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05-30-2015, 04:59 PM   #1
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New (future) Pentax K-S2 User - lens advice

Greetings,

I just packaged and shipped my entire micro 4/3 system to one of the major online retailers in order to receive credit towards a new Pentax K-S2. Quite a traumatic moment :-) however based on a few reviews and a brief hands-on experience with the K-S2 I believe I am making the right decision. I am by no means a pro, I would consider myself an advanced beginner that wants to explore the world of photography a bit more seriously in addition to simple travel photography. I would appreciate any advice regarding the choice of lens for this camera - not sure if I should get the kit lenses (18 - 50 & 50 - 200), the 18 - 135, or just the body and scrounge around for some non-Pentax lenses. Nice problem to have! Glad to have discovered this Forum and thanks in advance for any help!

05-30-2015, 05:26 PM   #2
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Welcome!

Personally I would pass on the kit lenses, unless the budget requires you to go that way. They are not bad, but there is better glass available.

The 18-135 is a very good travel lens and paired with a DA 55-300 you have a nice 18 to 300 kit in two lenses.

If you want to step up a bit look at the DA* glass. This would be the DA*16-50 and the DA*60-250. So 16 to 250 in two lenses.

You should also consider whether you want to shoot with zooms or primes. You will find quickly on this forum that many (most?) are big advocates for Pentax primes especially the Limited series. Limiteds come in two flavors DA and FA, with the older FA series having aperture rings and being full frame capable. The DA versions are smaller have quick shift and are (mostly) APS-C only.

You should also look at the lens review database here: Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
05-30-2015, 05:28 PM   #3
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Welcome to Pentax and to the PF. You will get great advice.

Personally I feel that your lens needs must be planned ahead. You need to plan your lens roadmap to maximise your investment and be happy with it.

If I look back when I joined Pentax, I bought first the DA18-250mm (an all-around lens) and a Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4 (basically a prime lens,called a fast fifty). I never regret my choice and I owe to the forum for great advice.

Back to your needs, I would suggest to start with the DA18-135mm, A solid all-around lens (I have one), WR, decent performer, excellent for travel IMHO. Your next investment could be a prime. The DA50mm f1.8mm (a plastic fantastic) would be a great choice IMHO, but there are also some older MF primes available second-hand.

Generally, Pentax is renowned (across all manufacturers) for its outstanding prime lenses (up to 100-200mm). Truly outstanding primes include the FA Limited, DA limited, DA* primes. And there are excellent older primes like the FA* series amoung a few. Many can be found 2nd hand at the PF marketplace (here), a reputed 2nd hand seller like keh.com, or some reputed Japanese and Korean sellers at ebay.

I hope that the comments will help.
05-30-2015, 05:41 PM   #4
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I have the 18-135 and quite like it. My suggestion is to get this lens (small, light and cover the most useful range) since you already passed the stage of liking super-zoom and then add a fast prime, either 35, 50 or 70 range to start with.

You may also consider the 20-40 to add to your travel kit for street photography.

05-30-2015, 06:55 PM   #5
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The 18-135 is a nice versatile lens, a good start for almost any user. But you have to ask yourself, what are you shooting? What lenses did you use the most on your m4/3? The fact that you already had a system means you should have some ideas. Any Pentax or third party lens may be a good choice for some type of usage. With a little more information you'll get a littler better advise, believe me, on this forum we all like to help others spend their money! LBA (Lens Buying Addiction) is rampant here.
05-30-2015, 07:46 PM   #6
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Though I have had Pentax lenses, I also have a Sigma lens which performs well. If you want a real range in one lens, though not super telephoto, the Sigma 18-300 for Pentax, which is available for pre-order, would give you versatility. I am awaiting it to be available myself. I have the Sigma 150-500 (super telephoto range) and the performance is nice with my K-5 IIs.

Last edited by C_Jones; 05-30-2015 at 08:00 PM.
05-30-2015, 07:58 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mmbrombe Quote
Greetings,

I just packaged and shipped my entire micro 4/3 system to one of the major online retailers in order to receive credit towards a new Pentax K-S2. Quite a traumatic moment :-) however based on a few reviews and a brief hands-on experience with the K-S2 I believe I am making the right decision. I am by no means a pro, I would consider myself an advanced beginner that wants to explore the world of photography a bit more seriously in addition to simple travel photography. I would appreciate any advice regarding the choice of lens for this camera - not sure if I should get the kit lenses (18 - 50 & 50 - 200), the 18 - 135, or just the body and scrounge around for some non-Pentax lenses. Nice problem to have! Glad to have discovered this Forum and thanks in advance for any help!
I'd go for the 18-135mm, then add primes and more specialized lenses as needed.

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05-30-2015, 09:37 PM   #8
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Welcome. Have fun with your KS-2 when you get it.

05-30-2015, 10:44 PM   #9
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Thanks everybody for the thoughtful and detailed replies, much appreciated. Based on all comments I'm leaning towards the 18 - 135 to start - from a financial and overall usage point of view, and then start getting some nice, fast primes. Good to have such a great support group.
05-31-2015, 12:48 AM   #10
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Welcome to the forum, lots a good information already given, so I'll just say enjoy that camera once you get it.
05-31-2015, 02:44 AM   #11
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Welcome!
As other members I'm also suggesting to start with the DA 18-135 WR.
A wider but less tele alternative could be the new DA 16-85 WR.
For the following steps it depends on your spending capabilities and wish/attitude to change lens frequently.
In my case I expanded in two ways:
1) added the DA 55-300 to cover also tele-photo needs up to 450mm eq.
2) start creating a trio of fantastic primes with three limiteds (21-35-70).
What I'm missing: wide angles so for the future could evaluate either the DA 15 Limited or a zoom like the DA 12-24...
In any case enjoy your Pentax...
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