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12-01-2013, 08:53 PM   #1
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K3 or DA* 50-135

Hi all,

I'm taking the family to Vietnam and Malaysia for 3 weeks over Christmas and into the new year and am considering a long overdue upgrade.

My kit is outlined below and my question is really targeted at someone who has moved from K5 to K3.

I expect there will be a lot of walking, buses, trains, etc and am considering either the K3 or DA* 50-135. In the long term would like both but the Treasurer is not playing the game I'd like right now. I can comfortably walk around all day with the 16-50 attached and rarely use a neck strap. With the 70-200 attached, fatigue does become an issue but I really like the image quality from the K5/Sigma combo.

My options are:

1) Replace K5 with K3 for better video control and increased resolution. I don't do as much video as I would like with the K3 partly because it is not flexible enough. Would also mean I could put my non-WR 18-55 or DA35 on the K5 for my wife/daughter to use.
2) Replace non-WR Sigma 70-200 with DA* 50-135. As well as having WR, it would seem from reviews that I will not be going backwards in terms of image quality from the Sigma to the Pentax. I would lose the reach, but I won't really know until I hit the ground if that will be a real issue. I will probably take the 70-200 and leave it in the apartment unless I get stuck and think I will need it.
3) I guess a 3rd option might be to simply get a couple of primes - perhaps a 70 or 77, and take a chance on not needing the extra reach.

I'm not a huge fan of using flash so ISO is important - this may be due to the questionable flash performance of the K5/AF-540 combo. This seems to be much improved in the K3?? I have read mixed reviews regarding which of the K3 or K5 has better ISO performance.

Any and all comments or advice would be appreciated.

Cheers,
Darren.

12-01-2013, 09:04 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Buy a DA 18-135 WR and enjoy your holiday I've done a fair bit of overseas travelling with my K-5, and find I enjoy my trip more, and my family does too, if I keep it real simple and stick with that lens. I have an RX100 to slip in my pocket when we go out for dinner at night. I have a lot of really nice lenses, including a 50-135, that get left at home.
Thanks for the quick response. Your solution is simple, and I think we often over-complicate this photography thing!!!
So the 18-135 is good?
12-02-2013, 01:37 AM   #3
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I have the Sigma 70-200 and the Pentax 50-135. The Sigma with its faster autofocus is much better for sports/action shots, but it is a big and heavy beast to carry around all day. I wouldn't take it on holiday unless I had a specific use for it. The Pentax has better image quality and is much smaller and lighter, and easier to carry around all day. The autofocus is slow, but in a holiday situation that's not likely to be a big issue. If you want some extra reach, take a 1.5 teleconverter along. Small and light enough to just slip in your pocket, and will take you up to the 200 length of the Sigma.
But I would have to agree - an 18-135 would seem to be the most convenient. At the end of the day, do you want better IQ or more convenience
12-02-2013, 02:53 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by percy Quote
I have the Sigma 70-200 and the Pentax 50-135. The Sigma with its faster autofocus is much better for sports/action shots, but it is a big and heavy beast to carry around all day. I wouldn't take it on holiday unless I had a specific use for it. The Pentax has better image quality and is much smaller and lighter, and easier to carry around all day. The autofocus is slow, but in a holiday situation that's not likely to be a big issue. If you want some extra reach, take a 1.5 teleconverter along. Small and light enough to just slip in your pocket, and will take you up to the 200 length of the Sigma.
But I would have to agree - an 18-135 would seem to be the most convenient. At the end of the day, do you want better IQ or more convenience
Thanks for the reply. IQ is important to me. I hadn't thought about the TC option and have never used one - not sure if there is a learning curve? Perhaps the 50-135 + 1.5 TC might be an option. Thanks again.

12-02-2013, 04:07 AM   #5
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Get a lens. The K-3 is fine for early adopters, I would love one, but it is new and will be cheaper with more refined firmware in about a year. And be honest, wouldn't it be cool to have your K-5 as a backup camera in a year's time?

I have just started using my new 18-135 WR and I am most impressed, above all with it's quietness when focussing. When I am grabbing candids and street shots, no-one seems to be aware of it. The 50-135 is a lovely looking lens, but it has a shorter range, and is much more expensive. Using the 18-135 I can see very few occasions when you would need to swap lenses in the damp and humid environment I would anticipate you might encounter in Malaysia or Vietnam.
12-02-2013, 11:12 AM   #6
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The 18-135 is a nearly perfect 'vacation lens,' IMO. It won't take the pictures the DA* series can, but it's wonderful with from dawn to dusk overall. I've taken numerous shots with it that are definite 'postcard candidates.'
We've got a Tamron 24-75 f2.8 along with a fast 50 and a few others, but the 18-135 is a great 'do almost all' for vacation type pics, even OK at some amount of action shooting.
We all have different definitions of 'good enough,' so you may want to take a look through shots posted by others with the lens, but so far, this is the one that stays on our K5 better than 50% of the time, and always for 'random trips' and vacation.
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