Best walk-around WR lenses for rainy city


Stevelink

Link Posted 03/10/2011 - 00:12
Greetings!
I have a Pentax K-5 with a few "WR" lenses (DA*16-50, DA*55, DA 50-200 WR). I plan to shoot landscape, city, and marathon shots in Portland, a city known to have "wet spells". I was planning to bring the DA* 16-50 and the DA 50-200 only, keeping it simple, but now think that the DA* 55mm f/1.4 would be a great "walk-around" lens for when I wanted a smaller, lighter kit. (The 16-50, while an awesome zoom, may be rather large and heavy for "discrete, fast" work.) Question- Would the DA* 55 make a good addition to the travel kit, or would it simply cause more "angst" in determining which lens to employ? I figured with the 2 lens kit, my decision-making would be much easier! Thank you for any advice you may provide.
Steve Solomon
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helios

Link Posted 03/10/2011 - 01:55
Probably the best general purpose lens with WR is the DA18-135. It is a somewhat contoversial choice as it had some bad reviews and is rather expensive.

However many people who actually own the lens like it very much.

Pro
Small, light, weather sealed, fast silent accurate AF, very useful focal length range. Distortion and vignetting easily corrected in camera (JPEG) or in software (RAW).

Con
Expensive, some distortion and PF, Sharp in centre of image but soft at corners and borders, vignetting, aperture only 3.5-5.6.

If it was better optically it would be an ideal "walk about" lens. As it is, some of its defects can be corrected in pp and the high ISO capabilities of the K-5 make the aperture limitations less of an issue.

It is my current favourite general purpose lens.
Archie

Stevelink

Link Posted 03/10/2011 - 03:04
helios wrote:
Probably the best general purpose lens with WR is the DA18-135. It is a somewhat contoversial choice as it had some bad reviews and is rather expensive.

However many people who actually own the lens like it very much.

Pro
Small, light, weather sealed, fast silent accurate AF, very useful focal length range. Distortion and vignetting easily corrected in camera (JPEG) or in software (RAW).

Con
Expensive, some distortion and PF, Sharp in centre of image but soft at corners and borders, vignetting, aperture only 3.5-5.6.

If it was better optically it would be an ideal "walk about" lens. As it is, some of its defects can be corrected in pp and the high ISO capabilities of the K-5 make the aperture limitations less of an issue.

It is my current favourite general purpose lens.

Hi Archie. Thanks for your useful information! Actually, I had seen reviews of this lens only after getting the DA* 16-50. I agree with your points, but I jumped at the 16-50 because I liked the "pro" build, SDM, and the extra mm of wide angle focal length. True, it's bigger and heavier than the DA 18-135. That's why I'm still wrestling with bringing my DA* 55 as well, though I really want to travel as light as possible.
In any case, I appreciate your expertise! Regards, Steve
Steve Solomon
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ChrisA

Link Posted 03/10/2011 - 08:41
WR aside, I found it very frustrating in Edinburgh recently not to be able to go wider than 18mm (on the 18-135 as it happens). Not being able to get closer and still have the camera horizontal meant lots of distracting foreground, or alternatively lots of converging verticals.

I think next time I have a few hours to kill wandering around a city, I'll take the 10-20 instead. Not WR, I know, but it's not all that difficult to shield the lens if it's not raining too much.
.
Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
.

helios

Link Posted 03/10/2011 - 11:05
I solve that problem by taking my DA15mm Ltd in my pocket when travelling light with the DA18-135.
Archie

ChrisA

Link Posted 03/10/2011 - 11:12
helios wrote:
I solve that problem by taking my DA15mm Ltd in my pocket when travelling light with the DA18-135.

< eyes tight shut, fingers in ears >

I so mustn't even consider buying any more lenses for a looooong time.
.
Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
.

sterretje

Link Posted 03/10/2011 - 11:19
I posted this in your thread on PF

Quote:

As I see it, it will not result in real extra swapping. You're not going to decide that you want to be "discrete / fast" for one shot; you will decide that on forehand when you go out and think "today / tonight I want to be discrete / fast", you put the 55mm on the camera and it will stay there for a long time (you could even leave the other lenses in the hotel room or wherever you're staying so you're not tempted).

I'm in hcc's camp that 55mm might not be the most universal prime (something around 30mm does it for me as well) but if you have some space to move around, 55mm will work.


Pentax K10D + Vivitar 55/2.8 macro + Super Takumar 55/1.8 + SuperMultiCoated Takumar 85/1.8 + SuperMultiCoated Takumar 135/3.5 + SuperMultiCoated Takumar 200/4 + Super Takumar 300/4
Pentax K100D + DA18-55ALII + DA55-300
Pentax K5 + FA31Ltd + M50/1.7 + DFA100WR + M120/2.8 (+ DA18-55WR at occasion)

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 03/10/2011 - 11:32
Take the DA55, might be handy for low light stuff and night shooting, the 50-200 is not going to be useful to you in such situations. Daytime - 16-50 + 50-200, nighttime and indoor shots, 16-50 + 55mm
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]

Stevelink

Link Posted 06/01/2012 - 16:11
Greetings, All.
Thank you once again for your expert advice! As it turned out, I brought the DA* 16-50 and the DA 50-200, with the 16-50 getting about 90% of the use! It performed flawlessly. If interested, you can see some sample images at www.totalqualityphoto.com. I recently got the FA 43 f/1.9, largely because of stellar reviews touting its sharpness. I will compare it to the DA* 55 and my current "sharpness king", the DA 70 f/2.4 Limited.
May you all enjoy a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012!
Steve Solomon
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m42geo

Link Posted 06/01/2012 - 16:23
I still wouldn't use my camera in the rain after my k10D let in water 3 years ago. However the DA* 50-135mm was fine.

Stevelink

Link Posted 06/01/2012 - 16:36
Well, I agree that using equipment in the rain isn't my preference, but when shooting the Portland Marathon last October, I had no choice. Fortunately, the K-5 with DA* 16-50 was up to the task, working fine in wet (and cold) conditions! One of the reasons I went with Pentax in the first place!
Steve Solomon
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Tyr

Link Posted 06/01/2012 - 21:57
Just a word of warning, the lenses are far better sealed than the sealed cameras. Do NOT use extending lenses in the rain! I have learned this the hard way. Extending the DA*16-50 or DA18-135 causes air, and if the body is wet, water to be drawn into the camera body via buttons, dials and covered ports.

The lenses themselves won't leak.

The only safe lenses for all weather are the DA* primes and the DA*50-135.
Regards,
Dan

https://www.flickr.com/photos/honourabletyr/

Stevelink

Link Posted 06/01/2012 - 22:11
Interesting and good to know. Thanks, Dan! I guess I was lucky that I had no apparent damage using the DA* 16-55 with my K-5 in freezing rain! Perhaps I did minimal zooming and manipulation of external controls, but the equipment (and I) sure was cold and wet from about 4 hours of "exposure" to the elements.
Steve Solomon
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AndrewA

Link Posted 06/01/2012 - 23:04
I have the 18-135 WR, although I am still mixed in my views, it is a great lens as a walkabout.
Mine was 2nd hand so paid I 350, to be honest still felt a bit much as although I have had some excellent results with it on a 2nd hand K200d, things have been very mixed on my Kr.
I have been out in rain with the K200D and the 18-135 and all has been a ok.
Andrew

"I'm here because the whiskey is free" - Tyla

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Flickr link

Dave-L

Link Posted 06/01/2012 - 23:34
Tyr wrote:
Just a word of warning, the lenses are far better sealed than the sealed cameras. Do NOT use extending lenses in the rain! I have learned this the hard way. Extending the DA*16-50 or DA18-135 causes air, and if the body is wet, water to be drawn into the camera body via buttons, dials and covered ports.

The lenses themselves won't leak.

The only safe lenses for all weather are the DA* primes and the DA*50-135.

Would you add the 100mm F2.8 macro WR to the "safe" list? The lens barrel does extend for focusing of course, but the rear glass element is fixed.
K3/K5/10-17fisheye/15mmDA Ltd/18-55WR/55-300DA/100DFAMacroWR/50F1.4M/200F4M/DA*200F2.8/DA*300F4/DA*50-135/DA*60-250/Mitsuki 400F5.6/others.
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