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04-28-2014, 03:51 PM   #1
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Film age dinosaur has K-5 body but no lenses!

Hello there!

I'm a film age dinosaur with virtually no digital camera experience other than a little sony powershot digital. My brother just gave me his K-5 body when he upgraded to another Pentax. But with no lenses! Heeheehee.

I used to shoot landscapes and available light photos of people with a canon eos elan w/ 28-105mm lens which lived on the camera. Also had 100-300mm but never used it. Had large bounceable/aimable flash for that camera but really prefer available light. I also enjoyed taking macro photos. With a previous camera which got stolen I could reverse the zoom lens and use it as a macro lens. I also like taking shots which have nice "bokeh" behind the subjects. I have cats and like to take photos of them w/o flash. Same w/ people.

I read that the 28-105mm zoom range on my old film camera would be different on a digital camera - does that equate somewhat to 17-70mm?

I've been studying lenses here on this website and reading reviews trying to figure where to head. My bro suggested getting a kit lens pentax da18-55mm to start off with. But he also said something about a focusing learning curve with his K-5 and the pentax 18-55 lens he used on it. I don't know if it had something to do with the lens or the camera? Then I read about the Sigma 17-70mm 2.8-4.5 Macro and got a little excited about that. Right now I'm worn out from reading and worrying. So I thought I would get some input from people who might know something about the subject.

I don't have a lot of money to spend, and actually shouldn't spend any! But this K-5 body looks so lonely and faceless I have to get something for it!

04-28-2014, 03:55 PM   #2
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The DA 18-135 WR is a great walk around lens. It's silent, fast focusing, sharp, and weather sealed. It's a perfect companion for your K5, especially if you have only one lens.
04-28-2014, 03:56 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by cccaaattt Quote
I read that the 28-105mm zoom range on my old film camera would be different on a digital camera - does that equate somewhat to 17-70mm?
A 17-70mm lens is what you'd want to get. A 28-105mm on APS-C (digital) actually gives you a smaller field of view than it would on film. So, on digital, 28-105 would be equivalent to about 42-157mm on film, whereas 17-70mm on digital is roughly comparable to a 24-105mm on film.

I can recommend this lens:
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 Contemporary - Introduction - Pentax Camera Forums

The 18-55mm is a good value, but its image quality isn't stellar. Also, if you want to get started with a prime lens (which is a good idea), check out these two:

SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.4 AL Reviews - DA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8 Reviews - DA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

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04-28-2014, 04:13 PM   #4
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All of the suggestions above are good. I also liked the DA17-70/4, as well as the FA24-90/3.5-4.5.

The FA28-105/3.2-4.5 both takes nice photos and is reasonably priced, so you might try it. However, sometimes it's not wide enough, whereas most of the time the 24-90 is.

04-28-2014, 05:03 PM   #5
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The Sigma 17-70 is available used here on the forum quite frequently for a very reasonable price. Just use the search function. There is one available in the US now:

Here

Note: Not my listing!

Also, there are 3 different versions of the 17-70. The first one uses the slightly noisier screw drive, and is therefore cheaper. The later versions use silent in-lens motors, and command a little higher price. Any version will take really nice photos. I think the link is for a version 1 lens, so screwdrive. FWIW, I'd pick the version 1 lens if I was choosing, because it's cheaper and focuses a little closer than the others.

Last edited by Kozlok; 04-28-2014 at 05:10 PM.
04-28-2014, 06:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
The Sigma 17-70 is available used here on the forum quite frequently for a very reasonable price. Just use the search function. There is one available in the US now:

Here

Note: Not my listing!

Also, there are 3 different versions of the 17-70. The first one uses the slightly noisier screw drive, and is therefore cheaper. The later versions use silent in-lens motors, and command a little higher price. Any version will take really nice photos. I think the link is for a version 1 lens, so screwdrive. FWIW, I'd pick the version 1 lens if I was choosing, because it's cheaper and focuses a little closer than the others.
If you loved shooting with a film camera and want to replicate that experience on your new digital body, I suggest you try out some old pentax manual primes. There are several types, K, A and M...I chose to try the M series because they are the most compact and are so reasonably priced, so I could afford to play with several to find my favorite focal lengths on my K7. I find it so nice to have manual focus on the lens and stop down metering using the green button, the whole process takes me back to my film days. The A series can be used without having to meter. Here's a link to a good explanation of how to use these old manual lenses on a DSLR: http://www.robertsdonovan.com/?p=1181. And the forums here give reviews on all these old lenses, which are very helpful in deciding on what to try.

---------- Post added 04-28-14 at 06:30 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
The Sigma 17-70 is available used here on the forum quite frequently for a very reasonable price. Just use the search function. There is one available in the US now:

Here

Note: Not my listing!

Also, there are 3 different versions of the 17-70. The first one uses the slightly noisier screw drive, and is therefore cheaper. The later versions use silent in-lens motors, and command a little higher price. Any version will take really nice photos. I think the link is for a version 1 lens, so screwdrive. FWIW, I'd pick the version 1 lens if I was choosing, because it's cheaper and focuses a little closer than the others.
Sorry Kozlok, I accidentally posted my reply to "film age dinosaur" under your note, don't know how to correct this...but guess he can read it okay here.
04-28-2014, 06:37 PM   #7
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For available light photos of your cat and your friends & family it is hard to beat the 40 limited. KEH has a few used copies in stock right now. I don't own this lens now (have had bad luck w 2 copies!), but I will be getting one for my birthday this year. Maybe even one of the HD ones.

The 40 will run you $250ish used. If you want to really lay it on the line, check out the Sigma 35 1.4 art. More than 3x the price of the 40, but it is a wonder--a bona fide game changer.
04-28-2014, 06:56 PM   #8
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Thank you to all - anyone know about K-5 and focusing issues?

Thank you to all who have responded to my dinosaur post.

Are any of you familiar with AF on the K-5? my brother said there were some issues for him and AF on the K-5.

If so, would those issues only exist with pentax lenses or with all AF lenses, like the Sigma zoom lens?

Of course I haven't been able to try it out for myself since I have no lens ................

And yes, I have seen two Sigma 17-70mm advertised on the marketplace. One is the "Contemporary" and the other is the non HSM version which one poster mentioned being cheaper and sharper.

04-28-2014, 07:02 PM   #9
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Welcome to the forum! You can peruse the Marketplace for some good deals on used lenses. I'm a film dinosaur myself and now I love digital! Looking forward to seeing some images (once you get a lens that is!).
04-28-2014, 07:12 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by cccaaattt Quote
Thank you to all who have responded to my dinosaur post.

Are any of you familiar with AF on the K-5? my brother said there were some issues for him and AF on the K-5.

If so, would those issues only exist with pentax lenses or with all AF lenses, like the Sigma zoom lens?

Of course I haven't been able to try it out for myself since I have no lens ................

And yes, I have seen two Sigma 17-70mm advertised on the marketplace. One is the "Contemporary" and the other is the non HSM version which one poster mentioned being cheaper and sharper.
Pentax is a bit of an underdog as far as AF performance goes, but there aren't really any issues with the K-5's AF. Only live view is a bit slow. Pentax and Sigma lenses will both work well

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04-28-2014, 07:53 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by cccaaattt Quote
Are any of you familiar with AF on the K-5? my brother said there were some issues for him and AF on the K-5.

If so, would those issues only exist with pentax lenses or with all AF lenses, like the Sigma zoom lens?
Make sure you update the firmware if it hasn't already been done; AF performance is one of the things it helps.
04-28-2014, 10:50 PM   #12
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DSims,

I'm new to DSLRs, how does one "update the firmware"?
04-28-2014, 11:22 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nakedgun Quote
DSims,

I'm new to DSLRs, how does one "update the firmware"?
Take a look here:

Pentax Firmware Updates - PentaxForums.com Homepage Blog
04-29-2014, 05:26 AM   #14
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The K5 autofocus is fine, but you really need to learn how it works. I think this is likely the case with any camera, you have to learn its idiosyncrasies. It's just a matter of getting out and using it.

If weather resistance is important to you, the 18-135 is worth considering as your base level zoom. It's nice because it's motorized and is very quick to focus. Other than that, the 17-70s are supposed to be very good as well. It's something of a personal choice, since both camps have their supporters. I can say I've taken my camera places with the 18-135 I would not have otherwise. I don't have an 18-55 WR, however, so cannot personally compare the two.
04-29-2014, 09:46 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
Make sure you update the firmware if it hasn't already been done; AF performance is one of the things it helps.
Hi there DSims,

I was April fooled by your report in Pentax News on the Pentax Forum:
Pentax to Dominate Lens Market by 2015

!!! I got all excited thinking about being able to use my old canon film lenses with my new K-5!
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