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06-03-2014, 06:45 AM   #1
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Lens suggestions and help

This is technically my first post so this might be a bit lengthy. I apologize

This past spring a friend that needed help to buy parts for his car sold me his Pentax K5 (it was his back up dslr). I've been primarily a Canon user for several years (own a Rebel T3, 50D and 70D currently) but I had started considering trying other brands out so I started looking into Nikons around the time when my friend came up with the Pentax. I learned of its low light capabilities and it had me intrigued, I only have the kit lens along with a 50 mm at the moment. Few weeks ago the spring in the memory card slot on my Rebel T3 had begun to get worn out (the Rebel is my primary camera that goes everywhere on my trips). I pretty much decided while the camera still functions as normal when you close the memory card door on the card, I'd rather not risk possibly damaging it further so it's to be sidelined till the summer and fall season ends when I actually have time to get it fixed. I'm not always fond of carrying the 50D and 70D around because of their weight and they are my zoo/wildlife cameras, so I just want to know this....anyone can suggest a good all in one lens solution in Pentax? Preferably something that don't break the bank much if possible. I typically shoot primarily outdoor photography (cities, amusement parks, county fairs mainly) but there is the occasional conventions I'll go to as well, I don't really need anything greater than a 200 mm. Since the Rebel is taking a break, I'm thinking I'll use this time to get know the Pentax before the Halloween season comes around when it'll be put to work.

While I have the Pentax brought up, I'm just curious, how does it do with video? My second job is at an amusement park and they put on an elaborate Halloween event each year... and I do a lot of photos of the scare actors, portraits and such which is all low light with special effects lighting everywhere. Last year I had good results with my 70D with the video. I like having two cameras on me each night when this goes on...like as an example from last year I started to use the Rebel for taking stills while the 70D be videoing the shows or during the opening ceremonies. This year I already planned to use the Pentax and 70D alternating between them. Any suggestions for external flashes as well?

06-03-2014, 07:56 AM   #2
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The 18-135 gets mixed reviews, some people are really happy with it.

Video is OK on the K-5.

Best flash is the Mecablitz 58-2 in my opinion.
06-03-2014, 08:45 AM   #3
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If you want a good all-around weather resistant lens, the 18-135 is a great choice. The various 17-50 and 17-70s are optically better but I find the 18-135 is no slouch, plus the best camera is the one you have with you and the WR is a big plus.

I don't do much video, so can't help much there.
06-03-2014, 09:38 AM   #4
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The 18-135 does indeed get mixed reviews. From reading hundreds of posts about this lens, my observation is that, generally speaking, the people who own the lens like the lens, the people who don't own the lens think it's a lousy lens. I own the lens, and it is my go-to lens especially when on vacation.

I think you'll find this thread useful: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/179869-da-1...at-can-do.html

06-03-2014, 10:01 AM   #5
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18-135 is a reliable lens with great versatility and colour reproduction.

All long FL lenses have issues. This is a walkaround, outoor lens primarily.
06-03-2014, 07:36 PM   #6
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I love my 18-135 as a do everything lens. You'll need something faster for low light. I pair my 18-135 with a Sigma 30mm/f1.4 as a two-lens go anywhere solution. Nothing beats a fast prime in low light.

Some shots from my 18-135:







And a landscape:


06-05-2014, 11:28 PM   #7
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I'll give another thumbs up for the 18-135. I've noticed that most of the negativity was in the very early production runs, whether they had start up quality problems or some had way too high of expectations, I don't know. I'm very happy with mine. There's a real low cost option too, before I got the 18-135 I had a Tamron AF (IF) 28-105mm 1:4-5.6 that was very good, I got it used for under $50 (ebay). It can be found branded as Pentax or Promaster also. I also had a Promaster copy which I gave to my daughter, which was equal to the Tamron.

Cedar Point or King's Island?
06-05-2014, 11:54 PM   #8
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Another thumbs up for the DA 18-135mm WR lens! as a great walk around lens.

06-07-2014, 07:27 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
I'll give another thumbs up for the 18-135. I've noticed that most of the negativity was in the very early production runs, whether they had start up quality problems or some had way too high of expectations, I don't know. I'm very happy with mine. There's a real low cost option too, before I got the 18-135 I had a Tamron AF (IF) 28-105mm 1:4-5.6 that was very good, I got it used for under $50 (ebay). It can be found branded as Pentax or Promaster also. I also had a Promaster copy which I gave to my daughter, which was equal to the Tamron.

Cedar Point or King's Island?
I stumbled onto the Tamron the other day and was going to ask bout it if it was compatible with the K-5 because the description on Amazon didn't say. Both lenses seem good...>,< I'm also considering a 35 mm but I'll hold off on that for a couple months.

...Kings Island with a bit of Knott's

Also...do they make any camera bags that can hold at least 2 dslrs (mainly my 70D and Pentax when Haunt season rolls around), external flash (or couple extra lenses)? I have a small bag that can hold one of my dslrs and a couple of my smaller lenses no problem, and I also have a Lowepro backpack and its kind of overkill for me as it is really only useful for me if I have my Canon EF 28-300 mm and 70-200 mm lenses with me.
06-08-2014, 08:59 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
I'll give another thumbs up for the 18-135. I've noticed that most of the negativity was in the very early production runs, whether they had start up quality problems or some had way too high of expectations, I don't know. I'm very happy with mine. There's a real low cost option too, before I got the 18-135 I had a Tamron AF (IF) 28-105mm 1:4-5.6 that was very good, I got it used for under $50 (ebay). It can be found branded as Pentax or Promaster also. I also had a Promaster copy which I gave to my daughter, which was equal to the Tamron.

Cedar Point or King's Island?
The issue with the Tamron (which was also rebranded and sold by Pentax as an SMC Pentax), or at least with mine, is a loose front barrel. The looseness is the opposite of what you expect: solid when extended; incredibly wobbly when retracted (28mm.) The wobble is sufficient to affect image resolution - it's actually similar to the much-loved but hopelessly-wobbly Pentax 16-45 (except the Pentax wobbles at every setting - even more so when extended.) The Tamron is certainly not a terrible lens (if you can find one that doesn't wobble), and if it problem-free would be a useful zoom range, but I've just accepted that I need two lenses to cover the range and moved on.

As for the 18-135mm, I'm guessing that (on-going) manufacturing sample variation is what results in the varying opinions you find on this lens.
06-22-2014, 05:43 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
The issue with the Tamron (which was also rebranded and sold by Pentax as an SMC Pentax), or at least with mine, is a loose front barrel. The looseness is the opposite of what you expect: solid when extended; incredibly wobbly when retracted (28mm.) The wobble is sufficient to affect image resolution
I guess I was lucky because neither of my copies had a wobble, that can be a problem with some of those later film era lenses when they started using so much plastic.
06-23-2014, 05:35 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
I guess I was lucky because neither of my copies had a wobble, that can be a problem with some of those later film era lenses when they started using so much plastic.
Some of the digital-era lenses, too, notably the 16-45mm DA. I was impressed with my late-film-era (mostly) plastic Canon lenses, however, so it might be somewhat manufacturer-specific.
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