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06-18-2010, 05:16 AM   #16
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I have everything in my cart from BH Photo but I am torn between getting the two WR "kit" lenses and saving that money for the excellent primes that Pentax offers. (I won't abuse those in the dust) I think the Regular WR lenses will hold up fine as long as the image quality is 90% of the DA*'s I will be happy with them. I really do like the primes. If I absolutely destroy those WR lenses I won't care.

How decent are the two WR lenses? (18-55 and 55-200)
Are the DA* lenses worth 2000 dollars more?

SDM issues overblown? Or a valid concern. I will be using these in well over 100 degrees.

I guess I'm reluctant to spend the big money on the zooms when I would like to partake in those excellent primes at a later date.

Buying a camera is way more difficult a decision than I thought it would be. I'm a research fanatic with big purchases and Canon and Nikon are very good cameras as well. The 7d in particular.

It's currently raining heavily here in Afghanistan, go figure.

And for those of you who have used a 7D and a K-7 please tell me what you think. It appears the K-7 is more rugged because it has more sealed lens options that don't cost well over a thousand a piece. But the Canon has some super nice large zooms that i'll likely never buy anyway.

If you had to buy a Nikon 300s a Canon 7d or a K-7 what would YOU buy? The choice is going to make switching in the future much more difficult.

06-18-2010, 01:14 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by rob1234 Quote
Have you considered just getting an 18-250 and leaving it on pretty much the whole time?
That would be my thought. Isn't much in the world that will resist fine dust/sand for long. And any kit that requires me to change lens often defeats the point of the weather sealing anyway. I'd go for a nice fast normal prime for considered work and a functionally disposable travel zoom for convenience and avoiding lens changes.
06-18-2010, 02:14 PM   #18
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Personally, I stay well away from superzooms, not just because of the lower IQ, but also because of the slow max apertures. Unless you're changing lenses in blowing dust, changing lesnes quickly and covered should not often result in sensor dust. If you do it well, the camera should only have no lens on for a second.

QuoteOriginally posted by LeeRunge:
I have everything in my cart from BH Photo but I am torn between getting the two WR "kit" lenses and saving that money for the excellent primes that Pentax offers. (I won't abuse those in the dust) I think the Regular WR lenses will hold up fine as long as the image quality is 90% of the DA*'s I will be happy with them. I really do like the primes. If I absolutely destroy those WR lenses I won't care.

How decent are the two WR lenses? (18-55 and 55-200)
Are the DA* lenses worth 2000 dollars more?
The kit lenses are good - for kit lenses. You won't get f/2.8 or super high sharpness. Bokeh won't be that great. But they are sealed (to a point), cheap and deliver good bang for buck IQ. If you're shooting in the middle of the zoom range at f/8, difference to DA* will be minimal.

I think the K-7 is a mighty fine body for kit lenses. If you're going to bash it around, you could try a K20D. There's no real IQ difference, but the K-7 is certainly smaller and more responsive.

QuoteOriginally posted by LeeRunge:
Buying a camera is way more difficult a decision than I thought it would be. I'm a research fanatic with big purchases and Canon and Nikon are very good cameras as well. The 7d in particular.

It's currently raining heavily here in Afghanistan, go figure.

And for those of you who have used a 7D and a K-7 please tell me what you think. It appears the K-7 is more rugged because it has more sealed lens options that don't cost well over a thousand a piece. But the Canon has some super nice large zooms that i'll likely never buy anyway.

If you had to buy a Nikon 300s a Canon 7d or a K-7 what would YOU buy? The choice is going to make switching in the future much more difficult.
7D is a fine camera. Like the D300s it's also large. I prefer the D300s based on the ergonomics, the Canon controls feel very strange to me, the Nikon perhaps has a more 'classic' feel. Canon is considered a leader in autofocus speed with their top zooms. Both Canon and Nikon top zoom IQ is probably better than the Pentax ones, with associated more cost. Pentax has some unique prime lens options. And their zooms are based on the APS-C which I like, aka the 16-50mm range zoom.
06-19-2010, 07:12 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWyatt Quote
Personally, I stay well away from superzooms, not just because of the lower IQ, but also because of the slow max apertures. Unless you're changing lenses in blowing dust, changing lesnes quickly and covered should not often result in sensor dust. If you do it well, the camera should only have no lens on for a second.

"The camera equipment of AP photographer David Guttenfelder while in Afghanistan's Helmand province."
Captured: Guttenfelder’s iPhone Photos – Plog Photo Blog

I'm thinking dust might be a slightly larger issue in this situation than in a normal one. How often are you are max aperture during daylight? And with clean(ish) high ISO, and a fast prime to back it up, how important is lens speed versus versatility and keeping the camera buttoned up? Of course, YMMV.

06-19-2010, 08:01 PM   #20
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Too bad there isn't a WR superzoom around which can suit LeeRunge's needs.

Perhaps LeeRunge can consider getting 2 K7s and splitting the two kit WR lenses between them?
06-19-2010, 08:23 PM   #21
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I don't know how much weight/room you're thinking of, but I'd think about these:
DA* 16-50
DA* 50-135
DA* 60-250
DA* 55
DFA 100 Macro WR

Using that set, other than way way out there, there's not much you couldn't shoot. I'd probably skip the other two WR lenses you mention unless you want them along for their small size.
06-19-2010, 10:15 PM   #22
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The DA* 50-135 F2.8 internally zooms, so no risk of pumping sand into it
The DA* 16-50 F2.8 externally zooms, but the seals are so tight that there's resistance/stiction when you do.
I don't know about the DA* 60-250.

One thing that you have to think about, besides the cost of course, is how peeved you'll be if dust does get into your equipment and you miss photo opps because of it. If it's that important to you, then maybe the DA*s are worth the added cost. If you are willing to spend the $$$, then maybe two K-7s, with a zoom on each, so you never have to switch lenses and have a backup body. When I travel for motorcycle stories, I have the DA* 16-50 on one body and the DA* 50-135 on the other so I never have to change lenses on the side of the road.

When you get back, sell one and buy a nice Limited prime with it. Or, at the very least, pick up a weather-resistant W90 as backup.

Enjoy.
06-20-2010, 12:08 AM   #23
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That is a pretty accurate picture up above of the dust out here. I have been to Helmand province twice already and one base in particular is super dusty. That looked like a Canon body and an L lens. I'm going to use caution when swapping the lens.

I would like to have the confidence to use this in a vehicle convoy or when on a helicopter flight (those Marine helicopters leak a lot of hydraulic fluid on you).

How fast is the autofocus on a K-7 vs a nikon or a canon?

I keep reading that the 7d is amazing in that regard.

The dust is like Talc. This is with a few light raindrops.



06-20-2010, 12:10 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by CorneliusK Quote
Too bad there isn't a WR superzoom around which can suit LeeRunge's needs.

Perhaps LeeRunge can consider getting 2 K7s and splitting the two kit WR lenses between them?
An 18-200 DA* would be perfect.
06-20-2010, 03:15 PM   #25
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Well after weeks of research and a final showdown between the Canon 7D, Nikon D300s and Pentax K-7......


K-7 FTW.

Purchased the body with two lenses DA* 16-50 and 60-250.

I look forward to using the heck out of it. Pentax packed a heck of a lot of features into this camera. The only real hangups vs the Canon and Nikon were speed 7/8 fps vs 5 (but you can only hold this for @ 2 seconds anyway before the buffer fills and they slow) and ISO. But the K-7 while showing a lot of noise seems to retain a lot of detail which I like. And ISO is overrated and used to much to judge cameras IMO.

This thing has built in Interval timer, HDR, Catch focus, things I will use and are not present on Canon/Nikon.

Image Quality if there is any difference will probably get negated with the higher quality glass afforded with the DA* lenses vs lesser consumer glass I would have purchased for the same price as the K-7 Body (763 what a deal).

And best of all piece of mind that when I stand out in a dust storm for some neat pictures, or when a Helicopter is landing right at me I can shoot away without concern for all that dust in the camera. Or in a storm more pictures when the other Nikon or Canon would get put away. (L glass is nice but with the body it would have been 2 grand more than the K-7).

Thank you all and I look forward to this forum.

Lee
06-21-2010, 10:30 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeeRunge Quote
K-7 FTW. Purchased the body with two lenses DA* 16-50 and 60-250.
Sounds likea great choice. If you have an $$$ left over, I would consider adding the DA* 55/1.4, as I think that would really round things out. I've been eying that grouping for a while as my go to travel kit. You could really shoot just about anything with that kit. f/2.8 coverage from 16-50, f/4 coverage from 60-250, and super low light coverage right in between at 55.
06-21-2010, 03:38 PM   #27
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That depends what you would need 55mm for. I would consider it a very odd prime length, but then I don't shoot much portrait.

Looking at that dust, I think the DA* will be a great set up. I would be very worried about a super-zoom in those conditions. The photojournalist gear image should be taken with a grain of salt, he would face conditions most people wouldn't, and is unlikely to be having to change lenses, so exterior dirt/dust such an issue.
06-21-2010, 09:09 PM   #28
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On the 55/1.8 - The more lenses - the more lens changes, more opportunity for dust on the sensor. The two lenses that formed the kit are just fine. In his environment, rather than a 55/1.8 for the speed, a tripod would work better - just a longer shutter, and that in itself may create additional photo opportunities.

He has a great body in the K7 - 2 fine pieces of glass and a lot of opportunities.

Post some photos when you get a chance. Also, I understand that the noise reduction with the new Lightroom 3 is excellent and cleans up the high ISO photos very well essentially making the higher ISO speeds of the K7 very usable.
06-22-2010, 08:14 AM   #29
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I don't immediately see a reference to filters.

This is a good opportunity to put the right UV filter in place to protect each lens. That fine sand will undoubtedly be a fine abrasive!

While I haven't done the research lately, there are a couple of lines that advertise their rugged coatings - coatings (and glass) that can withstand repeated cleaning. Which you will be doing. Even the wind blowing about will abrade the lens surface to some extent.

With these wonderful lenses, you want to protect their optical surfaces and be prepared to sacrifice a filter, if need be, to maintain the performance of that wonderful Pentax glass.

Take care and thanks for your dedication!
06-22-2010, 08:25 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by FullertonImages Quote
Sounds likea great choice. If you have an $$$ left over, I would consider adding the DA* 55/1.4, as I think that would really round things out. I've been eying that grouping for a while as my go to travel kit. You could really shoot just about anything with that kit. f/2.8 coverage from 16-50, f/4 coverage from 60-250, and super low light coverage right in between at 55.
I have also been considering a similar travel kit. The difference for me would be the 50-135 instead of the 60-250. First of all, I don't have the 60-250 as I opted for the Sigma 100-300 instead and I'm definitely not traveling with that unless I'm going on a safari. Second, every time we see a post about what lenses people actually used when traveling its always the wider lenses that see 90% of the action. That makes sense when you think about it as most travel shots are trying to impart a sense of place, and that usually lends itself to the wider angles. I could even envision taking just the 16-50 and a fast prime. Now you're getting seriously light weight. But I don't think I could do it. I just know I'd miss my 50-135. I'm also starting to lean towards my Sigma 30/1.4 instead of the DA*55. I know it's not as good of a lens (people seem to either love or hate that lens and I actually love it but I know it's not in the same league as the DA*55), but I think the FL would be more useful. The purpose of taking a fast prime is for low light which usually means interiors. 30 is just better for interiors than 55.

Sorry, LeeRunge, I didn't mean to hijack your thread. Congrats on your selections and let us see some of your efforts!

Last edited by DogLover; 06-22-2010 at 08:30 AM. Reason: Apology
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