Busted :¬(

I am forced to admit that Pentax gear brings out the hoarder in me.
I cannot explain it.

With my Sony gear I did my share of swapping lenses, to a lesser degree - but that's not really a surprise since I've used Pentax gear far longer. The latest K-5 purchase spun up an amazing kit in a hurry, at great prices - yet once again it was more kit than I could really afford. The acquisitive feelings are still with me in the micro43 world, but I have managed to be a bit more resistant.
Is that from years of practice, the system itself, or something else entirely?
Hard to say.

I really want to just love one system that does everything - but without more funding that's just not possible. And Pentax is such a good fit for me, thanks both to their design philosophy and my spending enough time in the system to make it work well for me.

I suspect that a some amount of gear should go pretty soon. Again.
Will I choose wisely this time? Hope so!



After some consideration, and the arrival of the 18-50, I decoded to unmake the 18-55wr and remake the 50-200wr. This frees up the 55-300 to become cash like it was supposed to be and that we can make use of in non-photo categories.

Sometimes reassembly of a Pentax lens takes five minutes..this time it was a bit over an hour. Resetting the six gold data-transmission pins takes time, then in this case the wr gasket must be right, then setting the mount gently so the data pins poke through without bending or springing out - everything just right or start over!

I started over about a dozen times. The pins fell out, then they were right but the AF drive pin had fallen out. More pin issues ensued but it was finally assembled - however, the lens was not sending data. Sure enough a pin had slipped out, so a few more attempts (and re-seating the wr gasket twice) finally produced a functional 50-200mm lens. AF works, metering works, focal length is reported to stabilizer and to image file. All is well.* Again!

add 100-300 Sigma 'slowpoke' when range is needed
With this decision made, the kit clears up a bit. 
I have cast the kit upon KEH' buying department, I'd like to keep the 17-28, 18-50 & 50-200wr and send off the rest. That plus the K-5 is a 1.5kg kit of small lenses and decent range. Good enough for my purposes - and the 100-300 can stay too for longer (eclipse?) shots.

If KEH would offer more for the 17-28 I would tolerate the extra 200 grams and keep the Tamron 10-24mm in its place. And if they offer a decent number for all things Pentax.. so be it.

*Except for the 18-55 of course, which is now mount-less. Again!!

Update - a new/used Lumix 14-42ii is on its way, so my 'need' for the Sigma 19 (or any 17-20mm prime) has been lowered.. theoretically! This one will be black, so we can more easily tell our cameras apart - as if my spouse's pink neck strap was insufficient.


Today's Thinking

My ideal kit is now here. I may not recognize it yet but it's still true.. probably. Sure it would be much different with a $2k budget, but that is not coming about soon.

Part of my kit problem is that some of this should not be here. The 55-300 was supposed to be a check, the 17-28 fisheye would not be here if the 10-24 deal did not fall apart for 10 days, and in fact the K-5 was supposed to be a GM1! Go figure. On the other hand, the E500 and 4Thirds gear became much more useable as the 17-28 and some of these lenses can still become cash.. inevitably.

So here is today's Favorite Kit. *
F17-28, because small is beautiful
S18-50 for silence and a pinch more speed
DA50-200wr, see 17-28 + wr protection
S100-300 fast focus and decent IQ
S28-200 to pair up with 17-28 now and then

* Tomorrow is another day; I shall worry about that kit tomorrow. (Katie Scarlett O'Hara)

Honestly, I really like the other lenses. Nobody really dislikes results from the 55-300 in any of its many forms..but oh that pokey focus. And going to 10mm is amazing..now and then. The 18-55wr is small and talented and wr, and anyway I can't sell it with a non-wr lens mount. Guess it stays too, in the closet.


1 Thing still missing?

Looking over the pile of recent acquisitions it seemed that nothing major was lacking. I have coverage from 15-450mme plus the 600mme Hanimar long telephoto, weather seals from 27-450mme, a fisheye zoom and a couple of fast manual primes. All is well..

The one thing I lack here is a quiet lens for the quiet body. The K-5 has a nicely muted shutter sound but a typically noisy AF screw drive. The best options to beat this are Sigma's HSM lenses with Pentax SDM good but tarnished by a few bad copies (make that several dozen bad copies..).

 I found a Sigma 18-50 f/2.8-4.5 HSM OS Macro &c lens for under $100. I've owned this before and it does a good job. No weather seals but zoom and focus are internal so water is less apt to get inside. Focus is nicely nearly silent, and it even has in-lens stabilization which is very rare in Pentax mount. It has switches for both OS and AF (which allows for catch-in focus on the K-5). I will get an extra stop of light along with silence.. and an extra 100g of bulk.
Given the advantages of silence I'm letting this one back into my lineup. Maybe someone else will take a white 18-55wr off my hands?


The gang's all here

A few final items have now dropped into the Pentax pile. 
Now to decide what stays!

As noted earlier, the whole Pentax thing came about because the µ43 bargains dried up and K-mount items became cheap and plentiful. Definitely not my plan, but circumstances are not under my control! I re-joined µ43 because it was where good cameras could be had for $200 ..and so was my K-5. When the auction on a K-mount 10-24mm was canceled I swapped unused 4Thirds gear for a Pentax-F 17-28mm fisheye. When the 10-24 seller repented I took that too! When B&H had trouble sending me a check for some trade-in gear I converted it to store credit, then into a Pentax HD 55-300. When KEH had a $16 "UGly"-rated Sigma 28-200mm I grabbed it. When i could not find a lens mount for my 18-55wr I bought a bargain 50-200wr and robbed it.

It all happened so fast!

So what did I learn? No surprises:

  • The HD 55-300wr is a typically excellent copy and offers me a weather-friendly kit with the 18-55wr.
  • KEH still undervalues slow-selling lenses. The 28-200 looks new and works great (as good as the 55-300 in tests, and focuses much faster & closer), so a fair-weather pairing of this with either 10-24 or 17-28 is fun and light.
  • The 10-24 is relatively large but is like nothing I've owned before. The 17-28 is great in different ways.
  • In the closet I also have Sigmas 28-80 (1:2), 100-300 f/4.5-6.7 and Rikenon 70-150/4, and two primes (A50/1.7, M100/2.8). And oh yes, the manual-focus-only DA18-250! Kits beyond calculation..

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