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04-22-2012, 09:26 PM   #1
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A first lens for my new K-5 body

Hi all

I've bought a K-5 body over a month ago and during that time I've been patiently reading reviews and checking out photo's on lenses (mainly primes) and trying to decide on which lens to choose for my first DSLR K-5 body.

I have an interest for a range of styles of photography which means i will need different kinds of lenses but i have decided that i would like to start off with a lens that's based around Landscaping, Architecture and street photography, a wide lens for preferably

Money is a bit of an issue at the moment, so sadly i don't think FA 31mm will be a first lens for me but i have been saving up for the last month and my limit is between $600 - 800 (AUD)

Image quality means a lot to me so primes are probably the way to go for me but their are also some zooms that are also tempting

Their aren't a lot of Pentax mount lenses around stores in Melbourne Australia to try out (or not that i know of) which makes my choice on a lens hard to decide on, so i have to rely on peoples reviews/opinions on this matter

Some of the lenses i had in mind include Pentax da 15mm f4 - da 21mm f3.2 - F 28mm f2.8 - 12-24mm f4 (second hand) and Tamron 17-50mm f2.8.

The focal length of the da 21mm is just about perfect but there are mixed opinions about the lens, in a nutshell, it's good but not great and is on the bottom of the ltd's in IQ (even though on the database it seems impressive)

The da 15mm seems to do better on reviews and looking at some of the photo's people have taken with the 15mm on this forum are breath taking. I love taking sunsets, cliff beaches, mountains but it is very wide, especially if you like having a subject in the picture about 70% of the time. I use a 28mm equivalent lens and at times makes the subject/subjects look tiny.

F 28mm is not exactly wide but it seem's good for street photo's and is very sharp but very difficult to get a hold of

The zoom lenses are versatile and ideal for the kinds of photo's i like but i don't believe the IQ matches the primes

So i would like to ask for some suggestions/advice or recommendations on a lens for an ameture like myself, weather it's a Pentax lens, a third party lens, prime or zoom, even older manual lenses with good IQ, your help and advice is important to me

Sorry if i seem a bit picky about this but i would prefer to buy right then buy twice, I've made this mistake to many times in the past with musical instruments

Cheers

04-22-2012, 09:53 PM   #2
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Da 35/2.4, fa 35/2?
04-22-2012, 10:08 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Well, you can shoot a while with the kit lens till you are sure wich focal lenght is your favourite for that first prime you'll be buying...that way you can also save a bit more money, and get the absolute best so you don't feel the urge to upgrade that one in a long time (or a couple of lenses that will keep you satisfied for a while).

QuoteOriginally posted by Zedman Quote
i don't believe the IQ matches the primes
Don't dismiss the zooms..there are pretty capable and very nice zooms out there, at great prices like the 2,8 constant aperture tamron zooms. The versatility is something that on some occasions may be worth the small loss in IQ.

Limited budget: best advice is to stay put, shoot and only spend the hard earned cash when you're absolutely sure that is THE lens.
As noted before by selar the 35 2,4 is a good AND cheap lens that may help you save some more money for a bit longer. Considering what you said the Sigma's 10-20 can be nice, affordble lenses to look into too.
Good luck.
04-22-2012, 10:30 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Coeurdechene Quote
Well, you can shoot a while with the kit lens till you are sure wich focal lenght is your favourite for that first prime you'll be buying...that way you can also save a bit more money, and get the absolute best so you don't feel the urge to upgrade that one in a long time (or a couple of lenses that will keep you satisfied for a while)...

Limited budget: best advice is to stay put, shoot and only spend the hard earned cash when you're absolutely sure that is THE lens.
Exactly right. Shoot with the kit lens(es) for a few months. Note which focal lengths you use, which you wish you could reach, which you don't bother with. Decide what you want to do that you can't do with what you have.

I have a zillion lenses, and a priority list for building a lens kit. In order:

1) Coverage: My Tamron 10-24, DA18-250, and Lil'Bigma 170-500 cover the range.
2) Speed: My FA50/1.4, and manual f/2 primes at 24-28-35-58-85mm, do it there.
3) Specialty: My DA10-17 fisheye, macros, mirrors, and others handle special needs.
4) Character: Old (often slow) manual primes just render in ways new glass doesn't.
5) Mania: Any optics I can fit on my camera including enlarger-projector-copy lenses.

I personally don't like the 2-lens kit of a 10-55 and 50-200 or 55-300 because I shoot a lot in the 35-70mm range and I hate swapping lenses at ~55mm. The IQ of a missed shot is zero. That's why the DA18-250 was my first 'kit' lens. A small light agile sharp cheap goody in that critical zone is the old F35-70, usually found for around US$50. It's the smallest zoom Pentax ever made, sharp as a bag of primes, with VERY fast AF.

I'd better stop now. I could rant about lenses for hours. Have fun!

04-22-2012, 10:45 PM   #5
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Its difficult to imagine having a K5 sitting on the table with out any lenses for a month. That said, I would just go get - on evilbay, a kit (DAL 18-55) lens for $40 or so. You have to start somewhere, and it might as well be the kit zoom to start. You will make mistakes, however you can always sell the kit to another shooter and loose essentially nothing. Is it the world's best lens? No - but its a lot better than Canon or Nikon's kit lenses.

Rico offers another perspective, in that he along with others had previous experience and knew the focal lengths that he used most. You, appear not to have that experience as of yet, so to gain it - you need to start somewhere. Hence the kit lens. Based on that, you can then leverage in to other lenses, be they prime or zoom.

Here is a thread on the kit lens...The photographer (you) make the image - not the lens, it is only a tool.

You have over analyzed for 5 weeks now - you need to move out and start shooting....


Last edited by interested_observer; 04-22-2012 at 11:07 PM.
04-22-2012, 11:05 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Rico offers another perspective, in that he along with others had previous experience and knew the focal lengths that he used most. You, appear not to have that experience as of yet, so to gain it you need to start somewhere. Hence the kit lens. Based on that, you can then leverage in to other lenses, be they prime or zoom.
Just a note: I've been shooting for 5+ decades, but just got to APS-C four years ago -- although I'd shot with APS-C-equivalent half-frame cameras in the 1970s. When I went from an advanced P&S to a dSLR, I didn't think as much in focal lengths as in angles of view and ability to capture light. I knew I wanted ultrawide, ultralong, and very fast. So my initial K20D kit contained the DA10-17 fisheye (the lens that drove me to Pentax), the DA18-250 superzoom, and the FA50/1.4 Fast Fifty. Supplemented by the Tamron 10-24, those are still my most-used lenses (out of 235 total now). And the AF360 flash. And the Raynox DCR-250 close-up optic. And... and... and...

To find what works for you, I recommend (although I don't use) a DA18-55 plus DA55-300 kit, with maybe a F35-70 to overlap their gap. Only by seeing what they see, learning their strengths and limitations, will you get a good idea of where to go next. If you don't know where you're going, you'll probably end up somewhere else.

QuoteQuote:
You have over analyzed for 5 weeks now - you need to move out and start shooting....
Damn right.

Last edited by RioRico; 04-23-2012 at 12:45 AM.
04-23-2012, 12:38 AM   #7
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Well, it's nice to have a 'fantasy' kit in mind. However there are a few new lenses scheduled for later in the year if you check the Pentax roadmap. So maybe hold your horses for a while...
For the record, I like the 18-55 lens. My most used lenses are in order: 18-55, 35 limited, 55-300, Sigma 10-20. Hardly ever used lenses Sigma 17-70, Pentax FA50 1.4.
My 'ideal kit' would be 15 limited, 35 limited, 55-300, but I'd still keep the 18-55wr because it's a great all rounder and WR!
04-23-2012, 04:23 AM   #8
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As said, play with a kit or zoom lens for a while to see what focal lengths you use most. I've found, for example, I like 24, 35, 50 and 70mm in general, so have primes in the first three fls. To gain a fairly decent 70, and for convenience's sake, I've just bought the Sigma 24-70 f2.8 macro and can recommend that as an extremely cheap, quite fast and nicely sharp lens. Built like a tank too, and focuses very fast even in next to no light.

04-24-2012, 05:07 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for all your suggestions & advice, i am really considering buying a zoom lens to start off with. I'm leaning more towards a Tamron 17-50mm, or a Sigma 24-70mm than the Pentax 18-55mm kit lense. The advantage i get out of the kit lens is i get to try one out in a camera store where as with the Tamron and Sigma i will have to get them ordered. I'm unsure with the Tamron, i hear you may receive one that works great but you can also receive one that's a lemon! Mmm, a bit risky
04-24-2012, 08:11 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zedman Quote
i hear you may receive one that works great but you can also receive one that's a lemon!
mmm...most of the claims on the Tamron are about front/backfocusing issues, your K5 has focus adjustement so unless it backfocus wildly, you'll be able to fix it. I'm not sure if Sigma has a much better quality control than Tamron, so in any case it would be convenient to be able to test the lens in store (that said i bought my Sigma 8-16 on the web and i've never had any problem with it).
04-24-2012, 09:30 AM   #11
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I've no experience of buying Tamron new, but the Sigma 24-70 I bought last week came from an online store and it works perfectly with no ff or bf issues at all. I'm extremely impressed with it for the price, both in build quality and images.

Not sure where in the world you are, but this was the best price I found in GB. Sigma 24-70 mm f2.8 EX DG MACRO - Buy Sigma Lenses | Clifton Cameras
04-24-2012, 10:23 AM   #12
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I hereby offer some Wisdom From The Ancients: Whatever lens(es) you decide on, be sure the seller has an unconditional return+refund policy. The vast majority of lenses have zero defects, show zero problems. And some people return 3-4-5 copies of a lens (especially Sigma, reportedly) before they get satisfaction. Be safe. Be wise. Cover your ass. We needn't be married to our purchases. Divorce is cheap and easy. Accept nothing less than satisfaction. Selah!
04-24-2012, 11:15 AM   #13
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Tamron 17-50 would be a fine starting point, I am sure.
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