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Old Feb 13, 2010, 1:02 AM   #1
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Default buying Pentax K20D Lense suggestions???

After reviewing for days i have decided on the pentax K20d for the purchase of my first DSLR.


I have owned many digital point and shoot cameras but my setup is a vintage canon a-1 with some really nice lenses, my favorite being a 70-210mm vivitar lense

Now that digital technology has finally met the image quality of the film cameras, I am deciding to upgrade my film SLR setup for a DSLR camera

Like i said, i have settled on the Pentax K20D, and think this will suit me the best

Im not sure whether to get the kit or just the stock body and a nice aftermarket lense to start.

My gut says get the kit AND a nice larger zoom lens but my wallet says i should really ask some of the pros.

My budget is in the realm of 1000 and though this is small, I was wondering what your opinions were and beyond that, some decent lense recommendations for my budget.

I mostly shoot landscapes and stills of everyday life happening, but also enjoy macro shots as well.

I realize for my purpose, i need several lenses but am willing to work with what i can afford.

Any information would be much appreciated.


To recap:

im definitely getting the pentax K20D and have about 300.00 to spend on a lense

is the stock lense decent enough or should i just focus on an aftermarket?

Im really in love with my 70-200mm lense but I could definitely work with something lesser.


Ive read enough reviews on camera bodies in the past week to make one vomit So i was hoping to be spared with some lense suggestions


thanks again, sorry for grammar and spelling its quite late
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Old Feb 13, 2010, 11:54 AM   #2
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Morning, I upgraded about a year ago when, just prior to the K7 coming out - to the K20, from a K100. Its a wonderful camera, has all the functionality and capabilities you can think of. I hope you will be as happy with it as I am.

As for lens suggestions, I have a few. Obviously the kit, the DA 18-55 is very good as kit lenses go. Its light, small and capable. It does a good job. Due to the resolution of the K20's sensor, the version of the kit lens that came with it was the version II. So if you go that rout, look for a version II. Slightly different optic design.

The DA 16-45/f4 would be my first choice. I have one and I do like it very much. It is a high quality lens, very low distortion. Its somewhat of a larger lens - larger than the kit. A constant f4 through out the focal length range. Sharp, wonderful colors, great image quality, great resolution on the K20. Its a reverse zoom design (16mm is zoomed out, with 45mm pulled in). Its a bit wider than the kit which would be good for landscapes. Their price has come down from about $400 to around $250-300 because it is somewhat of an older design, but its still in production. Personally, I would check the Pentax Forum Marketplace. I would have no problems with a used lens from there.
For a longer focal length the DA 55-300 is again an excellent lens that is highly regarded. That said, it runs around $350 and is probably out of your price range now. So, I have to ask - would you consider a manual lens? Tokina has a number of older zoom lenses, manual focusing that are very good, and can be acquired pretty cheaply. The "RMC" tag usually denotes their top quality lenses. I believe that the RMC has been replaced with their "Pro" series.
I am seeing a lot of folks pushing for the 300mm end, so the lenses going out to 200mm or so, are a tad less expensive. You should be able to pick up a good quality 70-200 or 210 for no more than $50.

Since it appears that you are more interested in landscapes than telephoto, these are my suggestions. If it were reversed, I would go with the DA 55-300 first, and then pick up a shorter focal length lens - probably just the kit.

Your Vivitar 70-210 lens is available in a Pentax K mount, and can be had. A lot of folks look for them. There are a couple of folks here on the forum that have them and search for them. I suspect that they will post here. Any way here is some information on the vivitar with the Pentax mount.
Note - Tokina built the Vivitar Series 1 70-210 version 2 of the lens...
http://www.techtheman.com/2008/09/vi...tokina-v2.html

Overall, if you can score a Vivitar Series 1 coupled with a 16-45, I think you will be set. I would think you should be able to do this within $50+/- of your target budget.

Hope that helps

Last edited by interested_observer; Feb 13, 2010 at 12:06 PM.
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Old Feb 13, 2010, 3:25 PM   #3
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thanks very much for the post this is truly helpful.


As i said before im using a 1970's film SLR from canon so there is no auto zoom, I actually choose to use it over a Nikon N7 with auto zoom.


Im ok with manual focusing so perhaps some of the older manual zoom lenses would be a great start for me.

your lens recommendations are great with very thorough explanations

thanks again
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Old Feb 13, 2010, 3:32 PM   #4
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the great thing i just realized is my 70-210mm vivitar lens i love so much would still be compatible. this is great news, as is all my other ones. (they are the series 1 as in your link )

So ill definitely see if i can snag me the DA 55-300 or DA 16-45, your two top choices. im sure theyre great
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Old Feb 13, 2010, 4:07 PM   #5
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Hi NMRecording,

Three other suggestions for lenses in the 70-200 range. Though the Vivitar Series I lenses are widely recognized as lenses to look for, this also makes them less likely to be found at a reasonable price. . . but there are other very good models out there.

The Pentax A 70-210 f4 is a very good one, and is usually very easily available. It's sharp from wide open and is manual focus but has the electrical contacts to allow Auto Exposure. Prices can range from @ $65-150 USD, and I would consider some of the lower priced examples to be one of the best bang for the buck zooms for the K-mount. I have one of these, and will never sell it.

http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/lenses/z...A70-210f4.html

The Pentax F 70-210 f4-5.6 allows both Auto Focus and Auto Exposure. Since it's not a constant aperture zoom, it's a little slower at the long end, but this is one of the better performing consumer zooms in this range from any mfg. I've had one of these, but the zoom helicoid broke, and since I have a very good DA 50-200/4-5.6, I never replaced it.

http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/lenses/z...210f4-5.6.html

The Tamron 70-210 f 3.5 (mod 19 AH) has a reputation of being one of the best in this range. It's largely unheralded, so they can be obtained at good prices, but you'd also need to get an Adaptall 2 PK/A adapter to fit it to your K20. These (the adapters) have become relatively rare, and command some pretty high prices (compared to other mounts), but having one opens up quite a few great lenses in the Adaptall 2 series to use with Pentax cameras. All of the Adaptall 2 lenses are MF with AE (with the PK/A adapter). According to the author of the Adaptall 2 site, this one blows the Viv Ser 1 lenses away. . .

http://www.adaptall-2.com/lenses/19AH.html

I think that you've made a good choice of bodies, and am looking forward to seeing some pics once you've gotten things sorted out. . .

Scott

Last edited by snostorm; Feb 13, 2010 at 4:09 PM.
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Old Feb 13, 2010, 5:48 PM   #6
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if you are looking for a weather resistant lense then the new 18-55 kit wr kit lens would be a good choice - if your not bothered by that i would just get the body only and then get either the sigma 18-50 f2.8 (built like a tank) or the tamron 17-50 f2.8 ( not such good build quality but slightly better image quality) - both of these lens will do you for most landscape and everyday photos and allow a low light performance that the kit lens cant - they also have a limited macro functionally and both allow for quite close focusing

not a true macro lens by any means but might keep you happy until you can get yourself a true macro lens

both these lenses can be gotten at pretty reasonable prices too though they are obviously more expensive than a basic kit lens
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Old Feb 13, 2010, 6:36 PM   #7
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thanks for the replies guys, im definitely hanging onto my vintage lenses for sure.

With how I am with my gear, i definitely would sacrifice build quality for picture quality

that tamron 17-50 f2.8 sounds pretty sweet, priced at about 400 if i only get the camera body I can def afford it.

still torn between a couple of these choices, but atleast ive got far less options and a direction to head in

thx again

btw. sorry to throw another question in this as this falls under a diff post but I do like the idea of the weather resistant lens. Are the weather resistant camera bags a decent substitute?
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Old Feb 13, 2010, 8:43 PM   #8
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With the Vivitar Series 1 lens being a M42 mount, you are going to need to need a M42 to K mount adapter for the K20. Here is a website that has a full explanation.
Bottom line, Pentax sells an adapter that has the correct registration distance, so that you will not have an infinity focus issues, nor a lens stuck too the camera body problem.

Another item to consider, the K20 has a wonderful PentaPrism viewfinder, however it is nothing like the viewfinder on my Spotmatic II fromo 1970. The split viewfinder on the Spotmatic is much easier for me too use for manual focusing. Katzeye has a split prism for Pentax bodies.
There are a couple of other split prism focusing screens available also. Personally I would see how the K20 viewfinder goes before doing anything.

So, with manual focusing not being a problem, you have an entire world of M42 and K mount lenses available to choose from. Every camera make has their dog lenses, however Pentax does have some great glass in terms of the Limited and * lines of lenses.

Also, just in case you did not know, your 70-210 lens will automagically become 50% longer. The APS-c sensor being a bit smaller than full frame of film has a crop factor of 1.5, so a APS-c lens' field of view has the equivalent of an film lens with a focal length of 1.5x. So your Vivitar S1 on the K20 body will have an equivalent FoV of 105-320mm. I only bring that up because if you are use to using the lens on a film body, the FOV will be a bit different.


Last edited by interested_observer; Feb 13, 2010 at 9:01 PM.
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Old Feb 13, 2010, 10:10 PM   #9
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Funny...just the other day I was discussing what two lenses I would keep, if I only had a choice of two.

They would be my 16-45 and my 55-300. The range is wide angle to super telephoto.

The first lens I bought for my K10D was my 16-45. The next lens was the 55-300. I have about 4 other new ones now.

The 16-45 is better then a kit 18-55 I have and I use it (16-45) as a general lens and for taking pix of vintage cars. The 55-300 I use for wildlife photography.
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 9:11 PM   #10
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For zooms I have the 16-45, 55-300 and both are very good. I also have the 17-70 which is not worth the premium cost over the 16-45. If you had the kit lens and the 55-300 you would probably be set for a while.
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