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01-02-2013, 08:22 PM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by ThatPoshGirl Quote
Based on the feedback I am thinking about this setup:

Pentax 21977 DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL (IF) DC WR Lens for Pentax Digital SLR cameras
Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO DG OS HSM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Pentax Digital SLR Cameras

And also maybe: Pentax 21870 DA 50-200mm F/4-5.6 AL Weather Resistant Lens, but I don't know if it would be too redundant.
Great setup there! Be aware that the 50-200 is rather redundant and not as good as the others, and that the Sigma 150-500 (which I reviewed here) is not weather-sealed, so keep it out of heavy rain. (Oh, and it's also really big and heavy, if that matters!)

You'll be thrilled with the K30, even when the sun is shining...

01-02-2013, 08:38 PM   #17
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Why don't you buy used lenses and a K5 here on the marketplace from fellow Pentaxians? It could save you quite a bit of money, and there is no tax to pay.
01-02-2013, 08:40 PM   #18
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I'll keep an eye on the marketplace when I am ready to buy and go that route if something I need comes up.
01-02-2013, 10:46 PM - 1 Like   #19
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Hello TPG, Welcome to the Forum!
You've gotten lots of good advice here, I'll just throw in another viewpoint.
Many times the first impression of a new hobby/sport/recreation is not what turns out to be the lasting enjoyment.
For now, you seem to be aimed towards an all-weather photography kit with lots of versatility (ie. Zoom lenses) and a good, but perhaps not top-of-the-line body.
Those are certainly reasonable goals within your $2,000-$2,500 budget.
But, as you will soon see, there are many other aspects of photography and some (if not many) of those fields won't be as well-served by the "All-weather zoom" kit.
For example, suppose you develop a taste for Scenic or landscape photography. Here, you would want (I could say "need") a sharper wide-angle prime lens or two, like a 24mm and a 35mm, or 20mm and 28mm. The zooms wouldn't provide the maximum sharpness needed for this extreme detail
Or low light, indoor photography, music concerts, social gatherings, community events or just photos of your friends. Now, you would want smaller, fast prime lenses like a 100mm f/2.8, a 50mm f/1.7 and a 35mm f/2.4 or 2.8, perhaps a 24mm or 28mm. Neither one of your zooms would be fast enough for this work.
Macro (extreme close-up) photography is another field entirely and can be fun, rewarding and frustrating, all at the same time. A 90mm or 100mm dedicated macro lens might be in your future, even if you don't envision it now.
No, I'm not trying to snowball you with too many choices! My point is to remember that what you see as the main goal may not turn out to be the ongoing interest.
But what you decide on now (for equipment) will impact these possible choices.
So, my suggestion is to look into a more capable DSLR body, the classic K-5. Right now, prices are barely higher than a K-30, but it has more room for your future growth. It isn't a "Starter" camera or even mid-range. It is (or was, until recently) top-of-the-line. Room to grow.
Also, a DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL WR.
Last, a used FA 100-300mm f/4.7-5.8 (silver version) for around $100. Why? Well, first off, you need at least 200mm, if not 300mmm to shoot wildlife. A 300mm WR lens is pretty hard to find and expensive if you do. So, the WR in a long telephoto is not on the map right now. Before spending $1,000-$1,500 on a super-zoom, try the FA, see how you like it. At worst, you can always sell it for nearly what you paid. With that lens and a rain poncho, you'll be as weather-resistant as can be.
You may find that the $1,000 left over will go in an entirely different direction, or you may just buy one of the Sigma super-zooms. Either way, you'll be making a more informed choice.

01-04-2013, 02:09 PM - 1 Like   #20

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When researching the lenses, I'd encourage you to give online example images a lot of weight in your evaluation. You don't need to have a technical understanding to know what looks good to you.

For example, when I first saw the image of the girl and the dog by the water (back on page 3) taken with the DA*55/1.4 lens I thought it was absolutely stunning (and I still think it's great): I later looked at the settings used and realized that the DA*55 is probably the only Pentax lens capable of taking that image.

But don't mistake the DA18-135 as an easy and cheaper replacement for 16/17-50 and 50-135 f/2.8 lenses. The DA18-135 is a decent lens that I considered getting, despite already having the latter combination. But look at the photos and decide whether YOU like the results from it. I know that I'd like the 18-135 sometimes, but definitely not all of the time. I'd only purchase it for convenience when I only want to carry one lens, yet still need the full range. But you need to decide how it meets your standard. If you decide you're satisfied with the images from it, then it's a great choice. If you're looking for a little more, go elsewhere.

Last edited by DSims; 01-04-2013 at 02:20 PM.
01-04-2013, 09:10 PM - 2 Likes   #21
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Also forgot to mention something I gradually learned with digital photography....invest in a good computer with a decent monitor. Easily overlooked until you unload that first batch of RAW files and think....well now what?
01-05-2013, 09:19 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by ThatPoshGirl Quote
Now I have a new question.

If I get a lens that isn't weather resistant, can I use a lens sleeve alone to protect it? Like this one: Kata E-704PL Extension Lens Sleeve Kit (3 Sleeves) KT PL-E-704 It's supposed to fit with a sleeve for the camera, but I don't suppose I would need that. Does anyone think this would work by itself?
I shoot with a K-r and don't regularly shoot with this camera in a wet location. I have a P&S and scuba-rated underwater case for the times I anticipate bad weather. I keep a similar sleeve and a UV filter in my field pack should I be caught in poor weather conditions and want to use my K-r. All that said, if I could afford it, I would move to a weather sealed Pentax body and I would carry the WR versions of my lenses.

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