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08-01-2007, 09:26 PM   #16
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I know that it's an outdoor shot, but this pic was taken with a M 50/2.0


08-02-2007, 09:35 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
I have the DA 40mm Limited, and I use it for exactly the situation you've mentioned -- taking pictures of my kids around the house. At f/2.8, it's not the fastest lens, but that's still pretty fast, and it's sharp wide open. With decent ISO 1600 from the K100D and a little help from the shake reduction, I have no problem getting decent shutter speeds in most indoor situations.

A 50mm is probably also a decent choice, but I find the 40mm x 1.5 = 60mm equivalent focal length to be about as tight as I'd like for this use. If not the 40mm Limited, I think I'd instead go for the 35mm f/2, which can be had for just outside your price range. (Doh. I think that's a universal law.)

I think any of these are a better choice for right now than the 50-200mm. Save up and get that in two years when the baby is running around outside.

Attached images are just random DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited examples; JPEG straight from the camera, no PP (who has the time, with a newborn!) except for resizing and a tiny WB tweak on the second. (And the second could probably use some more work -- the lighting was nasty at the doctor's.)
Thanks Mattdm... those are absolutely perfect examples of what I'm looking for, and they're great captures as well. I know f/2.8 isn't the fastest lens by any means, but with AF it's going to be a lot easier to just pick the camera up and get the shot. Clearly, it seems to be working to meet your needs so that's a very strong selling point.

QuoteOriginally posted by FotoPete Quote
An external flash makes all the difference indoors. Even with say a ..50/1.4..if your lighting is not there, you'll still end up using very slow shutter speeds. While you might be able to take a shot, you might not freeze motion/get the DOF that you need.

If you spend all your cash on a DA50-200, sure you'll end up with a good daylight lens, but it won't help you one bit indoors.

A tilt swivel external flash is in no way asking alot. (You can cross out 360/540FGZ/EF550 out because P-TTL..for the extra $300-400..won't give you photos 3-4 times better than an auto thyristor would.) Buy something cheap. I use a Sunpak autozoon 333 ($17CAN) and a Vivitar Series 1 600N ($70) Both do a great job especially when used with a bounce card or diffuser. An external flash will add ALOT more 'life' not only to your kit lens but any future lens you buy.

Even if you chuck out $70 or even $100 for a tilt swivel flash, that leaves $150 for extra lenses. Getting a 135/2.8 shouldn't cost you more than $50 nowadays. (An SMC-M 135/3.5 is a solid purchase.) $100 should fetch you a nice tele zoom.
Thanks FotoPete, very sage advice indeed. Don't get me wrong, I'll get a flash... eventually. I'm hoping to avoid using it. If I find I can't avoid it for the purposes I need my lens for, I'll get one immediately.

At this point, I'd say I'm most heavily interested in the DA 40 f/2.8, FA 50 f/1.4 and the FA 35 f/2, although the latter would have to become significantly discounted for me to purchase. The DA 50-200 is extremely appealing as well but I suspect my primary interest in that lens lies outside of my primary need. I really want a longer lens, for outside and other things. What I need right now, is something for low light indoor shooting.
08-02-2007, 09:37 AM   #18
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Thanks little laker,

That's a great shot... I've added a manual 50mm and 135 or 200 to my list of lenses for the future. Right now I think I want AF to enable quick, last second P & S. I'll continue practicing manual focus and add some to the kit later I suspect.
08-02-2007, 11:01 AM   #19
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Blue Angels = Long Lens Envy

Well, the Blue Angels are buzzing all around my office today warming up for SeaFair. My kit lens has me feeling inadequate and I now how full blown long-lens-envy. It still doesn't change my need for a faster indoor lens, but man is it annoying when they do cool things like fly tight around our skyscrapers and their just far enough away my shot will look... well... distant.

08-02-2007, 02:12 PM   #20
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Getting a flash for me was a daunting prospect but with a diffuser, I can't take my camera out without it.

Try your popup flash to get a feel for it. Place a muffin cup or a tissue over it and see the difference it begins to make!
08-03-2007, 02:32 AM   #21
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Many links on portrait lens

I post the following on another thread suggesting Sigma 17-70 for replacement of kit's len. I am not suggesting that for you as you have budget concern, but the quoted text has many links related to your question.

QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
I would replace the kit's len with Sigma 17-70. I have not upgraded yet but the desire for Sigma 17-70 is always there for me. First, the range seems great to have extra reach over 55mm or 50mm. Second, it has Macro. So on the surface, common sense tells me that Sigma 17-70 would help me with less lens change. I am in favor of less lens change as I am new with my camera and I like to stick to the minimal to go.

And my main odd reason that I got kit lens instead of Sigma 17-70 to start my journey into dSLR upgrade form p&s is that I LOVE to be cheap and it is the motto (spelling) of cheap master that I can relate myself to. And I like to use the kit lens to challenge myself to get the most from that $60 worth of money. But in hindsight, I would have saved more in going to Sigma 17-70 in the beginning but the cheap master 'motto' and the challenge to go cheap steals me from the common sense.

And my LBA research in Sigma 17-70 with many browsing of pictures from others confirm that the Sigma 17-70 is both versatile, good quality and it has high praises from many people that I admire.

Here are some of my thoughts in my gear with K100D:

Looking for portrait lens:
Hin's Tech Corner: Pentax Protrait Lens

Kit's Len related blog posts:
Hin's Tech Corner: Morning with Pentax Kit's Len
Hin's Tech Corner: Soft Pictures from Pentax DA 18-55

DA 50-200 related blog posts:
Hin's Tech Corner: Pentax Protrait Lens
Hin's Tech Corner: Photozone.de Pentax DA 50-200 review

And images from kit lens and da 50-200 in
Hin's Photo Blog
Hin's Tech Corner

You have all the M lens that I am starting to look with LBA envy.

All the best,
Hin
Specific for your case, I recommend DA 50-200 with a cheap flash. I will quoted below for more inputs on getting a cheap flash

QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
I wonder if somebody can help me with external flash alternative for K100D. I raise these questions in dpreview pentax slr forum and I like to post my flash question here and I am thankful for all the help from you all

quote dpreview question:
-----
thread:
Re: Looking for a K100D portrait lens: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

John, I will update you once I have the lens. And you may find valuable informations on this thread that discuss what is more important for indoor portraits -- a FA 50 mm f/1.4 or an external bounced flash. I think the discussion has merits in going for both for various reasons. A worth reading for me:
fast prime vs swivel & bounced external flash
Flash or Fast Prime 1st for indoor portaits?: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

Kid's portraits with DA 50-200
Kid Portraits with DA 50-200: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

And I am looking for alternative flash to 540 though I am pulling my hairs as what can work in going cheap such as

Thyristor Twin Flash (pttl unlikely, I have no idea, it claims K100D compatible in ebay with no mentioning on TTL or PTTL, I am lost)
$60
Thyristor Twin Flash for Pentax K10D K110D K100D *ist - (item 170135099349 end time Aug-03-07 21:30:15 PDT)


Kid Portraits with DA 50-200: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

PTTL flash not Pentax brand
$115
DEDICATED AUTO PTTL FLASH FOR K110 K100 PENTAX CAMERAS - (item 200134619559 end time Aug-03-07 17:05:07 PDT)

Thanks,
Hin
----
end quote dpreview question
I will update again when time allows. Please look for all threads that I posted for other's opinions. You and I have lots in common.

Thanks,
Hin
08-03-2007, 09:55 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by FotoPete Quote
Getting a flash for me was a daunting prospect but with a diffuser, I can't take my camera out without it.

Try your popup flash to get a feel for it. Place a muffin cup or a tissue over it and see the difference it begins to make!
Thanks FotoPete. I think I'll get a flash soon (probably even before the baby arrives), but I'm going to pick up a lens first. In the meantime, I started messing around with the built in flash with a white yogurt cup (empty and cleaned of course) over it. It seems to help quite a bit... but I'm still trying to avoid using a flash with the baby.


QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
I post the following on another thread suggesting Sigma 17-70 for replacement of kit's len. I am not suggesting that for you as you have budget concern, but the quoted text has many links related to your question.



Specific for your case, I recommend DA 50-200 with a cheap flash. I will quoted below for more inputs on getting a cheap flash



I will update again when time allows. Please look for all threads that I posted for other's opinions. You and I have lots in common.

Thanks,
Hin
Thanks Hin, I read through all those threads. It seems to indicate there's a a consideration, akin to "which came first, the chicken or the egg". Should you buy a flash to go with your existing lens, or buy a better lens first. Some of the answers hit home for me:

Ron Johnson:
I'd start with the fast lens then move forward with flash. I think it would help you learn more about lighting, and perhaps even to combine natural with fill, etc.

And awaldram:
flash = total flexibility will even allow picture taking in pitch black and HSS in daylight to control the light in the image.

lens = 3 stops advantage think thats 1/6 of the light level that the kit could take in but you'll be pushing the lens to its limit and have very limited DOF .
now if you hate the flash type indoor picture then the lens is the quickest fix.

If you need low light shooting where flash is frowned on then again the lens is the answer.

If your finding the kt is just a little slow then the 50 will solve the problem whereas if your finding with the kit its not possible to even consider the picture then the 50 will still leave you short.
If you want more versatility in your picture then the flash will be more fun.

Flash requires better technique to get acceptable results i.e a sloppy picture taken in low light with the 50 will look OK but the same with flash will be hideous.


I'm sold on the thought process that a good lens is the first priority and will make me a better photographer faster than picking up a flash. Besides which, I really don't want to use a flash unless I absolutely have to to capture the shot. On that same though process though, is the consideration that one cannot get by without a flash... you will need it sometimes.

Now I have to decide... fast AF prime... or a couple fast MF primes...
08-13-2007, 10:45 AM   #23
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I wanted to update this thread with my purchase decision(s). Thanks to everyone for your valuable input.

A few things have changed and it's become obvious that money for several purchases will be freed up before the baby arrives. This played a part in my decision to purchase a pair of used M lenses locally. I'm hoping to get good at using them and between my three lenses, pick the best focal and aperture range for future purchases.

I picked up an excellent condition M 50/1.4 and M 135/3.5. So far, they have both proven to be outstanding lenses and even in my amateur hands they produce outstanding results over the kit lens. I'll post some pictures later, after I have an opportunity to photgraph something interesting (right now I've just got a bunch of A/B/C comparisons of various objects, pets and people around the house).

Again, thanks for your advice everyone.

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