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04-26-2013, 11:46 AM   #1
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Starting with Pentax (lens question)


I've been an amateur Nikon photographer and am looking to get back into 'the game'.
I've always liked the feel of Pentax camera's and am sure they're a mighty bit of kit so I'm looking into getting either a K5 II or K30.

I mostly do nature and architecture shots (on an amateur level) but want to take the occational snapshot of my little boy as well...

Here are a few combo's I've come up with, based on a Dutch retailer. Which should be best in the long run? I know that kitlenses on my Nikon where a bit sh*t so I'm not sure?

K5 II + SMC-DA 18-55 AL WR (kit): 889
K5 II + SMC-DA 18-55 AL WR + 50-200mm WR (kit): 1049
K5 II + SMC-DA 18-135mm ED AL DC WR (kit): 1139
K5 II + Sigma 17-50 f2.8 ex dc: 1394 (which is a bit steep for me)
K5 II + Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro C HSM: 1294 (also on the higher side)
K5 II + Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Asph: 1144 (no image stabilisation, not sure if i need it?)

K30 + Sigma 17-50 f2.8 ex dc: 1116
K30 + Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro C HSM: 1016
K30 + Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Asph 866

So many options Maybe even something else?
Basicaly I'm willing to spend around 1200 for a package.

All tips are welcome!

04-26-2013, 12:09 PM   #2
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Welkom aan boord.

You do NOT need image stabilization in the lens, all Pentax dSLRs have in-camera shake reduction. That means that all lenses, even older lenses from the film era, are stabilized. It saves a LOT of money not repaying for the mechaqnicals built into the lenses like with Canon and Nikon.

Of the lenses you mention the only one that is weather resistant is the DA18-135 which might be useful if you are out in the weather regularly.

The lens review section here is your friend:
Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
04-26-2013, 12:20 PM   #3
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WR isn't a requierment for me actualy.

The 18-135 might be a better pick?
I was tempted by the Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Asph due to the fact that it's 2.8 and fairly cheap, same goes for the Tamron AF SP 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Asf. IF.

The 18-135 obviously has the biggest range...

04-26-2013, 12:41 PM   #4
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I've got the 18-135 WR and the Tamron 17-50mm. I personally like the Tamron better for the IQ and the speed. If it wasn't for the WR and the long zoom I wouldn't have got the 18-135. Much of the cost is the WR feature. Also keep in mind that the Tamron has a louder AF due to it not having a sonic motor built in like the 18-135 WR.

04-26-2013, 12:46 PM   #5

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> K5 II + SMC-DA 18-135mm ED AL DC WR (kit): 1139 €

All of my jelly.
04-26-2013, 12:48 PM   #6
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That's two votes for the 18-135

The zoom might be handy as my GF likes to take portraits (which I don't)
04-26-2013, 12:55 PM   #7
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Some things to keep in mind. The 18-135 WR is the only lens on your list that doesn't have a focus distance scale on it. Also the 18-135 WR has a stiffer focusing ring than most zoom lenses I've used.
04-26-2013, 01:19 PM   #8
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Either the K-5 and 18-135 or the K-5 and the 17-50 Tamron(28-75 is also quite nice, covers a more usable range imo)

04-26-2013, 02:14 PM   #9
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K5II + one the the Tamys

K5 II + Tamron AF (17-50 or 28-75)

I have the K30 (and love it) with both of the tamrons you mentioned. The lenses are the sharpest in your bunch. Matched with the K-5 IIs, your eyes may bleed. Id say the K5 II of the K30, more so due to the extra dynamic range, faster shutter, and port expandability. I have no complaints with my K30, but the decision with the body i would select would come down to how long i plan to keep it.

If you go for the K30, with the extra $$ you save you can get a F1.7 or F1.4.
04-26-2013, 02:35 PM   #10
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I wasn't advocating for the 18-135, I do like mine and use it a lot, just pointing out that its the only one that complements the WR nature of the cameras you are considering.
04-26-2013, 03:11 PM   #11

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Either the Pentax DA18-135 or 17-70/4 would be good (I had the latter).

One of the Tamron f/2.8 zoom lenses (17-50 or 28-75) is a good choice too.

Even though the DA18-135 is pretty good, you'd be better off with one of the above shorter zooms plus the DA55-300 (any variant) or the older F70-210/4-5.6.

Get the cheapest body you can plus the above 2 lenses. This probably means a K-30 or used K-r or K-x.

In the near future, seriously consider adding these affordable, high quality lenses:
Pentax M or A100/2.8 (takes great portraits)
Cosina 100/3.5 Macro (AF or MF available)
Pentax M or A50/1.7
Pentax DA35/2.4

And if you need wider angle, add the more expensive (but very good) Sigma 8-16. Don't even consider a more expensive body until you've got at least a kit like this (and you won't want one, because the lenses will be giving you all the image quality you need). Don't forget, the K-30, K-r and K-x are the best value DSLRs on the market (from any manufacturer).

Last edited by DSims; 04-26-2013 at 03:32 PM.
04-27-2013, 12:45 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by twostroke Quote
either a K5 II
Also have a look at the K-5 IIs for all the extra that is costs, you may kick yourself later if you don't consider it now.
04-30-2013, 07:50 AM   #13
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Hmm, if you want to do nature, architecture and photo's of your kids then I wonder if the 18-135 is going to be just not quite good enough for any of those, and result in you not being quite happy and buying more lenses in a few months? Maybe OK for architecture, maybe not quite long enough for nature and maybe not fast enough for kiddy portraits which may often be inside.

Maybe the DA 55-300 would be a good bet for the nature side and is fairly low cost, and then a couple of primes such as a 15 for architecture and a 35 or 50 for general use, kiddy snaps etc? Could look at the old M or A lenses as well for the primes. Tamron 28-75 is a good general lens for out and about and quite fast so good for days out with kids I find.
04-30-2013, 10:22 AM   #14
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I like the 18-135mm for my main lens, I can take it anywhere in any conditions and it has a wide enough zoom range for just about anything short of nature pics or spectator sports. For the price, I cannot name another lens that comes close. Tamron 28-75 is a good lens, but it's not WR and it covers only 36% of the zoom range than the 18-135mm does. Yes, of course it's going to be better optically, that's what you're paying for with that lens. With the 18-135mm you're paying for a vastly larger range and WR. Apple, meet orange. If you want to cover the whole 18-135 range with Tamron then you're going to need multiple lenses and then you're paying much more.

For shooting our 2 year old son, I either use the 18-135mm or a Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7 which you can pick up pretty inexpensively. If it's indoors in low light and I'm using the 18-135 I can use the flash if I need to.
04-30-2013, 07:29 PM   #15
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Of your choices I would go for the K30 + Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Asph 866. This give you room to get something long, or some manual focus primes. The K-30 has focus peaking in live view, put that on a tripod and manual focusing is easy and accurate. Possibly even a used DA55-300 for nature shooting. But the K-30 and DA18-135 is a killer combo.

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