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05-26-2019, 11:33 AM - 2 Likes   #31
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The other thing to address with using primes when touring is- if alone and at leisure, this can work well. But if with a group or a guided tour, time for lens changing might be cramped. One could be so busy with the equipment it would cut into the enjoyment of seeing the sights. This is where a zoom lens makes more sense. My common practice is having a zoom lens on the camera and the DA 15mm in the front accessory pocket of my camera holster case. It is that small, and there if I need it and have time to switch.

05-28-2019, 05:29 AM - 1 Like   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by ubjy Quote
Hi

My first dslr was my K30 that I bought for family photogrpahs of my kids now 5 and 2. I have the 18-55 WR old style kit lens, DA 35mm 2. 4 and DA 50mm 1.8. The 35mm gets most used followed by 50mm. The kit lens is seldom used as I struggle to accept the IQ compared to primes: only used in poor weather. I use AE mode and shoot jpegs mainly.

I have upgraded to the KP. I am due to go on holiday soon to Europe. Considering to upgrade lenses but to an economical option, compact with the best AF, maybe just one walk about.

Researching on the forum my one lens to rule them all would be the DA 20-40 Ltd WR. It is very expensive £400 used (the Kp was a stretch new at £790). I have only inexpensive glass (less than £300 for both primes) , I am terrified of breaking and expensive lens or the IQ not bring up to it for family photos(used to prime IQ).

Is there are more economical option? (Sigma / Tamron / Tonika) More compact? (40mm Ltd) Better AF? (55-300 PLM) Should I consider a longer lens? (18-135) wr I have never gone more than 18-55mm.

I am really confused tbh. I have no good camera stores so all purchases will be with 'pentax faith' and done online.

Thanks for your help.
You've received plenty of advice, so I'll just add my experience.
When traveling I always have the 18-135. Its versatility and weather resistance make it worth always having. The 16-85 is generally regarded as a step up, but the reach is nice at 135mm. Swapping lenses can be inconvenient, and the 18-135 is pretty compact.

The other two I always bring are the DA21 and DA40. The 40 is a bit tight indoors, but the 21 is a great "eye-view" lens. It's super-sharp and has amazing contrast. It's the only lens my Canon or Nikon friends are really jealous of. It's just plain fun. It does well at close portraits and candid photography, it doesn't make people nervous like some big zooms can.
05-29-2019, 06:25 PM   #33
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Thank you all for such fantastic advice. Alot of food for thought. So far lots of recommendations fo the 18-135. Compact, WR, cheap, good range just have reservations about IQ.

@TER-OR interesting comment about the DA21 and your friend's being jealous. I think this might be the next prime I look at although if I get a zoom, many others have suggested the DA15 for cities.

@officiousbystander That is what I am worried about, I am hooked onto primes but this won't be practice on a family holiday with 2 young kids- probably need one lens to rule them or a couple a zoom and a prime. The IQ of even the plastic primes is amazing for me compared to the kit lens and it makes already compact camera light weight.

@Sandy Hancock Beautiful photographs of Europe- inspirational
05-30-2019, 03:41 AM - 2 Likes   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by ubjy Quote
So far lots of recommendations fo the 18-135. Compact, WR, cheap, good range just have reservations about IQ.
Please consider the images in this thread, it might assuage your fears about the IQ of the DA 18-135mm

05-31-2019, 03:51 PM - 2 Likes   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by ubjy Quote
I am hooked onto primes but this won't be practice on a family holiday with 2 young kids
I did a Europe trip in 2014 with two kids (then 5 & 8) with the a K5 and DA15, 35 and 70. I would decide what lens I'd put on depending on where we were going and just live with the decision for the day. I also think doing this helps you improve as a photographer. And if I really wanted to change a lens, time out in a café would work well.
05-31-2019, 04:39 PM   #36
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@officousbystander great to hear your experience. For sure constraint of primes makes you think more about the shot. Only going for 4 days right schedule and tight budget for this time try a zoom but aim to assemble a prime kit for travel.
05-31-2019, 04:46 PM - 3 Likes   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by ubjy Quote
Compact, WR, cheap, good range just have reservations about IQ.
Please don't lose sleep over the IQ of the 18-135. A holiday in Europe, I guarantee two things, one, you will be pressed for time to do everything you want to and two, there will be lots of people wherever you go. You will ruin your holiday if you continually stop to get that perfect shot, the 18-135 will give you quick, accurate auto-focus with such a wide range of focal lengths, you can spend the whole day taking pictures as you go. I have the DA 15 and 55-300 as well as the 18-135: most of the time the DA 15 comes out for shots of wide open spaces and big skies (which you won't see on your holiday) and the 55-300 comes out for wildlife (which you also won't see on your holiday). The DA 15 would be a great second lens to bring for when you get the chance to stake out vantage points (as in the samples Sandy Hancock posted), but it is more expensive than the 18-135 and it only works in special situations. Walking among people, 18mm is as wide as you want without inadvertently capturing the people on your immediate left and right and 135mm is useful for getting pictures of statutes, windows and street performers when there are fifty people between you and what you want to photograph. 21mm is great for getting the sides of buildings on both sides of the street as you are walking and the 18-135 is excellent at that focal length.
05-31-2019, 05:54 PM   #38
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@RGasel

Thanks for your response. I found it greatly helpful. I think you pragmatic advice will put in good stead for my lens choices. I noticed your a K30 user--I love that camera, my first pentaxove.
I had a qurstions many people have said the 16-85 is superior IQ. In your experience does the versatility of 18-135 trump this for this use? It's heavier and more expensive (220 vs 350). Basically that is the choice I need to make.

Many thanks again everyone.

05-31-2019, 08:15 PM   #39
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Since I got a 1.4X TC, I've been using it attached to the 55-300 PLM to create a 77-420mm lens, which nicely complements the 18-135 DC as my primary lens for my KP.
06-01-2019, 02:54 AM - 2 Likes   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by ubjy Quote
Thank you all for such fantastic advice. A lot of food for thought. So far lots of recommendations for the 18-135. Compact, WR, cheap, good range just have reservations about IQ.
The IQ of any lens, even the highly respected Pentax Limited lenses, decreases when viewing out from the centre to the edge of the image circle. The IQ also tends to decrease towards the extremes of aperture and zoom range. Whether the deficiencies of a lens have any impact on the image depends on lots of factors, not least how they are viewed - print/screen/size/distance. I view normally on a 21 inch screen and/or print up to A3 (16 inches).

For my copy of the 18-135, my views generalise according to the circular regions in the sketch below. In the central circle the image quality is always very good - close to prime lens quality. A slight softness begins to appear in the next circle, becoming more noticeable beyond about 70 mm focal length. There is always some visible softness and vignetting in the corner regions. For many subjects (and lenses), the corner performance is of little or no consequence, as the subject is usually framed within that central circle.

For the 18-135, as the general purpose, highly versatile lens that it is intended to be, stopping down by one stop or more can produce very good quality images - and the KP will be fine with stopping down because it has such excellent higher ISO performance. It is just probably not the lens for photographing brick walls at 18 or 135 mm.

Philip
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06-01-2019, 09:20 AM - 1 Like   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by ubjy Quote
many people have said the 16-85 is superior IQ. In your experience does the versatility of 18-135 trump this for this use? It's heavier and more expensive (220 vs 350). Basically that is the choice I need to make.
MrB1's post above is very accurate in my opinion. I have never used the 16-85 myself, but based on looking at a couple hundred posted pictures and this in-depth review, I am convinced that the 16-85 is better than the 18-135 only for shots wider than 21mm. Other than that, differences between copies of the same lens are likely to be greater than differences between the two lenses. 16mm is very useful and in a two zoom scenario, with the other zoom going to at least 200mm, where you are frequently switching lenses, not having 100-135mm on your primary zoom is not a big deal. The extra weight and diameter of the 16-85 shouldn't be a big deal either, but I would tend to discount the comments touting the IQ of the 16-85 over the 18-135 as after the purchase bias. If there is a real difference, it isn't worth the extra expense. If your next lens purchase is a long telephoto zoom, getting the 16-85 will give you very good results at 16 and 18mm for free, if your next purchase is a prime or you plan to wait for a while before buying another lens, get the 18-135 and start taking pictures.

---------- Post added 06-01-19 at 11:06 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by MrB1 Quote
stopping down by one stop or more can produce very good quality images
Two pictures taken at 18mm with the 18-135. The picture on the left was taken wide open at f3.5, focus point was the chair at the back of the table in the front, but if you zoom in, it loses its sharpness. The picture on the right was taken at f7.1, focus point was the lever in front of the big wheel, regardless of where you zoom in, it is much sharper.
06-01-2019, 05:37 PM - 1 Like   #42
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Thanks for your response again, I'm enjoying this discussion and learning a lot. I'm trading in my kit lens and getting an 18-135. I think based on price, IQ, zoom it will be good on my holiday in Europe last week with the new KP. I'll keep you updated!
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