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04-02-2014, 05:55 PM   #1
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Greetings from Delaware

Greetings to all;

Obviously new to the forum but not that new to photography. To tell you a little about my background, I was a Photo bug back in the 80's when I traveled allot in the Air Force as an aircrew member. I used a Canon AE1 Program, had a few different lens and took lot of photos throughout my travels . Also got into developing, both Black and white and color with some basic developing gear. But those days are long gone and the past few cameras I've owned have been point and shoots. The last camera I bought which i still have is Nikon P500 (bridge camera) not quite a DSLR but does the trick.

So recently I decide to get back into a nice DSLR and give the Nikon to my 9 year old daughter so we can go out on some photo expeditions and enjoy some quality time together. This brings me to what camera to buy myself? Right off the bat I was looking at Canon's and Nikon's but as I kept researching I kept reading good things about Pentax. My money was limited so wanted to get the most bang for the buck and originally considered the K-500. I liked it, but still looked around and considered the K-50, the K-5 even looked at the Sony A57 which I liked allot for the video. Well the wait paid off and I ended up with New K500 body from an Authorized dealer for $250, I just couldn't pass that up. So now I get to figure out what lens to get. I know I want the Pentax DA L 55-300, but still not sure on a lens from the 18 and up range. Maybe some suggestions?

Anyway that's my story and looking forward to many hours of reading and posting.

04-02-2014, 06:26 PM   #2
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What A Deal!

Well, hello Alex, that's quite a tale! $250 for any brand-new DSLR beats anything I've heard, is that Yen or USD? JK.
Anyway, the K-500 will get you started nicely, but considering your past experience (the best kind) with film photography, developing. etc, you may outgrow it quicker than some. In the meantime, the best bang for the buck now is the DA 18-55 or DA 18-135mm and I'd spring for the extra WR, too. Trust me on that one.
Just looking out for your future here!
Ron
04-02-2014, 06:58 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
Well, hello Alex, that's quite a tale! $250 for any brand-new DSLR beats anything I've heard, is that Yen or USD? JK.
Anyway, the K-500 will get you started nicely, but considering your past experience (the best kind) with film photography, developing. etc, you may outgrow it quicker than some. In the meantime, the best bang for the buck now is the DA 18-55 or DA 18-135mm and I'd spring for the extra WR, too. Trust me on that one.
Just looking out for your future here!
Ron
Hi Ron, Yea I guess you could say I've been around the block a few times with my camera. But that was back in the day and over 30 years ago. As far the lens' go the 18-55 can be had all day for $25-40, so I guess getting that one is a no brainer. Does not having the WR body, but still using a WR lens add some benefit? Or is it because of the metal mount. I read good things about the 55-300 so i think i want that one. The Pentax 18-135 gets pretty pricey, is there a recommended comparable lens? I bought the camera as a floor model with a slight scratch on the battery cover...No biggie, still new with a warranty so I couldn't resist. Get's me into a DSLR with more than beginner function on the cheap. I'll tell ya though I really liked the Sony A57, very nice camera.
alex212
04-02-2014, 07:45 PM   #4
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Future Stuff?

Hi Alex,
About the WR version of either lens, my hunch is that you'll really enjoy photography again and move forward. All the recent DSLR's from Pentax except the entry-level ones, are WR. Chances are good you'll end up with a W/R body new or used, later. But you'll still have the lenses you're buying now. So, the WR lenses will be there, completing the circle of body/lens weather-resistance. JMO.
Another option is buying legacy lenses instead, a few fast M/F primes, if you're interested. Always recommended as a low-light alternative.
I can't help with the 18-135 question, I only know the DA/WR has a fine reputation here.
It looks like you're going to need a short zoom and a long zoom for now. The two DA's make a logical, inexpensive and decent-quality pair and the possibility of WR raises the value enough for me, but perhaps not everyone.
Good luck!
Ron

04-03-2014, 05:57 AM   #5
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The 18-135 is nice since it's motorized it seems to lock focus very well on my K5.

You might consider one of the 17-50 or 17-70 lenses, though - they're supposed to be very nice. The Sigmas are worth considering.
04-03-2014, 07:48 AM   #6
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Looking at the 18-135 in lieu of the 18-55. And also the 55-300. I would have some overlap but that wouldn't be bad is it might minimize lens changes. Also how does the 18-135 perform indoors in low light? That's one of of the biggest factors in trying to select my initial lens. Any suggestions?
04-03-2014, 11:06 AM   #7
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It's OK indoors, but I do like the 16-45 better for indoors events etc. That's not the fastest either.

Something like the Tamron or Sigma 17-50 will probably be better in low light, but by how much I couldn't say.
04-03-2014, 01:10 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forum, sounds like you got a great deal there.

04-04-2014, 12:45 PM   #9
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Well I made the choice to go with a single lens for now to cover most situations. I opted for the Sigma 18-250mm f3.5-6.3DC MACRO HSM. Gets nice reviews everywhere but it's a little pricey, than the two Pentax DA lens that will cover the same range but a probably a better lens. Can anyone tell why I shouldn't go this route? Is it better to have multiple lens?
04-04-2014, 01:25 PM   #10
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I'd look at the reviews and samples, and if you can converse with people who have the lens it's always good. A "superzoom" is a convenience lens - though this Sigma is a step up from some, for sure. Most of us have cobbled together lens collections over the years based on what we want to do - and so will you. For instance, you might find eventually you want more reach, but that's for the future.

Every zoom is a compromise - sometimes for a bit more money you can start to erase some of the compromises.

I'd do it if this seems like a good solution to you. Superzooms exist for a reason, when you're at the zoo or a park you have a long range to use. You will want to learn the lens when you get it - and what its "sweet spots" and best apertures at those focal lengths are. Do this while you're still able to return the lens if you find something you really don't like.

The Sigma HSM system is supposed to be great, and I can say the 18-135 with its motorized focus is a pleasure to use. I like the Sigma lenses I've used, I think they're doing things right.
04-04-2014, 06:04 PM   #11
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Hi Alex, Well, if you're looking for the most 'reach' (widest zoom ratio) at the absolute lowest cost, in a single lens, this Sigma qualifies.
But, you also asked this, earlier;
QuoteOriginally posted by alex212 Quote
Also how does the 18-135 perform indoors in low light? That's one of of the biggest factors in trying to select my initial lens. Any suggestions?
There, It doesn't. F/6.3 is woefully slow for 250mm and that probably means it's f/5.6 @ 200mm (more or less), no better than anything mentioned so far, except the 18-135mm.
Giving up f/stops to avoid changing lenses isn't a good bargain anytime and with a Superzoom it's much worse. You're reducing your image quality in several ways, none of which are 'recoverable' with the normal adjustments in-camera or in processing.
Have to raise ISO because the lens is slow and there's not much light? Lose I.Q.
Have to stop down an already-slow lens because wide-open performance is marginal or worse? Higher ISO again, less I.Q.
Low shutter speeds because of slow lens max aperture? Choose here; Camera shake, subject movement, or both. Solution? Raise ISO again. Or, maybe bring a tripod, there goes the convenience, cost and weight savings.
JMO,
Ron
04-04-2014, 06:33 PM   #12
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So your saying the Pentax 18-135 would be a better choice for "all purpose" outdoor / indoor lens and buy another lens to extend zoom capabilities. Is there another option besides the Pentax or is that the way to go.
04-04-2014, 07:07 PM   #13
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Choices?

Hi Alex, I singled out the 18-135mm because it doesn't go to 250mm, so it didn't qualify in my point about longer focal lengths, should have been more clear there, sorry.
If you're really interested in low-light or indoor, concert, no-flash (aka 'Available light'), school gym, party, night shots and social events, both f.5,6 or f/6.3 will present all the problems I described. And, the only real way out is $$$.
F/2.8 zooms are spendy, no doubt. But, it's a one-time investment, unlike superzooms, which are nearly disposable. Nobody keeps (or uses) an f/4-f/5.6 zoom once they try good, fast glass, and I'll bet you don't either. The exception to that might be WR, where the choice are so limited anyway.
A compromise is the DA 16-45mm, it's f/4.0 constant (f/4.0 is available throughout the focal range, unlike variable-aperture lenses which get slower as you zoom) but apparently it's only available used. I have one and it's a real step up in I.Q. and overall performance, compared to the kit lenses. Also, because it's f/4.0 instead of f/2.8, it's smaller (somewhat, it's not exactly tiny!), faster, lighter and cheaper.
There is a real correlation between zoom ratio (2:1, 3:1, 4:1 etc.) and performance. Generally, as the ratio goes up (and the Sigma is greater than 10:1!!!) the abberations, resolution and overall I.Q. go down. Some are better, but most experienced zoom users stick to 3:1 or nearby.
Two good-quality fast zooms are better overall than any single superzoom at any price.
JMO,
Ron
04-04-2014, 07:15 PM   #14
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Choices is right...

Just when I thought I had it figured out....So with that I think I'll go back to my original plan get a couple kit lens' and get to know my camera. Have some fun and re-learn what I forgot when it comes to photography. Thanks all for your posts and advice I really appreciate it...Pictures coming.
04-05-2014, 06:07 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by alex212 Quote
Well the wait paid off and I ended up with New K500 body from an Authorized dealer for $250, I just couldn't pass that up ... I bought the camera as a floor model with a slight scratch on the battery cover...No biggie, still new with a warranty so I couldn't resist. Get's me into a DSLR with more than beginner function on the cheap.
Alex, congratulations on your K-500 purchase! It appears you won that eBay auction, and if I had gotten home sooner to bid on it, you would have payed more! Excellent deal!!

For the money, it is a fine camera, and will do most of what you want.
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