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05-16-2016, 03:07 PM   #1
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Finally converting from film to digital!

I have a $1000-1200 budget and am hoping to snag something before a big trip!

-I like wide angles for landscape and architecture.
-Don't care about video

I'm thinking of the K-50 and the Samyang 14mm with whatever standard lens comes with the kit, but am thinking of upgrades to either.

Currently I have been using/milking a rocking ZX-5N with a bottom range Sigma 19-35mm, standard Pentax 50mm and a cheap Vivitar 80-200mm with Velvia film, and finally opted to switch. Apologies if I I sound a little panicked, I just had no idea I was so out of touch with contemporary equipment and research seems to kick up more questions than answers

05-16-2016, 03:17 PM   #2
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K-3 or K-3II and the DA 16-85 will be a very good starter kit that should leave you some cash for additional lenses. Add the Pentax 12-24 if you really need ultra wide.

A k-5IIs would save you some money over the K-3 series if budget is tight.
05-16-2016, 03:19 PM   #3
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with the lens selection, it will depend on whether you want to retain compatibility with your film body. The 14mm obviously works on film (the DA15 limited is more compact, and a great lens on APSC, though sadly won't work on film bodies). The 18-55 is APSC digital only sadly. It's cheap, cheerful, and not too bad at the wide end (a little less good at the 50mm end). The 18-135 is a little bit more expansive, but is better quality. I'm assuming you have the 17-35mm f2.8-4 sigma? If yes, then it might outperform the kit lens already.

As for the camera, the k-50 is a pretty decent body. The k-s2 has slightly better image quality, and a swivel screen, but is otherwise comparable.
05-16-2016, 03:34 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by FoxbatK Quote
I have a $1000-1200 budget and am hoping to snag something before a big trip!

-I like wide angles for landscape and architecture.
-Don't care about video

I'm thinking of the K-50 and the Samyang 14mm with whatever standard lens comes with the kit, but am thinking of upgrades to either.

Currently I have been using/milking a rocking ZX-5N with a bottom range Sigma 19-35mm, standard Pentax 50mm and a cheap Vivitar 80-200mm with Velvia film, and finally opted to switch. Apologies if I I sound a little panicked, I just had no idea I was so out of touch with contemporary equipment and research seems to kick up more questions than answers
My K-30 was kitted with a Pentax-DA 18-55mm lens; almost immediately I bought a Pentax-DA 18-135mm DC lens, and it hardly ever is off the camera.
Yes, I would recommend it to my friends.

05-16-2016, 03:37 PM - 1 Like   #5
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To stay within budget, try a K-5IIs (used for about $400), a Pentax 12-24/4 (used, about $550) and a 50-200 DAL zoom, (used, about $100). Excellent kit. Add in a DAL 35/2.4 (new, $125) to fill that hole in the mid range.

Have fun!
05-16-2016, 03:50 PM   #6
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Thanks for your time. Apologies, I have a Vivitar 19-35mm, so none of my equipment now is really noteworthy. I wish I could do the full plunge to the upcoming full frame, but I think I will be settling for one of the bodies in this thread for now, probably get the 18-135 for the sake of quality, and then pick up a wide angle lens. I've had the K1000 and ZX-5N for the past two decades so I'm basically sticking with Pentax since they've proven enormous bang for my buck.

I don't think I'm too worried about film compatibility, though I did plan on going nuts with the 14mm on a film body if I ended up with that setup. I mostly need the equivalent of the wide angle of an 18mm lens on film or as close to it as I can, so eyeballing the Samyang and the Pentax 12-24mm.

I was reading the Samyang spec sheet and I noticed it was designed for a full frame with an aperture chip - would it automatically recognize being in an APS-C camera and adjust?

Samyang Optics, Lenses for Camera ? Cine ? Photo - VDSLR, Prime Lenses & Third party Lenses

I assume that the old wisdom about a prime lens being better than a zoom is pretty much out the window these days?
05-16-2016, 04:50 PM   #7
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Remember before you spend too much that ALL your current film lenses will work on digital. However, the wide-angle effect of the 19-35 will be lost somewhat due to the smaller sensor size and for the same size of print will look more like a 28-50 or thereabouts, and all the other lenses will suffer accordingly.

You might want to get used to that altered perspective before going away.
05-16-2016, 08:19 PM   #8
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I own the Samyang 14mm as well as the 15mm Limited, and unless you really need the Samyang, I'd recommend finding a used SMC 15mm Limited instead. The Samyang has better edge sharpness and better light-gathering capabilities, but on the downside, it has a huge exposed glass front element and I really have to baby it to keep from damaging it, and Samyang has QC issues with decentering, and I had to go through four copies to find a good one. On the other hand, the 15mm Limited is small, sharp, and built like a tank. I like the screw-on lens hood because there's no way it's going to fall off when I'm scrambling around on rocks and stuff.

05-18-2016, 10:40 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
K-3 or K-3II and the DA 16-85 will be a very good starter kit that should leave you some cash for additional lenses. Add the Pentax 12-24 if you really need ultra wide.

A k-5IIs would save you some money over the K-3 series if budget is tight.
jatrax is on the money. The DA 16-85 will blow you away given your current reference point, and gives you a decent amount of width (fov so 16mm on APSC is about 24mm on your film camera). The image quality, across the entire frame, is stunning, add on WR and the DC autofocus and you have a great walk around lens. The DA 18-135 is also a strong contender, a little smaller and lighter, some more reach at the tele end, but you do lose 2mm at the wide end (and that isn't insignificant if you like wide) and the edge performance isn't as strong.

Team either up with a current Pentax body and you will be amazed. K-50 is a good price, with the 16-85mm you end up around $800 @ B&H. With the K-S2 it is near $1000, and the K-3 puts you on the edge of the budget danger zone, but if you want top quality shots you might be able to justify it. You can get the K-3 with the 18-135mm for just under $1000; really good value if you think the 18-135mm is the lens to go for.
05-19-2016, 05:54 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by robthebloke Quote
As for the camera, the k-50 is a pretty decent body. The k-s2 has slightly better image quality, and a swivel screen, but is otherwise comparable.
The swivel screen can be pretty handy, and the K-S2 also has wi-fi, not to mention a slightly better sensor and viewfinder if I'm not mistaken?

Also, there is the K-S1. They are very inexpensive right now, and they have the same (excellent) sensor and viewfinder as the K-S2. What you give up is the swivel screen and weather seals, but also lose a fair bit of size and weight. It would actually handle more like the familiar 35mm film SLR in that respect. I also have a ZX-5N, which is a lightweight camera, and most DSLRs seem pretty chunky by comparison.
05-21-2016, 04:32 PM   #11
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Thanks for the suggestions! I still use the K1000 on occasion so I guess I'm used to heavy. I think 90% of the pictures I've shot so far are landscapes while wide open, so my biggest priorities are a good sensor, a decent package lens, and being able to spend the rest on a nice wide angle lens. I'm leaning to take your suggestions and stick with the 18-135 since that's fairly versatile and everyone seems to love it, and probably flip the coin on whether to get a nicer body or a nicer 10-12mm lens, and trying to read the reviews till I pick one. A good problem to have I guess
05-21-2016, 05:23 PM   #12
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There are a few sundries not really mentioned so far....

SD cards: I tend to go for Sandisk extreme pro (rated at 95mbs). How big the trip is, will depend on the size you need (Although if you have a laptop with you, you can probably get away with a smaller card). I spent two weeks in Sydney, and a 64gb card was enough for that trip (shooting raw on the k-3). Some people recommend having a number of smaller cards (eg 4x16gb cards), that way if one fails, you haven't lost all the shots. I suppose there is some sanity to that, but personally I just use big cards and be done with it (the K-3 has two SD card slots, so if it's really important, I just write the images to both cards). I would advise going on to Amazon and buying them there before you go travelling. You can buy the cards in most electronic stores, but they always seem to be twice the price compared to Amazon.

Adobe Lightroom: with digital cameras, you have a choice of storing files as JPEG or RAW (either as PEF or DNG, DNG is better). Jpegs are very small in size, but only store 8bits per colour. RAW files store 12bit on the K-50/K-S2 (which contains 16 times the amount of colour information compared to JPEG), or 14bit for the k-3/k-1 (64 times the colour info compared to JPEG). Shooting in RAW is generally recommended, and then later import the photos into Lightroom (or the software that comes with the camera), so that your good images can be turned into great images. To be honest, Lightroom will have the biggest effect on your final images. The software that comes with the camera is ok, but often it's not the nicest workflow when you have hundreds of images to work your way through! I would recommend buying a copy before you invest in a second lens (it might be worth checking out a few Lightroom tutorials on YouTube)
05-22-2016, 08:35 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by FoxbatK Quote
Finally converting from film to digital!
Don't do it! It's a trap!

Ok. All kidding aside, you would do well with the DA Limiteds and a K-3 or one of the K-S models. K-3ii replaces the built-in flash with built-in GPS. Maybe that's your thing...

If you want to save a buck, a K-50 with the DA18-135 is pretty much a do-it-all combination.
05-24-2016, 02:10 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by FoxbatK Quote
I think 90% of the pictures I've shot so far are landscapes
I think you need the Pentax DA 12-24mm. IMHO bkpix is right on the money.
05-25-2016, 08:44 PM   #15
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Thanks again for ALL the advice! Looks like I'll definitely take the thoughts and step up to a K-S2 with the 18-135mm kit lens since that's a heck of a kit discount, and then put what's left over to go for the Sigma 10-20, Pentax 12-24 or one of the others.
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