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03-02-2014, 08:08 PM   #1
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Buying my first Pentax camera soon - details inside!

Hi all,

This is my first time posting on this site! I'm a beginner-to-moderate DSLR user, and I am trying to come back from a hiatus of about two years since I used my DSLR (a Canon) for anything. I am going to try selling that old one and upgrading to a newer model for an upcoming trip to Europe. If you all could give your advice on the type of camera and lenses I should look for, I would be very grateful!

I'll provide as many specs/priorities for my new camera. I know Pentax is a great brand, and I have read what I can about the differences between the two, but if you could provide any more insight that would be great. Thanks in advance!

ME:

25/male
Left-handed
Experience: Moderate (I understand aperture/exposure/basic photography principles, but I lack experience!)

GOALS: I would like to take pictures of

General nature (since I'm traveling)
Wide-lens photography
Astrophotography
Personal photos

CAMERA SPECS:

Manual controls, but wouldn't mind automatic/P&S options
LIGHTWEIGHT - I want to take this thing everywhere! *This includes lens weight*
Durable

Thoughts on lenses, camera, etc.? I can provide more details if that helps. I'm mostly looking for personal stories/experiences with your own camera, that may or may not affect my purchasing decision. Thanks again!

03-02-2014, 09:23 PM   #2
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Well, I think Pentax is always a good choice, often not considered by most people. A nice thing (I think) with Pentax is that there are only a few bodies to choose from, no non-sense, like others makes with very few difference between similar cameras.

Now, with the new ones
I'll start with the K3, it's the best of the best in APSC right now (pentax wise at the very least) It is still fairly expensive and will be heavier than the "lesser" bodies. But it's tough and a pleasure to handle. WR (weather resistant)
The K50 comes next, still give you a lot of controls (a lot) it is not too expensive and will generate nice pictures. It's pretty durable but it is made of plastic, but it doesn't feel cheap in any way. It is also WR.
The K500 comes last. Identical in almost every way to the K50 minus a focus confirmation red square thingy in the viewfinder and the body is not WR. But it is very inexpensive.

I'll breeze thru the older bodies because there are so many options... K5, K5II in prosumer. K30, Kr in entry level. Anything older than that might be a bit too old, not bad, but getting old. Consider the K10D, K7, Kr if you're on a very tight budget.

I would go for a K50 if I were to buy my first Pentax at the moment, the K3 is still on the expensive side IMO.

For the lenses, asides from the DA* and the super long tele, every Pentax lens is pretty compact and lightweight you can't really go wrong with any. Which one to get is a whole story in itself. Everyone will have their idea of what is best to get. There are a few question you will need to ask yourself: Do you prefer primes or zooms? Do you mind changing lenses often? How many are you planning on getting? How much money are you willing to put towards glass?

A very good, compact, light and decent lens is the DA 18-135 WR, not the fastest or the sharpest but one lens, many uses. Sigma makes some nice entry-level/mid-level lenses, the 18-200 for example. But they tend to be heavier and lack WR.

When I got back into photography, I got a Kr and the kit 18-55, a DA50 and a Sigma 18-200 (and a bunch of K and A lenses). I still own all of them, the kit lens doesn't get much use anymore but the rest I use frequently. Depending on what I do, my kit will vary. Going for a long hike with steep inclines? Kr+18-200; Landscapes, K5+sig 17-70; Studio portrait K5+sig 35 or DA50 and Kr+DA*50-135; Street photography K5 or Kr+DA50mm; Going at the dog park Kr+Quant 28-90; Soccer game K5+50-200; Macro K5+TC+A50 and Kr+TC+DA*50-135. I'm slowly getting prime lenses but more often than not, I'd rather carry one lens than a bag full of them. Unless of course I'm going out TO TAKE pictures, in which case I need a truck to haul my gear.

I don't think you can really go wrong. Even the cheapest body give you a lot of control and have a very nice build quality. Pentax is very consistent with the UI on their camera and they don't voluntarily cripple a body only to incite people to buy a more expensive one.

Read the reviews, check to forums for some pictures, check the lens clubs for deciding what you want. And always feel free to ask, PF is full of nice people very knowledgeable of their gear!
03-02-2014, 11:14 PM   #3
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Which body doesn't matter too much. You can get whichever matches your price. The drawback with the K-500 is it doesn't have a focus-point indicator in the viewfinder, which I like to have. It also doesn't have WR, which often doesn't matter as much as commonly believed. It will take nice photos. K-30 and K-50 are both very good as well. Don't spend too much on the body until you've spent several times its price on lenses. You only need a better body if you have some more specialized applications or shooting scenarios (e.g. shooting certain sports).


I'm going to assume you don't want top-end lenses right now. Three that you should still plan for not too far down the road are the DA*50-135/2.8, FA77/1.8, and DA*55/1.4. Just pick one when the time comes.

In the meantime, other lenses can be relatively affordable, although wide angle is more expensive if you still want quality. They can run $400-650 or so. Consider buying used. This forum is a great place to do so - 90-95% chance of getting a good one (as opposed to eBay, where your odds of getting a good lens are more like only 2 out of 3).



Wide Angle: DA15 or Sigma 8-16. Since you're doing astrophotography, Samyang 14/2.8 (Manual Focus) is popular. Samyang 16/2 and upcoming 10/2.8 could be considered here too. Lesser wide angle lenses (like the Tamron 10-24 and Sigma 10-20s) don't have enough quality to be worth using, IMO. So your wide angle may have to cost you a little more.


DA18-55 is OK but not great; DA18-135 WR is better and may be all you need to start.


DA16-45 (or DA17-70 if you prefer) and DA55-300 (any version - can save money with the DA L) are a good kit. Add the DA35/2.4 and DA50/1.8. So far each lens (except the DA17-70) is around $200.


Eventually you can get better quality than the DA55-300 by getting the DA*50-135 and primes (if you want to go longer), but it's a great place to start.



EDIT: Also consider the O-GPS1 for astrophotography: Pentax O-GPS1 GPS Module 39012 B&H Photo Video

Last edited by DSims; 03-02-2014 at 11:32 PM.
03-02-2014, 11:44 PM   #4
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I don't think you could go far wrong with a K-50 and the DA18-135WR.

Add more specialised lenses as your needs become more developed.

03-03-2014, 12:03 AM   #5
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+1 to what Sandy said, but if you can find a K30 at an even better price because it's discontinued that's even better. If you buy the K50 in a bundle, resist dealer pressure to buy the 18-55 or the 50-200 - the 18-135 and the 55-300 are much better.

Plus a spare battery and a nice bag, and 2 memory cards.

After a couple of hundred shots with the 18-135 you can check your favourite focal length using Faststone Image Viewer, which is free, and then you will get a good idea of what lens(es) you will probably want some time in the future.
03-03-2014, 04:14 AM   #6
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No matter what camera/lens you need to have used it for some time, and be reasonably competent. If the trip is soon I think the camera you have is the one to use. If you have some time then you should get/use a camera/system that you expect to stay with.

I don't use/haven't used any other digital system than Pentax--likely they are all similar--except that:
(1) Pentax is unique in that it has a huge array of older lenses that work on every Pentax dslr--which may mean nothing now but could later on,
(2) Pentax and couple of other systems (but not Canon/Nikon) have in body shake reduction which makes it very cost effective and includes even shorter focal length lenses.
(3) A high priority is how comfortable is the camera body/controls--which means handle several prospective cameras.

Finally (no insult meant) if you really want to use the camera as a point and shoot--be up front with yourself about the features that really matter. A camera that is not with you (e.g., small and in your pocket if need be) cannot take a picture.
03-03-2014, 06:07 AM   #7
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New Gear?

Hello Kobalt, welcome to the Forum!
Since the trip is upcoming and you'll need some time to get used to the operating system, I'd suggest getting a new body and at least one lens soon. This way you'll have time to learn the controls, settings, handling and PP.
My recommendation for a body is a little different; The K-5IIs. Why? Well, first it's the outgoing flagship, not a mid-range body. Until October 2013, it was top-of-the-line, pretty much every feature and upgrade Pentax could make to the highly-regarded and well-proven K-5.
Some of the advancements made by the K-3 over the K-5 (series) may be more than what you need now. High FPS? Not too important for vacations, 2 card slots? Great if you're taking a thousand shots non-stop. 24mp? I haven't seen much difference (overall) from the 16mp of the K-5 in the samples posted here and that particular sensor is still very highly respected for its DR and I.Q.
This is certainly no knock against the K-3, it clearly appears to be the best DSLR on the market. But many of the upgrades are aimed at the advanced, semi-pro or professional market.
Last, the K-5IIs is going for about $ 700 USD (new) on closeout. The K-3 is still around $ 1,100- $ 1,200. That's $ 400 difference, or enough for a good zoom.
Bodies come and go. It's the glass that lasts forever, at least with Pentax. The K-5 (any) will have all the features and performance you will need for the next few years. By then, you'll have a much better idea of where you're going with photography and the next body choice will be much more clear.
Lenses? Well, I don't own one, but the 18-135mm seems be be well-regarded as a short super-zoom (or, long kit zoom!) and the high-ISO performance of the K-5 means that the slower max aperture of the lens won't be a problem. It's W/R, has the perfect focal range for 'one-lens' walkabout use and is affordable.
With that kit, you can start filling in favorite focal lengths by looking for manual Legacy glass. Maybe a prime wide-angle, a 200mm tele, a macro lens, etc.
Good luck!
Ron
03-03-2014, 06:21 AM   #8
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+1 for K-5 IIs and 18-135 package. It's pretty much water and dust proof under normal use and can go anywhere you go. And if you still have money to spend, get the DA 35 2.4 or 50 1.8 for low light and next the 15 ltd for wide angle, but if you just go with the 18-135 you'll do fine.

03-03-2014, 07:08 AM   #9
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A great starter lens set is the 18-135 and 55-300. That will get you running until you really figure out what kind of other photography you want to focus on - then you can look for specialty lenses and primes. These are still my two most used lenses, for good reason the zooms are very versatile. I've traveled on planes with just the K5 and 18-135 and have not regretted that decision. Having the WR is an added bit of insurance.

I would recommend you look for a nice sling-type strap. Not only is it more comfortable, but more secure as well. This is important when hiking AND while traveling.

As far as a camera goes, it's your budget. you can get used K5 or K5II series cameras for pretty cheap, but they do lack some features you'd get on the K50. The two wheels and top LCD are something I won't do without, though. I cut my teeth on fully manual cameras and I want to be able to control aperture and shutter quickly - TAv mode is an absolute and that top LCD makes checking your settings before shooting so much easier.
03-03-2014, 11:36 AM   #10
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Ok, so I went through the process of upgrading last year in anticipation of a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. 10 days, wife, 4 kids, wife's parents. I had a K200D, but we budgeted an upgrade to the K-5ii as part of the cost of the trip. So this was my kit at WDW, and I'll kind of review things as I list them.

1. Pentax K-5ii. What can be said about this that hasn't already been said? Great at near-dark/pitch-black levels. This was the perfect travel camera for me. I slapped the DA 40 on there, set the mode to Av to control dof, shot in JPEG cuz I knew I'd be shooting a lot. In fact, I shot 3,300 images. Yikes! One awesome thing: I bought a mini-usb to hdmi connector, and I believe the K-5ii comes with the mini-usb to rca connectors (or maybe I bought those too). At night, after the day in the park/s, as we cleaned up and were exhausted, I plugged the camera into the tv and began the slide show of the day's shots. It was a great way to relax without the distraction of the TV, and it was a great way to relive the moments of the day.

2. DA 18-135. Hated HATED this lens for several reasons. 1. It's freaking huge! 2. It's freaking heavy. 3. It's not sharp in most shooting circumstances. Even outside with ISO to 80 and aperture above 7 or 8, it was still not as sharp as the DA 40. 4. In the hot, humid environment of FL, we left the hotel around 8am (it was already quite warm and muggy), jumped on a cold, air-conditioned bus for a 30 min. ride to the park, got out, unzipped the bag with the 18-135 to snap shots as we enter the park, the darn thing would be fogged over. Switch to the DA 40, no fog, no problems. That 18-135 would take HOURS to defog. I don't know if it's all the glass and elements or what, but it was super-frustrating, especially for a $400 lens that is supposed to be WR. I sold the 18-135 as soon as we got home.

3. DA 40mm Ltd. LOVE this lens. This stayed on my camera 95% of the time for several reasons: 1. It's light. 2. It's super-compact. 3. It's sharp, much much much sharper than the 18-135 even using the exact same camera settings. Of course, it won't get as wide as the 18-135. But when I wanted something zoomed in, this lens was so sharp that I could zoom in during post-production. In fact, the 40mm zoomed in/cropped was much much much sharper than the 18-135 non/cropped.

4. Clik-Elite Probody Sport. I love, LOVE this bag. Comfortable straps, the waist strap really helps support the load. Integrated hydration bladder meant always having water and NOT paying $7 for a bottle of water. The bladder never sweated into the storage compartments. Plenty of room for my lenses, batteries, and sdhc cards. I had a local shoe repair shop sew daisy-chains to the shoulder straps. I used a Think Tank backpack camera mounts, and that was super-awesome: camera always right at my chest. I didn't have to have it in my hand all the time. It was evenly supported across both straps, so I never felt the weight of the camera, unlike a messenger bag or sling strap (both of which I have, and my neck begins to hurt after an hour).

5. Extra non-OEM battery that I purchased from China off ebay. This functioned great. Never let me down. Always charged both batteries at night. I didn't shoot too many videos, but when I did shoot video, the video really drained the batteries (both the Pentax OEM and this Chinese one).

6. Several hdsc cards, two 32gb cards.

So I go against the others here who automatically suggest the 18-135. For the price, I think there are better lenses. Maybe none are so flexible as the 18-135, but none so soft either. I recommend the DA 40mm Ltd. A few months ago, I added the F 35-70 and F 80-200 to my bag. These replaced the 18-135 as well as the "kit" 18-55 and 50-200. I found that I rarely shot wider than 35mm, or 40mm actually, and I really hated the shots at 18mm. These specific F lenses are nearly as sharp as the DA* lenses when stopped down 2-3 stops with moderately low iso. In other words, I would pit these two particular F lenses against my DA 40mm LTD and DA 70mm LTD and any DA* lens when shooting outside on a bright day with a low ISO, small aperture, and high shutter speed. And for the price? What a bargain!
03-03-2014, 11:48 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kobalt Quote
LIGHTWEIGHT - I want to take this thing everywhere! *This includes lens weight*
Others may not be looking at size and weight as a requirement, so I am.

The DSLR size and weight reach a minimum, which is just a little too big for pockets. I can squeeze mine into a winter coat pocket but not that easily, with a fairly small prime lens. Carrying that is not a problem, but it is often obvious that you are a guy with a camera. The other brands are similar. Canon has that SL1 and one small lens, but Pentax has the rest of the small system you'd want, if a DSLR is OK.

You can shave maybe 100 grams by getting a used K-x or K-r body. They'd be cheap too. I'm not sure I'd do that - the K-50 has enough extra useful stuff to make the 100 grams worth it. The Pentax K-01 is a different package, but since it still takes the same lenses as the DSLRs, it is only a little smaller or lighter.

The DA 18-135 is 429 grams with a hood. You could get a DA 15/4 (189g), a DA 35/2.4 (124g), and a DA 70/2.4 (147g) for 460 grams. Those lenses all have 49mm filter size. The primes are really small, so the camera with a lens mounted would not be very big. The unmounted lenses are pocketable. You'd gain some wide angle, lens speed, quality and size and give up zoom flexibility, WR, telephoto beyond 70mm. It's not going to be cheap. Some other lenses you could add: DA 50-200 WR (285g), only to add something beyond 70mm. A DA 50/1.8 (122g), but that would be the only lens with a 52mm filter size.
03-03-2014, 01:57 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by tele_pathic Quote
2. DA 18-135. Hated HATED this lens for several reasons. 1. It's freaking huge! 2. It's freaking heavy. 3. It's not sharp in most shooting circumstances. Even outside with ISO to 80 and aperture above 7 or 8, it was still not as sharp as the DA 40. 4. In the hot, humid environment of FL, we left the hotel around 8am (it was already quite warm and muggy), jumped on a cold, air-conditioned bus for a 30 min. ride to the park, got out, unzipped the bag with the 18-135 to snap shots as we enter the park, the darn thing would be fogged over. Switch to the DA 40, no fog, no problems. That 18-135 would take HOURS to defog. I don't know if it's all the glass and elements or what, but it was super-frustrating, especially for a $400 lens that is supposed to be WR. I sold the 18-135 as soon as we got home.
Wow, you really didn't like your 18-135mm!

Maybe I have a decent copy or something but mine is very sharp from nearly wide open all the way down to f/11 before diffraction takes over. Even the corners come out well. I would recommend the 18-135mm to anyone looking for a vacation lens. For a lot less money you can get a film era FA lens that can also work well if you're willing to accept a somewhat more limited focal range.

I'll agree with you that the lens is kind of bulky and heavy but it balances well on my K-30. I used to use a Vivitar 28-105mm back in the film days so maybe I'm used to the extra heft.

My only experience of fogging up comes from going between temperature extremes in the high desert where I live. It seemed to defogged quickly but it's very dry where I live.

Maybe you got a bad copy?
03-03-2014, 02:53 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by tele_pathic Quote
Ok, so I went through the process of upgrading last year in anticipation of a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. 10 days, wife, 4 kids, wife's parents. I had a K200D, but we budgeted an upgrade to the K-5ii as part of the cost of the trip. So this was my kit at WDW, and I'll kind of review things as I list them.

1. Pentax K-5ii. What can be said about this that hasn't already been said? Great at near-dark/pitch-black levels. This was the perfect travel camera for me. I slapped the DA 40 on there, set the mode to Av to control dof, shot in JPEG cuz I knew I'd be shooting a lot. In fact, I shot 3,300 images. Yikes! One awesome thing: I bought a mini-usb to hdmi connector, and I believe the K-5ii comes with the mini-usb to rca connectors (or maybe I bought those too). At night, after the day in the park/s, as we cleaned up and were exhausted, I plugged the camera into the tv and began the slide show of the day's shots. It was a great way to relax without the distraction of the TV, and it was a great way to relive the moments of the day.

2. DA 18-135. Hated HATED this lens for several reasons. 1. It's freaking huge! 2. It's freaking heavy. 3. It's not sharp in most shooting circumstances. Even outside with ISO to 80 and aperture above 7 or 8, it was still not as sharp as the DA 40. 4. In the hot, humid environment of FL, we left the hotel around 8am (it was already quite warm and muggy), jumped on a cold, air-conditioned bus for a 30 min. ride to the park, got out, unzipped the bag with the 18-135 to snap shots as we enter the park, the darn thing would be fogged over. Switch to the DA 40, no fog, no problems. That 18-135 would take HOURS to defog. I don't know if it's all the glass and elements or what, but it was super-frustrating, especially for a $400 lens that is supposed to be WR. I sold the 18-135 as soon as we got home.

3. DA 40mm Ltd. LOVE this lens. This stayed on my camera 95% of the time for several reasons: 1. It's light. 2. It's super-compact. 3. It's sharp, much much much sharper than the 18-135 even using the exact same camera settings. Of course, it won't get as wide as the 18-135. But when I wanted something zoomed in, this lens was so sharp that I could zoom in during post-production. In fact, the 40mm zoomed in/cropped was much much much sharper than the 18-135 non/cropped.

4. Clik-Elite Probody Sport. I love, LOVE this bag. Comfortable straps, the waist strap really helps support the load. Integrated hydration bladder meant always having water and NOT paying $7 for a bottle of water. The bladder never sweated into the storage compartments. Plenty of room for my lenses, batteries, and sdhc cards. I had a local shoe repair shop sew daisy-chains to the shoulder straps. I used a Think Tank backpack camera mounts, and that was super-awesome: camera always right at my chest. I didn't have to have it in my hand all the time. It was evenly supported across both straps, so I never felt the weight of the camera, unlike a messenger bag or sling strap (both of which I have, and my neck begins to hurt after an hour).

5. Extra non-OEM battery that I purchased from China off ebay. This functioned great. Never let me down. Always charged both batteries at night. I didn't shoot too many videos, but when I did shoot video, the video really drained the batteries (both the Pentax OEM and this Chinese one).

6. Several hdsc cards, two 32gb cards.

So I go against the others here who automatically suggest the 18-135. For the price, I think there are better lenses. Maybe none are so flexible as the 18-135, but none so soft either. I recommend the DA 40mm Ltd. A few months ago, I added the F 35-70 and F 80-200 to my bag. These replaced the 18-135 as well as the "kit" 18-55 and 50-200. I found that I rarely shot wider than 35mm, or 40mm actually, and I really hated the shots at 18mm. These specific F lenses are nearly as sharp as the DA* lenses when stopped down 2-3 stops with moderately low iso. In other words, I would pit these two particular F lenses against my DA 40mm LTD and DA 70mm LTD and any DA* lens when shooting outside on a bright day with a low ISO, small aperture, and high shutter speed. And for the price? What a bargain!
Let's just keep this brief, from what you said, you've got a bad copy. You need to send it off to Pentax and get it calibrated, possibly with your camera. have you checked for front or back focus?

Second, nobody here "automatically" picks the 18-135. it's just the best lens out there for the purpose. I have the DA 35, and 40 XS and I like them both, but 90% of the time you won't take the 18-135 off the camera for them. The 18-135 at 24 mm, is simply better than the 40 mm.

If you don't believe me how about Photozone? They got a really bad copy gof the 18-135 , and it still outperforms the DA 40 in many circumstances, slight up , without considering the focal length.

This is what you should have seen...



Personally I think my 18-135 is a lot better than the one that was tested at Photozone, I've not noticed the kinds of softness on the edges he reports. So my suspicion is you got a bad 18-135. Personally, I think the 18-135 is worth buying just because it's the best lens out there at 24mm. @ 5.6 and to 11 it outperforms the 40. I personally don't mind you championing the 40 ,but, I've seen nothing to validate anything you've said about the 18-135, except you dislike it so much you need to make up stuff to validate your dislike.

Well, go through the 18-135 images thread and then compare it with the DA 40 thread. And you'll realize a lot of people don't agree with you. You'll see a lot of sharp pictures as sharp as your DA 40s, and you'll see them at a lot of different focal lengths, something the DA 40 can't do. My theory has always been zooms to cover every focal length focal length, primes to taste. But saying you can do everything with a DA 40 you can do with an 18-135? That's just crazy talk.
03-03-2014, 06:04 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
Wow, you really didn't like your 18-135mm! My only experience of fogging up comes from going between temperature extremes in the high desert where I live. It seemed to defogged quickly but it's very dry where I live.

Maybe you got a bad copy?
Maybe I did get a bad copy or maybe it needed adjustment. I live in southern Utah, visit Vegas frequently, never had the lens fog until we went to Orlando. I'm sure I didn't properly secure it or stow it considering the extreme conditions, but that's what happened and it frustrated me to no end.

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Let's just keep this brief, from what you said, you've got a bad copy. You need to send it off to Pentax and get it calibrated, possibly with your camera. have you checked for front or back focus?

Second, nobody here "automatically" picks the 18-135. it's just the best lens out there for the purpose. I have the DA 35, and 40 XS and I like them both, but 90% of the time you won't take the 18-135 off the camera for them. The 18-135 at 24 mm, is simply better than the 40 mm.

If you don't believe me how about Photozone? They got a really bad copy gof the 18-135 , and it still outperforms the DA 40 in many circumstances, slight up , without considering the focal length.

Personally I think my 18-135 is a lot better than the one that was tested at Photozone, I've not noticed the kinds of softness on the edges he reports. So my suspicion is you got a bad 18-135. Personally, I think the 18-135 is worth buying just because it's the best lens out there at 24mm. @ 5.6 and to 11 it outperforms the 40. I personally don't mind you championing the 40 ,but, I've seen nothing to validate anything you've said about the 18-135, except you dislike it so much you need to make up stuff to validate your dislike.

Well, go through the 18-135 images thread and then compare it with the DA 40 thread. And you'll realize a lot of people don't agree with you. You'll see a lot of sharp pictures as sharp as your DA 40s, and you'll see them at a lot of different focal lengths, something the DA 40 can't do. My theory has always been zooms to cover every focal length focal length, primes to taste. But saying you can do everything with a DA 40 you can do with an 18-135? That's just crazy talk.
Thanks for the input. As for sending the lens to Pentax, I sold that thing as quick as I could. I'm certain, I absolutely agree with you that the 18-135 is better at 24mm than the DA 40mm Ltd. (not the XS one, btw)!. I mean, I'm 100% certain that you are correct in that assertion. As to anything shot at 40mm, there's NO way you could EVER convince that the 18-135 is better at 40mm than the DA 40mm Ltd. is better at 40mm. No way! I don't care what Photozone tells you, or me, or anyone else. But if you're trying to convince that such a wide zoom as the 18-135 is better at 40mm than the DA 40mm Ltd.? I just don't agree. Now, the DA* 16-50? Maybe.

Also, when 97% of the responses to this thread say, "Get the 18-135," that seems pretty automatic. The OP asked for input. I gave an opinion and advice that was totally contrary to what everyone else said, which is part of the reason I gave my $0.02. Take it with a grain of salt. BUT for MY money, I'd rather spend $400 to pick up the DA 40mm Ltd. AND have $150 left over for a bag or whatever than to buy the 18-135. In fact, that's what I'd do all over again. Rather, if I could do it again, I'd straight up get the 40mm and skip the 18-135. In facts, I'll prolly never re-buy that lens (18-135) again. I have NO regrets for selling it.
03-04-2014, 03:45 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Let's just keep this brief, from what you said, you've got a bad copy. You need to send it off to Pentax and get it calibrated, possibly with your camera. have you checked for front or back focus?

Second, nobody here "automatically" picks the 18-135. it's just the best lens out there for the purpose. I have the DA 35, and 40 XS and I like them both, but 90% of the time you won't take the 18-135 off the camera for them. The 18-135 at 24 mm, is simply better than the 40 mm.

If you don't believe me how about Photozone? They got a really bad copy gof the 18-135 , and it still outperforms the DA 40 in many circumstances, slight up , without considering the focal length.

This is what you should have seen...



Personally I think my 18-135 is a lot better than the one that was tested at Photozone, I've not noticed the kinds of softness on the edges he reports. So my suspicion is you got a bad 18-135. Personally, I think the 18-135 is worth buying just because it's the best lens out there at 24mm. @ 5.6 and to 11 it outperforms the 40. I personally don't mind you championing the 40 ,but, I've seen nothing to validate anything you've said about the 18-135, except you dislike it so much you need to make up stuff to validate your dislike.

Well, go through the 18-135 images thread and then compare it with the DA 40 thread. And you'll realize a lot of people don't agree with you. You'll see a lot of sharp pictures as sharp as your DA 40s, and you'll see them at a lot of different focal lengths, something the DA 40 can't do. My theory has always been zooms to cover every focal length focal length, primes to taste. But saying you can do everything with a DA 40 you can do with an 18-135? That's just crazy talk.
QuoteOriginally posted by tele_pathic Quote
Maybe I did get a bad copy or maybe it needed adjustment. I live in southern Utah, visit Vegas frequently, never had the lens fog until we went to Orlando. I'm sure I didn't properly secure it or stow it considering the extreme conditions, but that's what happened and it frustrated me to no end.


Thanks for the input. As for sending the lens to Pentax, I sold that thing as quick as I could. I'm certain, I absolutely agree with you that the 18-135 is better at 24mm than the DA 40mm Ltd. (not the XS one, btw)!. I mean, I'm 100% certain that you are correct in that assertion. As to anything shot at 40mm, there's NO way you could EVER convince that the 18-135 is better at 40mm than the DA 40mm Ltd. is better at 40mm. No way! I don't care what Photozone tells you, or me, or anyone else. But if you're trying to convince that such a wide zoom as the 18-135 is better at 40mm than the DA 40mm Ltd.? I just don't agree. Now, the DA* 16-50? Maybe.

Also, when 97% of the responses to this thread say, "Get the 18-135," that seems pretty automatic. The OP asked for input. I gave an opinion and advice that was totally contrary to what everyone else said, which is part of the reason I gave my $0.02. Take it with a grain of salt. BUT for MY money, I'd rather spend $400 to pick up the DA 40mm Ltd. AND have $150 left over for a bag or whatever than to buy the 18-135. In fact, that's what I'd do all over again. Rather, if I could do it again, I'd straight up get the 40mm and skip the 18-135. In facts, I'll prolly never re-buy that lens (18-135) again. I have NO regrets for selling it.
Wow, you got off easy. I got ripped just for saying something like "the DA18-135 is good but not awesome"!
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