Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-08-2012, 10:00 AM   #1
Junior Member




Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 31
Starting out. Hopefully on the right foot.

This will be my 2nd post on this site. I am no stranger to forums because I happen to own one that is not related to photography in any way. For many years, I used a Minolta X-570 SLR with a nice variety of MD lenses. Then along came the internet and the necessity for me to own a digital camera. That need was satisfied by my Kodak DX7590 point and shoot with 5 MP and a 10 X optical zoom. I love that camera. I get pretty good pics from it thanks to the quality of the lens.

However, life moves on and needs do change. I have in mind to begin creating a coffee table book and decent quality photos are what those are primarily about. I had concerns about the ability of my Kodak to give me what I felt was needed and so I began my search into the confusing world of DSLR's. Someone mentioned a "full frame" camera and so I naively thought, what the heck.. I'll get one of those. That seemed like a pretty good idea until my face smacked into the wall called sticker shock. Listen..... I like high quality items as much as the next guy but to be dead honest, my photography hobby is not #1 on my list. So I found out about another piece of photo jargon know as "cropped sensor" that could give me some pretty good photos that will be acceptable by any publisher for a much lower cost.

Like most people, I tended to gravitate to choosing between a Nikon or a Canon because they spend a lot of money getting "product placement" in movies and TV. Yes.....I admit it. I was influenced. Shame on me but you have to give me Brownie Points for asking questions and finally ending up here. And that's what I would like to talk about today.

As I speak, there is a brand new K-R kit in the mail for me. This one includes the regular l8-55 zoom lens. However, I opted to buy the DA P-55-300 mm F4-5.8 ED lens which was more expensive than the DA-L-55-300 mm F4-5.8 ED lens. I also purchased the 35 mm F2.4 AL lens as my only prime. Perhaps that was a mistake. You tell me.


The purpose for the 35 will be for my project. That project will consist of taking stills of garden tractors posed mainly in outdoor settings but quite possibly indoors as well. Further along, I want to get into what additional equipment I should have but for now, I want to focus on the lens issue....... pun intended. Pentax also offers the DA - 35 mm F-2.8 macro limited lens. The question in my mind is whether or not I should have chosen this lens instead. Being relatively new to DSLR's and the jargon that goes with them, I don't know what "Limited" means when it applies to lenses. My understanding of "macro" is that it allows the user to focus on small objects at very short distances. For my purposes, a six foot long by 3 foot tall garden tractor does not qualify as a small object in need of a macro lens. So am I missing anything here? Should I have opted to jump to the 50 mm with the lower F-stop rating instead?


I also purchase Hoya UV fliters for the two zoom lenses but the store did not have one in 49 mm for the 35 mil lens. I went for the Super multi-coat line instead of the low end or the PRO level. So..... if I can please have some feedback on those issues to begin with, I'd be most appreciative.

01-08-2012, 10:17 AM   #2
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,275
Welcome aboard and WOW.

I started off with the K-x and the 18-55 + 50-300 lens kit. It covers a LOT of ground and the optics are among the best in the kit lens genre around. I also own the 35/2.4 and its a great little lens for very little.

To the equipment you mentioned I'd immeidately add the following items - and you said you're taking static shots of "garden tractors posed mainly in outdoor settings but quite possibly indoors as well":

Tripod - a good one can cost a bit
Remote - they do NOT have to cost much LLC RM-E7 Remote Control reviews - Pentax Camera Accessories: Database and Reviews
Extra SD cards - love the SanDisk Extreme III's in 8 or 16gb https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5-forum/170319-maximum-useful-sd-card-speed.html
CPL Filter for the 58mm zoom plus step down rings to attach it to the 49mm 35/2.4 and 52mm 18-55 - for shooting outdoors https://www.pentaxforums.com/accessoryreviews/marumi-super-dhg-slim-circular-polarizer.html
Hoods for the lenses (as the 18-55 and 35/2.4 do not come with them) - I like the rubber 3-stage variety - hoods are seriously underrated by many but can dramatically improve your photos when actually used. https://www.pentaxforums.com/accessoryreviews/category-Hoods.html

Filters can be great and cost little or terrible and cost a lot. Price is NOT the main factor, even within the same company's lineup. There are several great reviews of filters online at LensTip.Com.
CPL - http://www.lenstip.com/115.4-article-Polarizing_filters_test_Results_and_summary.html
UV - http://www.lenstip.com/113.1-article-UV_filters_test.html

Limited, in terms of Pentax lenses, means that they are manufactured to higher tolerances, use better materials, and generally excellent optics. They vary in price from around $350 to over $1000. Many swear by them. The lens you choose has gotten excellent reviews and is far less expensive. If you find it is not doing what you want then it also has the added benefit of being easy to sell and you don't loose much on it either. No, for the type photos you want to do the Macro is unnecessary.

I will suggest something to you since you guessed at the 35mm length a bit. Try taking a bunch of photos of the garden tractors with your 18-55 lens. Then use a program called ExposurePlot that can be had for free from http://www.vandel.nl/ on your files. It will tell you where they cluster in length (among other things). When I did this about a year ago I found that mine clustered at the 32mm to 37mm range - which led me to buy the 35/2.4 as my second modern AF prime lens. You may find that you are clustering at the 50mm range and then a FA50/1.4 might be a good choice, or they might be at the 21mm range and then a Limited lens might be in your future. There is no substitute for data in figuring out what focal length you need.

Good luck!

Last edited by Docrwm; 01-08-2012 at 10:29 AM.
01-08-2012, 10:35 AM   #3
Veteran Member
jolepp's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Finland
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,196
Moved from the K-5 forum.
01-08-2012, 10:44 AM   #4
New Member




Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 9
The full frame Canon is only 2k, and not 20k like it was back in the mid 90's so I don't know where you get the "sticker shock" from. My first K-r failed on me after 100 shots and ended up doing this:
I bought the K-5 last week and am trying to break it so I can return it for a full refund to B&H. If it survives my "boot camp" then it will be a keeper. What took you so long to get into digital photography? I got the worlds very first digital camera back in 1995 when the rest of you were still shooting film. It was a CASIO QV-10 point & shoot with a max resolution of 640x480 and a rear LCD screen. I think I paid $300.00 for it new.


01-08-2012, 10:48 AM   #5
Pentaxian
KevinR's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 645
QuoteOriginally posted by hydriv Quote
... So I found out about another piece of photo jargon know as "cropped sensor" that could give me some pretty good photos that will be acceptable by any publisher for a much lower cost.
....
As I speak, there is a brand new K-R kit in the mail for me. This one includes the regular l8-55 zoom lens. However, I opted to buy the DA P-55-300 mm F4-5.8 ED lens which was more expensive than the DA-L-55-300 mm F4-5.8 ED lens. I also purchased the 35 mm F2.4 AL lens as my only prime. Perhaps that was a mistake. You tell me.

The purpose for the 35 will be for my project. That project will consist of taking stills of garden tractors posed mainly in outdoor settings but quite possibly indoors as well. Further along, I want to get into what additional equipment I should have but for now, I want to focus on the lens issue....... pun intended. Pentax also offers the DA - 35 mm F-2.8 macro limited lens. The question in my mind is whether or not I should have chosen this lens instead. Being relatively new to DSLR's and the jargon that goes with them, I don't know what "Limited" means when it applies to lenses. My understanding of "macro" is that it allows the user to focus on small objects at very short distances. For my purposes, a six foot long by 3 foot tall garden tractor does not qualify as a small object in need of a macro lens. So am I missing anything here? Should I have opted to jump to the 50 mm with the lower F-stop rating instead?

I also purchase Hoya UV fliters for the two zoom lenses but the store did not have one in 49 mm for the 35 mil lens. I went for the Super multi-coat line instead of the low end or the PRO level. So..... if I can please have some feedback on those issues to begin with, I'd be most appreciative.
The APS-C cropped sensors are now so good, that there is not much in it except for the ever so slightly better IQ and shallower Depth of Focus control on the FF using equivalent lens. It sound like your choice of APS-C is a reasoned and sound one.
The DA35f/2.4 is a great little prime, and should do nicely for your chosen subject as razer thin DOF control is unlikely part of your need, and doesn’t sound like macro is needed. The 35mm on the 1.5x cropped sensor is close to normal eye perspective, so this might be good for your work. The limited lens are just very good lens (build and image quality). The DA35f/2.4 is a cheap build, but with very good IQ.
The choice of the DA18-55 and DA55-300 should serve you well for general photography, and the DA55-300 is actually a very good lens in that zoom range. The DA-L versions are optically the same, but lack the quick-shift focus clutch (very handy), hood, and have plastic mounts. So your choice is a sound one.
On the UV filter angle, the general view is, if you do it, get good filters, but lots will recommend not to bother. I recently removed the UV element on a 170-500mm lens, and discovered that the IQ improved significantly. So check the results.
Good luck, and enjoy.
01-08-2012, 10:52 AM   #6
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,275
QuoteOriginally posted by Zane Quote
The full frame Canon is only 2k, and not 20k like it was back in the mid 90's so I don't know where you get the "sticker shock" from. My first K-r failed on me after 100 shots and ended up doing this: Pentax K5 Mirror Flop - YouTube I bought the K-5 last week and am trying to break it so I can return it for a full refund to B&H. If it survives my "boot camp" then it will be a keeper. What took you so long to get into digital photography? I got the worlds very first digital camera back in 1995 when the rest of you were still shooting film. It was a CASIO QV-10 point & shoot with a max resolution of 640x480 and a rear LCD screen. I think I paid $300.00 for it new. ?????CASIO?QV-10A - YouTube

Wow, where to begin? First, $2000 is a lot so "sticker shock" is not unexpected or weird for that price range. Second, your Casio in 1995 was nowhere near the "worlds very first digital camera". When you got yours in 1995 I had been using digital cameras for about 5 years If you'd like to know when the first one was its a bit complicated but the first consumer digital still camera was available in August, 1981, when Sony released the Sony Mavica electronic still camera. I still have my Sony MVC-FD91 with its flip up LCD screen, Steady Shot technology, 14x optical power zoom, Mpeg movie mode, and 1024x768 pixels from 1999 that my wife gave me, and its the 9th generation of Mavica's from Sony

Last edited by Docrwm; 01-08-2012 at 11:00 AM.
01-08-2012, 11:02 AM   #7
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Ontario
Posts: 550
As for the lens selection, the twin kit 18-55 and 55-300 is a great starting place for everyone. You said the project was to take pictures of tractors. However you don't mention the conditions in which you will be taking them at. If in fair weather the standard lens maybe very sufficient for your cause. The da35 2.4 is a very good lens for the price and I wouldn't have gone with the macro 2.8 for your case due to the huge price difference. I would have looked into the da40 as an alternative. The 2.4 will give you a shallow depth of field so if you are up close it may work to your disadvantage if you are going for sharpness. The place where the 2.4 shines is low light conditions and some iq improvement over the kit lens.

In my opinion I'd take the kit lens and try it out first before going the da35 2.4 you might find that the focal length you need may not be 35mm thereby making your decision simple.
01-08-2012, 11:02 AM   #8
New Member




Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 9
QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Wow, where to begin? First, $2000 is a lot so "sticker shock" is not unexpected or weird for that price range. Second, your Casio in 1995 was nowhere near the "worlds very first digital camera". When you got yours in 1995 I had been using digital cameras for about 5 years If you'd like to know when the first one was its a bit complicated but the first consumer digital still camera was available in August, 1981, when Sony released the Sony Mavica electronic still camera. I still have my Sony MVC-FD91 with its flip up LCD screen, Steady Shot technology, 14x optical power zoom, Mpeg movie mode, and 1024x768 pixels from 1999 that my wife gave me
"Casio's next innovation came in the area of digital cameras. In 1995, Casio launched the world's first digital camera with an LCD screen. This camera gained instant popularity as a convenient device for capturing digital images and transferring them to a computer. Today, this kind of technology is universal, and film-less cameras are the norm." Message from the President - Corporate Social Responsibility - Sustainability - CASIO

Why didn't you buy the K-5? Ohhh now I see what happened--you took it upon yourself to answer the questions I had for Hydriv. He states: " Someone mentioned a "full frame" camera and so I naively thought, what the heck.. I'll get one of those. That seemed like a pretty good idea until my face smacked into the wall called sticker shock." The leap from paying $1400.00 for the K-5 to the 2k Canon isn't a big one.


Last edited by Zane; 01-08-2012 at 11:35 AM.
01-08-2012, 07:55 PM   #9
Junior Member




Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 31
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by epqwerty Quote
As for the lens selection, the twin kit 18-55 and 55-300 is a great starting place for everyone. You said the project was to take pictures of tractors. However you don't mention the conditions in which you will be taking them at. If in fair weather the standard lens maybe very sufficient for your cause. The da35 2.4 is a very good lens for the price and I wouldn't have gone with the macro 2.8 for your case due to the huge price difference. I would have looked into the da40 as an alternative. The 2.4 will give you a shallow depth of field so if you are up close it may work to your disadvantage if you are going for sharpness. The place where the 2.4 shines is low light conditions and some iq improvement over the kit lens.

In my opinion I'd take the kit lens and try it out first before going the da35 2.4 you might find that the focal length you need may not be 35mm thereby making your decision simple.

Just some clarification for you. The kit only included the 18-55. I added the prime 35 and the 55 - 300 and went with the more expensive lens, not the one that is normally included in the kits. CONDITIONS: I expect to conduct this work during nice summer weather with mostly clear, blue skies. The indoor work is something that I will be asking about later because I am going to want opinions regarding lighting the subject. So please, let's save that for another thread. I intend to be up close. The book is to be a study of the tractors themselves. The background is not really important to the shot. Thank you for all of your advice. It is most appreciated.
01-08-2012, 07:59 PM - 1 Like   #10
Junior Member




Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 31
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Zane Quote
The full frame Canon is only 2k, and not 20k like it was back in the mid 90's so I don't know where you get the "sticker shock" from. My first K-r failed on me after 100 shots and ended up doing this: Pentax K5 Mirror Flop - YouTube I bought the K-5 last week and am trying to break it so I can return it for a full refund to B&H. If it survives my "boot camp" then it will be a keeper. What took you so long to get into digital photography? I got the worlds very first digital camera back in 1995 when the rest of you were still shooting film. It was a CASIO QV-10 point & shoot with a max resolution of 640x480 and a rear LCD screen. I think I paid $300.00 for it new. ?????CASIO?QV-10A - YouTube


I'm truly not sure as to the point of your post because I was unable to find a single sentence that offered any of the information I was seeking. There seems to be a large disconnect between what I posted and what you understood....... but that's OK. I'm sure that you found pleasure in what you wrote.
01-08-2012, 08:04 PM   #11
Junior Member




Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 31
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Zane Quote
"Casio's next innovation came in the area of digital cameras. In 1995, Casio launched the world's first digital camera with an LCD screen. This camera gained instant popularity as a convenient device for capturing digital images and transferring them to a computer. Today, this kind of technology is universal, and film-less cameras are the norm." Message from the President - Corporate Social Responsibility - Sustainability - CASIO

Why didn't you buy the K-5? Ohhh now I see what happened--you took it upon yourself to answer the questions I had for Hydriv. He states: " Someone mentioned a "full frame" camera and so I naively thought, what the heck.. I'll get one of those. That seemed like a pretty good idea until my face smacked into the wall called sticker shock." The leap from paying $1400.00 for the K-5 to the 2k Canon isn't a big one.
Zane,
I may be fairly new to the world of DSLR's but I'm no "babe-in-the-woods" when it comes to on-line forums. Therefore, I know a hi-jack when I see one. Do us both a favour and find another thread to invade. You are not helping and I really don't need the distraction. Thank you very much.
01-09-2012, 04:24 AM   #12
Site Supporter
rbefly's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Denver, Colorado
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,030
More Stuff?

Hello Hydriv,
Sounds like you've got a good kit coming and the advice posted so far should help.
Although you may not see a need for a macro lens at this time, it really does help with product photography. If you take the majority of the photos in the 35mm focal range, overall they tend to have a "sameness" of view. It helps to keep the viewer interested if you mix in a few shots that have an entirely different focal length. A much wider view, shot from close-up is one and macro is another. Isolate a key feature, a small detail or some major difference in your product vs another brand.
If you do decide to try a macro lens, you'll find that you don't use the AF much. The depth of field is so thin it often gets fooled and you end up overiding it with MF anyway. For this reason I usually get MF (older) lenses, which work just as well. They are also much cheaper!
A tripod is the one item you can safely buy used and save a ton of $$. They're just not very complicated and $100.00 or so will get you a high-quality tripod on CR or eBay.
Filters do offer good lens protection but a lens hood is virtually irreplaceable. Depending on the direction of the light-source (i.e. the sun, usually) you will find much better contrast, color saturation and eliminate glare and flare.
I understand that you're not looking for a flash right away, but I'll just throw out a suggestion; The Pentax AF 360FGZ. Good all-around mid-range flash and you can find them (used) for less than $150.00. New, they're $250.00 or so.
Good luck!
Ron
01-09-2012, 05:07 AM   #13
Veteran Member
RioRico's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Limbo, California
Posts: 11,264
Good starting kit. Using the 35, you may find that you need a fair bit of space to photograph garden tractors.

Try this: Stand in relation to the subject and stretch out your arms to encompass your planned shots. Use a protractor to see what angle your arms form. That's the AOV (angle of view). On an APS-C camera, the AOV of a 35mm lens is 47 degrees; for 24mm it's 64 degrees. Or, use the kit 18-55 at various shooting positions, see what focal length(s) work best, and plan your LBA accordingly.

The DA35/2.4 is reputedly a good lens; it just might not be the *right* lens for your work. Good luck!
01-09-2012, 08:22 AM   #14
Junior Member




Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 31
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Good starting kit. Using the 35, you may find that you need a fair bit of space to photograph garden tractors.

Try this: Stand in relation to the subject and stretch out your arms to encompass your planned shots. Use a protractor to see what angle your arms form. That's the AOV (angle of view). On an APS-C camera, the AOV of a 35mm lens is 47 degrees; for 24mm it's 64 degrees. Or, use the kit 18-55 at various shooting positions, see what focal length(s) work best, and plan your LBA accordingly.

The DA35/2.4 is reputedly a good lens; it just might not be the *right* lens for your work. Good luck!
RR,
Once again, thanks for the advice. When my camera arrives in a few days, I will give that a try. It was my belief that the prime would be the best choice on the basis of picture sharpness. Choosing a lens with a low F-stop seemed to be a smart move for that reason.
01-09-2012, 08:45 AM   #15
Junior Member




Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 31
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
Hello Hydriv,
Sounds like you've got a good kit coming and the advice posted so far should help.
Although you may not see a need for a macro lens at this time, it really does help with product photography. If you take the majority of the photos in the 35mm focal range, overall they tend to have a "sameness" of view. It helps to keep the viewer interested if you mix in a few shots that have an entirely different focal length. A much wider view, shot from close-up is one and macro is another. Isolate a key feature, a small detail or some major difference in your product vs another brand.
If you do decide to try a macro lens, you'll find that you don't use the AF much. The depth of field is so thin it often gets fooled and you end up overiding it with MF anyway. For this reason I usually get MF (older) lenses, which work just as well. They are also much cheaper!
A tripod is the one item you can safely buy used and save a ton of $$. They're just not very complicated and $100.00 or so will get you a high-quality tripod on CR or eBay.
Filters do offer good lens protection but a lens hood is virtually irreplaceable. Depending on the direction of the light-source (i.e. the sun, usually) you will find much better contrast, color saturation and eliminate glare and flare.
I understand that you're not looking for a flash right away, but I'll just throw out a suggestion; The Pentax AF 360FGZ. Good all-around mid-range flash and you can find them (used) for less than $150.00. New, they're $250.00 or so.
Good luck!
Ron

Ron,
At the time of purchasing the kit, there was a 15% saving on each item due to Boxing Week. Although I have a huge number of local retailers all over the Greater Toronto Area, I ended up making the buy from a store in British Columbia. In the past, I have never been involved with photography that needed a macro lens, strange as that might seem to most of you. Much of my photography entailed recording my son and son-in-law while racing motorcycles. The passion for the garden tractor hobby is the driving force behind the photography. Therefore, the choice of prime lens was based on that and the long lens choice was based on the off-chance my son might return to his sport of Super Moto.. However, even if that does not happen, I still wanted a camera with the ability to pull in those long distance shots. I suppose the best way to know if I NEED a macro is to try one out and see for myself what it will do for me.

I appreciate the tips about "sameness" of shots. Keeping your work interesting is a must. As for a tripod, do you have any suggestions regarding brand and model? Manfrotto seems to be at the forefront but I'm sure they are not the only game in town.

Is the Pentax hot shoe proprietary or will other brands work on it? I don't want to hi-jack my own thread but I was considering using two Speed lites (Yongnou perhaps?) to illuminate the subject indoors using wireless. Perhaps mounting them on tripods and bouncing the light off of an umbrella? That sort of thing is all Greek to me and certainly one of the reasons I joined this forum. You should also know that it is my intention to travel into the USA for the express purpose of photographing the tractors owned by other collectors. Room in my vehicle will be at a premium. Careful choices of equipment are essential

Cheers,

Tom
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, f4-5.8, foot, garden, k-mount, lens, lenses, macro, mm, pentax lens, project, quality, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Starting out my lens buying on the right foot. 1r0nh31d3 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 29 05-31-2011 09:40 AM
I broke my foot! Well, the flash foot. jboyde Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 1 11-15-2010 02:59 PM
Black & White Foot falls beer_nuts Post Your Photos! 2 10-24-2010 03:44 PM
Misc Happy foot Corros Photo Critique 5 07-20-2010 05:01 AM
Abstract My Right Foot johnmflores Photo Critique 3 05-31-2010 04:27 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:22 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top