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07-16-2015, 11:28 AM   #1
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cold feet! :)

Hi folks,
I am what you would call an accidental Pentax user. I got caught up in Amazon's prime day and ended up getting a K3 (body only). OK so a little background I took my first picture when I was 8, used film for many years, medium format, 35mm own dark room etc, I'm now 45 so I have done my time! My current camera is a 5d mk1 which I absolutely love, I use it exclusively for manual focus shooting with adapted lenses (mostly prime m42 contax minolta etc) doing mainly landscape. This K3 has landed in my lap and I am struggling to see the way forward.

I can adapt my M42 lenses to the pentax but really I am liking the weather sealed build and now looking to get some lenses to go with it. here I have a problem. I know my M42 will adapt. I have a good zeiss 20mm f2.8, but there is hardly any point using it an APS-c. Besides I like the idea of having a quick to focus carry around 2nd camera which the Pentax could do, but I am finding the lens options out there are aren't inspiring me for Pentax. Maybe it is because I have been spoiled by using primes but the image samples I can see out there for Pentax zooms (with weather resistance) just don't cut it for me (photozone). So can someone inspire me with a walk about zoom that isn't going to cost so much that I have to sell my Canon? Ideally I will keep that for low light long exposure landscapes.

I shot briefly with a Pentax at work a few years back and even though I didn't get all the nuances of the menu system (a bit complicated coming from Canon) I liked the way they didn't handicap the camera like Canon do (take a look at magic lantern to see what Canon could have done years ago!) I can flip this without losing money but part of me wants to persevere if there is a lens with IQ at a reasonable price point. I suppose I need to be looking at the 18-135 range to be useful but I have read horrific reviews about this lens at longer zoom ranges. Pentax SMC-DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] WR - Review / Lens Test - Analysis
It seems that the Pentax performance/price point is great in the bodies but less so in the lenses?

07-16-2015, 12:14 PM   #2
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Hmm, I'm not much of a zoom user, but I just took a gander at the Photozone review of the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, and it measures out to be nearly as poor as their copy of the Pentax 18-135.

Interestingly, if you look at the Pentax 18-135 reviews here, many folks seem to like it a lot. It could be the earliest copies had some QC issues - I remember reading that there were de-centering issues early on.

There's also this thread for the 18-135 enthusiasts here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/179869-da-1...at-can-do.html

And since you already have a 5d Mk1, wouldn't make it more sense to return the K-3 and get another Canon? One set of lenses top swap between cameras just seems more convenient, efficient and economical.
07-16-2015, 12:39 PM   #3
abe
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How about this one: Pentax HD DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Too pricey? This one has better IQ than the 18-135.
07-16-2015, 12:40 PM   #4
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Yes, it would make absolute sense to get another Canon body, I was waiting for a 5Dmk2 or sony a99 at the right price, but sometimes things happens for a reason . Thanks for the link.

---------- Post added 07-16-15 at 12:52 PM ----------

Thanks abe, that lens would probably be the one to go for if I keep the camera, Thanks for your input.

07-16-2015, 01:10 PM   #5
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This one comes to mind too Bob: HD Pentax-DA 20-40mm F2.8-4 Limited DC WR Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
07-16-2015, 01:35 PM   #6
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HI Tas, I looked at that one the restricted range for the price, and also the poor performance for such an expensive lens makes me reluctant. I love how the lens looks, it reminds me of the 50 1.4 Takumar I had a while back but, I would want more from this lens than it delivers for the price point.
07-16-2015, 01:55 PM   #7
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I have the WR 18-135 and the WR 55-300. I like them both - I think the 55-300 has somewhat better IQ overall, but the 18-135 is a handy lens, especially when you need the weather resistance.

When I know I'm going to be shooting at shorter focal lengths and I want to use a zoom, I tend to use the Sigma 17-70 2.8-4, rather than the 18-135. But it's a bit bigger and heavier, and it's not weather-resistant. I like the image quality better, though.

PS - Welcome back to Pentax. I think you will be happy with the K-3.
07-16-2015, 03:14 PM   #8
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Thanks mr frog, I dont think I will be able to stretch to a range of lenses. If this pays it's way it needs to be be wr I thinks, Thanks for the input I had a a sigma 17-70 for a while until I dropped the camera and the plastic mount broke right off! If I dropped some of my current primes they might dent concrete

07-19-2015, 12:57 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by hacksawbob Quote
if there is a lens with IQ at a reasonable price point
Welcome to Pentax, albeit perhaps short lived if you decide to jump ship early.

I would myself have a look at both the "Limited" and "Star" ranges of prime glass for absolute IQ.
07-20-2015, 08:29 AM   #10
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Hi thanks for that, I have seen the limiteds of course, I am not familiar with the star lenses though. What are they? The plan is to shoot with my manual lenses via an adapter and see how I like the handling. If I like it I will probably keep it and sell the Canon 5d to get a 16-85. Although there is a crazy thought in my head to convert it to an IR camera

Last edited by hacksawbob; 07-20-2015 at 08:47 AM.
07-20-2015, 08:40 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by hacksawbob Quote
Hi thanks for that, I have seen the limiteds of course, I am not familiar with the star lenses though. What are they? The plan is to shoot with my manual lenses via an adapter and see how I like the handling. If I like it I will probably keep it and sell the 5d to get a 16-85.
The star lenses are weather sealed lenses with fast apertures. Most of them are zooms -- the DA *16-50 f2.8, 50-135 f2.8, but there are primes DA *55 f1.4, DA *200 f2.8, DA *300 f4. They aren't as small as the limiteds and have in lens motors, quick shift (which the FA limiteds don't have) and have faster apertures than the DA limiteds.
07-20-2015, 08:53 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by hacksawbob Quote
I have a good zeiss 20mm f2.8, but there is hardly any point using it an APS-c
Why6 You can use it on any body

QuoteOriginally posted by hacksawbob Quote
the image samples I can see out there for Pentax zooms (with weather resistance) just don't cut it for me (photozone)
The best walkaround zoom currently available with WR is probably the 16-85. An amazing lens.

The 18-135, while not as good optically, is an excellent all-rounder. If you don't mind a shorter range, the 20-40 limited is very very good, compact, well-made, and it's a limited. The DA* 16-50 doesn't have very good press these days, because it's an older lens than the others, but it's still an excellent piece of glass.

I fully understand the WR relevance (that's one reason I've put for sale my fantastic Sigma 17-70) but if you want to move away from WR, then you could either grab a few limited primes (you did mention you love primes, and Pentax has a magical lineup of limiteds), or look at offers from other manufacturers the Sigma 17-70 I mentioned is, optically, a top dog in the walkaround range).

I hope I was able to help you a bit.
07-20-2015, 10:52 AM   #13
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Those photozone reviews are brutal, those guys are rarely satisfied. :P

I'd say get a WR lens or two and have fun. It's a fun system, you've already got the body, buy a used lens off of one of the sellers on this site. Get the 16 to 85, you'll enjoy it. I have the 18-135, despite the reviews it can produce pretty good photos! I took this a while ago, handheld (thank you SR). Pretty good IQ, at least to my eyes.

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