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10-08-2010, 03:14 AM   #1
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For my soon to be acquired K-7: 18-55 & 50-200 DA WR kit set OR wait for 18-135 WR???

Thank you all so much for the recent advice, I found it hugely helpful.

So it sounds as if I have no big holidays/black friday price drop to look forward to in the coming months? If this is true then I am ready to buy (though I'd happily wait 2 months if it meant saving $50).

I found a reasonably priced kit set at a hair under $1,200 for the body and both of the DA WR lenses (18-55 & 50-200). As a fly fishing camera it would be great to zoom in on fish that are say 75-100 feet away and take focused shots of their tails and backs coming out of the water, and I assume this would not be possible with the 18-55, I would need the extended range of the 50-200 right? For traveling and fly fishing looking for magazine shots, I assume I would be much better off with the range of the two lenses.....am I on the right track in thinking I should jump in for the 50-200 as well?

BUT now pentax has released this new lens, the DA WR 18-135 as a kit lens for their new K-5. Again with my novice assumptions, but I am guessing that this lens will do just as good a job from 18-55 as the original DA WR 18-55, and would additionally cover most of what I'd be getting in the DA WR 50-200? Does the difference of an outside edge of 200 vs 135 make that much of a difference? I don't need paparazi shots, but if a school of bonefish at 100 feet start feeding in shallow water with their tails wagging out of the water a focused close-up would be way cool.....possible with the 18-135?

If I could have just one lens instead of two I think it would be a big help as with fly fishing photography the shot might only be there for 5 seconds, and pulling out my bag and switching lenses could be a real bummer. Going from a wide angle shot of my buddy holding up a fish 10 feet infront of me before release to zooming in and getting focused on the bonefish tails that I see pop up 100 feet away the next second would be amazing.

I hear the 18-135 will go for $530 by itself from Pentax, but likely less than that from dealers.....so if I could get it in a couple months for say $450, and just buy the body of the K-7 now for $860, I'd be at a little over $1300, as opposed to $1200 if I went for the 2 kit lenses.....that extra $100 would definitely be worth it to me to not have to be switching lenses.

So in conclusion.....

- am I right in that this is as good a time as any to buy a K-7?

- Would the 18-135 cover al of my needs from insect shots to good zooming in on fish a 100 ft out? (I know no 1 lens can truly do it all) /Would the 18-135 essentially do everything I could do with the 18-55/50-200 combo but in 1 lens instead of two?

- Am I likely to be able to get an 18-135 in the next couple of months for a decent price?

- What about buying the 2 kit lenses right now and then waiting for a great deal in a year or something like that from now and selling the pair and picking up the 18-135?

-Just curious as a novice, if there are 18-250 lenses out there, why would they stop at 135 when there is so much more versatility that could be head by going all the way out to 250?

Thank you all again, can't tell you how valuable this insight is for me!

Cheers -Loren

10-08-2010, 03:36 AM   #2
Ira
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QuoteOriginally posted by Loren E Quote

- am I right in that this is as good a time as any to buy a K-7?

- Would the 18-135 cover al of my needs from insect shots to good zooming in on fish a 100 ft out? (I know no 1 lens can truly do it all) /Would the 18-135 essentially do everything I could do with the 18-55/50-200 combo but in 1 lens instead of two?

- Am I likely to be able to get an 18-135 in the next couple of months for a decent price?

- What about buying the 2 kit lenses right now and then waiting for a great deal in a year or something like that from now and selling the pair and picking up the 18-135?

-Just curious as a novice, if there are 18-250 lenses out there, why would they stop at 135 when there is so much more versatility that could be head by going all the way out to 250?
-You can wait forever for prices to drop, so I wouldn't expect anything dramatic for a long time. So yeah, it's still a good time to get a K7, although the price WILL drop one day.

-The 50-200 isn't very highly regarded. Better to go for the 300.

-They stop at 135 because they can build a better a lens for that range at lower cost.

-I don't think 135 is going to be long enough for what you want to do with the fish.
10-08-2010, 04:02 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
-I don't think 135 is going to be long enough for what you want to do with the fish.
agree.

Somewhere on the internet will be a calculator (like DOFMaster) that will let you work this out pretty accurately. You put in the various parameters and it will tell you the size of the image you'll capture. That should let you know just how long a lens you need to capture 'fish at 100ft' or whatever.
10-08-2010, 08:10 AM   #4
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I estimate that 135mm will disappoint for something the size of a fish at those distances. In fact 200 might be too short! If price is an issue for you, consider picking up a used manual-focus K-mount telephoto prime -- heck, you could even go with a mirror lens, you can get a 600mm lens for reasonable prices.

Downsides to the mirror option:
  • The dreaded "ring bokeh", which AFAIK wouldn't matter so much in this application
  • You only get a single, fixed aperture, hence very shallow depth of field
  • Manual focus, of course.
  • Some of them have terrible IQ, so read reviews before you plunk down cash.
As for waiting on your K-7...well, it's you and it's your money and it's your camera. But if you can't get fifty bucks' worth of shooting fun in two months of K-7 ownership, either the K-7 is not the camera for you or you're not really trying!

No, seriously, how long will you own and use the camera? Five years? I know it feels like a purchase for the ages, but technology tends to force upgrades. Let's say eight years, so you're willing to pay $10/month just to own a $1000 K-7. That's almost half your notional $50 premium right there!

(Why no, I don't sell used cars for a living. But I used to write advertising...)

10-08-2010, 09:36 AM   #5
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If you can wait for Black Friday (or the internet monday that always follows) do so. While the camera resellers don't usually give deep discounts on camera equipment (in my experience), there may be a bargain or two to be found. Usually though, it's consumer electronics like televisions, computers, etc.

As to the lens, if you want an all in one solution, I would wait and see what the 18-135 offers. Here is my real opinion on the 50-200. It's a decent lens but when I had one (non WR), 50mm was never wide enough, and 200mm was never long enough. As a result, it just sat in the bag. My DA*50-135 spends a lot of time in the bag for the same reasons but I like and use that lens enough to keep it. After months of non use, the 50-200 found a new home. Your mileage of course, may vary.

10-08-2010, 09:44 AM   #6
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To give you some perspective on what you can expect with focal length...



This is a ratty looking seagull. He is about 150 feet from where I'm standing, aiming downhill. The photo was taken with a 300mm lens mounted on a 1.7x af adapter (a $1300 or so combo). Effectively about 500mm. The photo is not cropped, here is a link to the pixel peeper version (full sized).

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4144/5037512712_7b6725e8b1_o.jpg

10-08-2010, 05:41 PM   #7
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Great info guys thanks for the help! I wouldn't really need the camera any time that soon because I am busy with university and won't be able to use it much until December.
10-08-2010, 05:43 PM   #8
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Oh and in regards to the fish shots, I probably was too vague, but I know it would be asking to much for close ups of the fish taking up the whole screen, I more meant as getting in close enough to see the fish as a main part of the composition, though not necessarily the center of the entire frame as I understand it takes a serious telephoto for such work.

10-08-2010, 07:53 PM   #9
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I love this site for focal length comparisons ... Focal length comparison tool, Tamron USA
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