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Thread: Set on Pentax K5, but which two lens combo to get?

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    Member Armanius's Avatar
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    Set on Pentax K5, but which two lens combo to get?

    Hello everyone!

    Wanted to get your thoughts on this. I've posted this in the PentaxForums.com as well.

    ======
    I'm set on getting the K5. But now comes the usual dilema of which lenses to get. I like to shoot street and take candids of strangers. However, I'm not one of those people with internal fortitude to get up and close and personal (although sometimes I will). I also like to take candids during social events, which are typically indoors. Lastly, I also like to take photos during travel, which (other than photos of the local folks and my GF) would also encompass landscape, architecture, and other points of attraction.

    My thoughts for now is that I'd like to have at least one zoom lens that could be a good walk around, and one prime that would be used indoors and in low light situations.

    I've been debating the following combos, and I'm interested in learning more about your experience with these lenses in combination with the K5 (or other Pentax DSLR's):

    18-135 and 43 Ltd - nice, small and light kit; some flexibility with the 18-135's focal length

    Sigma 17-50 and 70 Ltd (or 77 Ltd or 100 FA WR) - the allure of a constant 2.8 on a standard zoom; plus the little extra reach on the prime for walkaround sniping or portraits with great bokeh; this would be the least flexible combo as the reach would be most limited, but IQ wise, it might be the best (priciest too)

    Sigma 18-250 and 43 Ltd - even more flexible than the first combo and would forego needing a telephoto lens in the near future; BUT the 18-250 is much bigger and chunkier than the 18-135 (and even the 17-50), which is a downer as I am choosing the K5 (over the D7000) especially because it's the smallest semipro DSLR; IQ of the 18-250 probably worse than the 18-135

    So these are my thoughts, and I'd love to hear yours as well. I am open for other suggestions too.

    Thank you for your assistance!
    Armanius
    My Flickr

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    Re: Set on Pentax K5, but which two lens combo to get?

    I worked with Pentax equipment from 2004 to 2008, and *ist DS/K10D bodies. I owned all the Limiteds, many older lenses, and quite a few of the FA and DA series lenses in that time.

    Were I buying a K5 now, my preferred lens kit would be:

    DA 21mm f/3.2 Limited (wide)
    FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited (long normal)
    FA 77mm f/1.8 Limited (portrait tele)

    DA 35mm f/2.8 Limited Macro

    DA 12-24mm f/4 (ultrawide zoom)
    DA*50-135mm f/2.8 (portrait to tele zoom)

    Notes:

    - I find I never like using zoom lenses, and use the extremes in FoV rarely enough that having a good quality, fast zoom to cover the range I want is sufficient. An ultra-wide zoom and a medium to long zoom is just right, coupled with my favored trio of mid-range prime lenses. I'd buy the zooms last. (Longer teles than 135mm ... I prefer primes.)

    - And I have to have at least one macro lens. A short one works better for what I normally need to shoot (copy work).

    - I don't buy Sigma lenses due to prior experience.

    That's my thinking, I hope it's helpful.

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    Re: Set on Pentax K5, but which two lens combo to get?

    Hi Armando,
    I think for convenience, a combo of the 16-50 DA and 50-135 DA's would be lovely, along with a "normal" prime such as the 40 DA or the 21 DA.

    Personally, I prefer prime lenses for my work, due to their size and portability. In the case of Pentax lenses, the FA and DA primes have lovely build that seems to exceed the zoom lens offerings, (though I could be wrong there).

    My set up is:
    21DA
    31FA
    40DA
    77FA
    200DA

    I will probably eventually get the 15 DA and 100 DA WR lenses, but for now, my 5 lens set up covers what I need it to, except for close macro work...
    Ashwin Rao
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    My Photography

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    Re: Set on Pentax K5, but which two lens combo to get?

    by the way, I cose the 40DA over the 43FA, after a big struggle, due to size (the 40DA is a lens cap, size wise, IQ - 40 DA seemed to look likes a Leica asph), and the ability to have an ultra-small kit.
    Ashwin Rao
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    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
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    Re: Set on Pentax K5, but which two lens combo to get?

    I am struggling with the same question but i think the 18-135 should be one of the choices. Versatile, water resistant, reasonably small and light.

    It's not easy to just to pick one more.

    Jim

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    Re: Set on Pentax K5, but which two lens combo to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by JMaher View Post
    I am struggling with the same question but i think the 18-135 should be one of the choices. Versatile, water resistant, reasonably small and light.

    It's not easy to just to pick one more.

    Jim
    Totally with you! So what other lens are you considering?
    Armanius
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    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
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    Re: Set on Pentax K5, but which two lens combo to get?

    Too many - 43, 40, 70, 77,100. I must admit I am confused. The 43 is a great lens, the 40 is so small. The 70 was designed for digital and the results I have seen are great. The 77 is faster and supposedly blessed by pixie dust.

    The 100 is waterproof and great for macro and portraits.

    Lets not even talk about the 35 macro, the 16-50 , the 50-135, or the 21 or even the 15 which many love and apparently just as many hate.

    Jim

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    Re: Set on Pentax K5, but which two lens combo to get?

    Why would you want to buy the K5, if you're not planning on buying Pentax prime lenses?

    If I had to do it all over again,
    - DA 15mm
    - DA 35mm F/2.8 macro
    - FA 77mm

    and if you prefer to have a zoom, then consider;
    - DA 15mm
    - FA 20-35mm F/4 (used market)
    - DA 60-250mm F/4
    - DA 77mm

    That said, the two best Pentax lenses I've ever had were FA 43mm, and F* 300mm.
    .Sam.
    Panasonic GF1 & Olympus E-P5
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    Re: Set on Pentax K5, but which two lens combo to get?

    One more thing, depending how much you believe the community, the 50-135 & 16-50 have the older in-lens silence engine, which have been know to fail. On the other hand, the 60-250 has the newer version, and maybe the finest zoom Pentax produces these days.
    .Sam.
    Panasonic GF1 & Olympus E-P5
    Photos: http://www.flickr.com/shadzee/

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    Re: Set on Pentax K5, but which two lens combo to get?

    Well for me as you know it's the DA 21 Limited, DA 70 Limited. If I am buying more lenses, I would get the DA 35 mm Limited/macro lens and maybe the 16-50 DA *Gold.

    If you want versatility the 18-135 seems nice, but don't trust "super zoom" lenses from any brand, in general. Usually it's an optical compromise.

    - Raist

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    Re: Set on Pentax K5, but which two lens combo to get?

    The deed is done ... arrival in 2 days. I need to go sell off more stuff now so that I can logically justify this purchase to myself!!

    Thanks for the input everyone!
    Armanius
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    Re: Set on Pentax K5, but which two lens combo to get?

    Inquiring minds want to know - what did you choose?

    Jim

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    Senior Member ecsh's Avatar
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    Re: Set on Pentax K5, but which two lens combo to get?

    The big problem is once you get one of these lovely primes, you have to have another, then another. My kit now consists of 15Ltd., 31Ltd, 43, 77Ltd. 100WR, and 200. Based on Jono liking the 60-250, thats on the way, even though i did not want zooms with this camera. But, the 300 is out of stock everywhere, and based on what is going on in Japan, i don't expect to see it any time soon.

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    Re: Set on Pentax K5, but which two lens combo to get?

    I hathe 15,21,35macro,70 DA and the 50-135/2.8

    The 35macro seems the most consistent, very good even wide open

    The 50-135 I like verymuch too, even though now I believe it doesnt hurt to stop it down half-one stop. Very flexible.

    The 15 I am not sure yet, needs to be stopped down I think.
    21 is nice focal length but kind of slow.
    70....the 50-135 seems much moreflexible.

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    Re: Set on Pentax K5, but which two lens combo to get?

    Hey armanius, have you decided your lens set up yet?

    I don't have too much to say about your selection than ones been said. But if you want a fast aperture zoom the Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 non WR seems a better option than the sigma - see photozone de for its test scores! much better sharpness everywhere compared to the sigma and half the price, atleast here in the UK.

    I'd say a zoom, 18-135?, and the 35 macro would be great, though its not the fastest 35, it has great sharp IQ and colour, and it does 1:1 macro,
    Vince

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    Re: Set on Pentax K5, but which two lens combo to get?

    Thanks Vince! I think the Sigma 17-50 HSM actually got better MTF ratings than the Tamron 17-50 in Photozone. But the Sigma is bigger, heavier, and almost $300 more.

    But yes, I've already decided on the lens setup, and they've been ordered. They should be here on Thursday. Let's hope UPS doesn't screw things up like they normally do.
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    Re: Set on Pentax K5, but which two lens combo to get?

    The 50-135 is appealing, except for its size. So chunky!
    Armanius
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    Senior Member m3photo's Avatar
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    Re: 2 Pancakes

    Quote Originally Posted by raist3d View Post
    Well for me as you know it's the DA 21 Limited, DA 70 Limited.
    Me too. Perfect travel kit. Proof here:
    http://www.pbase.com/m3photo/florence&page=all
    and all the "A Day in ..." folders taken with these two, albeit on a K10D

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    Re: Set on Pentax K5, but which two lens combo to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by Armanius View Post
    The 50-135 is appealing, except for its size. So chunky!
    compareto a 70-200/2.8 of a ff camera the 50-135 isnt chunky at all. Handels quite nice. of course much bigger than a 70/2.4

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    Re: Set on Pentax K5, but which two lens combo to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    compareto a 70-200/2.8 of a ff camera the 50-135 isnt chunky at all. Handels quite nice. of course much bigger than a 70/2.4
    That is very true. For something reason though, 135mm on any camera just seems like an odd max focal length for a telephoto lens.
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    Re: 2 Pancakes

    Quote Originally Posted by m3photo View Post
    Me too. Perfect travel kit. Proof here:
    http://www.pbase.com/m3photo/florence&page=all
    and all the "A Day in ..." folders taken with these two, albeit on a K10D
    Very nice set! Now if I could only go to Venice!
    Armanius
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    Re: Set on Pentax K5, but which two lens combo to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by Armanius View Post
    That is very true. For something reason though, 135mm on any camera just seems like an odd max focal length for a telephoto lens.
    It's the equivalent of 200mm on full frame, and the 70-200 lenses seem to sell rather well

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    Re: Set on Pentax K5, but which two lens combo to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    It's the equivalent of 200mm on full frame, and the 70-200 lenses seem to sell rather well
    Yes, 50-135 is the focal length equivalent of about 75-200. 135mm was a particular sweet spot for long lenses when I was shooting with Pentax: still hand holdable and modest in size. Much longer than that is a lot harder to hand-hold with consistent results.

    I had the FA135/2.8 prior to the 50-135, sold it when the 50-135 arrived.

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    Re: Venice

    Quote Originally Posted by Armanius View Post
    Very nice set! Now if I could only go to Venice!
    Thank you Sir If I went to Venice ... I'd take the ... 21mm and 70mm !!!

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