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10-09-2012, 06:14 AM   #1
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K-5 Kit or K-5 w. 18-135 Lens

Hi All,

My wife and I bought a K-5 Kit about a year ago, and although we hadn't gotten as deeply entrenched in the art as we'd like, we loved the camera and what it could do for us, aside from the compulsory longing for bigger and better lens capability. A few weeks ago, she left the camera on a flight, and it hasn't turned up in the lost and found of any airport which that plane landed at for days afterwards, so we've given up hope of getting our baby back.

Now we're looking to replace, and the K-5 II/s doesn't seem enough of an upgrade to be worth the money (and wait for bugs/fixes), so I'm wondering if buying the kit at $1k on amazon, or the body and the 18-135 lens for $1.2k, is a better deal for the money. Any advice greatly appreciated.

Also, if anyone could point me in the direction of lenses to dream about for the future, I'd appreciate that as well. Primarily to suit standard fare: flowers and moss for the Mrs., mountain-top panoramas for moi.

10-09-2012, 06:42 AM   #2
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The K5 is full of bugs... hence the K5 2 which is the same camera with a lot of the bugs removed. Having said that... none of the K5s faults will have much bearing for landscape work anyway so you could indeed save money. My choice of lens would be the 17-70 F4 pentax lens or the tamron 17-50 F2.8. The pentax lens is the best in the Pentax stable while the tamron performs better with a faster lens. The build is better on the Pentax and its quiter. Also you lose out on a few auto correction modes if you choose third party lenses if you are a jpg shooter. The pentax also allows you to adjust focus without the need to going to manual which can be handy.
10-09-2012, 07:03 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by westmill Quote
The K5 is full of bugs... hence the K5 2 which is the same camera with a lot of the bugs removed. Having said that... none of the K5s faults will have much bearing for landscape work anyway so you could indeed save money. My choice of lens would be the 17-70 F4 pentax lens or the tamron 17-50 F2.8. The pentax lens is the best in the Pentax stable while the tamron performs better with a faster lens. The build is better on the Pentax and its quiter. Also you lose out on a few auto correction modes if you choose third party lenses if you are a jpg shooter. The pentax also allows you to adjust focus without the need to going to manual which can be handy.
What bugs?? I have a K-5 and I have not had a single problem with it.
10-09-2012, 07:20 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by treebeard Quote
What bugs?? I have a K-5 and I have not had a single problem with it.
A lot dont. It depends on the use. It tends to missfocus under tungsten light etc most of the fixes in K5 2 are aimed at putting this right. It seems they have done it too except for the dinnerplate sized focus sensors. Another area which has most likely been corrected is the innacurate flash exposures. not to mention the occassional freezing. There has been a couple of times where my K5 simply froze. The K5 2 will be a better camera for sure.

10-09-2012, 07:24 AM   #5
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To the OP: Glass will always outlive bodies. If you can get a better lens in exchange for slower AF(And identical IQ, unless comparing to the IIs), do so.Heck, I'd even suggest saving a few more dollars and getting something like a 16-50 zoom, unless a superzoom is what you're really after.(I'm currently trying to sell my copy of the 18-135, as I'm not finding it fast enough for my needs, but YMMV)

QuoteOriginally posted by treebeard Quote
What bugs?? I have a K-5 and I have not had a single problem with it.
Indeed. Quite curious.

Other than "Slow"(Personally, I find it more than adequate for a camera of it's price range[Sub-1000 currently]) AF and a lack of some newer features(Focus Peaking etc), it's nearly perfect.

K-5II/s was just the last thing on the roadmap for Hoya's Pentax. They were officially out of ideas, and were going to re-release an updated version of a massively popular camera.

Edit: Not to say the II/s isn't going to be an improvement. Just saying, it doesn't seem to be as big a deal as it's made out to be.
10-09-2012, 07:27 AM   #6
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The 17-70 is a good walk-around lens, but not officially WR, whereas the 18-135 is. That said, quite a few reports of the 18-135 being a bit soft, but lots of happy owners.

But...

How about a macro for the Missus? Take a look at the Pentax 100mm WR macro. Got one myself; great lens.

As to you and your panoramas, you could go for the Pentax 12-24 which is a great, well reviewed, lens, or the 17-70 and be prepared to 'stich' panoramas together in software.

I really would think twice about the 2 lens package. The kit lenses are OK for the money, but others are better, so why not a K-5 body and 17-70, or 100, or 12-24, or 18-135?

For more help, check out the lens review section of this Forum, but don't forget Google is your friend!
10-09-2012, 08:07 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tykal Quote
Now we're looking to replace, and the K-5 II/s doesn't seem enough of an upgrade to be worth the money (and wait for bugs/fixes), so I'm wondering if buying the kit at $1k on amazon, or the body and the 18-135 lens for $1.2k, is a better deal for the money. Any advice greatly appreciated.
I have an 18-135mm and 18-55. I prefer the 18-135 for its range, but it's also sharper, with better bokeh, lower flare, WR, silent focus and far superior build quality. There have been some poor copies, but a good one is beats the 18-55 easily, as show in in the Pentax Forums In-depth review, Pentax-DA 18-135mm Zoom Review - Overview - PentaxForums.com.

Most of the people slagging off the 18-135mm have never tried one. It's a good walk-around lens. My main kit has become the 18-135 with primes.

Last edited by audiobomber; 10-09-2012 at 08:22 AM.
10-09-2012, 08:19 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tykal Quote
Hi All,

Now we're looking to replace, and the K-5 II/s doesn't seem enough of an upgrade to be worth the money (and wait for bugs/fixes), so I'm wondering if buying the kit at $1k on amazon, or the body and the 18-135 lens for $1.2k, is a better deal for the money. Any advice greatly appreciated.

Also, if anyone could point me in the direction of lenses to dream about for the future, I'd appreciate that as well. Primarily to suit standard fare: flowers and moss for the Mrs., mountain-top panoramas for moi.
My advice since we do both a lot of flowers and a lot panorapmas...

Get the 18-135, it's a great walk around lens, and when I look through my flower shots it's amazing how many are taken with it. The percieved weakness of this lens is it's very soft on the edges from about 80mm to 135 mm, but it's still center sharp, and those soft edges end up producing really soft creamy bokeh on a lot of flower shots. From 22 mm to 60mm it's just an excellent lens and it's center stays in the excellent range or just below, all the way to 135 mm. It focuses close enough for flower shots all the way through it's range.

We compliment ours with a Tamron 90 macro, for small flowers, and macros, but also as a very sharp mid telephoto. It takes a bit of getting used to, but in the end it's time well spent. If you're into stitching panoramas together I'd go for something like the 35mm 2.4, it's not a macro lens but it focuses close enough we take flower shots with it. It's light, has low barrel distortion and cheap. With the 18-135, that gives you everything you'd probably ever need except a long telephoto (Tammy 70-200 2.8 would be good), and an ultra wide (Sigma 8-16) and I wouldn't add the last two unless I ended up needing them.

But the 18-135 will get you a long way, just on it's own.

10-09-2012, 08:28 AM   #9
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I would get the K-5 and DA 18-135, which seems like a good deal at the prices you mention. Yes, the 18-135 is not the ultimate in IQ. Maybe if all my shots were museum quality and only art world politics have kept me from being as famous as Ansel Weston or whoever, I could sneer at lesser zooms. But in my world, the 18-135 is a lens that allows me to take the camera anywhere, any time. The quality of the shots when you leave your camera at home is zero. The 18-135 seems to be good enough to fill that role.

I like JohnX's macro suggestion. A DA 15mm f4 would be nice on a mountain top, easy to carry up there. I wouldn't go too far on lenses until you've really used the camera, both to see if you'll really use it and to settle in on a direction. You should be able to look at focal lengths used for the first 1000 photos and see what you prefer.
10-09-2012, 11:39 AM   #10
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I have seen much better samples from the 18-135. If I did not need the 70-200 range I would without a doubt pickup the 18-135.
10-10-2012, 05:30 PM   #11
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I forgot to mention my two albums with pictures taken by my 18-135.

For small flowers click on this sentence.

For a lot more images of various subjects.. click on this one.

One of my favourites.

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