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02-09-2013, 02:43 AM   #16
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Get a good quality ND8 filter. If you can swing it, get a Tamron 17-50 or get a good prime.

02-09-2013, 03:02 AM   #17
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I strongly agree with everyone recommending to stick with the kit lens. It is really good stopped down to f/8. The widest end will give barrel distorsion but that's not a fault of this particular lens, it's a common trait for all normal zooms: the wide end will have barrel distortion. It can be corrected at the price of a small loss in image quality (probably not noticeable), either in camera if you shoot jpeg or in post processing if you shoot RAW.

If you don't do so already I recommend shooting in RAW for such a trip. If you're not familiar with post processing RAW files or don't like doing it I would shoot RAW+jpeg (memory cards are cheap). Then you'll have jpegs straight out of the camera for viewing, plus "negatives" (RAW files) that you can go back to later to bring the most out of your shots, if you feel like it. The amount of tweaking you can do with RAW files from that sensor is amazing (adjusting white balance and exposure, saving highlights, lifting shadow detail, using software filters etc etc). I've learnt from the K-5 that there's so much more to bring out of the pictures if you bother to do some post processing with RAW files. You can of course post process jpeg files too but RAW files will have more latitude and respond better to post processing.

I hope you'll have a good trip, and good luck with the shooting!
02-09-2013, 05:19 AM   #18
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Hey pero, thanks for the advice
02-09-2013, 05:22 AM   #19
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Snake, why the ND filter? because Grand canyon is so bright?

02-09-2013, 06:57 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
You might be surprised by the quality of what you might get with the 18-55 kit lens, particularly if you have the hood that should go with it.
I don't think the K-30 with the 18-55 comes with a lens hood, but it is something that can make a real difference when shooting outdoors and it provides some protection to your lens.

You might want to look at picking up one of these, it's a cheaper 3rd party hood but a good pretty good replacement/substitute.

Amazon.com: Fotodiox Lens Hood for Pentax Ph-Rba SMC DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II Zoom Lens (replaces 38741): Camera & Photo

I assuming this will fit the WR version as well, but someone can correct me if this is not the case

You might also consider renting a lens or two. This might be a good way to try out some different models and not have to buy them up front.
02-09-2013, 07:06 AM   #21
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A polarizer and a lens hood. And a tripod or something to put your camera on to stabilize it. Try different things, but be sure to also use the kit lens at 35mm and f8-f11, as that is the sweet spot, if I remember correctly. And ISO 100, 2 sec timer, SR turned off.
02-09-2013, 07:46 AM   #22
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While my early model 18~55 is a little unsharp for indoor close ups, outdoors in longer range it is rather good, also a convenient fl range and lightweight.
I was out with the K-01 this morning, here is the lens in strong light with a hood and UV filter at 45mm, 8MB camera jpg at iso 100, f/11 and 1/125.
https://www.box.com/s/btfbihpnabjisxs98ymp
02-09-2013, 03:06 PM   #23
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Yup, I just got the hood, I have a tripod, hopefully I can get some practice in before I leave

02-09-2013, 04:06 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by spectamaniac Quote
going to the grand canyon armed with my k-30 and an 18-55 mm kit lens...any pointers?
Aye don't get too close to the edge and have a great time.
02-09-2013, 04:54 PM   #25
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I have the older 18-55mm (I'm almost certain, or at least was until reading the Xenon 18-55 review this week) and am pleased with the image quality, so in theory the new version you have should be even better. Definitely use the hood. Although I made a lot of use of my 10mm (or, in the 35mm days, my 17mm) when I've visited, stitching is another approach you could investigate. You might get an inexpensive polarizer to fit your lens and experiment with it. If you find it useful, and you may (although maybe not the most helpful for this particular subject), you can decide to get a better or larger one later.

Paul
02-09-2013, 08:08 PM   #26
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I'm just going to echo the praise that people have already heaped upon the kit lens. It's a solid performer.

I especially like its performance at the wider end. The sweet spot is between 35-24mm, but even at 18mm it can perform well. Lightroom takes care of distortions with one click.

The one thing I wasn't too happy with was its performance at the longer end. Not so much the quality (the IQ was acceptable), but at f5.6 it is just too slow.

Anyways, for your trip, it should be fine. If I had to, I would have no fear about taking my K30 with only the kit lens into the Grand Canyon for a few days of shooting.

Have fun!
02-10-2013, 01:14 AM   #27
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I did a road trip to Sedona just a few weeks back with my 18-55 kit with a hood. Got some bad flares and vignetting that spoiled a few photos. However, I guess it was more due to my inexperience. It performed brilliantly for all my other shots. It cannot match with the sharpness and colors of my DA35 but with RAW+lightroom I was very happy with the results.
02-10-2013, 02:18 AM   #28
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A remote control would be handy when you use the tripod, so you can shoot with the mirror up and reduce camera shake. Of course you could also use the self timer for that but i think a remote is more convenient. Good for self portratis too (again, mind the ledge!). I have the Pentax O-RC1 remote and it works great and doesn't cost very much.

Another benefit with the remote is that you can use it in Bulb mode for long exposures. If you feel like doing star trail shots for example, you can keep the shutter open as long as you like with the remote.

A polarizer may be a good idea since it's just about the only filter that can't be simulated in software. If you get one it's a good idea to get used to it before the trip, it takes a little trying to get it right. It's not so useful at wide angles for example, since the effect will be uneven. The effect is strongest at a right angle to the light source. So if you shoot with the sun behind and above you the effect will be strongest in the center of the picture and weaker at the edges. A polarizer also steals some light, but I guess that won't be a problem where you're going. And of course you don't have to use it all the time.

I'm looking out the window at all the snow as I write this. I'm envious, I wanna see sunny Grand Canyon too!
02-13-2013, 02:13 AM   #29
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snow...hard to shoot in Challenge yourself to get the whitest snow pictures possible
02-13-2013, 02:48 AM   #30
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noobies unite!

QuoteOriginally posted by spectamaniac Quote
Lol @ specialK, I will keep my footing solid when shooting, thanks
I do not have any other lenses, and as much as I am itching to buy a new one ( I have been looking through ebay/craigslist/amazon every day for the last week hoping to find a cheap gem) I kind of want to force myself to learn as much as I can, and master my kit lens before moving on. If I was to buy a new lens I am torn between a nice fast wide angle, because I love landscapes, or a super long lens because I ultimately want to shoot lots of wild animals.

That said, if you guys have any ideas of specific budget lenses for sale at the moment, or ones that go on sale semi frequently to look out for, that would be awesome too.
I am shooting everything full manual so I can learn, occasionally I auto focus for comparisons.Therefore, old or manual, or even prime lenses are fine, I am interested in all of em..
well you and i are in the same boat being perfectionist noobs! with the exception i have a nice lil lens collection in the making. i bought a silver pentax smc 75-300 mm lens off ebay in mint condition for under $100 im sure you would be happy shooting wild life with it. im impressed with the range and quality for being under $100. also get a lens hood they work wonders. if you dont have time to get another lens at the before you leave get at least a lens hood for your kit lens.

look into some asahi prime lenses. i purchased mine from ebay a Pentax-m 50mm f1.7 SMC Asahi lens and i love it so much i would sleep with it under my pillow if it didnt make me look weird!

ive been shooting roughly around a year with my dslr and every time i go on a photo excursion i learn something new every time.
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