you $2000 more dollars. Without doing that the DA 18-135 is currently the best out there as a walk around zoom, looking at all manufacturers.
The only thing that could be better in the new 16-85 could be the 16 part. If you spend a lot of time in enclosed spaces. There is very little room for improvement in IQ over the 18-135.
The WR seals make the lens quite tight, so it has an expensive feel to it, even though it may not be... although after 3 years with mine, it's starting to creep a little.

If the K-5 is your work horse, the K-3 is like a luxury items. It has more bells and whistles the important things are..

Smaller AF points for locking focus through tree branches etc.
Better low light AF
More decisive AF
1000 more pixels each for cropping.

If you really are going for better lenses instead of a K-3 -DA 18-135 combination... I'd be looking at the 31 ltd. 43 ltd and 77 ltd. What a zoom can't give you is fast ( unless of course it's a Sigma 18-35 ƒ 1.8) My theory has always been, buy zooms that cover as much in focal length as possible maintaining IQ, and fast primes. Currently using the DA 35, ƒ2.4, Sigma 70 macro ƒ2.8 and FA 50 ƒ1.7, I have to say the only one I plan to keep long term is the FA 50 ƒ1.7 which is very sharp and fast.

Currently the DA 18-135 is the best compromise between IQ and range. At least for me. But if you shoot a lot wide open and wide angle, the Sigma 18-35 ƒ1.8 is a nice one stop solution.

Last edited by normhead; 11-18-2014 at 10:11 AM.
11-18-2014, 10:27 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The only thing that could be better in the new 16-85 could be the 16 part.
I guess with the lens not even being out yet it's a bit early for such definite statements. It's larger, heavier, more expensive and has a more sophisticated construction (16 elements in 12 groups vs 13 elements in 11 groups) than the 18-135 despite a smaller focal range, all of which are good indicators that it will optically outperform the 18-135 - the only question is by how much.

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