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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-30-2020, 08:04 PM  
Confession game: how many lenses do you have? Why do you keep them? Which was let go?
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 135
Views: 10,730
We moved a month ago. I had planned to list all those lenses I had accumulated over the years on the marketplace here, but I ran out of time getting organized. I did a video interview with KEH. It worked out pretty well, though I know I could have gotten lots more if I had sold some of them individually here or on ebay. I sold them 13 film bodies, but I only had them because I won some auction going for the lens. I don't use film, so I couldn't guarantee functionality of any of them. I figure any money I got for those was icing. (Pentax A3, ME, 2x ME Super, 2x SF1, ZX-M; Vivitar V3000s; Sears KSX; Ricoh KR-30sp; Chinon CP-7m; Mamiya/Sekor 1000TL; Yashica TL-Electro) I had wanted to sell a nice Pentax K-x and an excellent K-30 and a good K-3, but it was pennies on the dollar for those, so I couldn't bear to just dump them. (The KP has become my primary camera.)

I also unloaded 40 lenses. (Yikes! How did I get so many?) A lot of old clunkers in there, but there were some nice ones...
  • SMC Pentax 45-124 f4

  • SMC Pentax 75-150 f4

  • SMC Pentax A 35-70 f4

  • SMC Pentax A 50 f1.7a

  • Super Takumars: 35 f3.5; 55 f1.8; 300 f4

  • Yashinon-DS 50 f1.4

$320 for the lot... So if you see a bunch of Pentax or K-mount or M42 gear on sale at KEH, you are welcome!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-18-2020, 07:46 AM  
Light zoom for hiking
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 13
Views: 889
For hiking when I want to enjoy the walk and take along something smaller and lighter and don't plan to drop behind my wife in order to change lenses, I just take the 18-135. Weather sealed, good quality... My 16-85 is definitely a better lens, and I love the extra wide end, but for hiking, it's a bit bigger, and I miss the 135mm end.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-24-2020, 08:42 PM  
Just three lenses, your pick?
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 75
Views: 3,800
For most of my travel and general photography:
DA 10-17 FE
DA 16-85
DAL 55-300
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-12-2020, 08:20 PM  
Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm F2.8-4 -Still Decent (for a Vintage Lens)
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 18
Views: 1,101
This is from 2016, but HERE is a comparison I did of a version 2 Vivitar Series 1 70-210 with the DAL 55-300, Takumar F 70-210, Tokina SZ-X 80-200, and Vivitar 75-205.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-13-2020, 05:53 PM  
16-85 vs 18-135 my impressions
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 21
Views: 9,646
I have both the 18-135 and 16-85. I haven't been able to part with the 18-135 because it is relatively small and light and it's a good range for hiking in nature.
I much prefer the 16-85 for most everything else. That extra 2mm at the wide end is very useful for more of my style of shooting, and the edges are better than the 18-135 at 18mm. Also, cropping at 85mm on the 16-85 is just about as good as shooting at 135mm on the 18-135.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-06-2020, 08:46 AM  
Lens choices
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 27
Views: 1,398
1) As others have noted, the 16-85 is a very nice upgrade to the 18-135. For my style of travel photography, the 10-17FE and the 16-85 cover 90% of what I want to do.
2) If you want to go to small/light at times, the 40XS is a great match for the KP
3) If you want faster, the DA21, DA35, or the DA50 are all small and fun to use.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-22-2019, 06:05 PM  
Opinion time: what are your favorite manual lenses?
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 184
Views: 11,784
Lots of nice fast 50s, but one manual that I really like, even though the focal length is not my favorite on APSC, is the SuperTakumar 150mm f4.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-04-2019, 07:30 AM  
How do you decide what lens to use . . . . ???
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 46
Views: 2,169
For most of the work I do (landscape, architectural), the DA 16-85 is perfect. I will often add the DA 10-17 FE just for fun. If I know I'll be inside or low light, I'll throw in the small DA 21 or DA 40XS which are faster.
I only bring something longer (DAL 55-300) if I intentionally plan on using it.

I do like to challenge myself with a single lens prime just to get to my eye to 'see' things at a particular focal length.
If I'm just going out for a walk and not sure of what I'll be doing, the DA 16-85 is great.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-09-2019, 09:36 PM  
Suggested lenses to take on trip to Yosemite, King’s Canyon, Sequoia Nat’l Parks
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 45
Views: 2,325
This is my vote! It was my travel combo (until I replaced the 18-135 with the 16-85.)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-30-2019, 10:18 AM  
Lens & Filter recommendations for travel photography
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 19
Views: 1,659
For a CPL, check out the Lenstip reviews HERE and HERE.
Personally, I got a Marumi Super DHG for my 18-135, and it has been very good.
On the 2015 test, you'll see that best value ones are the Marumi Fit+Slim and the Hoya Antistatic. All these cost between $38-$70.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-26-2019, 06:32 AM  
200 mm lens for a K-1
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 20
Views: 1,490
I have a TELETAKUMAR 200mm f5.6 M42 which I love for being such a tiny lens and an excellent SMCPentax-M 200mm F4. On my KP, however, I'm more likely to use my DAL 55-300, especially when shooting handheld.

Another good option on full frame is the venerable VIVITARSERIES 1 70-210mm line if you want to try a zoom. With mine (version 2), it's quite good open at the wide end, but f8-11 is best at the long end.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-11-2019, 12:44 PM  
One K-Mount PRIME to rule them all 2019
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 71
Views: 4,837
Only one prime? On APSC? I'd have to go with the DA 21
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-10-2019, 08:14 AM  
New HD Fisheye 10-17mm Sample Pictures
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 9
Views: 1,264
This Ricoh link does explain the lens philosophy. The examples do show reduced fringing and ghosting with the new HD version.
I love my DA 10-17, and I've been able to clean up the purple fringing quite easily in LR, but if I were in the market now, I would certainly get the new HD version
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-10-2019, 08:04 AM  
Macro lens suggestions?
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 27
Views: 1,542
Depending on what I'm doing and trying to accomplish...
1) TAMRONSP AF 90mm F2.8 Di Macro is a great 1:1 macro lens that is reasonably priced. The Pentax 100mm macro might be better if you need WR, but this Tamron may be cheaper.
2) SMCPENTAX 50mm F4 Macro does 1:2 macro and is an outstanding lens when I can work closer to the subject.
3) Extension tubes with a M50mm f1.7 where I can get up to 1.5:1 magnification.
4) For traveling when I don't want to carry an extra macro lens, I use an achromatic diopter that screws on to the front of a lens and provides magnification up to 1:1 depending on lens and diopter. NOTE: This is not the cheap diopter lens sets you can get. You want the achromatic ones. I have some old ones that work great, but check the Raynox 150 or 250 for something newer.
Forum: Pentax KP 07-04-2019, 08:33 PM  
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 14
Views: 1,137
I went from K-30 to K-3 and enjoyed the bump up in performance, both in terms of ISO/low light and overall resolution. I have now gone from the K-3 to the KP. The main things I like are: even better ISO/low light, resolution, smaller/lighter, tilting screen.
Forum: Pentax KP 07-04-2019, 08:29 PM  
KP and 16-85
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 23
Views: 4,346
Here's an example from, but oddly they do not have the 16-85. My link shows the KP with the 16-50. LINK

I do use the KP and the 16-85 is my primary lens. (The second lens I carry with it is the 10-17 FE.) I have the large grip and just use a hand strap, and it feels good to me.
Here's my pic of it.
Forum: Sold Items 06-14-2019, 05:07 PM  
Wanted - Acquired: Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 3
Views: 424
I have a very nice A 50mm f1.7 I'd sell. (I found an A 50mm f1.4, and I don't use both.)
Forum: Pentax KP 06-05-2019, 05:19 PM  
Used KP - What should I be checking?
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 24
Views: 1,916
To bring this thread to its conclusion...
I was willing to take a chance on the KP if indeed the one-year warranty would be honored. I contacted UsedPhotoPro, and they said I would have to check with MackCam which handles the warranty service. (I was puzzled by this, because UPP should be able to say it has the warranty as advertised or not.) I emailed MackCam, waited 4 days but never heard back from them. On their site, it says that warranties are voided by "damage." The crack certainly looked like damage to me, so I figure I would lose on any warranty claim. UPP was perfectly gracious about authorizing the return and sending the return UPS label. I'm supposed to get full refund.

In case anyone else is googling, the serial on the KP was 7302813. It may be perfectly fine and work well for years, but I decided it wasn't worth the chance, especially because I wanted it specifically as my weather resistant kit.
Thanks to all who chimed in...
Forum: Pentax KP 05-21-2019, 02:02 PM  
Used KP - What should I be checking?
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 24
Views: 1,916
Hmm... just heard from UsedPhotoPro. For an item in "Good" condition, they say the crack is acceptable.

They will accept a return, but I'm trying to determine if the warranty will hold.
Thanks again for the input. (BTW, I did check the KP manual, and I can't find anything about the weather-resistant features or what constitutes damage.)
Forum: Pentax KP 05-20-2019, 09:52 PM  
Used KP - What should I be checking?
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 24
Views: 1,916
Yes, it was usedphotopro. I'll write them.
And yes, it's the weather sealing I'm concerned about.
And yes, I knew that it only came with the small grip. I was hoping that would be fine, but I can quickly tell that I'd prefer to have the middle size one.
Forum: Pentax KP 05-20-2019, 08:25 PM  
Used KP - What should I be checking?
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 24
Views: 1,916
I received the camera today, and I ran every test I could think of and the ones you all mentioned. Camera works perfectly with both a DA 16-85mm and an old A 50mm f1.7. Wifi works (though I suspect the clunkiness of the app is not the camera's fault). Screen is in excellent condition. Only 2990 shutter actuations. Pixel mapping fine. Sensor and mirror and viewfinder are clean. Pics come out great with proper metering. LiveView is good. Video fine. Flash works.

It's apparent that the body fell in some dirt at some point. That need not be an issue for a WR body. The body is scuffed on the top and bottom. (As @fsge noted, the silver does scuff more easily) Nothing terrible though. The concern I have: You can see in the pic that there is a small crack in the housing around the screw just below the mode dial. It's not entirely cracked, and the piece is in no danger of falling off that I can tell.

KP.crack by Mark Hoffman, on Flickr
Clearly not a good thing, and it was not mentioned in the ad. It was listed as 70-79% with "major cosmetic blemishes," but a crack seems like more than a blemish.
So, do I keep it?

  • I purchased it from a reputable online dealer (not B&H or Adorama or KEH, but one you'd recognize)

  • It comes with a 1-year warranty

  • I paid $460 total for it. (Only came, as advertised, with body, body cap, a 3rd party battery, and the charger)

I've been watching used prices, and that price and the warranty is a really good deal.
What would you do? Thanks!
Forum: Pentax KP 05-19-2019, 07:44 PM  
Used KP - What should I be checking?
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 24
Views: 1,916
I'll get the camera tomorrow. It was advertised as having only ~3000 shutter actuations, but I'll check that. Thanks for the other suggestions. Here's the pic I have that shows the top scuffed up. The bottom is also worn a bit.

I'll hope for the best, but I'll fall back on the warranty if necessary. Thanks again. I'll report back after I get and test it.
Forum: Pentax KP 05-19-2019, 03:29 PM  
Used KP - What should I be checking?
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 24
Views: 1,916
I should be receiving tomorrow/Monday (5/20) a used KP that I got at a great price. The great price is because the exterior is pretty banged up as shown in the pictures. It does come with a dealer warranty that confirms it is "fully operational."

I've used a K-x > K-30 > K-3 for years, so I know my way around the Pentax system, but is there anything beyond the usual I should check to make sure it's "fully operational"?
Forum: Sold Items 05-18-2019, 02:31 PM  
Wanted - Acquired: Pentax 1.4x HD PENTAX-DA AF Rear Converter AW
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 3
Views: 317
I have the Kenko Pz-AF 1.5x Teleplus SHQ. (Cf. my review there.) This is the good one that is the same as the Tamron 1.4x Pz-AF MC4. With the lenses I have, it works well with both screw and SDM autofocus lenses. I've used it on my K-3 and K-30.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-18-2019, 02:11 PM  
wide angle lens recommendations
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 16
Views: 1,459
I have the Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 which has been great, but I'm thinking of selling it because I enjoy using the DA 10-17 FE more. Yes, it's fishy, but at the 15-17mm end, it's not as noticeable.
For real wide-angle, fishy fun, I love the Rokinon 8mm, but it's more of a specialized lens.
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