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04-22-2014, 05:25 AM   #1
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K30 in UK

Hello everyone. I'm writing from York in the UK. I am a hobbyist using a Pentax K30. I've joined the forum so I can get a good idea what lens to buy next. I currently have a 50mm 1.8 and the kit lens 18-55mm. I'd like a good 'all-arounder' but step above the quality of the kit lens, you know - if I could bring only one lens on holiday....


Good to see you all and looking forward to sharing info.


Best wishes,
Julie

04-22-2014, 07:14 AM   #2
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Welcome!

Hello Julie, welcome to the Forum!
It sounds like you have a great starter kit, I'd suggest using it a bit and checking to see what zoom-setting (focal Length, FL) you use most. Walking around, urban and scenic would be in the 20mm-35mm range, the extremes or 'ends' are for much wider or closer framing. Everyone seems to develop a favored FL (or two) of seeing and composing a scene. Zooms are a perfect way to find it or narrow the range down.
If it's anywhere near 35mm, the DA 35mm f/2.4 would be my recommendation. There's a thread called 'Plastic Fantastic' that will provide plenty of examples for you to view. Started by todd, it's here; https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/196639-da35-f2-4-plastic-fantastic-club.html
With the DA 50 and DA 35, you can begin trying lower-light photography - indoors, evening, stage or performance, plus subjects with movement can be done with a slightly faster shutter speed. They also provide smoother Bokeh, aka background blurring, giving you better subject isolation. This is especially useful for portraits and people shots.
The downside is you must zoom with your feet, moving to provide the various views a zoom lens would normally give you.
Last, you're in luck with any prime lens selection. Since Pentax has kept the K-mount for over 30 years now, and older M42 lenses work with a simple adaptor, literally millions of used K-mounts are still around.
Hope this helps, good luck and post some photos!
Ron

Last edited by rbefly; 04-22-2014 at 07:27 AM.
04-22-2014, 07:15 AM   #3
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I haven't used it personally, but the Sigma 17-70 Contemporary seems to be a good bet for a walkaround lens to replace your kit lens. The lens gets great reviews. It is not weather sealed, though.
I have the Pentax DA 18-135 paired with my K-30 . It is weather resistant and I like it quite a bit if you want a bit more range.
04-22-2014, 07:30 AM   #4
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Welcome aboard!
The 18-135 is nice, and I've used it as the single-lens holiday trip. It's my only WR lens, which does make that decision easier.

04-22-2014, 08:54 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum, I hope you have lots of money, as the advice on where to spend it will no doubt come thick and fast.
04-22-2014, 04:27 PM   #6
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The DA18-135 is designed to be an "all-arounder." It will be a step up in IQ from the DA18-55. The FA24-90/3.5-4.5 was my first "all-arounder." You do want to make sure you get a good copy, and the AF works well on your K-30. But it's a great lens.

I later got a DA17-70 after the 24-90 got damaged. I liked it - good step up from the DA18-55.

I no longer have a single such lens, except for the FA28-105/3.2-4.5. Check for AF operation on this lens too. But it's pretty good.


FA24-90/3.5-4.5, DA18-135, FA28-105/3.2-4.5, DA17-70 - in that order (depending on the focal lengths you need most). DA17-70 could actually win here, if that's the focal length range you want.

You obviously have no use for a WR lens, as I remember the perfect weather in the Viking city one January ...

Last edited by DSims; 04-22-2014 at 04:36 PM.
04-23-2014, 03:23 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Julie Whelan Quote
Hello everyone. I'm writing from York in the UK. I am a hobbyist using a Pentax K30. I've joined the forum so I can get a good idea what lens to buy next. I currently have a 50mm 1.8 and the kit lens 18-55mm. I'd like a good 'all-arounder' but step above the quality of the kit lens, you know - if I could bring only one lens on holiday....


Good to see you all and looking forward to sharing info.


Best wishes,
Julie
Hi Ron,

Thank you so much for the reply and advice. For the first year, I used my kit lens to get a feel for it then I bought the 50mm 1.8 which I love but feel limited by the range and need something a bit wider. I'll look into the forum for the 'plastic fantastic club' as that could be the next lens if I don't go for a zoom.

Since I've started this hobby, friends/family keep asking for favours (do you get that?): birthday parties, portraits, even a rock band photo shoot I did for charity! I also do some street photography.

I don't have that much to spend hence looking for an 'all rounder'. I'm in no rush so will research the DA 35 vs 17-70.

Thanks so much and will post photos soon!
Julie
04-23-2014, 03:30 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
I haven't used it personally, but the Sigma 17-70 Contemporary seems to be a good bet for a walkaround lens to replace your kit lens. The lens gets great reviews. It is not weather sealed, though.
I have the Pentax DA 18-135 paired with my K-30 . It is weather resistant and I like it quite a bit if you want a bit more range.
Hi, the Sigma 17-70 is on my list to check out. Not sure how important WR is (though it is convenient in Britain). there is also a Tamron SP AF 17-50 2.8 I was going to check out but I'm just getting more confused the more I look. Also, since you mention, i will look at the Pentax 18-135 as that would cover a wider range... decisions!

Many thanks,
Julie

---------- Post added 04-23-14 at 11:34 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
The DA18-135 is designed to be an "all-arounder." It will be a step up in IQ from the DA18-55. The FA24-90/3.5-4.5 was my first "all-arounder." You do want to make sure you get a good copy, and the AF works well on your K-30. But it's a great lens.

I later got a DA17-70 after the 24-90 got damaged. I liked it - good step up from the DA18-55.

I no longer have a single such lens, except for the FA28-105/3.2-4.5. Check for AF operation on this lens too. But it's pretty good.


FA24-90/3.5-4.5, DA18-135, FA28-105/3.2-4.5, DA17-70 - in that order (depending on the focal lengths you need most). DA17-70 could actually win here, if that's the focal length range you want.

You obviously have no use for a WR lens, as I remember the perfect weather in the Viking city one January ...
Hi DSims,
Thank you for the reply. I was really, really interested in the 24-70 but think that it's out of my price range, eg over $500/700 - is that right? Looking at your post, I think the 17-70 is winning and it's fairly affordable.

Take care,
Julie

---------- Post added 04-23-14 at 11:36 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
Welcome aboard!
The 18-135 is nice, and I've used it as the single-lens holiday trip. It's my only WR lens, which does make that decision easier.
Hi Terry,

Thank you, I've put this lens on my list to research as well now. looks like it's the 35 2.4, the 17-70 and the 18-135... wish I could buy more than one!

Best wishes,
Julie

---------- Post added 04-23-14 at 11:37 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
Welcome to the forum, I hope you have lots of money, as the advice on where to spend it will no doubt come thick and fast.
That's what I'm afraid of!!!

Thanks for the reply,
Julie

---------- Post added 04-23-14 at 11:38 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
Hello Julie, welcome to the Forum!
It sounds like you have a great starter kit, I'd suggest using it a bit and checking to see what zoom-setting (focal Length, FL) you use most. Walking around, urban and scenic would be in the 20mm-35mm range, the extremes or 'ends' are for much wider or closer framing. Everyone seems to develop a favored FL (or two) of seeing and composing a scene. Zooms are a perfect way to find it or narrow the range down.
If it's anywhere near 35mm, the DA 35mm f/2.4 would be my recommendation. There's a thread called 'Plastic Fantastic' that will provide plenty of examples for you to view. Started by todd, it's here; https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/196639-da35-f2-4-plastic-fantastic-club.html
With the DA 50 and DA 35, you can begin trying lower-light photography - indoors, evening, stage or performance, plus subjects with movement can be done with a slightly faster shutter speed. They also provide smoother Bokeh, aka background blurring, giving you better subject isolation. This is especially useful for portraits and people shots.
The downside is you must zoom with your feet, moving to provide the various views a zoom lens would normally give you.
Last, you're in luck with any prime lens selection. Since Pentax has kept the K-mount for over 30 years now, and older M42 lenses work with a simple adaptor, literally millions of used K-mounts are still around.
Hope this helps, good luck and post some photos!
Ron
Hi Ron,
I've replied to you below somewhere! Just getting used to this site
Julie

04-23-2014, 05:11 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Julie Whelan Quote
Thank you for the reply. I was really, really interested in the 24-70 but think that it's out of my price range, eg over $500/700 - is that right? Looking at your post, I think the 17-70 is winning and it's fairly affordable.
It's actually the FA24-90/3.5-4.5, and the price should be similar to the DA17-70/4. The moderately fast, constant (or near constant) apertures on these (which perform well stopped down by as little as 1/3 stop) makes them good all-around lenses.
04-25-2014, 08:01 AM   #10
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thanks, I'll look into the FA24-90. What i meant was that I have wanted the 24-70mm f/2.8 lens (sigma does one) but that one seems out of my price range.
04-26-2014, 02:26 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Julie Whelan Quote
thanks, I'll look into the FA24-90. What i meant was that I have wanted the 24-70mm f/2.8 lens (sigma does one) but that one seems out of my price range.
Thanks for clarifying - I misunderstood.


I don't know how you research, but I make looking at other's images my #1 priority. This way I'm looking at actual results - plus it allows me to be just as picky as I am, about what I care to be picky about.

So for example, the way most Sigma lenses render images, plus generally weaker performance (than competitors) near wide-open, puts them out of contention for me. But for others they're a great solution. So you can easily pick your own priorities this way - and decide how picky you want to be in light of your budget.

If it turns out IQ is satisfactory for you from many different lenses, then you can decide based on price, AF performance, weight, subjective handling (according to reviews), or other factors.




I believe a person doesn't even have to know much about photography in order to make this evaluation. So you can put aside most of your knowledge when first looking at the images. Those that get your attention, or give you an emotional reaction - those are the ones. The technical reasons almost don't matter.

Later you can look at the settings that were used and figure out how to make similar images yourself - especially if you get the same lens.



These are my three favorite places to research lenses:

PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model

Advanced Search

Pentax smc P-FA 24-90mm f/3.5-4.5 AL IF Lens Sample Photos and Specifications
04-29-2014, 03:45 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
Thanks for clarifying - I misunderstood.


I don't know how you research, but I make looking at other's images my #1 priority. This way I'm looking at actual results - plus it allows me to be just as picky as I am, about what I care to be picky about.

So for example, the way most Sigma lenses render images, plus generally weaker performance (than competitors) near wide-open, puts them out of contention for me. But for others they're a great solution. So you can easily pick your own priorities this way - and decide how picky you want to be in light of your budget.

If it turns out IQ is satisfactory for you from many different lenses, then you can decide based on price, AF performance, weight, subjective handling (according to reviews), or other factors.




I believe a person doesn't even have to know much about photography in order to make this evaluation. So you can put aside most of your knowledge when first looking at the images. Those that get your attention, or give you an emotional reaction - those are the ones. The technical reasons almost don't matter.

Later you can look at the settings that were used and figure out how to make similar images yourself - especially if you get the same lens.



These are my three favorite places to research lenses:

PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model

Advanced Search

Pentax smc P-FA 24-90mm f/3.5-4.5 AL IF Lens Sample Photos and Specifications
Very good considerations and thank you so much for the advice! i do believe I need to do a lot more research before I spend hundreds on the next lens, you've given me a bit to think about. I'll let you know! Best wishes.
04-29-2014, 06:43 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Julie Whelan Quote
Very good considerations and thank you so much for the advice! i do believe I need to do a lot more research before I spend hundreds on the next lens, you've given me a bit to think about. I'll let you know! Best wishes.
Good - I hope it helped.


If you decide you don't want to be overly particular about IQ - especially since you're shooting as a hobbyist - then that's great. It makes life easier. If all of the photos look good to you, then none of your choices will be wrong!

But either way this exercise should help you in the selection process, as well as help you to become a better photographer - if you begin to replicate the composition and settings used in the photos that strike you.
04-29-2014, 11:13 PM   #14
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Welcome to PF and bonjour from France, Julie ... Like Ron, I would suggest another prime and the DA 35 is a great lens for the buck. Shoots like a 50mm on APS-C sensors, plus it's full frame compatible, too ... Enjoy the forum and hope too see some images soon ... Salut, J
04-30-2014, 02:47 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jean Poitiers Quote
Welcome to PF and bonjour from France, Julie ... Like Ron, I would suggest another prime and the DA 35 is a great lens for the buck. Shoots like a 50mm on APS-C sensors, plus it's full frame compatible, too ... Enjoy the forum and hope too see some images soon ... Salut, J
Thank you for the reply and bonjour, Jean! I'm so torn between getting a prime (DA35) and a zoom ( DA17-70). I love the images that I get from my 50mm 1.8. I've attached a recent photo taken with the 50mm. (at least I think I've attached it - I find this forum/website difficult to manoevre in!).

---------- Post added 04-30-14 at 11:28 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Julie Whelan Quote
Thank you for the reply and bonjour, Jean! I'm so torn between getting a prime (DA35) and a zoom ( DA17-70). I love the images that I get from my 50mm 1.8. I've attached a recent photo taken with the 50mm. (at least I think I've attached it - I find this forum/website difficult to manoevre in!).
I do see her left eye (on the right) isn't as sharp as I'd like but the rest of this portrait I like
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