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07-30-2012, 01:20 PM   #1
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New body or glass

Hi folks,

Happily I began Dslr with my Pentax Kr and it works well with the kit lenses. The results have impressed many yet I know how much better things can be since getting a DA 1:2.8 40mm ltd and also completely shooting in raw then developing in Lightroom.

I like the 18-55 kit lens for doing an occasional macro shot, but that is about it.

I like the 55-300 kit lens for zooming out but that is about it.

Seems like I'm spoiled by my little 1:2.8 40mm ltd, right? Well yes of course I do like it a whole lot and will never give that one up.

But... please give me your advice on upgrading from here?
How about a good quality macro zoom?
I'm not willing to buy half a dozen more primes, but in time will buy one or two more.
Would selling my Kr and buying something like a K10 make my photos that much better with the lenses I have now?

Oh, to be clear my photography is mostly unplanned, when indoors I do have a Metz 50 AF-1 that is awesome hand held. When outdoors most of the time I want to freeze fast action beyond the distance of the Metz (but no need for a longer range than the 55-300) and also be able to do better macro than the 18-55.

So that is what I would like... so please give me your opinion about the pros and cons of choosing between new glass and new body.

One more thing, most of my prints so far have been for books but it would be great to print bigger

Chris

07-30-2012, 02:22 PM   #2
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I think we just answered the body/glass question here:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/194192-what-should...4-limited.html

For a zoom macro, the Tamron 28-75 has excellent IQ and will get fairly close. Not quite the excellent IQ but a better range perhaps, and still pretty close focusing is the Sigma 17-70. They can be had used for $300-ish.
07-30-2012, 03:37 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Upgrading glass over body if you still have "stock" lenses is usually a better investment since glass contributes so very much to overall IQ.

You'll see much more improvement in getting a good lens over keeping the 18-55 and upgrading to a K30 or a K5.

If you like macro consider getting a dedicated macro lens like the FA100 or the DA35. They're both spectacular lenses.
07-30-2012, 05:15 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by FrancisK7 Quote
Upgrading glass over body if you still have "stock" lenses is usually a better investment since glass contributes so very much to overall IQ.
+1 Cameras come and go, glass is forever. Treat your lenses as a lifetime investment, treat your camera as a tool that you will upgrade over time, just like getting a new car every 5 years.

I would think going to a K10 from the k-r would be a downgrade, the k-r sensor is supposed to be much better especially at higher ISO.

Another vote for the DFA 100mm f/2.8 I recently checked Lightroom to see what lenses I use the most and found that almost 25% of my keepers are with that lens.

07-30-2012, 05:51 PM   #5
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Get The Glass!

Hello Chris, Welcome to the Forum!
Yep, better glass makes for better photos, as you've already seen.
However, a camera body that has advanced features that you actually NEED, is a good investment, also. Although I own a K10D, I must admit it wouldn't be an upgrade from a Kr. Now a K-5 or K-30 might be a whole different story!
Anyway, I would advise against a zoom with "Macro" function vs a true macro prime. No comparison. A true macro (prime) is really one of the finest lifetime investments a photographer can make. Nothing compares.
You could stick a toe into the macro waters with a $100 "M" 100mm f/4.0 macro and see how far you want to go.
Or dive in headfirst with a $600-$800 auto-focus DA Macro prime.
There are a few intermediate steps if you search the used sites, what I quoted are the extremes.
Either way, good luck!
Ron
07-31-2012, 05:42 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by cmd Quote
Hi folks,

Happily I began Dslr with my Pentax Kr and it works well with the kit lenses. The results have impressed many yet I know how much better things can be since getting a DA 1:2.8 40mm ltd and also completely shooting in raw then developing in Lightroom.

I like the 18-55 kit lens for doing an occasional macro shot, but that is about it.

I like the 55-300 kit lens for zooming out but that is about it.

Seems like I'm spoiled by my little 1:2.8 40mm ltd, right? Well yes of course I do like it a whole lot and will never give that one up.

But... please give me your advice on upgrading from here?
How about a good quality macro zoom?
I'm not willing to buy half a dozen more primes, but in time will buy one or two more.
Would selling my Kr and buying something like a K10 make my photos that much better with the lenses I have now?

Oh, to be clear my photography is mostly unplanned, when indoors I do have a Metz 50 AF-1 that is awesome hand held. When outdoors most of the time I want to freeze fast action beyond the distance of the Metz (but no need for a longer range than the 55-300) and also be able to do better macro than the 18-55.

So that is what I would like... so please give me your opinion about the pros and cons of choosing between new glass and new body.

One more thing, most of my prints so far have been for books but it would be great to print bigger

Chris
Your existing body can do so much more (as you discovered) with the 40mm, that a lens would offer more at this point than a body,

I won;t tell you what to buy, because I don't know enough about what you want to do, but buy quality lenses, Glass outlives cameras by a long shot, just look at all the people still using legacy lenses.

you should however take a few minutes (weeks/months?) to plan your lens kit. My approach, although not for every one, was to get high quality zooms to cover the whole range. I have a sigma 10-20, a tamron 28-75F2.8 and a sigma 70-200F2.8 plus sigma TCs to get me out to 400mm Most of these lenses I got when shooting with my *istD, but they still out resolve my K5 sensor.

I have, since then, added primes, in my case mostly legacy lenses with manual focus. I shoot zooms when on family outings or the sigma 70-200/2.8 and 2x TC when birding, but shoot primes when out on my own. One reason I went for primes initially, was for night shooting, where I wanted faster lenses than my zooms. considering I cover 28-200 mm at F2.8 there is not a lot to get that is faster, so I scrounged and bought slowly. putting a requirement to be faster than my zoom kit really helped in control of LBA for a long time. Then I went for something different and put together an M42 kit, and my criteria there was fast, but different than K mount, so I got some presets (taks and others) and some super taks, etc. I actually use the M42's more than the K and M lenses these days. You shoudl try some legacy lenses, you can always sell them if you don't like them, and the prices are better than buying new primes (mostly, although some M42's and early Ks are getting quite pricy these days)
07-31-2012, 01:00 PM   #7
cmd
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New glass it is :)

Thanks so much for everyone's advice.

Let me ask this then - with a budget of about $700, and going for a zoom what would you suggest?

Primary purposes for this zoom would not be telephoto or macro, just being able to stand back about 20 yards from kids playing to take some really sharp action shots would be great. Being able to do portraits would be great too.

This forum is excellent!

Chris
07-31-2012, 02:42 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by cmd Quote
just being able to stand back about 20 yards from kids playing to take some really sharp action shots would be great. Being able to do portraits would be great too.

This forum is excellent!

Chris
Tamron 70-200 will be just a bit over that amount if new, but it is very nice. A Pentax 50-135 may work too, though I'm not a fan of SDM lenses.
A monopod will be handy with that type of lens....

08-03-2012, 12:54 PM   #9
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Keep an eye on the marketplace here. Set up a couple watchlists. That FA100 is a nice lens, it's very good at macro and decent as a telephoto. Consider the 18-135 or that 17-70. You could also consider the 10-17 Fisheye - it's really fun.

Have a look at the lens comparison articles, there are a lot of choices.

I don't think a K-10 would make you happy. All you'd gain is the second wheel, the rest is essentially a downgrade.
08-05-2012, 09:05 AM   #10
cmd
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Well I went and changed my mind, after finding a K-5 for under $700 Yes it is used but with less than 300 on the shutter count and in perfect condition.

I am so very impressed with this camera, even with the kit lenses this thing is amazing. With the prime oh my! I love the two dials particularly in P and Tav modes, the higher resolution is great, and the best part is how well it fells in hand and intuitive the controls are.

Thank you everyone for all of the advice, it is much appreciated.
08-06-2012, 07:51 AM   #11
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You'll love it. When I do use my K-10 it doesn't feel right anymore - the controls aren't in the right place!
Good acquisition.
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