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03-03-2011, 02:49 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1
New member from France

Dear all,

My interest in coming to this forum is that I am on prospection for a new camera. Used to rangefinder style photography (Kodak Retina IIIc) and and old reflex systems (Minolta SRT with prime lenses) from the film era (... yeah these are definitly from the past, but good), I had switched some years ago to a digital bridge camera with relatively decent zoom lens, relatively handy and on the budget, but with a tiny sensor.

Today, I definetly miss depth of field, low light sensitivity and reactivity and my be an optical view finder. I am strongly appealed by cameras with relatively compact form factor, in order to carry it around as often as possible and to stay discrete with it, but desiring excellent image quality. So, my ideas went towards a Ricoh GXR with the two A12 prime modules (28mm and 50mm equivalent), but without viewfinder and at a similar price tag as a Pentax K-5 with at least a decent zoom lens, giving much more options but also being much bigger, even if it is still among the smaller ones in its range.

And here's my point of struggle: I am searching for a good travel lens to go with the weather sealed body and in accordance with potential image quality of the K-5. Pentax 18-135mm WR appears to be intersting but so far there are no extensive reviews for it. On the other hand, 17-70mm would be as focal range sufficient for me after analysis of the focal lengths I use, this brings in to play the Sigma and Pentax 17-70mm's, or even the brighter 17-50mm's from Sigma (expensive) and Tamron (very affordable). Image quality seems good, but the comments on front/back focus issues make me hesitate.

Final target would be for me one decent travel zoom lens plus some primes in the future.

I appreciate any advice and comments comparative experiences with 18-135mm WR face to the alternatives.

Best regards

03-03-2011, 06:02 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 74
Hi there, and welcome to the forums.

I originally considered the Ricoh GXR too as I like the lens quality and colour from camera, but I chose the K5 because of better lowlight performance, a larger selection of lenses and for it's very strong build quality.

The other lenses you have mentioned aren't weather resistant, and the 18-135mm WR sounds good from what others have mentioned in the forums, however I think it's very expensive.

The Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 seems the best bright zoom in my opinion in terms of image quality and its great price, it's image quality matches or exceeds other bright zooms but at 1/2 the price, I'd recommend buying from a retailer with a good returns policy in this case.

Perhaps you could tell us how much money you'd like to spend and the type of things you like to take photographs of? This might help us make better recommendations.
03-04-2011, 07:18 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 74
Saw this just now and thought it may be if interest to you, its a review if the 18 to 135 wr Test Pentax smc DA 18-135 mm f/3,5-5,6 ED AL DC WR - Focus Numérique
03-04-2011, 07:50 AM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Toronto
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Hi RKL, Welcome to the Forum.

I would think the 18-135WR is the best all round walkabout kit for the K5 (or the K7 for that matter. Better IQ than the kit lens, longer reach than the Sigmas and tamrons and Weather resistant which the Sigma/ Tamron are not. Is it the equivalent of using a good Prime, no. Compared to the GXR it may be a little larger but it is faster, has better DR, is better at High ISO and is of course weather resistant. I'm a big RF fan but the K5 vs the Ricoh would be an easy choice for me. If someone would come out with a less expensive RF than the M8 or M9 then I would have to think about it long and hard.
Once you have the K5 with the kit there are many options for primes. you can go the old school way and lose some functionality like i did and build a pretty full arsenal of older m,k and m42 lenses for less than the cost of the 18-135 alone. Then you can decide on your most used/critical FL and move into a Limited that meets your needs . It doesn't sound though like you will have any issues with manual focus lenses. If you are really in pursuit of superior optical quality aside from the Limited Zeiss makes some very nice manual focus lenses in Ka mount
Overall the K5 will be more flexible than the Ricoh and have more 3rd party support.
Good luck with your decision


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