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04-04-2013, 07:07 AM   #16
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There are a couple of threads of people thinking the grass is greener on the other side and then being disappointed, after already buying a Canon or Nikon.
I would say that going to Canikon is only worth it if you buy a camera body that costs over 1600 euro, since Pentax doesn't really make anything in that price bracket/tier.
If you want an IQ boost, get a K-5 or a K-01. That way you can still use those lenses and the familiar camera layout. The K-01 has better overall IQ than the K-r if you shoot raw, but its a pretty different camera, not even a DSRL. Getting a K-01 with 40mmXS can be a good complement to your current gear and maybe you can still find a great deal (for under 400 euro). Or just invest in lenses, lenses make a huge difference in the photos you can take and they usually keep value for a long time (much longer than a digital camera). A K-5 can also be found pretty cheap and will deliver more features than the K-r. But replacing a low to mid tier camera with a low to mid tier camera from another brand.. doesn't really make sense to me. Instead I would buy some non-kit lenses or maybe a higher tier of the same brand, if I felt like my camera was really the cause of problems.

04-04-2013, 07:19 AM   #17
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Relatively cheap lenses that you could consider would be the DA 40, FA 50 f1.4, DA 50 f1.8 or the DA 35 f2.4. A lot depends on what focal length you prefer. I would probably pick the FA 50 f1.4 of those I mentioned, probably could pick up a used copy for 260-ish. If you like wider, then the DA 35 would work.

For portraiture and wider angle, look seriously at the Sigma 30 f1.4. It isn't great in the corners, but works really well for portraits, where you are looking for center sharpness over border sharpness.
04-04-2013, 07:34 AM   #18
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I think that you already received some very good advice.

To sum up, if you want to change body for the sake of changing, why don't you consider a K-30, especially with all these new funky colouts coming up? The K-30 has possibly the best video capabilities among the Pentax dSLR.

You will see a drastic imporvement in IQ, you should get better glass: ie 'new' lenses especially primes.
- The DA 35 f2.4 is a great option to start: AF, great IQ, relatively chear;
- Older manual lenses are another direction is you do not mind MF; Pentax offers a bacwards compatibility and you can use 'vintage' lenses on your K-r; There are for example some excellent old MF prime lenses about $100-200 at the PF markerplace, sometimes even lens.
- If you are for Pentax in the long run, and have financial means, you should consider the limited series. Pentax offers two current series of limited lenses: i.e. the 3 FA Limited lenses (FA 31, FA43, FA77) regarded possibly as the best lenses across all brands (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/columns/sm-02-05-02.shtml); the DA limited pancakes lenses (DA15, 21, 40, 70). These lenses are fantastic. You do not need all the series but each lense among these series are superb in their own.

Hope that the comment may help.
04-04-2013, 07:36 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Relatively cheap lenses that you could consider would be the DA 40, FA 50 f1.4, DA 50 f1.8 or the DA 35 f2.4. A lot depends on what focal length you prefer. I would probably pick the FA 50 f1.4 of those I mentioned, probably could pick up a used copy for 260-ish. If you like wider, then the DA 35 would work.

For portraiture and wider angle, look seriously at the Sigma 30 f1.4. It isn't great in the corners, but works really well for portraits, where you are looking for center sharpness over border sharpness.
this is a good overview indeed of available primes.
check out the forums for reviews on these.
I personally feel the da35 or (the sigma 30 1.4) may be the best & not too expensive allrounder for what you want..

04-04-2013, 07:52 AM   #20
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If you're starting a lens collection I'm not sure what the logic in not starting with the 35 2.4 would be, unless you want manual focus. It's wide enough for focussing in low light. It's really sharp and the focal length is very versatile on APS-c. You get to find out if you'll actually take a zoom off your camera and use a prime, for a very good price. My fear with paying a lot for a prime as a beginner would be, in buying a lens I wouldn't use.

My 35 2.4 images here.

If you want better than the kit in the same focal range, the Tamron 17-50 2.8 might be what you're looking for. For the beach, check your 55-300 images to see what focal lengths you might use. Honestly, for those kinds of shots and hand held, you're probably doing as good as you're going to get with the kit lenses.

I'm not convinced that hand held, there's likely to be much difference between a kit lens and a better lens.
04-04-2013, 09:05 AM   #21
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If I were you, I would add some pentax primes rather than go to a new system. The DA 15 adds a new world to your photography. Check out the DA 15 controls my mind section on this forum for some amazing work by fellow photogs. I also have the 21, 40 and 70 primes and love them all
04-04-2013, 09:10 AM   #22
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Before I bought my K-5, in fact before I even tried a Pentax system, I had a chance to play with a friend's new T3. Bottom line was that it seemed like a fine camera, but I did not like the way it felt in my hand. I was just starting my camera search at that point, but I very quickly ruled out the Canon's on ergonomic reasons.
04-04-2013, 09:22 AM   #23
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The 40mm works great for portraits even though I don't use my much due to a traffic stock of lenses in my camera bag around that focal length.
Small, extremely discreet and good optically. Check out some of Benjamin Kanarek's work, a lot of it is with the DA 40mm F2.8!
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/search.php?searchid=7892575

04-04-2013, 10:16 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Martowski Quote
99% of my photos are of my children. :-)
QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I would probably pick the FA 50 f1.4
I second Rondec's suggestion, especially for kiddie pictures. It makes a phenomenal portrait lens on APS-C cameras. It's super fast, too, which is great for indoors.

I'm a little puzzled by this comment you made, though:
QuoteOriginally posted by Martowski Quote
I don't own any right now (outside of actually several very old Pentax manual focus lenses from the 80's when my father was big into photography with his MX)
Why not stick some of those lenses on your camera? Anything Pentax made after 1975 will fit. I wouldn't be surprised if his collection included a 50mm f/1.4. The optics for that lens haven't really changed since the '60's.

BTW, 30 years isn't really that long for a lens. I have one from 1959. Works like a charm.
04-04-2013, 11:10 AM   #25
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Another vote for the 35 2.4. For me it works very well as a "50-replacement". And it's hard to beat the price to IQ ratio!
04-04-2013, 01:57 PM   #26
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Great suggestions; thank you! I do have the manual lenses and have played with them a little, but I must not be doing something right as I can't quite get the results I'd like to see out of them right now. Plus, with the kids moving as much as they do, I'd like to have something with a fast autofocus.
04-04-2013, 02:11 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Martowski Quote
Great suggestions; thank you! I do have the manual lenses and have played with them a little, but I must not be doing something right as I can't quite get the results I'd like to see out of them right now. Plus, with the kids moving as much as they do, I'd like to have something with a fast autofocus.
If they're running around, I've found that MF lenses are even easier than autofocus ones. Just prefocus on a point they're likely to move through and set the camera to burst mode. When they're about to move through your chosen point of focus, fire away. One of those pics is going to be an action shot in perfect focus. It might be something fun to try, and you don't even have to buy anything!

Are your problems related to exposure? If so, look into stop-down metering and the Green Button.
04-04-2013, 02:15 PM   #28
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If the K-r AF isn't fast enough for you, you'll find significantly faster AF only in the more expensive choices like the D7100, 7D, etc. The K-01 has been known to be quite fast in the AF department but I'm not sure about moving subjects. I think technique for focusing on moving subjects can help here, and with more skill you may realise that the K-r is quite a competent little camera, and there are some subjects that are just quite difficult to shoot, like active children.
04-04-2013, 02:34 PM   #29
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Why not get K30 with 2 e-dial wheels and TAv Mode, you will love it.
04-04-2013, 04:17 PM   #30
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I thought about getting a T3i or T4i for a long time, mostly to dabble with video. But DSLR video still isn't all that versatile. Autofocus sucks. The shallow DOF of a large sensor, and the nauseating rolling shutter effect, is a pain when you want to capture your kids running around. For documenting the life around you in video format, a smaller sensor of a dedicated video camera is a distinct advantage.

I have the 40 Ltd and I don't find it awkward, but some do. If I had to start over with one prime, I would probably have to go with the DA35 2.4, as it is more of a "normal" FOV.

If you really are itching to buy a new body, here is a review of the K-30 by Jordan from TCS (happens to be a member here). At 11:18, he says that the K-30 "dominates" the T4i.
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