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12-14-2012, 04:20 AM   #1
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looking at a new pentax body, any help appreciated!

I am a great pentax lover, and I am determined to stick with Pentax. My current kit is an old k100 D, with a couple of old manual prime lenses (a 135 and a 400), and a sigma 70-300 APO macro. I have recently rediscovered my enthusiasm for photography, and having in the past got some cracking shots with my range of lenses ( I maily love wildlife photography), I have been looking into a replacememt for my old body, that is going to give me even better image quality. So, firstly, does anyone have any idea how my lenses are likely to perform with a K-30? It looks like it would give me far more freedom, but lots more to learn! and secondly, I need to replace my 18-55 (unfortunately dropped), but have been thinking about getting a longer zoom, maybe 18-135 or 18-200. My budget is not huge, but I do want a good kit without spending more than is really necessary. Any suggestions? Thanks!

12-14-2012, 04:30 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by catpig Quote
I am a great pentax lover, and I am determined to stick with Pentax. My current kit is an old k100 D, with a couple of old manual prime lenses (a 135 and a 400), and a sigma 70-300 APO macro. I have recently rediscovered my enthusiasm for photography, and having in the past got some cracking shots with my range of lenses ( I maily love wildlife photography), I have been looking into a replacememt for my old body, that is going to give me even better image quality. So, firstly, does anyone have any idea how my lenses are likely to perform with a K-30? It looks like it would give me far more freedom, but lots more to learn! and secondly, I need to replace my 18-55 (unfortunately dropped), but have been thinking about getting a longer zoom, maybe 18-135 or 18-200. My budget is not huge, but I do want a good kit without spending more than is really necessary. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Well first of all let me explain my own experience - I started my Pentax career with a K100D which my son now hs, then went to the K20D then K and now K30 as a back up to the K5. The K30 has fpcus peaking which is a grea boon for old manual lenses; I regularly use a SMC-A 50mm f1.7 and a fully manual 55mm f1.8. Also have used 28mm and 24mm SIgma lenses (A setting) 105mm Adaptall lens, SMC-M 200mm , all work well on the K30 and the extra resolution of the 16mp cmos sensor vx the 6mp CCD in the K100 is onvious

I also use the 18-135 DA WR with my K5 and K30, I find it a convenient lens with excellent focussing and sharpness absolutely fine for 85% of shots. It is quite expensive though, I got an unboxed one split form a kit, would be worth looking out for similar or mybe an ex-demo version. The IQ to my eye is quite a lot better than the 18-55 ( I have a MK1 from my K100D and a WR from my K20, but very rarely use them now)

You will find that the extra resolutuin and good DR/noise characteristics of the K30 mean you can crop quite heavily from the 135 end of the zoom and still get pretty reasonable images; I certainly value the WR of the 18-135 and would choose this over a non-wr zomm with a longer reach.

Hope these thoughts help
12-14-2012, 04:37 AM   #3
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Definitely- any thoughts help! Thanks :0)
12-14-2012, 04:53 AM   #4
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the Tamron 18-200 is another possibility for a walkabout lens, but I have seen very variable reviews on it. Some love some hate, and the quality seems very variable... that said, it is very reasonable, and I know people who do really rate Tamron lenses

12-14-2012, 05:11 AM   #5
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KO-1 for just over $300 without lens
12-14-2012, 05:56 AM   #6
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I looked at the k-o1, thought it looked very interesting, but its a world away from what i am used to!!
12-14-2012, 06:48 AM   #7
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With what you have I would get the 18-135 WR. That would allow you to get some good stuff in inclement weather or dusty conditions when paired with a K30 or K5. Also, unless shooting video I would see if I could score a K5 classic for around the same price as a K30.
12-14-2012, 08:19 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by catpig Quote
I looked at the k-o1, thought it looked very interesting, but its a world away from what i am used to!!
Agreed. I can not imagine buying a serious camera without an eye-level viewfinder. I'd happily scrap the back-panel LCDs.

12-15-2012, 05:54 AM   #9
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glad someone else is a fan of the viewfinder... I don't like to rely on the screen, i have never had live view with a dslr so that would be new. Thanks by the way for throwing the k-5 into the mix too. Its an interesting proposition. I like the top lcd, which goes against the k-30 but i could probs get used to not having it. The k-5 has a lot of scope for artistic work which is attractive. Its quieter as well. But the AF on the k-30 looks to be much better (thinking birds in flight) and i love the idea of focus peaking for my manual lenses. Its a hard one. Any other comparisons of experiences with the 2 for birding? I am still very much a beginner, but i can see a good photograph, and i do plan to sell my work once i have a camera which is going to produce a high enough IQ for this...
12-15-2012, 08:23 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by catpig Quote
glad someone else is a fan of the viewfinder... I don't like to rely on the screen, i have never had live view with a dslr so that would be new. Thanks by the way for throwing the k-5 into the mix too. Its an interesting proposition. I like the top lcd, which goes against the k-30 but i could probs get used to not having it. The k-5 has a lot of scope for artistic work which is attractive. Its quieter as well. But the AF on the k-30 looks to be much better (thinking birds in flight) and i love the idea of focus peaking for my manual lenses. Its a hard one. Any other comparisons of experiences with the 2 for birding? I am still very much a beginner, but i can see a good photograph, and i do plan to sell my work once i have a camera which is going to produce a high enough IQ for this...
I went to the K-30 from a K20D and don't miss the top LCD a bit. The focus peaking is a tremendous bonus for manual focus lenses. For me they were very hard to focus with the K20D. I also got the 18-135 with my K-30 and love it. I was a little hesitant because of early reviews on the lens, but I have to say either the early copies had problems that have been fixed, or the reviewers were off base. I have to agree that it is much sharper than the 18-55, and it is at least as sharp as the Tamron 28-105 (which became redundant so I sold it).
12-16-2012, 01:05 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
I went to the K-30 from a K20D and don't miss the top LCD a bit. The focus peaking is a tremendous bonus for manual focus lenses. For me they were very hard to focus with the K20D. I also got the 18-135 with my K-30 and love it. I was a little hesitant because of early reviews on the lens, but I have to say either the early copies had problems that have been fixed, or the reviewers were off base. I have to agree that it is much sharper than the 18-55, and it is at least as sharp as the Tamron 28-105 (which became redundant so I sold it).
I recently returned to SLR photography and have recently sold my K-r so I could upgrade to a K-30. The viewfinder is a definite plus (over the K-01). It's nice to be able to bring the camera up to eye level and scope out a scene or distant object without having to power up the camera.... and on a bright summer day... the viewfinder beats the LCD hands down.

As for the legacy lenses... they work just fine... I picked up a used 50mmF4 macro (full on manual) a year ago. I love it.

Regards
12-16-2012, 10:00 AM   #12
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good to know there is no problem with lens compatibility. I wouldn't consider a serious camera without the viewfinder, it upsets me that no point and shoots have this any more. I think that on balance, it is going to be the k-30 with an 18-135, as this adds more useful options to my kit. Hope the price may have come down a bit by the time i can stretch to it as well ;-) i love the idea of having weatherproofing. Exciting! Thanks for all the suggestions, you have all been most helpful.
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