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Old Oct 1, 2006, 4:53 AM   #1
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I am anticipating the release of the K10d as the weather seals and stabalization are very appealing to me. My experience with cameras is a bit limited and I need some advice. Because one buys into the system as whole what does everyone think of the selection of lenses available for Pentax Cameras, is it equivalent or better then the C or N?

I want to buy a few lenses when and if I purchase the camera so as to have at least some bit of flexibility and my budget isn't much of an issue. I guess I would want a nice wide angle and at least a decent mid to long telephoto but I don't really know enough to know what leneses I should consider. I also find the smc P-DA Fish-Eye 10-17mm fascinating and may purchase one soon after the camera.

Thanks for taking the time to read my musings.
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Old Oct 1, 2006, 5:11 AM   #2
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I'd get the camera first & use it with the 'kit lens'. See what it's limitations are and go from there.

There are no hard and fast rules - what's right for one, may not be so for another.

For me, with the Pentax DA 18-55mm & Pentax 50-200mm it covers all my needs with a level of optical performance that satisfies. I use this in preference to either the Sigma 18-200mm or Tamron 18-200mm which I've tried & decided against.

What I would like is for Pentax to combine this range into 1 lens whilst retaining the image quality but we all know that's really possible.
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Old Oct 1, 2006, 5:40 AM   #3
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I'm thinking I may want to wait until the new da star lenses are availabe to buy any zoom lens. I might get a prime and the zoom fish eye or two primes.
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Old Oct 1, 2006, 5:43 AM   #4
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I wonder if they plan on releasing any sealed primes? It would be awesome if they had the option to buy a sealed version of any lenses they are producing.
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Old Oct 1, 2006, 8:13 AM   #5
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As I have understood it the new *-line will be sealed.

If money isn't an issue, with some patience you can get some of the best lenses ever produced if you go for Pentax. Backwards compatibility is Pentax's strongest point, and the high quality lenses Pentax have produced can competewith (and probably win over)the best Nikon and Canon have ever made.But these used older lenses, i e the *-line, isn't available on the market just when you want them, you'll have to have your antennas out, and buy when there is one for sale. Be it on e-bay or the neighbours garage sale.

Kjell
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Old Oct 1, 2006, 10:23 AM   #6
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It really does depend on how you use your camera. I started with a number of old lenses and I had fun experimenting with them and the kit lens. I didn't start buying other lenses until I knew where my limitations were, and how I was using the camera. The kit and the DA 50-200 lenses make a good combination, but I've ended up using two manual primes because they are faster (24mm 2.8 and a 50mm 1.4) and I already owned them (purchased around 25 years ago).

I've ended up buying a cheap, really sharp 100mm macro lens, the DA 50-200 because I found I wanted something to cover 50-80 (its sharper than the 80-200 lens I had been using), and then an A* 300 because I wanted something longer than 200 but didn't want another zoom.
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Old Oct 1, 2006, 11:29 AM   #7
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bilybianca wrote:
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As I have understood it the new *-line will be sealed.

If money isn't an issue, with some patience you can get some of the best lenses ever produced if you go for Pentax. Backwards compatibility is Pentax's strongest point, and the high quality lenses Pentax have produced can compete¬*with (and probably win over)the best Nikon and Canon have ever made.¬*But these used older lenses, i e the *-line, isn't available on the market just when you want them, you'll have to have your antennas out, and buy when there is one for sale. Be it on e-bay or the neighbours garage sale.

Kjell

If you could please point me to a source that has info about desirable older lenses.
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Old Oct 1, 2006, 12:00 PM   #8
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http://stans-photography.info/
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Old Oct 1, 2006, 12:25 PM   #9
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Hi Humzai,

I've found that the best informational sites for olsder lenses (and some newer ones) are:

Photodo -- the old site is easier to use for me:

http://old.photodo.com/

Photozone, go down to the bottom of the page and click on the Pentax FA,F, and A link, then either input the specific type, or just get them all:

http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html

J Colwell's SLPOSdb, downloadable tables (somewhat outdated) that you can load into your own spreadsheet and add to or edit if you want. There are separate tables for Pentax primes and zooms, and a third for 3rd party lenses from Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, and Vivitar. Lots of info, including size & weight, min focus distance, filter diam., optical rating, etc.:

http://www.jcolwell.ca/_SPLOSdb/

You have to learn how to use the ratings from each site--

Photodo, the MTF ratings are a bit technical, but a rough guide would be 3+ is very good to very very good as you go up the scale, and 4+ is probably considered world class.
Edit: The ratings for zooms are naturally lower as compromises have to be made. High 3's are very exceptional low 3's are very very good, and mid-high 2's are very good. The ratings on this site have been disputed by some very knowledgeable photographers IMO, and I generally use them just as a confirmation of other info I've seen.

PhotoZone -- realize that these are user ratings, but are generally pretty accurate. There are also more detailed tests of some 3rd party lenses (but for Canon mount versions), so if any of these interest you, you can extrapolate their performance, assuming that they would work similarly with a Pentax.

J Colwell -- Hasn't been updated for a couple of years, and pricing sometimes doesn't reflect some of the latest supply/demand situations, so take them for what they're worth. The quality ratings are, in my limited experience reliable. The (*) rated are very good, (**) very very good, and (!) and (!!) are respectively pro class and argueably the best of the best, regardless of mfg. (YMMV -- just my experience with only a relative few of these lenses)

Hope that helps

Scott




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Old Oct 1, 2006, 1:27 PM   #10
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I have a range of lenses, mostly of "budget" quality. Personally I think the kit lenses, the DA 18-55mm and the DA 50-200mm are the best place to start since they offer decent quality, light weight and the Quick shift manual focus functionality. Beyond that there are many very high quality (and sometimes very expensive) options. The A series lenses do not offer AF but are of very high mechanical and optical quality (especially the A* models). The older M series are jewel like in quality but the lack of auto-exposure functionality makes them less suitable for general use. The F and FA lenses (again the F* or FA* are tops here) have a few very good models such as the surprisingly good F 70-210mm f4-5.6.

The 50mm f1.4 is a masterpiece for portrait work in either A, F or FA models. The 28mm f2.8 is another excellent choice in a prime "normal" lens (42mm equivalent), again A, F and FA are all great choices. The FA Limited series 31mm, 43mm and 77mm lenses are among the best lenses made by any company. The new DA Limited lenses are also looking like good choices although they seem to have smaller maximum apertures than the older models.

You may need the new DA* models to get the weather sealing however, anyone know for sure?

BTW, complete K-mount Pentax information at http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/

Ira
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