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Thread: A windfall makes a difficult choice!

  1. #1
    Mito's Avatar
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    Brian

    A windfall makes a difficult choice!

    I've just been told that I have a second pension backdated 6 years. Not large but will be sufficient to improve the equipment I have.
    I have a Pentax K20D with a DA18-55mm kit lens and a 28-200mm Sigma lens that came with a Pentax M 50 camera I have. My dilema is which direction to go in. A more modern camera, K30 or K 5 with kit lenses or improve the glass I have. As far as glass is concerned I would like more reach as I enjoy wildlife but arthritis prevents me from sitting still for a long time or crawling through bushes. I have an old Jessops 2x converter which I'm still learning to use but communication between camera and lens is somewhat erratic.
    Basically do I go the camera way or the glass way? If it's the glass way, what glass? In order to go any way "the boss" insists on a holiday!

  2. #2
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Bill S

    Re: A windfall makes a difficult choice!

    Brian,

    Regardless of which way you go, it sounds like you have a win-win-win situation there. New camera equipment, plus 'the boss' insisting that you go on a holiday in which you will almost invariably be able to use the new toys... I'm sure plenty here are envious of your situation and wouldn't mind the difficult choice.

    - Bill

  3. #3

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    Norman Head

    Re: A windfall makes a difficult choice!

    Hey Brian
    This sounds like my question to answer... up until just after last Christmas, my wife and I were proud owners of a k20D and a K-x. We upgraded to a K5, but still have the two older cameras. I mainly use the K20D. The lenses we use include the DA* 60-250, Tamron 90 macro, DA 18-135, DA 35 f2,4, FA 50 1.7, 21 Limited (from which i take my nick) and the little used 18-55 (3 of them) and a Sigma 70-300.

    You can pick up the Sigma 70-300 for a hundred bucks. It's not much of a lens but, good 300 mm glass is expensive, no way around it. Find a Sigma or Tamron 70-300 second hand for more reach without paying a fortune.

    The K20D is a fine body... the improvements in the K30 and K-5, I know the party line is it's improved low light performance, but the real advantage is being able to rescue highlights and shadow detail. Detail pulled up from almost black shadows look normal and natural. On the K20D the noise makes them un-useable. That's the difference 4 years of technological advances make. The K-5 has known non- daylight focussing issues, that have been corrected on the K30 and K-5II. IN terms of ratings, the K-5 II s will be the highest rated ASP-c sensor. The K-5 is already and the K5IIs is an improvement.

    But enough about me and mine... about you...

    In your situation, I'd go K30 with the 18-135 as your kit lens. That's a huge improvement over the 18-55 plus it's a great walk around lens. Both K-30 and DA 18-135 are water resistant and weather sealed, no need to worry if they get a bit wet. And the 18-135 is simply a great lens from 20 to 40mm. There would be absolutely no need to upgrade in that range for a very long time. At 50mm, it's not a prime, but it's not bad. From 70-135 it's centre sharp but weak at the edges. Since for wildlife you rarely need edge to edge sharpness, I don't see that as a disavantage. To get to 300, as I said, really expensive for good quality glass. Get one of the myriad of zooms that go to 300mm for as cheap as you can. Most are not that good, but still better than a 200 with a TC. Apparently you can get the old FA 300 4.5 for around $400 second hand (out of production for over 10 years.) That's what I'm looking for, but you better hope I don't see it first.

    Summary.. K30 - DA 18-135 kit, Cheapest second hand zoom that goes to 300 you should be able to find a Sigma or Tamron 70-300 for $100, FA 300 f 4.5 when you can find it. Start watching ebay. Keep your k20D and your 18-55 as backup. Sell the 28-200 or trade for a zoom that goes to 300.

    PS.. your next lens after that would be the 35 2.4 prime. Great lens, fast, sharp, and cheap.
    Last edited by 21Limited; 6th November 2012 at 01:18 AM.

  4. #4
    Mito's Avatar
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    Brian

    Re: A windfall makes a difficult choice!

    I 've been doing a little reading and looking hence the delay in replying.
    As far as the win-win situation, in Olympic terms I think it comes a close second to Bronze! Too many stipulations.
    For the present I'm going to leave a new camera and concentrate on glass. There are very good reports about the Sigma 120-400 so that is being looked into more. I think I'll sell the 18-55 and the 28-200 and replace them with a 18-135. That will give me a good coverage. I have a H20EXR which is exellent for macro shots, so that covers 1cm to infinity!
    If anybody else knows better, enlighten me.

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