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06-25-2010, 02:11 PM   #1
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K-X Lens Question

Hi Everyone!

First off let me say that I am finding the support of folks here in the forum to be a great resource and I apprecaite the time and effort that people are putting in to responding to my newbie questions

I am a former Olympus DSLR owner. The E420 specifically and I have only been shooting for about a year. I have just about finished reading "understanding exposure" the second edition and I highly recommend that book. It's great.

I had a couple of lenses for the E420 a 14-42 mm and a 40 - 150 mm I think. It gave me a resonable range of general shooting options for a hobbiest like myself.

I have only the kit lens on the K-X (the DAL 18-55mm).

What are two or three good lens recommendations for the following applications regardless of manufacturer:
  1. Landscapes
  2. Wildlife
  3. General shooting (i guess people or portrait shots) I think the current lens might be ok for that.
Keep in mind I am still learning.

Thanks!!

06-25-2010, 02:30 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forum!

Well for landscapes the kit lens that you have is just fine. If its not wide enough for a particular shot, flip it up on its side and take several shots that are about 1/3 to 1/4 overlapped and then stitch them together on you PC. Stitching software is available on the web.Others are better qualified on your wildlife and portraits questions....

06-25-2010, 02:39 PM   #3
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I also found the members to be very active in this forum and very reasonable in the marketplace.

I own the K-X too and quickly sold my DAL 18-55mm lens (I really don't plan to selling my camera anytime soon). Even though people say it's a good kit lens, I don't think it's worth keeping in my bag. To replace it, the 16-45mm lens is a good zoom to start off with and you can find that on ebay or here for under $250 or you can find a good Pentax-A 35-105mm for under $150 if you don't mind manual focusing. The 16-45 would be a nice landscape lens and the latter is a nice general shooting lens (a bit heavy though). I can't really recommend something for wildlife because I don't do too much of that yet.

Lastly, for people I have found that the macro lenses work really well if you can deal with the distance. The Tamron SP Di 90mm (under $350) or the Sigma EX DG 105mm (under $350) would provide enough reach for wildlife (flowers and bugs more than animals) at a reasonable price and allow you magnification up to 1:1.
06-25-2010, 02:44 PM   #4
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It's all opinion.

I will let the primes and screw-mount (M42) people add their own recommendations.

Here's my experience.

The 10-17 fisheye is awesome for unusual shots and tight quarters. The perspective distortion is not for everyone, but it can do amazing scenics (keep the horizon in the middle to keep it straight, or don't :-)

12-24. Really a versatile UWA for architecture, car shows, etc.

50-200 is compact, but the IQ is pushed with higher-resolution bodies.

55-300 a very good zoom, (though a little slow), with better IQ than the Sigma 70-300 APO or the Pentax 50-200. The next step up is 2X the cost and 3X the size and weight at least.

The Tamron 70-200 is that next step up. Very sharp. Usually have my monopod handy....

Sigma 150-500 is a bit slow, but as a result is not super heavy. Seems to be decent IQ but I need little more experience with it (only a couple days old). Will keep my monopod handy again, if not a tripod.

The Tamron 90 macro has excellent reviews, and from my limited experience I would agree. Relatively inexpensive, with the rebate still going at $410.

My older Sigma 18-50 f2.8 now has one or two newer versions, with macro. They are pretty well regarded.

Other lenses to consider are the Tamron 17-50 and 28-75. The Sigma 17-70 (old or new) is also highly regarded as a general purpose lens.

06-25-2010, 03:07 PM   #5
hcc
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The original question is difficult to answer. A starting point is the Lens review database:
Pentax Lens Review Database - Lens Listings
PentaxForums.com Third-Party Lens Review Database - Lens Listings

Then the independent reviews at www.photozone.de and www.slrgear.com add some useful data.

You will need however to ascertain your budget and how many lenses you are prepared to carry. Indeed there are some major differences between a single all-rounder lens setup (DA 18-250mm), a combo of a couple of zooms, or a combo of prime lenses.

Personally, I would suggest that you consider one zoom and one prime for a start. Pentax has some superb prime lenses, from the 'pancake' lenses to the fast primes (large aperture, low f), and there are some excellent 3rd party lenses.

A starting combo (one zoom and one prime) could be a 16-45mm zoom for landscape and a 50mm f1.4 fast prime. The zoom will give you some flexibility while the fast prime will be useful for portrait and low-light shooting. From then, the experience with these lenses will help you decide your next steps.

Personally, I went a different path. I bought initially the DA18-250mm for flexibility as an all-around lens, and the Nokton 58mm f1.4 for low-light shooting. I like both lenses for their respective strengthes. The Nokton is MF and has an excellent IQ. I learned a lot from that lens, although I still use the 18-250mm as my basic single-lens setup. I just added the Tamron 90mm Macro to the collection.

Hope that the comments will assist...

Last edited by hcc; 06-25-2010 at 03:14 PM.
06-25-2010, 04:11 PM   #6
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I'm moving this to the Beginner's forum because it seems a common and general question among newcomers. The other appropriate place for lens discussions would be the SLR Lens forum. But try to keep discussion in the DSLR limited to discussion of the cameras themselves.
06-26-2010, 07:07 AM   #7
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noted with thanks.....I have lots of reading to do.

Cheers!
06-26-2010, 11:03 PM   #8
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i like my 50-300 very much. really good value.
for any other stuff DA40 is small and light.
Various m42 lenses for fun.

06-29-2010, 10:29 PM   #9
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For a good all-around lens, particularly for travel, I love my Pentax 18-250 zoom. When traveling light, I just leave all other lenses at home. Unfortunately, that lens is now disco. You might find it used someplace or consider the Tamron 18-250, which is almost exactly the same lens.
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