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08-21-2016, 04:52 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by dsp52 Quote
1) a zoom in the 70-200mm neighborhood (I'm drawn to this one as it is close the the old Vivitar Series 1, 70-210mm, that I used to use many years ago);
I'd steer you towards any of the Pentax 55-300 lenses (DA, DAL, or DA WR). As modestly priced telephoto zooms go, it's very hard to beat.

QuoteQuote:
2) a wide angle in the 10-20mm range;
Pentax DA 15mm limited. The older SMC version is the one that most people covet, so I'd look for a good second hand version of that if I were you (or one of the HD versions if you find one at a good price). It's small, it's sexy, and it just delivers.

QuoteQuote:
and a 50mm prime lens that is at least f1.8 or faster.
Depends if you mean standard prime (e.g. 50mm was a standard prime in the 35mm film era, but the equivalent for the k-3 would be a 35mm lens). I'd still push you towards the 35mm f2.8 DA macro limited though, whilst not an f1.8, it would cover the street/macro side of things, and with the high iso of the k-3, it'll do a reasonable job in low light. Failing that, the DA20-40 (which is weather sealed, but lacks the macro).

Having used virtually all of the current Pentax lenses, I'd say go for a used DA35 macro first (image quality is exceptional, and it's versatile enough to fulfill most roles). Add a used 55-300 DAL or DA next, followed by a DA15 last. None of those options are weather sealed (well ok, you can get the HD WR version of the 55-300), but if you watch the market place or eBay, there are likely to be a few of the DA limiteds turning up at a reasonable price (people selling their apsc kit to fund a k-1)

08-22-2016, 09:03 PM   #17
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Recent lens purchase

Hey, thanks for your continuing interest in my lens search, and thanks for your input.

So, rightly or wrongly, a few days ago I purchased the following "used" lenses: a Sigma 17-50 f2.8 EX DC and a Pentax DA 55-300 F4-5.8 ED. That's all I really want or think I will need (at least for now) in zoom lenses. I purchased these from another Pentax forum member/seller for what seemed reasonable compared to other similar used lenses for sale, and they seem to be in good shape. I have to admit I had the bug to buy something, and those two lenses seemed like ones I could/would use.

From what I have been reading, for absolute best photo quality, I might want a prime lens or two. Obviously, the two lenses I bought run the length of focal lengths that I am apt to want or need in the realm of a convenient zoom application, but should I get a prime lens or two? I actually like to do some macro (flowers, bugs, etc), and again, from what I read, macros tend to be better at somewhat longer focal lengths, like 100ish or higher.

I'm not out that much $$ on the two used lenses I bought, so what are your thoughts on what my next lens should be, from your perspective?

I just bought a Lowepro camera sling bag yesterday, so I'm itching to go out and shoot. I wish I didn't have to work this week! The weekend can't come soon enough!

Thanks!
08-23-2016, 02:48 AM   #18
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Congratulations on the Sigma 17-50 and Pentax 55-300... both great lenses and capable of excellent results; you'll enjoy them a lot, I'm sure

Regarding primes... I wouldn't buy anything in the 15mm to 70mm range just yet. That Sigma is really very, very good throughout the range at all apertures - as sharp as many decent prime lenses, in all honesty. I would encourage you to scratch your itch - go and shoot with that lens for a while. See if the 17mm - 50mm range is enough for you. If you find it slightly limiting and want a little wider angle, you could consider the DA15 f/4 Limited, or if you need a bit more reach, perhaps the DA70 f/2.4 or FA77 f/1.8.

If you have an unbearable desire for buying a prime before you've figured out what you need most, consider the "plastic fantastic" DA50 f/1.8 or it's wider brother, the DA35 f/2.4 - both inexpensive gems that are superb optically, and (especially in the case of the DA50 f/1.8) offer a speed advantage over your Sigma zoom.

Regarding your interest in macro... Initially, why not get some close-up filters and use them on your DA55-300? They're cheap and produce surprisingly decent results for the modest outlay. You'll be able to find out whether-or-not macro is for you. If you really enjoy it, then the DFA100 f/2.8 is a truly fine macro lens, with fabulous IQ and nice build quality too.

You can see the general theme of my response - try to avoid splurging more money just yet. You have a great setup - spend some time getting to know it, and learning to get the best from it. Technique and practice will get you better results than more lenses at this stage (I speak from personal experience). Save your money for when you've figured out what you need, then you can buy something really special for that purpose

Last edited by BigMackCam; 08-23-2016 at 03:11 AM.
08-23-2016, 02:58 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by dsp52 Quote
Hey, thanks for your continuing interest in my lens search, and thanks for your input.

So, rightly or wrongly, a few days ago I purchased the following "used" lenses: a Sigma 17-50 f2.8 EX DC and a Pentax DA 55-300 F4-5.8 ED. That's all I really want or think I will need (at least for now) in zoom lenses. I purchased these from another Pentax forum member/seller for what seemed reasonable compared to other similar used lenses for sale, and they seem to be in good shape. I have to admit I had the bug to buy something, and those two lenses seemed like ones I could/would use.

From what I have been reading, for absolute best photo quality, I might want a prime lens or two. Obviously, the two lenses I bought run the length of focal lengths that I am apt to want or need in the realm of a convenient zoom application, but should I get a prime lens or two? I actually like to do some macro (flowers, bugs, etc), and again, from what I read, macros tend to be better at somewhat longer focal lengths, like 100ish or higher.

I'm not out that much $$ on the two used lenses I bought, so what are your thoughts on what my next lens should be, from your perspective?

I just bought a Lowepro camera sling bag yesterday, so I'm itching to go out and shoot. I wish I didn't have to work this week! The weekend can't come soon enough!

Thanks!
If you are looking for macro, there is the dedicated FA 100mm Macro or the modernised sealed version the D-FA 100mm Macro. Until then you can use the 55-300 on the long end with close focus as a pseudo macro lens. You will need lots of cropping but it's not a problem on 24 pickles. You might get a 1:4 macro rate or close to that.

08-23-2016, 07:27 AM   #20
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On primes... I fully agree with the comments on the DA50 f/1.8. It is a great little lens. One thing you might consider is looking into some of the older primes. I have fallen in love with (my wife probably agrees) the Pentax-A primes. These are older manual focus but the aperture can be set by the camera or manually. The Pentax-A 50/1.7 is easy to find and not very expensive, the 50/1.4 is a great fast lens but a bit more expensive than the 1.7 but still much less than current high quality lenses, and the 135/2.8 is just a great lens. There are also a lot of M and earlier lenses that have great optics and are often quite inexpensive. Half the fun is to see what I can get out of a lens that cost me $15-50. In addition to watching the forum for lenses I am looking for, there are two camera stores within 40 miles that each have a case of old lenses, and then you sometimes find them popping up on Craig's list (often attached to a fun old camera).

The lenses I like to have with me are:
Pentax-A 135/2.8
Pentax-A 50/1.4
Pentax-M 28/2.8
Sigma 10-20 zoom

I often swap in the DA 50/1.8 when I want more candid shots of people. I don't have the DA 35/2.4 but if I was starting out now, I'd probably go with the 35 over the DA 50.

Enjoy the camera!
08-23-2016, 02:29 PM   #21
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Dad, I have two Pentax-M 50 f1.7 primes I could probably be convinced to send one your way.
08-23-2016, 07:55 PM   #22
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O.K., great advice, guys. I'm probably thinking with my wallet instead of my head. I'm going to hold off on buying anything right now until I can use what I have and see what transpires. My son (the last post) has indicated he might be able to part with one of his two M 50mm 1.7s, so I might have to take him up on that one once I check with him to see what "convincing" he needs.

Question: Is anyone using a wired shutter release for landscape or other outdoor shots with the camera on a tripod? I'm just wondering how necessary/important that would be. Thanks!
08-24-2016, 12:37 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by dsp52 Quote
O.K., great advice, guys. I'm probably thinking with my wallet instead of my head. I'm going to hold off on buying anything right now until I can use what I have and see what transpires. My son (the last post) has indicated he might be able to part with one of his two M 50mm 1.7s, so I might have to take him up on that one once I check with him to see what "convincing" he needs.
I think that's a wise move for now... As for the M50 1.7, everyone should have one

QuoteOriginally posted by dsp52 Quote
Question: Is anyone using a wired shutter release for landscape or other outdoor shots with the camera on a tripod? I'm just wondering how necessary/important that would be.
I don't use a wired shutter release, though I do occasionally use an infra-red remote. It can be handy, for sure, and it's worth having one in your kit bag - but not something I find myself using regularly. More often than not, I'll use the timed 2 sec release instead, as it's built in to the camera.

For landscape (and a whole bunch of other situations), a good tripod is worth having - not just any tripod, but a really sturdy one, along with an equally good head. For me, that's the next most important piece of kit after the camera and lens. If you don't have a decent tripod setup, it's something to consider.

08-25-2016, 04:56 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by dsp52 Quote
O.K., great advice, guys. I'm probably thinking with my wallet instead of my head. I'm going to hold off on buying anything right now until I can use what I have and see what transpires.

Question: Is anyone using a wired shutter release for landscape or other outdoor shots with the camera on a tripod? I'm just wondering how necessary/important that would be. Thanks!
Hello and welcome

Very wise to use what you have for now. What it seems likely you will need may not be what you actually need.

I do sometimes use a wired remote with a tripod outdoors because the shake reduction is off. I prefer wired to IR because I don't have to deal with line of sight between the remote and the camera. I find the remote useful vs the on-camera timer in situations where there is an unpredictable element such as a burst of fireworks, the appearance of a bird or animal or a moment when the breeze is dying down enough to make the elements of the picture still. Bulb mode can make it possible to control not only the start of the exposure but the length of time, which you would need to know in advance if you are using the timer. The wired remote I use is "universal - not a brand name - and it works well and wasn't expensive. Handy to have, very useful in a few special circumstances but likely not necessary for general landscapes.
08-26-2016, 03:43 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by dsp52 Quote
My son recently bought a used Pentax K-5lls, and after seeing what he can do with it, now I want one, or a K-3, or a K-3ll. I was really into photography in my younger days (pre-children), but when they came along, with the expense and the time commitment needed, well...you know the rest. Both my sons are out of the house now, so here we go. I'm hoping to get equipped soon and start up what I once really enjoyed. I just need to relearn what I have forgotten about photography. Wish me luck!
I recently bought a used K-3 and loving it. Plenty of cheap lenses (of varying quality) in UK at least on ebay and various second hand stores. Buy some, try them and if you don't like them sell on. That's what I'm doing ;-)

Some shots with the K-3 and a Sigma 70-300mm

Various K-3 Shots | Flickr
08-27-2016, 10:08 AM   #26
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Welcome to the Pentax fold! One of the nice things about Pentax is you can get yourself kitted out very affordably, compared to other well known brands that shall go unnamed. Difficult as it may be, I would concur with others who have recommended going slowly. Use the lens(es) you have and get to know your hardware and its capabilities. Figure out what your needs are (i.e., what kind of photography you're doing most and which lenses are best suited for it) and grow your collection accordingly. The lens reviews on this site are indeed a wonderful resource for deciding which lenses to purchase and be sure to post your own reviews and sample photos.
09-19-2016, 04:51 PM   #27
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So...here are some photos that I have taken from the last few weekends. I took quite a few, but these I thought were the best ones, overall. Hopefully, I downloaded and attached them properly. This is my first time posting photos, so I hope I did it correctly. If not, then I will have to try again. All of the photos were taken with my K-3 using my Sigma 17-50mm, 2.8, handheld. Constructive comments are welcome.

---------- Post added 09-19-16 at 04:56 PM ----------

Oops! I guess one photo didn't orient correctly. I'm not sure how to fix and/or prevent that in the future. Also, I'm not sure they needed to be that large, and again, I'm not sure how to select a certain size for posting.
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-3  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-3  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-3  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-3  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-3  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-3  Photo 
09-20-2016, 11:31 AM   #28
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Good images, although the last one (with the truck) would benefit from some post-processing. Not much, just a tad here and there... At least on my end the foreground looks way too bright and it steals my attention from the subject...
09-20-2016, 01:32 PM   #29
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I have a Vanguard ballhead pistolgrip version, it has a trigger with jack for the wired shutter release. It works great, and will half-press focus as well.
09-20-2016, 03:27 PM   #30
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Yeah, I agree. It's probably a little overexposed. Most of these shots were taken mid-day with very bright sun. I wasn't able to take advantage of early morning or late-in-the-day sunlight...what do they call it, the "golden hours"? I have a "free" post-processing software program on my computer, but I'm still figuring out how to use it, so none of these photos have been altered in any way.

Besides a polarizing filter, does anyone have any suggestions for any other filters that may be beneficial? I've read about most of them, but I don't know how often I would need them.
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