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07-25-2011, 07:07 PM   #1
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New lens or new body?

Hi everyone I hope this is the right section for such questions, it wouldn't be nice to fail on my second post

As I said im my introduction postI’ve been following this forum since I decided to buy a K10D few years ago and found it very useful. However, now time has come to register and actively seek some advice. I am currently having a doubt. Should I buy a new body or invest in a good lens? To be honest the budget is not a problem, I saved some money in the past months for this purpose. I’d say I could spend around the price of a k5 body. I can’t afford a good body and a good lens, I have to choose.

I currently own a pentax K10d with two kit lenses plus several old M lenses that I got from my father (the reason why I bought a pentax in the first place btw)

SMC Pentax-DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED
SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL
Pentax-A 35-70mm F3.5-4.5
Pentax-M 135mm F3.5
Pentax-M 50mm F2
Pentax-M 28mm F2.8

Now, from what I’ve read these lenses should be ok, the reviews seem to converge on more than average quality. I can’t say I’m completely dissatisfied with the result (actually I love the 135mm) but I feel I could get much less frustration with a high end lens. If I go for the lens I’d go for a prime lens wide-standard angle.
As for the camera, my main problem is the noise. In many occasion I had to shoot with high ISO (I hate flash) and this is very very annoying. Even at 400 iso I’m often disappointed by the result. For the rest I can’t really complain although I wouldn’t mind having some extra features.

What would you suggests if you were me? Any advice is more than welcome.


Last edited by Clacaf; 07-25-2011 at 09:04 PM.
07-25-2011, 09:34 PM   #2
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The K10D is not known for high ISOs, why not get a K7 instead. There is a thread in here somewhere that advises on how to tweak the camera to get better high ISOs. The K5 is also a great camera.

The K7 is nt that expensive now but I do not know if you can still get it new in the US.
07-25-2011, 09:36 PM   #3
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Lenses you have -> better lenses available = good jump in IQ

K10D -> K-5 = tremendous jump in IQ

My newbie opinion, but I also owned a K10D for a little while and speak from experience that although K10 is a great camera the K-5 sensor is in a whole 'nother league.
07-25-2011, 09:37 PM   #4
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^^ Between K10 and K-7, other than having to tweak WB, I preferred the look of the K10 images.

07-25-2011, 10:11 PM   #5
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The K-r should probably be a consideration, unless you really need weather sealing. Stick to Pentax lenses and you won't have serious front- or backfocus issues (which would require the per-lens adjustment of the K-5). Sell off the M-lenses and with the saved money you will get something useful for the wide end, like the DA15 or the DA 14.
07-25-2011, 10:17 PM   #6
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I would also suggest that if high ISO performance is what you're after, the K-r is a very good choice in terms of value for money - then you can also afford a lens to go with it. It all depends on what specific purpose you have for your next lens purchase. A decent kit lens replacement could be a Tamron 17-50 or Sigma 17-50. But neither the K-r nor these lenses are weather sealed, if that's important to you. The K-5 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 is the weather sealed choice for all-round photography
07-25-2011, 10:20 PM   #7
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It is worth to invest in good quality lenses. A lens is an investment that you will re-use on all your new Pentax camera (but the Q).

In my opinion, the sensible (fiancially sound) way would be invest in lenses, but the heart may say something else.

I have a K-7 and I consider to invest in a K-5 earlier this year. Instead LBA stroke and I bought a few high-quality lenses incl the FA31mm f1.8 Ltd. I have no regret because I found that the lens has an enormous impact on the overall IQ.

Food for thought...
07-25-2011, 10:32 PM   #8
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What sort of photos do you like taking most of all and in what sort of lighting conditions?

I'd probably go for a new lens first, personally. It could be a great opportunity to get into the limited lenses.
However the K-5 is really great and a good upgrade from the K10 sensor all round in my opinion.
Tough choice

07-25-2011, 10:38 PM   #9
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Your lenses are OK, not great, not lousy. IMHO the 35-70, 28, and 135 are the best of the lot. Depending on your desires, you could have better without spending a fortune. I'm a whiz at finding such.

Your K10D is well-loved for low-ISO work. But a K5 would put you on a whole 'nother level, as crewl1 pointed out. Your main complaint seems to be about ISO. I think you'd get a LOT more benefit from a K5 than from a Sigma 30/1.5 or other fast wide-normal. (My fastest in that wide-standard neighborhood are a Kiron 24/2 and Komine 28/2 CFWA, and they're not exactly low-light lenses on my K20D.) Here are the basic numbers, comparing apertures and maximum usable ISOs:

M28/2.8 vs S30/1.5 ==> ~2 stops
K10D (200) vs K5 (6400+) ==> 5+ stops

Ignoring all the K5's other newer technology, just that ISO difference means your current lenses can do a LOT in MUCH lower light. You can't get a 5-stop gain in lenses, period. Like when I asked a guy in rural Chihuahua about a road shown on my map: No existe!

My advice: Get the K5 now. Keep saving, and ask about better lenses later. Good luck!
07-25-2011, 11:23 PM   #10
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Don't go for a discontinued body if buying new. Buy k-5, it won't be outdated at least few years, save money for lenses :-)
07-26-2011, 09:42 AM   #11
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wow so many replies, thank you very much. I'll try to answer everyone.

I thought of buying a cheaper camera such as the k7 but to be honest I want something that really make the difference. The K7 is still a good camera compared to the k10 but since I have the money I'd go for the k5. In addition here in UK, at the moment, the K5 is more or less 100 more expensive than the K7.

If I go for the lens I still have to figure out which one but as Kameraten suggested I was thinking about buying the DA 15. However, I have to look around because there are so many.

To answer goddo31' s question, I don't really have any preference although I mainly do what could be called street photography. I just grab my camera walk around and take pictures of the surrounding environment. I also take landscape and architecture but it really depends if I'm in a good spot (I usually don't actively seek for landscape pictures for example). To get an idea, here's my photoblog that I opened few days ago. I have to change some pictures and add some other but basically it pretty show what I usually do.


Overall I believe the body would be a better choice, at the moment.
07-26-2011, 12:22 PM   #12
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Well I think that some off those lenses wont be the best thing when you use K-5. But then again you can start saving for a lens.
07-26-2011, 01:01 PM   #13
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Go for the K5. You can always pick up a lens.
07-26-2011, 09:52 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
Well I think that some off those lenses wont be the best thing when you use K-5. But then again you can start saving for a lens.
What do you mean by 'some of those lenses wont be the best thing when you use K-5'?
07-26-2011, 10:55 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clacaf Quote
...Should I buy a new body or invest in a good lens? ...
Good lens(es), of course.

Overall I've seen better photos taken with good lenses mated to average cameras than photos from great cameras while using average lenses.

I'd look through PPG and see what cameras and lenses produced what kind of images that enabled them to get into Pentax Photo Gallery, just to get a general idea.

But there are exceptions, and photographers play a huge role as you will see on there some extraordinary photographs taken with some mediocre cameras using even lesser popular lenses.

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