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01-28-2012, 02:55 PM   #1
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New to Pentax, am I going to be happy?! Plus which lens to start with?

I finally pulled the trigger and bought the Pentax I've been lusting after, the Pink K-R, I've always purchased a Tamron 28-75. Now, I realize this has been recently discontinued, but K-5 is out of my price range. The PInk is actually a huge deal to me, everything I own is Pink. I really like NOT going with Canon or NIkon as well, because I like just doing things a little different, LOL

I've been mulling over what camera to go with for nearly a year. I've always been an Olympus user, I have been using my now outdated E-Volt 500 for years and knew I needed an upgrade, but was unhappy with Olympuses offerings. I bought a Canon T2i to shoot my sisters wedding last August, and somehow was just not quite perfect content with it. So, it went back to Costco. I was planning on getting the T3i with swivel screen instead. Then, I got lured by the Nikon D5000, Again, I needed to stay at or under 1k.

So, between all these cameras, am I going to be happy with the K-r? I haven't picked it up yet, but I am just so indecisive. I feel this is the right decision, but I'm now nervous about possibly buying an already outdated product?

So, other than general advice, what would be the next lens I should get? I have the kit 55, and the Tamron 28-75 I bought, but now I need something else as well. I'm still learning this all as I go, so need a good setup for basics.

Thanks Everyone glad to have joined here!

Last edited by Leanalynn; 01-30-2012 at 02:13 AM.
01-28-2012, 03:18 PM   #2
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Hi leanalynn, and welcome to the Forums.

You'll only know if you're happy with the camera after you've been using it for a while. As for it being an out-of-production model, well, it may not have fit into your budget otherwise!

Seriously,the K-r is a great camera, as you'll read from many happy owners on the Forums, here.

As you'll see from replies to other new users, the choice of your next lens depends very much on the subjects you want to shoot with your K-r. If you want greater reach on a budget, the Tamron 18-200 is a bargain new and is very light weight, or perhaps the Pentax 18-200 which is available secondhand now, as it's no longer in production, like the K-r. There's some overlap with what you have at the moment, but there'll always be someone willing to take one or both off your hands, at the right price. Otherwise, the DA50-200 can give you the extra telephoto reach, without overlapping.

If you want to get a feel for prime lenses, then the DA35/2.4AL is an inexpensive, but well-reviewed lens, regarded as a good entree to primes. Then there's the older manual focus lenses - the list is extensive, and some people never stop!

I'd suggest using what you have for a while, and then considering where you want to go from there.

01-28-2012, 03:31 PM   #3
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The K-r is still a "current" model, they just stopped producing it in anticipation of a successor that should be announced in a few months. In any case, you'll definitely enjoy it- it gives you a lot of bang for the buck (let along the color!). Two great starting lenses are the 35mm F2.4 and the 55-300mm.

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01-28-2012, 03:34 PM   #4
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The Kr is a good camera, capable of taking great photos in a wide variety of situations. It's a great starter camera for getting into the Pentax system. The K-5 would be preferable if you want to do landscape or wildlife photography in cold or wet conditions. Otherwise, the average serious photographer could get along just fine with a Kr.

Honestly, cameras get out of date pretty quickly now days, however lenses don't. That's not to say that a Kr won't see you through several years of photography. In the long run you will be replacing your camera more often than lenses. I have a 30 year old 50mm 1.8 manual lens that's optically incredible. It worked on my Pentax Spotmatic when it was new and works on my K-5 now.

I like the Tamron 28-75. It's a great portrait lens, but I find the Tamron 17-50 covers my shooting needs better. I like that wide end more than I miss the slight telephoto.

01-28-2012, 03:39 PM   #5
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Welcome to a special club. I think it will take at least a few years to outgrow your new camera. The more you use it the better the camera will seem to be. Yes there will be new technology coming out over the next few years, but you already have a great camera and you will have the enjoyment of finding out how to get the best of it. It seems to me Pentax only makes the best SLR cameras they can make where other camera makers tend to design watered downed, cut back, plastic introduction SLR cameras to capture market share.
01-28-2012, 03:46 PM   #6
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Wow, you guys are FAST! What a great welcoming group

Because I was only able to get the single lens kit, I definitely want to get something to replace the 55-200mm that comes in the 2 lens kit. I have to have something with the zoom, we're going to go whale watching and I really prefer to have it. So, should I just buy the 55-200mm that comes with the kit, or I see above Rob suggested the 18-200 and Adam suggested the 55-300. One of the things I'd like is to switch the lenses as little as possible for normal day to day shooting with my kids activities, trips to Disneyland, etc. Stopping to switch around when you're experiencing things with the family is a bit of a drag, LOL.

We leave in 2 weeks on a Disney cruise, so I'm just trying to figure out the best setup to take with me. Normally, I'd love to take some time to get to know the camera and decide but I've gotta get at least 1 more lens before going, LOL.

Thank you all so much, I can tell you're a great group here! Sorry if I seem so scattered, I'm reading reviews, looking at prices, and my mind is reeling! LOL
01-28-2012, 04:08 PM   #7
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The 55-300 is a much better lens optically than the 18-200. My base kit is a 17-50 Tamron and the Pentax 55-300. I've used the 55-300 several times for whale watching and it's great for that. For any wildlife photography the extra 100mm over the 200 is very handy.

01-28-2012, 05:00 PM   #8
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Welcome to the PF Forum.

If you like a all-in-one lens, the best options are:
- the Sigma 18-250mm HSM OS, or
- the Tamron/Pentax DA18-250mm.

The former is available new with Pentax K-mount. It is a little dear and the lens OS is not needed because your camera already has in-camera shake reduction SR.

The Tamron/Pentax a great option but the lens is no longer manufactured. Some good quality copies can be relatively easily found at PF Market Place (this forum), KEH (Buy & Sell New & Used Cameras ? Canon, Nikon, Hasselblad, Leica & More - and Adorama. (I used all 3 sites for used equiment purchases and they can be highly recommended.) I shared my own opinion of the DA18-250mm at my Favorite Lens: 18-250mm. You may be interested to read it.

IMHO the DA18-250mm is the best all-in-one lens for Pentax gears. The lens IQ is quite decent, the DA18-250mm being regarded as one of the best all-around lenses across all brands incl. Canikons and Olypans...

Hope that the comment may help.

Last edited by hcc; 01-28-2012 at 05:12 PM.
01-28-2012, 05:59 PM   #9
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The amount of "camera" you get for your money with the K-r is truly astonishing. You won't find anything close from Canon or Nikon in that price range, they have their pro tier to protect.
01-28-2012, 07:40 PM   #10

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QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
The amount of "camera" you get for your money with the K-r is truly astonishing. You won't find anything close from Canon or Nikon in that price range, they have their pro tier to protect.
+1 to that. It really is amazing for its price point. I figure I saved at least $300 over its equivalent canikon model (back in June) when considering specs and features, and add to that the usual Pentax bonuses of in body SR, focus motor, green button, backwards compatibility...

Ugh I sound like I'm making a sales pitch, but it really is that good.
01-28-2012, 07:50 PM   #11
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Pink (if you must...) K-r with 18-55 kit - Get the 55-300 as extra (it is by account much better than the 50-200)

If cash ain't too much of an issue and you really wanna have some fun... (?) ... The DA35mm-2.4 is a great intro to prime usage (I think it should be a kit option...)

For whale watching I'd invest in a waterproof camera cover (or at least have a decent plastic bag and elastic bands) and a few microfibre cloths to wipe down your kit...
01-28-2012, 08:15 PM   #12
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You won't find any pink canikon out there (; (I have a white K-r and people just kept asking me about it. But a pink K-r would definitely pop more than a white one. Also one of the reason I got a pentax is because of the color, everything I own is white, from phone to my car, to my motorcycle my helmet etc. ). The K-r is "arguably" the best entry level camera right now on the market. It's small enough and is very capable, the built in SR and AF motor is a very huge + vs the competitors camera. anyway I'm pretty sure you're gonna be happy with the K-r.

Lens wise you're pretty much set. having the 18-55(covers your wide needs) + the " good "Awesome/sharp" 28 - 75 tamron. And if you get the 55-300 you're really gonna be all set. (Unless you want the Image quality of a prime lens, but that's a different story)

But here's my question, why not get a pink K-x who they say (correct me if I'm wrong) has a much better AF vs the K-r? and possibly cheaper?
01-28-2012, 08:19 PM   #13
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Congrats on the pink K-r! My wife has the previous model (K-x) in red and is always getting compliments. I hope you like attention, 'cause you're going to get lots!

Add another vote for the 55-300. You'll be switching once in a while (i.e., going outdoors to indoors and vice versa), but I hear that it's a really nice lens.

And as far as being happy with the camera, enjoy it, and don't pay too much attention to some of the naysayers here
01-28-2012, 10:02 PM   #14
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Definately pick up the 55-300. My wife has a K200D, the 18-55WR, and the 55-300. We've gone whale watching in Alaska from a cruise ship shore excursion and the 55-300 worked just fine as far as reach is concerned. It's IQ isn't up to DA* quality, but it is certainly good enough to print out 11X14 (maybe 16X20) with no problem.
Buy the lens, learn the camera quickly, and think about timing when your shooting those whale tails. (You've got to push the shutter button just before the tail turns skyward).
Have Fun learning.
01-29-2012, 12:33 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by kaiserz Quote
But here's my question, why not get a pink K-x who they say (correct me if I'm wrong) has a much better AF vs the K-r? and possibly cheaper?
I've had very little luck finding ANY of the pink Pentax here in the states until Walmart recently added the Colored K-r's. I wasn't aware that the K-x was better though, I had thought it was a previous model. Shoot, not much I can do about it now! lol..

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