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03-12-2014, 11:03 PM   #1
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Upgrade question from a KX

I currently have a Pentax Kx, DAL18-55mm, DAL55-300mm and a pentax 50mm f1.4.


I'm looking to upgrade in May. I have the K500, K50, K5iis and K3 in mind. I am back and forth between those cameras.

Things I can live without:
-Weather sealing ( never had it so wont miss it)
- 8.3fps (the 4.7fps of the KX was hardly utilized)
- Shutter speed of 1/8000 ( hardly used past 1/2000)

Thinks I want (not necessarily need) :
-24MP sounds great, better quality and more room to edit and be anal about every detail.
-Remotely controlling the camera with the flu card (I know I can just use the 12s self timer if I have to)
-High quality LCD
-Better AF in Low light
- Less noise at Higher ISO ( I do use Topaz Denoise)
- Sharper Pictures ( Does removing the AA filters make a significant difference in sharpness, or is it hardly noticeable?
-Super High Quality of the K3 ( every review I've see states that the picture quality of the K3 is miles better than the other pentax cameras. wondering if its that good)


which ever camera I buy would affect the lenses I buy because my budget is around $1300.
Lens:
- Sigma 17-50 or Tamron 17-50 (this is a must, no matter what camera)
- Tamron 90mm macro ( would be nice to have a macro lens, not sure how much use it will get )
- Tamron 70-200 f2.8 ( i hardly use telephoto lenses, but it would be nice to have for events)


BTW Photography is just my hobby, i enjoy taking photos and that's just it. I do take jobs from time to time tho.

you can check out some of my photos on Facebook or on Flickr.

03-12-2014, 11:16 PM   #2
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Since it sounds like you want a higher-resolution sensor, unless you want to switch brands, I'd recommend waiting for whatever will replace the K-50. It's bound to come out this year and I'm sure it will feature the K-3's sensor, or at least something with a higher resolution than 16pm.

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03-12-2014, 11:46 PM   #3
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Usually the thinking is digital camera models get replaced by newer/better ones every couple years but lenses are a long term investment--so if lenses are important to you--spend the money on lenses. 2 years from now the $1000 pentax will be $400. Or put another way that $1000 pentax model of 2 years ago is now $400. (e.g., K-5 seems like a steal now),
03-13-2014, 01:41 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Since it sounds like you want a higher-resolution sensor, unless you want to switch brands, I'd recommend waiting for whatever will replace the K-50. It's bound to come out this year and I'm sure it will feature the K-3's sensor, or at least something with a higher resolution than 16pm.
QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
Usually the thinking is digital camera models get replaced by newer/better ones every couple years but lenses are a long term investment--so if lenses are important to you--spend the money on lenses. 2 years from now the $1000 pentax will be $400. Or put another way that $1000 pentax model of 2 years ago is now $400. (e.g., K-5 seems like a steal now),
I'd also say wait on the body for now. If you absolutely must, and can't wait, don't go higher than the K-5 IIs. But that will still keep your camera body out of balance with your lens collection (not enough spent on the lenses).


QuoteOriginally posted by shylock Quote
which ever camera I buy would affect the lenses I buy because my budget is around $1300.
Lens:
- Sigma 17-50 or Tamron 17-50 (this is a must, no matter what camera)
- Tamron 90mm macro ( would be nice to have a macro lens, not sure how much use it will get )
- Tamron 70-200 f2.8 ( i hardly use telephoto lenses, but it would be nice to have for events)
I think you're right on track with what you need for your lenses, but it's going to take most of the $1300 (a much better way to use the money, if at all possible):

1) I think the Tamron 17-50 is better than the Sigma (this isn't Sigma's optimal lens), as long as you get a good copy of the Tamron. As you say, you definitely need this lens or something like it. (I think the DA*16-50 is still a better lens than the Tamron, but not enough to be worth the price difference on a tight budget). Approx. $300 used.

2) Get the Cosina 100/3.5 (or a similarly priced older macro - but the Cosina's good) instead of the Tamron 90, especially if you're not sure how much you'll use the macro. I sold my Tamron 90 - it's one of Tamron's better lenses, but it was too much money for not enough improvement over the Cosina. If I was going to go better I'd rather go all the way to the D FA 100 WR (and I did - I kept the Cosina and added the 100 WR). You'll get much better ROI if you save money here and apply it to #3 (below) instead. Approx. $75-150 (used, of course)

3) I'd opt for a used DA*50-135 here if you can. But the Tamron 70-200 is a decent 2nd choice (although the IQ is more inspiring on the DA*50-135). This is where it's worth stretching your money, rather than on #1 or #2. In any case, you definitely need something like one of these lenses ASAP. I kept my K-x until after I'd acquired a number of better lenses like the DA*50-135, and it made all the difference in my photos. (If you get the DA*50-135 you'll happily sell the DA55-300, because it's not that strong over 135mm. Eventually you'll look toward a *300 lens if you need the length. But if you let SDM worries scare you, you'll be missing out on the best Pentax has to offer). Approx $600-800 (?) for one of these used.

03-13-2014, 04:14 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by shylock Quote
Pentax Kx, DAL18-55mm, DAL55-300mm and a pentax 50mm f1.4.
I've got all three

My 2c:
Body: go with the K-5IIs. It seems a classic, and price is good nowadays. Excellent low-light images plus top low-light AF, good resolution, great handling. K-3 is good, but 2x the price....

Lens: yes, Tammy 17-50 is great (I have that too). But my 1st sample was bad, 2nd sample excellent, so make sure you verify the copy you get and choose a respectable seller that has a good returns policy. An alternative to the Tammy may be the (new model) Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4. By all accounts, it's a very sharp, modern lens with faster AF than the Tamron. It may even be cheaper than the Tammy 17-50.

Agree that a fast 70-200 will be very useful. Any of the 70-200's from Tamron or Sigma will do you well. Very handy for sports, events etc. An essential part of your kit. Also often cheaper than a Pentax 50-135, excellent as that lens may be.
03-13-2014, 06:12 AM   #6
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It's a tough decision right now for what we know is likely coming - the mid-grade version of the K3 and the K3's scheduled price drop.

That said, a K5IIs and a nice lens would be a good combination. It's a huge jump from the Kx, for sure.
03-13-2014, 07:02 AM   #7
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You should also consider K-30. It's almost identical to K-50.

Personally I would go for K-3 if I had the money, or K-30 if on a tight budget.
03-13-2014, 08:19 AM   #8
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My Kx is about 4 years old, and the AF switch isn't working properly. If I switch it to manual focus it will take about 15 mins of fiddling with the switch to get it back into autofocus. my 15-55mm and 55-300mm has fungus, but it does not affect the picture quality (at-lest I hope). My 50mm is the newest and it's clean. Im looking to replace the 2 lenses and get rid of them or just keep them strictly on the KX.

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Since it sounds like you want a higher-resolution sensor, unless you want to switch brands, I'd recommend waiting for whatever will replace the K-50. It's bound to come out this year and I'm sure it will feature the K-3's sensor, or at least something with a higher resolution than 16pm.
If I were to wait for the K50 replacement it would be about $800 to $900 when it is released. that almost as much as the k3 now.

QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I've got all three


Lens: yes, Tammy 17-50 is great (I have that too). But my 1st sample was bad, 2nd sample excellent, so make sure you verify the copy you get and choose a respectable seller that has a good returns policy. An alternative to the Tammy may be the (new model) Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4. By all accounts, it's a very sharp, modern lens with faster AF than the Tamron. It may even be cheaper than the Tammy 17-50.

Agree that a fast 70-200 will be very useful. Any of the 70-200's from Tamron or Sigma will do you well. Very handy for sports, events etc. An essential part of your kit. Also often cheaper than a Pentax 50-135, excellent as that lens may be.
The reason i'm leaning towards the sigma is because of the silent focusing compared to the Tammy. I'm not sure about the 50-135 because i'm stepping down from a 300mm zoom, I was even wondering if 200mm was enough, but I was going to compensate for that with cropping, seeing that I will have more MP to play with.


I set my budget at around $1300 because thats what the K3 and the sigma/tamron would cost (somewhere around there)

also would you suggest buying in a store or online. I Live in the Caribbean and most of my shopping is done online, but ill be travelling to the US in May, so that is when I want to get the camera. It will give me a chance to test out the cam before I buy it and make returns alot easier if something was to happen. its also going to save me big time because the duties here are 50% so ill end up paying $1500 for the body alone if I was to ship it now.

03-13-2014, 11:08 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by shylock Quote
If I were to wait for the K50 replacement it would be about $800 to $900 when it is released. that almost as much as the k3 now.
I think your options and prices will be just as good or better in May, except the K-5 IIs may be mostly sold out. No great loss if it is - it's just a body. But I didn't realize your K-x was malfunctioning, so you probably need something.


QuoteOriginally posted by shylock Quote
my 15-55mm and 55-300mm has fungus, but it does not affect the picture quality (at-lest I hope). My 50mm is the newest and it's clean.
QuoteOriginally posted by shylock Quote
The reason i'm leaning towards the sigma is because of the silent focusing compared to the Tammy. I'm not sure about the 50-135 because i'm stepping down from a 300mm zoom, I was even wondering if 200mm was enough, but I was going to compensate for that with cropping, seeing that I will have more MP to play with.
I sounds like lens storage is critical in your climate - hopefully you've already looked into a dry box or another solution to that problem.


The DA55-300 is a good lens for the money. But if you look at the images critically, I think you'll see that between about 135mm and 300mm the images from it aren't all that exciting. At least that's what I noticed from mine (and this should be expected, for the price). I couldn't find a single image that I really liked from it in that range. In comparison, images from my K200/2.5, the DA*200, or my F*300 are routinely really nice. So what's the point of the DA55-300 then? The DA*50-135 will cover the same range with the best IQ available in a zoom (and almost as good as primes - you won't notice the difference unless you're consciously trying). You're not stepping down when you currently don't have anything great in that range. I'll bet you that a crop from the DA*50-135 will be as good as anything the DA55-300 can put out.
03-13-2014, 01:09 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by shylock Quote
If I were to wait for the K50 replacement it would be about $800 to $900 when it is released. that almost as much as the k3 now.
Probably not- the K-50 launched at $699 and with the market as competitive as it's become, launching an upper entry-level camera any higher than that would be suicide. With that said, if you can swing a K-3 at $900, I would go for it!

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03-14-2014, 03:55 PM   #11
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I'm looking at either the K5iis or the K3 and the sigma 17-70C. I really hope the price of the K3 drops by may, but I doubt. With the k5iis its just a 4MP bump but with the K3 its 12Mp. The price is the only deterrent.
03-14-2014, 04:04 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Since it sounds like you want a higher-resolution sensor, unless you want to switch brands, I'd recommend waiting for whatever will replace the K-50. It's bound to come out this year and I'm sure it will feature the K-3's sensor, or at least something with a higher resolution than 16pm.
Agreed.......But the 16mp is good enough for me....

---------- Post added 03-14-14 at 07:05 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
on't go higher than the K-5 IIs
K-30 is no slouch either
03-14-2014, 04:27 PM   #13
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K-5iis for about $500-600. Tamron 17-50 for about $275. That leaves about $425-525,which might get you a Tamron 70-200.

Last edited by dansamy; 03-14-2014 at 04:41 PM.
03-14-2014, 06:17 PM   #14
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Wow .... The more I post the more confused I get. If I can locate those lenses for that price, ill go for it .... I monitor the used market often for good deals. I just want to beable to take really sharp pictures.

N why don't people make AA filters ..... Just like they do uv filters to screw onto the lens. Is tht not possible ?


I'm also looking for a good camera bag (not included in the budget). A side bag ( is there one tht can be converted to a back pack? )



Are there compact tripods that can fit into a camera bag and can still be extended to almost the length of a standard tripod ? I don't want to be walking around with a tripod in my hand on my trip, pluss traveling on the plane with it might be a hastle.
03-14-2014, 08:55 PM   #15
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You can definitely find the K-5iis & the 17-50 for around those prices. The 70-200 you'll probably have to stalk eBay until you get one. Patience being the virtue that it is...
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