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08-06-2012, 11:33 PM   #1
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Western CO pentax owner...others?

Am in the Roaring Fork Valley area (Glenwood Springs to Aspen) and recently took the SLR plunge. For getting the feet wet, the weather sealed K30 was the natural selection. Purchased at Bob's photo in Bismarck ND - they had it in stock just days after B&H.

08-07-2012, 01:59 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum and welcome to the Pentax Family.
08-07-2012, 03:30 AM   #3
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Hi, welcome, and congrats on your new Pentax DSLR! Denver is my hometown but I really like Glenwood Springs. Taking the Amtrak California Zephyr there was awesome! I went there a couple of years before I had a nice camera and would love to go back now that I do have one.
08-07-2012, 07:26 PM   #4
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CO shops for Pentax owners?

Hey Tom...can you recommend some shops in Denver or greater CO that might carry some nice telephotos? My goal is a used Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 and/or a Sigma 50-500mm EX (prior generation non-stabilized). I suppose a telephoto prime might also be in order...and a nice wide angle (although I don't really want to spread out the 16 Mpixels that wide for printed panoramas).

I like the idea of finding some great modern lenses such as those listed above, but I'm also interested in finding some 'oldies but goodies'. Do you have any insight?

08-07-2012, 08:13 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmytty Quote
Hey Tom...can you recommend some shops in Denver or greater CO that might carry some nice telephotos?
Unfortunately, I've never been able to find any shop in the Denver area that carries new Pentax DSLRs or lenses. I think this is crazy and actually sad considering that PRIC headquarters is in Denver, after they relocated a year or so ago from Golden.

Englewood Camera has had a very limited selection of old and used Pentax gear, including 645 and 67 cameras. All my Pentax glass has been ordered from either B&H, Adorama, or Amazon. My K-5 was from ProDigital 2000 but they're in Canada, which I didn't realize until after the camera was delivered. They had the lowest price at the time I actually had sensor stains on my first K-5 but thankfully the exchange went smoothly with ProDigital, aside from the 2-3 weeks that it took. Grip kind of gear, gaff tape and cold shoes, and accessories like a camera bag and lens filters, I've bought locally from either that Englewood shop I mentioned, Mike's Camera, or Denver Pro Photo, all with satisfactory service. Not having to pay taxes when ordering online is nice and hard to pass up but when time is important the convenience of local can't be beat. I don't like Wolf Camera one bit as they're selection sucks, their salesmen have not spoken well of Pentax, and their prices are rarely if ever competitive. I'd rather go to BestBuy than Wolf, and the selection is about equal, minus lighting gear!

Sorry, I couldn't be of more help. If anyone else knows of a shop that carries Pentax DSLR in the Denver metro area, hell, even in CO, I'd love to know about it!
08-07-2012, 08:31 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmytty Quote
My goal is a used Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 and/or a Sigma 50-500mm EX (prior generation non-stabilized).
The Sigma you speak of is actually an f/4, they haven't released the new f/2.8 version in K mount even though they initially said they would. Maybe after there's a Pentax FF body but who knows. It's a pricey piece of glass anyway! The f/4 version his highly regarded but usually goes for around $1000 even used and new ones are non existent anymore as it's been discontinued. Haven't ever considered the 50-500mm Sigma. I'm going to avoid variable aperture zooms for as long as I can; I just don't care for them much.

QuoteOriginally posted by dmytty Quote
I like the idea of finding some great modern lenses such as those listed above, but I'm also interested in finding some 'oldies but goodies'. Do you have any insight?
KEH has good reviews on the forum and they actually had that Sigma 120-300 f/4 just the other week for I think $900 but it's gone now. Their selection of used gear is decent from what I can tell. I've bought all my glass new, except for an old all manual Tokina 135mm f/2.8 that I don't much care for, so don't have much used experience. That Tokina rendered too yellowy for my taste and I'm not that great with going all manual all the time. Keep your eye on the for sale listings here. That's the best advice I can give you.

QuoteOriginally posted by dmytty Quote
I suppose a telephoto prime might also be in order...and a nice wide angle (although I don't really want to spread out the 16 Mpixels that wide for printed panoramas).
For a wide angle, I would have to recommend the DA15. It's one hell of a lens in a very compact package. It's not fast but it's crispy sharp, fast focusing, resolves super well for heavy cropping, and is fun to use. That wide angle of view is a very different style of shooting. I love wide and use my DA*16-50 at 16mm tons but for some reason do feel a bit challenged by the 15m focal length when I take the DA15 out to use exclusively. Check out the https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/86234-15mm-limited-controls-my-mind-club.html thread if you haven't already. For wide angle, and zoom, the Sigma 8-16mm is tempting and luckily comes in K mount but it disappointingly has a variable aperture. I'd go for it but would rather have the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 though it sadly doesn't come in K mount. I'll probably either get a Nikon at some point or the Pentax FF, if it ever becomes a reality, to go wider than the 15mm APS-C angle of view that I'm currently maxed out at. I'm not much of a telephoto guy, as I don't do wildlife or sports really, so long lenses are at the bottom of my wish list. That Sigma 120-300 f/4 looks great though and I'd snag it up if I had the money. It's a pity that it's so expensive when the very same lens can be had for hundreds less on the Canikon mounts. Pentax has a lens in about the same focal length on the road map for 2013. We'll have to wait and see if that's not just wishful thinking though.

Good luck!
08-08-2012, 12:17 AM   #7
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The 100-300 f/4 you mention is one that I'm intrigued by - especially for use with a 1.4x+ teleconvertors.

The 120-300 is listed by B&H in a K mount (but not yet available), and I'd really like to have that with a 2x tc (however, I've read that it's splashproof except for the body-lens seal?).

My overall goal is a 3 lens travel pack. It might go this way:
1. Sigma 8-16.
2. Pentax Roadmap lens...DA* 16-85? (Assuming it's 2.8 could it be used with the 1.4x tc?)
3. Sigma 120-300 (with up to 2x tc for wildlife)

Total cost: $6k and 12 lbs?

I do see the hole...now if only Tokina would update the AT-X 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 AF D to an f/4 and make it available in a K mount! Or better yet, maybe Pentax could get more aggressive and take some money from me (I want splash resistance!).

I'm tempted to try primes but I feel that zooms allow for much more creative composition 'in the field'. My wife is an artist and she has a very natural aptitude for framing and depth of field. It's my job to give her the tools that encourage creativity while also offering performance that deliver the vision. For the record, I also 'take pictures' of things - but she 'captures' them.

3 lenses feasible? I still want to walk around Aspen (and points beyond) in comfort.
08-08-2012, 08:42 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomTextura Quote
Unfortunately, I've never been able to find any shop in the Denver area that carries new Pentax DSLRs or lenses.
I was just informed by new forum member Mjm that Denver Pro Photo now carries Pentax. You might want to give them a call.

08-08-2012, 09:08 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmytty Quote
The 100-300 f/4 you mention is one that I'm intrigued by - especially for use with a 1.4x+ teleconvertors.
Oops, I see I typed it as a 120-300 when it's actually a 100-300. It's a nice lens from everything I've seen and read.

QuoteOriginally posted by dmytty Quote
My overall goal is a 3 lens travel pack. It might go this way: 1. Sigma 8-16. 2. Pentax Roadmap lens...DA* 16-85? (Assuming it's 2.8 could it be used with the 1.4x tc?) 3. Sigma 120-300 (with up to 2x tc for wildlife) Total cost: $6k and 12 lbs?
That looks like a decent plan. Pentax has a lens on the roadmap for each of the focal length ranges you are looking at but, again, who knows how long you'll be waiting to see any of those lenses materialize. Have you considered pairing the DA*16-50 f/2.8 with the DA* 60-250 f/4? You can buy both of those now, stay within your budget and weight limits, have WR, have a huge FL range covered, and not have to wait to start shooting. I really like my DA*16-50, it covers a very useful FL, though I know it gets mixed reviews. The DA* 60-250 has quite positive reviews and I believe some have used it successfully with a TC, though you will probably want to look into that further.

QuoteOriginally posted by dmytty Quote
I'm tempted to try primes but I feel that zooms allow for much more creative composition 'in the field'.
I recommend getting at least one prime that's fast. The creativity that a fast prime allows in terms of selective focus (i.e. narrow depth of field) is lots of fun. Fast fifties are easy to come by, pretty affordable, and a nice addition to any bag. I shouldn't be speaking though because I don't have a 50mm lens, or anything real close to it. I am very interested in the FA 43 Limited as it's a FL I think I would use a lot and it's not outrageously expensive. I love my two other FA Limiteds, which gives me some reason to want to complete the trio. For now, I do fine zooming with my feet when I go shooting with my prime kit. I've been surprised by how much I favor my primes over my zooms ever since I bought them close to a year ago.
08-08-2012, 12:29 PM   #10
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The prime is something I will likely add...minimal weight and size for those 'prime' moments when a shot is worth setting up or waiting for. Perhaps a 40/55 and a 300? I've thought about the 55 1.4 for 'candid' portraits.

Your experience with the 16-50 seems to echo what I've read elsewhere: faint praise for what should be a star 'go to' lens. People just don't seem to be enthusiastic about the lens (no stark raving mad fans). Or am I reading into your comments too much?

What we have now is what we could get while mid-vacation on the way to Yellowstone: a Pentax 18-135 WR (k30 kit value) and the Tamron 70-300. Personally, I've been very pleased with the 135...it resists flaring very well and that let's my wife use backlighting as she likes (I also have a beautiful portrait of her and our daughter sitting near a window). Was very happy to get that lens for shooting in the Yellowstone geyser fields (shot a priceless video with a guy reacting to my pouring water over the camera to clean off the sulfur laced geyser water).

We do a lot of photography with varied settings and subjects. 3000+ pictures in 1 month...perhaps 600 different 'scenes'. Much of this was instructional shooting, seeing how the new DSLR and lens combinations reacted to lighting and settings. Beyond the sentimental value associated with pictures of our 4 and 1 year old, perhaps 100 pictures are 'good' and 1 of them is simply magnificent (a bison from Yellowstone...shot in relief from 20 feet with a foreground of sagebrush using the 18-135). I had 3-4 'decent' pictures of a wolf, and probably missed a chance at a rare photo capture by not having a fast telephoto (camera shake, low evening lighting, hesitated to shoot high ISO).

Beyond the 3 lens travel pack, I'm thinking 1-3 primes might be in order: a 43 or 55, 300 2.8, and maybe the new 500+ from pentax. Maybe the normal prime will be the first purchase?

Have you used any of the telephoto primes?
08-08-2012, 12:59 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmytty Quote
Your experience with the 16-50 seems to echo what I've read elsewhere: faint praise for what should be a star 'go to' lens. People just don't seem to be enthusiastic about the lens (no stark raving mad fans). Or am I reading into your comments too much?
I threw in my comment that the DA* 16-50 has received mixed reviews just to be fair and balanced. I actually really like mine and find it to be very versatile. I probably have more shots with that lens than any other, but the FA31 will probably be tying it or passing it soon. There are some times when I wish it would focus faster or that it would be a little sharper wide open but really it has been a strong performer for me. The distortion it shows when it's at 16mm used to bother me and was one reason I went for the DA15 but now that I'm using the lens profiles in Lightroom the distortion gets corrected extremely well making it a non-issue. It resolves really well on the K-5; when I've had good lighting I've been able to do crops that have blown me away with their quality after such heavy cropping.

QuoteOriginally posted by dmytty Quote
Maybe the normal prime will be the first purchase?
Remember that "normal" on APS-C is going to be between 30 and 35mm.

QuoteOriginally posted by dmytty Quote
Have you used any of the telephoto primes?
I haven't. I rarely end up needing much reach beyond the 135mm I already have so, I haven't missed having a longer lens. When I first bought my K-5 and two DA* f/2.8 zooms I thought my next purchase would be a long telephoto but that focal length just hasn't turned out to be my style, to my surprise. Eventually I would like a long telephoto, probably a constant aperture zoom like the Sigma 100-300 f/4 we've talked about, but it'll come after at least one more prime and an ultrawide. Somewhere in between my next lens purchases though I need to get another camera for my wife to have, and to serve as backup or when I want to double up to avoid lens swaps.

Last edited by TomTextura; 08-08-2012 at 01:07 PM.
08-09-2012, 05:03 AM   #12
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With all this lens discussion I would like to get some comments on a couple lenses please. I just received my order from KEH. Tokina AT-X PRO 80-200 F2.8 Anyone know anything about that lens? Also I found a new Voigtlander Color Skopar SL II 20mm F3.5. Any thoughts on that lens? Thanks.
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