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My thoughts on a 'bargain' Pentax lens kit
In case anyone is interested, I wrote an article for PentaxForums about building a lasting kit with reasonably-priced lenses.


Of course, since I rely on PZ for some of my impressions, I thought a few here might be interested.


(My prefered kit would be the prime one: DA 15mm f/4 Limited; DA 35/2.4; DA 50/1.8; and either the Sigma 70mm macro or Pentax DA 70/2.4 Limited. There are zoom recommendations in the article!)




     I did read your article and indeed the the two limiteds will no doubt last a lifetime and are good lenses,  I'm not so sure that the plastic fantastics complete with plastic bayonet will do the same, however they are inexpensive and are decently sharp.

Dave's clichés
Your definition of bargain is different than mine.  

Quote:Your definition of bargain is different than mine.  

Of course, if you buy used the prices are a fraction of what they're listed in the article.


I also had to limit the manual focus lenses because I wanted to recommend ones that were relatively easy to buy. Without going to auction sites, Pentax options can be somewhat limiting.


I have a kit of awesome old M42 lenses, but they're not for everyone.
Well even excluding used or legacy lenses, the DA18-55 WR + DA50/1.8 will cover 90% of your proposal for 1/4 the price.

Quote:Well even excluding used or legacy lenses, the DA18-55 WR + DA50/1.8 will cover 90% of your proposal for 1/4 the price.

It will cover a lot, that's for sure. I'm assuming that most of the target audience already owns the 18-55 or 18-135.


For me, 18mm isn't wide enough. For some, even my 15mm isn't wide enough. I'd also like something longer, where the Sigma 17-70 works fine, the 70mm macro offers something (1:1) that is important for those who need it.


What lenses are you using? I don't see the EXIF on your zenfolio site.
I'm assuming that they are coming from the DAL18-55...


I'm biased to the wide angles myself and have both the DA15 Ltd and DA18-55II.  I prefer the angle of view, size and construction of the DA15 for sure, but the reality is the DA18-55's @ 18mm can do 90% of what the DA15 can.    24~25mm (135 equivalent) is my ideal focal length, but I can squeeze by with 28mm (equivalent) (I've thought about ditching everything for a Ricoh GR...).


The 18-55's are really good from 18-35mm (I show this here).  That eliminates the DA15 and DA35/2.4 for me.  (The DA18-55 is f/4.0 up to 32mm.  The extra 1.5 stops of the DA35/2.4 are arguable as an advantage, but for the price it can also be included in the bargain kit, sure.)


The 18-55's @55mm are weak wide-open at 'normal' distances...but they do 1:3 macro @55mm and are totally serviceable as a pseudo macro instead of the Sigma 70mm.   Since the 18-55 @55mm is pretty much useless at normal distances except for bright days, the DA50/1.8 totally complements the 18-55mm.


For me, the extra speed of the DA50/1.8 is a better value add than the extra reach of the DA70/2.4.  They are close enough in FL that a bit of cropping evens them out.


The DA18-55, either II or WR has a some big advantages over the cheaper DAL version: includes a very nice hood, quickshift manual focus and a metal mount.  The WR version adds the weather sealing of course.


So there you go:  DA18-55II, DA35/2.4, DA50/1.8.   I could certainly shoot most of what I shoot with that kit if I had to.  ~$500 USD and compared to $1300, leaves lots of options to add a specialty lens (super WA, macro, tele, etc).


The Zenfolio site shows the EXIF data in the tab on the right-side titled "Info" beside the "Thumbnails" tab.


This is the (Pentax mostly) gear that I've owned:

<p style="margin-left:40px;"> 

<div style="margin-left:40px;">....:: Current Gear ::...
Pentax: K-01, Super-Program, AF-360FGZ
Metz: Mecablitz 58 AF-1
Pentax: DA15/4 Ltd, A28/2.8, DFA50/2.8 Macro, DA18-55 AL II, DA 18-135WR
Voigtländer: 58/1.4 SLII
Zeiss: Distagon T* 25mm f/2.8 ZK 
Canon: Canonet GL-III QL
Sony: TX-5
...:: Past Gear ::...
Pentax: PZ-1p, K-m, K-x / Ricoh: GX08
Pentax: AF200T, AF280T / Panasonic: PE-20S
Pentax: DA14/2.8, M20/4, K24/2.8, DA35/2.8 Ltd, A50/1.4, FA50/1.4, DFA100/2.8, F*300/4.5, A1.4X-S, DA10-17FE, DAL18-55, A35-105/3.5
Sigma: 28/1.8 II Asph MF, 28/1.8 II Asph AF
Tokina: AT-X28-70/2.6-2.8, AT-X400/5.6
Tamron:  DiII 17-50/2.8, 103A 80-210/3.8-4
Voigtländer: 40/2 SLII, 90/3.5 SL
Zenitar 16/2.8 Fisheye

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