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10-29-2010, 01:59 PM   #1
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Order of lenses to buy

Hey everyone, you've all been so helpful with helping me figure out prior decisions so I'm back for one more (for now, haha).

I'm upgrading from the K-X to the K-5 here soon (there's a whole thread about it so please don't ask why) and I'll just be going with the kit lens initially (18-55 WR). After that though I'm trying to line out a few more lenses to pick up as I can afford them. Here's what I have so far, in the order I'll get them.

18-135mm WR (to replace the 18-55 kit lens, assuming it's good IQ)
35mm @ 2.8
50-200mm WR
50mm @ 1.4

I figure those will keep me busy for quite awhile. I do tons of hiking and plan on taking the K-5 and 18-135 out snowboarding a few times (among other harsh environments) this winter but in between that I like taking photos of my cat and random objects. Of course as the holidays are coming up I'll be taking lots of photos of friends and family, thus the 35mm.

I've been forcing myself to use my 18-55mm kit lens at 35mm and I kind of like the focal length so far but I don't know if that would really be better than the 50mm @ 1.4, especially for indoor shooting.

Anyway, thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated!

10-29-2010, 02:16 PM   #2
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lens kit planning

You shoud think about your kit and planning out your total needs before developing a list of lenses to purchase.

I normally recommend a backbone of 3-4 zoms from 10mm to 200mm with a means to achieve 400+ for wild life and F2.8 over as much of this range as yo can afford/justify.

then fill in specialty needs with primes.

I am also running a poll you may be interested in

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/120286-lens-kit-design-poll.html

as it is getting feedback from other forum members as to their thinking on kit design

In your list, I would question the 18-135., thinking the 16-50 would be a better selection, or eventhe 16-45F4. the extra 2mm at the short end is really important in terms of field of view, and there is no need to duplicate the range of 50-135 with 2 lenses.

Just my $0.02
10-29-2010, 02:23 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jremick Quote
Hey everyone, you've all been so helpful with helping me figure out prior decisions so I'm back for one more (for now, haha).

I'm upgrading from the K-X to the K-5 here soon (there's a whole thread about it so please don't ask why) and I'll just be going with the kit lens initially (18-55 WR). After that though I'm trying to line out a few more lenses to pick up as I can afford them. Here's what I have so far, in the order I'll get them.

18-135mm WR (to replace the 18-55 kit lens, assuming it's good IQ)
35mm @ 2.8
50-200mm WR
50mm @ 1.4

I figure those will keep me busy for quite awhile. I do tons of hiking and plan on taking the K-5 and 18-135 out snowboarding a few times (among other harsh environments) this winter but in between that I like taking photos of my cat and random objects. Of course as the holidays are coming up I'll be taking lots of photos of friends and family, thus the 35mm.

I've been forcing myself to use my 18-55mm kit lens at 35mm and I kind of like the focal length so far but I don't know if that would really be better than the 50mm @ 1.4, especially for indoor shooting.

Anyway, thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated!

With 35 f2.8, I'm assuming you're talking about the DA35 f2.8 1:1 Macro Limited. I would go straight to that one, given your list. I would 86 the 50-200 all together and go straight to the 55-300 unless WR is absolutely critical to you and keep the 18-55 kit lens. On a personal note, for as much as I actually use a 50mm, get a manual focus one and save a ton of cash for the other lenses. In discussing taking the 18-135 out, you are assuming it will be available. Pentax store say end of October. here we are, last business day of the month and no lens. Amazon states 1-2 months on delivery time. B&H says no arrival date known. I mention that because the last lens I saw that had this sort of uncertainty, was the DA*60-250. Vaporware for 2 years. It eventually showed up and is available but I wouldn't base a plan around buying the DA18-135 first.

10-29-2010, 02:41 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input guys!

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
lens kit planning

You shoud think about your kit and planning out your total needs before developing a list of lenses to purchase.

I normally recommend a backbone of 3-4 zoms from 10mm to 200mm with a means to achieve 400+ for wild life and F2.8 over as much of this range as yo can afford/justify.

then fill in specialty needs with primes.

I am also running a poll you may be interested in

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/120286-lens-kit-design-poll.html

as it is getting feedback from other forum members as to their thinking on kit design

In your list, I would question the 18-135., thinking the 16-50 would be a better selection, or eventhe 16-45F4. the extra 2mm at the short end is really important in terms of field of view, and there is no need to duplicate the range of 50-135 with 2 lenses.

Just my $0.02
Checking out the poll now, thanks! The reason I wanted to get the 18-135 (assuming it's available in time) is because a lot of the places I go (hiking/camping) are very dusty and I don't really want to be changing out lenses if I don't have to.


QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
With 35 f2.8, I'm assuming you're talking about the DA35 f2.8 1:1 Macro Limited. I would go straight to that one, given your list. I would 86 the 50-200 all together and go straight to the 55-300 unless WR is absolutely critical to you and keep the 18-55 kit lens. On a personal note, for as much as I actually use a 50mm, get a manual focus one and save a ton of cash for the other lenses. In discussing taking the 18-135 out, you are assuming it will be available. Pentax store say end of October. here we are, last business day of the month and no lens. Amazon states 1-2 months on delivery time. B&H says no arrival date known. I mention that because the last lens I saw that had this sort of uncertainty, was the DA*60-250. Vaporware for 2 years. It eventually showed up and is available but I wouldn't base a plan around buying the DA18-135 first.

Yup, that's the 35 I was looking at. WR is semi-critical but I'd probably just be using the 18-135 (or something similar) with weather sealing in the bad conditions I usually get in. If I can get weather sealing for the longer reach lens, I'd like to try. I'll take a look at at some of my other options in place of that one though. Thanks!

I hope it's available (the 18-135) in time (or at all), but if it's not, would you recommend anything else in its place?

10-29-2010, 03:01 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jremick Quote
Thanks for the input guys!
...

Yup, that's the 35 I was looking at. WR is semi-critical but I'd probably just be using the 18-135 (or something similar) with weather sealing in the bad conditions I usually get in. If I can get weather sealing for the longer reach lens, I'd like to try. I'll take a look at at some of my other options in place of that one though. Thanks!

I hope it's available (the 18-135) in time (or at all), but if it's not, would you recommend anything else in its place?
How fat is your wallet and how much lens do you want to carry around and how often do you want to swap them?

Though not weather sealed, you can get an 18-250 for less than the 18-135. I'm betting the image quality isn't going to be THAT much different, and the 18-250 is available now.

Google

The 50-200, in my opinion, is a doorstop. Never wide enough and never long enough and the image quality (from the one I had) is good at best. The only thing you gain with it, again, IMO, is the weather sealing on that version. Take the money you save buy buying the 18-250 instead of the other two lenses, and invest in an ultra wide zoom. 12-24, 10-17, 10-20 etc OR go prime with the DA15 Limited or DA14. If you need longer reach later on, get a 300(+)mm prime. A lot of options, you have plenty of time, none of the currently available lenses are more than a week away.

That's my rambling opinion. Lowell gives some pretty good advice as well, we're just different. My actual preference is for Prime lenses.

10-29-2010, 03:05 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jremick Quote
Thanks for the input guys!



Checking out the poll now, thanks! The reason I wanted to get the 18-135 (assuming it's available in time) is because a lot of the places I go (hiking/camping) are very dusty and I don't really want to be changing out lenses if I don't have to.
That's what CBA and multiple bodies are for.

As I have upgraded I keep the older bodies and use them for second bodies or what ever. My K10D is a back up to the K7 and 10MP is more than just a back up it is still a good workhorse. so I generally go out with 2 lenses, and just pick up which ever camera has the lens I want. at the time
10-29-2010, 03:12 PM   #7
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You gals and guys actually have a plan to buy lenses in a particular order?

Unfortunately (or is it fortunately?), I'm not that organized.

I buy lenses based on:

1. Urgent needs. After several lenses, this becomes less important because the "needs" become less urgent.

2. What is available in the used market (mainly local Craiglist and garage sales).

All my lenses were bought pre-owned, except for the Tamron 18-250, the Sigma 18-50 EX DC, and the Pentax 10-17 FE.
10-29-2010, 04:41 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
How fat is your wallet and how much lens do you want to carry around and how often do you want to swap them?

Though not weather sealed, you can get an 18-250 for less than the 18-135. I'm betting the image quality isn't going to be THAT much different, and the 18-250 is available now.

Google

The 50-200, in my opinion, is a doorstop. Never wide enough and never long enough and the image quality (from the one I had) is good at best. The only thing you gain with it, again, IMO, is the weather sealing on that version. Take the money you save buy buying the 18-250 instead of the other two lenses, and invest in an ultra wide zoom. 12-24, 10-17, 10-20 etc OR go prime with the DA15 Limited or DA14. If you need longer reach later on, get a 300(+)mm prime. A lot of options, you have plenty of time, none of the currently available lenses are more than a week away.

That's my rambling opinion. Lowell gives some pretty good advice as well, we're just different. My actual preference is for Prime lenses.

I planned on spending approximately $2500 or so on lenses/filters in the few months following November (after I get the K-5), maybe a little earlier. So that's how skinny my wallet is, lol. When hiking, I'd rather not cary more than two (one in bag, one mounted) med/lrg lenses, unless the third is small and has a good reason to come along. For a good portion of my hikes I'd prefer not to swap at all, but I plan on changing up the pace/type of more of my hikes so swapping shouldn't be as much of an issue (except for possible dust, etc).

I think the 18-250 sounds good but I'm really concerned about using it in harsh weather if it's not weather sealed. Are there any similar FL options that are weather sealed?

Earlier I mentioned the 35mm @2.8, but maybe I should go with the 31mm @1.8 instead? Then add the 50 @ 1.4 after that, followed by a DA15 or 14?

So basically, I'd really like either one or two zooms that cover 18'ish to somewhere at or over 200mm, but that are weather sealed. They'll be the ones I use in bad weather (rain, snow, dust, etc). Maybe that's asking too much though?

@Lowell - What's CBA? I wish I could afford multiple bodies, haha. I could keep my K-X but it's not weather sealed so I probably wouldn't ever use it unless the K-5 broke, lol.

10-29-2010, 08:13 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jremick Quote
I planned on spending approximately $2500 or so on lenses/filters in the few months following November (after I get the K-5), maybe a little earlier. So that's how skinny my wallet is, lol. When hiking, I'd rather not cary more than two (one in bag, one mounted) med/lrg lenses, unless the third is small and has a good reason to come along. For a good portion of my hikes I'd prefer not to swap at all, but I plan on changing up the pace/type of more of my hikes so swapping shouldn't be as much of an issue (except for possible dust, etc).

I think the 18-250 sounds good but I'm really concerned about using it in harsh weather if it's not weather sealed. Are there any similar FL options that are weather sealed?

Earlier I mentioned the 35mm @2.8, but maybe I should go with the 31mm @1.8 instead? Then add the 50 @ 1.4 after that, followed by a DA15 or 14?

So basically, I'd really like either one or two zooms that cover 18'ish to somewhere at or over 200mm, but that are weather sealed. They'll be the ones I use in bad weather (rain, snow, dust, etc). Maybe that's asking too much though?

@Lowell - What's CBA? I wish I could afford multiple bodies, haha. I could keep my K-X but it's not weather sealed so I probably wouldn't ever use it unless the K-5 broke, lol.
DA*16-50 and DA*60-250 and DA35 f2.8. That should pretty much blow a $2500 lens budget. Between the two zooms you are weather sealed all the way from 16-250 mm and you can go f2.8 all the way through. It's not a lightweight kit though and I don't know if I'd go snowboarding down an icy slope while carrying them but you'd have a camera/zoom kit that would be the envy of most here. If you can swing the extra cash or there is enough left, add the 1.7x AF adapter. That will let you stretch your 60-250 out to 425mm f4.7. It will cost you the camera - lens weather seal though. You can grab a manual 50mm f1.4 for less than $100 at some point but with the above kit, I doubt you'll find a lot of need for one (though we all know you'll go there at some point ).

The FA31 is beautiful and if you can find one at a price you're willing to pay, I would say go for it but I think you'll find the DA35 more useful. The 35mm is good for a small room and gives you 1:1 macro to boot. If they were closer together in price, my decision between the 35 and 31 would be much more difficult.

10-29-2010, 08:27 PM   #10
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At $2500, the DA*16-50 and DA*60-250 and DA35 f2.8 would be a very good kit (not sure of the prices in your area). I've never tried the DA*60-250 but it looks like it's quite heavy. It might be a bit of a monster for using at 60-135 range. I'm guessing a DA*16-50, DA*50-135 and DA*300 would blow the bank. Have you tried any MF lenses? Are there any PF members in Las Vegas that could meet you for coffee and let you try a few lenses out to see what feels right?
10-29-2010, 08:46 PM   #11
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Hikers either travel light, or wish they were...

Pack your 18-55 WR for crummy weather. When the climate is nicer, I'd have a DA 40 Limited as my 'on the camera go-to lens', a DA 15 Limited in one pocket, a D FA 100 Macro WR in another pocket, plus a DA 55-300 in my pack.

Cheers...
10-29-2010, 09:01 PM   #12
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Wow, just looked at the DA*'s. Nice, kinda spendy but also big and heavy. At this point, I just don't think I could justify the money for them considering my skill level isn't really there yet and I'm not so sure I'd want those on the slopes. I'd cry if I broke one, lol.

Hmm, lots more reading and thinking to do before I can really decide on this one, haha.

@smc - I'm not sure if there are any PF members here, I'll have to look into it.

Thanks so much for all your help everyone! Also, I see you all have "Site Supporter" statuses and since everyone's helped me out so much I figure I should look into supporting the site too. Off to find that info!
10-29-2010, 09:04 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jremick Quote
Wow, just looked at the DA*'s. Nice, kinda spendy but also big and heavy. At this point, I just don't think I could justify the money for them considering my skill level isn't really there yet and I'm not so sure I'd want those on the slopes. I'd cry if I broke one, lol.

Hmm, lots more reading and thinking to do before I can really decide on this one, haha.

@smc - I'm not sure if there are any PF members here, I'll have to look into it.

Thanks so much for all your help everyone! Also, I see you all have "Site Supporter" statuses and since everyone's helped me out so much I figure I should look into supporting the site too. Off to find that info!
Probably the wisest choice for now.

Site Supporter means we've donated money to the forum. Some just for the donation, others so we can sell items in the marketplace, still others (and probably mostly) for both.

10-29-2010, 10:29 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jremick Quote
I think the 18-250 sounds good but I'm really concerned about using it in harsh weather if it's not weather sealed. Are there any similar FL options that are weather sealed?
I use the 18-250mm on a K-7 body outdoor a lot. The DA18-250mm is a tank. It is very solid and it can sustain some harsh weather. Check out:
K-7 and Steve Kroeger climb Aconcagua (6962m)
where the photographer took his K-7 with a DA18-250mm to the top! In my case, I took the K-7 and DA18-250mm to the costlines, breaking waves, at sea, in the mud, ... With some TLC (tender love & care), no problem.

You already received some solid advice and I may simply add:
- the 55-200WR appear redundant if you have the 18-135mm WR or the DA18-250mm

- a fast prime 50mm f1.4 is a must; there are several Pentax lenses but also the excellent Carl Zeiss 50mm and Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4.

- remember that WR means only weather-resistant; it does not mean waterproof; further some lenses are basically WR without the label; an example is the Voigtlander 58mm f1.4.

Hope that the comments will help.
10-29-2010, 10:40 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
I use the 18-250mm on a K-7 body outdoor a lot. The DA18-250mm is a tank. It is very solid and it can sustain some harsh weather. Check out:
K-7 and Steve Kroeger climb Aconcagua (6962m)
where the photographer took his K-7 with a DA18-250mm to the top! In my case, I took the K-7 and DA18-250mm to the costlines, breaking waves, at sea, in the mud, ... With some TLC (tender love & care), no problem.

You already received some solid advice and I may simply add:
- the 55-200WR appear redundant if you have the 18-135mm WR or the DA18-250mm

- a fast prime 50mm f1.4 is a must; there are several Pentax lenses but also the excellent Carl Zeiss 50mm and Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4.

- remember that WR means only weather-resistant; it does not mean waterproof; further some lenses are basically WR without the label; an example is the Voigtlander 58mm f1.4.

Hope that the comments will help.
Yeah, but I wouldn't try this with any of those lenses (18-250 or the VL 58 (though I do covet that lens ))

[YT]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_-RAzBjakk[/YT]

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