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11-23-2015, 10:02 PM   #1
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First time SF Bay DSLR user - KS2 18-55 & 55-200 WR Kit

Hey everyone,

Glad to be on the site! Just bought a KS2 with the kit lenses. Most of the good stuff I've seen has been outdoors in low light, and this camera seems to be a good intro. I have to say though. I'm already feeling the limitations of the lenses. Maybe my settings aren't right, but even after playing around with stuff I cant get the clarity I want. Now I'm wishing I would've bought the K3II with some better lenses. So, for now I'll just be buying better lenses. I've used many types of binoculars over the years and completely understand the importance of good glass. When I started reading about buying a camera, most stuff said not to invest too much money into a setup until you know you're really into it. Well, I'm wishing I wouldn't have listened to that and spent $2K instead of $500 because I've already missed some shots. Can't get the clarity at certain distances I want in low light. I hate seeing things with my eyes on not being able to capture it.

Any suggestions on good outdoors lenses would be appreciated. What is there besides the Sigma 50-500 APO and Pentax HA 150-450? I want telephoto but also need some wide angle. One positive I can say about the 55-200 kit lens is I haven't noticed vignetting...

11-23-2015, 10:23 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by HuntingRat Quote
One positive I can say about the 55-200 kit lens is I haven't noticed vignetting...
It doesn't have as much vignetting as say a superzoom, but in-camera lens corrections virtually eliminate vignetting in JPEG mode regardless

I would recommend the DA* 60-250mm. Even though it's only slightly longer than the 55-200mm, the resolving power is much greater.

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11-23-2015, 10:26 PM   #3
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What are you trying to shoot?
11-23-2015, 11:13 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
It doesn't have as much vignetting as say a superzoom, but in-camera lens corrections virtually eliminate vignetting in JPEG mode regardless

I would recommend the DA* 60-250mm. Even though it's only slightly longer than the 55-200mm, the resolving power is much greater.
Shooting in RAW, not sure if that makes a difference than JPEG? Thanks for the suggestion on the DA* 60-250; I've definitely noticed, with binoculars, that I can get a much clearer image looking through expensive glass at lower power than cheap glass at higher power I'm assuming the concept is the same with lens glass.

Trying to shoot mountain landscapes from a distance, then zoom in on wildlife when it appears. Don't do birds in flight really. More like when I see a bald eagle on a cliff edge on the ocean. Or leatherback turtle on ocean, I shoot from a boat sometimes. Mostly shooting wildlife life though, also the kids, nice sunsets and moon phases.

11-23-2015, 11:22 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by HuntingRat Quote
Shooting in RAW, not sure if that makes a difference than JPEG? Thanks for the suggestion on the DA* 60-250; I've definitely noticed, with binoculars, that I can get a much clearer image looking through expensive glass at lower power than cheap glass at higher power I'm assuming the concept is the same with lens glass.

Trying to shoot mountain landscapes from a distance, then zoom in on wildlife when it appears. Don't do birds in flight really. More like when I see a bald eagle on a cliff edge on the ocean. Or leatherback turtle on ocean, I shoot from a boat sometimes. Mostly shooting wildlife life though, also the kids, nice sunsets and moon phases.

I shoot landscape and wildlife. For what you're describing, the 60-250 would work very well. The quality of this lens and its photos is superb and its versatility widely regarded.
11-24-2015, 07:40 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Welcome to the forum, you gonna fit right in around here, you've already got early stages LBA.
11-24-2015, 08:18 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum!
11-24-2015, 08:39 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Welcome to the forum....

Just from my cursory investigations, the K2s is a fine camera, I have a K-3 and I'm still considering getting one, for the tilt screen. If there's something wrong with your pictures it isn't the K-S2.

Check out all available lenses for K-moutn here
Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

You'll notice the 50-200 is only rated at 7.2 for sharpness. Find the Pentax rating system, no one ever gives anything a rating under 5, so I subtract 5 from the forum number . That makes the 50-200 a 2.2 out of 5, that's a more accurate description. That being said, there are some fine pictures posted taken with it. So the first thing you want to investigate is, is it the lens or is it your technique? 200mm is long enough to be thinking tripod, monopod or some type of external bracing to steady the lens.
SMC Pentax-DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Personally, I'm a great fan of the 18-135 as a walk around lens and 60-250 as my long zoom. The DA60-250 is rated by forum members a 9.69... (even on my scale 4.69 out of 5 is impressive.) That coupled with a 1.4 TC will handle many situations. If you want really long and really heavy, the Sigma 150-500 is the best deal around.

Buying today, I'd give the 16-85 a good look to go with the 60-250. But I don't have that lens...

18-135 sample images here.
DA_18-135 by Norm_Head | Photobucket
Here
DA_18-135-small_flowers by Norm_Head | Photobucket
And here
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/179869-da-1...can-do-88.html

DA* 60-250 images click here.

DA 16-85 images..
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/301618-da-1...-can-do-9.html
And
https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/hd-pentax-da-16-85mm-f35-56-ed-dc-wr.html

The Pentax 18-135, 16-85 and DA*60-250 are all water-resistant for outdoor use.


Last edited by normhead; 11-24-2015 at 08:46 AM.
11-24-2015, 09:42 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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Thanks for all the info guys!

LBA?

Yeah, I've definitely noticed I need the tripod when at 200. My current one sucks, and I can't keep my monopod steady enough to get crisp pictures. Also have heard if the pictures aren't good it's definitely not the camera; maybe it's the lens though? It's certainly not me! Haha.

Appreciate the welcome! I'm thinking about the Sigma 18-300...
11-24-2015, 09:53 AM   #10
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Definitely not the camera. You just need better lenses. Poor little thing can't see!
11-24-2015, 09:54 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by HuntingRat Quote
LBA?
Lens Buying Addiction
QuoteOriginally posted by HuntingRat Quote
It's certainly not me! Haha.
Really?
QuoteOriginally posted by HuntingRat Quote
Sigma 18-300
That's a super-zoom lens, you'll get more luck with something like the DA* 60-250 or maybe HD DA 55-300? Both are WR.
And with a wider angle zoom HD DA 16-85, you've got a nice kit!
Or maybe you want prime tele lenses, DA* 200 or DA* 300?

Lots to think about
11-24-2015, 09:58 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by HuntingRat Quote
Thanks for all the info guys!

LBA?

Yeah, I've definitely noticed I need the tripod when at 200. My current one sucks, and I can't keep my monopod steady enough to get crisp pictures. Also have heard if the pictures aren't good it's definitely not the camera; maybe it's the lens though? It's certainly not me! Haha.

Appreciate the welcome! I'm thinking about the Sigma 18-300...
We have a Sigma 18-250, and we find there's a noticeable drop off between the 18-135 ( as would be the case for any 17-70 or the 16-85) and the 18-250. Personally, I'd recommend, 18-135, they can be found for around $400 and 55-300 rather than an 18-300 type zoom. After all, it is a DSLR. We rarely use the 18-250 other than on canoe trips where we have to keep our weight down and want to go with one lens and one camera case, and its a short trip with little chance of needing a good lens. Any time IQ is a consideration, I don't think you can find an all purpose zoom you'll want to use, except in situations like the above. On longer trips where I know I'm going to have som photo ops, I lug the heavier 18-135 in one case that I keep handy in the boat, and another case with theSigma 8-16, DA* 60-250, 21 ltd, 70 macro and 40 XS (and a few spare batteries and memory cards. If you make an effort to get somewhere at considerable time and expense, trying to save weight and not having appropriate glass doesn't make any sense.

When I'm cutting down on my weight, for me 18-135 and DA*60-250 (with TC) is the absolute minimum, if I'm concerned about IQ.

But the 55-300 is the top end of consumer telephoto glass and has produced some excellent images that hold their own with any images posted at web size.

18-250 type lenses are good documentary type lenses for preserving those memories of trips etc.. Convenient, you never lose a shot because you don't have time to change lenses, but if you're interested in producing "amateur photographer " type images, they leave a bit to be desired.

If I were in your position I might just go with the best second hand 18-135, 16-86, 17-70 type lens I could get my hands on, and maybe a second hand 55-300 as well. That gets you the best of the consumer type lenses without getting into the big bucks for pro quality lenses. These are actually the only lenses I'd recommend for someone who isn't absolutely certain about what they want. Experiment with high end consumer, move up to pro quality glass when you know what you want, and that high end consumer won't do.

I got my 21 ltd and Tamron 90 macro second hand, and they're two of favourite lenses.

Last edited by normhead; 11-24-2015 at 10:12 AM.
11-24-2015, 10:14 AM   #13
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Whether you buy expensive glass or not, Huntingrat, use a tripod/monopod where possible and keep your shutter speed high - 1/500s and faster for moving objects. Let the ISO float automatically to match. The longer the lens, the more camera shake is magnified.
11-24-2015, 10:19 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by dansamy Quote
Definitely not the camera. You just need better lenses. Poor little thing can't see!
^^^ I agree completely, the K-S2 is more camera than most photographers will ever need. There are guys on here using 10-year-old Pentax DSLRs and getting phenomenal results from them. Your camera is state of the art.

You should get pretty good results from the kit lenses you have, but for optimal image quality you'll need to have the aperture set between f/8 and f/11 most of the time. That means you'll need bright lighting - sunny days and the like, or you'll have to bump up the ISO which will gradually start to add noise into your pictures (that doesn't have to be a bad thing, but it will eat away at fine detail).

You are always going to find a one lens solution - a superzoom such as the Sigma 18-300 - to be a compromise. They do everything, but not all that well. As a low-ish cost zoom lens, I recommend the DA 55-300 WR - this is a really excellent lens that will give you very good results from f/5.6, and it is weather resistant. It is plenty sharp enough. I just took the attached photo of the moon handheld using this lens - OK, the photo isn't that special, but you can see the detail the lens has captured.

As for the shorter end, you could go for the DA 16-85 WR. I'm awaiting my third copy of this as the first two had quality control issues, so I'm not in a position to recommend the lens at present - but my initial tests showed that it was sharp. Alternatively, you could pick up a DA 20-40 WR Limited - a lovely, lovely lens that produces very rich, detailed images for a zoom. With that and the 55-300, you would only have a small gap between 40 - 55mm unfilled, and you can deal with that by moving closer to or further away from your subject
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11-24-2015, 10:33 AM   #15
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No one has yet mentioned the 50 1.7. Everyone should have one low light lens they can use in the dark if necessary. That or the 35 2.4. Smallish lenses that don't weigh much, but are very handy to have.
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