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06-26-2013, 07:36 AM   #1
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Just starting out, worried about Lens availability.

Hey guys, this looks like a really great forum from the little digging around I have done.

I am about to purchase my first every dSLR camera, which I am very excited about. I was originally going for a Canon T3i, as it fits my budget, but after doing some research I think I am better suited to an offering from another company, specifically the K-30.

My big worry is that (in my price range) the lens availability is lacking. As someone who lives in Canada, I wanted to ask if you all think this would be a problem.

I am absolutely interested in older used lenses if I can find them at a good price, PROVIDED I wont be compromising in quality. Does that make sense?

Basically, can you guys put my fear of not having lenses available without spending thousands of dollars to rest?

On that note, other than the 18-55mm kit lens I will probably get with the camera, what do you think I should aim for my next lens(es)? I am mostly planning on photographing my dog and family in social settings or during outdoor hikes / camping. I had it all figured out with CaNikon in that I would just get the 18-55 kit lens, and either a 35 or 50mm prime to start, and then get something with a larger zoom later on (Say, 50-200 or something..)

So yeah - I just wanted to say hello to everyone. I really am leaning heavily to the Pentax but if I regret it later when I can't find good lenses I may opt to go with a similarly priced Nikon.

Thanks for any help in advance!

06-26-2013, 08:04 AM   #2
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Well hello then in the first place.


If the K-30 with the 18-135mm is in your budget then you will have a nice allround set that is wheaterseald.

The new 50mm/f1.8 is very affordable and a nice portraitlens (the 35mm/f2.4 can do this also).
06-26-2013, 08:08 AM   #4
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I would second the 18-135 if it's in your budget. The 55-300 gets great reviews on the long end, and there is a 50-200 that is also weather sealed. To tell the truth I've not ran into lens availability issues. I haev everything covered from 8mm to 500mm. There are plenty more lenses I want, but my wallet says no.

06-26-2013, 08:11 AM   #5
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We are always glad to help people spend money.....
You didn't say where you are, but here's what I'd do.

This vender is Carmen's if you live in near Hamilton, but their web prices are better than their store prices usually.

Something like this (I like blue)
Brand New Pentax K 30 Digital SLR Blue Body Only 027075218109 | eBay

And this
New Tamron 17 50mm XR F 2 8 Di II Lens for Pentax DSLR 4960371004730 | eBay

For starts.... the quality of the Tamron, means you may not ever go for a prime in the focal length. I'd pass on the 18-55.

The best overall for just one lens would be the 18-135
New Tamron 17 50mm XR F 2 8 Di II Lens for Pentax DSLR 4960371004730 | eBay

But the Tamron gives you better low light ability for shooting in doors at family gatherings.

If you do start with the 18-55, DA 35 and second hand Tamron 90 Macro would be good. I think there's one on kijiji Ontario right now.

As for the good old lenses, it depends on where you live....but they can be hard to come by. I browse kijiji Ontatrio on a regular basis and over the years I've seen a few lenses that I'd like to buy and were decent deals, but I've probably picked up on average about a lens a years, so it's not immediate. There's no place we can send you for great deals on old glass.
06-26-2013, 08:11 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum!

Pentax has both a 35mm and a 50mm prime (DA 35mm f/2.4 and DA 50mm f/1.8) that are quite reasonably priced.

For the longer reach may I suggest the DA 55-300? The reach is a bit longer the IQ is generally thought to be slightly better than the 50-200. Certainly not less.

As to availability of lenses I'm not entirely sure what you mean, I have never had a problem finding lenses to buy. If you mean in local stores, well Canada is in much better shape than the US as you have several camera chains that stock Pentax while we here in the states generally do not. So for new purchasing unless we happen to have a local store it is all online.

QuoteOriginally posted by Soybomb Quote
PROVIDED I wont be compromising in quality. Does that make sense?
Of course it does. And I find that older manual primes hold up IQ wise with newer ones assuming the quality of the lens then was good. You cannot buy a cheap old kit lens and expect it to perform like a new Limited just because it is old. However, there are many gems out there if you don't mind manual. For zooms I stick with newer ones as in most cases the optics have improved although again there are some gems out there. Pentax possibly has the most complete lineup of older lenses as anything made going back to late '50's will work on a modern camera (within the limits of lens when it was built of course).

If you have questions, please just ask!


For used lenses, this forum has a remarkable marketplace ( The Pentax Marketplace | Sell Pentax | Photographic Equipment for Sale - PentaxForums.com ) that works well, and of course ebay is always a source. I've bought nearly all of my lenses used.
06-26-2013, 08:11 AM   #7
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I bought two older M lenses on ebay this week and both are in very nice condition. I got a 28mm & 135mm and spent a total of $81.75 (including shipping). I've had trouble finding a good variety of lenses on Craigslist and in my local camera store who sells used equipment. I've heard some of the Pentax lenses are popular for shooting video with folks who own other camera brands.

Just based on ebay alone I wouldn't worry about finding some lenses for the K-30. If you always keep sniffing around you'll find what you want. For example, there was a nice 135mm at my local camera shop yesterday (like the one I got on ebay), but it was $8 more than I paid. My point is, I wouldn't worry about it. The For Sale section of this forum also has nice stuff come through but for the good deals you have to be quick.
06-26-2013, 08:13 AM   #8
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You may also want to check out the buy and sell functions on this forum to search for used lens values

06-26-2013, 08:20 AM   #9
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Hey, thanks for the quick replies, guys.

Ron and Boris, I think you're right about the lens situation, I was getting worried about lens prices when comparing nifty fiftys of the big two to Pentax, but I shouldn't be getting bent out of shape over ~ 100 dollars.

VoiceofRason, I would love the 18-135 WR. In fact having weather resistance is a major reason why I want to go with Pentax... I just dont think the wife will let me swing the extra 400 dollars. I'll keep looking around though..
06-26-2013, 08:28 AM   #10
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Norm Thanks a ton, prodigital pricing seems to be quite good. I am in Canada actually, Nova Scotia to be exact.
$850 for the K-30 + 18-135 might JUST be affordable enough to swing...
06-26-2013, 01:16 PM   #11
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another vote for K-30 + DA18-135 given what you are going to use it for. The nice thing about primes is that they let much more light in. so you can blur the background and/or use higher shutter speeds. If you want to try primes, go for the SMC PENTAX 50mm f/1.7 in "M" or "A". It is cheap and great quality in every sense
06-26-2013, 01:58 PM   #12
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Soybomb,

I went through the same line of questioning you did when I was considering a K-30 for myself. Canon and Nikon are the big players in the DSLR market and it seems like there are more lenses for these two makes than any other. There are actually plenty of good lenses for Pentax camera at almost every price level, in both the new and used markets. I think the bigger joy is to be found in the used market. There are literally thousands of hundreds of lenses available, especially if you consider M42 screw mount units. Granted, they are completely manual so be ready to learn how to "make the picture" vs. "take the picture". I'm still at the bottom of the learning curve myself but it gets easier as the shutter count goes up.

Once you start shooting with the kit lens you will have a sense of what kind of shots you can get at the different focal lengths. You'll see just how wide 18mm is and how narrow 100mm is. Once you get that feel then you'll know what fixed length lenses you will want to hunt for. Trust me, they are out there and they are not hard to find. Besides eBay and Shop Goodwill be sure to check the marketplace on this forum.

My two funnest lenses are a SMC-A 50mm f/1.4 and a Rikenon 35-70mm zoom. The Rikenon came out to be my favorite $5 lens! In terms of sharpness I can zoom in to see skin texture and hair details that amaze me.




I think you'll do just fine with a K-30 and all the K and M42 lenses out there.
06-26-2013, 02:09 PM   #13
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Again, appreciate all the feedback.

Everyone seemed to be echoing the same thing, so I put in a bid for a K-30 + 18-135 Lens. I am hoping it goes through as most of them are really pushing how much money I would like to spend. This means the 18-135 will probably be my only lens for a while, which I'm sure will be fine.
06-26-2013, 04:59 PM   #14
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That 18-135 is a great walking around lens for when you don't want to change lenses. I also recommend getting an f2.8 around 28mm for indoors when the light is low (or the DA35 f2.4 for more money if you want autofocus), and my current favorite value lens is the Super Takumar f2. The 1.8 is more expensive, but really the same lens with a larger aperture stop. Don't be scared of manual focus, your camera will beep to tell you when it's focused right, so it is manual turning, but still kind of autofocus. As a heads up, the Super Tak is an M42 lens, so it requires an adapter. If you go that route, PM me and I'll tell you how to get by for cheap on those.

Anyway, from my Super Tak which I actually got off of ebay for around $30:


06-27-2013, 08:21 AM   #15
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If you haven't already committed to a camera, you might want to check out amazon.com. I've always found good prices and dependable sellers. That's where I got my K30. I just looked, punched k30 into the search bar, the 1st listing for a K30 is $491 body only. Mine was around $600 six months ago with 18-55 kit lens, non WR. I didn't look for kits, but do some looking before you commit.

Also keep an eye on the online auctions for lenses. I've seen nifty fifties for $20 and occasionally less. The f2 version is not all that popular, but I have 2 and both do quite well. I do like the f1.7 and f1.4 lenses better, but a 50mm f2 will get the job done, and mine both get very good shots. I think it's actually an under rated lens. I did some walking around with one of mine today in fact, just to use it a little and see what the K30 will do with it. I still haven't transferred to the computer yet, I don't do that till evening, but I have little doubt I'll have some cool shots. No matter what, a 50mm should definitely be in your bag...If you can find one at a good price, go for a f1.7 or f1.4, but I wouldn't hesitate to grab a f2 if I lost every lens I have tomorrow...

Almost forgot, here's what the f1.7 M series will do...

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