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06-29-2014, 03:19 PM   #16
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The 18-135 is a good range without wandering into super zoom range, and the inherent compromises. It's also small compared with many zooms, which makes it comfortable. As far as switching to Pentax, if I were doing it now I'd probably go right for the K3. I upgraded from a K10 to a new K5, once it dropped price a bit.

You have done some research in switching to Pentax, and I presume the lens options. Now we can just offer experience. Few have had the opportunity to own more than a handful of lenses, as it's not really worth duplicating ranges when there are so many specialized ones to get instead.

The 55-300 is useful, the WR version is almost unique for a consumer grade long zoom.

06-29-2014, 04:38 PM   #17
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Mr frogoutofwater and I went with Pentax systems because we expect to travel a lot, including in wet weather. We took our K-30 (him) and K-3 (me) to Borneo earlier this year and were very pleased with the results. Although I packed a couple of primes, the weather-resistant Pentax 55-300 was on my camera about 75% of the time. It's relatively light and compact for a lens with a zoom range out to 300 and I've had a lot of compliments on the quality of the images. The one area where it doesn't shine is low light at a distance (e.g. orangutan in the forest at a distance), but that's balanced against the fact that I HAD the camera and lens readily at hand because they're were a light combo together. About 20% of the time I used the WR 18-135 and the rest of the time I used one of the primes. Again, the 18-135 produces good images and is compact and lightweight. You could easily travel pretty light with these two lenses, and you won't break the bank either.

Mr frogoutofwater primarily used an 18-250 zoom (Tamron, I think) and wasn't as happy with it as I was with my two Pentax lenses. The extra 50mm made a significant difference in some of the shots I could get (that he couldn't) and the image quality from my camera/lens combo seemed better overall than what he got.
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06-29-2014, 10:05 PM   #18
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I have some experience with Pentax K-3 in the wilderness. And I find it more than perfect... But my suggestions are, to have battery grip with AA batteries for it. And of course batteries is better to be lithium. Yes they are expensive, but power capacity is better than price... For the optics, in all of my traveling, I find that 300mm* is better and more usable than 60-250mm* Specially in wilderness. Usually the problem is to be enough close to some object, animal and etc... To be far from him is easy :-)

Some time I bring all of equipment with me walking. Don,t take lot of lens, it is heavy and in reality You will use no more than 3. My choise are 15mm limited, 55mm* and 300mm* And still they are enough.

Here are some idea for one of my traveling in wilderness with all of those things...

and picture how all of things are on me:
06-30-2014, 02:50 AM   #19
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Thank you all for your imputs and toughts on the matter!

The sale of my nikon stuff is going smooth and the pentax budget increased accordingly so today i ordered a Pentax K-5IIs body with the 18-135 WR, 50/1.8 and 2 extra batteries. During this week i plan on closing a deal on the DA*60-250/4 (used) from another forum member here in Finland

In case someone followed this thread with similar concerns that i started out with i thought i explain why i chose just this setup as my hiking/travelling setup where taking pictures is not the main goal of the adventure but a nice bonus;

The K-5IIs vs the new K-3 (both at just about the same price with the 18-135 + 50/1,8 bundle)
The K-5IIs is a lit smaller, a bit lighter. Proven excellent picture quality over the years.
But, and this was a rather big thing, the batterytime is "much" better than the K3. This is good since there wont be any possibility to properly recharge batteries.
Also my short timespan before setting of into the wild played a part, the K-3 "mirror sickness" or other kinks would not have time to be repaired in time if service was needed.

In short, the K-5IIs matches my needs and has proven itself over the years, more a "safe" choice in my current situation than the newer K-3 even thoe the cost would have been the same for the K-3.
And i have no need for big prints so the extra megapixels are just taking up space on my hdds

The 18-135 WR vs the 20-40 Limited
After reading many, many posts and looking at hundreds of pictures i concluded that the 18-135 was the better choise for me.
Tha 20-40 is very appealing to me but after reading so many post on it i feel there is something amiss in the qualitycontrol of the lens, and that is just to much money to place on what feels like a bet more than a safe keeper.
The 18-135 has produced a lot of very good pictures (and bad ones), it has its limits especially it seems at the long end so i will treat that part as an emergency mm reach if needed.
I belive it will be an excellent lens to have on the camera when on the move to cover whatever i stumble upon otherwise unexpected/unprepared.

The DA*60-250 vs the 55-300 WR
The 55-300 seems like a very good choise. Compact, lightweight and capable of producing very nice pictures and a good range to boot.
But i choose the 60-250 instead. It seems to me to keep a more consistant picture quality trough the range.
It is heavier (but still featherweight compared to my FF + 300/2,8 setup), costs more but it it feels good to bring a lens along that is a little more special

Again, thank you all and if this thread can help another curios buyer thats a nice bonus.

09-10-2014, 03:30 AM   #20
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Im back from the wild and tought i put some updates on the EQ.

The 18-135WR sure delivers, what an amazing lens! Sure, not all snapshots where good, but all my planned shots was usable to say the least. Worked like a charm with my little gorillapod and ND filter too! I linked some pics the 18-135WR thread for those interested.
I can highly recomend it for the traveller. Sure there are better lenses (Amigos Amigas) but for hiking not knowing what will show up behind the corner it is for me the obvius choise (had everything from moose semitele to wide angle landscape).
Unfortunaly i hardly used the 60-250 at all and will probably put it up for sale unless i get a second body but i dont think i will, the K5IIs worked like a charm.

The only thing now is that i just ordered a 15 ltd. for those wider shots at starscape/ND, guess it will be the start of my LBA
09-11-2014, 06:04 AM   #21
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Glad that worked for you. This is exactly what the walkaround 18-135 is for - getting a variety of shots in the field where you don't want to change lenses. Nothing is perfect at every task, but if I'm in the woods with the dogs etc. that's the lens I'm using. I like its focus motor, as my only motorized lens I don't know how it compares with others but I find it super fast and smooth. It has never been a problem in the winter or more gentle temperatures.

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