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07-10-2019, 12:50 PM   #1
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Which lens to buy with a K-70

Hey guys,

I'm brand new to photography and am looking to start out my journey with the K-70. I have the option of getting the camera with the DA 18-135mm WR lens but have read a few reviews which leave it in a somewhat poor light. Would it be anyone's advise to just buy the camera without the bundled lens and go for another one? Or is this, in fact, a good lens to start out with?

I also have the option of getting the camera with a DA 18-50mm. Would this be a better lens for a beginner?

Sorry if this is a bit vague. Please let me know if any more information would be of help and thanks in advance.

07-10-2019, 01:09 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by tpa77l3 Quote
Hey guys,

I'm brand new to photography and am looking to start out my journey with the K-70. I have the option of getting the camera with the DA 18-135mm WR lens but have read a few reviews which leave it in a somewhat poor light. Would it be anyone's advise to just buy the camera without the bundled lens and go for another one? Or is this, in fact, a good lens to start out with?

I also have the option of getting the camera with a DA 18-50mm. Would this be a better lens for a beginner?

Sorry if this is a bit vague. Please let me know if any more information would be of help and thanks in advance.
The 18-135mm is a solid everyday lens- certainly better than the 18-50mm, unless your focus is compactness.

If you want better image quality and shoot a lot of landscapes, then the DA 16-85mm would be my recommendation over the 18-135mm, though it comes at a slight premium in terms of price:
HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

After that, look to add a telephoto lens like the 55-300mm PLM, and after that a prime such as the DA 35mm F2.4 or DA 50mm F1.8.

If you want a quick overview of all available Pentax lenses, including current lenses, here it is:
Pentax Lens Search | PentaxForums.com

Adam
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07-10-2019, 01:31 PM   #3
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I would take the 18-135 over the 18-50 if it was not that much more expensive. I would look out for used 18-135s, they can be had for as low as $150. Of course there's always some kind of risk involved with buying used.

The 18-135 would be the best for focal range versatility, but while image quality in the center is close to excellent at almost all focal lengths, at borders/corners sharpness does go down quite a bit. Depends on your subject/framing if that affects the overall quality of your images.
The 16-85 is second best for focal range versatility, but is said to be better when it comes to image quality. It also offers 16mm at the wide end, which may or may not be more useful for you than the range from 86 to 135 that the 18-135 does offer, but the 16-85 does not.
Both are rather "slow" in terms of light gathering ability (maximum aperture), that's what the 16-50 (a DA* lens) would be for (2.8 maximum aperture throughout the whole focal range; for shooting indoors or in darker light situations generally), but for the price of a bit of focal range. But it's also rather expensive, and the more affordable 17-50s from Tamron and Sigma can hold their grounds in terms of image quality, but lose the weather sealing and quick shift of the Pentax lenses.

If I were in your shoes I would compare bundle prices with buying the body and lenses separately and new, and look at availability and pricing of the lenses used (and draw my conclusions from that).
Check your own requirements and what you are possibly going to add to your kit later (like a tele lens like the 55-300 PLM or prime lenses like the 35/2.4 or 50/1.8) and then snatch the best deal you can find.

e: I myself got the K-S2 camera bundled with the 18-135 for a good price, but did get the Sigma 17-50 later and to this day still wish I could have gotten a 16-85 for the same price as the 18-135 (but that won't happen, ever).
07-10-2019, 01:53 PM   #4
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Lots of good advice given already, I'll just say... remember to enjoy your photography once you get hands on.

07-10-2019, 02:23 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ehrwien Quote
e: I myself got the K-S2 camera bundled with the 18-135 for a good price, but did get the Sigma 17-50 later and to this day still wish I could have gotten a 16-85 for the same price as the 18-135 (but that won't happen, ever).
Either the 18-135 or the SIgma 17-50 live on my K-3. Anything else is for special occasions (macro, birding, ....). If somebody said I could keep only one lens from my collection, it would be the 18-135 (but I've never had my hands on a 16-85).
07-10-2019, 03:13 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by tpa77l3 Quote
Hey guys,

I'm brand new to photography and am looking to start out my journey with the K-70. I have the option of getting the camera with the DA 18-135mm WR lens but have read a few reviews which leave it in a somewhat poor light. Would it be anyone's advise to just buy the camera without the bundled lens and go for another one? Or is this, in fact, a good lens to start out with?

I also have the option of getting the camera with a DA 18-50mm. Would this be a better lens for a beginner?

Sorry if this is a bit vague. Please let me know if any more information would be of help and thanks in advance.
QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The 18-135mm is a solid everyday lens- certainly better than the 18-50mm, unless your focus is compactness.

If you want better image quality and shoot a lot of landscapes, then the DA 16-85mm would be my recommendation over the 18-135mm, though it comes at a slight premium in terms of price:
HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

After that, look to add a telephoto lens like the 55-300mm PLM, and after that a prime such as the DA 35mm F2.4 or DA 50mm F1.8.

If you want a quick overview of all available Pentax lenses, including current lenses, here it is:
Pentax Lens Search | PentaxForums.com
Good advise as always on here! I would go with Adam and get the 18-135, it lives on my k-70 as my walk around everyday lens because of how versatile it is.


Enjoy your k-70!
07-10-2019, 03:23 PM - 1 Like   #7
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The DA 18-135 is a good choice, as it is so versatile - look at images in preference to reviews, e.g.:
da-18-135-wr-show-us-what-can-do
Starting at the end of that thread, and working back through several pages, will show what members have achieved with this lens usually on more recent Pentax bodies.
Using only this lens for months or a year, and noting the focal lengths and apertures you use, will give you evidence for a clearer idea of your next lens purchase.

Philip
07-10-2019, 03:38 PM   #8
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Depending on the types of photography you like to do, the extra 2 mm at the wide end of the DA 16-85 may be more valuable to you than the extra 50 mm at the long end of the DA 18-135, no matter how silly that sounds. The 16-85 is also sharper across the frame than the 18-135 and less subject to chromatic aberration. If you also get the 55-300, you don't need the extra 50 mm on the 18-135.

However, as others have said, the DA 18-135 is an excellent choice for a one or two lens kit. I recommend it highly; you won't go wrong.

07-10-2019, 03:41 PM   #9
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I strongly recommend starting with the 18-135. It’s your lowest cost option for a good lens. Use it for at least 4-6 months, and then get a second lens that’s better at whatever you find you do the most. Other lenses are “better” than the 18-135 in one area or another, but the 18-135 is a great all-round lens. The 16-85 doesn’t go to 135. The 18-50 is only more compact.
07-10-2019, 04:49 PM   #10
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Good solid advice has been offered. My experience with the DA L 18-55 "kit lens" is that you will get adequate service if you keep it in the middle. I try to stay between 24 and 45mm, often just set it at 35mm and use my feet for adjustment. I would think the 18-135 might have the same characteristic and offer more "middle ground." Adam's advice on lens acquisition is very similar to what I have done and agree, it is a smart way to go.
07-10-2019, 05:51 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Just a bit more info for your inquiry, you may want to use the "sample search" Pentax Camera & Lens Sample Photo Search Engine - PentaxForums.com

07-10-2019, 05:52 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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Good choice on the K-70. I love mine. I bought it before I bought my K-1 II. I still use the 70 more often than I thought I would. Mostly with the D FA 100mm Macro WR or the 55-300mm PLM attached. I do have the 18-135mm and have absolutely no complaints about it. That camera/body combo play well together. Maybe pick up the 55-300mm PLM sometime down the road. That trio will cover a lot of ground.

Walking around a car show with the K-70 and18-135mm WR. At 53mm.

07-10-2019, 06:04 PM   #13
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The 18-135 is very good, the 16-85 is supposed to be better. Unless you get the 18-50 free, I would stay away from it and go with the 18-135 or 16-85, or go with the inexpensive primes, 35/2.4 or 60/1.8. As you get experience and find out more of what you want to do with photography you'll be drawn to other lenses that may meet your needs best.
07-10-2019, 07:22 PM - 1 Like   #14
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I own 20+ modern autofo us Pentax lenses. I own limited series and DA* and fast lenses and I still find a lot of uses for the 18-135. Its a great sunny day lens. I'm not saying that's the only use, but in bright conditions it is quite the lens.

I own the 18-50 also. Super compact, light, good enough, but the range on the 18-135 is better and at 50mm the 18-135 is faster optically.
07-10-2019, 08:09 PM   #15
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I agree with everyone recommending the 18-135mm, which I use with my K-70 more than any other lens. It offers so much versatility, and if I'm traveling and not sure exactly what I'll be shooting, it's the "go to" lens. After using it for sometime, I added the 55-300mm PLM, a wide angle zoom, and some primes. But I still find lots of uses for the first lens I bought for my K-70.


Enjoy your K-70...I'm sure you will love it!
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