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12-17-2015, 09:40 AM - 1 Like   #16
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New Pentax K 5 IIS Digital SLR Camera Body Only Brand New 027075220737 | eBay
^ This brand spanking new K-5IIs for $560 might be something for you.

Pentax HD PENTAX DA 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 ED DC WR Lens 21387 B&H
^ You'll need one of these to get some awesome results.

You're looking at about +-$1055.

Pentax SMC DA 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6 ED AL (IF) DC WR Lens 21977 B&H
^ This lens is pretty decent as well, but not as good as the other one above.

You'd be at +-$925.

Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera with 18-135mm Lens 15541 B&H Photo Video
^ Or you could just get the more advanced K-3 with the 18-135 combo to start for $989.

12-17-2015, 10:54 AM   #17
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If you could go used here is a decent option you could save $80 plus get a grip....Pentax K K 3 23 4 MP Digital SLR Camera Black Kit w Da 18 135mm WR Lens | eBay

Or you can get a used K5iis used on b&h for $329...Used Pentax K-5 IIs Digital SLR Camera 12050 B&H Photo Video And then get the 16-85 from B&H for $494...Pentax HD PENTAX DA 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 ED DC WR Lens 21387 B&H

For a total of $823
12-17-2015, 11:29 AM   #18
abl
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Thanks again to everyone.

Re the K5-ii vs the K3, it sounds to me like the K5-ii is going to be better for landscapes/still lifes on tripods but the K3 will be better for shooting people. Is that fair? If so, I think paying an extra $60 for the K3 ($620) sounds like the right call for me.

Regarding getting a WR body without a WR lens, does that effectively create a way for rain and whatnot to get into my body? In other words, if I plan on only using one lens for the next couple of years and it's not WR, do I need to treat my body like it's also not WR? If that's the case then I'm probably looking only at the WR lenses.

Lens-wise it sounds like either the DA 18-135mm or the DA 16-85mm are best for me. I like that the former is lighter and a bit cheaper. It sounds like the main advantage of the latter is the optics (and I would probably prefer the slightly wider angle to the longer zoom). Are the optics differences things I'm going to notice on photos that I don't blow up? I get that when you do software analyses of the lenses or pixel peep, you can see some differences. My priorities are more practical, though: will I notice the difference in an 8x10 framed on my wall? I've definitely owned lenses where the answer is yes. Do you think that's the case for these two?

Are there any other WR lenses worth considering? I don't need much of a zoom, but I think I probably am not looking at primes right now. Incidentally, this might be crazy, but I wouldn't be totally opposed to legacy glass. With focus peaking, I would consider giving up auto-focus for a great deal on a great lens.
12-17-2015, 11:35 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by abl Quote
Thanks again to everyone.

Re the K5-ii vs the K3, it sounds to me like the K5-ii is going to be better for landscapes/still lifes on tripods but the K3 will be better for shooting people. Is that fair? If so, I think paying an extra $60 for the K3 ($620) sounds like the right call for me.

Regarding getting a WR body without a WR lens, does that effectively create a way for rain and whatnot to get into my body? In other words, if I plan on only using one lens for the next couple of years and it's not WR, do I need to treat my body like it's also not WR? If that's the case then I'm probably looking only at the WR lenses.

Lens-wise it sounds like either the DA 18-135mm or the DA 16-85mm are best for me. I like that the former is lighter and a bit cheaper. It sounds like the main advantage of the latter is the optics (and I would probably prefer the slightly wider angle to the longer zoom). Are the optics differences things I'm going to notice on photos that I don't blow up? I get that when you do software analyses of the lenses or pixel peep, you can see some differences. My priorities are more practical, though: will I notice the difference in an 8x10 framed on my wall? I've definitely owned lenses where the answer is yes. Do you think that's the case for these two?

Are there any other WR lenses worth considering? I don't need much of a zoom, but I think I probably am not looking at primes right now. Incidentally, this might be crazy, but I wouldn't be totally opposed to legacy glass. With focus peaking, I would consider giving up auto-focus for a great deal on a great lens.
A K3 and 18-135 will not leave you disappointed.

If you use a non WR lens on a WR body then you would treat it as a non-WR setup because rain can enter the body by way of the lens mount.

12-17-2015, 11:52 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
A K3 and 18-135 will not leave you disappointed.

If you use a non WR lens on a WR body then you would treat it as a non-WR setup because rain can enter the body by way of the lens mount.
Exactly. If you need a WR setup, then that's your first elimination on your short list. Strike all the non-wr gear.
12-17-2015, 04:59 PM   #21
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The 16-85 vs 18-135 debate has been fought out long and often on this forum, and each has so many bonuses and downsides of its own that it's a line-ball decision. Has your shooting so far been mostly at the wide end, or mostly at the long end? If you got the 16-85, would you miss those extra fifty millimetres? If you got the 18-135, would you miss the extra two? (Each closes down to f/5.6 at the long end, so they are not distinguished there.)

You don't have the money for it now, sure, but consider also the possibility of future growth and how that might fit in (particularly the 55-300 HD WR lens as a complement to whatever you select).

For me, I would miss the extra fifty millimetres. If you go to places that are narrow, confined or busy, you might miss the extra two.

As regards the body, if this upgrade is going to be your only digital camera for some time, I'd be inclined to go the extra mile for the K-3 if I could. I personally would not go with the K3-ii as I personally need onboard flash far more than I need GPS, astrotracing and pixel shift.

The only reason I haven't personally bought a K3 myself is that my current DSLR is the K5, and the K3 does not give me sufficient extra for what I do to be worth the leap (especially not with the full-frame so close to release). If I were trading up from my old (2005) *ist-DL today, or entering the Pentax system for the first time, I personally would most certainly get the K3 and I would probably go for the 18-135 as the single overall most versatile WR lens.

Just my two cents worth. See where this fits into your matrix of experience and count out your pennies.
12-31-2015, 04:53 PM   #22
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right now there is a pretty good deal for the 18-135 on b&h Used Pentax SMC DA 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6 ED AL (IF) DC WR Lens
12-31-2015, 07:44 PM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by dansamy Quote
You could start with the K-3 & 18-135 & then add better lenses for lower light as needed.
I have to say that I am having a blast with this combo right now even though I have other very nice lenses.

01-02-2016, 10:23 AM   #24
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Thanks everyone!

I got the 16-85mm with the K3, and have been having fun playing around with the camera so far. I've been a little disappointed with the sharpness of some of the photos, though. I'm not sure if the problem's the lens, the camera, or me, and was hoping for some help.

I've posted one photo here, which I think I took using focus peaking (and it was definitely handheld). Is this about what I can expect from dSLRs these days, or is my problem hand shake or imperfect auto-focus or what? The posted photo is the camera-processed jpg and I haven't done anything to it. (This obviously isn't my best picture ever.)
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01-02-2016, 11:31 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by abl Quote
I've posted one photo here, which I think I took using focus peaking (and it was definitely handheld). Is this about what I can expect from dSLRs these days, or is my problem hand shake or imperfect auto-focus or what?
Focus looks off to me, and 1/30s is starting to risk camera shake and possible subject movement- wind is the enemy.

I always suggest testing out a few 'best case scenario' trials to figure out the best your equipment can do. Get a stable base (tripod or with the camera sitting on something solid), a stable subject, take a shot at the lowest iso, stopped down to f/8 (or thereabouts), focus in live view (take 3 or 4 pictures resetting the focus each time to help ensure one nails the focus), and use mirror lockup (or the 2-second timer). This way you know what you can expect in ideal conditions and can better identify if it's your technique or gear letting you down.

Enjoy your new camera
01-02-2016, 12:42 PM   #26
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With the sample photo, there are a lot of factors contributing to the lack of sharpness.
a) Large aperture: f/5.6 is wide open at 85mm on this zoom, so shallow DOF.
b) 85mm long end of zoom: focal length will also create more shallow DOF.
c) 1/30": Assuming you're not using a tripod or SR, then technically if you and your subject aren't moving, you will have frozen images at around 1/125" at 85mm on an APS-C sensor.
So if you're using neither, then the sharpness may also be a blur movement issue (camera movement and subject movement), not a lens optical issue.
If you're using both SR and tripod (only use SR while hand holding), then the SR can cause sensor blur in the image.
d) Assuming we are talking about perceived lack of sharpness and not blur, then the lighting and subject will look less sharp with low contrast like your example.

Solutions?
a) Faster shutter speeds and turn off SR to see if it is a lens sharpness issue and not a movement/sensor blur issue. If your light levels are poor, you'll just have to sacrifice ISO as you test. The K3 should be decent up to 1600.
b) How's the sharpness on the 16-85mm at 35-50mm?
c) At 85mm on the 16-85mm, try stopping down to f.8-f/11. Generally that will help in both resolution and DOF, but sometimes lens designers know that at the long end, most photographers need speed and will shoot wide open. The penalty for smaller apertures and great DOF is increased diffraction.
d) Shoot RAW and improve your clarity with something like unsharp mask or creating a duplicate layer, a 3 pixel high pass filter, and then blending it as an overlay, before flattening the image.
01-02-2016, 04:41 PM   #27
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If you shoot mainly manual, I'd suggest looking into the purchase of several M lenses. They are all relatively inexpensive, light weight and produce supurb results. Check out the lens data base and the M club thread.

Pentax M Prime Lenses - Reviews and Specifications - SLR and Interchangeable Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Pentax M Zoom Lenses - Reviews and Specifications - SLR and Interchangeable Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/27739-m-club.html

Regarding camera, don't underestimate the K-50; however, if you have the funds, go for the K3 or K-3ii.

Good luck with your adventure into digital and do show us some of your pictures when you have you kit.
01-02-2016, 04:59 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by onlineflyer Quote
If you shoot mainly manual, I'd suggest looking into the purchase of several M lenses. They are all relatively inexpensive, light weight and produce supurb results. Check out the lens data base and the M club thread.

Pentax M Prime Lenses - Reviews and Specifications - SLR and Interchangeable Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Pentax M Zoom Lenses - Reviews and Specifications - SLR and Interchangeable Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/27739-m-club.html

Regarding camera, don't underestimate the K-50; however, if you have the funds, go for the K3 or K-3ii.

Good luck with your adventure into digital and do show us some of your pictures when you have you kit.
He already got the K-3 and 16-85.
01-06-2016, 02:01 AM   #29
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That's all really helpful.

I have another (hopefully) quick question: does anyone have any advice about focusing the camera/lens in the dark? My old lenses all noted on them how close to infinity the focus was -- but the 16-85mm seems (obviously) more geared towards autofocus and I feel like I'm literally focusing blind. Live view / focus peaking is pretty useless for shots like those attached. (Excuse the framing in the second photo -- I had to rig a tripod using the roof of my car and the lens hood, so I'll need to do some cropping when I get back.)

Thanks!

---------- Post added 01-06-16 at 03:03 AM ----------

Also, yes, I know lens shake is a problem in those. (I'm still perfecting my improvised tripods.) But, and correct me if i'm wrong, I also think the focus is off.
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01-06-2016, 03:05 AM   #30
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Based on the exif metadata, you shot wide open with the zoom which is not going to give you the sharpest results optically. I would do a manual focus test to the end of the focus ring at infinity during the day, and inspect the results. Although AF fine tuning is ideally done at 10-20x the focal length, I'd try to test and set it for infinity during the day, with that lens. This, of course, is presuming what you're seeing is not a result of any camera movement blur because of your long exposure times.
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