Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
09-07-2012, 02:22 AM   #1
Forum Member




Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Auckland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 56
A beginner seeking help on first lenses with first DSLR (K-30)

Hey there, just a quick introduction as I hope to do a slightly more formal one once my photography journey actually kicks-off with a DSLR purchase!
My name is Eli, I live in New Zealand, and I am thinking of buying my first DSLR soon.

As for my experience with DSLRs, I have used friends' cameras, but have never owned one myself. As for my experience with photography, I am not a complete novice: for several months I have been reading about photography and in particular the use of shutter speed, ISO and aperture. I have taken some nice images using my point and shoot and have been checking this forum a lot (amongst others) . I think I do reasonably well with a camera in my hands. I seem to frame shots relatively well naturally- after reading about the rule of thirds a few months ago, I went back and realised I was using it often just because it looked better to my eye without knowing of a specific 'rule'.

At the end of the day I am still a beginner, I would just consider myself a "knowledgeable" beginner.

I am considering buying the K-30 from Pentax Singapore Webstore as they seem to have a pretty good price (850 SGD) with a free delivery (don't worry, NZ customs will get their share on it so I won't actually get it for that price ). I chose the K-30 as it is a camera I think I could grow into, I have read about it a lot, have checked and compared for months different camera brands and models and my research has lead me here!

I was after the 18-135 WR as my first lens as I thought it would be a good walk-around lens, it will give me a good (enough) reach for the type of shots I am after, at least initially and the weather resistance (it rains a lot and it is very humid here, also the weather in Auckland changes as frequently as a woman changes her mind!). At the moment, I take mostly macro shots of insects, sports shots of my Border Collie, some landscape shots (heck, it's New Zealand, I might as well!), and I thought that this lens could serve me nicely and cater for that photographic niche.


Unfortunately, Pentax Singapore ran out of stock of the 18-135 UNBOXED version, which is considerably cheaper than anywhere else I have seen. I emailed them about when they expect new stock (whether a matter of days/weeks/months) and they don't really know.

And after this long (boring- sorry ) intro, my question to you guys:
I was wondering whether it is a good idea to start off with a prime lens? I understand it will be more limiting for a beginner, but then again I have used my phone to produce really great images with a fixed focal length (much wider) as well. I just do not want to purchase a lens that will be made redundant with a later purchase of the 18-135 (i.e. the 18-55 WR or another zoom for that matter). I can justify purchasing a prime as it will surpass the 18-135 zoom in low light ability and optical quality and I will probably end up purchasing one at some point ANYWAY. I do not have enough savings atm to buy two lenses so I will only have a single lens for a bit before I save up and hopefully Pentax Singapore restocks!

I had a look at the primes they have, and they have 3 in stock:
SMC P DA 40mm F2.8mm XS - 305 SGD
SMC P DA 50mm F1.8 - 320 SGD
SMC P DA 35mm F2.4 AL - 332 SGD

Does it seem logical to purchase the K-30 with a prime to start with and get used to the camera and later add the 18-135 zoom.
If the answer is yes, which of these would you recommend and why?

Thanks a lot if you stayed and read this far! Sorry for the long post, and thank you in advance for any replies .

09-07-2012, 02:44 AM   #2
Veteran Member
TenZ.NL's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Below sealevel
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,100
Hi and welcome.
Maybe it`s better to start out first with the 18-55 (WR) kitlens, it`s cheap and actually quite good and you will learn and see what you like (or not). Explore first and than determine what you like and want to shoot. Spending money later on is allways an option.
09-07-2012, 02:58 AM   #3
Veteran Member
Verglace's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 468
If youre buying into Pentax, be warned! The limited bug will get you! In which case you may as well start with the 35 2.4 as it's pretty much a limited
09-07-2012, 02:59 AM   #4
Forum Member




Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Auckland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 56
Original Poster
Thank you for the prompt reply. I did consider this option, but the thought of having to resell the lens later (in a not so Pentax-abundant market here in NZ) if and when I purchase the 18-135, bugs me. I am not that keen on having a zoom which doesn't have that long of a reach, and at the end of the day still a zoom lens with a relatively slow AF according to reviews -maybe I am wrong in accepting without trying, but I don't really have the option to as no stores near me stock the k-30 with the 18-55 kit lens - they hardly stock ANY Pentax gear here.

So in your opinion I will still be better off with the 18-55 WR kit lens rather than purchasing a prime? Would you suggest waiting until the 18-135 becomes available? (I am not leaving on a trip, or have a time frame to fit in, I am just very keen to take on this new hobby soon. I do have uni to keep me busy in the meantime and so I could wait a bit longer if that seems like the best option).

I hope it doesn't sound like I am challenging your opinion, rather, I am trying to put my worries to rest! .

09-07-2012, 03:33 AM   #5
Forum Member




Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Auckland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 56
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Verglace Quote
If youre buying into Pentax, be warned! The limited bug will get you! In which case you may as well start with the 35 2.4 as it's pretty much a limited
Haha, I am sure it will, I have read about it on here ! This may be obvious to some, but in what way is that particular lens better than the other two?
09-07-2012, 04:08 AM   #6
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southern California
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,181
The K-30 is a solid choice. I think I'd be happy to trade my K-5 for one right now.

However, I have to tell you that I started out as a beginner with the K100D Super that I bought new (closeout price) for about $200. It wasn't long until I bought a lens (FA 24-90/3.5-4.5) that was more expensive than the camera. It stayed that way when I sold it to get a K200D, then added a K-x. It was only when I bought the K-5 that I had a more expensive camera again.

I think I'm less satisfied with my K-5 than most people on this forum. That's because I saw little difference in the quality of my images when I sold my K-x to get it. And the reason for that was simple - I'd spent my money on quality lenses, so the camera body made little difference. Now my K-5 is worth less than half what I paid for it. I knew this would happen when I bought it, but it still hurts.


I'm still happy to shoot with my K200D, because I have the better lenses. But take away my quality lenses, and I don't care how good a body you give me - I'll be very frustrated!


If you can get a good bundle price with the K-30, then fine. But if you can save substantial money buying a K200D, K10D, or better, then consider it.



As a beginner, I think you'll appreciate the range of something like the DA18-135. Once I got the FA24-90, the DA18-55 just didn't get used anymore. I really liked having the longer 90mm end. Pentax has said they'll have an ~18-200 this year, and most people expect it to be ready about now and formally announced in the next week or so (but give up to a month or two to see it in stock). It's difficult to say you should buy today when so many announcements are due in the next 2 weeks. But I think you'll still want a Pentax, and quite possibly the K-30 as well.



So my advice is to skip the 18-55. Get the 18-135 or a similar lens with whatever affordable body you can. Then seriously consider getting some other reasonably priced lenses. Here are some of my favorites, all of which I still own (even though I have "better" lenses - because these are still almost as good):

A24-50/4 (or F version for AF)
A100/2.8 (or M version to save money and get used to manual aperture)
A50/1.7
Cosina 100/3.5 macro (listed on this site and sold under many brands)
F70-210/4-5.6 (or Takumar version (the one I have) - only half the price and just as good much of the time)


You can add the DA35/2.4 to this list. Consider the DA50 as well. Forget the DA40 unless you want the small size.

Last edited by DSims; 09-07-2012 at 04:14 AM.
09-07-2012, 04:32 AM   #7
Veteran Member
ChooseAName's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Southeast USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 390
The only lens mentioned here that I have personal experience with is the 35/2.4. But I did want to add that I came in to SLR photography using only the FA 50/1.4 for a year. So getting into SLRs with a prime is do-able. However, my main photographic subject was my baby (at the time) daughter, so not much movement for a while.

If you were going to consider a prime, I think it would depend on which of your interests you were most interested in. For sports high shutter stuff with your dog, I think the 50/1.8 would be the better choice of the three primes you listed; 50mm is the longest of the three, and the max aperture of 1.8 will help you get faster shutter speeds.

I don't believe any of the three primes are technically macro capable, but as an owner of the 35/2.4, I will say that that lens renders subjects very sharp up close, and not quite as sharp farther out (may be true of most lenses, I think). I've been pleased with closeups I've taken with that lens. I've attached a heavily cropped example.
Attached Images
 
09-07-2012, 05:02 AM   #8
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,400
although many people complain about kit lenses being cheap etc, when you consider the trade off of $/performance, a kit lens is often the best buy you can ever make.

I would second the suggestion to get the 18-55 WR

as a first lens it lets you play enough to reinforce the things you have read over the past 6 months on exposure, and to become competent with the technical aspects of photography and with your camera. the range of focal lengths is a little limited, and you still may end up getting the 18-135, but at least you can start.

this is important before going out and buying a bagful of primes.

take your time, learn what you like , dont like, and what you need in terms of focal lengths first with the kit lens, and then get the specific primes you want.

I often recommend thinking about covering 10-200mm with 3 zooms, (i used to say F2.8 but with todays high ISO perhaps F4 is OK) and experience all aspects of photography. then, and only then, start into primes at the focal lengths you really like..

09-07-2012, 05:24 AM   #9
Pentaxian
Pablom's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Jerusalem
Posts: 1,940
QuoteOriginally posted by Mr008 Quote
Does it seem logical to purchase the K-30 with a prime to start with and get used to the camera and later add the 18-135 zoom.
If the answer is yes, which of these would you recommend and why?
YES! Absolutely!

being your only lens you will probably prefer a focal lenght that is considered 'normal', around 35mm.

QuoteOriginally posted by Mr008 Quote
I was wondering whether it is a good idea to start off with a prime lens? I understand it will be more limiting for a beginner
It will be limiting in terms of focal length range, but in the same way you might find the all purpose zoom limiting in IQ, low light capability and depth of field control. It is for you to decide what is it your willing to trade off. There is always a trade off.
09-07-2012, 06:13 AM   #10
Site Supporter
loco's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Virginia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,844
Welcome and I think you'll love the K-30! It's my second Pentax and a big improvement over my K-r, which was already a very good little camera.

I think since you really seem to want a walkaround lens, you should get the 18-135, but it seems you are in a hurry. If you can't wait for the kit to come back in stock, go ahead and get the 18-55 WR. It'll give you the ability to take advantage of the weather resistance of the K-30 and also give you some versatility while you are learning more about photography and getting comfortable with your new camera. The 18-55 is not a bad kit lens at all. A few of my very favorite shots were taken with the older version of it., which isn't even as good as the WR version.

If you get a prime to start with, that's fine. But the conventional wisdom is to get an idea of what focal lengths you like to shoot at and aim at primes in that range. Good luck and I know you'll love the K-30, no matter what lens(es) you end up with!
09-07-2012, 09:00 AM   #11
Veteran Member
msatlas's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 309
I vote for the DA 35/2.4. It's a great, great lens to start with. Very sharp right from wide open, and has a field of view similar to 50mm lenses on 35mm film/full-frame digital. 50mm lenses were the kit lenses back in the day.

I just upgraded from the 35/2.4 to the FA 35/2 which is optically very similar, but costs almost double. The DA is a steal at how cheap it is.
09-07-2012, 09:28 AM   #12
Pentaxian
Just1MoreDave's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,859
QuoteOriginally posted by msatlas Quote
I vote for the DA 35/2.4. It's a great, great lens to start with. Very sharp right from wide open, and has a field of view similar to 50mm lenses on 35mm film/full-frame digital. 50mm lenses were the kit lenses back in the day.

I just upgraded from the 35/2.4 to the FA 35/2 which is optically very similar, but costs almost double. The DA is a steal at how cheap it is.
I would second that opinion. It's a lens you can use all day. Sure, you might miss some bird shots or a superwide landscale but it doesn't take long to see shots you can take. The lens is good enough to use for a long time as an addition/complement to the 18-135.

The 18-55 WR is a fine lens but a lot of us have one that's been replaced by something else. I think it makes more sense to wait for the 18-135 so you don't immediately face this redundant lens problem.
09-07-2012, 10:16 AM   #13
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,400
QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I would second that opinion. It's a lens you can use all day. Sure, you might miss some bird shots or a superwide landscale but it doesn't take long to see shots you can take. The lens is good enough to use for a long time as an addition/complement to the 18-135.

The 18-55 WR is a fine lens but a lot of us have one that's been replaced by something else. I think it makes more sense to wait for the 18-135 so you don't immediately face this redundant lens problem.
While I agree to some extent on the 18-55' maybe there is another approach. Get the body and an older 18-35 for about $40 used. At that price who cares if you replace it, and it isn't all that bad, compared to some other $40 offerings out there

I picked up the 18-55 and 50-200 as a pair for $90, just to have a light weight set of lenses for my daughter to use with one of my spare bodies, without being burdened by a bunch of primes or The weight of a few F2.8 zooms to conver the same length. You can explore an awful lot with that pair, while refining what you really need, and in the end, I bet you will save money, just by avoiding one wrong focal length purchase
09-07-2012, 11:27 AM   #14
Site Supporter
rbefly's Avatar

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

Hello Mr008, Welcome to the Forum!
An interesting dilemma, about to get a camera body but no lens...yet.
One thing that's pretty clear to me, and has been voiced by several posters here, is that if you listen to the inner urge and get the "available now" lens, the 18-55mm, you'll tire of it, sooner or later. Most of us started with the kit lens and later gave it away, shelved it or sold it off.
It is a very good kit lens. Period.
But if you get a good prime lens now, and later get the 18-135mm, ANY prime will be redundant, unless it's a 15mm or 200mm.
Or at least, seemingly so. Primes are never really excess baggage. They are (virtually always) sharper, faster, lighter, smaller, better in any measurable way, than a zoom set at the same focal length.
Say you wander upon a breathtaking scenic view. Landscape, city view, ocean scene, whatever it may be. You have the 18-55, the 18-135mm and the 35mm f2.4AL with you. By looking through the viewfinder with a zoom, you find the perfect composition is framed by a 39mm setting. What lens to you use?
Right! So the 35mm wasn't redundant at all.
Now, I realize the "perfect" composition might just as easily be 23mm or 71mm. In that case you'd use a zoom.
But you might also consider getting a wider prime or a longer prime. For next time. Happens to everyone.
Take a look at the thread "Plastic Fantastic" here on the Forum. The 35mm f2.4 AL is one of the best all-around primes going and is inexpensive.
Face it, you're going to end up with several lenses anyway. We are talking about interchangable lens cameras, after all. May as well start off with a great one!
JMO,
Ron

Last edited by rbefly; 09-07-2012 at 11:36 AM.
09-07-2012, 12:02 PM   #15
Junior Member




Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 34
I would wait for the 18-135 WR. It's weather resistant, covers all focal lengths you would generally need, and it's a lens you intend to buy anyways, right?

After you get the 18-135 and get to taking some pictures, check the EXIF data on the photos and it will show you what focal length you used to take that picture. Find the focal length you use most often and buy a prime based off of that.

I'm no expert, but that's what I would do.
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!
beginner, camera, k-mount, lens, lot, pentax, pentax lens, purchase, shots, slr lens, smc, stock
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Beginner DSLR meeksethan11 Photographic Industry and Professionals 5 04-29-2012 11:36 AM
Seeking advice on lenses for KR Cptn_Goodvibes Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 8 12-05-2011 03:44 PM
Best Beginner's DSLR Book/Manual? InStitches49 Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 19 11-22-2010 05:57 PM
Beginner DSLR Exercises Grazy81 Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 13 08-09-2010 01:05 PM
Pentax/DSLR Beginner Seeking Gear Advice lastdodobird Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 24 11-02-2007 06:01 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:14 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.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