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09-21-2009, 04:26 AM   #1
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Which Lense for the K-7

Hi - I'm getting the Pentax K-7 and would like to hear peoples thoughts on lenses. The camera is going to primarily fit 2 purposes and I have authorization (wife ) for 2 lenses. The first purpose is for nature when I'm hiking and the second is for more every day/normal use which would include taking photos at events, portraits, and then also night pictures of the city (e.g., roads, buildings, fireworks, etc.).

I'm planning on getting the weather resistant lens (smc PENTAX DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED WR) for the hiking and outdoor photography but am not sure which lens would be best for my other uses. I am also really looking forward to shooting video, so I'd like this lens to also be good for that.

What is everyones suggestions?

09-21-2009, 04:49 AM   #2
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Welcome Simone,
With that kind of authorisation, I would be getting the best two you can get!
But seriously, if you want a weather resistant lens, and can afford it, it would be the DA* 16-50 and DA* 50-135 pair that would be most impressive.

If these are out of the question, and you still wanted weather resistant lenses, then you may just have to go with the new kit lens (DA 18-55 WR) and your suggested DA 50-200 WR, although the difference between these sets would be quite remarkable.
09-21-2009, 05:07 AM   #3
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The DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED is very good value for its price, and on my old K100D, it performed well, especially stopped down to f/8. I have the non-WR version, but the Optics are the same on the WR.
On the K-7, I'm afraid I've run up against the len's IQ limitation. It just doesn't give the resolution which I know the K-7 is capable of. Stick a DA 55-300mm on the K-7, and its WOW.

The DA 50-200mm WR still a good option if the Weather Sealing is important to you, especially looking at the price of DA* telephotos.

For daily walkaround and portrait use, I love the DA 17-70mm f/4. It stays on my camera most of the time unless I need a telephoto or a fast prime for low-light.

If you need a faster "normal" zoom, I would recommend the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8. Very sharp, good value for money.

On the other hand, if your strict limitation is quantity, but you can have a bigger budget - go for the DA*s 16-50mm f/2.8 and 50-135mm f/2.8
09-21-2009, 07:44 AM   #4
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I could probably afford a DA * and then a standard DA. Would you recommend getting the DA * 16-50mm or the DA * 50-135mm?

I'm thinking the best option for video would be the 16-50 mm which should give me more than enough zoom for standard use since I don't believe I would have much use to shoot long range video shots. Would you agree?

09-21-2009, 08:06 AM   #5
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DA* 200 and FA 50 1.4

done
09-21-2009, 10:13 AM   #6
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I've had a chance to use the DA* 16-50, it's a great lens. I'm also likely getting the DA* 50-135. This should fulfill every usual use I would have...

50mm will get you portraits and family pictures and such just fine. Going down to 16 will get you some very nice wide landscapes too
09-21-2009, 10:37 AM   #7
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here are the possible combos

16-45mm + 55-300mm = best bang for the buck premium quality zoom lens combo
16-50mm + 50-135mm = quite expensive WR outstanding quality fast zoom lens combo (careful on getting bad copies, they seem to be several)
18-55 + 50-200mm = cheapest good quality WR zoom lens combo


FA35mm + 200mm = great prime lens combo at a high/moderate cost
DA35 + 200mm = another alternative to the FA 35mm. great prime combo
FA 50 1.4 + 200mm = another alternative for walk-around lens. great combo
DA 40 + 200mm = another great prime combo


there are more possible combos. but I leave you with these as to avoid getting LBA that can be confusing.
09-21-2009, 11:16 AM   #8
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The DA* lenses weigh about three times as much as their DA WR counterparts, and they're quite a bit larger, too. Something to consider for hiking purposes.

But you do want a faster lens than the DA WRs for events, portraits, and nighttime. The DA*s are okay for that, but a fast fifty (50mm/1.4) would be even better.

So, my suggestion: the DA 18-55 WR ($200), the DA 50-200 WR ($250), and the FA 50/1.4 ($360) for a total of $810.

If you're strictly limited to two lenses, decide whether you want a wide or telephoto lens while hiking. If wide, get the DA 18-55 WR and DA* 50-135; if tele, the DA 50-200 WR and DA* 16-50. Either way, you're looking at a total of around $1000.

But if you don't mind the size & weight while hiking, the DA* 16-50 and DA* 50-135 is a very nice combination.

Enjoy your new system!

09-21-2009, 12:34 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by JonPB Quote
If wide, get the DA 18-55 WR and DA* 50-135; if tele, the DA 50-200 WR and DA* 16-50.
Can you elaborate more on this? I would have thought if you preferred wides you'd go for the DA* 16-50 - get quality at the focal lengths you use most? Same for teles: go for the DA* on the lens you'd use most.
09-21-2009, 01:16 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by potatolicious Quote
Can you elaborate more on this? I would have thought if you preferred wides you'd go for the DA* 16-50 - get quality at the focal lengths you use most? Same for teles: go for the DA* on the lens you'd use most.
Not if you use wides the most, but what you use while hiking. The DA* 16-50 is 260% heavier and 80% larger than the DA 18-55 WR; the DA* 50-135 is 333% heavier and 91% larger than the DA 50-200 WR. Although the difference is only about one pound, that matters if you are climbing 6000 feet in a day. Or, if I'm thinking about carrying the DA*16-50, I'd rather carry both DA 18-55 and 50-200 WR for about 3/4ths of the weight.

Of course, that assumes that hiking is the first priority. Carrying the extra weight isn't an issue if photography is paramount.

Giving it a second thought, I'd suggest: DA 18-55 WR and DA* 50-135. The 18-55 is small, light, and good for hiking. The 50-135 is good for portraiture and low-light, staged events. The DA* 16-50 is somewhat better than the DA 18-55, but the DA* 50-135 is quite a bit better than the DA 50-200.

Personally, if I had to start over with lenses and had a ~$1000 budget--and was limited to new lenses--I'd go for an DA18-55 ($150), DA70Ltd ($550), and DA40Ltd ($340). That says something about my personal preferences against large zooms.
09-23-2009, 08:23 AM   #11
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I bought the DA*16-50 and DA*50-135 with my K7 and I love them. The real answer though is, "The best lens you can afford"
09-23-2009, 09:05 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JonPB Quote
Not if you use wides the most, but what you use while hiking. The DA* 16-50 is 260% heavier and 80% larger than the DA 18-55 WR; the DA* 50-135 is 333% heavier and 91% larger than the DA 50-200 WR. Although the difference is only about one pound, that matters if you are climbing 6000 feet in a day. Or, if I'm thinking about carrying the DA*16-50, I'd rather carry both DA 18-55 and 50-200 WR for about 3/4ths of the weight.

Of course, that assumes that hiking is the first priority. Carrying the extra weight isn't an issue if photography is paramount.

Giving it a second thought, I'd suggest: DA 18-55 WR and DA* 50-135. The 18-55 is small, light, and good for hiking. The 50-135 is good for portraiture and low-light, staged events. The DA* 16-50 is somewhat better than the DA 18-55, but the DA* 50-135 is quite a bit better than the DA 50-200.

Personally, if I had to start over with lenses and had a ~$1000 budget--and was limited to new lenses--I'd go for an DA18-55 ($150), DA70Ltd ($550), and DA40Ltd ($340). That says something about my personal preferences against large zooms.

I concur. every pound has a significant effect in hiking, so does when buying groceries.
09-23-2009, 09:18 AM   #13
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You might want to read this article.

OK1000 Pentax Blog: Pentax K-7 Designer's Notes: Toshihiro Hamamura, Development Dept. Product Designer

It has a some good info from the one of the developers of the K7 design team. I would get the DA's 15 through 70.
09-25-2009, 03:07 PM   #14
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I'd go for the DA* 300 for wildlife (crop if necessary) and the DA* 50-135, probably the most versatile lens Pentax currently make, or if you need something wider, the DA 16-45.
09-25-2009, 06:47 PM   #15
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I guess my opinion would be to get the DA* 50-135, go with the kit lens and then add one of the DA limited primes at whatever focal length you think you would use. The 50-135 is an amazing piece of glass -- as sharp as a prime and great for portraits. The Da 35 mm is fun for its macro abilities, the DA 40 is a better walk around lens. A lot of people really like the DA 15, so pick a focal length and enjoy!
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