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04-14-2013, 06:33 AM   #1
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Help with Lens purchase

Hello!

I am new to photography (2800 clicks :O) hehe very happy that i chose pentax!
(K5 + 18-135 WR)
I feel like its time for me to get another lens but i have issues choosing.
I love shooting landscapes (mostly because where i am at the moment is not very populated)
i enjoy portraits and macro photos as well.
I already know that i will get the 100mm WR macro lens when ill have the funds for it altho!
I wanted to verify if my lens choice is good or redundant or if i could improve it somehow.


DA* 16-50
DA 50mm 1.8
DA 55-300mm

Thanks to all

04-14-2013, 07:13 AM   #2
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Welcome and congrats! That sounds like a very nice kit, you are on the right track. I would advise you get the DA 50mm f1.8 as the next lens. Or maybe the FA 50mm f1.4 instead - as far as I know it hasn't been discontinued yet: SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4 Reviews - FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

The great thing about Pentax is that all K mount lenses will fit, so you can even get K or M series full-manual lenses, and save some money while still getting great IQ. For example, the M series 50mm f1.7 can be found for $50-100 and delivers great photos, but no automation. The only thing I would do differently regarding your lens choice is that I might replace the 16-50mm with a prime or two, like DA 15mm and FA 35mm. I just prefer primes over zooms. Though, this is a thing you will decide for yourself after you develop your style and analyze your photos to see what you want the most, which focal length, which speed,..
04-14-2013, 07:16 AM   #3
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If I were you, I wouldn't even look at DA* 16-50. Check this review DA* 16-50mm vs. Sigma and Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 Comparison - Conclusion: Pentax - PentaxForums.com. Its value is extremely poor compared to Tamron or Sigma offerings.
Instead, consider DA Ltd series, for example, 15 or 21mm
04-14-2013, 07:27 AM   #4
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I'm on a similar path, I bought my K-30 w/ 18-135mm WR about six weeks ago and have been having a blast with it.

I like shooting wildlife so I picked up the DA 55-300mm when I found a good deal, and a Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7 which was only $68. If you want to learn more about photography I really suggest getting at least one older non-AF lens and they're pretty cheap. If you absolutely don't like it you can always sell it back for about what you spent - any depreciation has already long since run out

04-14-2013, 07:37 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rampage2k5 Quote
Help with Lens purchase
Have a look through the lenses section on this forum, it may help you with your selection process.
04-14-2013, 08:52 AM   #6
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Maybe land yourself a zoom lens to reach out more than you have now, then pick up a prime lens, a 50mm or 35mm.
04-14-2013, 09:16 AM   #7
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All great advice! Thanks a lot.

I like the idea of a prime lens or 2 altho they are expensive i find.
order of purchase would be as ;
55-300DA
50 1.8DA or 1.7 hehe, im now playing with the camera stuck at 50 with manual focus only to see how i enjoy so far it aint bad! i also was told the 40mm ltd is not to be overlooked but it seems to wide for portrait :|
17-50 from Sigma..... maybe ill afford a 15mm once i can afford it.

Appreciate the hints!!! this forum is great
04-14-2013, 09:35 AM   #8
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Good Morning, Several thoughts come to mind here....
  • For landscapes, you tend to want to have a very deep "Depth of Field", i.e., you want everything in focus. So the aperture f8 to f11 will provide this. Also, these apertures tend to be at the sweet spot of the lens, where you get the greatest sharpness and best resolution. Why this is important is that you really do not need fast lenses (fast lenses f1.2, f1.4, f1.7, f2) as they command a premium price. f2.8 for landscapes is considered to be very fast, with f4 being pretty normal. With this in mind, a M50 f2 lens is both incredibly inexpensive - $20, has great qualities, manual focusing (for practicing), and extraordinarily common (check craigslist for just Pentax gear, and chances are you may find one (with a film camera attached) for $5). These lenses were the kit lens for the film cameras in the 60s, 70s and 80s.
  • Again on the topic of landscapes - try some stitching - its free! Using whatever lens you have at hand, take several images, each one overlapping the previous by about 25% (either horizontally or vertically). Load them into your computer. Download Microsoft ICE (it's free!). Then drag the individual images into ICE and it does the rest. Microsoft has a video that describes all of this.
  • I see that you are up in Canada. Postage from the US can be a bit costly, so to limit your expenses, look for lenses already in Canada.
  • Another lens that you may consider is the 28mm f2.8 for landscapes. Look for an off brand like Tokina, Tamron, Vivitar, etc. in the K mount, again in the $20 range. These are OK lenses, will not set the world on fire, but will provide several years of service while you save up for something better. You can sell them for essentially the same price as what you paid. 28mm was a very popular focal length (still is) and there are a lot of them available.




Last edited by interested_observer; 04-14-2013 at 09:50 AM.
04-14-2013, 12:44 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Welcome and congrats! That sounds like a very nice kit, you are on the right track. I would advise you get the DA 50mm f1.8 as the next lens. Or maybe the FA 50mm f1.4 instead - as far as I know it hasn't been discontinued yet: SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4 Reviews - FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

The great thing about Pentax is that all K mount lenses will fit, so you can even get K or M series full-manual lenses, and save some money while still getting great IQ. For example, the M series 50mm f1.7 can be found for $50-100 and delivers great photos, but no automation. The only thing I would do differently regarding your lens choice is that I might replace the 16-50mm with a prime or two, like DA 15mm and FA 35mm. I just prefer primes over zooms. Though, this is a thing you will decide for yourself after you develop your style and analyze your photos to see what you want the most, which focal length, which speed,..
I do not need to get a adapter for the M or A lens?
04-14-2013, 12:59 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rampage2k5 Quote
I do not need to get a adapter for the M or A lens?
You only need an adapter for the M42 screw mount lenses (Takumar, Super Takumar and/or Auto Takumar , etc.), for the K, M, A, FA, FA Limited, FAJ, DA, DAL, DA *, DA Limited or DFA lenses, they have the native K mount and mount directly on to the camera body.
  • The M42, K and M lenses are all manual focus and manual aperture.
  • The A lenses are manual focus and automatic aperture (when in the "A" position), else manual aperture.
  • The FA, FA Limited, FAJ, DA, DAL, DA *, DA Limited or DFA lenses are autofocus and automatic aperture.

04-15-2013, 07:43 PM   #11
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Don't feel alone, there are as many "what lens should I get" threads as users on this forum. I think the DA55-300 is the right choice for your next lens, it will open up a lot of opportunities for you. There is a free software program called Exposure Plot. It will look at all of your picture files and tell you how many picures you have taken at each focal length. You may find that you are not taking any photos at 50mm, but you've taken many at 18, 40, and 135. 18 might tell you a 15 would be great, 135 might let you know that you need longer lengths.

If you do a lot of landscape work I would suggest a good sturdy tripod and remote. And don't buy into the myth that you have to use wide angles for landscapes. Landscapes are more about the subject and your creativity than focal length.
04-15-2013, 09:43 PM   #12
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Oooh that program sounds sweet! Ill get ot now hehe. I also meed to consoder a external hdd... lol those raw original files are gettimg bigg!!
04-16-2013, 07:35 AM   #13
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Data protection is paramount. At least two unconnected HDDs are necessary. I have two clones in my computer and have just installed a NAS backup system with two cloned drives. Paranoia pays.

The 55-300 is a great versatile lens and I fully agree with getting an old M50 f/2 - these are underrated and very inexpensive.

You sound like someone who should investigate the super-wide lenses as well. Take your time, though there are some great choices but none are cheap.
04-16-2013, 08:03 AM - 1 Like   #14
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We are so good at helping people spend money.

If you have the 18-135, it will do until you get a Tammy 17-50, in the wide end. The 18-135 is strong enough in the wide end, but maybe not fast enough, but that can wait.
If I were you, I'd look at a Tamron 90 macro. Half the cost of 100 macro if you're on a budget. I picked mine up for $250 second hand.
The again, trying to maximize value while taking care of your wallet, the 35 2.4 is a no brainer as is the DA 50 1.8.

That's 3 great lenses including one of the best Macro lenses you can buy for $900 new.

After that, everything is a lot more money. But that's a great working kit.
The continuation of that list would be
Sigma 8-16 (scratch this off the list if you don't do Ultra Wide, the 18mm on the 18-135 is good for most people.)
DA 21
DA 70
And then your choice of telephoto, 200 or 300mm, depending on your shooting preference. People say the 135 isn't long enough, but 135 is the equivalent of 200mm FF. It's plenty long enough for most people. If you have telephoto needs, the Pentax 55-300 seems to be the most recommended on the forum, but I use an old Sigma 70-300 for close in work and they can be had for $100 used. And of course my A-400 is my favourite lens at the moment, but that's getting all esoteric.
04-16-2013, 10:40 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
We are so good at helping people spend money.
Vicarious consumerism
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