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08-27-2010, 06:20 PM   #1
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Pentax K-x lenses: which kit to buy

I am totally new to SLR photography, but have decided it is time to try out something new as my daughters are growing up so rapidly and I want to try and preserve as many memories as possible. I have done a lot of research to try and find the right camera for me, and I am settled on the Pentax K-x. What I really need help with is two things 1) Is it worth while spending the extra money to get the camera package that contains two lenses or would I be better off not getting the extra lens and waiting until I am comfortable with the camera to get a second lens.
2)The is nowhere near to where we live to take a class to learn how to use the camera to its full potential so I thought it might be worthwhile ordering a book....but what book? Any suggestions?

Not that it matters but I am getting the camera in navy

Thanks in advance for the advice

08-27-2010, 06:28 PM   #2
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Post approved & moved to the lens section.

The 2 lens kit consists of the DA L 18-55mm kit lens, and the DA L 55-300mm tele lens. Let me start out by saying that if you're looking to keep costs down, your cheapest all-around package would be the 2-lens kit. However, the 55-300mm is more of a telephoto (long zoom) lens, and it sounds like you're more interested in taking family photos and portraits. If that's the case and you don't need the added reach, then I think that by all means, the regular 18-55mm kit lens.

To answer #2: photography is a huge and ever-evolving subject. You can take classes, read up online, or, best of all- ask your questions here, and check out our pentax/photography articles section.

BTW, why not turn to B&H or Adorama for your K-x purchase? Just check out my signature. You could get free forum perks while you're at it

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08-27-2010, 08:06 PM   #3
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Adam gave you already some good advice.

In terms of budget, the 18-55mm Petnax kit lens is the best balue for money by far. If you need to additional reach, the 2 lenses kit (18-55 & 55-300) is the next best value for money.

But you should ask yourself: what is your budget? what do you want to shoot? how much are you prepared to invest over a few years ?

In my case, I have had ultra-xoms P&S for nearly 10 years and I was prepared to jump onto the dSLR. I need the reach and the conviviality/simplicity of the 18-250mm lens. The DA18-250mm was my first lens: I did not buy the 18-55mm. My next lens was a fast prime lens (Voigtlander Nokton 58mm). Both lenses cover 90% of my uses, and they are the best for my needs.

However everyone is different, and many find that 18-55mm kit lens is the best starting point, and then learn to use the camera.

Hope that the comment will help...
08-27-2010, 08:06 PM   #4
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I'll chime in here as a newbie too, not only the Pentax world, but the SLR world. I went with the simple 18-55 kit. I'm glad I did. I bought a simple M 50mm 1.7 on ebay for $50 to try and learn a bit about composition. Trial by fire, so to speak. The quality of photos that come out of the 50 compared to the kit lens are so much better. I take a lot of lower light photos, and also have found that I love to minipulate bokeh to give a photograph feel over a simple snapshot. If anything, I see my 18-55 lens going in a drawer and me buying other lenses that are faster and of higher IQ. Just my .02

Last edited by Rory; 08-27-2010 at 08:07 PM. Reason: failing at grammar
08-27-2010, 10:30 PM   #5
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I will leave the lens discussion up to some of the other forum members, but as far as books to help you get started, I would suggest the following:

The Digital Photography Book Vols 1 and 2 by Scott Kelby
Understanding Exposure by Bryan Petterson

The Kelby books are easy to get into and really help you learn what a DSLR can do and how to use it.

Hope this helps.

08-27-2010, 10:33 PM   #6
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The K-x two lens package with the DAL 18-55 and DAL 55-300 appears to be a tremendous value and I can assert that is at least one good option. I have The 18-55 II and non-L 55-300, which I'm told are optically identical to the DAL versions, and this lens combo has pleased me well for the year I've had them with the K100D Super. I've gotten a lot of good family and outdoor action photos with these lenses.

Regarding improving your skills, Adam's advice is probably the best place to start. As for books, I've read one book, The Digital Photography Book, by Scott Kelby, and the next book planned for is Understanding Exposure by Peterson. Both have good reviews in Amazon. I found Kelby's book at least worth its modest price. There are lots of photo books listed on Amazon - Books > Arts and Photography > Photography > Digital Photography. So you might want to read some reviews of those and try a few.

Hope this helps - just my $0.02 worth. Enjoy your K-x!
08-27-2010, 11:27 PM   #7
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This may sound familiar: the 18-55 is a great place to start. I can't speak of the 55-300, I don't know or use it. When I was ready for my first dSLR (after many many years of film and a decade of P&S digicams) I asked myself: What do I want to do that I can't do with my upscale P&S? The answers: ultrawide, ultralong, and low light. So with my K20D and AF360, I got the DA10-17 fisheye, DA18-250 walkaround superzoom, and FA50/1.4 Fast Fifty. Those are still pretty much what I use most. But they also cost more; with a Kx, the 18-55 is virtually free, the best lens deal around.

So, what lenses you get depends on where you want to go. Some people make their living with just an 18-55 and a big flash; a real estate photographer might live with a 12-24. For portraits and dim work, a Fast Fifty is great, and great old manual Fifty's are still cheap. One of my basic carry-around kits consists of: manual Zenitar 16/2.8 semi-fisheye; the utilitarian DA18-250; some Fast Fifty, like the FA50/1.4 or M50/1.7; and 85/2 (portraits) or 90/2.8 macro (tele, portrait, macro). Such a kit goes a long, long way...

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