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07-23-2013, 03:57 PM   #1
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New to Pentax

Hey guys and gals,

So I'm currently looking to purchase my digital camera, and of course, I'm heavily weighing towards a Pentax K-5ii and I'm looking for some recommendations. I do mostly portraits and a few engagement shots and up til now I've rented/borrowed gear since I haven't had the money. Mostly used a 5dii and a Sony A700. Finally though, I have about 1500-1800 to spend. I still have access to the 5dii, so I'm starting to kinda build my "budget pro" system on the side. Is the 18-135 WR a good buy and place to start here? Or should I ditch the kit and go different? I'd like to keep it under 1500 so I've browsed a Sigma 17-50 but I'm honestly kinda new in the Pentax department. I know a prime is the better call for what I'm doing, but I want to stick to a zoom lens in the first buy to give me some versatility while I learn the camera/leave my options open. Does anyone have any inputs/thoughts/suggestions?

Also....not sure if this is the right forum. Ha.

Cheers,

Steve

07-23-2013, 05:04 PM   #2
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The K-30 is quite reasonably priced at the moment. It is a killer camera, very similar to the K5II, worse battery (but good enough), plastic housing, no battery grip, but otherwise much the same. The K-30 with better lenses will out perform the K5II with cheaper lenses. Always start with better lenses.

The 18-135 is a great vacation lens, but I wouldn't use it for paid work. The aperture is really too small for great portraiture. It is center sharp, WR, and has great colors/contrast. The Sigma 17-70 gets great reviews. For a do-all zoom, many get great results from the Tamron or Sigma 17-50/2.8 lenses. Of course the primo portrait zoom is the 50-135, but that is a bit more expensive.

$500 K30 ($830 with the 18-135)
$1000 for the 50-135
$500 for the Tamron 17-50

Pick up the Tamron used for around $350, and you just squeak into your target expenditures.
07-23-2013, 05:04 PM   #3
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K-30 nuff said. :P
07-23-2013, 05:07 PM   #4
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I think you are posting in the correct location.

The lenses you mentioned are good lenses. Optically, the Sigma may be a bit better (at least that's what most members say). But both lenses cannot be considered to be "pro" standard.

If you start with only one lens the Pentax with its WR capabilities (making the K5/lens combo WR) and the range into full tele is the more complete package.

Personally, I would opt for the 18-135 WR, and save up for 1 or 2 primes. As a starter, you can get the SMC Pentax-A 1.7/50 for a fraction of the price of a new zoom.

07-23-2013, 05:24 PM   #5
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18-135 + k5

These were taken in the mist and rain.

Last edited by Tbone51; 06-17-2016 at 02:22 PM.
07-24-2013, 01:23 PM   #6
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Yeah, unless it's portraits in the rain and snow, I wouldn't do the 18-135. There's no disadvantage to manual focus on set portraits, either - you can find some great lenses in the M or A line. Then for freehanded stuff maybe splurge on a DA*55 or FA43?
07-24-2013, 02:03 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by s.wilding Quote
I do mostly portraits and a few engagement shots
Welcome, for this kind of work I would seriously consider primes, but hey I'm a tad bias on that front.
07-25-2013, 08:37 AM   #8
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I would go for the K30 and primes too. I have a K30, love it. put on my manual 50mm and it just can't be beat...

07-26-2013, 02:12 PM   #9
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I think prime Is better Than Zoom
07-26-2013, 09:04 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by s.wilding Quote
Hey guys and gals,

So I'm currently looking to purchase my digital camera, and of course, I'm heavily weighing towards a Pentax K-5ii and I'm looking for some recommendations. I do mostly portraits and a few engagement shots and up til now I've rented/borrowed gear since I haven't had the money. Mostly used a 5dii and a Sony A700. Finally though, I have about 1500-1800 to spend. I still have access to the 5dii, so I'm starting to kinda build my "budget pro" system on the side. Is the 18-135 WR a good buy and place to start here? Or should I ditch the kit and go different? I'd like to keep it under 1500 so I've browsed a Sigma 17-50 but I'm honestly kinda new in the Pentax department. I know a prime is the better call for what I'm doing, but I want to stick to a zoom lens in the first buy to give me some versatility while I learn the camera/leave my options open. Does anyone have any inputs/thoughts/suggestions?

Also....not sure if this is the right forum. Ha.

Cheers,

Steve
You didn't like the 5Dm2? if you did like it, try the 6D or the D600, for portrait work, I feel that FF is nicer, you get your critical sharpness with thiner DOF, and generally for non studio portrait it works to your advantage.

The A99 is a sick camera, but it's out of your budget, one of the best combo I know is a sony FF with the zeiss 135 1.8, I haven't seen another combo that's definitely better than that.
07-27-2013, 11:36 AM   #11
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Oh I do realize that FF is better for my long term goals, but It's simply way out of my price range. I have the dilemma of *wait 2-5 years with NO camera and save for a FF* or get a CMOS right now and at least get my foot in the door/practice/some paid work and upgrade when the necessity arrives. Also, I am also very set on getting primes. a 50, 85, and 35 will be my next purchases, but I just can't afford it out of the door. My debate was sticking to Kit or going Sigma/tamron just to get a functioning, somewhat decent lens to get started on. Thanks for all the responses though, I believe I've settled out how I'm gonna about this.
07-27-2013, 04:07 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by s.wilding Quote
Oh I do realize that FF is better for my long term goals, but It's simply way out of my price range. I have the dilemma of *wait 2-5 years with NO camera and save for a FF* or get a CMOS right now and at least get my foot in the door/practice/some paid work and upgrade when the necessity arrives. Also, I am also very set on getting primes. a 50, 85, and 35 will be my next purchases, but I just can't afford it out of the door. My debate was sticking to Kit or going Sigma/tamron just to get a functioning, somewhat decent lens to get started on. Thanks for all the responses though, I believe I've settled out how I'm gonna about this.
you did said that you have a canon 5Dm2, or atleast access to one.

Honestly if costs is an issue, I would go away from pentax, it's border line one of the most expensive system out there, it comes with certain things like weather sealing and great menu/adjustment, as well as nice camera size, but as an over all package, you can spend a tiny bit more and go FF on canon or nikon. At the same time, we have not heard a peep out of pentax about a FF camera in the near future, so you choice to upgrade is limited, you might be forever stuck on an APSC size sensor (not that it's a bad thing, but the bottom line is you don't have a choice if you ever decide to go FF with pentax).

The canon 6D + 24-105L is around 2000
the Nikon D600 + 24-80 VR is around 1800.
They also have good prime, such as 35mm/50mm/85mm/135mm/200mm ect... all in production that you can get for relatively close to what pentax is offering.

If you really want IS on those prime, sony has the answer.
the A900 is about 1200 USD.
sony has good prime from it's minolta days, and it's also partner with zeiss, the 85 1.4 and 135 1.8 from zeiss has got to be up there with the highest rank prime in that FL.

however the menu/adjustment on the A900 is not as good as pentax.
07-27-2013, 05:26 PM   #13
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Nikon = $2400
Canon = $2600

FF either of these guys is still significantly more than the $1119 of a K-5ii. And from what I've seen/been reading. They're both actually not much better than a K-5ii at all. As far as upgrade.....the jump from APS-C to FF one day means a rework of gear anyways...so it's gonna happen when it can, not the end of world. Besides, having a camera built like a tank with great low light performance would make a great backup kit one day when I can afford to move up to FF. Just not practical right now.
07-27-2013, 08:57 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by s.wilding Quote
Nikon = $2400
Canon = $2600

FF either of these guys is still significantly more than the $1119 of a K-5ii. And from what I've seen/been reading. They're both actually not much better than a K-5ii at all. As far as upgrade.....the jump from APS-C to FF one day means a rework of gear anyways...so it's gonna happen when it can, not the end of world. Besides, having a camera built like a tank with great low light performance would make a great backup kit one day when I can afford to move up to FF. Just not practical right now.

nope, both body is floating around 1500 right now.

I'm talking about the 6D and the D600, not the 5Dm3 and the D800. I've been watching the market like a hawk because i just moved to FF recently on my sony system and was pondering the idea of switching system since canon/nikon FF is potentially cheap (the A99 on sony is closer to 2200).

and as far as the K-5ii VS the D600, even though the D600 is a consumer FF body, it's still good, it's like a D7000 with a FF sensor, the IQ is very good. you'll miss IS on prime, and weather sealing, but the AF is better, and better DR as well as high iso
07-27-2013, 10:12 PM   #15
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Amazon.com: Canon EOS 6D 20.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD and EF24-105mm IS Lens Kit: CANON: Camera & Photo

Amazon.com: Nikon D600 24.3 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera with 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR AF-S Nikkor Lens: NIKON: Electronics

I've seen them go on sale randomly, but these the averages in around here, including B&H. I would love a FF, but the price is too far considering I have tuition to pay still. I need something now to get my own kit and get a foot in the door. I've seen great success still in APS-C, especially when still new and ironing out the profit side of photography, if/when the day comes where i'm doing full fledged weddings 15+ a year, then a FF would fit the budget, but for now....that's an extra $1500 I can save and spend on some pretty decent primes.
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