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02-02-2013, 08:08 PM   #1
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New guy from the Northwest. About to go pentax.

Hey guys, I have been shooting a nikon d70 since i enrolled in phptpgraphy school in 2006. I have out used the camera and am upgrading. I mostly shoot landscapes, but I also do alot of light painting at night. I am also going to be doing more starscapes with a camera that can perform well enough to shoot them (the d70 is not up to snuff) I am upgrading my gear because I am going to make a film for the 2014 banff international film festival. I would really rather get a d600 or d800e but I just simply cant afford it on my wages. The pentax looks like it will do well, and since I also shoot snowboaridng and fly fishing the weather sealing is a huge deal to me.

That brings me to my questiion. I need to know the sharpest wide angle lense that has weather sealing. I have tried to figure it out on my own but i hear alot of things and dont know what to think.

I would prefer a wide angle zoom and want to stay under 1000 on lenses for now. If i got a prime landscape lens, I would need to supplement it with a zoom lens for a walkaround.... whatever i get, i need the weather sealing.... any ideas?

here are a few images I have shot over the years with the d70 (they say the camera doesnt make the photographer right?)

02-02-2013, 08:42 PM   #2
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There are only 3 wide angle lenses that are WR. The DA* 16-50 is the sharpest but it is not cheap and the SDM is suspect.

The DA 18-55 WR kit lens and the DA 18-135 WR are the other 2 but neither is fast nor sharp until around F8.

SMC Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

A WR wide angle prime is a huge hole in the lineup. The wide angle primes are mostly Limiteds, and they aren't sealed.
02-02-2013, 08:58 PM   #3
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Welcome to the Forums. You have some nice shots posted here.
02-02-2013, 09:20 PM   #4
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Welcome! Being from Portland, I can say that Pentax is a great camera for the northwest.

I think you would be hard pressed to beat the combination of DA 15 Limited and DA*16-50. Carry the DA15 when you think you might need a wide angle, or if you need a shot of high contrast (reflected sunlight or intense night lights are the limits I've found for the zoom), then throw on the zoom for bad weather and unknown focal-length needs. The size of the compact primes is hard to beat, making them difficult to not carry with you, while there really isn't any alternative in the size/cost realm of the weather sealed normal zoom.

Whichever way you go, get out there and take some photos!


02-02-2013, 09:46 PM   #5
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talk to me about SDM and why it fails?what if i get a 3 year warrenty with the lense? how often /soon do they fail? i really value sharpness and color rendition alot
02-02-2013, 09:49 PM   #6
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ok so how far behind is IQ on the 18-135 it seems i would like the extra reach for the cinematic uses (sharpness is not as important at 1080p vs a 40 inch print )

would the 18-135 and a DA 15mm be a solid kit for filming and landscapes?
02-03-2013, 12:35 PM   #7
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I don't do video, so I can't comment on that; but there are many sample images around that you could resize and see if they meet your needs.

As far as SDM reliability, I think you'll find that the problem was with the original design of the 16-50 and 50-135 lenses, and that this was fixed on the production line sometime in 2011. I think the failures are associated with lack of regular use, and now we have documentation on how to use the screw drive to focus in case we don't want or can't use SDM. That's just my understanding; you shouldn't rely on that as definitive because it certainly isn't.

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