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01-30-2014, 10:57 PM   #1
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new guy looking for start up advise

Hi there. I have always liked pentax for there glass as I started using pentax as a hunter - scopes and binos..... Anyway I have always had poor photos in low light over the past 15 years using point and shoots. I have started my dslr pentax experience with a k50- 18-55wr. I can't afford the 55-300wr yet and was wondering if the pentax x-5 would be a good holiday camera or even a back up camera as it has a 26x super zoom that I understand to be equivalent to a 55m? Would this be a good idea if I can find a used x-5 ?

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01-30-2014, 10:59 PM   #2
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I think that an 18-135 wr lens might be the better choice. You'll get better pictures & still have the wr of your camera/lens.
01-30-2014, 11:16 PM   #3
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Unless you can get an X-5 for next to nothing ($20 or less), save the money towards the DA55-300WR. Your K50 plus DA18-55WR already make a decent holiday kit, or to rephrase, it would make it for me.
01-30-2014, 11:22 PM   #4
hcc
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The K-50 will give you good performances in low light and the DA18-55WR is a good start. It is regarded as one of the better kit lens across all brands.

I may suggest to start using the DA18-55mm. Then you can decide if you need a longer lens. You will have a number of options, incl. 2 lenses (eg 18-55mm and 55-300mm) or a single all-around lens. For travel, I would recommend strongly a single all-around lens, based upon my own experience.

If you are after a longer all-around lens, there are several options, including:
* DA18-135 mm WR - An excellent choice in my opinion; light, compact and WR (I value all these when I travel)
* DA18-270mm - A bit expensive and non WR
* Sigma 18-250mm - A bit heavy and non WR
* DA18-250mm - No longer manufactured, it can be found 2nd hand and it is still an excellent lens (a good all around lens well regarded across all brands)

Personally, I have both DA18-135mm and DA18-250mm. I find the Sigma 18-250mm too heavy for travelling, and the DA18-270mm too expensive.

To sum up, I suggest to use your DA18-55mm first. Once you are confident that you need a longer all-around lens, consider the above based upon your needs.

I hope that the comments may help.


Last edited by hcc; 01-30-2014 at 11:53 PM.
01-31-2014, 12:37 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
The K-50 will give you good performances in low light and the DA18-55WR is a good start. It is regarded as one of the better kit lens across all brands.

I may suggest to start using the DA18-55mm. Then you can decide if you need a longer lens. You will have a number of options, incl. 2 lenses (eg 18-55mm and 55-300mm) or a single all-around lens. For travel, I would recommend strongly a single all-around lens, based upon my own experience.

If you are after a longer all-around lens, there are several options, including:
* DA18-135 mm WR - An excellent choice in my opinion; light, compact and WR (I value all these when I travel)
* DA18-270mm - A bit expensive and non WR
* Sigma 18-250mm - A bit heavy and non WR
* DA18-250mm - No longer manufactured, it can be found 2nd hand and it is still an excellent lens (a good all around lens well regarded across all brands)

Personally, I have both DA18-135mm and DA18-250mm. I find the Sigma 18-250mm too heavy for travelling, and the DA18-270mm too expensive.

To sum up, I suggest to use your DA18-55mm first. Once you are confident that you need a longer all-around lens, consider the above based upon your needs.

I hope that the comments may help.
i know i want more reach as last time my family was on vacation I borrowed a sony something or other that had a 26x zoom. I realize I can crop to gain the distance but we are an active family and hike ect. when in the mountains i like landscape photos and as a dad i have to take a billion photos of the kids. I think its just a meter of time before I get the new 55-300 wr at $450.. but right now I think ill be in the mountains with the 18-55 and my point and shoot water (submersible) drop proof, kid proof cammers as a back up as now the kids like taking photos. Las trip the cheep Sony worked good in a well lit baseball field but in dark situations it was - well dark. This is the reason I spent the money getting me into the k-50.

I have not been able to find a X-5 for $20 either. I have found a used 18-200 sigma for $225 at the only camera shop in my area ( Saskatchewan Canada). Should in get the used lens for now and then sell it when I have the $450 for the 55-300wr?

Thx nort
01-31-2014, 01:18 AM   #6
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Should point out that "26x" doesn't actually mean anything in photographic terms. It's not equivalent to any focal length or magnification. It's marketing speak for a lot of zoom range from wide to narrow. It just means the lens starts at a focal length of 4mm and extends (26x) to 104mm.

All that really tells you is the sensor is very small when compared with your K-50 because the lens has such a huge zoom range in such a small size.
Your 18-55 would be a "3x" lens. A 300mm prime lens would be a "1x" lens. However you see the (1x) 300mm lens gets you a lot closer to a distant subject than the (3x) 18-55 lens.

So, in summary, best forgotten about...
01-31-2014, 02:36 AM   #7
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If you don't need WR you can save some money by getting the original version - perhaps you have enough saved up already? A quick google search brought up this:

Used Pentax SMCP-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Autofocus Lens 21720 B&H

No problem shipping to SK for a reasonable cost either, I noticed (as long as you can wait a few days). This would be a much better choice than the Sigma 18-200, I think.


EDIT: I got curious, so I noticed B&H has a few other interesting used lenses, including another 55-300, a cheaper DA L 55-300, and a DA18-270.

Last edited by DSims; 01-31-2014 at 02:55 AM.
01-31-2014, 04:51 AM   #8
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If you are looking for a back up and. A light weight long option, get a Q, with the K mount adaptor

Yes it will set you back a little, but your kit lens becomes equal to a 300mm lens because the Q has a crop factor of 5.6

01-31-2014, 05:08 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by nort Quote
I realize I can crop to gain the distance
You can't crop unlimited To make up for the difference between 55 and 300, you will end up with something like a 1 MP image; that's not why you bought a K50.

I still think that you're better off saving the money and enjoy what a 18-55 can give you, but you think differently.
01-31-2014, 06:27 AM   #10
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Watch for a used DAL 55-300 or DA 55-300. They're like $200 and $300 on the used market. Be patient.

If you want a second camera, make it something which isn't a step down, but a step sideways. A WG series pocket cam, nice and rugged. An MX-1, retro pocket-sized.
Or a Q, for the fun of it. Watch Woot.com for these cameras, they show up cheap.

But trying to replace your K50 with an X5 - don't. Just save the money for the best affordable long zoom - 55-300. You'll be glad you did. The DAL is good, but you'll need to buy a lens hood separately.
01-31-2014, 11:28 AM   #11
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One more comment, if you are really after low light, a manual focus prime like an M50/1.4 will offer substantially better low light performance for very little money. The focus peaking of the K-50 makes manual focus easy, and it's fun, too.
02-01-2014, 04:24 AM   #12
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I suggest a 18-135 lens. WR and it can use the APSC sensor which gives very good IQ.
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