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Old Oct 19, 2011, 9:53 AM   #11
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Good Morning and Welcome,

The system that you are building is essentially constructed around the wide angle zoom. And that's fine. However, you are doing this at the expense of the middle focal lengths, and let me explain my reasoning.

I too do landscapes and wide angle photography, and the one aspect that I have found is that for effective landscapes, wide angle lenses are not always the best choice. Anything under about 18mm is wide angle. When using one of these lenses, it does pull in additional view from the edges, thus both the problem and opportunity. Since it pulls additional view in, it also pulls views across all edges - top and bottom included. Pulling in top view is great for the sky, however at the bottom of the frame, additional view is also pulled in. What this does is make the foreground of the image even more important. If you notice most effective wide angle shots have something of interest in the foreground. If not it becomes very boring. Yes, the wide angle pulls in the sides, but also at the expense of pushing back the center also.

The solution - stitching at the middle focal lengths. Just about all of the most effective landscapes tend to use 24 to 28mm. Why - at 28mm the lenses do not have distortion. Wider, you tend to have distortion when pulling in the edges. The other advantage is that the foreground becomes less important (since you are shooting over it - its not in the frame), because you have less of it. Also the middle of the image is not as pushed out or diminished - you effectively have more the landscape you are after with less dirt in the foreground.

So where does that leave you. Yes, I would get a zoom wide angle, because it is so versatile, but I would also complement it with a middle zoom also. Something like the DA 16-45/4 . Its not particularly fast, but in landscapes you really do not need fast. In order to use the additional lens speed, you loose your depth of field. Plus, your object of the shots usually are not moving.

I alluded to stitching previously. Even with wide angle lenses - and after my previous writing, I also stitch - in the portrait position. It pulls in more of the foreground - yes, but it limits the sides where I stitch the panels together - while providing more sky.

It all depends upon your location and how you frame the shot. For your 50mm - essentially your telephoto lens, I would tend to go with a manual focus A50/1.7 or M50/1.7. Why - You will probably be at infinity focus anyway, so you do not need autofocus, and the cost is at the $100 mark (or below if you look). They are of excellent quality and there are lots of them around (use to be the kit lens on the film bodies). They are also very small - great for traveling.

The DA 16-45/4 does run in the $250 range. The other option is the kit lens, and the kit, for being a kit is very good. You can even get the DA 18-55 version II, for under $100.
I think that if you cover from 10 or 12 up to 45 to 55mm you will be happier with the shot opportunities as well as the resulting images.

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Old Oct 20, 2011, 8:06 PM   #12
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As for memory cards I'd look at getting 2x 16GB Transcend class 10 SDHC cards instead of 4x 8GB cards. I use a 16GB transcend in my camera and it has never let me down. It has been my work horse for the past 6 months in a Fuji SH20 with approx 18,000 images taken with it.


This will save you some money almost $50 (if you $107 figure is correct for a total of 4 8GB cards).

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Old Nov 8, 2012, 6:40 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the patience in helping me out with my confusion.

Its been a year and i am still without the K5.

The bright side is that bhphoto is selling the K5 at 850 USD which was 1200 USD when i checked last time.

The reason for forgetting about the K5 for almost a year??

I was on a 10,000 km motorcycle trip from the south most point of India to the north most motor able tip.

Pardon me for the bad photoes, i carried a Pentax W90 which gives me weather sealing but takes away everything else.

Pretty down on funds,
I can buy only one lens right now and want to be content with it for some time.

Does the SMCP-DA 17-70mm f/4 AL do justice to the K5? Do i have alternatives in this focal length range?

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Old Nov 8, 2012, 2:30 PM   #14
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The lens I've been thinking about recently is the Pentax 18-135. It's more expensive than the 17-70, I think, but it would add weather sealing, which I think is a big plus. I had the opportunity to use one that belongs to a fellow SoCal Pentaxian and I was really impressed with it. Maybe someone else will have different ideas, but I think it would be an excellent choice for a one-lens solution, especially since this set of photos look all pretty wide-angle.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 6:05 PM   #15
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I take a lot of photos of motorcycles and vintage cars....as I'm both a vintage car and bike buff.

I have a K-5. The lenses I use for vehicle and landscape photography are my Pentax 12-24, Pentax 16-45, Pentax 10-17 Fisheye and Pentax 70mm Limited.

12-24 :

Excellent quality. Sharp. The 12-24 is a fairly narrow range...but I find it works well, especially at crowded shows. Popular Photography rates this lens very high.

16-45 :

I used this before my 12-24. I like it because on the far end of it's range (45mm) it's close to a normal lens. It's very good, but IMO, the 12-24 is significantly better. But then the 12-24 costs significantly more. On the other hand the 16-45 has that wider range . It was my first lens and I used for everything from vehicles/landscapes (@ 16mm) to portraits (@ 45mm). When I think of it the Pentax 17-70mm has an even better range .

10-17 Fisheye:

Some may wonder why use a fisheye for vintage vehicles. I usually use it at 17 mm, spend time trying to avoid too much distortion...I seem to have the knack. At 17mm at the right angle I find it gives more 'body' to my photo's. But this lens is an acquired taste. I really like it. I also find that the fisheye can be used to get interesting shots of landscapes, buildings, etc...but I would only get this lens after I had a wide angle zoom and a telephoto zoom as the 10-17 is too much a specialty lens.

70mm Limited F 2.4:

I use this lens to capture localized 'parts' of cars and bikes. I also use it for portraits and as a general purpose lens. It's a Limited Prime and boy is it sharp...also the bokeh is great.
I really like this lens...although at 70mm it's a moderate telephoto that works well as a portrait lens, not a wide angle.

I don't have any experience with a 15 mm Limited. Great lens I've heard. What I like about wide angle zooms is their versatility and the ability to park yourself in one place and just use the zoom to frame the vehicle or other scene you want.

BTW, nice pics...10,000 km world trip on a motorcycle. An adventure you'll recall the rest of your life.

I used to ride, but I'm getting on in years. I still have two motorcycles from my younger years...a '67 Matchless 750cc Scrambler (Desert Sled) and a '78 Yamaha SR 500 (big single) Roadster.

I think Mtngal has a very good idea ...the 18-135mm. Wide angle to moderate telephoto in one weather resistant lens and everything in between. Extends your range with one lens.

One thing I would add. I don't know if you plan to carry your camera on the bike in one of your saddlebags. If you do I would make sure that it is well padded. I would also prob. consider separating the body from the lens . Reason I suggest this, as an old motorcyclist I know that bikes (even the modern ones) can have a lot of vibration (engine/suspension) and harshness (ride)...which can affect any electronic and or complicated device like a camera and a lens.

Last edited by lesmore49; Nov 8, 2012 at 6:19 PM.
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 10:08 AM   #16
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Here's another vote for the DA 18-135. It's an excellent place to start: It offers you maximum flexibility and includes weather resistance as well. You can always add other lenses - specifically primes - later. What's more, if you're purchasing a new K-5 II or even a less-expensive K-30 (which is also weather resistant), Pentax discounts the 18-135 if you buy it along with the camera body. In fact, if you're tight on money, a K-30 kit with the 18-135 might be the way to go. Same image quality as the original K-5 with some improvements.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 11:11 PM   #17
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Thanks for your help!

A question for everybody:
Do you really check an online review before making a buy? I would never be able to try lenses before making a buying decision hence these online reviews are the only means to know more. What do you see before you buy?

Do these have any credibility amongst photographers... or are they just for commercial purposes?


Thanks for the tips with the biker perspective
I'm still inclining towards the K5

Hoping the holiday season will throw up some good deals

Apart from bhphotovideo, is there any other place i should actually be looking for an online purchase and deals? I've never made this a big purchase on ebay till date.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 11:17 PM   #18
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All of those sites are legitimate and offer solid advice - each in a bit different way than the others. For Pentax lenses, if you don't get enough feedback here, Pentax Forums is very good in terms of real-world advice as opposed to charts and graphs in a lab.

B&H and Adorama (both in New York) are both great, legit places to do business. Amazon.com is also good, has a great return policy and is an authorized Pentax dealer as are the others. Just make sure you buy from Amazon, not a third-party seller on the Amazon.com site.

Last edited by Biro; Nov 11, 2012 at 11:34 PM.
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