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01-13-2008, 08:38 PM   #1
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Beginner buying K10D , need to make a budget lens decision

I am upgrading from a Canon EOS 300 digital , planning on ordering the K10D within the next week. I am planning on buying the body only and purchasing one lens for the time being till I have more money saved. I will be mainly taking pictures of my children who are 3.
Planning on buying either the SMCP - FA 50MM F1.4 Pentax or the Pentax DA 50 - 200 .
I am thinking the prime will be better for pictures of the kids but the 50-200 will be a little more all purpose. What would you do ? Like I said I am a beginner on a budget and would like your input.
Thanks

01-13-2008, 08:59 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by hd28vsb Quote
I am upgrading from a Canon EOS 300 digital , planning on ordering the K10D within the next week. I am planning on buying the body only and purchasing one lens for the time being till I have more money saved. I will be mainly taking pictures of my children who are 3.
Planning on buying either the SMCP - FA 50MM F1.4 Pentax or the Pentax DA 50 - 200 .
I am thinking the prime will be better for pictures of the kids but the 50-200 will be a little more all purpose. What would you do ? Like I said I am a beginner on a budget and would like your input.
Thanks
Honestly, most of my kids shots are with the factory 18-55mm lens set at 18mm. I shots lots from the hip, not even using the viewfinder. I've just got really used to "knowing" what the camera is pointed at without using the viewfinder. IMHO, kids shots look much better from eye level, and unless you want to spend lots of time on your knees this works good for candids. I even use flash almost all the time. Even outdoors. A flash can be the cheapest performance addition to this kind of photography. It lets you get up into an F-stop where the depth of field gets much easier to manage. I got a SunPak 433d on ebay for around $8 shipped - no kidding.
Kids move REALLY fast. Focus is a huge issue when you run at the f-stops you'll need in indoor situations without flash.
I too tried the 50mm f 1.4 route, but found that it only worked great for portraits or adults. Young children won't stay still long enough for you to hit focus at wide apertures.
My stuff isn't great, but getting the right moments captured is just as important to me as technical perfection.

You'll see lots of examples of this method on my flickr pages. About 75% of the photos there were taken with the lowly kit lens.

Kids and more Kids - a photoset on Flickr
01-13-2008, 09:33 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by hd28vsb Quote
Planning on buying either the SMCP - FA 50MM F1.4 Pentax or the Pentax DA 50 - 200 .
I have both the FA 50/1.4 and the DA50-200, I use the DA50-200 a lot, the FA 50/1.4 almost never. If you get a good copy of the DA 50-200 its a fantastic lens, ED glass et al...

Here's an example with K10D (Samsung version) and DA50-200 (Samsung version):

01-13-2008, 09:49 PM   #4
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Are you going to be using a flash? Are you going to be taking these pictures indoors or outdoors?

01-13-2008, 09:55 PM   #5
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I'm going to go ahead and recommend the Sigma 17-70mm as a pretty good starter zoom. You probably don't want a 50-200mm as a starter--it starts at telephoto and goes into more telephoto! As for the FA 50--I exclusively used a 50 on my Nikon (equiv 75) for a few months, but if you're looking to take pictures of your kids as apposed to just messing around, I wouldn't recommend it.
01-14-2008, 08:42 AM   #6
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If you are going to be taking action and shots of them, you're probably going to want something wider than 50mm.
If you can get the kit lens with the camera for cheap, ~$75 or less, I would stick with that for now and see if you are using it at the wide range 50mm range or something in between more often before you start to buy primes.
01-14-2008, 10:00 AM   #7
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The 50-200 is too long for everyday use, especially for capturing kids indoors. If those are your only 2 choices, I would say the 50mm f/1.4 is a better choice for you. When you're stuck with a focal length, you naturally play with your location more to get the best FOV (which in my opinion is a good thing), that very limitation will get you a lot more happy accidents and the camera can take much better low light (indoor) pictures.
01-14-2008, 11:01 AM   #8
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B&H has a Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8-4 DG for $129+shipping. This represents a reasonable zoom range plus is wide and fast enough to use indoors and out. Just a thought.

01-14-2008, 11:09 AM   #9
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I would take the kit lens, because if you have no other lenses to use at the moment, it gives a good quality lens (for the price), and lets you go out and have some fun.

I have only taken a kit lens with 2 of the 4 cameras I bought new, however for different reasons.

My first camera (film body) came with an 50mm F2. I took the lens because I was new to photography, and needed something to start with.

when I bought my PZ-1 I opted not to take the 28-80 FA lens (with KAF2 mount) and took the 28-105 instead. This was a concious decision to get more range on the zoom. I already had 24mm, 50mm and 100mm macro, plus 70-210 zoom, but wanted a little more length on the AF lens.

when I bought my *istD. I took the kit lens, because the 18-35 gave me a wider angle than anything else I had, and fit in nicely below the 28-105 from my PZ-1, and was wider than my 24mm F2.5 manual focus. It also was full frame, and if I wanted to go really wide, i put it on the PZ-1 and shot film.

WHen I bought my K10D, I took the camera with no lens at all. After about a month I bought an ultra wide 10-20mm zoom.

The real story is that you should take the kit lens if it does something for you, and fills in between the ranges or functions you have. if it does nothing, is a duplicate of other lenses etc. Forget the kit lens, or substitute an alternitive (probably more expensive).
01-14-2008, 09:29 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by hd28vsb Quote
I am upgrading from a Canon EOS 300 digital , planning on ordering the K10D within the next week. I am planning on buying the body only and purchasing one lens for the time being till I have more money saved. I will be mainly taking pictures of my children who are 3.
Planning on buying either the SMCP - FA 50MM F1.4 Pentax or the Pentax DA 50 - 200 .
I am thinking the prime will be better for pictures of the kids but the 50-200 will be a little more all purpose. What would you do ? Like I said I am a beginner on a budget and would like your input.
Thanks
HD: I too upgraded to the K10d from the dReb (300d). It has been a great move. If you live in the US, B&H has both the with and without the kit. The price difference is $45!! That is a no brainer. Get the kit. I have been very pleased with the results to date. It is IMHO better overall than the Canon kit lenses that you may used.

I have a 3 year old (boy) and I agree with some of the others here that the 50-200 may be an exercise in frustration for indoor shots. I would prescribe the kit lens and Benadryl to stop a 3 year old. ;-)

mark
01-14-2008, 09:53 PM   #11
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Get the 50mm f/1.4. It's fast as hell, which is nice when shooting indoors, especially if children are bouncing around. It'll also force you to expand your photographic skillset - instead of being able to rely on zoom to frame something the way it initially pops into your head, you'll have to think about it.
I also seriously doubt you're going to zoom a 50-200mm out of the 50mm setting if you're photographing toddlers, and even for adult portraiture 100mm is probably the most you'll ever need.

I also disagree with those that say wider lenses make kiddy portraiture harder. The faster the lens, the shorter the shutter speed needed, the less change you are left with a couple hundred shots of motion blurs in the rough shape of children at the end of the day.
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