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07-04-2014, 07:55 AM   #1
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K-3 Lenses - Please help...

Hi All,

I am realitavely new to photography and am about to order my K-3, only thing left to make my mind on is lenses. There will be 2 main types of photos I am going to take:

1. Portraits of my own kid and friends kids from 1-2 meters away - i'd like a good Bokeh, keep it under 250 USD if possible, maybe smc DA 35mm F2.4 AL?

2. Family portraits from 3-4 meters away. maybe smc DA 50mm F1.8, i'l love f1.4 but its expensive.

Maybe there are better alternatives for what I am trying to do, please help. I'l love to get couple good primes for under 500-700 USD

3. Visits to the park, my kids play around with dog etc, random stuff really, so I'm thinking 18-135 kit zoom lens would be grand for that, o maybe if I own two smaller focal lenght primes at that stage I should just go for the cheaper kit with 50-200? Is 50-200 just as good at the 50-135 range as the 18-135?

Thanks in advance to all having patience and willing to help

Can't wait to get my new K-3 and start shooting.

07-04-2014, 09:52 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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Welcome to the Pentax Forums!

Which lenses? Which Lenses? It is a recurring question. The DA 50/1.8 is a nice lens and great for traditional portraits (1-2 meters). In my opinion, it is a no-risk proposition for a "little longer than normal" perspective. Did I mention the low price? For the family shots, you would need a little wider lens and the 35mm focal length generally works well there.

Until you have a better feel for your needs, I would suggest that the DA 18-135 kit lens is a great option in the Pentax line with the DA 50/1.8 added to the bag when you want shallow DOF. You might also want to consider the Sigma 17-70/2.8-4 (C) as part of a three-lens kit along with the DA 50/1.8 and DA 55-300/4-5.8. The Sigma is about the same price as the DA 18-135/3.5-5.6. All three are the value "queens" for their classes in my opinion.


Steve

(...owns the Sigma 17-70 as well as the DA 50/1.8...)
07-04-2014, 11:01 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Hello Dangis and welcome
I'd agree completely with what Steve is saying in recommending the DA 18-135, DA50/1.8 and DA 35/2.4 AL as a first choice. (I own all the lenses mentioned above and each has its pros and cons.)
The reason for recommending the DA 18-135 is that it is a go anywhere lens when you have kids because of the WR. It focuses well, has good colors and being Pentax can benefit for in camera lens corrections.
The DA 50/1.8 and DA35/2.4 AL are great lightweight little lenses with great image quality - but get some aftermarket hoods for them if only to protect the front element.
Spend time dialing the focus adjustment in on your new lenses but make sure you test them first when you un-box them. The reason I say this is because it prevents you second guessing yourself later on.

Chris
07-04-2014, 11:13 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dangis Quote
smc DA 50mm F1.8, i'l love f1.4 but its expensive.
M50mm f1.7. Less than $50 used, but you'd need to manually focus and meter. Add the 35mm f2.4 and get both lenses for less than your budget.

07-04-2014, 11:25 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Like everyone else, I'm going to start you off with the DA 50 1.8. and A 35 2.4 4 indoor and low light, and the 18-135 for out door. If you want a zoom indoors, the Tamron 17-50 ƒ2.8 is the way to go. I'll take constant 2.8 over a floating minimum Aperture any day. The thing is, to get the constant 2.8, I wouldn't want to give up the 1.8 on the 50.

Another great option would be Tamron 17-50 2.8, And Tamron 90 macro ƒ2.8. It's not a zoom but the 90 is versatile outdoors and has enough resolution to allow significant cropping on a K-3. Those two lenses as far as I'm concerned are the best kit you can get in terms of pro quality IQ for a decent price and covering a range from 17mm to functionally 100mm.
07-04-2014, 12:47 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Don't overlook this lens:
Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 Aspherical Lens for Pentax 85M-P B&H Photo

It basically gives you DA*-grade image quality for under $300. Manual focus for portraits.

I would also recommend getting the Pentax 35mm and/or 50mm lenses- that should keep you within budget

Adam
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07-04-2014, 01:17 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Like everyone else, I'm going to start you off with the DA 50 1.8. and A 35 2.4 4 indoor and low light, and the 18-135 for out door. If you want a zoom indoors, the Tamron 17-50 2.8 is the way to go. I'll take constant 2.8 over a floating minimum Aperture any day. The thing is, to get the constant 2.8, I wouldn't want to give up the 1.8 on the 50.

Another great option would be Tamron 17-50 2.8, And Tamron 90 macro 2.8. It's not a zoom but the 90 is versatile outdoors and has enough resolution to allow significant cropping on a K-3. Those two lenses as far as I'm concerned are the best kit you can get in terms of pro quality IQ for a decent price and covering a range from 17mm to functionally 100mm.
Many here would second the vote for the Tamron zoom, I think. Despite an old school kind of preference for prime lenses, I very recently opted for the Tammy as well, after carefully considering my alternatives. I wanted particularly a focal length gap filler and a high IQ quality option when conditions might make me feel uneasy about lens changing. I couldn't argue with the two-lens IQ-oriented value proposition you propose, except to note that the 17-50mm's technical performance declines a bit on the longer end (this is typical; you can stop down a little), and it's kind of a long way, FL-wise, to 90mm.

I think the Tamron 60mm/f.2 macro lens has been made in Pentax mount, though I could be wrong since I can't recall seeing it mentioned here. It seems like a nice one, and really versatile. The 70mm Sigma macro is very well regarded, though it is heavy and typically draws a high-ish selling price used. The DA 70mm Limited might just show up somewhat at a grab-it-now price secondhand... in which case, you probably should; if you haven't settled on something else and don't feel macro is a priority. I just feel strongly personally about having something fairly fast and versatile in the 58-70mm range for APS-C.

If budgeting or cash flow dictates a stopgap, but broadly versatile solution for the telephoto range beyond the 17-50mm's reach, you certainly can't go wrong with the now very cheap, very manual focus Kiron/Vivitar 70-150/circa f.4 zooms that are abundant used -- how does, maybe, thirteen bucks sound? Yes, you'd have to get familiar with your green button, but still... Also, the little Pentax F 35-70mm AF zoom from the film era renders nicely, folks here say; though it, too, is not fast -- but it does go cheap! Rapid AF action with that one, BTW. Many other film era zooms can cover some longer focal lengths for you at relatively low cost, the latter advantage on account of their wide end FLs starting at 28 or 35mm in a mostly APS-C and smaller-sensor camera world. ...Just some ideas, then, from the alternative camp.

Oh, yes, and don't overlook the SMC Pentax 55mm/f.1.8 in MF: a great buy that complements the wide-mid zoom very nicely. It perform well at the wider apertures... and FL-wise, is about the same as the design target for the FA 77mm Limited!

Last edited by Kayaker-J; 07-04-2014 at 01:34 PM.
07-04-2014, 01:19 PM - 1 Like   #8
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I haven't read the other replies so please excuse any repeated comments.

The 18-135 is the best bet for an all around lens. The price isn't bad and the iq is adequate for most all situations. The 35 2.4 is awesome! You will love it. The 50 1.8 is also a wonderful lens. I think the three of these will suit your needs and fit your budget.


Budget friendly: 35 2.4( I love this lens), 50 1.8, 18-135, 55-300 for the longer reach.

If you have money falling out if your pockets: 35limited, 55wr, 50-135 2.8, and 16-50 2.8.

I have the budget kit above more or less. Your expectations seem correct. The iq is awesome!!! You can't go wrong with any of the lenses above.


Last edited by Blacknight659; 07-04-2014 at 01:50 PM.
07-05-2014, 02:03 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blacknight659 Quote
I haven't read the other replies so please excuse any repeated comments.

The 18-135 is the best bet for an all around lens. The price isn't bad and the iq is adequate for most all situations. The 35 2.4 is awesome! You will love it. The 50 1.8 is also a wonderful lens. I think the three of these will suit your needs and fit your budget.
18-135 is sold in a bundle with a camera at a substantial discount, and as most commenters agree - I'll grab the 50 1.8. and 35 2.4 with it aswell. I think I'll stick with pentax lenses this time for my primes, they are within my budget and I dont think I'd like manual focusing, just not yet. But thanks a lot for mentioning the alternatives.
07-06-2014, 09:00 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Welcome to the Pentax Forums!

You might also want to consider the Sigma 17-70/2.8-4 (C) as part of a three-lens kit along with the DA 50/1.8 and DA 55-300/4-5.8. The Sigma is about the same price as the DA 18-135/3.5-5.6. All three are the value "queens" for their classes in my opinion.

Steve

(...owns the Sigma 17-70 as well as the DA 50/1.8...)
Hi everyone, let me annoy you one last time with my questions It's five in the morning and I'm still googling my lenses... and yes - my wife hates me... she threatened divorce if she hears the word 'lense' ever again.

I'll admit I mostly ignored Steve's post initially as I was so focused on the 35 and 50 primes, but after two sleepless nights I'm starting to think I might not even need the 18-135 and should get the Sigma 17-70 c and the DA 50/1.8. I can always get a tele zoom later if I feel that I need it...

Steve - is this Sigma better in low lighting than the kit 18-135 would you know and are either of these two ok for occasional video?

Thanks,
Dan
07-07-2014, 05:43 AM - 1 Like   #11
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A few of the main things you get with the Sigma 17-70 C, it's HSM is very quiet and fast focusing, has wonderful bokeh, decent close up macro & 2.8- 4 aperture. I use this lens more than any other I own, the minor downside is it does not have wr seals so care needs to be taken in inclement weather.
07-07-2014, 06:51 AM - 1 Like   #12
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Hi Dan. I'd get a decent zoom (either the 18-135, or the the sigma 17-70 or the Tamron 17-50) and a decent prime, the DA 35mm f/2.4 (or similar). I'd also get one other item a freeware product called Exposure Plot. What this program does is looks at your jpeg photos and sorts them according to focal length, aperture, or a variety of other photographic variables, so that you can see at a glance which focal lengths etc you shoot at most. Shoot for a month or two with your new kit and put your shots thru Exposure Plot and you will have empirical evidence of where your focal length preferences lie. It is a genuinely valuable tool to have, especially for new comers to photography. Not only that but it's FREE! Link here.

NaCl(hard data is always good)H2O
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