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10-09-2012, 05:38 PM   #1
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Proposed Starter System based on K-5 II

Hello,

I have decided to outfit myself with a new camera system for Christmas. I currently have an Olympus E-510, but am unhappy with Olympus's support for their 4/3rds DSLR's. I am sticking with a ASP-C sensor, because I want to keep overall weight down, and don't feel the need for a full frame camera. I want to purchase lenses that are known for producing high quality images.

My proposed system to start is as follows:

Pentax K-5 II Camera Body
Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM Lens
Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 Limited Lens
Pentax AF540FGZ Flash

I eventually plan to add these lenses:

Pentax DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM Lens
Pentax D FA Macro 100mm F2.8 WR Lens
Sigma 70-200mm /2.8 EX DG HSM APO Lens

I am new to Pentax lenses, so would like a critique about lens choices, and possible overlooked options. I do a fair bit of nature and landscape photography at a hobby level. I am also interested in doing a bit of portrait photography, but this is secondary to my main interests.

Kendra

10-09-2012, 06:03 PM   #2
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I have both the lenses that you propose to start with: there are other great lenses, but you won't go wrong with these two, both of which are terrific. The Sigma in particular is a fantastic landscape lens. Though more expensive than the DA 40, the FA 43 is worth considering in that length. I have, and love, both, but I'd give the nod to the 43.
10-09-2012, 06:24 PM   #3
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Although good lenses, you're not exactly keeping the weight down with the 10-20 f3.5 and the 70-200 f2.8!!!
Maybe check out other options if that is really your goal?
10-09-2012, 06:45 PM   #4
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Get the FA43 instead of the DA40; it's still very small. Also consider the DA35/2.4 and DA*55 instead of it to start. And the DA15 is a very good alternative to the Sigma 10-20 if you find the zoom isn't imperative. I have a DA15 plus the very nice DA10-17 Fisheye (which is very useful because it has minimal fisheye distortion toward 17mm), and I'm considering adding the new Samyang 10mm MF prime that's due around December.

The DFA100WR Macro and DA*55 are both exceptional lenses; however, the FA77 is too. So this might be a better starting lineup:

Sigma 10-20 or DA15 or DA21
DA35/2.4
FA77

I have the AF540FGZ and I like it; however, Metz is a stong alternative many like, and the rumor that the 540FGZ will be replaced may eventually turn out to be true. But the AF540FGZ is a good choice right now, and much stronger than the AF360 which I had and sold.


Last edited by DSims; 10-09-2012 at 06:50 PM.
10-09-2012, 07:41 PM   #5
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You didn't really mention about spend,or spend rate. Without myself having much experience with what you propose, these would appear to be very good choices. I have the 40 and it is indeed very good. Just some thoughts, no particular order:

- K5 II - As a landscaper, maybe go to K5 IIs? Just $100 more. Might want to wait for some tests first. Or, for just saving some significant $, choose the first K-5 (classic is what it is being called now). I'm not sure the deuce is going to have that much better IQ, if any at all.
- Many like the Sigma 10-20 4-5.6. If you are using a tripod, you wouldn't have to worry about the extra speed of the 3.5, and this could save you some as well.
- I agree with calsan regarding the weight comment. Just depends on what you want to shoot and carry around (and spend!)
10-09-2012, 07:55 PM   #6
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Depending how long "eventually" is, you might pass on the 40 if you are going to get the 55. A 35 might fill the 20-55 gap a bit better.
10-09-2012, 09:53 PM   #7
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My "eventually" is over the next two years. As my primary interest is landscapes, I thought starting off with a good wide angle zoom made sense. I also wanted something close to what the human eye would capture, and thought something in the 35-43 mm range would work. I will try to get the FA 43mm Limited lens instead of the 40mm. Next, I will add the DA* 55mm lens. I have considered the FA 77mm Limited, and it is still an option. If I go that route, I won't get a 70-200 mm lens; instead I would get a good dedicated 200 mm lens.

My impression from what I have researched and read here is that the best Pentax lenses tend to be primes. I was trying to cut down on overall lens count by getting the 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens, but that might not be the best idea. I will need to think on that.

As for the K-5 II versus K-5 IIs, I AM interested in the IIs version. If it is like the Nikon D800E, it SHOULD be a bit sharper. Hopoefully, there will be a good comparison test out before December.

Thanks to everyone for their feedback so far.

Kendra

I know the 70-200 mm lens is big and heavy. Are there any other good options for this range of lens that are lighter, or is this the best bet?
10-09-2012, 10:17 PM   #8
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The 70-200 2.8 is the best in the current group , it can be a handy portraiture lens as well .

10-10-2012, 08:18 PM   #9
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Here's a completely different approach: the DA15, A manual focus 28 (great for landscapes), and the 55 for general/short tele autofocus work.

Light and fun!
10-10-2012, 11:03 PM   #10
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I'm surprised no-one has recommended that for a few $$ you can get the very capable 18-55 kit lens.

For a kit lens it is cheap, well built, pretty good IQ and covers a normal wide FL

I think you should be able to get one for around $50 or so.

Edit: I missed the bit about high quality images. This lens is capable, but not stellar.
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