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07-28-2009, 01:47 PM   #1
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new lenses or upgrade body

Decided it's about time to upgrade my gear. I don't know whether I should keep my K-m and buy some better glass or make the jump to a better body like the k20d. I am starting to feel like I'm growing out of the K-m. What seems like a better option in my situation?

07-28-2009, 02:08 PM   #2
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Well, although the K-m is an entry-level body, it's no slouch when it comes to performance.
If you're happy with its 10Mp, I'd be more inclined to go for lenses (depending on what you 'need').

If you really want the 14Mp CMOS with slightly more high-ISO capability and the easy-to-customise features that makes the K20D stand out from the entry-level bodies then you shouldn't hesitate to go for it.
07-28-2009, 02:10 PM   #3
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First step would be to tell us what lenses you already have. If it's just the kit lens(es), I'd *definitely* vote for more lens choices as making a bigger difference than a new body. But as for specific lenses, that depends on what types of shooting you are doing that causes you to think an upgrade of any kind is in order inthe first place.
07-28-2009, 02:42 PM   #4
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i have the kit lens, a bag of manual lenses my dad bought in the 70s, and a tamron 70-300mm macro. i don't have the best glass, but i'm just wondering whether i will be disappointed in the k-m with some more expensive glass or if i should just buy a k20d and get some new glass in a few months

07-28-2009, 05:21 PM   #5
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If you are already thinking of the K20D then I would suggest to go for it.
As you have already said (and it will always be on the back of your mind) "but i'm just wondering whether i will be disappointed in the k-m with some more expensive glass"..is kind of a definite statement.
If this is your mindset, then I would say that you really want the K20D that no matter what glass you place on the Km would eventually limit you.
Go ahead and splurge, it's always good to make ourselves happy!
07-28-2009, 06:04 PM   #6
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One thing to consider is that while bodies depreciate, glass lasts. The K20d is certainly a step up from the K-m, but there will be something even better next year, and the next year after that. Lenses, on the other hand, with care, will be just as good today as in the future. Assuming Pentax stays in the market with the K-mount, good glass today will be just as good in ten years but the new bodies will be dramatically better.

Sure, the K-m won't be able to extract everything out of the best lenses--but neither can the K20d, or the K-7.

That's a rational argument. If you're a hobbyist like me, "rational" may have little to do with why you buy what you buy. If you're just pining for the K20d, go for it. But if you're on the fence, lenses make better sense for the long term.

If you want a rationale for buying a K20d: they're cheap now, especially used, what with the recent release of the K-7. Likewise, a used K-m will retain its value better while it is a current model. After Pentax releases a better entry-level model, the K-m's value will decrease even though it takes pictures as well as ever.

You're facing a win-win dilemma, but I think that lenses are the winningest solution.
07-28-2009, 06:08 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by cinaibur Quote
i have the kit lens, a bag of manual lenses my dad bought in the 70s, and a tamron 70-300mm macro. i don't have the best glass, but i'm just wondering whether i will be disappointed in the k-m with some more expensive glass or if i should just buy a k20d and get some new glass in a few months
I'd say that depends largely on whether you want to see your photography improve *now*, or in a few months when you do get the new glass.

Tough to say what will disappoint you and what won't, but you *will* get better pictures from better lenses on your current camera. More so than using your current lenses on a better camera - the lenses are definitely what's limiting you right now. Although I say that assumption you aren't actually using the contents of the bag of manual lenses - chances are excellent those are already a ton better than the newer lenses ones you listed individually, and the fact that aren't mentioning the old lenses individually suggests to me you might not know just how good what you have actually is.

Consider also, the K10D was Pentax' flagship, "Camera of the Year" award winning camera a couple of years ago, and the K-m has the same IQ. There's nothing wrong with your camera when it comes to the pictures it can take. But you are rather limited by those two zoom lenses in terms of them not being sharp wide open, not having a particularly large maximum aperture, etc. On the other hand, we also know nothing of your photographic style. If you're not currently running into situations where a larger maximum aperture, or higher sharpness at the maximum aperture, or the other limitations of your current lenses are the main thing holding you back, then even getting better lenses won't magically make a difference - you'd have to learn to take advantage of them.
07-28-2009, 07:42 PM   #8
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ok. well it sounds like i'd would be better off investing in some better glass for the time being. as for the bag of old manual lenses. most of them need cleaning desperately and i haven't had the time. i will try to get to them soon and search out their potential.

i guess what i need now is suggestions for lenses. i shoot a lot of automotive and landscape. i would love a nice wide angle or perhaps a fisheye. really, i'm looking for a great wide angle general purpose lens. i don't have a crazy price range. somewhere in the 300's would be ok by me, maybe a little more expensive if it's a good idea to scrap the kit lens or the tamron 70-300

07-28-2009, 08:34 PM   #9
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I'm not that familiar with the k2000, apart from the specs, but I don't think static automotive or landscape photography is that demanding on a body that the K20D will be a huge improvement. To me, your photos would more about getting the right composition and good image quality - which shooting with a good lens in RAW will do better than a body with better AF or a few more pixels.

I don't have a really wide angle but there's the popular Sigma 10-20mm, which is now available in a faster and more expensive version, and there's also the Pentax fish eye, Pentax 12-24 and Sigma 12-24.
07-29-2009, 01:12 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by cinaibur Quote
i'm just wondering whether i will be disappointed in the k-m with some more expensive glass
You won't.
07-29-2009, 07:53 AM   #11
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I can't decide between a DA 10-17mm fisheye and the Sigma 10-20mm
07-29-2009, 08:16 AM   #12
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Between those two I'd get the Sigma 10-20.

And don't scrap the Tamron 70-300, it's a really good lens for $140. I use it for sports and really can't complain...



07-29-2009, 08:58 AM   #13
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Right, I wuld like to re-emphasize a point I made in my previous post: it isn't actually so much that your current lenses aren't good enough, as a matter of really identifying what the limitations of the lenses you own actually are and in what sense you are hitting those limitations. That will be what would guide your lens purchases. But shooting in the f/8 to f/16 range - as landscape photography is traditionally done - your 18-55 is actually pretty much as good as it gets. Chances are good that improvement would be more about improvising your skills and eye for composition.

Sounds like often finding 18mm isn't wide enough. For landscape, I wouldn't be considering a fisheye, but if that appeals to you, great. The best wide angle lens for Pentax is almost universally agreed to be the DA12-24 - that's the lens that if you don't get it, a few months from mnow you may be asking yourself the same questions about upgrading whatever you get instead that you are asking yourself now.
07-29-2009, 09:56 AM   #14
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My recommendation is to always invest more in glass than into bodies. Better optics will give you a new point of view, whereas a better body will give you higher resolution and bigger files, but do nothing for your photography. Do you need higher resolution?
07-29-2009, 10:01 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by mischivo Quote
My recommendation is to always invest more in glass than into bodies. Better optics will give you a new point of view, whereas a better body will give you higher resolution and bigger files, but do nothing for your photography. Do you need higher resolution?
says the man that gave up digital for film and bought a 1500 dollar scanner.

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