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12-07-2010, 04:03 PM   #31
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Well Vincent you do show that you can produce good results with it, no matter what others' experiences are with the kit lens. For the OP it's a great place to start (the 18-135 would be better) but it all depens on what you intend to shoot with it. If you're limiting your photography to landscapes or even studio work (not macro) then you could do well with the kit lens alone. Otherwise you'll quickly see what you're lacking and invest in other lenses that'll do the job for you.

12-07-2010, 07:37 PM   #32
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I actually just remembered something.

At least have a good look at the Tameron 17-50 2.8 lens. It's fast, it's not incredibly expensive, and I think there will be no argument that it is significantly better than the kit lens.

Paired with a KX, you would be looking at spending just over 1000 on a low light monster kit .
12-07-2010, 07:45 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by RolloR Quote
no way that the 18-55 II kit lens can be as bad as that one in the review!
Mine certainly is...it looks out-of-focus even though I know it's in the best focus possible. My experience with the 18-55 matches the test shots perfectly. Anyway, this thread is getting off-topic. :P

To the OP, if by K-5+kit you mean the 18-135, then by ALL means go for that. Otherwise I'd say get the K-x/K-r and either two primes or a 18-135 and a prime depending on your shooting needs.

Last edited by jeffshaddix; 12-07-2010 at 07:51 PM.
12-07-2010, 09:35 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffshaddix Quote
Mine certainly is...it looks out-of-focus even though I know it's in the best focus possible. My experience with the 18-55 matches the test shots perfectly.
Did you get the yellow version of the 18-55?





12-07-2010, 10:26 PM   #35
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I'm with the K-x crowd on this one. For the price of a K-5 kit you could get:

K-x + DA* 16-50 + a fast 50 for a decent range plus low light option

or

K-x + DA* 16-50 + DA 55-300 for a good focal range

or

K-x + DA* 16-50 + DA 40 Limited for a versatile kit with an compact option

or

K-x + DA* 50-135 + DA 35 AL for an excellent longer zoom plus a good prime

Best thing is that in a year or two you can pick up a used K-5 body for half the current price and use all of the great lenses above with them AND have the K-x as a backup.
12-08-2010, 10:39 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
I'm with the K-x crowd on this one. For the price of a K-5 kit you could get:

K-x + DA* 16-50 + a fast 50 for a decent range plus low light option

or

K-x + DA* 16-50 + DA 55-300 for a good focal range

or

K-x + DA* 16-50 + DA 40 Limited for a versatile kit with an compact option

or

K-x + DA* 50-135 + DA 35 AL for an excellent longer zoom plus a good prime

Best thing is that in a year or two you can pick up a used K-5 body for half the current price and use all of the great lenses above with them AND have the K-x as a backup.
Those sound like good combinations -

but how about K-x + 18-55 and 50-200 (~$578) (or 55-300 ~$649) kit?
Those are very good prices right now with the introduction of the K-r.

Please take a look at Kx in Use for lots of low available light shooting at a jazz club - with mostly the 18-55 kit lens wide open (the lighting at the jazz club can be very low ISO5000 f/3.5 and 1/4 sec)

or just look at my album at the jazz club (there are 315 shots in there - all except for the first 17, and the odd 3:4 aspect ratio, are on the K-x with the 18-55 (mostly) and 50-200
link to first shot on the K-x of 298.

Last edited by UnknownVT; 12-08-2010 at 10:45 AM.
12-08-2010, 10:56 AM   #37
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Depends.... the two lens 18-55 and 55-300 (skip the 50-200, it's not very good) is sort of a jack of all trade, master of none set up.

Lots of people rarely shoot over 100mm. I'm not sure if it would be better to have a camera that can do everything but only ok, or a few things really really well. I know that in my case, I get inspired when I can pull things off really really well.... I'll use a 50 all day if it's the only way I can get "that look".

I personally think people learned a lot about photography and what they need when they started off with a 50mm kit lens, instead of all these super-zooms. I didn't really begin to learn about composition until I bought my first prime.

Not saying you need a prime, just suggesting that starting off with every focal length might be a little overkill and these lenses are both painfully slow.

Something in the 16-50 range, but higher quality, would serve one better in the long run IMHO, and be a good place to start. Do you really want to go longer? How much longer? Would a 100mm macro do it, or do you want the reach of the 55-300?
12-08-2010, 11:17 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Depends.... the two lens 18-55 and 55-300 (skip the 50-200, it's not very good) is sort of a jack of all trade, master of none set up.
Fair enough it does depend on the usage.

However the 50-200 is very good giving the 35mm FF equivalent range of 75-300.

One merely have to look at the bird shots by planedriver on the 50-200 to see how good it actually/really is:

Posts #88 and #78

My humble efforts on the K-x and 50-200:

Stanley Clarke w. Hiromi at Atlanta Jazz Festival May/30/2010:

ISO5000, f/5.6, 1/100, 200mm


ISO5000, f/5.6, 1/100, 200mm


ISO5000, f/4.5, 1/100, 95mm
because of the strong harsh stage lighting - I had to use recovery and adjust the exposure via ACR on this JPG.

All these concert shots were with the humble 50-200 kit zoom -
I was sitting in the rain out with the crowd
on the "wrong" side of the barrier -
no preferential treatment, no photo pass....

being on the ground was hard on my butt and my knees as I could not stand because of other people behind me - I was about 70 feet from the stage so all my shots were on the 50-200 zoom - 50mm would just about get most of the stage - and 200mm was barely enough to get about 3/4 length body shots.....
(this was one of the occasions when I wish I had the 55-300mm instead - but then at 55mm would not have got me my overall stage shots without changing lenses - so overall considering the weather circumstances I was kind of glad not to have to change lenses at all)

Link to first Stanley Clarke pic of 21

Link to first pic in my separate Atlanta Jazz Fest album (with many other artists)


Last edited by UnknownVT; 12-22-2010 at 11:21 AM.
12-08-2010, 11:22 AM   #39
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nice work vincent, it's nice to shoot shows that have enough light harsh or not. i shot a show the other night that had max 6 spots for the whole stage, mostly red and not at full power. with a k10d aside from my m50 1.7 everything was 2.8. I finally packed it in and went to flash and processed as b/w otherwise i would have had very few usable pictures
12-08-2010, 11:31 AM   #40
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Great work VT, and a nice balance to my opinion. In all honesty, my kit would not allow for that sort of photography.
12-08-2010, 01:22 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
it's nice to shoot shows that have enough light harsh or not.
Thanks Eddie.

Ha-ha! the reason I moved on from the already sterling K100D to the K-x just over a year ago was precisely for the HighISO performance.

I'll try not to sound like a broken record - but please take a look at Post #36 above where I talk about very very low light venue I shoot at (can be as low as ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/4sec)

and some samples in Post #19

That harsh lighting shot wasn't all that bright at ISO-5000, f/4.5, 1/100, 95mm.

Most of my shooting seems to be under extreme conditions - either very low light or difficult colored lighting (please see: Modern LED Stage Lighting & photography problems)

QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Great work VT, and a nice balance to my opinion. In all honesty, my kit would not allow for that sort of photography.
Thank you.

I've lived with the limitation of the two kit lenses 18-55 and 50-200 since I bought my first dSLR the K100D in March/2007 - those are the only two lenses I have for my Pentax dSLRs - they seem to give me very good results that can bear close scrutiny, I have many photos on musicians' websites (eg: BeesWeb - Catch of the Day) and some in CD liners.

I use the K-x on larger and outdoor venues where the lighting is mostly good, but also specialize in a very dark jazz club - where I go to practice my available light and shoot ridiculously High ISOs......

Last edited by UnknownVT; 12-22-2010 at 11:24 AM.
12-08-2010, 01:47 PM   #42
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God I absolutely HATE LED stage lighting, there is one venue here that only has LED and I just don't go to shoot there.
12-08-2010, 08:31 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
Did you get the yellow version of the 18-55?
Haha perhaps
12-08-2010, 08:40 PM   #44
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I would get the most you can afford and expect it to cost more.

So, the K-5 and kit lens, and work on the lenses...
12-08-2010, 09:47 PM   #45
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Splurging on a body at the cost of not getting the glass you want strikes me as unwise. When I found myself lusting after a K5, which I simply can't afford, when I haven't even learned to use my K7 effectively yet, I decided to bust the bank on some nice glass instead. I now have an FA77 ltd, and I'm really happy. Of course the kit lens is decent, and I'm happy to have it in case of bad weather, and it weighs next to nothing -- but putting the FA77 on it makes me finally happy with my investment in the K-7 (the DA40 I bought soon after getting the K-7 has been a disappointment)

It's a shame the high iso performance of the K-7 isn't great -- but if that's an issue, the recommendations to get the Kx make a lot of sense. If I were the OP, I'd go for the Kx and some great glass, and wait for the price of the K-5 to come down. Or by then, a newer model might be even more attractive.
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