Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
08-30-2010, 04:22 AM   #1
Forum Member




Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 62
Setting up a K-x kit

At the risk of going over some old ground, I'm interested in views on setting up a kit around a K-x. Most of the commentary I've seen on this topic seems to be based on older SLRs.

I've settled on the K-x as my first D-SLR (graduating from Panasonic FZ30 - D-SLRs were too expensive when I bought that five years ago; previously had a Canon T70 back in the dark ages).

I'll be using it for travel, for family (including portraits) and for general creative stuff when time allows. I'm used to my superzoom so do want to include at least up to 200mm in my range, and down to 18mm. I'm keen, but not obsessive, about quality, by which I mean that I'm not going to be going over my pics with a magnifying glass looking for small amounts of distortion or vignetting. (No offence intended to those who are 'obsessive'!)

Some of the kits on offer from my local supplier are (all Australian dollars):
- with Pentax 18-55mm $717
- with Sigma 18-50 and 55-200 $749
- with Pentax 18-55 and Sigma 70-300 $835
- with Sigma 17-70mm $799
- with Sigma 18-200mm $899

My inclination is to go for the Sigma 17-70 option, for the extra speed that offers, and add a tele-zoom. Options include Sigma 50-200mm DC OS HSM ($416), Sigma 70-300mm APO ($297) and Tamron 70-300mm Di ($239). Reviews seem to favour the first of these and are mixed on the two longer ones, though I would appreciate access to the longer range.

Over time I'll probably supplement whatever I buy with a second hand prime or two.

So, any comments or alternative suggestions welcome.

08-30-2010, 07:19 AM   #2
Forum Member




Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 83
Is the 18-55/50-300 kit an option? In the US you can find it for under $750, and the 50-300 is supposed to be very good.
I have a couple of the lenses you mentioned. The kit lens is the kit lens, nothing spectacular, but fairly decent for what you pay. I know a bit about the older Sigma 17-70 and it is pretty good, but not particularly fast at the tele end (f/4.5). It is a pretty decent close-up lens as well. The Tamron 70-300 I got used at the market place here for half the price you quote - I am happy with it, it got a fair amount of use during a couple of trips at the local zoo/ It is also a 1:2 close-up lens at the tele end.
I dont know much about the other sigma lenses you mention. If the 18-50 is a fixed f/2.8 it may be worth it - and the Pentax 55-200 is liked by many here at PF, lighter than the 50-300, with decent IQ although probably a little worse than the 50-300.
A lot of people seem to like the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8. Price is not dramatically higher than the Sigma 17-70. If you can get a deal with the Tam 17-50 and either the 55-200 or 50-300 from Pentax that may be your best bet. Otherwise, the 17-70/70-300 would be my suggestion.
08-30-2010, 09:24 AM - 1 Like   #3
hcc
Pentaxian
hcc's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,533
I came to dSLR with a smilar background as you did. I had two ultra-zoom P&S's (Olympus C900 and Panasonic FZ20) over 10 years: I bought my K-7 after 5 years of 'good services' from my FZ20. From the onset, I knew that I wanted adSLR with an all-around lens to cover some of my needs. I often shoot outdoor and I like the convenience of a small package (1 body + 1 lens). Also I work often in dusty/dirty environment when it is best not to swap lens.

I settled for a DA 18-250mm lens as my basic lens, and later I complemented it with a couple of more specialised lenses for low light and macro. (See signature.)

The Pentax DA18-250mm is a marked/marked improvement over both the older Sigma 18-200mm and 28-200mm, and Tamron 18-200mm. The DA18-250mm is a rebadged Tamron 18-250mm, and there is little difference between the DA18-250mm and Tamron 18-250mm. The latter might be slightly cheaper while the former is recognised by Pentax bodies for in-camera lens distortion correction. All in all the DA18-250mm is class leading. Although the Tamron/Pentax 18-250mm is discontinued, some excellent 2nd hand lenses can be found in this Form market place as well as specialised 2nd hand stores (www.keh.com, www.adorama.com). (Price: around US$400 to $450.) I bought my own DA180-250mm from www.keh.com as it was cheaper, incl. UPS delivery, than any price in Australia. (There is no import tax since the item is less than AU$1,000.)

The only real alternative is the Sigma 18-250mm OS HSM. It is more expansive than the Tamron/Pentax 18-250mm, and the OS is not required since the K-x and K-7 bodies have IS. (In fact, the lens OS and the camera IS canot work together.) A number of reports in this forums indicates that the few users are happy with the lens. On the positive side, the Sigma 18-250mm OS HSM is imported in Australia by CR Kennedy that is also the Pentax distributor in Australia. CR Kennedy can be contacted directly and tends to be quite helpful.

A 18-250mm is a neat all-rounder system that fits in a small carry back : eg Lowepro Toploader LZ1. As with any dSLR, it can be expanded later with some prime lenses, specialised lenses....

Hope that the suggestion/comment will help.

Last edited by hcc; 08-30-2010 at 04:09 PM.
08-30-2010, 10:07 AM   #4
Site Supporter
vagrant10's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: portland
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,361
Of the packages offered, I'd probably go w/ the sigma 17-70. I don't have the lens, but I've heard good things about it. If you need a bit more speed for lower light situations like indoors at night, I have the 18-50 f2.8 and I like it quite a bit. I've had the Tamron 70-300 in the past and was pretty pleased with the sharpness and contrast of this lens. It does have quite a bit of purple fringing in high contrast situations, so be ready to use software to reduce this. I now have the Pentax da 55-300 and I like it a lot, but it costs quite a bit more than the Tamron.

08-30-2010, 11:30 AM   #5
Veteran Member
RioRico's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Limbo, California
Posts: 11,264
When I moved up to a dSLR a couple years ago, I first asked myself: What do I want to do that I can't do with what I have? (A good 5mpx Sony DSC-V1 Nightshot P&S.) The answers were: low light, ultrawide, and ultralong. So I didn't buy a retail kit; I got the K20D and AF360 with the DA10-17 fisheye zoom, DA18-250 walkaround superzoom, and FA50/1.4 Fast Fifty. Many lenses later, those are still what I use the most, except that I'll more likely use a Zenitar 16/2.8 fisheye rather than the 10-17. On a recent long road trip, the DA18-250 got about 80% of the shots, the Zenitar got about 10%, and the FA50/1.4 and my Nikkor 85/2 got about 5% each. And an M28/2.8 got a few shots at the Grand Canyon, just because it was there.

The DA18-250 is just the most utilitarian lens around. It's better than its Tamron sibling due to the Pentax SMC coatings. It's done me well on long drives across Mexico and the States, in cities and villages and countrysides, indoors and out, and sometimes with a Raynox DCR-250 macro adapter for close stuff. It is NOT a low-light lens, hence the flash and the faster glass. When time is no concern, I wander about with various manual lenses, to savor their unique characters, just like the old pre-zoom days. But the DA18-250 is my go-to lens.

What's right for you? The 18-55 is decent; I got one much later; as part of a kit it's virtually free (I don't think the body alone is any cheaper) so it is indeed the best deal around. But any two-lens kit, an 18-55 paired with a 55-200 or 50-300, means swapping lenses at around 50mm -- and I shoot mostly between 40-80mm, so lens-swapping there sucks. Each focal length gives you a different viewpoint; swapping lenses means changing your mindset. You must decide what ranges you're comfortable / obsessed with. Maybe you'll NEED a 12-24, 28-80, 100-300, and a Fast Fifty. I consider the 16/2.4, 18-250, 50/1.4, 85/2, Raynox, and AF360 to be my minimal kit. Your mileage may vary.

But instead of taking a kit some retailer wants to sell you, think about what lenses YOU want to make the images YOU desire. Lenses last longer than digital cameras. Your choices could be with you for a long time. Choose wisely, Grasshopper. And keep in mind that old manual primes, Fast Fifty's included, are still amazingly cheap.
08-30-2010, 11:45 PM   #6
Forum Member




Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 62
Original Poster
Wow! First time I've posted on this forum (as I don't even have a Pentax yet) but all good food for thought. Thanks everyone for your considered contributions.

@tbirdas: that combo is not an option here - not as a kit, anyway. There a limited options offered as kits by the local importer.

@kcc: thanks for the tips on bring lenses in to Aus from the US. I can see this is going to be expensive over time

@vagrant10: yes, Pentax 55-300 is quite a bit dearer, but it would bring me in under the cost of stepping up to the K7. Part of the reason for choosing K-x over K7 is that it will allow me to spend more on glass, which leads me to...

@RioRico: great comment about the lenses outlasting the body. That seems to me to be a big plus for Pentax in particular, who unlike the others don't change mounting systems with every other generation.
08-31-2010, 12:51 AM   #7
Pentaxian
wizofoz's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Melbourne, Outer east.
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,655
DJB, firstly, congrats on a great choice for a first camera. The K-x is a little beauty.

A couple of points though, if I may.

1. I think you need to have a bit better hunt around, the K-x with 18-55 and 50-300 are available here. You may need to contact CR Kennedy in Sth Yarra and ask them where your nearest stockist is. Or take a trip into the city and walk down the 'camera strip' in Elizabeth St and do some comparative pricing. Start at Michael's and have a look around. You might even get a deal on a body with an 18 - 250 which may suit your super-zoom needs. Just be aware that you will soon be hankering for something faster (larger aperture), like I was. Another new victim of LBA awaits!

2, if you can hold out two or three weeks longer, there is a putative upgrade to the k-x in the wings. The so called k-r. It may well be a better option for you, or it may see the reduction in price of the k-x (and if the rumored K-5 is also released it will probably drive down the prices of K-7's...maybe to within your reach???)

Food for thought

Oh, BTW, you don't need HSM with a K-x, it has anti shake built into the body.
08-31-2010, 04:23 AM   #8
Forum Member




Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 62
Original Poster
Thanks for the alert on the k-r wizofoz. I'm in no particular hurry (beyond the impatience of someone who's made a decision to spend money and wants to get on with it!). What I didn't say at the outset is that I'm not that keen on the superzoom approach. One reason for the new camera is low light and bigger apertures, which is why the extra speed of the 17-70 appeals.

I have been down Elizabeth St though only half-heartedly in terms of pricing - prefer to go hard when I know exactly what I want.

08-31-2010, 08:46 AM   #9
Pentaxian
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,686
QuoteOriginally posted by wizofoz Quote
Oh, BTW, you don't need HSM with a K-x, it has anti shake built into the body.
Clarification: it's "OS" you don't need because of SR. HSM has nothing to do with stabilization; it's a focus motor. And you don't need HSM either, because unlike Canon and low end Nikon cameras, Pentax cameras have their own focus motor. The HSM system is quieter and has the potential at least to be faster, but it does add to the cost and the weight of the lens (as does OS).

BTW, regarding the 17-70 - while faster than the kit lens, it's still only f/4 through the heart of the range. So I wouldn't expect it to meet one's low light needs.
09-01-2010, 04:18 PM   #10
Pentaxian
wizofoz's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Melbourne, Outer east.
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,655
QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Clarification: it's "OS" you don't need because of SR. HSM has nothing to do with stabilization; it's a focus motor. And you don't need HSM either, because unlike Canon and low end Nikon cameras, Pentax cameras have their own focus motor. The HSM system is quieter and has the potential at least to be faster, but it does add to the cost and the weight of the lens (as does OS).
As the young folk say ' my bad', I meant in lens image stabilisation, irregardless of brand and nomenclature.
09-01-2010, 06:24 PM   #11
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Brisbane
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,421
id recommend going with the simple 18-55mm pentax kit lens only to start with. it will suit most of your needs straight up, and give you a good chance to explore photography with a DSLR. Once you know what you want to shoot, in what light etc, then you will know more about what lens (or more likely lenses) you will need/want.

Just my 2c!
09-01-2010, 06:34 PM   #12
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chicago
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 672
I've learned the most about taking photos, not snapshots, with my M 50mm 1.7 that I paid $40 for. I assumed I needed a superzoom initially, and thought that a f3.5 would be fast enough. I was wrong on both accounts. Now I'm trying to save/find some quick, wide primes and something like the Tamron 17-50, or if I win a scratch-off lotto ticket, or the Prime Minister of Nigeria informs me I have inherited $200 million US Dollars, perhaps a DA* Zoom.
09-03-2010, 01:29 AM   #13
Forum Member




Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 62
Original Poster
Summary

Thanks for all the input everyone. Some excellent stuff to think about. I thought I'd summarise the suggestions of the two forums I posted this question on. The results are:
  • Pentax DA/L 18-55 and DA/L 55-300 kit x2 votes
  • Pentax 18-55/Sigma 70-300 x2
  • Pentax DA 18-250mm (discontinued, buy used) x2
  • Sigma 17-70/70-300 x2
  • Pentax 18-55 kit plus SMCP-DA 55-300
  • Sigma 18-250mm OS HSM
  • Sigma 17-70/Pentax DA 55-300
  • Tamron 18-250
  • New model camera: K-r?

Plenty to research and think about!
09-03-2010, 05:10 AM   #14
Ira
Inactive Account




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Coral Springs, FL
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,216
QuoteOriginally posted by Rory Quote
or the Prime Minister of Nigeria informs me I have inherited $200 million US Dollars
Hey!!! He told me the same thing!!!

I have a suspicion now that this might not be legit.
09-03-2010, 05:11 AM   #15
Ira
Inactive Account




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Coral Springs, FL
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,216
QuoteOriginally posted by djb21au Quote
Thanks for all the input everyone. Some excellent stuff to think about. I thought I'd summarise the suggestions of the two forums I posted this question on. The results are:
  • Pentax DA/L 18-55 and DA/L 55-300 kit x2 votes


Plenty to research and think about!
Add one vote for this:

This will keep you very busy for a while, and the 55-300 is an excellent lens.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
70-300mm, camera, k-x, kit, pentax, pentax help, photography, range, sigma, time
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What's your setting? oatman911 Pentax DSLR Discussion 9 02-06-2009 05:57 AM
For Sale - Sold: K100D, 2 Kit Lenses, Filter Kit, Book, & DVD Tutorial DaveInPA Sold Items 7 01-30-2009 02:40 AM
K-m white kit AND dual kit available for pre-order in the EU RaduA Pentax News and Rumors 2 01-12-2009 08:00 PM
Setting up a new flash kit switch79 Pentax DSLR Discussion 4 10-02-2007 06:32 AM
Setting the WB spillway Pentax DSLR Discussion 22 01-22-2007 11:21 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:51 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top