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01-15-2014, 11:54 AM   #1
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Another new "WR" user in Scotland

Hello everyone.

My second-hand K5 body arrived last weekend - in great condition and now that I have added my first lens (a new DA 50mm 1.8) it is tested and working like a dream. Ebay is good when it works and I'm delighted to say it worked for me in this instance.

I had previously been a (film) Nikon SLR user and then a Fuji S2 Pro user. The latter eventually died on me and it has been a few years without a proper camera before I decided to reinvest. I was initially looking at Nikons as I have a couple of lenses, but TBH the two I have aren't great glass and I wasn't totally wedded to that plan.

It was only a matter of hours before someone suggest I look at the Pentax K5. Primarily because I had - until then - discounted using an SLR in adverse conditions. And when I say adverse, I mean at the top of a munro with 80+mph winds, horizontal hail/rain and the like. Of course, I wouldn't ever try to take a photo in such conditions but my concern was finding myself with a wet rucksack and a very humid and frozen camera. Not good.

So, I had effectively ruled out taking a "proper" camera with me, especially in winter time, up into the hills. Until I discovered the K5. A bit of youtube research to see what the US army put their Pentaxes through satisfied me that the "mild" mistreatment it might suffer at the hands of a bit of wind, rain and snow should be ok.

Here I am, with a K5, a baby 8GB card, a nice but economical portrait prime and I'm waiting for delivery of my adverse weather walkabout lens (a new Pentax 18-55 3.5-56 WR). I should say the ONLY reason for this lens is that it's weather-sealed and the right f/l for 90% of what I'll want in the hills. I know it's pretty cruddy glass, but it should survive which is more important! A long WR telephoto would be nice, but it's the weight/bag space that will hold me back there, especially since it'll only be for the occasional bird/deer etc.

My next planned lens is the Tamron SP 17-50 f/2.8 (non VC) which gets good reviews but quality control seems to be all over the shop, so I need to be prepared for a bit of to-ing and fro-ing with Tamron UK for focus adjustment etc.

So, hi everyone and I hope I'm able to contribute in due course...

01-15-2014, 12:42 PM   #2
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Welcome, and welcome to the Pentax dark side!
01-15-2014, 01:29 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard! The WR 18-135 and K5 have yet to fail me (though a couple weeks ago in -15F the battery did). The 18-55 is pretty good for a kit lens, you may find yourself surprised.

I'm sure we all look forward to pictures from way north Scotland.
01-15-2014, 01:41 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pjm1 Quote
with 80+mph winds, horizontal hail/rain
Welcome aboard, good to have another Scot here and I see your describing just another summers day in Scotland.

01-15-2014, 01:42 PM   #5
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Thanks! The camera is good fun so far and very easy to use. I'll confess I ran a bit of a risk and bought it without trying one in the shop, but the result was good in the end despite that risk!

Here's a fairly boring photo - dull matter and admittedly dull composition, but a touch of PP and it became a bit more interesting. It was taken from my bedroom window just after sunrise yesterday (I think):

01-15-2014, 02:02 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
The 18-55 is pretty good for a kit lens, you may find yourself surprised.
Indeed, that's what I also wanted to say. It is far from "cruddy" - of course, it shouldn't be compared to a 35mm f/2.8 Limited.
Pentax is known for its decent Kit-lenses.
01-15-2014, 02:13 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bernie_Rain Quote
Indeed, that's what I also wanted to say. It is far from "cruddy" - of course, it shouldn't be compared to a 35mm f/2.8 Limited.
Pentax is known for its decent Kit-lenses.
Sorry - I didn't mean to offend and probably chose an unfair descriptor... I was really meaning it isn't a lens I'd choose to buy if it weren't for the WR benefit. I also intend to get a faster & sharper lens in the same f/l range so it's almost a bit pointless save for being able to take it out when it ain't nice...

Anyway, the kit itself won't be the limiting factor of my photography, so it's all a bit redundant!
01-15-2014, 02:45 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pjm1 Quote
Sorry - I didn't mean to offend
You didn't - and indeed of all my lenses the 18-55 AL WR is the "weakest", but compared with what the other manufacturers offer - it is really a good kit-lens.
I just wanted to make that clear in case a Pentax interested potential buyer reads here (as I did & browsed the forums & web some time ago).
I think if people would inform themselves better, Pentax would sell MUCH more cameras, the price-performance-ratio is so damn high.

I hope they continue this way, the K-3 is an excellent camera. I really hope they don't change the mount in the future...

01-16-2014, 12:18 AM   #9
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Good day mate and welcome to the forum
01-18-2014, 05:29 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone...

Well, a few days now of using the 18-55mm kit lens (WR). It's a decent enough lens, just like everyone said! Of course, it doesn't open up as far so for portraits I'll always flip back to the 50mm prime... but it's a perfectly fine lens for maybe 50% of the time.

It seems to have pretty bad CA if you pull it all the way back to 18mm but then that's mostly fixable in LR. The real world difference between 1.8 and 3.5 isn't huge, except for portraits or other situations where you want a narrow DoF. I've probably only taken pictures using it in the 18mm-30mm range, and they've been fine - definitely limited by my own ability rather than any issues with the lens.

I also took some night photos with it and it performed perfectly well. Of course, in that scenario having a faster lens is a bonus, but it did the job.

So thanks everyone - it's not half bad, especially considering it cost less than 60 brand new!
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