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Lens Suggestion for Pentax K10d

Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
edited November 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
So I've decided on the DSLR I'll be upgrading from my Canon A570 to - a Pentax K10d. I'm currently shopping for lenses and I'm hoping to get some advice on what would suit my needs best. My budget is fairly limited - I'd like to keep it under $300 for the first lens. I certainly don't expect pro-glass, but I don't want to shoot with shit either.

I've been told by numerous photographers that if you want to produce the best shots possible, you use prime lenses. They're always faster and always sharper than their zoom cousins, and as long as you don't buy pro-level, rather affordable too. I also don't mind lugging a few lenses with me when I'm walking around with my camera, so this wouldn't be a problem for me either. My questions: Are primes really that much better?

Moving right along: I currently shoot almost exclusively landscapes with my P+S, and love shooting at night/in darker situations. However, I need to get DA lenses if I want to keep the weather-proof qualities of my camera. The DA primes are all out of my price range, while the kit lens (Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6) is certainly cheap at $200. However, f/3.5 seems pretty slow, the variable aperture make me nervous, and most reviews indicate that the lens is at its worst when at 18mm (really soft), which is where I'd likely spend most of my time when doing landscapes.

So I move on with my thinking. I think I currently only shoot landscapes because my P+S has a really wide lens on it that's relatively slow. Perhaps a slightly more 'normal' lens will allow me to do both portraits and some landscape work - something like a Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4, which from what I've seen is an excellent lens (and only $300). It scales up to 75mm - would this be acceptable for landscape work for a while if I choose to get this now and another, wider prime later?

Given all that, I'd still love to hear alternative suggestions. A pair of good, cheap, older primes? The K10d can use any lens ever made for a Pentax-mount, and it has in-body image stabilization, so the only disadvantage of the older lenses would be the loss of the weather proofing. Which leads to another question: How much does a non-DA lens compromise the weather proofing on the camera? Or should I just get the 50mm for now and save up for a wider angle lens later on? Alternately, should I just get the kit lens (18-55mm) and use that until I want pro-level glass?

Please, do tell!

Dark Moon on


  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I would start with the kit lens and maybe a 50mm f/1.8 which cost next to nothing. The kit lens will be just fine for landscape shots especially since you'll be using smaller apertures where it will be sharpest. The 50mm will get you started in low light stuff. It's a tendency of new photographers to go balls-out on buying lenses and shit to begin with because it's fun getting fancy new toys but it's best to start out cheap and learn what it is you like to shoot and where you really need a higher quality lens to get those shots.

    Also, what do you plan on doing with these shots? Posting them online? Printing them? How large? If it's mostly for posting online and printing 6x9's then you'll be hard pressed to tell the difference between a $100 lens and a $1,000 one.

    saltiness on
    XBL: heavenkils
  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2007
    Honestly, I'd really suggest looking at an Olympus camera on the 4/3 system if you're interested in saving money on a DSLR. Pentax doesn't really have the lens support there. You could also probably find a used body only Canon Digital Rebel XT now that the XTi is getting cheap, or a used 30D body only, and pick up the $130 50mm f/1.8 mkII for about $80 on eBay. You'd be spending in total under $600 in all likelihood, and come out with a renowned 50mm prime on a platform with tons of lenses available.

    Or do the same with a Nikon. I'm pretty sure they recently released new models, making very decent used cameras very suddenly affordable.

    That said, the only lens you want to bother with upon starting out is the cheapest 50mm prime you can get for your camera. Between that and the kit lens you'll have lots of opportunity to learn.

    Oh, one other thing: If you buy Canon you can rent lenses from Don's Photo. They rent L series lenses. Nice ones.

    Pheezer on
  • SigmaConditionSigmaCondition Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I'm actually in a similar boat as I just purchased a new Nikon D40.
    It came kitted with a 18-55 zoom, but I'm looking at getting a new 70-300 telephoto for around $150, and a superwide 12-22 for around $210. If you get the Pentax though, I'm not sure exactly what you'll be spending. This is going to be my first DSLR, but hopefully I will be able to give you some feedback after a few months.
    Good luck

    SigmaCondition on
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