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02-13-2013, 03:08 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by josh_smith77073 Quote
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.
Ah, I'm jealous. I almost had a sweet pentax 70-210mm lens from ebay, but they had some sort of automatic bidding action that beat me...

02-13-2013, 10:32 AM   #32
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For a new photographer, your 18-55 kit lens and a tripod is a good place to start. Yes, there is better glass out there but the kit will do fine outdoors and stopped down to f/8 or more. A CPL can be helpful. It works best at 90 degree angles from the sun. I have a pretty large collection of glass but I still can't get rid of my 18-55. I was shooting motorcycle races on the ice a couple of weeks ago and I had my K5 on the tripod with a long telephoto. I brought my K10D to do shots of bikes and people and grudgingly mounted the kit lens because I didn't want to be changing lenses in the cold and with blowing snow. Once again, the lens really surprised me which is why It's not going anywhere. Bring along what you have, shoot a lot of photos and enjoy the trip. Take your time shooting and bracket your shots (multiple exposures at +and- a stop or two) and you will bring home a lot of keepers. Oh, and don't forget to charge your battery and bring an extra SD card or two.
02-13-2013, 07:32 PM   #33
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Thanks for the tips reef!
quick question...Why keep aperture around f/8? If I'm shooting landcapes and such, wouldn't a larger aperture number keep more stuff in focus at once as opposed to a lower aperture which will focus on a more specific depth/focal point therefore giving an overall sharper picture?Also, If the aperture is at 8, more light will get in making it harder to get a good exposure in a bright canyon setting?
02-13-2013, 07:46 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by spectamaniac Quote
Thanks for the tips reef!
quick question...Why keep aperture around f/8? If I'm shooting landcapes and such, wouldn't a larger aperture number keep more stuff in focus at once as opposed to a lower aperture which will focus on a more specific depth/focal point therefore giving an overall sharper picture?Also, If the aperture is at 8, more light will get in making it harder to get a good exposure in a bright canyon setting?
That lens provides its sharpest at f8. Most lenses provide the sharpest images near the middle of their range. Don't lock yourself in using only this setting. Varying the aperture provides control over depth of field and allows creativity. There is more to a quality image than ultimate sharpness.

02-13-2013, 10:16 PM   #35
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I might have missed the part about if you were going to hike at all. If so, do not try to get to the river and back in one day. Ain't gonna happen. If you go down Bright Angel trail, there are a few turn-around points "1.5-mile" and "3-mile". I did "3-Mile", complete with gasping and wheezing, in about 6-1/2 hours.

It's that little rest hut on the peak near the middle...


Further along the trail you can see the green Cottonwood (?) campground. Next stop beyond that is the Phantom Ranch across the river.
02-13-2013, 10:19 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
I might have missed the part about if you were going to hike at all. If so, do not try to get to the river and back in one day. Ain't gonna happen. If you go down Bright Angel trail, there are a few turn-around points "1.5-mile" and "3-mile". I did "3-Mile", complete with gasping and wheezing, in about 6-1/2 hours.

It's that little rest hut on the peak near the middle...


Further along the trail you can see the green Cottonwood (?) campground. Next stop beyond that is the Phantom Ranch across the river.
Nice pic!. This trip is more of a scouting mission, we are gonna do more driving and hit easy points. Next time we are going to use knowledge hgained from this trip and hike.
02-13-2013, 11:17 PM   #37
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Keeping your aperture at f/8 or more gives you a pretty large depth of field, important for landscape shots. For just starting out, it's a very safe aperture. On most lenses f/8 is usually the sharpest although on some it may be a stop less or as in the case of my very cheap Sigma 70-300 it's f/11. As you are probably discovering, there is a learning curve with a DSLR. Pick up a copy of Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure" if you happen by a bookstore. It will be a big help.
02-14-2013, 02:45 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by spectamaniac Quote
Thanks for the tips reef!
quick question...Why keep aperture around f/8? If I'm shooting landcapes and such, wouldn't a larger aperture number keep more stuff in focus at once as opposed to a lower aperture which will focus on a more specific depth/focal point therefore giving an overall sharper picture?Also, If the aperture is at 8, more light will get in making it harder to get a good exposure in a bright canyon setting?
Smaller f/#=larger aperture opening=shorter depth of field. And vice versa. So an aperture number lower than f/8, for example f/5.6, will give you a larger aperture opening, more light, and shorter depth of field. Larger aperture number gives the opposite effects of course. But too large an aperture number might degrade sharpness due to an effect called "diffraction" (though I wouldn't fret about it, diffraction is often more limiting in theory than in practice). You can easily do some test shots (of same subject, with tripod) at different apertures and see if you think you loose any sharpness (view test shots at 100% to be sure). Generally, most lenses seen to perform their best around f/8. And it should give enough depth of field for most landscapes, unless you focus at things in the foreground.

02-14-2013, 02:48 AM   #39
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+1 on on buying a cheap M series 50mm. The 1.7 and 1.4 are both fantastic optically, and though less a performer but a lens i still enjoy and use more than my kit is the M 28 2.8. If you were to get one of the 50's you could have a lot of fun with portraits once you get done with the landscapes. Being forced to shoot in manual has taught me a lot about exposure. It also sounds like you intend on taking lots of pics i bought some cheap batteries off amazon 6$ a piece and couldnt be happier. It's nice not worry about. Thats for the k10 though i don't know about batteries for the k30. Have fun shooting.
02-14-2013, 02:27 PM   #40
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I read the understanding exposure book twice in one week haha, great book.
02-15-2013, 04:26 AM   #41
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I would say look for "Kerrick James" at the GC. He has a huge table full of sweet glass he wants you to play with.
he says so in this video.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/general-photography-industry/215282-pentax-doing-right.html
02-18-2013, 07:39 PM   #42
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I looked for him, all I could find was rocks. I am at the airport waiting to go home. Photographs will be posted soon! Is it ok if I link to an external site to showcase photos?
02-19-2013, 12:32 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by spectamaniac Quote
Photographs will be posted soon! Is it ok if I link to an external site to showcase photos?
People link to pages all the time, though no one likes clicking...

I suggest posting, say 5, in the Post your Photos section, with a link to more.
02-19-2013, 06:48 AM   #44
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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. At moderate apertures (say f/8) and other than maximum or minimum focal length, the kit is very capable. If you want to get some additional glass for the trip a longer zoom (say the DA 50-200 or DA 55-300) would be the obvious complement.

That being said, probably the best thing you can do to help insure the quality of your photos from the trip is to invest in a sturdy tripod and dare to shoot in the early/late light.

Oh...and one more thing. If your trip is in the near future, be sure to dress warm. The south rim is about 7000' and quite cold this time of year.
Steve
This is great advice. I have been all over the map with replacements and augmentations to the kit lens, but version II is a damn nice lens at F7-F11. On top of everything else, it is light and compact for hiking, and some versions are weatherproof. If you are new to a DSLR, I think it is a mistake to run out and buy more lenses until you know what focal lengths you use most and what conditions leave you feeling that the 18-55 is not up to the task. For landscapes on a tripod, you can keep the lens at its best. At its worst, it is still not horrible. I had lots of film lenses laying around, and the M50/1.4 and M28/2.8 were great augmentations, but learning to use manual lenses should wait until you know what you like and don't like about the kit zoom. Unless you have the focus of your photo in the extreme corners, you are really unlikely to find too much wanting at medium to small apertures.
02-19-2013, 08:47 PM   #45
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Shoot in RAW mode (DNG). You'll be able to manipulate your photos more robustly during Post Processing phase.. alter exposure, highlights, details and such.. as well as filter colors you want/don't want a lot more than you would if shooting JPEGs
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