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01-31-2014, 11:15 PM   #1
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Advice about my first lens for new K-5 IIs only $200 left in my budget

Hi everyone,

I made a post a while back on here and got some fantastic advice. As a result I ordered myself the K-5 IIs, body only, and while I am waiting for it to arrive I am trying to select a lens. I cannot imagine the frustration of having the body arrive but not having a lens to use with it -so I am tryng to make a quick decision about which lens to buy (so they arrive at almost the same time), however I have basically zero knowledge on lenes -so I am hoping for some help.

I listed some of the things I wanted to do with the camera in my first post and got to some really great sugestions for lenses- however, my budget is now limited to a maximum of $200 AUD.

My thoughts on the subject so far:
  • I can probably only afford one?
  • a zoom might be a good place to start
  • it doesn't have to be weather sealed, it would be good but it is not a must
  • I just need something to get me started - probably a walk around for taking pics around the city or on the beach
  • The advice around here seems to be spend your money on lenses - not the body when you are first starting out- but I didn't want to pass up the deal I got on the body, now I feel stuck with such a limited budget for a lens.
  • I am happy to consider third party lenses and second hand
Someone I know suggested the Tamron AF 18-200mm Di II F/3.5-6.3 A14P For Pentax- but I have no idea about this lens.

I would love some help on this, as I am trying to do my own research on this forum, the web and I even went and got a book - but the volume of information is just overwhelming me!

Thanks !



Last edited by yas_min; 01-31-2014 at 11:35 PM. Reason: extra information
01-31-2014, 11:37 PM   #2
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First Lens?

Hello yas_min, Welcome to the Forum!
I took a look at your first post and saw that most replies suggested the DA 18-135mm, which fits well (except for low-light), but costs (new) $500 USD.
For $200 USD new, my recommendation would be this one;
Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL WR Zoom Lens 21880 B&H Photo
Although it's not quite as sharp as the 18-135mm (and half the range) it is a good 'kit' zoom, a useful focal range, same f/stop range as the 18-135, so it's no 'slower' (and also no faster!) and is W/R. Used properly, it can provide clean, sharp images in the wide-angle to middle ranges, but not true telephoto range. If you later need a faster lens for indoor or stage work, a Sigma or Tamron f/2.8 zoom would be a fine upgrade. In the meantime, the kit lens will get you going and won't break the budget.
JMO, good luck,
Ron
01-31-2014, 11:37 PM   #3
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Congrats on your new camera and for joining the Pentax club!

You might be able to find a DAL 50 f1/1.8 or DAL 35 f/2.4 in that price range, both of which are very good lenses for the price, the only catch, they are prime/fixed focal length lenses. If it were me, I'd personally go for one of those; small, light, good image quality, and pretty quick aperture. If you're used to a camera with a zoom lens, it would probably be a little awkward at first, but a fast prime really changes your photography experience, you'll have to think what you want in your frame and what you don't and move yourself, not the lens zoom ring, to get the shot you want.

SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8 Reviews - DA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database\
https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-DA-L-35mm-F2.4-AL.html

If you're really iffy about getting a prime and don't want to sacrifice the versatility of a zoom, the DA 18-55 WR could make a nice weather-sealed partner for your K-5 IIS. Optically, it isn't amazing, but not a bad buy...
SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8 Reviews - DA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

I personally haven't owned the Tamron 18-200 you speak of, so... I'm just throwing in the suggestions of the above three lenses, all of which I feel and good and reasonably-priced starter lenses.
01-31-2014, 11:47 PM   #4
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The 18-200 is a decent lens with IQ pretty similar to the 18-55 kit lens.
It was my vacation lens for a while and I got some decent shots with it.
Here is a set of my shots with that lens from when I was first starting out.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/51782137@N04/sets/72157625979270623/
There are better lenses out there but for the money it will give you a lot of focal range.
If you can get it used at a good price you won't lose much if you decide to sell it later.
I say go for it.

01-31-2014, 11:54 PM   #5
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DA18-55mm for a start. It is cheap and it a reasonably well-liked kit lens. After some times, look at the EXIF of your shots and check the focal lengths. This will tell you if you shoot mostly at 18 mm (wide angle), 25-30mm or 45-55mm. It may help you to choose later further lenses.

Then you can consider some older MF prime lenses. Pentax is very well know for outstanding prime lenses from 15mm (DA15mm Ltd) to 100 mm (DFA 100 mm), and even longer. The Pentax backward compatibility allows you to use older lenses and there are great bargains for older prime lenses.

My 5 cents...
02-01-2014, 12:11 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by yas_min Quote
Hi everyone,

I would love some help on this, as I am trying to do my own research on this forum, the web and I even went and got a book - but the volume of information is just overwhelming me!

Thanks !
Find a little more money and get this used lens Tamron 28-75 . This one as described from KEH would be like new. There is no compromise in image quality and you'll have it forever. Mine is from 2007 and I still use it for events a lot. It was the first lens I bought. It will work on full frame, give you a great portrait lens and almost a macro with 12" minimum focus.

Last edited by Brooke Meyer; 12-03-2014 at 09:18 PM.
02-01-2014, 12:19 AM   #7
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My first kit upgrade , years ago, was Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 DC Macro ( non HSM) , now have two of them and took well over 40,000 photos with them.
The best walk around and travel companion lens, and very well build.
17mm is very useful while walking through old cities with narrow streets , landscapes and indoors.
2.8 is very convenient for lowlight and indoors.
you can get them used in good condition for ~ AU$200 or just under
02-01-2014, 12:20 AM   #8
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Have you thought about hitting eBay?

Here's a list of what I've bought (& paid) recently:

*Sigma 28-105 f2.8-4.0 $62.05 (review rating: 6.82)
*Promaster 28-105 f4.0-5.6 $26.56 (8.83)
*SMC Pentax FA 28-80 f3.5-4.7 $6.88 (5.33)
*DA 35 f2.4 $124.50 (9.10)
*SMC Pentax F 35-80 $27.50 (6.04)
*SMC Pentax 80-200 $27.50 (7.86)

That's a total of $275 for 6 lenses. Oh, and another $20 for a Tamron 28mm all manual lens. Almost forgot that one!

Compare the average ratings above to the kit lens average of 7.68. So, the lenses I've bought are not really much better or worse than the kit. And some of them were truly bargain priced.


Last edited by dansamy; 02-01-2014 at 12:39 AM.
02-01-2014, 12:27 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by yas_min Quote
I can probably only afford one?
a zoom might be a good place to start
It seems like many suggestions are modern lenses. I would suggest you to have a try on very old lenses. With $200 you can get whole bunch of manual lenses, various focal length to try out and experiment with.

I personally have bought a 28mm, 50mm and 135mm (classic primes combo) under $80.
02-01-2014, 12:28 AM   #10
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yas_min lives in Australia
02-01-2014, 12:36 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by i_trax Quote
yas_min lives in Australia
Don't they have an Australian eBay site? Might have to be patient, but there are still deals to be had.
02-01-2014, 01:11 AM   #12
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yes we do have ebay.com.au but right now can not see anything useful for jas_min for under AU$200
KEH and B&H out of the question now with our dollar diving under US90c and expensive postage
02-01-2014, 02:20 AM   #13
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If I could only have one lens for this price it would be the FA28-105/3.2-4.5. In fact it's attached to my K-5 right now.

If you get an 18-55 don't spend too much money on it. There are plenty of people willing to get rid of their used ones, so you can often get one for about US$50 or less, especially if it's a DA L version.

Other good lenses here are the A24-50/4, F24-50/4 (if you can find it), F70-210/4-5.6 (or the Takumar F version which is only about half the price of the Pentax F), M or A 50/1.7, M or A 100/2.8 (non-macro).


I paid just under US$200 for both the F24-50/4 and Takumar F70-210/4-5.6. This would be my favorite combo for the price. Then I'd add one each of the 50 and 100mm lenses I mentioned as soon as I could.

I know sometimes even used prices can be a bit higher in AUS - beyond just the difference in the exchange rate. And your selection will be worse. But hopefully you can find something good here.

If all else fails, get a DA35/2.4 to get you going. No zoom, but a great lens.


While I think you spent too much on the body relative to the lens(es), it's a really nice camera - I think you're going to like it! As long as you can keep slowly adding a few lenses over the coming months you'll be OK.
02-01-2014, 04:21 AM   #14
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If comfortable with lens changes try a couple used primes like suggested. I have a 18-55 and appreciate the flexibility but do long for a quicker sharper lens like a prime with 2.8 or better, but saving for a good telephoto zoom myself.
02-01-2014, 04:58 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob O Quote
If comfortable with lens changes try a couple used primes like suggested. I have a 18-55 and appreciate the flexibility but do long for a quicker sharper lens like a prime with 2.8 or better, but saving for a good telephoto zoom myself.
I would pitch in with looking for a used Tamron 17-50 f2.8 - an very solid lens, in the UK used prices are around £200, a bit cheaper than the 28-75 or Sigma 17-70 mentioned. Also the DA16-45 F4 is a lovely performer and again used should be within budget. A little later add the DA50F1.8 (which is available new in the UK for £110) and you have a very workable set up
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